When I watch a film or play a game, a small part of my mind concentrates on how it is made, the acting and direction, game-play, music, blah, blah, blah.  Most of the time, I sit back and enjoy it as an audience member or a gamer, no matter what age rating it says. But when I sit down to write it, that small part of my mind takes over and everything that goes into what it was that I have seen becomes the immediate priority. This sounds boring and hopelessly pretentious, but when writing a review, I must take everything into consideration very seriously. If you are aspiring to write your own work, then you can watch any of the videos in videos or vimeo at the top of the screen or you follow my workflow of how I would normally write one.

Films

For a film, I have to consider the following:

  • Story/Writing
  • Direction/Acting
  • Visual Effects
  • Sound Effects/Design
  • Original Score
  • Set Design
  • Cinematography/Editing
  • Costume Design/Hair styling and Makeup

I need to know the names of the Actors, Director, Writers, Musicians, Cinematographer etc. If they’ve done a good job, I Specify what they have done and how it makes me feel. If they have done a bad job, then I don’t shy away from being heavily critical; use metaphors to justify my meaning, slag off the script and say what I would find more preferable to the performances of B-movie actors on found-footage films. A review doesn’t have to be detailed, it can be funny and meaningful in both positive and negative outcomes. It is also important to structure it properly, so I use a paragraph system using the criteria mentioned in the list above as a guide. Most important thing about a review is to speak your mind and try to include as much info as possible without sounding boring. Below is the outline of my typical review.

template 1

Video Games

For a Video Game, I have to consider the following:

  • Story/Writing
  • Acting
  • Graphics/Art
  • Gameplay Mechanics
  • The World/Technical Achievement
  • Sound effects/Audio
  • Soundtrack/Score
  • Flexibility
  • Multiplayer

These factors are taken into the same consideration as the factors for film, but instead of just watching cutscenes, I have to play the game and pay very close attention to everything that I am doing. The Story needs to be engaging enough so that I can continue, the Gameplay needs to be entertaining and flexible for my play style, the music needs to set the tone of the whole game, the multiplayer needs to be good enough for me to continue playing the game after the campaign etc. Altogether, reviewing a game is slightly more fun than reviewing a film because you are part of the experience, but there are simply more films out there than games, so you’ll expect more films in this site than games. Below is an outline of my typical review:

template 2

When you look at these templates, you’ll begin to see a pattern in my work, each review is set out exactly like this. This makes the review easy to write and easy to read; it just flows more naturally when it is written like this. This Approach can be adopted by you if you are interested in writing your own reviews. But most importantly, above the word choice and the structure, the defining factor of writing a review is how the film or game or TV show makes you feel; if you can write about that, then people will listen to you.

Each review has a rating at the bottom, here is how the ratings go:

0 – If you have HIV or Malaria and are on the edge of death, you would rather die than see a movie that is worth 0.

1 -Death may not be an option, being sick in the toilet is.

2 – You would rather sit on a landmine than sit through this.

3 – A few things are good, but after seeing it once, you’d say “what is the point?”

4 – If you think that there is some good in this, you are talking sense, even though everyone else is either disagreeing or not paying attention.

5 – Meh

6 – Its like being drunk, there is some really good stuff, but too much of a good thing can lead to failure.

7 – I’d go and see it again, even if a few others wouldn’t

8 – Without hesitation, you’d go in the car and drive to the nearest cinema and see it.

9 – You would even cripple yourself to get good parking in order to go and see this movie.

10 – If you were short to go and see this movie, you would rob a bank for that remaining £5 and go and see it; it would be worth those 6 months in prison.

Enjoy!

© 2017 Robert Hepworth All rights Reserved

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