Film reviews offer numerous benefits to a story developer whether they are designed for a personal blog such as this one or a major publication such as The Hollywood Reporter. One particular benefit is they are a threshold of becoming published. However, like the ‘inward’ element noted within the ‘Golden Fleece’ story type of Blake Snyder’s novel, Save the Cat, I found what I learned to be more compelling than being recognized.
I learned how to evaluate film without bias. Emotion can skew the perspective of a narrative. Alfred Hitchcock once said, “Movies are emotional machines,” and he is not wrong. It is the reason why we spend money and time and energy watching films… or choosing not to, but emotion, in all of its wonder, sometimes is ineffective. When emotion is removed in the development of a film review, the question becomes clear;
“Does the story work?”
To remove one’s emotion and evaluate a film based on whether it hit or missed the mark… while explaining why, is a difficult practice to do, but it is the reason why a review is developed. As a writer of several film reviews which can be found below, when developing a film review, the writer has to be able to see things ‘objectively’ and determine the difference between what makes a ‘good’ story fall short of being ‘great’.
Below is a brief overview of what to look for when you are asked to evaluate a story without emotion.
What are the Pros & Cons? – Concept & Premise – Tone & Theme – Structure & Plot – World, Characters & Dialogue
Concept & Premise: How is the story different from others in the same genre?
Tone & Themes: How is the message demonstrated throughout the story?
Structure & Plot: How is the narrative is paced with defined act breaks and beats?
World, Characters & Dialogue: How does the story demonstrate an authentically developed plot?