Question details

Assignment 1: Movie Review
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Assignment Instructions

Assignment 1: Movie Review
Due: by 11:55p ET Sunday of Week 3
 

The purpose of this assignment is to critically watch and review a movie with popular culture themes/symbols in terms of the sociological perspective and cultural theories.

Many say art imitates life, and we see a reflection of our society and its values in art and entertainment. Others say life imitates are many of our behaviors and values are modeled after what we see in art and entertainment. Either way, you will find examples of popular culture in the movies.

 

Instructions:

1) Select a movie: For this assignment, you will need to select one movie.  Even if it is a movie you have seen before, you need to re-watch the movie with a critical eye towards the social construction of reality and illustrations of other sociological/cultural concepts.  

 

Suggested Movie Options:

Hotel Rwanda

Brazil

Million Dollar Baby

Office Space

Gandhi

Boys Don’t Cry

The Village

Cape Fear (deNiro version)

Mystic River

Last Samurai

Mothman Prophecies

Traffic

The Wall

Glory

Stepford Wives

Pretty in Pink

Hoop Dreams

The Terminal

The Breakfast Club

It’s a Wonderful Life

Bowling for Columbine

Grapes of Wrath

Pretty Woman

The Hours

To Kill a Mockingbird

Citizen Kane

Cabin Fever

Clockwork Orange

Fight Club

Radio

Crash

Nosferatu

Titanic

The Gods Must be Crazy

Taxi Driver

Coming to America

American History X

Roger & Me

Fight Club

Inherit the Wind

Dead Poet’s Society

Mona Lisa’s Smile

Bullworth

Life is Beautiful

American Beauty

Lord of the Flies

The Truman Show

The Matrix

With Honors

Affluenza

Erin Brokovich

Working Girl

Risky Business

Baby Boom

Rain Man

Philadelphia

Dogma

Chocolat

Parenthood

Shawshank Redemption

Last Castle

Witness

Meet Joe Black

 

 

 

2) Analyze the movie: After watching the movie, you will write a 3-5 page review, consisting of:

a) intro paragraph noting the relevance of the movie to the course

b) one page description/summary of the contents of the film

-How was the story presented?
-------i.e. flashbacks, sequential, from a particular character's point of view, etc.

-What was the intention of the film and/or filmmaker?
-------Was this intention fulfilled or met?

-Did the way the movie was produced and presented affect the content?

-Were there specific scenes or occurrences, which stood out as being essential to the development of the story and/or to your understanding of it?

-Major substantive points of the movie?

-Any secondary points made?

-Any 'unintentional' results of the movie?

c) 0.5-1 page in which you discuss how popular culture themes were constructed in the movie use at least 3 examples

d) 1-2 pages in which you use at least 4 sociological/pop cultural concepts covered in this course to analyze the movie (cite class materials as you do so)

e) Analyze which issues emerged as the strongest...as the weakest?

f) Briefly compare the popular culture themes in the movie you watched for this assignment to another movie you have previously seen that had similar themes.

The paper should be typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, 1” margins.  Remember to include a citation for the movie, in proper APA format, and make sure your name is on your paper.

 

Movie Review Grading Rubric 

 

 

Exemplary
4 pts

Accomplished
3.4 pts

Developing
3 pts

Beginning
2.6 pts

Did not attempt
0 pts

 

Introduction and movie connection 
10 %

Provided an introduction that richly and creatively described the relevance of the movie choice to the course.

Provided an introduction that identified relevance of the movie choice to the course.

Needed significantly more detail about the relevance of the movie choice to the course.

Description of the relevance of this movie choice lacked detail overall.

No description of the relevance of the movie to the course.

 

Movie summary 
20 %

Rich, detailed summary of the how the story was presented, the intention of the film, major substantive points, and results of the movie.

Provided some details on how the story was presented, the intention of the film, major substantive points, and results of the movie.

Summary needed significantly more development to identify how the story was presented, the intention of the film, major substantive points, and results of the movie.

Very short or vague summary that does not describe how the story was presented, the intention of the film, major substantive points, and results of the movie.

Did not provide a summary of the movie.

 

Popular culture themes
20 %

Detailed discussion of how three or more popular culture themes are presented in the movie.

General discussion of how three or more popular culture themes are presented in the movie.

Detailed discussion of how one-two popular culture themes are presented in the movie.

General discussion of how one-two popular culture themes are presented in the movie.

Did not include a discussion of popular culture themes.

 

Analysis of sociological concepts 
20 %

Detailed discussion of how three or more sociological concepts presented in the movie.

General discussion of how three or more sociological concepts are presented in the movie.

Detailed discussion of how one-two sociological concepts are presented in the movie.

General discussion of how one-two sociological concepts are presented in the movie.

Did not include a discussion of sociological concepts.

 

Movie comparison 
10 %

Rich comparison of sociological themes and concepts presented in this movie with those of another movie.

General discussion of sociological themes and concepts presented in this movie with those of another movie.

Unclear comparison of sociological themes and concepts between this film and another movie

Little comparison of sociological themes and concepts between this film and another movie.

No comparison with another movie.

 

Writing expectations and APA format 
10 %

Follows writing expectations. Includes a title page. Included APA formatted in-text citations and full references for all paraphrased and quoted work from other sources.

Some writing expectations may have been missed. Minor errors in APA formatting of citations.

Writing expectations somewhat followed. Multiple errors in APA formatting of citations.

Writing expectations not followed; little use of APA format.

Writing expectations not met; APA format not attempted.

 

Grammar and spelling 
10 %

Author makes no errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content.

Author makes a couple errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content.

Author makes a few errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content.

Authors makes many errors in grammar and spelling that the intent of the paper is difficult to understand.

Authors makes so many errors in grammar and spelling that the intent of the paper cannot be understood.

 

 

Assignment 1 meets the following course objectives:

  • Compare and contrast culture, popular, high culture, elite culture, mass culture, low culture, subculture and counterculture.
  • Describe examples of the different types of norms operative in popular culture, and how these are related to the process of social control.
  • Apply key cultural theories and analytical dimensions for examining popular culture.
  • Explain how various elements of popular culture inform or reflect our attitudes, behavior, and society and why the popular culture becomes popular.
  • Illustrate diversity in popular culture and concepts of multiculturalism, ethnocentrism, and cultural relativism with reference to key stratifying factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, class, age, region and sexuality.
  • Analyze culture within individual, social, historical, political, economic, and global contexts.
  • Describe the cultural and social significance of popular culture in shaping the larger contemporary American society.
  • Examine the roles of print media, art, music, radio, television, motion picture, the Internet, sports, fashion, and technology in the development of American popular culture. 

 

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