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TOEFL essay: movies - serious or amusing?


eric_ly 2 / 5  
Apr 8, 2009   #1
I am waiting for your feedback...Thank you :)

topic : Some movies are serious, designed to make the audience think. Other movies are designed primarily to amuse and entertain. Which type of movie do you prefer? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.

Recently there is a hot and essential controversy concerning on the argument that which one do you prefer, the serious movies or the entertainment movies. A proportion of people cite the point that they prefer spend most their time on the serious movies rather than the entertainment movies. Since they assume that, according to the serious movies which obtain meaningful philosophy, we will understand the meaning of life .Also, it is an effective approach to conduct children by the serious movies .However others think the entertainment movies are better, for they can get lots of fun and it can release work pressure to watch the entertainment movies .Although, there are one or two advantages of the entertain movies, I convince we can get more benefits on the serious movies.

By watching the serious movies, first of all, we can learn the meaningful theory which we can not learn from school. For instance the movie, "Forrest Gump", the main actor says "life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you are gonna get". That means life is full of miracles, so we should not be defeated by the troubles in front of us .Moreover, we should have a mind which is full of passion of life and the courage of discovery for our future. One month ago, my best friend Eric was dumped by his girlfriend. Never had i seen so sadly was he. To help him get out off the sadness, I accompanied him watching the movie "Forrest Gump". When we meted few days later, he was better and thanked me a lot .NOW, always he like to tell others how does he recovers by watching the movie.

Also, the serious movies can be used as education material .As we know, to the students, the first thing, when they come back home, is that open the television and search the channel which they interested in. So the serious movies which contain the science knowledge are effective material to conduct the child having the opposite attitude toward the social. According to recent survey, the child who watched the serious movies at their childhood are more logical and skillful than other child who did not .Just like the movie "Forrest Gump" which i told above, it can help every child when they face the trouble in their life.

Of course, there is no denying that the entertainment movies is the necessary part of our life. The entertainment projects on the television can release our work pressure. Watching the comedy instead of the work which never can be done and listening the classical music instead of the complex interpersonal relationship which we have to deal with. So, we will get lots of fun from the entertainment movies.

Although there are couples of advantages on entertainment movies, I convince the benefits of the serious movies overweight the entertainment movies'. Because we can not only get the essential philosophy but it can have opposite effects on children .these two aspect are the most crucial demonstration to convince me the serious movie is better than the entertainment movies.
silverystars 14 / 105  
Apr 8, 2009   #2
Hello,

First, I want to say that you have a grip on your subject. What needs work is the way it is presented. First, I would revise it so that it sounds natural to you. One method I've found that makes this easy is to write as if you are speaking. In other words, if someone came up to you and asked you, "Which type of movie do you prefer, serious or funny?" Your instinctual response to them would sound inherently fresh and clear. Likewise, the same approach applied to your essay will give it the same freshness and clarity.

Here is a quick rewrite of the first paragraph:

There is an argument that has persisted since the time of movies began: which do you prefer, serious movies or entertaining movies? Some people say they prefer to watch serious movies because they assume that those contain the most meaning in terms of philosophy and understanding the meaning of life. However, others think that entertaining movies are better because they are a source of enjoyment and an outlet for releasing the pressure of their daily lives. Though entertaining movies have some advantages, I'm convinced we can get more benefits from the serious movies.

Again, imagine that you are talking about the subject, and your writing will follow. Good luck!
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Apr 8, 2009   #3
"Recently there is a hot and essential controversy concerning on the argument that which one do you prefer, the serious movies or the entertainment movies." Um . . . hot and essentially controversy? Really? Avoid this sort of hyperbole. It's just silly.

"they assume that, according to the serious movies which obtain meaningful philosophy, we will understand the meaning of life" Again, this is clearly exaggeration. People might go to thought-provoking movies because they enjoy being made to think differently about the world, but no one seriously expects a movie to help people understand the meaning of life.

"According to recent survey, the child who watched the serious movies at their childhood are more logical and skillful than other child who did not" Did you make this up?

Hmmmm . . . before revising this for grammar, I would suggest rewriting it for content. Instead of trying to make the topic sound exciting by making extravagant claims, maybe you could take a genuinely interesting approach by challenging the question. Can movies be both thought-provoking and entertaining? Must amusement be mindless, or is exercising the mind a form of amusement in its own right?
OP eric_ly 2 / 5  
Apr 8, 2009   #4
thanks a lot O(∩_∩)O~
OP eric_ly 2 / 5  
Apr 9, 2009   #5
Instead of trying to make the topic sound exciting by making extravagant claims, maybe you could take a genuinely interesting approach by challenging the question. Can movies be both thought-provoking and entertaining? Must amusement be mindless, or is exercising the mind a form of amusement in its own right?

thank you very much ,you give me lots of valuable suggestions ,But as you said above "you could take a genuinely interesting approach by challenging the question. Can movies be both thought-provoking and entertaining? Must amusement be mindless, or is exercising the mind a form of amusement in its own right"

firstly,i think that if i use the approach of challenging the question, it will be not accurate to topic,isn't it ?

secondly,my mother tongue is not english,what should i do if i want to improve my writing and reading.

waiting for your feedback
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Apr 9, 2009   #6
Recently there is a hot and essential controversy concerning on the argument that which one do you prefer, the value of serious movies compared to entertaining movies. A proportion of people indicate the point that they prefer to spend most their time on the serious movies rather than the entertainment movies.

Never had I seen him so sad . To help him get out off the sadness, I accompanied him watching the movie "Forrest Gump". When we met few days later, he was better, and he thanked me a lot. Now, he likes to tell others how does he recovered by watching the movie.

Although there are some advantages to entertainment movies, I am convinced that the benefits of the serious movies outweigh the benefits of entertainment movies. We can not only get the essential philosophy, but it may have opposite effects on children. These two aspect are the most crucial factors that convince me of the idea that serious movies are better than the entertainment movies.

Well, Forrest Gump is an example of a movie that is both serious and entertaining. I think it will be good if, instead of "entertainment movies," you write non-serious. Give an example of a non-serious movie, such as the movie called "Jackass."

Good luck!!!! :)
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Apr 9, 2009   #7
Challenging the question is not generally viewed as going off-topic, because you are still responding to the prompt. Essentially, your response is "wait a minute, I disagree with the way you have phrased the question." This always used to be considered a good way to answer a prompt if you could think of a sensible way to do it, because it showed that you were thinking critically. Maybe critical thinking is less valued, nowadays, though. In any event, You could get around the issue by taking Kevin's advice, and renaming "entertaining movies" as "non-serious." I think what you really mean are movies that constitute mindless drivel with no redeeming qualities aimed at the lowest common denominator. Or American humor, as it is sometimes called :-). That wasn't just a cheap shot at American tastes from the resident Canadian, btw. American humor tends to be physical, slapstick, often scatological, and generally, crude. It is the sort of humor that would amuse a six-year old as easily, or even more easily than it would an adult. British humor, in contrast, tends to involve word play and wit. Compare Blackadder to Mr. Bean. I've never met anyone who likes both, even though they feature the same actor. The first is the epitome of the British approach (at least after the first season), whereas the second is wholly American.
silverystars 14 / 105  
Apr 10, 2009   #8
Compare Blackadder to Mr. Bean. I've never met anyone who likes both, even though they feature the same actor. The first is the epitome of the British approach (at least after the first season), whereas the second is wholly American.

Mr. Bean, while it does have more of an appeal to American audiences than Blackadder, is certainly not "wholly American"! Sad to say, I would lend that distinction to much crasser films. For me, it's hard to imagine any other character with such international comedic appeal. Rowan Atkinson says this about this about his character:

Mr. Bean is essentially a child trapped in the body of a man. All cultures identify with children in a similar way, so he has this bizarre global outreach. And 10-year-old boys from different cultures have more in common than 30-year-olds. As we grow up, we acquire this sensibility that divides us.

In my opinion, I wouldn't lump Mr. Bean with all the American Pies of the U.S. film industry because it is witty in the sense of its use of mime artistry, sort of akin to the stars of the silent film era.

My two cents!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Apr 10, 2009   #9
Thanks for the two cents! A lot of members have to come out of their shells in order to give 2 cents; good, intellectual debate requires a lot of people's 2 cents. I don't know what Mr. bean is, but I don't know how anyone could not like Blackadder!
silverystars 14 / 105  
Apr 10, 2009   #10
I don't know what Mr. bean is

Mr. Bean and Blackadder are played by the same actor, Rowan Atkinson. Below is a video of Atkinson as Mr. Bean doing some laundry. You might find this surprisingly funny!

youtube.com/watch?v=rw2rZ2HZ_x8
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Apr 10, 2009   #11
If you like Blackadder, you should check out some of Atkinson's stand-up comedy. A few skits are "Mr Bean-ish," but most are hilarious. He can stand on an empty stage and make you see an entire scene populated with people, just through his body language and tone of voice as he interacts with people and objects that aren't really there.


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