Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

Reading: Movie and Restaurant Reviews / Applications

on December 12, 2012

five_starsOn December 18th we will be practicing reading movie/restaurant reviews as well as an application for a working-holiday visa. For homework, please read one of the short movie reviews HERE and in the comments, answer ONE of the following questions:

1. What was challenging about the reading?

2. What difficult/interesting vocabulary did you find in the reading? Could you guess the meaning?

3. Did you notice anything about the style of writing?

Also, as you read pages 128-147 of Paranoid Park, keep track of the characters and map and answer the following questions (make sure all information is in your journal):

1. What do you think the word “wallflower” means (p129)?

2. What is your opinion of Christian saying, “Grown ups do stuff for money. There are no other reasons”?

3. Lost innocence is a common theme in American literature. Why do you think it is so important in American culture? Is it important in Japan? Do you think it is impossible to recover lost innocence?

4. On page 136, what does he mean by “They [secrets] separated you from your tribe”?

5. How do you feel about the “drama” on page 138?

6. What do you think will happen in the next 20 pages?


7 responses to “Reading: Movie and Restaurant Reviews / Applications

  1. Takumi Nakanishi says:

    1. What was challenging about the reading?

    I read the review of Ruby Sparks, and lots of slang expressions faced me.
    It was, in general, written in verbal language, which confused me sometimes.
    Above all, It was most difficult for me to encourage myself to read what I was totally indifferent to.

    By the way, as I promised last week, I’ll recommend this book – Influence: Science and Practice.
    It is quite understandable. I guess that even someone dyslexic can understand it.

  2. Satomi Togari says:

    I chose “The Woman in Black” because I remembered seeing the trailer on youtube and all the viewers commenting “USE YOUR WAND HARRY!!” …: D

    2. What difficult/interesting vocabulary did you find in the reading? Could you guess the meaning?

    “…but these are so expertly set up through a supremely portentous atmosphere and a palpable sense of dread that they each made me jump out of my skin.”

    portentous – Creepy? Haunting? Judging from the context, I have a feeling it’s not quite the word to describe a happy/colourful scene…

    palpable- palp-“able” ? Ominous? Sombre? Dread seems to be unnerving enough, but it must be scary enough to scare the writer out of his/her wits.

    Found another thing to do during the holidays; watching movies!!

  3. Ayumi Sugaya says:

    I chose “Mirror, Mirror” because this is the movie I really wanted to watch, but I couldn’t have time to go to the movie theater. So now I’m looking forward to watching it on DVD.

    2. What difficult/interesting vocabulary did you find in the reading? Could you guess the meaning?

    I found some difficult words which I didn’t know. One of them was “sumptuous”; it was included in the sub title of this review. It says “Doesn’t live up to sumputuous settings”. I think “Doesn’t live up to” means “doesn’t follow”, so the meaning of the word “sumptuous” may be “unreasonable”.

  4. Wataru Okubo says:


    3. Did you notice anything about the style of writing?

    After reading some reviews, I found that his style relies on each movie and his attitude changes according to how much overwhelmed/underwhelmed (or just whelmed) he was. Also I think the readers are expected to know a certain background knowledge and general opinion about famous movies, actors and directors. I liked reading his reviews, especially the ones in a grumpy style. It’s like he was forced to go to a theater and write a review. The reason I like reading such is perhaps because there is a different kind of fun only poorly-made movies can bring and his description makes me want to try and see how bad they are.
    In Time is the latest one I watched at a theater. The director was Andrew Niccol and I really love Gattaca (His best movie in my opinion. Everyone should watch it!!). That’s why I expected it would be awesome as well but as the guy says in the review, I ended up disappointed and paying my 109 minutes… I should have checked it first!
    It’s not too long nor too short. So, I think those will be useful if you have the same taste as his, that is if you like epic, riveting, inspiring, entertaining movies and Natalie Portman, and you don’t like typical romantic comedy and Ashton Kutcher.

    Vivisection and titillation are now my favorite words (because of the sounds) but I have no idea in which situation to use them or if I’ll ever have.

    Last Saturday I saw Memento for the first time. This is a mystery movie with a guy whose memory doesn’t last for longer than about 10 minutes. I don’t know why but I watched it in chronological order (which is a special feature on the DVD and not the original version) and it totally ruined everything. This loss of the pleasure I would have had otherwise is so huge that even Santa Claus can’t take back! The only way to solve this problem is to have that memory condition myself but then I can’t enjoy it because my memory couldn’t last long enough to remember the whole plot.
    Anyway, this is a good memento for me and maybe I should get a tattoo so that I won’t forget… oh wait for what?!

  5. Shogo Inoue says:

    I read couple of the reviews and I enjoyed it a lot. Some of them are humorous and some are includes irony. It something that you could read even after watching the movie. Using slang makes the review more casual and it makes the review easier to read.

    1. The challenging thing about the reading would be the slang used in the reviews. I could guess most of the meanings, but to understand the read meaning would need a dictionary.

    2. The word I didn’t understand is couilles which was written in the review of the movie “The Artist” which is a black and white silent movie. I am wanting to see it, but haven’t been able to do that. It might be a French word from the sound of it, but it might mean something bad because it was used in a ironic way.

    3.As I wrote above it is not very formal and easy for the reader to read. It contains some humor and irony which is also interesting for the reader to read.

  6. saya says:

    I read the article on “388 Arletta Avenue” and there are some words I encountered for the first time; found-footage, unseen-villain, POV, unhinged.
    First two words are tricky but I guess in this context, these two words are related to Canadians in the film.
    I have confidence for the answer for POV. Probably it’s Point Of View because this one appered in the context of surveillance camera.
    Maybe unhinged means frightened or upset. This words are used to describe how a man feel whose wife suddenly dissappered. I thought about if I were him how I would feel.


  7. Shino Yanagimura says:

    writers have to change their way of writing depending on the situation,
    and in this case the writer has chosen an interesting style,
    to persuade the reader to go see the movie. for example starting the passage with a question,
    and including facts about the movie that the reader will have to find out by go seeing the movie.
    Also in this type of writing it’s important to include the genre and how you feel in the end
    for example uplifting and heart warming.

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