Grace and I will be composing a series of book and movie reviews on our Amazon.com profile under the name ‘The Pun Brigade’. Grace will be writing the movie reviews while I will be writing the book reviews. In these reviews, we will be looking at:
- Character creation
- Plot and story setup (if the story ‘flows’ or ‘makes sense’); and, as an added bonus
- Movie-to-book and book-to-movie comparisons: not ‘which one is better’, but rather which one better portrays the characters and will help in the audiences understanding of the story
For our digital artefact, we’ve observed 10 different sources and have made various short summaries on what to do and what not to do when creating our digital artefact. These are those sources and summaries:
Source 1: Amazon
This is our main site for our digital artefact- it is where we publish our finalised reviews. Amazon.com will be used for inspiration and guidance- we can observe other reviews on the same book and collaborate this information with our own as well as investigate how we can set out our own reviews so they are understood. Reading other reviews is also helpful so we can try to avoid ‘repeating’ what others have said about the same movie or book. The only problem with Amazon is you do not need to have read/seen let alone purchased the book/movie to make reviews, so few of these reviews may be inaccurate.
Source 2: IMDb
IMDB will be helpful for us to observe the differences and similarities between book and movie reviews. It will also help us in figuring out how to critique the movie in a similar way to the book to avoid the issue of being biased. IMDb is both critic and audience-based reviews, we will be able to observe critics opinions on the movies and compare them to the audience opinions for more insight on what key factors are noticed in movies between the two groups. However, they are very wordy and long being at least two paragraphs or more- we hope to make ours at least a paragraph long.
Source 3: Goodreads
Goodreads is a prime source for ‘what (not) to do’ when writing movie-book comparisons. There are some strong reviews on a variety of books; something I’ve noticed is when it comes to book-movie comparisons there some bias towards one or the other- e.g., the book-to-movie reviews on The Devil Wears Prada focused more on Meryl Streep’s performance in the movie rather than character depictions. This is what we do not want to do- we’re hoping to limit the general sense of bias within our reviews. Some of the Goodreads reviews are also ‘clunky’, they continue on about the book and in the end the true meaning is lost.
Source 4: 7 Tips for Writing a Film Review
A ‘How to’ series of 7 dot-points on how to write film (and book) reviews. With these points in mind, we can be more careful when writing and publishing- for example spoilers, where this suggests to avoid using spoilers unless you give the audience a heads up first. The first 5 dot points will be very useful and handy as a guide to organise the writing style of our reviews; in the case of the last two dot points, they focus more on the actual cinematography of the movies- this will be used in our ‘movie only’ reviews as they will not be a main focus in our book-to-movie reviews.
Source 5: Cinema Sins
A YouTube series of short summaries on a variety of movies from an audience perspective. These summaries are not entirely focused on the creation and production of the movies but rather on the plot and character development. For entertainment value some small comments of dry humour are added. These are helpful in understanding the small pieces of information that audiences pick up on while watching a movie. While we may not comment on movies in this particular way (as they focus more on the negative views of movies), this will be interesting to observe what the audience sees and what they notice in movies that do not make sense.
Source 6: The Writing Center at UNC Chapel Hill- Book Reviews
A more formal source that delves into what exactly a review is- very informative on the components of a review and how book reviews are all about perspectives despite their similar qualities. It also presents a couple of examples of what these perspectives can entail when the same book is reviewed by three different people, along with some notes as to why these specific audience members might have this view on the book. It is very interesting to observe what features stand out the most to a specific reader based on their background and experiences.
Source 7: Rotten Tomatoes
Similar to the IMDb source, Rotten Tomatoes is useful in observing reviews on certain movies. Unlike IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes is more ‘critic based’ and is a shortened, more formal series of reviews than IMDb’s longer audience based ones. These reviews are at least one sentence in length and some of these reviews simply make a statement of whether the movie was good or not. This proves as a problem because, due to the length and vagueness of these reviews, it’s hard to understand exactly what features of the movie did not work and caused confusion.
Source 8: Watch Mojo
An informal series of YouTube reviews similar to the style of the previous source ‘Cinema Sins’- where Cinema Sins focuses more on plots, characters and negative factors of the movies that made them hard to understand, Watch Mojo focuses more on the design and layout of the actual film. While these series are usually in a ‘comparison’ or ‘top ten’ setup, their reasoning behind why will be very informative on understanding their reasoning behind their opinion and what exactly ‘worked’ within the movie. Same with Cinema Sins, we will not be entirely focused on comparisons of movies or negativity towards the movie to prevent bias.
Source 9: What Not to Do- ‘The Book is Almost Always Better than the Movie’: Barnes and Noble
This blog post focuses on the features that differ between movies and their book counterparts, explaining that through the short storytelling of movies some audiences do not ‘receive’ the full story compared to reading the book. They also include examples of how movies have their own effect of added suspense- e.g. Jaws and how the audience never sees the shark. Despite all this, the overall topic of the article is that ‘books are better’. While we will focus on aspects the movie possess compared to the book and what connections the audience have to them, ‘comparative dominance’ of one over the other will not be established within our comparative reviews.
Source 10: Book Journey Blogs
A series of blog posts based on ‘Book vs. Movie’ explained in short summaries- one paragraph each for both book and its movie counterpart. One of these examples I looked at was one on a book I myself am interested in reviewing- If I Stay by Gayle Forman –and how the author felt the movie brought out more emotion because of its visual imagery and how it was easier to understand. Before each argument, the author writes a brief synopsis of what the story entails before diving into the differences and similarities. The problem with this source is the summaries are too short, with the author briefly stating she liked it or not and sometimes focusing on one version more than the other in her reviews.
Thank you for reading! If you would like to check out our progress on our digital artefact, click on this link to check out Grace’s site where a copy of each review should be posted as an individual blog. Speak to you soon!