Especially about a World War I movie, which is a historical film.
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If I were writing a film review, here's how I would do it:
- Introduction: Start with a thought-provoking or interesting idea, description of a vivid scene, etc. Next, summarize the plot, but briefly! You don't want to spoil the ending for your readers who may not have seen the move themselves.
- Body: This is the heart of your commentary--be critical, but not harsh. Devote a paragraph each to the movie's strength's and weaknesses, being sure to cite the film's artistic aspects. Include commentary on directing style, camera angles, visual effects, etc.
- Conclusion: Here I would summarize my main points and cite the technicalities of the film such as the director, cast, crew, rating, etc.
Check out reveiws writteny by professionals in order to get a feel for how it's done! Below are links to professionally written reviews for you to check out!
These are good ideas. I would also leave room to focus on choice of actor or the role, the use of lighting, camera angle, special effects and music for overall effect, and how the audience around me responds to the film. You might even stop one or two people who saw the film and ask them if you can interview them about the film they just watched. A direct quote for another viewer of the film or two might be just what you need to finish your critique.
If it is an historical film, I would be sure to include a note about who the intended audience of the movie was or is. What does the movie contribute to an understanding of that terrible war? Why was the film made? Educational audience? Recruiting? Popular entertainment?
I think #4 raises some interesting questions for you to consider for this historical movie. You need to ask what the purpose of the historical movie is. Why is it that we are encouraged to look back on a war from the past? How is that war portrayed? Is it portrayed in a cynical way that exposes the horrors of war or does it present war as a glorious thing? How are the soldiers presented? Do they die in a noble fashion or are they killed ingloriously? This will help you consider the purpose of the film you are reviewing.
I would like to interview some people , but the film was made in 1930 and of course I understand it is an anti-war film, because it portraits savage and desilusion images. Is it valid to compare also with a new film of the same novel mad in the 70's ?
I'm always intrigued by the film maker's point of view in these kinds of movies. Actually, in every movie, but it is especially noticeable and important in this genre. Obviously there is some motivation moving the director to re-create the historical event; I always try to discover it as I watch. So I ask myself who the sympathetic characters are, who are the round (well-developed) and flat (virtually undeveloped) characters, and what am I left feeling at the end of the movie? I would certainly include perspective/point of view in any movie critique I was writing.
A good film review will often reference other films that 1) the filmmaker has previously made and 2) are in the same genre.
When writing about a WWI movie, you could mention other films that deal with that war or with war in general and offer some insight as to how these movies compare with the one you're focusing on.
My husband writes film reviews, and one unique thing that he does is discuss the musical scores in the film and any impact the music may have on the particular movie scenes. I think that is one creative way to really get the readers thinking about the music. He also offers detailed background about the main characters and the actors themselves.
I think a good film review is very important. If it is well-thought out, mostly accurate (you must account for personal taste however, someone may hate the movie but another may love it), and easy to read, it can be extremely helpful to people. In a good movie review I would definitely include some personal thoughts, a main conflict point, and some information on main characters.
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