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  • Hi, I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.

  • Do you like to watch movies and TV shows?

  • Do you know how to describe them in English?

  • Let's talk about it.

  • If you like watching movies and TV shows, you're in the right place.

  • Honestly, I don't really enjoy watching them, but I do enjoy helping you with English, so

  • it's my pleasure to share this lesson with you.

  • A popular topic in conversation is talking about the latest movies or maybe the latest

  • TV show.

  • So today I want to help you describe TV shows and movies naturally in English.

  • Before we get started, I want you to think about your favorite movie or maybe your favorite

  • TV show.

  • As I talk about different ways to describe movies and TV shows, I want you to be thinking

  • about how you can describe that movie or TV show.

  • Because at the end of the lesson I'm going to ask you to write a comment describing your

  • favorite movie or TV show so you can prepare throughout this lesson and think about the

  • different sentences that you can use.

  • Let's get started by talking about seven different types of movies.

  • If someone has never heard of your favorite movie, you need to start by giving it a type

  • or a genre.

  • So you might say it's an action movie.

  • A typical type of action movie is a superhero movie like Superman, Spider-man, The Avengers.

  • These types of things are action movies, or you might say it's a comedy.

  • Some popular comedies are Mean Girls, Mr. Bean, or one of my personal favorites, Ferris

  • Bueller's Day Off.

  • You should check it out.

  • It's a classic.

  • There are some words we use to describe comedies because not all comedies are the same type

  • of humor.

  • So you might say it's slapstick humor or it's a slapstick comedy.

  • That means they use a lot of physical humor like Mr. Bean.

  • It's physical humor, not verbal humor, or you might say it's a parody, so that means

  • it's making fun of something else or another concept, or it might be a romcom.

  • This is short for romantic comedy, you often say it's a romcom or it's a chick flick.

  • Chick is a slang term for women and often women more than men like romcoms, like chick

  • flicks, so if you're talking about a movie, you might say, "Yeah, it's a chick flick,

  • but I still like it," or, "It's a chick flick.

  • Yeah, it's pretty good."

  • So you could use those terms to describe different types of comedies.

  • I think the biggest category of movies is drama or suspense.

  • It could be like historical fiction.

  • It could be a biography.

  • It could be a mystery.

  • Some popular movies like this are movies, older movies made by Alfred Hitchcock.

  • Those are classics.

  • I recommend them.

  • Or it might be Pride and Prejudice, Titanic, Into the Wild, Forrest Gump, The Terminal,

  • Edward Scissorhands.

  • All of these are drama or suspense.

  • The fourth category is horror, fantasy, sci-fi.

  • I know there's a lot of differences here, but I just put them all together because they

  • all include some level of imagination beyond reality.

  • Some popular movies that fit into these categories are Minority Report, E.T., Star Wars, The

  • Prestige, Avatar.

  • All of these fit into that category.

  • When I was growing up, I really enjoyed watching musicals.

  • A lot of these are older.

  • They might be Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, or it could be more modern like a movie called

  • La La Land.

  • All of these feature music and the actors are singing as an essential part of the plot.

  • The sixth type of movie are westerns.

  • These are, I imagine, more popular in the US than elsewhere, but if you've ever seen

  • a Clint Eastwood movie, these are westerns.

  • They were popular or they were mostly made during the '50s to '70s, and some top westerns

  • include High Noon, which is one of my favorites, or The Magnificent Seven.

  • These are some classic American movies.

  • The final category of movies are children's movies.

  • There are two types of children's movies.

  • You could say it's an animated children's movie like Toy Story or Totoro, or it might

  • be live action like Harry Potter or The Sandlot.

  • That means that it's not featuring drawings.

  • It's featuring real people.

  • So there's two types, and you could use this for other categories as well.

  • It's an animated film or it's a live action movie.

  • These types of words.

  • If you'd like to watch three movies that help you learn more about American culture.

  • I made a movie about my top three movies up here so that you can gain a deeper insight

  • into American culture and movies are a great way to do that.

  • Next, I'd like to talk about some different categories of things that you might talk about

  • in movies.

  • The first one is the trailer.

  • You could say they gave away everything in the trailer.

  • To give away everything means that they told too much of the story in the trailer and maybe

  • they spoiled some important points.

  • Or you might say Toy Story is coming out on May 1st, 2020.

  • Or Toy Story is going to be released on May 1st, 2020.

  • I don't know if that's actually true.

  • I just made that up.

  • But that means that it is the first time that you can see the movie.

  • That's when it's going to come out.

  • Usually come out in theaters.

  • You could say it's going to come out in theaters on May 1st next year.

  • Excellent.

  • There are a lot of expressions that we can use to talk about the plot of a movie.

  • This means the story of the movie, but we use the word plot to talk about what happens

  • during a movie.

  • Or of course a TV show, but I'm just saying movie because it's simple to just say one

  • of those.

  • So you might start by saying The Terminal takes place in JFK Airport or The Terminal

  • is set in JFK Airport.

  • That means that the location of the movie is in JFK Airport.

  • Even though this movie is set in the JFK airport, they didn't film it there.

  • The terminal was filmed in LA.

  • For some movies there are special effects.

  • So you could say Titanic is filled with really cool special effects, or in my opinion, the

  • dialogue in the Titanic is a little weak.

  • This means that the things that they say, the dialogue, isn't normal or natural or convincing.

  • It was a little bit shallow and that's just an opinion.

  • On the other hand, the score is incredible.

  • I used to listen to it all the time.

  • The score means the music, the music in the Titanic is really capturing and you can just

  • picture exactly what's happening.

  • So, even if you weren't a big fan of certain parts of a movie, you could say, "Well, the

  • score was absolutely incredible.

  • They did a great job."

  • Have you ever watched Avatar?

  • It's two and a half hours long, which is ridiculously long for a movie.

  • But for me, when I watched Avatar, even though it was two and a half hours, I was on the

  • edge of my seat.

  • You can picture sitting on the edge of your seat because you want to know what's going

  • to happen next.

  • You're not sitting back and bored.

  • You're tense and ready to know what's happening next.

  • I was on the edge of my seat.

  • Talking about the plot.

  • You might say the premise of High Noon is simple, but the plot keeps your attention.

  • Here the premise is the general idea.

  • So the general idea is that at noon some bad guys are coming to the city and the sheriff

  • has to fight them.

  • Simple idea, not too complex, but it's the action or the plot or the characters, whatever

  • you choose, that keeps your attention.

  • It might not be a super complex premise or idea of the whole story, but that action keeps

  • your attention.

  • Have you ever seen a Mr. Bean movie?

  • They're always hilarious.

  • At least it's my type of humor, but because Mr. Bean movies don't have much dialogue,

  • they aren't hard to follow.

  • To follow means to understand the plot, understand what's going on.

  • You can just watch and you can see exactly what he's doing.

  • It's easy to follow.

  • On the other hand, you might say, "That was so complicated.

  • I couldn't follow it."

  • I couldn't follow it means I had no idea what was happening.

  • It was way too complicated.

  • If you watch a movie in another language, they might be dubbed or they might have subtitles.

  • If you have never watched a Miyazaki movie, these are animated Japanese movies for children,

  • but also for adults.

  • And when I watch these movies, say like Totoro.

  • Totoro is one of the most popular.

  • When I watch Totoro, I want to watch it with subtitles because when you watch it dubbed,

  • this means that you're hearing English voices and you're not hearing the original Japanese

  • voices.

  • I feel like it loses some of the magic because you're listening to it in a language that

  • isn't the original and maybe that's why you're wanting to watch movies and TV shows in English

  • so they can get that original sense for it.

  • So I'm curious, in your country, are movies often dubbed?

  • You're hearing your native language even though the actors aren't speaking your native language,

  • they might be speaking another language.

  • Are they dubbed or do they usually have subtitles?

  • And what do you prefer?

  • I have this sentiment a lot, Into the Wild was an okay movie, but the book was better.

  • If you read the book before you watch the movie, you will almost always feel like this.

  • It might be a common expression for you to use.