(Ch. 6) Response Post Assignment & Updates & Reminders

Response post and upcoming assignments:

Due Oct. 10 by 11:59 PM:

Read and review materials from Chapter 6:shatner

After reading the materials and listening to some of the actors respond to what is “acting?” – Answer two of the following questions in the response section of this page.

  1. What did you learn about acting you didn’t know before?kristen-stewart
  2. As a rising film critic, what do you find to be the most challenging about evaluating “good acting?” Name someone you feel is a good actor (male or female) and defend your answer.
  3. Name one children or family film you’ve watched that you would classify as a “good film.” What makes it good in your opinion? Based on the readings, would it be classified as a family or children’s film? Explain. (Here is a list of some family & children’s films of the past few years).

Upcoming Assignments and updates:

You must also address how music, sound and silence are used in your selected film. Find the examples herehttps://gwufilmcritic.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/ch-5-sound-advice/

  • Final Project notes: Due October 13Turn in draft of intro &  biographical sketch.
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25 Comments Add yours

  1. 2. As a rising film critic, what do you find to be the most challenging about evaluating “good acting?” Name someone you feel is a good actor (male or female) and defend your answer.

    I find it difficult to separate the acting in a film from some other elements. For example, in “Field of Dreams,” I found the music and effects to be corny. That biased my view of the acting, and made me immediately feel as if the actors did a terrible job. Or on the other hand, I think Leonardo DiCaprio did an amazing job in “Inception,” but is this because of his acting capabilities, or because I love the film’s story and directing? I feel that Gary Oldman is a great actor because of his ability to mold himself to fit any role. There have been movies I’ve watched where it even took me awhile to realize he was even in the film, simply because of his ability to change his appearance, voice, mannerisms, and emotions.

    3. Name one children or family film you’ve watched that you would classify as a “good film.” What makes it good in your opinion? Based on the readings, would it be classified as a family or children’s film? Explain.

    I think the film “Up” is a “good film,” and would be classified as a family film. It’s a family film because of the mature themes that are included (coping with loss, pursuing an abandoned dream) and the emotions that impact viewers of any age (absolutely amazing opening montage scene). The emotional impact of the film, along with an amazing musical score and funny moments, make it a good film.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      When you’re able to begin to decipher your baggage -you may be able to get a sense on Good acting vs. great acting vs. bad acting. You nailed it with Gary Oldman (brilliant).

      “Up” one of my faves. Good choice.

      Like

  2. 2. As a rising film critic, what do you find to be the most challenging about evaluating “good acting?” Name someone you feel is a good actor (male or female) and defend your answer.
    I think that the difficulty lies not in evaluating good acting, but bad acting. Once I determine that an actor did a bad job, it can be difficult to explain why. Sometimes it feels like it’s all my baggage simply because I can’t put my opinion into words. But even if I do have some baggage, maybe the actor really did do a bad job and I just need a way to explain why. I think back to the film I watched last week, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and the trial scene. I thought that the woman playing the supposed victim did a really bad job with her emotional outburst. However, it may have been that the camera was too close to her, or that because the scene had been so quiet her loud voice felt out of place. Or, maybe, I just personally didn’t like the sound of her voice. There is a lot that could go wrong, and I find it difficult to pinpoint where the problem lies.
    I think that Eddie Redmayne is a good actor, specifically because of “The Danish Girl.” He used his body really well in this movie. The character, one of the first people to go through a sex change surgery, is a man struggling with his identity. Redmayne was really good at using his body to show how awkward this character felt as a man. Then, when the character got to dress up as a woman, Redmayne carried himself in a completely different way.
    3. Name one children or family film you’ve watched that you would classify as a “good film.” What makes it good in your opinion? Based on the readings, would it be classified as a family or children’s film? Explain.
    One of my favorite family films is “Hook” (1991). It has a really great cast; Robin Williams is funny as always, and I love Dustin Hoffman’s take on the classic villain, Captain Hook. He doesn’t play Hook so scary that children will be afraid to watch the movie, but he is also cruel enough that you want to see him lose in the end. I think that John William’s score is also a really crucial part of the film. One of the things that makes it so great for Peter Pan to learn to fly again is the music in that scene. This is a family movie, rather than a children’s movie, because it hints at some adult themes: Peter Banning is a workaholic and is struggling to be a good parent. It works as a family movie because it is a fun adventure and its plot is driven by family themes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mallory Moore says:

      (This is Mallory Moore’s comment, by the way. It used the name of a website I had started on WordPress and then abandoned. I didn’t realize I was logged in)

      Liked by 1 person

    2. noeltmanning says:

      Really good thoughts -is it baggage or is it technical choices of the other filmmakers? Very good.

      “hook” – wonderful choice of a twist on a classic children’s tale turned into a family film.

      Like

  3. jguberman242 says:

    1) What did you learn about acting you didn’t know before?

    I learned about the importance of vulnerability. I never thought about how actors have to be totally trusting of the crew working with them and how they have to completely open up for some roles/scenes where they express emotions that people try to hide (anger, fear, etc.). Something else I found interesting was in one of the videos– Alan Rickman said that, when aspiring actors would ask him for advice, he’d tell them to forget about acting, and to go to museums, listen to music, watch the news, etc. because then they could react better if a piece of good writing was placed in front of them. I suppose this is his method of being genuine when he’s acting– he seems more natural.

    2) As a rising film critic, what do you find to be the most challenging about evaluating “good acting?” Name someone you feel is a good actor (male or female) and defend your answer.

    I find it most difficult to focus on the acting as a separate factor from the rest of the film, particularly the writing. There are so many things to pay attention to in a film that it’s hard to catch all of them in depth while watching, and acting is one of the things we tend to take for granted when we are so focused on analyzing and critiquing films.

    Emma Watson is a wonderful actress because of her ability to be so vulnerable and genuine. The director for “Perks of Being a Wallflower” specifically selected Emma Watson to play the role of Sam because of how vulnerable she was able to be in the Harry Potter movies, and the same vulnerability follows her in her other work. She’s very convincing in all of the roles she plays. In the Harry Potter series. she comes off as a brave, capable, and intelligent witch. You don’t question it for a second– she makes you believe Hermione exists. In “Perks of Being a Wallflower,” she convincingly takes on the persona of a fun-loving but hurt teenage girl. Even in “The Bling Ring,” Emma Watson truly seems to become this spoiled, Beverly Hills brat who steals from celebrities and spends her time partying. She plays a snob so convincingly that you would never believe she’s actually a decent human being. I love her versatility and vulnerability.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      I loved Alan Rickman’s comments too. He put this in a way that examined the “natural ability” of being human – be real. I think also showing vulnerability opens actors up to being “honest.”

      The more films you view, the easier it will come for you to separate the good from the bad. Emma is a great choice (again exploring vulnerability).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 1. What did you learn about acting you didn’t know before?
    Well let me see, what did i learn that was new? I learned that the most important thing to several of the actors was the relationship with the character. Not just knowing who the character IS but knowing how the character FEELS. Knowing that character inside and out to the point where they can act out AS THE CHARACTER. Not just acting like a robot but actually becoming the character to the point that the character comes to life. That is what i now see as acting. You learn that the actors and actresses really care about the characters that they play and want to bring them to life. I loved learning about that.
    2. As a rising film critic, what do you find to be the most challenging about evaluating “good acting?” Name someone you feel is a good actor (male or female) and defend your answer.
    The most challenging part i believe is leaving baggage behind and also not letting the rest of the movie influence how you see the actors who may not be doing as well. Denzel Washington is an actor I really admire for his performances. He gives his characters a life that reflects who they are. Take Dudley from “The Preachers Wife”. Dudley had so much life and character that he and the other characters seemed like they were about to jump off of the screen right into my room. (It helped that i have known people like those in the movie)How i view Denzel Washington’s characters really comes down to how he brings them to life as though you could talk to them on the street.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      Yes -for many actor, they feel if the get to really know the character -they can “become the character.”

      Denzel is one of my faves. He can play drama, action, sci-fi and even throw in comedy. Pretty versatile.

      Like

  5. kmanning2 says:

    What did you learn about acting you didn’t know before?

    While reading over the materials, I was reminded of the importance of reactions in acting. When I’ve evaluated actors in the past, sometimes I couldn’t quite pinpoint why I thought they were bad or good actors. But, I think a lot of times, it has to do with the reactions – whether they are verbal or non-verbal. I’ve never realized just how important non-verbal cues can be. But it’s true, actors may say all the right things, but what really makes them believable is the hand gestures, the facial expressions, the way they’re standing. It might be the devilish sparkle in someone’s eye when they’re making a joke. It might be Ryan Reynold’s facial expression when he finds Sandra Bullock and Betty White dancing in The Proposal.

    Name one children or family film you’ve watched that you would classify as a “good film.” What makes it good in your opinion? Based on the readings, would it be classified as a family or children’s film? Explain.

    I recently saw Zootopia, and I absolutely loved it. It is hilarious, and it is relevant, in that its message is about accepting differences. It also has some great music. For me, it kind of falls in the middle between children’s and family film. If I had to choose one, however, I’d go with family film. It is rated PG, and it has a couple of scenes that kids might find too scary. The message seems to be aimed more at adults. I think kids can understand it, but it will most likely take further explanation from parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. kmanning2 says:

      Here’s the link to that Proposal scene – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_PsvYZUYzM

      Like

    2. noeltmanning says:

      Zootopia great choice. Yes the topics of prejudice and acceptance and embracing differences shine through the story

      Like

  6. alicebyrd20 says:

    One thing that I learned about acting that I didn’t know before was that acting is supposed to be natural. The Michael Caine quote made that clear: “While rehearsing something with a fellow actor, if a crew member can come up and recognize you’re rehearsing vs. having a real conversation, then you aren’t doing it right.” I tend to go into a film with the preconceived notion that what I’m about to watch isn’t real, so I take the acting for granted in that sense. I also enjoyed Caine’s quote about how “movie acting is like an operation with a laser,” because that’s a really fitting analogy. Movie acting is not forgiving; a specific action, gesture, or phrase will live on forever.

    It’s tough evaluating good acting because I am not an actor. That would be like evaluating good fashion because I’m not a fashion designer; acting is so subjective that it is tough for me to judge a performance as “good or bad” in general. It’s particularly challenging for me to judge something that I have zero experience with. One of my favorite actresses is Tina Fey, because she emulates all of the things that Michael Caine said. I think this is largely due to her comedy career; doing things like SNL certainly prepares you to act and react to all kinds of situations.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. noeltmanning says:

    Great honesty (and vulnerability) about evaluating acting. Thanks Alice

    Like

  8. ssevert says:

    What did you learn about acting you didn’t know before?

    One thing I learned about acting was how much it was based off of reactions. I think that sometimes I take for granted actor’s ability to bring a movie to life. I sit down to watch knowing that what I’m about to see isn’t real, but to an actor it is real. They have to immerse themselves completely in a role. Almost like that is becoming their new life. The ability to be that vulnerable to “changing who you are” is admirable and I don’t know if I could ever do it. I know I could not do it well. From the outside looking in you must not know that actors are acting. They have to make it look like they are having a normal conversation in everyday life or like the reading said “if you’re not, then you’re not doing it right”.

    Name one children or family film you’ve watched that you would classify as a “good film.” What makes it good in your opinion? Based on the readings, would it be classified as a family or children’s film? Explain.

    I would classify “Finding Nemo” as a good film. I have loved “Finding Nemo” since they very first time I ever watched it. I would say the movie is probably a children’s film but I also think there are characteristics that adults and older kids can appreciate more than the younger viewers. “Finding Nemo” is a story about pushing on and courage. It also shows acceptance and trust. Marlin has to accept Dory for who she is despite her memory loss. It shows that Dory is no less of a fish because of it. It take’s Marlin quite a bit of time to welcome something different. Nemo also overcomes his own fears and constantly keeps trying to escape and return home. Children may see the message of “never giving up” but as an adult I see it as a message of “despite your ‘short-comings’ there is nothing you can not do when you put your mind to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      Reacting to others, situations, or your environment is a key to success. I completely agree with this one.

      These are great messages -“never giving up” and message of “despite your ‘short-comings there is nothing you can not do when you put your mind to it..”

      Thanks – NTMII

      Like

  9. thoyle1 says:

    2. I think that the thing that is most challenging for a rising film critic as far as acting goes is being able to judge the actor only on talent alone, not the part they are playing. A lot of times I have that baggage with me at the movie and will judge an actor based on the role they played in the film. I need to be better about grading actors on their talent and talent alone. An actor I have always admired is Johnny Depp. His versatility on the big screen is very hard to top.

    3. The movie I would best classify as a “good film” is Toy Story. It is a timeless movie that I have enjoy since I was young and will always love. It is both a children’s film and a family film. Though younger kids I’m sure would enjoy it, when I think back on Toy Story, I think of sitting with my family watching it in the living room. Also, as Disney films often like to do, there are some references in the film that only the kid’s parents would usually understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      when you can find a way to separate feelings about actors from how they actually perform on screen -you’re making progress.

      Toy Story – a perfect film about friendship and belonging

      Like

  10. brittany parker says:

    1) One thing I found interesting from the interview was when Michael Caine states, “close ups are what sells the movies, because they see your eyes”. I never realized how much your eyes are controlled, when acting. He says that blinking and moving your eyes is the worst thing to do because it weakens your acting. You’re suppose to choose one eye to look out of, and one eye to focus on when you’re talking to someone off camera, and not blink like normal.

    3) The Lion King is a Children’s film that I would classify as a good film. I would categorize it as a children’s film because based on the reading, a children’s film has themes representing, “good defeating evil, acceptance, self-esteem, friendship, family togetherness, teamwork, and courage”, and this film does just that, with Mufasa vs Scar (good defeating evil), Simba (acceptance and courage), Timon and Pumba (friendship), Nala and Simba (family togetherness). And I believe with it showing all of these things, and because it has the ability to teach children some important morals and lessons, it’s a great film.

    Like

    1. noeltmanning says:

      “The Eyes” have it -absolutely true. extreme close ups here can make a major, major impact for the audience.

      I also love how the Lion King can tach these morals to adults … I think maybe a few people around the country could use this lesson again right now. 🙂

      Like

  11. An aspect of acting with which I was unfamiliar was discussed in Michael Caine’s tips for actors. I was surprised to read about how it helps an actor relax to consider that everyone on the set is there to help them. While this concept does make sense, I imagine that it is hard for some movie actors to do this considering the competitive reputation of Hollywood. It seems that if actors must truly relax around everyone they work with, it would be hard to concentrate. Another point that was interesting to consider was the vulnerability that actors must show, as it seems that an actor is usually expected to become a different person in a film. The following statement was particularly striking: “If you ever get a sense that an actor is showing you a secret part of himself, he probably is.” This sentiment reminds me of a quote I read from Christopher Reeve when I viewed and researched the 1998 remake of “Rear Window” after watching the original from 1954. There is a particular scene when the main character is looking remorseful about his state of paralysis. According to Reeve, the camera caught his genuine feelings in that shot.
    I have always really enjoyed “Meet the Robinsons” (2007). It has a great message about accepting the way things have gone in the past and finding a way to use them in the future, much like the motto of the movie, “keep moving forward.” Overall, I think the film would fall into the family category. The storyline may be simple and easy to predict, but I remember watching the film with my younger brother for the first time when I was about 12. We both enjoyed figuring out who was who based on clues from the past about the future. Meanwhile, there is plenty of humor for all ages to enjoy. Though rated ‘G,’ the ‘evil’ plot of the antagonist might be a little scary for children at first, so I would not qualify it as a children’s movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. noeltmanning says:

      Relaxing when chaos is surrounding you can be challenging. I had completely forgotten about “Meet the Robinsons.” Fun film

      Like

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