Friday, 15 December 2017

Film review links

1 Myth and Storytelling

2 Archetypes_and Storytelling

3 Structural Theories and Storytelling

4 Character and Storytelling

5A Film and Quality Part 1 BMovies

5B Film and Quality Part 2 Exploitation Cinema

6 Documentary and Mockumentary

7 Adaptation

8 Comedy

Comedy Lee Evans Roadrunner

Image result for lee evans roadrunner Figure 1

Lee Evans is a 53 year old family man. He has been doing stand up comedy for many years, has been in feature films and is regularly seen on chat shows. He is a very energetic comedian and sweats profusely during any of his performances. Road Runner was a stand up tour Lee Evans performed in 2011, including appearances in the O2 arena, London.

What type of comedy is it?

Lee Evans is a physical performer, using his whole body to emphasise his observational comedy. Audiences feel a connection to Lee in his performances due to his physicality and common day to day themes.

Where does the comedy come from?

Lee Evans uses personal experiences, particularly around his wife. For example using the words ‘popping and nipping’ questioning what these mean and how long these episodes may be?

Break one scene down, how does the comedy work?

There is an AA (automobile association) scene, where Lee Evans describes breaking down on a motorway. He describes the frustrations and annoyances about talking over the phone about the breakdown, for example;
            Lee Evans shouting down the phone above the noise of the traffic  ‘HELLOOO!!!!’, turns to the audience and says ‘now you know why it is called the AA’ again shouting ‘AAAAAA,  AAAA’. (Evans, 2011) 
This is funny because the audience connects to their own experiences when faced with a broken down car and motor way traffic, while Lee Evans has a way of exaggerating the frustration and anger in a funny way.

Image result for lee evans roadrunner Figure 2 

What makes this comedy funny to you?

The enthusiasm that Lee Evans describes in his every day occurrences are so funny you wish you were with him at that time to experience the humour. As the old saying goes ‘good comedy comes from pain’. I find myself laughing out loud for hours when Lee Evans is on, and it is often difficult to describe why, but he is such a physical character and appears down to earth.

  • Lee Evans Roadrunner Live at the O2. (2011). [DVD] Directed by L. Evans. London O2.

Illustration list 

  • Lee Evans Roadrunner Live at the O2. (2011). [DVD] Directed by L. Evans. London O2. Figure 1 and 2 
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    Adaptation - the Spiderwick Chronicles

    Image result for spiderwick chronicles Figure 1

    Spiderwick Chronicles are a series of books which depict a fantasy world, seen at a time when the children of a broken family are at a vulnerable time, in their lives. There are 3 Grace children, Gerard and Simon (twin brothers) and Malory, who move to their aunt Lucinda Spiderwick’s home. Many years before a male family member suddenly went missing. Gerard finds a hidden room in the home, where there is a book describing magical creatures which appear in the vicinity of the home. As the books progress the reader is introduced to many magical creatures, where the Grace family experience adventures, some funny, some dangerous and scary.

    What is it adapted from?

    The film was adapted from 5 children’s story books all written by Holly Black and Tony Diterlizzi. These books were read in schools for children of primary school age 7-11 yrs. Therefore there was a high expectation of the film representing the books and the magical adventures within.

    Image result for spiderwick chroniclesFigure 2

    Did it omit anything from the source material?

    The film only managed to follow the first 2 books and the concluding final book. This made the film feel as if key information was missing in regard to the characters and story lines. 

    Did it add anything from the source material?

    Playing out the imagination of the books on film brought the characters to life, even though there were information missing which would have enriched the audiences experience for example, book 4 gave more detail into Malory, her likes and interests and protective nature of her family.

    How did it bring the source materials to life visually?

    One of the interesting parts of the books and film is the invisibility of the magical goblin creatures who were trying to invade the home. This was well portrayed in the film with footprints in the grass/mud, and through the eye telescope that could detect the goblins.

    Image result for spiderwick chronicles Figure 3 

    Was it successful in capturing the themes?

    Most but not all and could have been expanded on further. Although this would have lead to a longer film, or a series of films. The theme of the sadness in the Grace family was transferred well from the books to the film, which included their anger and frustration at not being in regular contact with their father.

    Did it succeed or fail at the box office?

    On rotten tomatoes the film scored 80 %, one critique stated;
    "The storytelling is economical and brisk. In some ways Waters (the director) approached it as a pre teen horror movie" (Charity, 2008) In the box office the film grossed 162.8 million dollars, it cost 90 million dollars to make, therefore a profit of 72 million, which would appear to be a moderate success.

    • Charity, t. (2008). Review: 'Spiderwick' is worthwhile journey - [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Dec. 2017].

    Illustration list 

    • The Spiderwick Chronicles. (2008). [DVD] Directed by M. Waters. Hollywood: Nickelodeon.Figure 1 and 3
    • Lujan, A. (2014). Spiderwick Chronicles | Anaheim, CA - Official Website. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Dec. 2017]. Figure 2


    Thursday, 14 December 2017

    Documentary and Mockumentary - super size me

    Image result for super size me Figure 3

    Morgan Spurlock is a director of the documentary Supersize Me.In America some overweight women are trying to sue a fast food chain due to the addictive nature of their food, causing them to be obese. As a social experiment, Morgan Spurlock decides to eat supersized fast food meals from multiple McDonald restaurants, for a month, in New York. This is to investigate if McDonald's food is addictive.
     Image result for super size me
    Figure 2

    This is a performative mode type documentary, which is where Morgan Spurlock is the participant of the social and emotional impact of the fast food consumption, which may or may not lead to an addictive trait. This is to create a shock and effect style to the audience as well as emphasizing the non-biased nature of the film maker.

    This documentary is shocking to any viewer because of how the director is forcing himself to eat large volumes of fast food at multiple times of the day, while recording the effect on his body. By the end of the documentary the medical doctor’s emphasis the need to stop the experiment as this can lead to serious long-term health problems. The viewers are left in no doubt that they need to review the food they eat and affect on their body. Morgan Spurlock has used shock tactics to get across his point of view, which could come across to some audience members as they are being preached to.

     Image result for super size me figure 3

    Supersize Me documentary was unable to confirm or deny if fast food is addictive, as suggested, and would warrant further investigation, but could demonstrate the affects of fast food on a person well being.

    Illustration List 

    • Super size me. (2017). [DVD] Directed by M. Spurlock. New York. Figures 1, 2 and 3 

    Film and Quality Part 2 Exploitation Cinema Mad Max

     Image result Figure 1

    Over time exploitation in cinema has many different forms. For there are some films that try to exploit with similar styles and using popular genre to attract the viewers such as sex, violence, horror and romance. These exploitation in films are used attract the audiences to the film and captivate the audiences with flashy trailers and little narratives about the film making it feel like a low-quality B movie. ­­

    What makes Mad Max: Fury Road different from other exploitation for from the start of the film anyone can see that there has been a good standard of effect put into the film. For The audience will notice some props and backgrounds used practical effects and well as computer to how a balance between the two trying to give a sense that the real effects can further entitizes the threat and danger the characters go through on set, whilst the CGI manages the be on par with the partial effect.

    How woman is presented in this film is the damsels in destress and sex symbols for the characters all except one. The main female protagonist is Furiosa (Charlize Theron) the buzz cut haired badass with a mechanical arm who feels more like the hero of the film, by contributing more than Max (Tom Hardy) for instead of max she is the one who saves five wives of Immortal Joe. This gives a clear view that she is a strong independent female character more than capable to help herself and others as the review points out " Furiosa is one of the toughest, most resilient action heroes in years, with a metal prosthetic arm that hints at past trauma and a steely gaze that sees more on the way, Theron superbly embodies her stoicism, nerve and resolve." (R, 2015)

     Image result for mad max fury road figure 2

    Image result for mad max fury road furiosa Figure 3
    • R. (2015). Mad Max: Fury Road review: 'a Krakatoan eruption of craziness'. [online] The Telegraph. Available at:

    [Accessed 17 Nov. 2017].

    Illustration list

    • Mad Max Furry Road. (2015). [DVD] Directed by G. Miller. Namib Desert, Namibia. Figures 1, 2 and 3

    Film and Quality Part 1 BMovie The Giant Claw review

    Image result for the giant claw Figure 1

    A ‘B’ movie is a film/movie which is not of a high enough standard to be popular or make significant revenue, often made with a smaller budget and less time than feature movies. Usually a cast of unknown/small time actors, although occasionally one well known actor. They were often seen in cinemas as time fillers waiting for the feature film to commence.

    The Giant Claw is very similar in production as films like Godzilla. It is a monster thriller, with some attempts at horror and inducing fear in the audience. When an electrical engineer spots a UFO from his plane, he enlists the military and air force to investigate. At first Radar picks up nothing, until slowly at first then more frequently there are reports of a giant bird, which happens to be the monster of the film. The monster appears invincible until the air force find a way to penetrate the protective shield.

    The Giant Claw is a ‘B’ movie because of its unbelievable premise of the air force fighting a giant bird. There are cheap special effects with the air planes fighting a hand puppet, as demonstrated in figure 2. On closer inspection the puppet looks of a poor quality, which adds to the disbelief of the plot of the bird being a monster. The film has a similar premise, copycat, to the plot of Godzilla, a monster attacking a city. 

    Image result for the giant claw figure 2 

    The 5 positive reasons why the Giant Claw is a good film is The acting appears to be of a good standard compared to other ‘B’ movies, if an audience member had not seen Godzilla they would have been introduced to a new genre, the special effect of the bird (The Claw) flying in the sky was of a good standard.The film is easy to remember due to the poor quality of the main character/monster and the film, although trying to be serious, provides a humorous take on monster horror films.

    Illustration list 
    •  The Giant Claw. (1957). [DVD] Directed by F. F. Sears. hollywood. Figure 1 and 2