Sunday, July 31, 2011

Talking about movies – Part II

You loved Part I so much, we decided to do a second part.

Here in Part II, we provide you more cool voca
bulary you can use next time you're talking about movies and the things that make them unique and even ridiculous.

B film
: a low budget movie, possibly with a second rate cast and production
Backstory: the events that happened before a movie begins (backstories are sometimes revealed with flashbacks or opening text)
Blooper: Mistakes made by actors or the film crew while the movie is being filmed
Extra: An actor in a film or TV show that has no spoken parts
Flick: another way to say movie
Foreshadowing: Something in the movie that suggests what is going to happen next
Prequel: A second or third movie in a series that takes place in time before the original movie
Damsel in distress: a beautiful young woman placed in danger by a villain, but eventually rescued by the hero
Slapstick: Comedy that uses a lot of funny, harmless, violence
Green screen: A screen used to film actors and actresses, that is later replaced by a virtual background.


1. Ed Wood was one of the most famous directors of B films during the 1950s.
2. The backstory of each Star Wars episode is presented as a text in scroll at the beginning of each movie.
3. A common blooper in movies is when a microphone or a member of the crew appear in the middle of the action.
4. I have friend who's worked as an extra on a famous movie.
5. The girls met at the mall to watch the same flick for the third time.
6. The black raven in the scene foreshadows the return of the dark forces.
7. The prequel of the original movie tells the story of why the bad guy became a gangster.
8. Kim Bassinger played the damsel in distress in the Batman movie starring Michael Keaton.
9. Charlie Chaplin was the master of slapstick comedy.
10. The movie 300 was mostly filmed on a green screen studio.

And speaking of ridiculous, we invite you to check out some of the biggest bloopers in movie history.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Talking about movies – Part I

When you’re an English User, a great way to practice conversation is to talk about movies. In order to help you achieve that, we're providing a list of some of the most common expressions used to talk about show business.

Synopsis: a short summary of the main points of a movie plot
Cameo: a brief appearance by a famous person in a movie
Adaptation: when a TV show or movie was created from a book
Cliché ridden: something that has been overused so many times it has lost its effect
Thriller: an exciting story, usually associated with horror or suspense
A-list: the most popular actors and actresses
Tale: a story, often associated with adventure stories
Highest-grossing: movies that made the most money for a certain period of time
Genre: category or type of film
Star-studded: a show with many recognizable actors and actresses

Let's check out some examples:
  • What's that movie about? Can you give me a synopsis?
  • My favorite tennis player makes a cameo in the movie.
  • That movie was an adaptation of a great novel.
  • Although the movie has great moments, it’s very cliché ridden.
  • I love watching thrillers, but my girlfriend prefers comedies.
  • The movie must have a huge budget because there are about 20 A-list actors in it.
  • Back to the Future tells the tale of a young boy who must travel back in time to save his parents’ marriage and his own existence.
  • Titanic was one of the highest-grossing movies in history.
  • My favorite genre is sci-fi.
  • The Oscars is the most star-studded event of the year.
And speaking of movies, here is a synopsis of one of the highest-grossing movies of all times, starring one of the A-list actors of the 1980s and 1990s: Michael J. Fox.

Back to the Future

High school student Marty McFly doesn’t have the most pleasant of lives. Scorned by his principal at school, Marty must also endure the deteriorating relationship between his nerdy father George and his once lovely mother Lorraine. On top of that, the family suffers the constant bullying of Biff, George's supervisor at work. But Marty is also friends with an eccentric scientist: Doc Brown, who is building a time machine. Yet accidentally, Marty gets sent back into the 1950s. And without meaning to, he interferes with the budding romance of his now-teenaged parents. Marty finds himself having to reunite his parents-to-be or disappear from existence in the 1980s. It won't be easy, especially with Biff, now also a teenager, complicating matters.

Think about a movie you really loved. Could you write a synopsis for it like this, without giving away the end?

And closing out our post, here is a memorable clip that will take lovers of Back to the Future back in time... edited to the movie's mega hit song "The Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News. Enjoy...