Listen to a conversation between a student and his professor.
This is not what I had in mind when I assigned a film review.
No. What you wrote is a synopsis, a detailed summary of the movie, but it's not a review.
It's not? I guess I'm a little confused cause isn't that what a film review does?
You know, describe the film?
Sure. In part, but a good review has to do more.
But this is probably not your fault.
I'm starting to think that I should have explained the assignment better because...well...I got a lot of summaries and very few reviews.
So it wasn't only me.
Hardly. I just assumed that everyone would know what to do.
So...um...what else is a review supposed to do?
Well, it should also analyze the film, discuss its strengths and weaknesses, maybe compare it to other movies, even mention why the reviewer did or didn't like it.
You mean it should have been more personal?
For starters. Or maybe, “subjective” is a better word than “personal.”
Yes. It should have been more subjective.
[hopeful] Maybe I could rewrite it?
Well, I don't know about rewriting it. Too many people seem to have missed the point.
I think I may have to forgo evaluating this one.
Instead maybe we'll just devote a class to discussing what it takes to write a good film review, or maybe...hmm...you know, I have a colleague who writes film reviews for the local paper.
Maybe I could ask her to come to class and describe what she does, and then have everyone rewrite their reviews.
So, she would talk about what a film review should be like, so we'd know what to do.
Well, more than that.
A professional film reviewer gets to see movies sometimes before they are even released.
They get advance copies, usually a video or DVD, to watch at home. Or they go to a movie as soon as it opens in the theaters.
Um...seeing it on the big screen, in a theater, doesn't that affect the experience?
Of course! Having other people there can...can affect the review too…
So, for the next assignment, I might ask everyone to review one of the films the film club shows every weekend at the theater on campus.
There is no admission charge, they are free to students, and… the movies are shown on Friday and Saturday nights, plus Sunday afternoon, so everyone should be able to see one. Yeah, that should work.
But for this time, will we have to rewrite our reviews?
Well, let's take it one thing at a time. [before I decide] Let me talk to my colleague.