Film opening analysis 1,2,3

Image result for real steel dark scenes

Today we are going to analyse 3 movie trailers, the first being my main movie which is under the genre action/sci-fi. This movie is called “real steel”, and it is about robots that fight. The second movie is called “Law Abiding Citizen” and it is of the thriller genre, this movie is about a man who lost everything and now he is out to seek revenge. The final movie is called “Straight Outta Compton”, this movie is all about having a voice in such a deprived area in America especially with the rise of police brutality. The actors re-create how a music group lived during the late 1980s. I am going to talk about the genre, text, background information about the movies, signifiers, sequences and target audiences, I am also going to mention how these movies link to other movies that are of the similar genre/backgrounds.

The genre of this movie trailer is action and the genre conventions of this movie are that the movie is dark at the beginning and then becomes bright and vibrant as the characters progress into becoming better people who are more successful because they step back and actually see what their life needs in order to become better. The use of the dark setting is successfully created with the low key lighting, this is because when the characters are doing a certain activity it would be in a dark scene and until the character has achieved something good which is towards the end of the movie, low key lighting is used up to that point. The setting of the movie is in an urban area and countryside. Both of the settings make it clear that the movie genre is action as the characters like to live rough and harsh, only paying more attention towards there robots so that they can become successful boxers who establish their own name and earn vast amounts of money. The characters have oriented their lives specifically so that they can train their boxing bots into better fighters, this allows the audience to realise that the characters are determined to achieve success and that they have the potential to become who they want to really be.

This movie (Creed) uses low key lighting to emphasise how the character is feeling and how they are doing in life. From the use of low key lighting in the above screenshot, we can infer that the character feels trapped with a mountain of guilt, this makes him look and feel claustrophobic because he is the reason to why his daughter is not living with him. The above screenshot also tells us that the character is trapped, this is seen by the use of top lighting which tells the audience in order to escape, the character needs to succeed and he has only one chance just like there are bright lights coming through above him. Another movie that uses similar effects is “Real Steel”, this is because during the movie, when Atom is discovered, he is found in a dark scene at very dark times for the characters as Charlie is in great debt. The image above uses low key lighting to show that there is hardly any hope left for the characters, the low key lighting is dark in all aspects of the image. The eye level angle allows the audience to see that there will need to be lots of hard work in order to make Atom a great fighter, this is further emphasised by the low key lighting and the dirt stained on the metal of the robot. Finally, in both movies the characters are found by someone and this is when high key lighting is used, the robot Atom finds Charlie and Creed finds a trainer als known as Rocky Balboa.

As the trailers starts, we are provided background information about the characters and how the characters are in the situation they are in (No money at all, and they owe people money), this creates a good relationship between the audience and the characters as we know what the characters have been through in their past. In this trailer Charlie was a world champion boxer and he uses these skills to pass onto a robot because was unable to fight due to an injury, however he still succeeds and pursues his dream through his robot who eventually become trained into a very high quality boxing bot. Although Charlie’s bot was not orientated to fight in a ring, Charlie uses his gift and transforms his robot into a serious machine that competes with robots who are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The robot that Charlie uses was also found in a scrap yard, the message that the movie possesses is that “You can believe to achieve” similar to how Charlie uses this phrase to progress at the very start of the movie, when nobody believes in him.

The word “Real steel” signifies raw construction and collision. This links to the movie as the robots are constructed by steel parts and then they fight which links to the idea that they collide. The dark shades of colour also signify hardship and carnage and this can link to what the robots may expect in the ring as they face other contenders. Also since the robots begin to fight, the investors do not spend money on them so they look like raw steel however, when the robots prove to everyone that they are seriously good at boxing, they become a better looking/more clean robots with paint and additional parts, however, Charlie keeps his robot the same. They got the robot “Atom” from scrap and since they found his in the form as just “steel” they did not cover whim with a coat of spray paint, instead they left him in original condition. This tells the audience that you cannot love things that are just great, you have to love everything how it is. This relates to the move because the characters only love the robots after they show that they can fight whereas, the robot “Atom”, he was loved at the minute the characters discovered him.

The sequence from the movie tells us that the character (Hugh Jackman) is running out of options and this is his last chance to change and be successful, then they discover a robot and it is like a magical blessing that enables them to actually do good and make a decent living out of their life which shows that they eventually become more successful than expected. We do not know if they will be 100% successful however, from the sequence of the movie we seem to be persuaded that they will. The robot that they find costs them nothing and the character Hugh Jackman invests his time into the robot and has self-belief into becoming successful with this robot, then the audience realise he actually does become successful with this robot as they spend time training and having self-determination into making the robot huge contenders in big boxing divisions.

The audience that this movie is targeted for is teenagers and adults because it portrays some forms of violence however, it is not in depth and as gory as an 18 plus movie. The movie also contains themes of comedy which enlighten the audience and make it more exciting onto of all of the action and sci-fi involved, hence why it is suitable for teenagers as well as adults. Also the movie shares themes of hardship and emotion which as humans we are all able to relate to. The story that the characters possess tells the audience a message of “Never give up and always believe in yourself”. Surprisingly, this can relate to many people who are viewing the movie and it is like motivational preach to everyone viewing, telling them that they can do anything similar to the characters Charlie Kenton and Max Kenton if they believe in themselves.

To conclude, this movie conducts many different emotions and themes that revolve around darkness and happiness however, from viewing the trailer of the movie we know that the characters will eventually be successful and happy and this is great as they converted their darkness and transformed it into happiness. Furthermore, the trailer also starts off with hardship and gradually makes it easier for the characters, this allows the audience to accurately guess what the movie is going to unfold. This movie also links to the movie “Creed”. The movie “Creed” talks about how a boxer is trying his best to become successful and grow a statement of his name. The messages and themes conveyed in the movie creed are also very similar to those shown in the movie “Real Steel” because excluding the robots, the characters Charlie and Creed are both in the same position and towards the end, they both become successful and prosperous people. This is all done by commitment, motivation and dedication to what they love. They are guided by their trainers to stick to a plan and after they believe and work hard, success bows to their feet.

The second movie trailer I am analysing is the “Law Abiding Citizen” which is a thriller/drama that was released in 2009. This movie stars Gerard Butler (honourable family man) and Jaime Foxx (decent prosecutor who makes one bad mistake). This movie is very horrific because it is about revenge and justice, it also brings out the darkness of the main characters who were never expected by the audience to be capable of such bad things until they were hurt deeply. We visualise how the character, “Clyde” strives to get revenge for the death of his daughter and wife. He also uses his magnificent mind to outsmart people who are high up in the law so he is one step closer to his next move. The character “Clyde” is expected to be the average family man however, when he is crossed by a top end agent who makes a deal with a criminal, bad things happen.

As we can visualise from this image above, the use of low key lighting is successfully used because it captures the critical aspect of this image. The darkness of committing a crime is emphasised by the use of low key lighting. This makes the movie more serious and changes the atmosphere and environment in which the viewers will enter causing more of a simulation of the genre of this movie. Another movie that links to this is “Wanted” because both of the movies share similar genres hence use similar techniques to make them more realistic and simulating. The movie “Wanted” purposely utilises low key lighting because it changes the tone and atmosphere in the scene. In our case, we can visualise James McAvoy being hurt quiet badly due to the injuries on his face. This manipulates the audience to instantly feel guilt and sympathy towards the character, it also questions the audience and makes them more engaged with the movie because they want to discover what is happening.

The genre of this movie is that it is a thriller/drama. The genre conventions of this movie are that it is very consistent and dark due to an ordinary family man having his family slaughtered in front of his very own eyes. The movie trailer begins as a very content occasion as the father is spending quality time with his daughter until the family end up as hostages in the house due to burglars, they leave the main character alive however, the criminals murder his wife and daughter. The scene of the trailer begins as a bright light (by the use of high key lighting) of joy and slowly progresses into darkness and evil, we visualise this due to the dark settings that are purposely used to add effect such as the low key lighting, this setting makes the audience prepare for thrilling content.

The symbolic codes from the trailer show that the character Clyde is extremely despondent due to the murder of his wife and child, we know this due to the intense and swollen facial expressions the character makes. His eyes are filled with fluid and look very drowsy, his face is red and saliva is dribbling down his mouth along with thick dried nasal mucus from his nose. The technical codes are that the camera shots are mostly close up and the camera angles are mostly shots when they are focused on the character Clyde as the cast wants to focus all of the audience’s attention onto the characters face, mainly to see his emotions. We are focused on the characters face because the symbolic codes allow us to read his face and what sort of emotions this character is experiencing. Toward the end of the trailer, we notice that the character Clyde is more focused on revenge instead of emotionally mourning. This is due to the fact the Clyde wants his revenge in order to feel some sort of satisfaction and when he does progress with murdering every individual who was involved with the murder of his wife and daughter, we will stop and feel complete.

The title “Law Abiding Citizen” is a fundamental signifier in this movie as it is a juxtaposition to what actually happens. The character Clyde is actually a law abiding citizen until he is crossed by an agent where it causes him to become the opposite of a “Law Abiding Citizen” and this is pretty much straight into the movie trailer, where we witness the character Clyde doing some collateral damage to people related to criminal law. The colour red that is surrounding the character Clyde on the trailer title also tells the audience that there will be some form of violence, danger and blood because these are what the colour red connotes. The pictures show both characters Clyde and Nick, they are both specifically focused on a certain goal and we can see this from the close up camera shot. The images of the characters are on top of each other which tells the audience that the characters are against one another, this provides the audience with a further insight to the movie with only just focusing on the movie title. From the characters faces we can also see that they are angered and emotional regarding some of the problems they encounter in the movie, this is even more visible due to the low key lighting as it produces sharp contrast of light in dark areas, hence highlighting the characters facial emotions.

From the sequence of the movie, we can see that the characters Clyde and Nick are eventually going to clash and someone is seriously going to become injured as we see from the trailer that both characters are ruthless and fearless as well as clever. The character Clyde is also getting revenge for the murder of his wife and child, the trailer shows him blowing up vehicles and killing people so as an audience we could imagine that this will keep progressing to the end of the movie until one of the characters are stopped. The cleverness of “Clyde” is emphasised especially in the trailer, he is able to attach bombs onto vehicles and remotely detonate them causing lots of people to die. Although this is a dangerous trait, the character “Nick” has more power and access to the law. He is higher up and has many reinforcements on his side therefore, both characters need to play their own game in order to survive.

The audience that this movie would be targeted towards is mainly male and female adults that are around the age of 18-25.Firstly, this is because of 2 reasons. The first being that there is an emotional and empathetic side towards the movie which would be appealing towards females, this is mainly because women tend to show more emotions whilst watching something however, men are more emotional but they can easily hide their emotions. The second is that there is revenge and justice served for the character Clyde, this would appeal more to adults in general, as mature humans we would constantly be burdened with guilt until we solve a problem that has occurred. Lastly, this movie would also appeal to lawyers that are studying criminal law as it conveys different approaches to criminal cases and how they must and must not be dealt with.

In conclusion, the movie trailer we have discussed has various themes and approaches as it is suited to a specific audience and set of people. This movie is targeted towards people who enjoy movies that eventually unfold and have a sower build up/approach with loads of suspense. It also unfolds deep emotions of characters and displays what their capabilities are, this surprises audiences as they sometimes might stereotype the characters in a movie based on the appearance of the character and during the movie they become amazed or mortified due to the discovery of the characters ability that they underestimated. This movie links to the movie “Wanted” because the characters are searching for revenge after they have been damaged by someone. Both movies have a similar target audience. The sequences of this movie is that it is always progressing and getting darker throughout the scenes and this is heavily emphasised by the use of low key lighting. Although the movies share the same genre, they symbolic codes they possess are slightly different. The symbolic codes such as the facial expressions of the characters are very serious and focused on the targets they plan to assassinate. Finally, from the title of this movie, we are able to acknowledge that the person or a person is wanted, the font is huge and looks aggressive which makes the movie more suited towards its genre and theme. The font looks like it is moving, this could emphasizes how the movie is fast paced and how it builds up rapidly to its momentum.

The genre of this movie is that it is a drama film/ biography. The genre conventions of this movie is that the movie is mainly about the characters, their lives and how they grew up in such a diverse environment. The movie is about rap music and police brutality. The genre conventions of the movie are that there will be gun crime, racism and a variety of good and bad occasions in the careers of the rappers within the group NWA. Due to the time that the movie was set, the characters are in Compton, this was a very rough area and had a very high crime rate so the audience will be expected to see criminal activity in the movie. This movie is set out in many ways, it starts with a struggle then gets light and vibrant because the characters are winning and then repeats these two stages again.


Image result for straight outta compton

The movie “Straight Outta Compton” uses many high key lighting techniques to create effect on the movie, in our case it highlights the success of the characters in the group NWA. The type of lighting that is combined with high key lighting is background lighting. This is because the background lighting is used to illuminate the background area of a set. The background also adds distance between the subjects within the images such as how far the characters have come in terms of success. By adding this effect, the filmmakers can add an illusion/sense of depth to the shot making it look more realistic. The low camera angle is also used to make the characters look more in power and command, this links to the way that the police used to treat them however, now that the characters are in power, they have power to stand up for themselves and also have a greater freedom of speech.

The movie “Anuvahood” also uses high key lighting however, it is kind of like a juxtaposition because in a violent scene, the audience would expect the lighting to be rather dull. Instead, in our image above, we have high key lighting. The high key lighting is used with a low camera angle and the camera is also tilted. This is effective because the close up shot of the camera and low angle make the audience able to visualise the characters face and from our view we can see that he has been brutally attacked. The use of the camera effects also allows the audience to successfully visualise what the characters are experiencing emotionally because they give us a close up view. The side angle camera shot also gives the audience a simulating view because we are in a similar position to the character.

This movie (Straight Outta Compton) mainly uses long shots and close up shots due to the characters being in one whole group or when they are on their own. When the characters are all together in the group it shows that there is a sense of peace, unity and brotherhood within the group hence why there are long shots used. However, when there is a close up shot it is mainly utilised to focus on the characters facial emotions to show the audience what sort of emotions the characters are experiencing, this causes empathy and sympathy. Also there are low camera angles that are used to show how big and popular the group are when they are together, it links to them all being unstoppable and powerful. The symbolic codes such as the mise en scene tell the audience that the movie is highly organised and set. The characters are wearing clothes that were highly popular and in fashion during the 1980s.This tells the audience what era this movie was set in, from the vehicles, buildings, studio and gadgets, the audience can easily identify this movie genre as a biography. The symbolic codes of how the characters are positioned on the film cover also signifies unity and teamwork.

Shockingly, from the title “Straight Outta Compton” the signifiers are clear. The use of slang in the title indicates that the title is associated with a rap group and due to the highly popular area Compton, where rap is very traditional and common, we are able to puzzle the signifiers together that the title of the movie is a rap term or cover. Also the popular names at the top of the trailer cover show that the artists in the movie are famous artists in our current day. This also signifies to the audience that the movie is a biography. Another fundamental signifier is the colour, only the colour black and white is used. The colour black and white suggest that there was no coloured printing during the mid-late 1900s and this indicates that the movie is based on something which is a classic in today’s society. Lastly, the colour black and white indicates segregation and isolation. This signifies that during the mid-late 1900s, black and white people were very separate and black people were often racially abused by society and police. The colour black and white used on the title could suggest that the characters were highly against racism and police brutality.

The sequence of this movie is all about money, idolism, having a voice and living life to the maximum luxury. The benefits of gaining money from the music life that the characters are in enabled them to lead a different lifestyle, it helped them to escape the “ghetto”. The idolism and having a voice was part of the job of the rappers as people listened to the rappers rather than the police and this reduced police brutality because people were listening to the voices and views of the rappers regarding the current situations that were happening in America during the mid-late 1900s.With all of these quality’s the rappers lived there life’s to how they wanted, they did not need to worry about anything and were completely focused on their music and futures.

The audience of the movie would be viewers of the age 15-30, males and females. This is because the movie demonstrates how a group of uneducated people that were surrounded by violence and crime, came together and changed their lives by using what they had passion for and manipulating that into a job and career path that was successful. Also, the group used their beliefs and thoughts, they expressed these to the world and got moral support by their audience that listened to their music. This shows that always be confident and always be yourself, this is a crucial  life lesson and message that the group wanted to promote across to everyone and that we should all follow our dreams and believe in yourself instead of being silent with thoughts trapped in our minds. Just like the rappers, words need to be written down and published.

To conclude, this movie serves a crucial part of its purpose and that is to reveal parts of history that we shall cherish and follow because from the position of these rappers, we see that they could have easily been like the most of the population in the area of Compton and that is just average people who carried on with their lives and had no say regarding the current situations that the black people of Compton were in however, these individuals used music as a success and that impacted the lives of black people in Compton because the music that the group released, it was everywhere and made it globally. This means that everyone in the world was aware of the issue that black people were going through. The group also made it clear that police brutality was a shameful act and when they made their new single “F**k the police”, the world was devastated by how cruel the police had become. The purpose of this movie was to experience and inform what people of Compton went through and by using all of these factors in the other paragraphs above, the movie was successful in what is shown especially from the biography genre. This movie links to the movie “Anuvahood” because both of these movies portray an aspect of life in tough, deprived and rough areas of the world. Although the movie “Straight Outta Compton” is made in America and focuses mainly on police brutality, the movie “Anuvahood” focuses more on the deprived areas of London in the United Kingdom. Both movies show how reality is set in different parts of the world and even though we see harsh scenes such as the characters experiencing unpleasant things, it makes us think how problems are easily caused. The movies both demonstrate forms of abuse, in the first movie it is obviously police brutality and in the second movie it is mostly bullying and crime that is being spread among the area and this affects everyone in the area. These movies focus on different aspects of their time and when they were set, however, if we step back we are really looking at the same image that was drawn on a different date in a different environment.


Websites: – [Link accessed on 20/10/2016] – [Link accessed on 20/10/2016] – [Link accessed on 20/10/2016] – [Link accessed on 20/10/2016]  – [Link accessed on 20/10/16] – [Link accessed on 21/10/16] – [Link accessed on 21/10/16] – [Link accessed on 21/10/2016] – [Link accessed on 24/10/2016] -[Link accessed on 24/10/2016]


2011 – Real Steel (Shawn Levy)

2015 – Creed (Ryan Coogler)

2009 – Law Abiding Citizen (F. Gary Gray)

2008 – Wanted (Timur Bekmambetov)

2015 – Straight Outta Compton (F. Gary Gray)

2011 – Anuvahood (Adam Deacon & Daniel Toland)

3 thoughts on “Film opening analysis 1,2,3

  1. This is a very good start. Please make sure each paragraph is six lines, add more images/videos to support your discussion and include your references.

  2. This is a good analysis but requires more media language. Please consider the following:

    Camera shot e.g. closeup
    Camera angle e.g. high
    Facial expressions
    Body language
    Positioning of objects within a frame.

    Again you need to check your SP&G – the post would also benefit from more images to support the discussion.

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