Choose another film to review. You might have seen this film recently; you might have seen it years ago. Either way, have an overall
impression of the film and comment on the elements that led to your judgment. In 500 or more words, explain what you liked and what
As with Journal 5, read over your freewrite and underline or highlight in some way your most convincing point.
Here is an example:
Journal 6: Example from a Previous Semester
This is long, but it is hard not to appreciate everything about Spielberg’s second film at the young age of 27.
Sometimes there is a film that has such an addictive quality it can be watched over and over again without ever getting boring. I
think Jaws is such a film. So why review a film that I can safely assume everyone has seen at least once? I am doing so with the
hopes that the next time you watch it, and I know you will because nobody can escape the fascination they have with that great white
shark, it will be like watching it for the very first time.
No other film since Psycho has had the impact that Jaws has had on the human psyche. While Hitchcock’s film made people afraid to
take showers, Steven Spielberg’s film made people afraid to go into the water. Spielberg had a simple goal for his film, and that
was to scare his viewers. He did so by making his protagonist afraid of water, and his antagonist a predator that lived in the
water. In the early 1970’s, the general audience did not know much about sharks, but what they did know was that sharks were man-
eating machines that swam in the depths of the ocean. After watching Jaws, they knew that sharks also swam in shallow water, so if
they went into the water, they could be attacked by one. The audience that flocked to the theaters during the summer of 1975, left
with a paranoia that would never go away, and that paranoia started a trend in the study and fascination of sharks, which has really
never gone away, Not many films can instill such fear into an audience, that it also changes the face of society. Jaws combines
certain elements of mise en scene, cinematography, editing, and sound to make it an effective thriller that shocks the viewer, while
preying on their primal fear of monsters. Everyone realizes that the actors were instrumental to the success of this film, but there
is so much more to appreciate. Many things went wrong during the filming of Jaws, including an unfinished script and a mechanical
shark that constantly malfunctioned, but Spielberg proves what a great filmmaker can do without special effects and just a few
simple tricks of the trade.
Amity is a safe beach town resort that depends on the revenue generated from summer vacationers. As the busy season approaches, so
does a shark that has already killed at least three people. Chief Brody, the town’s sheriff, wants to shut down the beaches until he
is sure that there is no more danger, but the town’s bureaucrats will not think of it, because of money. When it gets personal, and
the shark has come in contact with his family, Brody takes matters into his own hands and hires Matt Hooper, a marine biologist, and
a local fisherman named Quint, to help him hunt down and kill the predator, which is a 25-foot great white shark.
The setting of Jaws is important because it uses realistic locations that remind the viewer that this can happen at any beach spot,
during anyone’s vacation. The story takes place at a beach town called Amity, which is supposed to be in Long Island. The actual
shooting takes place at Martha’s Vineyard, in Massachusetts, so Amity is a fictional name, but the setting is an actual location and
not a manmade set in a studio. Amity is set up to be a small island community, where there is not crime and its everyday activities,
and money, center around the beach’s white sands. Brody’s family lives in a typical 2-story white-framed house, surrounded by a
white picket fence. The entire location is paradise, until the film’s antagonist, the shark, comes along. The location is
interesting because it is also the place that brings in the “bait” for the shark. In fact, it is the Fourth of July, and the holiday
brings in lots of out of town vacationers, so there is going to be more for the pickings! However, everyone is safe as long as they
stay on land. The other setting used is the water. This is where the danger lies. Half of the film takes place on land, where people
can survive in a safe community, and the other half takes place on the water, mainly on a fishing boat called the Orca, where humans
are not in their natural surroundings. This sets up a contrast that seems to be sending a message to the viewer. “If you want to
take the chance, then go ahead and go into the water.” These settings allow the viewer to relax during the land shots, until the
tension builds during the water shots.
Composition is used quite a bit because it is important that the viewer knows how the subject