Reading Film (Fall 2011)

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Assignment #2: Reviewing the Reviewers.

October 7th, 2011 by Huy Le · 1 Comment · 2 Reviewing the Reviewer, Uncategorized

On my recent trip to Earth, the home of a species name Homo sapiens also known as Human, I’ve found that they are a very interesting and complex. Humans have the abilities to learn and process knowledge like no other. As a matter of fact, we as a separate species might even think their crazy to be reading so much into something. Take films, for example, we watch films for simply entertainment and nothing else, we don’t have film reviewer because films are easy to understand. Humans on the other hand are complex, for every film that they make there are thousands of reviewers who watch the film and write about it, they not only write what they see but they dissect the movie looking for “cinematic expressions” whether it’s there or not.

Film reviewer has the option to judge a film because it’s the perks of their job, and in fact they do constantly criticize. Film reviewer gives opinions which people sometime won’t agree with, but people looks to film reviewer for a guideline, they break down the movies and tell their point of view, they are educated in what Humans call media studies. Media studies are the studies of films.

When reviewing films, films reviewer ;( critic) write comments about a film without telling too much about the story. They critique the quality of a movie’s plot, filming and directing. A movie critic requires a deep analysis of why they feel a film is good or bad. A.O Scott who is a film critic wrote about Transformer: Dark of the Moon, a movie that featured a war between 2 races of robots with one trying to enslave the humans living on earth while the other trying to prevent that from happening. Scott didn’t really criticized instead he wrote “I’m not judging, just describing”. Scott did however point out that the movie plot was unnecessary. Also he didn’t see the point of Rosie Huntington low angles shot, In human terms low angle shots tend to make the character more powerful, and commanding and in this case to make the audience fall in love with Rosie Huntington beauty and nothing to do with the film. . To some Scott is not really doing his job dues to the fact that Scott being a film critic has the power to judge whether the reader likes it or not.

On the other hand we have a well-known critic named Roger Ebert, Ebert who had written many books and review on movies seems qualified as someone who we can look to for an opinion to what he thinks about the movie. Apparently to Ebert Transformer: Dark of the Moon was not one of the good one. Ebert described the movie as “a visually ugly film with an incoherent plot, wooden characters and inane dialog” Ebert goes on to say that the plot of the movies in term of structure could not be found, there is no style with in the dialogue.

The same movies reviewed by Scott Ross have a different perspective than Ebert and A.O Scott. Scott believes that entertaining films and good films are in fact two very different things. The movie plot to Scott is nothing less of worthless. He didn’t see the point in the “objectification of Rosie Huntington. Scott loved the movie because its graphical features and actions were in fact magnificent. But the constant action and destruction for 2 hour is just too much. Scott saw the movie for what it was, just entertaining and required no brain power to figure out.

After future research I’ve found that most films reviewer in fact agreed that this sequel of the Transformer franchisee was a terrible one but somehow the movies made tons of money.

In order to understand what a reviewer look for in films, I’ve decided to analyze Roger Ebert in more detail. The research takes me to a review of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, a movie where a little girl name Sally who is being haunted by scary creatures. Ebert unlike the movies goer finds the films more interesting than the viewer who only gave the film 2 stars. Maybe it’s the fact that when people go to a scary movie, they just want the thrill and excitement of being scared.  Ebert on the other hand likes the movie because of its plot, and its ability created by the director to keep us in a trance and “milks our frustration deliciously”.

In another movie review of Bridesmaids by Ebert, he found that the movie in the aspect of, it is funny which is what a comedy supposed to do. Also the director made sure not to shine the light on what one person but keeping the whole cast that was introduced in play. He found that the movies connect with the audience. And that the director who is known for connecting with the audience did just that. Ebert wrote “the movie has a heart. It heals some wounds, restores some hurt feelings, confesses some secret, and in General ends happily”.

When Ebert writes a review it tends to be very direct and short, he gets straight to the point, include a short recap and just pour his opinions onto paper. Movies review over all is just opinion with a bit of education. It allows the person who reads it the ability to disagree or agree. It can also be used as a guideline.


Bridesmaids by Roger Ebert May, 11, 2011

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark by Roger Ebert August 24, 2011

Transformer : Dark of the Moon by Roger Ebert June 28,2011

Transformer: Dark of the Moon By A.O Scott June 28, 2011

Transformer: Dark of the Moon by Scott Ross July 05, 2011


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One Comment so far ↓

  • Kevin L. Ferguson

    Hi Huy,

    I know it’s a little goofy, but I think you did a really good job establishing a sense of MOTIVE (Harvey’s term) in your first paragraph, especially in showing how other people might hold other theses that differ from yours (i.e., that there is a particular way of approaching film that is worthwhile). I also thought I saw you using KEYTERMS in your third paragraph: “movie’s plot, filming and directing” would seem to be three major concerns you identified for film reviewers to focus on. But you don’t use these words again (which you should do with keyterms). You do come back to the ideas (for example, talking about the “low angle shots” is an example of “filming”), but since you don’t name the keywords, readers have a harder time making the connection.

    Looking at your use of EVIDENCE and ANALYSIS: one great piece of evidence you found was A.O. Scott’s quote “I’m not judging, just describing.” That seems to really capture the main idea of this paragraph (it’s very similar to what the first sentence of ¶3 says). But you didn’t follow that quote with a sentence that would analyze it or put it into context. It seems like that quote stands alone, and the sentences on either side don’t make any use of it. When revising, consider how you can better use your evidence, such as this quote, in support of a larger argument. Here, you’ve got the pieces, but you’ve not put them together. Compare that to the next two paragraphs, where you give an Ebert and Ross quote but don’t do anything with them. You’ve provided the evidence, but now you need to offer the analysis. This analysis should be in support of your main argument or THESIS, which I think is “film reviewers critique the quality of a movie’s plot, filming and directing.”

    One general piece of advice for ensuring that you don’t skip the analysis part is to follow the rule of thumb: “never end a paragraph with a quotation.” You do that in two of the last three paragraphs. After the evidence, you should provide analysis, and after that you should offer reflecting or something that connects the analysis back to your central thesis.

    Last: you didn’t do the third part of the assignment–offering your own theory?

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