My name is Maeve Donley. I am sixteen years old and am homeschooled. I have an older brother, three younger sisters, and a cat named Truffle. I like to write scripts and make movies. I enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, and mystery. My favorite book is The Lord of the Rings. My favorite movies are The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Sherlock Holmes, and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. My favorite television show is Star Trek: Enterprise. I love to listen to music, especially soundtracks (I actually collect them), but I also like U2 and Phil Keaggy. I will listen to almost anything except rap, opera, and most pop. I love coconut, and I hate cheese!
The Roar by Emma Clayton
This story takes place in a future England behind The Wall, a concrete barrier built after the Animal Plague to protect the people from the outside world. A year ago Ellie went missing, and everyone believes she is dead except for her twin, Mika. When it is announced that all twelve and thirteen year olds can participate in a series of contests to win extraordinary awards, Mika knows this is the way to find Ellie. Despite the growing danger, he decides to become part of the competition.
The Roar is an exciting book with a powerful sense of urgency. It's easy to read and compelling at the same time. The plot is elaborate and unpredictable. I highly suggest it for anyone who likes science fiction, mystery, or interesting characters.
What Makes a Good Movie
Many people think that a movie is good if it has a lot of action and over-the-top effects. While these can improve a film, they are not the most important factors.
- Characters: In my opinion the characters are the single most important part in a movie. They must be interesting, unique, believable, full of strengths and weaknesses, and likable, especially the protagonists. Female protagonists have to do more than just stand around being attractive. They have to add something. And antagonists must be threatening.
- Acting: The acting has to be good, or you can't even watch the movie.
- Plot: If the storyline is bad, the movie is bad, and there is no way around that.
- Dialogue: The characters' lines need to be written well, or they sound ridiculous, and you can't take the movie seriously. The dialogue needs to be understandable to a younger audience without sounding cheesy. It needs to have witty interplay for those who are older. It has to be memorable. Who can forget "Luke, I am your father?”
- Effects: A movie can exist without effects as evidenced by films before CG animation, but it's nice not to have to think, “That's kind of cheap,” or “Hey, they definitely used green screen for that!” When you're in a theatre, the effects can take your breath away.
- Timing and editing: You don't want to get bored in the middle of a film. Inconsistencies can be annoying and can make you lose track of what's going on. Good editing can really make a difference in how smoothly the movie progresses.
- Lighting and music: Both of these help to establish the mood of a scene. Good music pulls the scenes together, and can redeem a near-fatally flawed scene. (And soundtracks are just amazing, but that is a discussion for another time.) The music needs to have at least one recognizable theme, but it should not overpower the rest of the movie.
- Scenery and costume: Scenery can make the movie more exciting, and costumes can help you keep track of who's who. If done well, they both can really improve the movie.
- Make up: This can give someone personality or can make an action scene more realistic. If you don't notice it, then it's doing its job.
- Action: Action does make the movie more exciting, especially when it is done at least somewhat believably.
- Sound effects: Sound effects can help make what's going on seem more realistic or more interesting.
There are some things that should not be done in movies:
- Cursing: I don't know a single person who thinks this adds anything to the movie. It only keeps some people from being allowed to see it.
- Adult scenes: I don't mind romance if it's done well, but enough is enough.
- Overly gory scenes: Some blood can make a situation seem more convincing, but if you can't stand to look at it, it's too much.
- Crude humor: If someone makes a joke, it has to be funny, not gross.
- Promotion of a viewpoint unnecessary to the plot: It can get really annoying when people blather on about how great Evolution is and how terrible Christianity is, or some other politically correct ideas when more time could be spent establishing the characters or having an amazing action scene.
I don't mean to be harsh, but if most of these guidelines were followed, there would be a lot more really good movies, and younger siblings would be able to watch them without you having to worry about it. However, I have found there is no such thing as a perfect movie. There is always at least one thing that detracts from it. If you accept that, you will be able to enjoy (or at least tolerate) many more movies than you otherwise would.
So now you know what I think does and does not make a good movie. If only I could convince Hollywood…
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