Writing a Film Review
A simple quiz to ask one’s self is “What was the creator’s intention, how well was it done, and was it worth doing?” The purpose of a review is to make your point of view known. You hold the power to make or break whether or not others will spend the time and money to see a performance. YOU MUST CONVINCE PEOPLE of your valid point by covering all the bases as demonstrated in the following format. You may opt to write more than 4 paragraphs, which is fine; however, adhere to this format.
Part One: (Introduction) Offer your overall impression of the film while mentioning the movie's title, director, and key actors. Basically, this paragraph also states whether or not you like the show and IN GENERAL TERMS what was good or bad about it. Did you enjoy the film? ** Some productions might have an important and unusual element that should be included in the first paragraph. For example, the Broadway production was known for its multi-million dollar set which did not work opening night. Or, the musical, Sunset Boulevard, was known for its $2 million set.
PART or paragraph Two:(Plot/events summary) Briefly describe the plot in order to get someone interested, just as a movie rental box or book jacket might appeal to you. DO NOT EVER GIVE AWAY THE ENDING!!!! Imagine if someone told you the ending to Sixth Sense....you will be less likely interested in going to see it the first time if you already know what the twist is. NEVER GIVE AWAY the ending...
PART or paragraph Three:(best/worst scene/aspect) Give your opinion of the acting/performance and production/directing. How did the actors portray key character roles? Name the actors/performers and director. Be sure to give good as well as bad points. Be clever. For instance, if you thought the movie Titanic was awful, you could say the worst part was how long it was, but the best part was you knew from the get-go it was going to sink. Or, if you loved something about a movie and can't find anything bad to say, point out how the worst part was that the movie had to end.
PART or Paragraph Four (Conclusion): Were any particular film techniques used in key scenes? How did the film techniques and music enhance the setting and themes of the film? After discussing some of the physical production, such as special effects, costuming, editing, etc., you should conclude your review with any final thoughts on the production as a whole. To WHOM would you recommend this? (What age group?) This is your last opportunity to convince the reader. Offer a clincher that tells the reader to attend the film or not.
YOUR TASK: You have just watched a film or scene. Please use the above criteria to write a review in the time allowed.
Film Terminology General Terms
Scene: a series of shots that together form a complete episode or unit of the narrative
Montage: The editing together of a large number of shots with no intention of creating a continuous reality. A montage is often used to compress time, and montage shots are linked through a unified sound - either a voiceover or a piece of music.
Parallel action: narrative strategy that crosscuts between two or more separate actions to create the illusion that they are occurring simultaneously
Editing (the way shots are put together)