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Thread: Writing Reviews

  1. #41
    Senior Member junny's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
    With Max


    Quote Originally Posted by Long
    Putting on my managers hat now - but wouldn't that create a whole lot more work for you and the few editors on the site to administer?? It's doubling your workload, when people chose to write both a summary and a review...
    You're right about the workload. And certain people don't know the meaning of the word summary.


  2. #42
    Join Date
    Mar 2004


    Quote Originally Posted by spcnet
    Yeah, a lot of times, visitors enjoy the lengthy summary because they wish to find out about the story/ending, etc. It caters to one group of visitors who care more about the summary than the analysis but it is also something that can take over a review and focus too little on the actual opinion part--which is what this site is about. I am still unresolved regarding this and open to some suggestions actually.

    Adding an extra text field called "Summary" and then another called "Analysis" might be one so that we can add an anchor link on review pages to skip straight to the opinion/comments section of a review is one. The only problem is that that takes away some creativity on the part of the reviewer to transition the review as one likes.

    Another option I thought of was to perhaps allow reviewers to write pure "summaries" and "reviews" and that these will become separate sections on the site where visitors who want to read summaries go to one place, and those who want to read opinions go to another. But then it is hard to separate a review from a summary sometimes if they contain both.

    i do think that it's quite hard to seperate summary and reviews. Some ppl, like me, tend to use some scenes as a foundation to express ourself. If the scenes are eloborated quite lengthy, it will look like a summary.

    then again, if you are to create a new section called "summaries", i don't think it'll be that practical. As the content of the summaries of a movie are basically the same. They inform users on what happenned in a movie. So if there are 5 ppl submitting summaries for the same movie, are u going to upload all on the website? They will be similar, won't they?

  3. #43
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Post Real talent comes from Wisdom.

    Having many (probably a thousand) reviewed movies in critical form and am now a collector of specific genre I dont rely on websites for my review assessments.
    I collect information from a number of sources including magazines that tend toward actors and moviemaking before the production is finished. I look for ways of spruiking the background crew for movie making history and the journey of moviemaking processes, which is something many real film buffs enjoy reading about in ezines and reviews on actors, actresses and getting the nity-grity on film producers ideation.

    It is less important to supply people with information about the movie and instead address the value of what the movie does either emotionally to connect some storyline that you follow throughout or are guided by in suspense, suspicion, intrigue, fatasy, adventure etc etc...

    I find that film goers are more interested in the content within as a general idea - in style and who (actor/actress) and what (part/role)do they play in the movie. Dont be too specific.

    example: Tom hanks plays a rookie pilot - as in Top Gun. You dont want to elaborate the storyline to disolve the quality of viewing by a reader.
    I would not attempt to explain what kind of pilot or aircraft unless I was reviewing for an Aircraft Website with that movie thread.
    The relevance is 'who is' for the viewer and follower of actors and actresses.
    And 'acting role' for the viewer and movie buff attracted to specific genre (action/love story)

    It is not good to give away any segments of the story exactly. Everyone with interest should see it for themselves and in true light of personal entertainment regardless of it rating.

    A rating should never be regarded as good or bad on any scale. There is no such thing as good or bad in general anyway. Movies can be very difficult to review due to diverse cultural and historical events that may be taken as critically biased.

    If at all one can write a sentence on their valuation of consistency/continuity. That is to say the entertainment value for scoring a level of retained interest through story telling (in the storyline a flow of content) throughout the production. One has to be fairly critical on this and be strictly balanced in ethics, non-cultural bias, non-religious bias and non-political or historical bias when writng comments. This can be difficult to master but practice makes better judgement over time, and you will develop a presence that builds consistency in where you set your benchmarks in all categories.

    Because movies are for entertainment and viewing is by a huge populus regardless of language to some degree with so many translations being effectively available at commercial release, one has to write thinking about the essence of the movie and not what they think. I've seen many movies I didnt like, but its seldom I will write something that will directly negatively impact in criticism.

    When critiquing a movie professionally, one needs to know the actors, producers, advertising groups and have some access to or links with reliable background crew representatives so there is continuity in what you expose as review and for further comment and questioning. Understanding a production background then watching pre-release directors edits can be a bit different to the final release but the story and crew remain the same. There is no bias in waiting till the final cutting.

    Keeping it simple is better if you dont have access to a copy of producer notes. Not all agencies will even answer in the first instance a formal request by letter. You can attempt to email agencies for actor/actress information but they are likely to give you a cold shoulder unless you are known in critical review listings. Another way of accessing information is directly through ezine movie websites. However some information is skewed for advertising puposes and ratings are less than reliable when member forums decide most what is good for them is good for anyone.

    At the end of the day. The only one who enjoys the movie is the one who is less critical and watches it for relaxation, therapy after a hard day at work, and entertainment away from commercial jingles and advertisements. Be thankful that when attending a feature film the adverts dont destroy your 2-2.5 hours of movie bliss and you can walk away with some kind of memory, be it good or poor.

    The only answer I have toward lengthly reviews is - (its such a waste of good writing talent and for what) - let people get out and see the movie themselves - if you want to write a story about something so impassioned that a review is lengthly, you should be putting your creative skills into writing your own concept scripts for possible inclusion in real ezine magazines that will pay you for good consistent quality. Your talent in writing could make a Shorts or Tropfest movie in the future.
    Last edited by cafelatte; 01-28-11 at 10:36 AM. Reason: typos

  4. #44
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Sep 2001


    Quote Originally Posted by junny View Post
    Then by all means read the synopses. Synopses detail the plot, and nothing else.

    A review doesn't. It analyses what's good and bad about the serial. It discusses acting, cinematography, mis-en-scene, and so on and so forth. It is NOT a rehash of the plot details. What's the point of reviewing if all you're going to do is to retell the plot, either by narrating it from start to finish, or listing them out in your "favourite scenes" list?

    I'm not saying that a review can't have plot details. But they should be kept to a minimum because it is not the purpose of a review to rehash plot details.
    Quote Originally Posted by junny View Post
    You're right about the workload. And certain people don't know the meaning of the word summary.
    Junny: First off, I agree completely with the points you raised here. A plot summary or synopsis, should just cover the main points of the TV series/movie in about 1-2 sentences, 3 sentences maximum. I have noticed one of the reviewers on the main SPCNET site is guilty of recounting every single event in the TV Series reviews he/she has written. I think he/she loses focus on the actual purpose of a review, which is the analyzing and the critical thinking part of writing a review. It's okay to write summaries of each episode for the reviewer to jot their memory, but it shouldn't be included in the review at all. The main purpose of a review is to critique and give the readers of the review answers to what they want to know, not recap or recount all the events in a series.

    For myself, when I am writing a review, I feel it is necessary to reread a couple of times and revise/edit out sections of my review to make sure it focuses on the critique aspect of the review. If you gotta talk about the series/movie, then use a scene, a character or an element as an example to critique the series, but never rehash everything, otherwise, why would the readers want to watch the series/movie anymore? Reviews that do that, give too much spoilers.

    Quote Originally Posted by spcnet View Post
    My own guidelines for when I write a review: Try to keep the synopsis portion of the review a brief summary and to concentrate more on the analysis/opinion portion.

    I tend to like reading reviews that bring up new points about a production or give a really good evaluation of it--whether I agree or not. Interesting usage of language and good grammar/spelling doesn't hurt either. That's my idea of a 'quality' review. Please share yours.
    I'd have to add that the analysis/opinion portion can't go on and on without any clear linear direction. Also, I've read a review where the reviewer makes all kinds of assumptions on how the series is presented and the focus of character that they totally miss the point of the story and how it all works together to make one common theme or point. I guess it does have to do with the maturity of the writer, so not everyone can write a good review. A good quality review requires a lot of thought and plenty of rereading and revision before it is published for the public to see.

    A good read on how to write a good review:
    Last edited by Suet Seung; 09-28-11 at 04:02 PM.
    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

    Self reminder - Update blog more often and continue editing/writing for TOV fanfic.

  5. #45
    Senior Member Grundle's Avatar
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    Sep 2003


    Reviewing made simple:

    Write about why I should or shouldn't watch the show. I read a review to help decide if I will watch it. I don't care what it is about if it is terrible, and I don't want you to tell me if I am going to watch it.

    There that was easy.

  6. #46
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2011


    What website do I post them on.

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