The film review will be on the film Run Lola Rim. It is due two weeks from today (16 October 2013) and must
be typed and proofread/spell-checked. The paper must be turned in before or at the start of class on the 16″‘.
Late papers are penalized one letter grade for every week (after class on Wednesday until before 5 p.rn. the
following Wednesday. minus one grade, the next Wednesday class time until 5 p.m. the following Wednesday
prior to class time. minus two grades: etc.) it is late.
rcvicw is often between 500-750 words long and between 2 to maybe 3 V2 pages maximum double spaced. Our
reviews may be a bit longer since this is a scholarly-based review and we have academic rcquircmcnts such as citing
sources. providing appropriate examples to support our argumcnts. pulling in rclatod discussions or cvidence from
printed sources. etc.
While l have said that the review cmaytake many forms and cover a wide varioty of conccpts. the structure is
remarkable the some from one to the next. Hence, when writing your rcvicw. consider the following structure:
I ) You ncod to do an Introduction where you introduce your film review. likely spell out the most basic credits such
as titlc. and director. possibly main actors. The first paragraph also should contain a statement ol‘ put-pose.. The tirst
or second paragraphs may include a brief summary of the plot. background info on the story and maybe a reference to
the gcnrc if not done above.
2) Then you typically look at 3~5 dimensions or criteria upon which you are evaluating the film. Often. you devote a
paragraph to each.
3) Your analysis may involve one. but normally 3-5 ofthe following, or possible (an)other variablcls) not listed hero:
0 arc characters believable? developed appropriatciy.«”ctt‘cctivcly?
o art: actors cast appropriately‘? do they perform eficctively
o what is the theme offilm?
o is the setting/locale, time period appropriate and effective? is set. décor. landscape/geography cffective?
o is the cinematography effective‘? docs the film make use ofcolor, texture. lighting, movement etc. to
enhance theme, mood, setting. ctc.?
o is editing cfi“ectivc?
o is the sound track ettcctivc‘?
o is music appropriatclfunctional? or inappropr-iate*‘obtr-usiw.’e‘.’
o are ca mera angles usod cffccti vcly? Used for a particular cft’ect’.’
o Are there special effects and ifso. are they essential to plot? Necessary. sacrifice plot. skillfully handled?
o docs film use symbols or symbolism‘? lfso, what purposes arc serve? Used ctlectively? I-low dos it
contribute to film overall?
o is there a moral or message?
o are there attributes that can be attributed to contributions by thc director’? how does film compare to
director’s other work‘?
o who is the audience and did film achieve its objtxtive or appeal to intended audience‘?
4} You may want to study the PROS versus CONS overall. and rcllcct on and discuss thcsc.
5) Finally. you draw conclusions. What is your opinion ofthe film? Here you would review the
argurncntsfevidcnce you used and then draw conclusion. NOTE that you ncvcr introduce new evidence in the
6) Quality ofwriting also is important as well as degree of research carried out. In addition. as I said above: cfibrt to
bring outside sources and cvcn opinions of others into your discuwion may be a plus. as well as cfi”orts made to
appropriately attribute credit to outside sources used.
“Film reviews are assessments of the aesthetic. entertainment. social and cultural merits and significance of a current film or video.
Reviews tend to be short to medium length articles. often written by a single staff writer for a particular publication. Although reviews
are usually fairly “quick takes” on a movie. they can. in some instances. be lengthy. substantive. and very insightful.“ (SOURCE: “Film
Reviews and Film Criticism: An Introduction,” http:/Ywww.libberkeley.cdw’MRC/tilmstudiesffilmreviewsintro.html]
General Guidelines for writing a Film Review
Research and ‘ Actively watch the film and take profuse notes. Do research and get all relevant names. facts. figures. details.
preparation etc. you think you will require. Use onlinc and print resources. Double check for accuracy. Develop a critical
perspective – consider both the film’s merits and weaknesses. Then do an outline of your intended review.
Title or headline The title of the review and the “deck“ (a sentence in special print above the review) suggest the l
reviewer’s opinion – whether he or she thinks the movie is worth seeing or not. Rate the film.
MPAA rating may also go here.
Dateline and Byline . Date of review and name of author/reviewer. Sometimes city in which written is cited.
Where At the top of the review. is the name the movie and the places where it can be seen. May
address hours film shown, admission prices, phone number of theater, film length, opening t
date. MPAA rating, crowdedness, etc.
Introduction Why you think the movie is good or not? There is also often a brief summary of what the movie
is about. the story line and what type of film it is – action-adventure. comedy. documentary, v
drama. horror, romance, etc. Name of director, producer or principal actors may go here. Give
dates when important.
Actors‘ Rolesmerformance This part gives a short description of the main characters and names the actors who play the
parts. Reviews refer to roles the actors have play in other movies. Are the characters in the
movie easy to understand?
Story line/Plot/Location ‘ More about the story line and also where and when the movie takes place and what the setting
or mood is (but don’t spoil it for the viewer). How about themes or ideas raised? There may be f
more information about the roles vis-a-vis the story line – may include particular geographic
1 locations/scenes, opening, closing, an action or romance scene. etc. is the movie based on a
1 book or a stage play? Does the movie tie into anything currently in the news, or is there
3 something else that makes the movie relevant? is story particularly complex? How was pace of f
1 the story telling? is there a certain tension in the story‘? Was it funny? Was it sad?
Other cinematic characteristics A Here you address other qualities of the film. particularly those that are inherently special to the
cinematic medium. such as camerawork, color, directing, editing. film texture, level ofscx or
violence, music, scenery. sound (digital), soundtrack. special effects, visual effects. etc.
Other ~ Compare to other films/movies. Does the movie portray historical events accurately‘? Are there
3 a few interesting quotes or facts? Name sources when appropriate – if quoting another person.
cite source and give credit to original author. 6
Conclusion , May conclude with an interesting or thought-provoking question or statement to tempt you to
i see the movie for yourself. Sometimes a review will make a link with a local situation or certain
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