“Catfish” Movie Review Final Paper
Task: You will write a five paragraph movie review about “Catfish” and what you’ve learned in Writing for the 21st Century class. You should compose the paper in Microsoft Word. It will eventually be posted on your blog.
Five Parts (Paragraphs) of a Movie Review
1. Opening: Catch the Reader's Attention
Think about how advertisements sell movies: "trailers" show you a few seconds of the movie to get you interested.
When you begin your movie review, make your own "trailer." If you liked the movie, then your trailer should make people want to see it; but if you didn't like it, the trailer should be something that shows why you didn't like it. Don't explain why you liked it or didn't like it; make the reader like or not like the movie by what you describe. Begin your review by retelling an incident or moment from the movie which you think captures the spirit of the movie as you understood it.
Alternative: Begin your review with another kind of story or interesting fact--about one of the star actors, or about the making of the movie, or about documentaries in general.
2. Second Paragraph: Take Care of Business
Near the beginning of the review, you have to tell the reader all the NEEDED stuff--the title of the movie, the directors, the studio, the main actors, the year it was made. This paragraph tells the reader the things they have to know about the movie. Also, in one sentence or two, you should explain very simply what the movie is all about--not necessarily what happens, but that might work, too, if you can say it in one or two sentences. You don’t want to give away any important plot details.
3. Third Paragraph: Character and plot summary
What happens in the movie? You shouldn't tell everything that happens--and especially not the ending. But you want to summarize the basic plot of the movie, in more detail than you do in the paragraph above.
One way to do this might be to write a sentence about each main character.
4. Fourth Paragraph: A Key Moment or Idea
In this paragraph, go into detail about something important that interested you about the movie. If you liked the special effects, the use of language, etc, you should say something about that. Or if the soundtrack was good, talk about that. Or write more about one character who was really intriguing. Or retell another big moment from the movie and explain why it is important. If you think the "idea" behind a movie was really interesting, explain that idea and talk about it a little bit. In this paragraph, you must go into depth about the movie.
5. Fifth Paragraph: Evaluate the Movie
Do you recommend it or not? Who will like it (kids or adults)? The most important thing here is that you must also explain why you are making your recommendation.
You must justify your opinion--and that opinion should grow out of what you write in the rest of the review. Give at least two reasons why you liked or didn't like the movie.
Some Items to Consider (you can write about these in your book review):
1. What does the title “Catfish” mean?
Quote from Vince Pierce: “They used to tank cod from Alaska all the way to China. They'd keep them in vats in the ship. By the time the codfish reached China, the flesh was mush and tasteless. So this guy came up with the idea that if you put these cods in these big vats, put some catfish in with them and the catfish will keep the cod agile. And there are those people who are catfish in life. And they keep you on your toes. They keep you guessing, they keep you thinking, they keep you fresh. And I thank god for the catfish because we would be droll, boring and dull if we didn't have somebody nipping at our fin”.
2. How does “Catfish” relate to what you’ve learned in this class (the future of social media, the future of writing/communication, etc.)?
3. Does the movie tell us anything about privacy with social networking sites like Facebook? What lessons can be learned from what happened in this movie?