To start this all shiny and chrome blog off, let’s deal with the simplest movie reviewing question there is. How do you do it?
Well strangely, you probably have been doing exactly that for quite a long time already. Think about the last time you went to the cinema with your friends, and you chatted together afterwards talking over what it was like. The stuff you liked, the stuff you didn’t, how it ended… that’s all part of the critique process. And every time you are asked for your Top Ten films of all time, you choose them based on their merits that stand above everything else you have seen.
So, can you drop your job right the hell now and go become a critic for the National newspaper? Most likely lot unfortunately. There is a whole lot more tools that the professionals posses, such as a much larger knowledge base to source from, access to watching a far larger pool of films, and a unique way of putting their words to pen. (or stylus) This is what they do for a living, so as you can imagine, there are a lot of skills that are needed for that.
But, improving your own skills to casually review movies or beat your friends in trivia isn’t that hard at all. If you want to enter the world of film blogs and reviewing, here are a few pointers to aid you on your way.
- You MUST love movies. And I don’t just mean love seeing the same titles on repeat. You need to be open to watching films from all kinds of genre, year of release, from blockbusters to Indie’s, and from local productions to foreign releases. It is the only way you will broaden your scope at the same time as growing to appreciate many different forms of film media. If you love Horror but haven’t seen some of the creepy Japanese releases or early Universal Monsters films, you need to get on track and check them out. After all, this is a path of discovery, and every new title you find should be a new treasure. Also, you have to enjoy seeing movies, even if you expect what you are watching is going to be bad. No pre-assumptions should be taken in – try and seek out things you like, rather than scorn and despise all the things you don’t like. There will be times when this gets real hard to do in practise, but try. 😉
- Keep track of film directors, actors, and other staff that you enjoy. Keeping a mental note to seek out their other work will help you increase your knowledge base at the same time as becoming familiar with that particular artist’s style. Whether it is Quentin Tarrantino, James Cameron, Bill Murray, or Matthew McConnaughay, watching their library material is a mini project that can be a lot of fun.
- Know the rating scale. There is no such thing as just a “good” movie or a “bad” movie. Like the light spectrum, there are all kinds of combinations in between that you will slowly begin to see. For example, “Twilight: New Moon” is regarded as a bad movie. (well honestly, it’s pretty damm terrible) But really it is a film that is so bad, you just have to laugh and enjoy the awfulness playing out on the screen. Where-as some Summer blockbusters may turn from idiotic, to really enjoyable “leave your brain at the door” schlockfests that can be a whole heap of fun.
- When it comes to writing, try to be good. I know, it isn’t the best form of advice, but it is tricky to put into words about how to write creatively and effectively. You need to have a personal stamp on your work that makes it unique, and well as include good grammar that avoids you over-using the same phrases. Ultimately you will have to write it in your own way, but it does help to always cover the primary elements such as plot synopsis (spoiler free if possible), acting performances, effects, direction, cinematography, positive and negative elements, and conclusion. Within that you can then add your twist of personality.
- Don’t take it too seriously. People may bitch and moan about your reviews and ratings you give, or there may be times you get pissed off at a film. But always remember, your reviews are just an opinion. Nothing more, nothing less. Other people will have varying opinions and thoughts to you, but as long as you give a balanced and fair chance to what you have watched, and you are comfortable to stand up to the reliability of what you wrote, there’s not a whole lot people can say to take you down. This is an aspect where doing a little research on the film, or listening to other reviews, will really improve what you have to say.
Even with everything that I pointed out here, there are still plenty of other areas that will assist you in reviewing movies, such as following other film blogs. There’s no perfect recipe to yield the ideal result, and you will just have to learn as you progress. As I said earlier, the most important thing is to have fun. Movies are an amazing form of expression that can generate so many different levels of emotions and give so many memories. So when you have free time, pick out a film, relax, and enjoy the spectacle.
Image is not owned by me, source can be found – here