The Review | 23.11.2017

As well as the poster, I also require to write a double page spread review of my short film. This means using Pixlemator to create an A3 review that would be found in a magazine. And for it, I need pictures, ratings, facts and a detailed plot. In a nutshell, in order to replicate an Empire Magazine review, my review needs to state…

The name, with a tagline
When it is released
The certificate
The Director
The Cast
Running Time
A Basic Plot
The in-depth Review & with the writer
The Verdict along with Star ratings
Witty comments over the pictures
4 ‘Look Closer’ factual points about the film


Example of a review:

LEGEND | Brian Helgeland, 2015

A portrait of East End gangsters the Kray twins (Hardy and Hardy) at their peak, through the eyes of Reggie Kray’s wife Frances (Browning).

★★★★

Like it or not – and it’s certainly not something to be celeblegend-896092124-largerated — Ronnie and Reggie Kray were as much ’60s Brit icons as The Beatles, Michael Caine or Twiggy. The identical twin crimelords may have been violent thugs and, eventually, convicted murderers, but during their rise they rubbed shoulders with the rich, famous and powerful, and encouraged a ‘they look after their own’ street-mythology that endures to this day. Like Al Capone a generation before and an ocean away, they accrued a glamour that obscured their atrocities, and for some still does. They are, as writer-director Brian Helgeland would evidently agree, prickly subjects. Get too judgmental and moral, and you deny them their charm, which was as important to their rise as their brutality. Become too enamoured, and you’ve made heroes of monsters.

Back in 1990’s The Krays, director Peter Medak strove to explain-not-excuse the twins via a full-on biopic which laid the blame at a perhaps too-easy target: their mum. Helgeland takes a more interesting approach. He makes Reggie’s delicate, doomed girlfriend-then-wife Frances (Emily Browning) our guide to the Krays’ world. She loves Reggie fiercely, so at first he is portrayed as a twinkle-eyed, cheekie-chappie, drainpipe-climbing scoundrel. She is wary of Ronnie, a hulking bottled storm with genuine psychological problems, but still with his own quirky charisma, wrapped up in the fact that he’s an open homosexual. Frances is swept up in all the glitz of their thrall over the East End. Then, inevitably, the filthy, gruesome true nature of her husband and brother-in-law is gradually exposed. Through her eyes they are heroes and monsters.

Browning is excellent, simultaneously brittle and warm, though her deliberately quaint voiceover grates at times. But like ’60s London itself, the film is overshadowed by the double-trouble presence of Tom Hardy as both Ronnie and Reggie. Spandau Ballet’s Kemp brothers did well back in Medak’s movie, but comparing them to Hardy is like holding up a match to an exploding boozer.

Into Reggie, he throws all his Eames-from-Inception charm, making him a young Brando with a wideboy swagger. His Ronnie, meanwhile, is a hot, lumpy stew of nasal croaks, eye-contact avoidance and stiff, awkward body language. The Bane of Reggie’s existence, if you like. One is more hero, one is more monster, but Hardy makes sure the lines blur. It’s a rare thing to observe: an actor creating chemistry with himself.

At times Hardy pushes it close to comic caricature (the awful violence is almost played for laughs in earlier scenes, especially in a virtuoso Ronnie versus Reggie hardcore brawl) but he balances on the brink as he did with such spectacular success in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson. Which all perfectly fits Helgeland’s brief: he is portraying the Krays through the prism of Frances, to whom they are larger than life. The clue is in the title.

Helgeland’s savvy new take on this well-known story proves that crime can pay, while Hardy is astonishing and magnetic in two truly towering performances.


Analysis of the Review

So, I used Empire’s review on Legend because it is a drama, it is four stars, and is one of my favourite films, and so whilst reading it, I can understand what is being said. My favourite film is Pulp Fiction, but it was quite apparent that the writer of the review was a Tarantino nerd as they kept mentioning his other works, and all of the amazing actors within his films- which is not something I can relate to what so ever. Also, the Kray twins are quite mental, and the writer of this review wrote it in quite and understandable way.

After looking at many reviews, I have found that they are normally about 500 – 700 words. In the review for the layout that I have chosen, it is 785 words, which is challenging to write that much about my own film, however, I believe that I can achieve it.


So what kind of things are mentioned in the Review?

As already mentioned, the review is started with a basic plot and a column with the key film information such as the certificate. Amongst all the reviews that I have looked at, the first paragraph does not just divulge straight into the film’s narrative, but instead gives history, setting or context of the characters or inspiration. For example, the ‘Legend’ review starts with talking about the real Kray twins of whom the film is based. In the first paragraph their is a rough opinion of what Helgeland thinks of the Krays and how they’re portrayed. Something that I have noticed amongst the reviews, is that each ends with a short snappy line which some how encourages the reader to continue reading the review.

The next paragraph is about how Helgeland structured the film and about the Characters’ traits and personality flaws, without explicitly giving the plot away. However with the story of the Kray twins being quite a popular one, the storyline is pretty self explanatory.

There is then commonly a praise of directors and actors, particularly in the review above, there is a praise on Emily Browning, who plays Frances, Reggie’s ‘girlfriend-then-wife-, and the film is essentially a story told and narrated by her.

The last paragraph (in the review above, the penultimate as the bottom is the verdict of the film), is one that closes the review with an encouraging advertisement on why to watch it, and I particularly like the Legend review above, as it refers to the tittle, in saying that they are ‘larger than life’ – i.e. Legends .

The verdict is a sentence that regurgitates the previous information, but as a justification as to the star rating given for the film.

 

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