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  • Justin Louallen

Thoughts On Film Journalism I Wrote When I Was A High School Senior

Film Journalism

Originally written on 4/7/2010

Since the beginning of the Leonard Maltin years, many prime time movie goers have critiqued and reviewed thousands of movies every year. According to, Film criticism is observing and giving an opinion on motion pictures, television shows, plays, and so on. Usually, when reviewing a film, a critic points out all the flaws and positive insights on it and decides whether it is good or bad. Film critics usually broadcast their thoughts on television, online web sites, newspapers, and magazine articles. Two of the most influential film critics of all time were Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, who were former hosts of a weekly television program called At The Movies. Siskel and Ebert had deep feelings for films as they introduced their trademark, "Thumbs Up" and "Thumbs Down" for every film they reviewed. Being a film critic requires tremendous educational requirements. Colleges including California State, Kentucky State, and Kansas State have opportunities for people in journalism. Working as a film critic requires having a four year Bachelor's Degree of Fine Arts. Online Bachelor degrees have aspects of film making for students. Film critics and journalists work forty hours a week and leave at a regular time. At a given rate, some journalists make thirty-thousand dollars less than a year by standards. They always review upcoming films weekly and are given two days to give their own thoughts about it. In modern times, film critics often praise and give negative reviews on how a movie is made. Certain qualities on how films are critiqued is the film's marketing by promotions. Movies like Godzilla and Last Action Hero used heavily broaden film promotions including teaser trailers, merchandise, product placements, and advertising to attract mainstream audiences into seeing the film. However, these movies were panned because when a majority of film critics saw them, they were disappointed by the fact that those movies ran too long and their storylines were too dry for them to like. However, in some cases, film critics tend to give mixed feelings on films saying they're not that good, but they're not that bad either. Another common quip is "They are so bad, they are good." Usually, when critics review a film, they sometimes tend to nick-pick a movie and point out all of the flaws it has rather than looking at them as a whole. This sometimes gives someone else a different view on the film and how they feel about it. Sometimes, they aren't even allowed to see a certain film because some cinemas won't give them an advance screening of it due to the fact that the film may get panned by critics. However, even when a prime time movie buff sees one of those movies, they still tend to give a negative review based on the standards of the film alone. One of the most important goals to me about being a film critic is having a strong honest opinion on how it achieves success or failure. When a critic sees an independent film, usually dramas, they give their honest feelings about it and sometimes they think they could be nominated for major awards such as the Academy Awards. Movies like Lost In Translation, Pulp Fiction, and Reservoir Dogs have been widely praised by critics as they view them as influences coming from their creative, witty, well written dialogue, and their sometimes complex and moving story that follows it. Online web sites, such as have critics who certainly joke about some films and tell whether they have appeal for them and tell how much money they make at the box office. Sometimes, movies that are extremely successful, such as Avatar, Titanic, and The Dark Knight, have all been universally loved by critics and mainstream movie goers alike and they sometimes suggest that there should be sequels in the forthcoming future. However, in the age of the modern internet, bloggers sometimes backlash a successful movie because they find it overrated and not having enough taste for people. Overall, film criticism holds a very unique impact on myself and on movies in general because they show that however one looks at a film, they always discuss their own deep feelings about it and describe how it holds up for them and/or other people. When Siskel and Ebert reviewed their movies on At The Movies, they discussed how successful movies leave a massive impact on the general audience and how some films are experimental movies that let the viewer know how to make a film successful. Documentary movies and art house films such as American Movie and Ed Wood attract the audiences with ways on how filmmakers love creating motion pictures and how they never give up trying to get them made. In conclusion, film journalism has a vast reputation for people and it shows how much they give their deep personal thoughts on films. In my opinion, the more movies a critic sees, the more time they have to get the whole experience of being a prime time analyzer for cinema.

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