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very recent (and rare) interview with mr. weirdy beardy himself in Wired Magazine. It's a good
lunchtime read for anyone who needs a lil context.

I tend to be negative, and I already have some qualms just from watching the trailer. So, maybe we could
switch, but I'm game either way. here's my e-mail address: ude.agu|mmasnnyw#ude.agu|mmasnnyw

Okay guys, we've decided to start out with a letter grade system for our reviews. We'll give it a test run and see if it works well for the site. So, when you send in a review, assign it a letter grade and put it at the end of the article.

The scale will range from A+ to F. Your score should obviously match the tone of your review—if something's really incredible, give it a score in the A range. If it's good, B range, and so on down the line.

Grading Scale by Wesley FenlonWesley Fenlon, 25 Feb 2009 00:40

Okay. I'll take the negative side unless Wynn objects. I have a tendency to write about stuff I love, so this will be a good opportunity to nitpick the bad stuff.

If Carmike is doing a midnight showing, I may well end up going to that, in which case I can try to get a review finished that night if I'm not totally exhausted.

Sweet, okay so Ross is going to take the backburner on this one. Wes and Wynn, can you guys double-team the brunt of the review? You both seem the most knowledgeable about the novel. Can you two write a review in which one of you look at what the movie did right. The other look at what it did wrong?

Stephanie, I'd like you to do some peripheral coverage. Some suggestions: 1. rank previous alan moore adaptations in a best to worst list. 2. From a literary standpoint, write a small 400 word piece on what makes this film so difficult to adapt. You can come up with your own idea or take these, just let me know what you do.

perhaps we should revisit some of Alan Moore's other botched movie attempts. Im pretty sure he was
unhappy with "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" and "From Hell" but let's not forget "Swamp Thing"
because that was just….yeah.

Im familiar with watchmen as well, reading it for graphic novel class soon.

I'll watch The Watchmen. I'm not as experienced as everyone else, and I'm still in the process of reading the novel, but I'll give it a whirl.

Actors determine whether a film is believable
Writers responsible for credibility, clarity and plot believability
Director responsible for pacing, climax and resolution. Also needs to keep the actors working together.
Cinematographer set up the shots, sets the tone by framing the shot a certain way and using certain colors.

Who does what? by jleung senioreditorjleung senioreditor, 23 Feb 2009 08:23

1. You want to leave readers with a strong stance on what your opinion is, even if it's mixed.
2. It's OKAY to be feel mixed about a film-book transition, just qualify your opinions with evidence.
3. Anticipate your reader's questions. Your audience is somebody who has read the book already, what questions would they want answered?
4. Bring your own language, voice to everything you do


Strong Opening:
- Must attract reader's attention
- It must give some indication of the success of the event being reviewed

Strong Ending:
- Needs to reflect the sentiment expressed in the opening
- A restatement of your overall opinion

- Make it clear what piece is being reviewed
- Say what the movie is about, but DO NOT do a straight plot synopsis.
- Does not need to touch on every role or all aspects of filmmaking

- Reviewer can't just say if something is good or bad, but WHY?
- It should be supported by examples
- Tone of review should reflect the film. If it's funny, try your hand at a little humor. Worst case scenario, we'll just edit it out.
- Most reviews are mixed

Must-read by jleung senioreditorjleung senioreditor, 23 Feb 2009 08:19

The shorter, the better: Readers appreciate writers who do not waste their time. Simple, direct language communicates your thoughts more efficiently than your bloated demonstration of all that stuff the rest of us slept through in English class.

Strong verbs: The best verbs demonstrate action. If you're writing a string of weak linking verbs, think about the action that's happening in your post, then rewrite a new draft using nothing but nouns and verbs in an attempt to better engage your vocabulary.

Attribute facts: If you don't tell your readers where you got your information, many of them will assume that you are just making it up. You aren't, are you? Attribution brings you credibility, because readers know that you've got nothing to hide if they want to check you out.

Contextual hyperlinking: Online narratives should allow readers to "branch off" and click through to other, more detailed, supporting content, depending upon a reader's level of interest. Almost all journalism refers to other sources, but online, a writer has the ability to link readers directly to those supporting sources. Note the URLs of those sources when reporting, and work those into your piece with contextual hyperlinks.

Try to link those URLs to the relevant proper names, keywords and phrases, rather than to the URLs themselves written out, or worse, the over-used "click here."

Use formatting: Break up that boring mass of gray type by using:

- lists
- bold headers
- blockquotes

Easy to read: No block of text more than five lines on the screen.

• In series, do not add the extra comma before "and." Ex: Billy, Bob and Jan
• For numbers less than ten, spell it out. Anything above, use the
numerics. Ex: seven, 10,000
• Put movie and book titles in quotes
• As for time, always use numerical figures except for noon/midnight.
Ex: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m.

I thought this was very pertinent (for obvious reasons). The author of the article, Willing Davidson, talks about the problems inherent in adapting literature for movies, using Revolutionary Road as an example of what not to do and Mishima: A Life In Four Chapters as an example of what a film should do.

"Why Does Hollywood Take Our Favorite Novels and Turn Them Into Crap?"

There are certainly a ton of possibilities as to how we could go about reviewing movies based on books. Here's my $.04 (that's right, I wrote so much, it counts double):

Review Format:

Break every review up into two sections. Section One is your straightforward movie critique. Section 2, called something like "How Does It Stack Up?" (pun intended) directly compares the movie to its novel/short story/comic source material and describes differences in character, plot, quality, etc.

  • The benefit of a format like this is it easily appeals to two entirely different audiences. The majority of people out there looking for movie reviews probably haven't read the original novel, so an entire review full of book comparisons may be off-putting. But the niche crowd we're really targeting will really enjoy having a separate focus entirely on the source material.
  • The disadvantage is that, well, you'll have to have read the book for every film you review. I don't know if this qualification was already implied, but I think we'll have much better material if we're reviewing movies from a book reader's perspective, not merely reviewing movies that happened to be based on books.

I think we should try to come up with 1 or 2 weekly features or editorials that are either written by the same person every week (a column) or that different staff members tackle.

Potential feature: "Red Tape" focuses on a particular film/project every week (or bi-monthly) that went through production hell and/or was canceled. Watchmen would actually be a good example of this. Might not be a practical idea if we'd simply be relying on Wikipedia/IMDB for this sort of information.

Potential feature: "Spotted in the Wild" includes a few (maybe 5-6) references a month to something in popular culture that was based on a book/poem/story/whatever. Essentially the idea with LOST above, but in a bite-size format.

Potential feature: "Can you believe this was a book?" is essentially a normal review, except we only do movies that the vast majority of people would never suspect were based on books. No good examples of these off the top of my head, though.

We could also do something like a "featured review" that goes into the archive every week. Obviously we'll want to be promoting every new movie that gets released, but the most famous/best/most interesting old film being reviewed in a particular week could be given extra attention. This isn't really an independent feature, though, just a good way to market a high-profile flick.

Podcasts/Video Features

Considering how many podcasts there are out there, we'd need something really unique to get anywhere with it. And I think these things (the good ones, anyway) use some pretty expensive equipment. Unless we have a dynamite idea, I'd hold off on anything of that scale for awhile.

I do like the idea of a reader mailbag. It might be wise to start off in text form until we have sufficient readerbase, and then possibly graduate to a weekly video thing with clips from films that pertain to reader questions.


The minimum from each staffer is one per month. We will feature around the 7 best/most relevant on the front page. Unless you sign up for like 3 in a month and run out of the steam that way…it shouldn't be a problem. I suspect a good handful of writers will probably drop over the course of semester b/c of schoolwork and what not, but by the end I'm hoping to have around 20 new posts monthly.

Should we limit how many archives we do per month so that we won't run out of steam in a few months?

Also I think podcasts are a great idea!


I'll watch The Watchmen.

Since Watchmen will be the most anticipated bovie to come up around our site debut, I think it would be interesting to approach the coverage from a few angles. Can I get a list on here from all the people interested in covering Watchmen?

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