How to Write a Quality Movie Review

Writing movie reviews can be a great hobby. With enough work, it can even become a great profession. However, writing a movie review can be harder than you might think. Fortunately, there are a number of steps one can take to make high-quality, interesting movie reviews that people will enjoy reading and be interested in reading more of your work. In this article, I will discuss some basic parts of a movie review that will make them both informative and interesting.

The first thing to realize is that no one really cares about your opinion. Nobody really wants to hear about what you like or dislike. After all, they like and dislike things, too. Whatever you do, talk about the qualities of the movie, not about your own sentiments. Movie reviews, after all, are not polls.

On to the techniques…

Talk About the Direction: Talk about the direction of a particular film. You should speak about the choices that the director made with respect to music, lighting and how the performances work together. Don’t forget to name the director of the film. It’s a good opportunity to link to other reviews for movies by the same director.

Talk About the Actors: Pick one or two of the actors in the film and discuss their performances. Who really drew you into their characters and why? Who best brought out the themes of the film using the acting? Was there anyone who stood out for the wrong reasons?

Talk About the Appearance of the Film: This is a general category, but you can talk about the use of color, of sets, of cinematography or even of special effects. Films, after all, are a visual medium, so you should discuss how that medium is used. You can even discuss things like the use of shadow, special camera tricks and so forth.

Talk About the Themes: Films are about something. What was this movie about? Once you’ve discussed the theme, discuss how well the film brought out the theme or any ways that it did the theme a disservice. What did this film have to say about the theme that is better than any other film. Themes are generally what directors are most interested in, so by discussing this, you’ll discuss the film in terms of what the director had in mind.

Compare the Film to Other Films: There are a few ways to do this. First, it’s usually a good idea to comment on how this film compares to other films from the same director, or how the performances of the actors compare to other performances by those actors. When doing this, comment on what is special about this film relative to those by the same artists. Second, you can comment on how it compares to other films with the same basic themes. Does it bring out the same themes in a more insightful way? Is the film re-inventing an already better-invented wheel?

Comment on the Making of the Film: One nice trick when reviewing a movie is to comment on its actual making or even distribution. If a film went over-budget, or if an actor chose this film over another, these facts can be interesting and something readers might not know, even if they’ve seen the film. You can also comment on how it was received at film festivals, if it was originally released there.

Following the above steps will help you write interesting and informative movie reviews that people will actually want to read. Happy viewing!

Five Good Movies: A Movie List for Work-At-Home Dads

Movie Break: Watch A Movie, Dad!

A work-at-home dad also needs to relax and enjoy. From time-to-time, it is important to take a break. And what better way to do so than by watching a good movie?

Below are five good movies that you, dads, can watch – alone or with your loved ones.

1. To Kill A Mockingbird is a classic. It is one of the best movies that explore relationships on a deeper level. Something that cannot be seen in many of the movies today. The movie talks about a father who is determined to spend his life “in the service” of his children. Atticus Finch is an awesome role model. And the fact that he is a widower makes things all the more interesting.

Find a copy of the movie and you’ll realize that, yes, the American Film Institute had every right to call Atticus Finch one of the 20th century’s greatest movie heroes.

2. The Road stars Viggo Mortensen as a father who, with his son, does all that he can to survive post-apocalyptic United States. Father and son travel through every sight that tells them that life is over, and yet they continue to journey “down the road”. They don’t even have any idea what awaits them, and they have nothing really solid that can protect them from anything or anybody, like the cannibalistic bands that they may encounter. It’s a father and son movie that tugs at the heartstrings without overdoing anything.

Based on the book of the same title by Cormac McCarthy, The Road is a movie that will redefine your view of the ideal father and son relationship.

3. Field of Dreams. “If you build it, he will come.” This Kevin Costner movie is about reconciliation; about a son who will do anything to mend his broken relationship with his father. And everything happens after his father passed away. Ray, the son, builds a baseball diamond upon the urging of a voice that acts as his guide. Eventually, Ray succeeds at reconciling with his father – in the most magical of ways!

Even the toughest man will tear up at this movie!

4. In the movie My Life, Michael Keaton finds out that he is soon to die. What makes things even worst is that he and his wife were expecting their first baby! Since he was sure that he won’t be around anymore when the baby arrives, he decides to make a series of videos of himself, so that his son can watch him and get to know him. The scenes where Keaton records the home videos are some of the most poignant.

An interesting side story is Keaton’s relationship with his father, with whom he reconciles before he dies.

My Life is one of the best and most underrated daddy movies that has ever been shown.

5. Finding Nemo. This is not in the list just because you will have something that you can watch with your little boy or girl. In all honesty, Finding Nemo is really one good fatherhood movie. This fish story – the story of Marlin and his son Nemo, is one of the best examples of an overprotective father and an adventurous son.

When his son goes missing, needless to say, Marlin does everything necessary to find and get him back – even when it meant dealing with fish from the other species and crossing miles and miles of ocean water!

So, there you go! Some really good choices for you and your loved ones on movie day/night. Mind you, there are still a lot of good movies about dads! For starters, though, this movie list will do.

Happy viewing!

Date Movies – Observing Relationship Behaviors – On and Off the Big Screen

So, you’ve found a new potential partner. You’re observing each other and comparing items from your lists of requirements, needs and wants. You ask lots of questions – he/she asks lots of questions. You talk and talk about your experiences, viewpoints and notions. However some people can really “talk the talk” – but walk a completely different walk. What someone says about his/her values and beliefs may not be as accurate as how he or she reacts or responds to experiences in real life. So, how can you arrange an experience so that you can observe the reactions?

The movie industry has provided thousands of opportunities to peer into the dynamics of people’s lives and relationships from a slight distance. And they’ve gotten really good at presenting stories that evoke our emotional involvement – making movies a multi-dimensional experience. Watching a movie together and observing our reactions and thoughts to the story-lines, events and characters provide lots of information about each other in just about two hours. And, there’s a wealth of information to be gleaned beyond just the plot or the content of the films.

Movies can spotlight many life-circumstance issues that are important to us but often coast just-under-the-radar early in the development of a new relationship. You can select movie content likely to query issues that are important to you (i.e., fidelity, children, careers, alternative relationship structures, etc.). You can choose movie genres that demonstrate levels of risk-taking, humor-styles or intellectual effort. You can choose movies that reflect values that are important to you, allowing you to observe your potential partner’s response to those values. At the very least, you can enjoy a non-committal evening with a movie that you know you’ll enjoy.

The next time you watch a movie together, you might consider making it more than just fun – See if the following hints/questions about choices and movie behavior can add a third dimension to your movie experience.

Decision/Action style – When you plan a movie date, who picks which movie to see? When you don’t agree on just one movie title, who makes the final decision? How do you negotiate or compromise? And what happens if one person caves to appease the other? This “conflict” can provide an opportunity to observe a preview about how you and your partner might potentially resolve conflict in the future.

Personality/Values – In deciding what to see, you’ll each have an opportunity to examine the types of movies the other person enjoys. For example, some people are only interested in romantic comedies, others only in shoot-’em-up action films. As you and your partner identify which movies you are considering, you can also be noting what your film choice might be saying about each of you. Do you prefer intellectual films, slapstick, mysteries, documentaries, art-films, etc.? What is it about the type of movie you like that provides evidence of personality-style or values?

Personal Growth – Can you or your date get value/enjoyment out of a film even if it isn’t your favorite genre? Can you imagine that the character’s experience or challenges can be useful in your own life? The ability to appreciate a story, conflict or circumstance that is seemingly unrelated to one’s experience or understanding could demonstrate a commitment to a broader vision, more expansive thinking and willingness to seize an opportunity for a new experience.

Behavioral clues – Is your partner able to concentrate on the movie? Does he/she make frequent attention-grabbing interruptions. Although you may not be able to define the specific behavior, you might find yourself annoyed during in this little two-hour experience. Are you ready for a life-time of it?

Obviously, choosing and watching a movie together should not be the only “screening” or “testing” technique you use to determine value of your relationship or the worthiness of continuing to explore its potential. But if you use movies intentionally as an experiment (by consciously observing and discussing your reactions, interactions and behaviors), this micro-event can become a useful potential predictor of future relationship alignment.