Once again, it has been so long since I’ve posted. My life has been like a hurricane for a while.
We’ve had so much company come to stay in the mountains (several families over the period of about two months), but more about that later. I’ve also been working at my retail job and now a second. On top of that, school started Monday and I’m still trying to get the week’s assignments/discussion posts in. So in honor of school starting, I’ve decided to post my first Creative Writing assignment. (I don’t know what it is with me and posting assignments, but I find that when I’m writing for school, I write well.)
The assignment was to find two film review websites, choose a film, and see what they had to say about it. So basically I was reviewing reviews. I chose the movie Soul Surfer. If you like the movie Soul Surfer, or even have a strong admiration for the film critic Roger Ebert, see what I have to say. :)
By the way, I will be updating my blog more frequently now that school has started.
1. Name the film: Soul Surfer
2. Name the two websites where you found your reviews: The New York Times, and the website of Roger Ebert. http://movies.nytimes.com/2011/04/08/movies/soul-surfer-is-bethany-hamiltons-shark-tale-review.html http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/soul-surfer-2011
3. State why these websites are credible, given the evaluation criteria found on the UCF IF website and the modules. What distinguishes these websites from just the average movie review blog created and maintained by anyone?: The New York Times is a very credible site, with its print (newspaper) companion being founded in 1857. It has had time to establish its credibility and although is said to have a liberal slant, is generally trusted by its readers. The Roger Ebert website is definitely credible because it is written by one of the most famous and respected film critics. I see why he is so highly praised after reading the review!
4. List 3 elements of the film discussed in the reviews: Three key elements discussed in the reviews were the believability of the story (as seen in the film), the inspirational/wholesome/Christian element of the story, and the leading roles in the movie.
The New York Times’ review of the movie was a bit more optimistic than Roger Ebert’s, partially because it was short and to the point. Ebert makes a point to question the believability of the movie. He states, “The movie makes the circumstances look too easy…The flaw in the storytelling strategy is that it doesn’t make Bethany easy to identify with. She’s almost eerie in her optimism. Her religious faith is so unshaken, it seems taken for granted.” Ebert basically sees the story as “not dark enough”, considering its circumstances. He does go on to state that because (the real-life) Bethany actually was in the water a month after the shark attack, the scenes in the film can’t really be argued with. Ebert simply feels that there was something too simple about the storytelling methods in the film, and that important details, such as Bethany’s true physical condition, were left out.
The Christian/inspirational element of the movie was mentioned and appreciated by both reviews. However, the New York Times mentions, “The piety takes a backseat to the welcome glimmers of grit. As a portrait of a spirited, resilient athlete, the movie succeeds best, unafraid to face its heroine’s daunting challenges directly.” So the heroine’s personal story shines just as bright (or brighter) to some than the faith behind it. The New York Times reviewer also says that while the story is about faith, it is more inspiring because it exalts faith in one’s self.
The actors were a third element mentioned in both reviews. New York Times says the lead actress made “an appealing Bethany, wounded but determind and largely self-relient.” Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid are mentioned in both reviews as the supportive parents that the script leaves them no choice but to be.
5. List 3 reasons why YOU like the film.: I think Soul Surfer was a great movie, and if it had not been made, I might not have ever heard Bethany Hamilton’s story. The first reason I like the film is BECAUSE it’s a true story. True stories made into films generally tend to be inspirational, and this one certainly was. Bethany overcame so much, both in real life and in the movie. I also enjoyed the movie because it was faith-based, which I’m sure was a result of Bethany’s true-to-life faith. Despite all circumstances, she kept her faith in God and went on to serve Him in the missions field. A final reason I enjoyed the movie so much was because of the emotional impact it had on me. While some reviewers may have seen the movie as corny, not believable enough, or too optimistic, I could see in the movie the struggles that Bethany faced and the fact that the shark attack tried to shake her faith. The fact that she was unwavering and strong just made the movie that much better.