Monday, May 23, 2011

How to Write Good For Netflix

Like a few other film bloggers, I polished my review writing chops over at that place with the red envelopes. If you think you have what it takes to become a famous and fabulously wealthy film blogger like me, you might want to submit a few reviews to Netflix just to get your feet wet. Here are some hints….

Size Matters
There’s still a hefty portion of the world that equates length with quality, so make your reviews virtual epics. You’ve got 2000 characters (with spaces) to work with, so use every stinkin one of them. Throw in a grocery list if you have to, just make it long. Don’t worry if it doesn’t make sense; no one reads long reviews anyway. But let’s face it, a great big pile o’ words just looks impressive. And you’ll likely get some “helpfuls” from kind folks who simply admire the effort.

No Hablo Ingles
When reviewing a foreign film, make it very clear that the FILM IS NOT IN ENGLISH. And yes, you may have to use all caps to reach the very dim. There are people out there who are shocked and appalled to find a movie called A Nos Amors does not have people conversing in English with twangy Wisconsin accents. Half the bad reviews foreign films get are due to folks being miffed that they had to endure a few seconds of exposure to a non-American culture. These people really shouldn’t be renting Last Year at Marienbad, so make it plain.

The Ps Make It Pop
Everyone knows about Profound and Poignant. In fact, they’re a reviewer’s best friends. But if you’re not using the full array of P words, you’re missing out. Preternatural, Plethora and Polythematic have all helped me out of jams in the past. And of course, everyone loves Pusillanimous, which has the added charm of being a word that sounds dirty, but really isn’t.

Who’s the Helmer, Elmer?
Be sure to mention the director’s name at least 3 times. More if possible. Doesn’t matter if the film is good or bad. Like football coaches, directors get all the credit or the blame, regardless of whether they deserve it, so make sure everyone knows who to praise or crucify. Plus, frequent director name-dropping makes you sound like you know what you’re talking about and it helps you reach that 2000 character limit. And if it’s an Apitchapong Weerasathakul film, you’re almost finished before you begin!

The only exception to this rule is if you’re reviewing a TV show. No one cares about TV directors because they tend to be talentless hacks and assholes.