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This is advice coming from a consumer who likes to read reviews on a movie before I actually watch/buy it!
When reading a review about a movie, I want it to be informative (e.g. director, certification, starring actors, synopsis, any parental warnings.. .etc) yet concise - I HATE reviews that are 2,000+ words. There needs to be opinion inserted in there with enough of the film given away to leave me intrigued but also enough saved for me to be surprised. NO SPOILERS PLEASE.
I want to know about:
- The music
- How the movie might compare with other's in it's genre
- Whether it's worth to see at the cinema or to rent out and buy...or perhaps even to wait for it to come out on telly.
- How is the acting? Think about the characters and how well they have been represented.
-Was there anything that surprised you or disappointed you in the movie?
-Could the movie be better? and how?
-Could you watch the movie again? or is it a one off?
- If it's a DVD/Blu-ray what features are there?
- What's the cheapest you can get it for and where?
- Your concluded thoughts on the movie as a whole
That's my idea of a good movie review! If I read a review that includes ALL of this and manages to write in a fun, easy-to-read way - I ALWAYS nominate a crown. :)
Hope you found this useful!
You need only look at my reviews on here or the more extensive ones on my review website, TheFilmBlogger.com, to see that I write a lot of film reviews. I hope it doesn't seem big headed to say that I think I know how to write a film review well. I hope to one day be a professional film critic, so have amassed quite a lot of knowledge about the field, and here is my advice:
Paragraph 1: Generally I will begin with a paragraph that gives the film context either within the genre, the year, or the director and cast, which gives the viewer some background info.
Paragraph 2: I detail the plot concisely and give a bare bones description of the set-up without giving too much away. I might mention what is for stake, and any major characters will have the actor's names listed in brackets.
Remaining: For the rest of the film I will dissect the various relevant areas of the film in no REAL order, although it might help you to write ideas onto a notepad as you're watching the film, as this is what I do a lot and it makes it seem more coherent and easier to remember. Things such as pacing, the coherence of the plot, the quality of the acting, visual effects, editing, cinematography, sound, are all important, but what is MOST important is reviewing a film within the context of its audience, in my opinion: sure, you might not like musicals, but are fans of the genre going to like it? If I didn't LOVE it but found the song/dance quite a spectacle and catchy, then I'd probably give it a positive review, for example.
However, we aren't all budding film critics, and to be honest a knowledge of film history isn't necessary to write a review, nor is a knowledge of a wealth of technical terms. You just need to write enthusiastically, with a tinge of humour perhaps. Some reviewers will prefer to stick to their own opinion free of context, which is fine, although I do not do this myself.
If you're writing something you want others to read, make sure it has more general ideas that most reads can comprehend, and depict what will make THEM either want to or not want to watch it.
Are you tired of your old phone? Do you want a new one? well heres a good phone suitable for all ages, its called a samsung tocco lite!
It comes in 2 colours pink and black, it is a touch screen phone which may sound difficult to use but its very simple and i can asure you i got the hang of it really quickly. It has a 3.2mp camera which is very good and provides a clear image/video. There are games and applications to lead you out of your bordem lets not forget the bluetooth which i have to say has excellent connection within a certain distant.
The phone measures 104*53*11. 9mm. and is a sleek squared shape. The phone comes with a USB so you are able to upload pictures and download music to and from the computer. The phone is fun and entertaining, it is simple and easy to use and it features are incredible and i hope i have encouraged you to get the Samsung Tocco Lite.
I am a movie buff. So I like to read and write movie reviews. Simply by reading others reviews I have improved myself a lot. I am putting some effort to write some advice on how to make movie reviews? Everyone has got his or her own writing skills, and I am not saying I am perfect in writing reviews, but I have gained a lot of experience in writing movie reviews and this may be helpful to new members. First I will talk about the structure and format of the review and then I will tell what you should include in the review. Finally I will end up with what not to write in the review. I will explain each and everything with examples so that it becomes easy for readers to understand.
To start with a quick Introduction of the movie. In the introduction you can mention the genre of the movie, the release date and crew of the movie like the name of the director, writer and producer. If a movie is an adoption of a book/novel or remake of any movie, you can also include this in the introduction. Then after you can write theme of the movie in one or two lines. The awards and achievements of the movie or cast can also be included in the introduction. Usually I do this because I think that it helps the reader to know that the movie is strong in certain areas and he/she can expect more in these areas. Here we end the introduction and, by writing good introduction, you can draw the reader's attention in and it will give the reader some idea of what the movie is all about. So always start your movie review with short and interesting introduction.
The next stage is to give a brief introduction of the Star Cast of the movie. Write the name of the actor and the character name in front of this. You can also give a brief introduction of the character, but don't write too much. Include only the lead actor/actress of the movie or the characters which you are going to introduce in next section (Plot Summary). I don't think you need to mention the whole star cast because it's just a way to make your review look longer. For example Brain Cox portrays Ward Abbott, immediate superior of Alexander and deputy director of central intelligence agency (CIA).
Next is the Plot Summary of the movie. Write the plot of the movie in one paragraph and write in such a way that makes reader curious to read further. This section is the heart of the movie review and creates an interest in the mind of the reader to watch or not to watch the movie. Don't write too much in this section because if the reader already knows each and everything about story then why will he/she watch the movie? I have seen many writers who start and write the plot in two or three paragraphs, even more writers finish off their reviews just by writing the plot. One more thing to keep in mind is; you should avoid writing any twists and surprises in the plot. Don't spoil the ending of the movie, as many writers who don't care about reader do. The aim of this section is to sketch an outline and plot without any spoilers. I think nothing is worse than reading the whole story of the movie and then we are left with nothing to see. I usually write one paragraph and end up with some questions which make the reader curious to watch the movie. So you can identify and write some questions and puzzles, for example; what is this secret that changes his life? Is he really a partner in the firm? If he is, then why is he working for the firm? This is just like showing trailer of a movie in which you mention some key points, raised some questions and left other things for viewers to watch.
The next stage is to write your Opinions and Views about the movie. Most of the writers skip this section, but in my opinion we are here to tell the reader why he/she likes/dislikes the particular movie. What are the pros and cons of the movie? I think writing this section is an art and shows the ability of the writer - how deeply he/she can analyze the movie. Some writers just write "I like this movie", "the direction is perfect", 'the acting is fine and music is also good" and that is it. Don't just write this, write why you feel this way. You can include every aspect of the movie in this section like; characters, performances, direction, editing, screenplay, visual effects, music score, etc. The following explains how to write on each and every aspect.
Characters and Performances: This part is backbone of the movie. Every movie has some central characters so in every movie you should include this aspect. You can talk about the main characters of the movie. First identify who are the main characters of the movie and write about these characters one by one. How is this character? What do you like/dislike about this character? You can write how well/badly the character was portrayed. You can compare the portrayal to a similar character. Some writers make a mistake here by writing what the character did in this movie. I think this is the nothing else but repetition of the story. So be careful, the aim of this section to give some idea how the cast performs in their roles?
Direction: This is another key point that makes the movie successful. Again you should include this in your review by explaining how you find the direction of the movie. You can compare the direction by the director's previous work. You can write some scenes where direction really shines in the movie or others where you think there's lack of direction.
Visual Effects and Cinematography: In this section we should write about camera work and special effects. This section is not applicable of some movies but if you find something different then you can include this section in the review. Here you can write about some of the best scenes in the movie which shows great camera work. In the action genre this section is must. Again you can compare the special effects with a similar kind of movie.
Now we should talk about the Plot and Storyline. What you think about the storyline? Is the plot fast paced or too slow? How is the ending? Are there any holes in story and are there any questions which are unanswered? Characters are developed according to pace or not? You can include all those things. These are the main aspects which are applicable to all kind of movies, but there are more things which you can write if applicable. For example; in epic and fantasy movies you can talk about Set design and Costumes, In a musical you can write about the Music score and Background Music, for animation movies your views on the animation must be included. The point is you must include what you feel is different, what and why you enjoyed the movie. There are some parts which work for you and some not so, make it clear. Don't write anything without reason. I think every movie has some negative points so, if you noticed some, don't forget to mention those points.
We are almost completed with movie review. I have talked about what to include in your review, but now I am going to discuss some points, that should be kept in mind, not to include in your reviews. I have noticed all these things by reading movie reviews and, in my opinion, its better to avoid such things.
Don't write useless things. I have seen many writers includes some useless and nonsense things in their reviews. For example, somebody wrote more than 20 filming locations of the movie in each review. What's the point in writing this? Who wants to know about each and every location? Half of his/her reviews were filled only by filming locations. Some people write the budget and gross income of the movie. Some people write all the soundtracks of the movie. Write these if there is something special or different about it, for example; the soundtrack of Mission Impossible and Mortal Kombat are very famous, so no harm in writing few lines on that.
Don't ruin the ending. I have already discussed on that point.
Don't repeat things. I have seen many people repeat the same thing in his/her review. What they do is they write some headings like "Pros and Cons", why you should/shouldn't watch this movie AND "what I like/dislike". The headings are different, but most of the things are same. They say that the visual effects are the advantage of the movie and again in next section they write you should watch this movie because visual effects are good. I think this is noting but repetition to make review look longer, so try to avoid this thing.
Now this section I am going to talk about is optional and not applicable to all movies. If a movie is an adaptation of some novel/book, and you have read the book, then you can compare them. Write about the difference between the novel and the movie. If the movie is a remake of some other movie, and you have seen that movie, then I strongly suggest comparing both the movies. In historical and epic movies you can include the historical aspects and realities. I know you will say what it may mean to us, but there are some readers who want to know more and want to get completely involved in the movie, so this paragraph is for them. Write a heading before writing this so that if someone doesn't want to know such kind of information then they can skip this section.
In the last paragraph you can conclude and write a Summary of your review. If you own the DVD or know about the features of the DVD then you can write those features before concluding your review. So we are finished with the review and that's all I can give you. I hope this will help readers to make their reviews better. Even I am learning and trying to make my reviews better. Thank You for reading.
The modified version of this review is also posted on Helium and Ciao.
The film section on Dooyoo has thousands of items for members to write about, and there are even more reviews that have already been written. I am a keen film buff, and I usually read reviews on films here, so are brilliant, and some not so.
In my opinion, a film review has to have a lot of content, as there are a lot of aspects that need to be reviewed. Mainly, there must be a detailed outline of the plot, with opinions how how is was entertaining, and where the flaws were. In addition to this, we must be told who starred in this film, along with the part that they have in the film. Normally I like to see an opinion relating to how good these actors were in the film, and whether or not they were why the film was good or bad.
Furthermore, special effects are a huge part of films these days, and a film review cannot be written without commenting on this. Even if it is just mentioning whether or not they were good or bad, and naming a scene where they were used would be good enough.
In all, I think that a movie review is one of the best things that you can review on Dooyoo. If you dont like a review, then we need to know why, and if you did, we all want to know what were the best bits, otherwise their is no point, and the ratings wont be that good.
Writing a good movie review should not be rocket science. Members can obsess over what they should or should not include. Should they have a cast list and running time? Is there a need for a background on why they watched it? Do they need to talk about the Director and how the film is shot? However, none of these things really matter. Whether you include them or not will have no immediate impact on what rating I give your review and the Average Joe will not give a toss about the subtle use of lighting and clever use of camera angles.
Writing a good movie review is all about the opinion. All the above are nice added extras for some but they are mere padding to any right thinking individual. All I need in a film review to make it crownworthy and certainly very useful to me is:
Brief plot outline-opinion-conclusion.
I don't need to know huge amounts of background on the characters, neither do I need to know every little plot event. If you have told me this why do I need to see the film? I can sum up pretty much every film I have seen in a short paragraph of no more than four lines and anything more than a paragraph is superfluous as far as I am concerned. You can tell me what you thought of the characters and how well they were acted in your opinion. I don't need however, to know the ins and outs of every character in the film. Some people like a cast list and an outline of how everyone acts and performs. Why? How does having a huge list of who is in it make you decide to go and see it? For the love of God at least whack the lists at the end of the review were they can be ignored.
Film reviews should be all about the opinion. What did you like/dislike about the film? Are there any outstanding performances be they good or bad? Does time fly by or does it drag on a bit too long? You don't need to be a literary genius to tell someone why you loved or hated a film. "It was really, really good and Brad Pitt is so fit" is not an explanation of why you liked it. Telling me you thought Pitt was convincing in the role is, even telling me that you thought his physique was good for an action movie and he is fit is fine.
Although I have been fairly critical of people who talk about the moody lighting and how marvellous the Director is this does not mean you cannot include any of these things. However, making them pertinent to your review makes them useful. Listing the Director is no different to listing the cast but saying, "Ridley Scott is one of my favourite Directors but should steer clear of Romantic Comedies in the future" is great. People get hung up on things like special effects and CGI but again it is all about whether they were important to you when watching the film. I can imagine you needing to tell me the special effects were rubbish in a horror/sci-fi for example but do I really need you to tell me the same in a Period drama?
Less has always been more in my opinion so stick to what you know. People get obsessed with trying to write the perfect review as if they are the next Barry Norman. Remember your audience is just like you, they will be googling a film just to see if it is any good. Do you really think they give a crap that you have not included the running time? You will always get members who insist on one fiddly bit of information being in a film review but I don't write for them and as far as I am concerned neither should you. If your review puts across what you want it too it matter not whether it is four hundred words or a thousand. I have seen both lengths crowned which proves there is no magic formula. So go on write a film review for you!
Here are my top tips for writing a good movie review. I am by no means an expert on this but hopefully you can learn from some of my mistakes!
1) Don't just outline the plot - If readers wanted to know what happened in a film they would have watched it already! It is good to give some detail of what happens in the film but this generally doesn't need to take up more than a short paragraph. If you just rehash the imdb review, you won't get good ratings and people won't want to read your reviews in future.
2) It's good to include details - You might want to include details such as the actors in the film, the director, whether it is part of a series. These are the sorts of things that a lot of people look for when they are deciding which film to watch. For example, I like David Fincher's films so I went to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
3) Don't give too much away! - I did this once and I'm glad someone pulled me up on it straight away. I was writing about a film I had studied for an MA dissertation and got totally carried away and gave away the ending! This may have spoilt the film had anyone read the review before I had edited it. So, be aware of how much detail you give and avoid spilling the beans on any plot twists.
4) We want to know why YOU love/like/hate it - What was it about this film that made you want to write about it? It could be a tiny insignificant detail that really caught your eye but if you write about it with passion, readers will want to see this film too. It could be the snappy dialogue, chemistry between characters, cinematography or incredible soundtrack, let us know what makes this film stand out from the rest.
5) What might put people off - I try to think of what aspect of the film might put others off so I can prepare them for it. For example, I can happily watch four hour long movies without getting bored but I know that this isn't the case for everyone so I try to warn people if they are in for the long haul. Also, I try to warn people about anything I feel is gratuitous such as extended scenes of graphic violence. If something in a film really upset you, I think it is only fair to warn people that this may affect them too.
Although some people may not consider me an authority on movies, I do know what I like. I have, by now, been around the block more than once on dooyoo. It is a special place, where I like to spend some time reading quality reviews, and gain some great information on products I may not have considered before.
I have tried some movie reviews, with varied amounts of success. But the experience has helped me to understand more what makes a good movie review, and although I have not received any crowns for my movie reviews, they are now generally well received. One tip from me, would be to get yourself a spunky title. Try and force someone to read your review! There is nothin I hate more than seeing a movie review titled 'Pulp fiction review'!
.......................... Layout ...........................................................
I think that it is very important to structure your review properly. This is true for all reviews, not just movie reviews. When I started on dooyoo, I tended to spout out a lot of personal opinion, in a huge garbled paragraph. The result was basically a great big mess on the screen. People are unlikely to pick through your review to find the information they are looking for. I soon learned, that if you break your review down into defined sections of information, your review will instantly become more interesting to look at, as well as being more useful. A reader can instantly access information from your review, and therefore it is more likely to aid them in making their purchase decision. That is, after all, what dooyoo is all about.
Not everyone on the site will read your whole review. Bear this in mind when choosing the sections contained in your opinion. If you are thinking about watching, or purchasing a movie, what things would you want to know. My personal thought on the matter is, that I would want to know about the films Background, the plot, the Actors, the performances, the dvd package itself (extras etc.), and the reviewers opinion of the movie itself. The order that you put these in is up to you, as long as it flows well.
......................... Background ........................................................
A small section, but an important one none the less. This is where you can put facts and figures, as well as information on the director, or the reception the film got when it was first released. You dont want to lose your audience, so don't bombard them with figures, but perhaps how much it took at box office, or how much it cost to make. Anything relevant to the making of the film can be put in here. For example, in my latest review on Donnie Darko, I included the fact that it was filmed over the same time period that the film was supposed to span. Keep it short and sweet, and use your own writing style to try and make it interesting, or even humourous if thats your thing.
......................... The plot ..........................................................
Probably the most important section. If you do not include a few notes on the plot of a movie, it'll be about as interesting as a big mac without the gherkin! I cannot stress enough how critical it is that you do not spoil the film for potential viewers. Remember that they may be using your review, to decide if they should watch a film or not. They do not want to have the film ruined, by reading your review, and learning an important plot twist, or the ending from your synopsis. A good plot section will have decent detail of the first ten minutes or so, but just leave a few teasers as to the rest. Pretend that you work for the movie, and you are trying to sell it to the reader.
........................ The actors ...........................................................
I think it does no harm, to include a list of the actors in the film. How many times do you see a film, and say to yourself " I didn't know he was in that!". For example, did you know that Johnny depp was in Platoon, and nightmare on Elm Street? Some people follow actors, when they watch movies. So simply knowing that a certain actor is in the movie, may make them decide to watch. I, personally like to know who is in a movie before I watch it. You will likely have heard who plays the major roles, but there are a lot of really good actors out there, who can put in amazing performances but get very little credit. If you list the characters, list them beside the name of the character they play. This helps the reader to get a feel for the movie.
......................... The performances ................................................
Big actors, don't mean big performances. They have all stunk, at some stage. It is pretty important to give the reader an idea of how good, or bad an actor was. Did a certain performance pull you into the movie. Did they make you laugh, or were they laughable? Did they make you cry tears of joy, Or tears of pain due to their wooden acting? It means a lot to know a bit about how the actors played the part. A movie may tick all the right boxes, in terms of stars, but if the actors fail to make you believe the part they play, then the movie will stink worse than a week old sandwich.
........................ The dvd package ..................................................
Although, I generally don't bother with extras when I buy a dvd, I acknowledge that there are some, for whom it makes all the difference. If the menu screen is the coolest thing you have ever seen, then let the reader know. Is there a little game to play, or lots of info that you are able to find? Or, are the extras completely useless? This is your one chance to tell the consumer about it. Throughout the whole review, don't be afraid to let your emotion out. If you loved it, or hated it, don't hide it. But remember, you don't have to put this section in. If you choose not to, state somwhere that it is a film only review.
...................... Reviewers opinion ..................................................
Now's your chance to shine. It doesn't matter if you want to write a love story about one of the actors, or if you want to stick the boot in. Because you have included the main information already, the review will stay useful to the reader, even if they disagree with your opinion. By the time you start to have your say, they have all the information they need, in order to form their own opinion of the film. In a way, this section is just for you. There are some, who will religously follow your opinion. This is especially true, if you are a respected dooyooer. As long as you make plain your true feelings about the film, you will be fine.
Somewhere in your review, give a wee bit of information on where you got it, how much it cost etc. This also allows the reader to attach a sense of value to the movie. You may say that the film was poor, but if it cost a couple of quid, then they may still take a chance on it.
Don't be afraid to use info from other websites, as long as you state this and don't try to pass it off as your own. Also don't let other peoples opinions taint your own.
Finally, you can do a lot worse than to read some of the reviews that are already on dooyoo. This is an excellent way to get tips on how to write a good movie review. If you like reading it yourself, then it has been written well. You can try and emulate the structure of the review yourself (but not the content!). Try reading some of the reviews by dooyoo's excellent movie guides.
I hope that this review has been helpful to you, and I look forward to reading some quality movie reviews from you soon!
Most of the reviews I write on Dooyoo are of Hollywood and Bollywood movies,initially when I use to write reviews I use to get a somewhat useful or useful rating,but it was very rare that I got a very useful review,but recently I have started getting some very useful ratings,all I did was made just one change,i will tell you about it,but before that I will tell you some other points,I see many reviews on Dooyoo which are above 1000 words and they are very highly rated as well,but personally I don't like reading such lengthy reviews they are too boring,I like reading reviews which are short and to the point,when I write reviews most of the times they are about 250 words.Now the major point that I was talking about before was that never reveal the climax of the movie,this is the major mistake I made because if you reveal the ending you reveal the suspense in the movie and then why will people watch the movie when they already know the climax.Moreover there is one step I don't follow but I will surely tell you to do this,make sure you divide your review in paragraphs,it makes it much easier to read.I hope this review helped.
So you want to know how to write a good movie review?
Well the first problem is how do you know what makes a review good?
Surely every single person has their own personal preference when it comes to both writing their own and reading other people's reviews. Different people look for different things, but I'm sure that there's a few things, we could all follow to enhance the Dooyoo experience.
I enjoy both writing and reading movies reviews on Dooyoo. I now come here to find out about a film, where as in the past I would have went to Amazon or IMDB.
I'm by no means and expert on reviewing anything, but I have a few points that maybe useful.
1: Make sure you have all of your facts about the film right before you publish it. I've came across reviews with little mistakes, such as the wrong release year, or wrong director (that's forgivable). But I've even came across bigger less forgivable mistakes, for example I came across a review a few weeks back saying how great Wesley Snipes was in The Shawshank Redemption. If in doubt look it up or don't include it.
2: Your review should include information about the plot of the film, what it entails, it's development, it's realism, and so forth. Try not to reveal too much about any twists or surprises. Feel free to say that there are some good twists in the film but don't say what they are, as it would spoil it. Spoilers are a real no, no. How would you like to have known the ending to The Sixth Sense before watching it.
3: If there is something you like, or something you don't like about a film (say the characters, or story, or whatever). Say what it was, don't just say you didn't like the film, give some explanation, was it unrealistic, was it boring, was the acting pants. Again if you did like a certain element say why - was it really funny, could you relate to it, did it have great special effects.
4: It's sometimes a good idea to include some background information to either the film, director, or cast. If it's interesting and or relevant then great. But don't get carried away. If I'm reading a review about a film, then I want to know about the film. I don't want to have to sieve through a thousand words about the director, his life and his previous films.
5: Don't write to try and get a crown. You could spend hours on a review, making it perfect and not get one. I came across one review recently that was absolutely brilliant (one of the best I've ever read on Dooyoo). Around half a dozen people left comments saying so, and saying that they nominated it, but has never been awarded a crown. Spend as much time writing the review as you want, and put in as much effort, but don't be disappointed if you don't get a crown.
6: One of the great things about DVD's are the special features included. If there are some great special features say so, and if there are none, do you think there should have been.
7: Keep your review structured. Make sure that the reader knows what film you are reviewing, what it's about, and what you thought about it.
8: Something I usually forget to mention myself is the music to the movie. The soundtrack can really enhance or ruin a film (Marie Antoinette anybody - modern music in an 18th century period drama). Say if you feel the music was suited, did it increase your viewing pleasure.
9: Finish with a summary, a bottom line that says what you thought about the movie. Did you enjoy it overall, would you recommend it to others, is there another film that's similar but better.
So, hopefully that's of some use to somebody. As I said, I'm no expert on reviewing movies, but I still like to think that my reviews are useful.
There is such a huge variety of movie reviews on Dooyoo, which I think is great, as you can choose from an in-depth film analysis or a brief plot overview, depending on your preference. Personally, I like something in between the two. Reviews which basically give the equal of the blurb on the back of the DVD case, followed by 'I liked this movie, it was great' don't tell me a huge amount. I want to know WHY the reviewer liked it. On the other hand, I'm not a big fan of really long reviews that give masses of plot detail followed by a huge amount of history on the director, cinematographer and everyone else involved in the film.
I can hardly lay claim to being an expert on movie reviews, having only been here a while and only written a few film reviews, but I can say what I think should be included and what shouldn't.
I like reviews which include:
~A brief resume of the film's general set up or concept. This should cover the general themes of the movie but not give away any plot points which occur more than about 15 minutes into the film.
~How exciting is the plot? How realistic? Does it fall flat or come to an explosive conclusion which keeps you on the edge of your seat? Is it ultimately fulfilling or disappointing?
~A mention of whether the characters are unique, lovable, easy to identify with, etc.
~An assessment of how good the actors and casting are. Do the actors make you laugh, make you cry, are they wooden and unconvincing?
~Maybe a few words about the style of the film, the cinematography, and the soundtrack.
~Possible suggestions of similar films that readers may like if they enjoyed this one.
~A mention of where you can buy the DVD cheapest, and details of any extras on the DVD and whether they are any good.
~Finally, a warning of who it is and isn't suitable for.
~Mentioning previous films involving the actors or directors is fine too if it's relevant, but I don't need to know everything they've been involved in since they were born.
I do NOT like reviews which include:
~Spoilers. They are called spoilers for a reason, because they SPOIL the film for anyone who's not watched it. Don't give away major plot points or character developments. Don't even hint at it, because what you might think is subtle might be glaringly obvious to someone else.
A good review doesn't need to include everything I've mentioned to be useful, but it should at least contain some.
In my time on Dooyoo, I've read a lot of film reviews. Most of them are good, a few exceptional and there tends to be waves of absolutely diabolical dross. Now I will admit that there are members who write far better film reviews than I ever manage, but with just over half of my film opinions receiving crowns, I'm not a complete novice myself either. With so many new members of the site, many of whom seem to be directing their skills to writing film reviews, I thought I'd take the time to write a few of my personal tips here. Not everyone will agree but I hope it provides at least some food for thought.
Before you even think about writing a film review, have you watched it? It might sound silly but I've read reviews of films that I'm familiar with and the plot description leaves me wondering if the writer has any idea what the film is about. And even if you have watched it, was it at a sleepover party 20 years ago where you talked through most of it or is the film still relatively clear in your head? I have lots of films I've seen over the years that I'd love to review but since my memory of them is hazy, I'll be leaving them on the backburner until I get around to watching them again. So now you have a film in mind that you do remember clearly, where do you start?
Firstly, we have the summary of the film. This is perhaps the most important part and yet is the element I find lacking in so many reviews. Despite the fact the film you are reviewing was a massive blockbuster netting millions of dollars, not everyone will have seen it or even heard of it. This doesn't mean you need to patronize the reader, but it does mean your review will require a taster of the plot. Of course, taster is the operative word here. When I'm reading a film review I want to find out the general premise behind the film in the form of a snippet. I don't want to read a poorly rehashed blow by blow account of every scene. I'm sure the cast and directors can do a far better job of telling the story than you ever will so this is just unnecessary. Which also brings me to the point of spoilers which are a definite no-no in writing a film review. Once I've read the ending of a film, where's the incentive for me to watch it? Juno was a film that, although not at the top of my to watch list, was something I would have liked to have seen. That was until I read a 'review' on Dooyoo which told me the final scenes of the film. Take films like Sixth Sense, Matchstick Men and Identity (off the top of my head), where the whole action of the film is hinged on a twist at the end. By revealing the twist, you've completely ruined the naïve pleasure of a first time viewer. So when it comes to your plot, aim to keep it short and sweet and retain an air of mystery about the events of the film. A good indication is to only write in as much detail as you find on the back of the DVD cover. Filmmakers write the blurb on the box with the aim of reeling in potential viewers and you should aim to do the same.
Next, a lot of people tend to give a mention to the cast. Again, you don't need to go into massive amounts of detail here and I certainly don't care who played the main character's chauffeur's daughter's best friend in a 2 second shot. If you're mentioning the starring actors, then usually a name will suffice. If they're lesser known talents you might want to mention one or two other films they've acted in but, from my point of view, this isn't something that's required. Most important to me is if they were cast well. Did you find Jim Carey convincing in his role as an awkward and tongue-tied clergyman considering the role is so dramatically different to those he usually plays? And whether you did or didn't, tell the reader why. Did the film star a previously unknown actress who excelled herself and showed true potential as a future Oscar winner? This to me is far more interesting to read than the fact that this was the woman who played Stiffler's mum in American Pie and she started her career in a Cheerios advert at the age of 3.
So now you've told the reader a bit about the film, the plot, the genre and the performances, it's your chance to get creative and tell us what you think. But don't fall into the trap of simply tagging 'It was good/bad' to the end of your plot outline and hitting the submit button. Dooyoo is about your opinion and your views so you now have the freedom to let loose and write about what you liked or disliked in particular and why. Perhaps the story was shocking and clichéd but the actors excelled to such an extent that you couldn't take your eyes from the screen. Maybe the story was excellent but the special effects looked like a scene from Camberwick Green. It doesn't matter whether you loved the film or hated it, just be honest and back up your arguments. This is the most important part of your review and should really take precedent when you're writing a film review. Don't spend hours writing a fantastic plot outline unless you can back it up with your thoughts and opinion on the film. This is the part that's going to help me and other readers decide whether or not we will buy or rent the film. Just be careful here that you're opinion isn't hinged solely on a personal hang up. Take my friend who has a vehement loathing for Kevin Costner. No matter what film he features in, she would never view it subjectively and is the last person I would turn to on an opinion about Costner's latest blockbuster, no matter how good the film might be. If you're reviewing a horror film but you can't stand horror films, you're review probably isn't going to be particularly useful. You don't have to stick to only reviewing films you love, but again, make sure you have reasoning to back up your opinion of a film either way.
Finally, for the true movie buffs, there comes the elements of direction, use of lighting and lenses, how suitable the backing music was etc. You don't need an expert to comment on anything else you think of that jumped out at you. It isn't essential in a film review but there are plenty of people reading and writing who appreciate the inclusion of such elements. But if you don't know what you're talking about, then it's definitely an area to steer clear of.
And, to finish, I'll just mention one last pet peeve. Fortunately, it isn't so common here on Dooyoo but I have seen a strange template used for film reviews. I really can't stand film reviews that are broken into sub-headings of plot, cast, awards etc. For me, a review should flow and should be written in a professional style. Have you ever seen a film review in a broadsheet or magazine where the writer has had to write each little thought under a sub-heading? It's awkward and clumsy and whilst I'm glad to see people are endeavouring to include all the essential elements of a film review, you should be able to do this without needing to break your review up into different sections.
So I hope this has helped. Perhaps the best advice I can give is to read around the film category and see what works and what doesn't in other people's reviews. Reading the latest crowned film reviews will also give you a good indication of what Dooyoo are looking for in terms of quality. And remember this is my personal opinion, feel free to use a little artistic license and I look forward to reading plenty more blockbuster reviews in the near future!
Writing a review on a film, as I prefer to call it, (not wishing to use the Americanism), is much the same as writing any other review.
First say what the packaging, cover, etc looks like. Then give an outline of the plot, being careful not to give too much away and mention some of the cast. Tell the reader about the director and producer if you can and follow up with a comment or two about any music in the film.
You don't have to be a film, or media student to do this, although there are lots film reviews on Dooyoo which read more like student essays for their film studies module.
There are two very important things to remember when writing a film review. Firstly, never give away the whole story. This is referred to as a 'spoiler'. If you do this you will spoil the film for potential viewers. No one wants to know the end the first time they watch a film. It would be very much like reading a book and having someone tell you how the story ends.
Secondly, don't forget to write your own opinion. Once you have told us all about the film, say how you enjoyed (or didn't), whether you think it is worth watching again and which age groups it would suit. Is it a violent action film, a girlie romance, or a kids' film, for example.
What consumers want from a Dooyoo film review is an overall idea of what it's about and enough information to help them decide if they might enjoy it.
There is an element here on Dooyoo who will always rate you low if you don't provide all that film buff info that many like to show off, but let's face it. If a consumer wants to know more about a film than what it's about and whether they might enjoy, they too can easily access specialised film review sites and find all that information. Dooyoo is for consumer reviews, not in-depth specialist information.
What I am really saying here is that in my opinion, a film, or indeed a book review, needs to tell the reader what's on offer and to give a personal view on the experience. It shouldn't be part of a competition to write the most academic sounding, professional film review. They belong on specialist sites.
Clearly, it is up to the individual and this is my view on it. There are some very well written, detailed film reviews on this site, and I don't mean to put those writers down, but I prefer to read film reviews that give me a general feel for the experience and I decide whether to watch it from that part of the review. If I want film history, or specialist info on directors I go to a specialist site.
i dont know if anyone else has come across parcelnet when they have had goods delivered but what an absolute joke.
I used sportsshoes.com the previous week and they use parcelnet in which i recieved my goods speedily.
I also used NEXT last week for some christmas shopping and again they use parcelnet so I was more than confident they would deliver the goods in the same efficiency- one week later I was slightly worried that the goods had not arrived-I contacted NEXT customer care and was advised that the courier had made attempts which was a lie as I am self employed and work from home.
NEXT advised they would be out for delivery that day, once again I waited in all day not being able to run any errands.
I contacted NEXT again who advised the parcel had been signed for in my name which was absurd as I had not recieved them, i was told i would have to do a claim with NEXT which I did. so I had the order re-shipped to me and a week later-my orginal goods arrived! no explanation from the "cant be bothered" courier. I refused the goods and will not be using NEXT again for mail order which is a shame that couriers let companys down, I appreciate the couriers are self employed but that doesnt mean they should deliver parcels when they feel like it-has anyone else had a similar experience with parcel net?
I think the number one tip when it comes to writing a movie review is to not give away too much of the plot especially and key plot twists or the ending, sometimes on this site you read reviews which are little more than a plot summary including the ending, ok I kinda know that Bruce Willis does not die at the end of Die Hard as he went on to make another three films but that does not mean you have to give the ending away.
What I want to be able to decide at the end of a film review is whether I will be investing my money in a cinema ticket, investing less money in a rental, waiting for it to come out on TV or not bothering at all, therefore if it is a comedy and want to know the type of humour used nd how effective it is, it helps to knw a bit about the main characters and how the film stacks up against other films they have appeared in or other films in a similar style, for example if it is a spoof comedy then a good comparison would be to compare it against Airplane which is a classic in my opinion or maybe Spinal Tap.
If it is an action film I want to know whether the plot twists work or you see them coming from the start, what are the special effects like and how convincing are the lead actors. Acting performances are key and again comparisons work well for me. For epic films then the style of filming and the overall effect of the film re also relevant.
What I do not want to read is endless off topic twaddle or the sort of up your own backside psycho babble which is people trying to sound like they know what they are talking about or trying to take over from Mark Camode (probably spelt his name wrong so sorry but the guy off radio 5 live). Keep it to the point and concise and you should get lots of VU ratings from members. There is no need to copy loads of stuff from imdb lthough personally I do like to see a cast list or at least a mention of the main performers alhough I guess some people would not always see the need for a cast list.