West Virginia University Star

Your goal is to take a film franchise that you enjoy, identify what criteria made the first film in the franchise work, and then evaluate a sequel, prequel, or remake based on the criteria involved. For the purposes of the scope of the assignment, I think it best to evaluate only one film alongside the original especially if the franchise has a large number of films.

To do this paper, you will first need to form some criteria from the original film for your introduction. What major themes or ideas were present in the film? Which theme are you focusing on in the paper, and what does the adaptation do to either reinforce the themes or perhaps enhance or alter the original ideas from the text? These are questions you need to pose near the beginning of your paper. Your thesis will be put in tension with the original film; you will demonstrate in your thesis what either worked or did not work in relation to the original. Is the adaptation better? Worse? On an equal plane? Does the new film succeed in doing what it tries to do, albeit differently? Or, is it total garbage? These are questions of judgment you’ll need to consider here.

The body of the paper will take the criteria about the original you pose in the beginning and apply it to the film. Your body paragraphs will take the criteria from the original film and put those criteria in tension with the adaptation. In doing so, you should incorporate specific evidence from various scenes from the films in conjunction with textual support; demonstrate based on your aesthetic judgment what works and what doesn’t. Do not just ramble on about your opinion; ground your analysis in the film!

Criteria that you might think of developing include the choices made by the director (the camera movement, the movie’s style, choice of colors, soundtrack, etc.) Check out the article “Writing about Film” for some ideas. The themes and ideas present in the film are also subject to evaluation.

The paper will be due Tuesday, July 6 by 12:00 PM on eCampus. You’ll use MLA formatting for citing in the text. Whenever you mention a specific scene, mention the runtime of the scene in the in-text tag. For example, if your scene lasts from 30 minutes to 33 minutes, you would write a citation tag at the end of the sentence this way: (30:00-33:00). Unless you bring in an opinion from the outside, there is no need for a Works Cited page. You must complete a draft of the paper by July 2 for peer review and for individual conferencing.

You have freedom to choose any film from any franchise. Action, animated, and horror films often have a large number of films. If you do something like a superhero film, pick only a direct sequel (so something like Captain America: Winter Soldier in response to the original Captain America, for example.)

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