Sunday, December 27, 2009

Reviewing Christmas Movies

Christmas movies are probably either syrupy enough to give ants diabetes, or sad enough to dehydrate the Pacific ocean. Now, it's time to review them, and you may either need to exercise your smile muscles to keep them from breaking, or keep a big box of tissues handy.

Use the same review tools that you would for all your other movies, but this time, try writing two different reviews. Review the Christmas movie as a movie: what are its cinematic merits? How is the acting? The cinematography? The direction? The shot framing? The music? Does everything come together into a coherent whole?

Next, review the Christmas movie as a CHRISTMAS movie. Does it have the spirit of the season that it portrays, or can you move the plot to any other season and still have it work? Does it use the Christmas season to its advantage, or does the movie end up sappy and look like it's trying its hardest best to warm your heart?

This exercise should help you see how your book can be reviewed, too: you can be reviewed in terms of your skill as a writer, and you can be reviewed in terms of your skill as a weaver of imaginary worlds. Both these reviews can exist in one review, but you need to be aware that you also have two major skill sets to develop. Recognize it in another art form, and you can get a greater grasp on how you can improve your craft.

Merry Christmas! Happy watching and happy reviewing!

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