Today’s lesson is about movies. Everybody loves movies. There are lots of words that have to do with movies that you might not be familiar with. But they’re very good to know if you want to talk about movies with your friends or whoever. So that’s what we’re going to look at today, talking about movies.
We have some slang and some idioms that come from movies. A lot of good stuff. Let’s get started. We’re going to start with this word: “genre”. Can you say that word. A lot of people have a problem with this “g”. So the way to explain it is to say this word: “measure”. Like “measure a weight” or “measure volume of something”. This sound: “measure”, is the same as this “g”, “genre”. If you’re French: “je”. “Je t’adore” or: “Je t’amore”. So what is a “genre”? “Genre” is the type of movie we’re talking about. Now, you know drama, you know comedy, you know action, you know sci-fi (science-fiction), documentary, etcetera. Those are “genre”.
Have you ever heard of a “chick flick”? You’re thinking: “Chick flick, never heard of that before. What is a ‘chick flick’?” Well, first what is a “chick”? A “chick” is a woman or a girl, but don’t say this to a woman or a girl. Don’t call women “chicks”, but it happens. “Chicks”, women. “Flick” is slang for movie. A “chick flick” is a girl movie or woman movie. What it means is a love story or a romance, something that makes you cry. It makes you cry because you’re so sad at the end. It makes you cry because you’re so happy at the end. It’s a very emotional movie. Usually, women go to see these movies. Men, not so much, they don’t like them so much.
Men go to see the “bromance”. What is a “bromance”? A “bromance” is a romance involving bros, brothers, two guys who might be a little bit too close to each other. They’re not gay, they’re just two good friends. Two
dudes hanging out and spending too much time together, we call that a “bromance”. That’s what the guys go to see. Chick flick, that’s what the girls go to see.
Another one is a “romcom”, a romantic comedy shortened; squeezed together: “romcom”. So there you have three new genres to think about. Now, here are a couple idioms that come straight from the movies.
1. “Cut to the chase.” Now, first: what is “the chase”? Many action movies, most action movies at some point in the movie have a car chase or somebody chasing somebody, like cops and robbers. Catch Me If You Can, everybody’s chasing Leonardo DiCaprio. So “the chase” is usually the most exciting part of the movie. So when someone says: “Cut to the chase”, means: get to the point, get to the exciting part, get to what you need to say. Don’t waste time. “Cut” means in the movie you cut to the chase, to the point.
2. “That’s a wrap.” In the old days, when they actually used to have film in like the big rolls of film, when they finished a scene or when they finished the movie, they would wrap the entire reel. They would wrap it, package it, and ship it to… Do whatever they do with movies. So “That’s a wrap”, means finished, we’re finished, we’re done, let’s move on to the next thing.
3. “A-lister”. An “A-lister” is a very top level celebrity; actor, actress, musician, etcetera. “A-lister”, they’re on the best list; they get into all the bars, all the clubs, they make the most movies… Sorry. They make the most money. Everybody wants to be around them. A “B-lister”, a “C-lister”, a “D-lister”, they’re like down there. Maybe they’ll get invited to a puppy show or something like that.
4. “Cameo”, so then you have all these A-listers doing “cameo” appearances in different movies. A “cameo” is a very short appearance in a movie. So, for example: if you have… If I’m making a movie and I want just a little
bit of excitement, I ask Brad Pitt to come in and just be in my movie for five minutes. Those five minutes are called a “cameo”. And he will help me, I will have a very famous movie. I can say: “Brad Pitt is in it.” Everybody’s happy.
5. A “blockbuster”. A “blockbuster” is a very successful movie, a very high budget… Or actually not always successful, but high budget for sure. They usually come in the summer and in the Christmas season. Superman or any of the action movies, any movie with big name actors; all the A-listers, lots of budget, lots of effects, lots of chases, lots of everything. The idea is that they’re supposed to make a lot of money. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.
6. The “box office” is where you buy your tickets to go into the movie. It’s a box, it’s an office, you give money, you get a ticket, you go into the theatre. But when we talk about how much money a movie makes, we talk
about the success it has or had at the “box office”. If a movie smashed the “box office”, means it was a smash, it was a hit; it made a lot of money.
7. The “cast”. The “cast” is all the actors and actresses in a movie. Very straightforward.
8. A “premiere”. A “premiere” is the first night when a movie is starting to show. Usually, before it opens to the public in many theatres, it will have only a few theatres where people can go see it first; very limited showing
of the movie, this is called a “premiere”. The next night, it opens everywhere for everyone.
9. A “debut” is also a first. A “debut” is when an actor or an actress makes his or her first appearance. This is the first time you will see them acting in a big movie. It is the actor or actress’ debut. “Debut”. When we’re talking about the cast, you’ll have all these famous actors and this movie will debut this new actor or actress.
Quite often, students ask: “What is the difference between a director and a producer?” A lot of people don’t know what a director does, what a producer does.
10. A “director” directs. He tells the actors and actresses: “Stand here. Stand there. Do like this. Do like that. Look sad like this. Look sad like that. Look happy.” Whatever. He tells everybody what to do on the set, he controls the movie making.
11. The “producer” produces. He or she will say: “What do you need? You need a car? Here’s a car.” I’m going to have a really cool chase in my movie, okay? I want a Lamborghini chasing a Ferrari. What do I do? I’m the director, I say: “I want a Lamborghini chasing a Ferrari.” The producer, he goes and brings me a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. But he brings me a red Ferrari and I say: “No, no, no, no.” Red is like angry and violent. I want a happy Ferrari, it’s a happy chase. “Give me a purple Ferrari.” So the producer goes and brings me a purple Ferrari.
Another way to think of the producer is the money. He or she will bring the money, get you (the director) everything he or she needs, make the movie.
12. “Sequel”. So, for example: there’s a movie that’s very popular, the movie The Hangover – I’m not sure if any of you have seen it – it did so well that the producers decided: “Hey, let’s do another one. Make more money.” So the second story, the second chapter in the story is called the “sequel”.
13. “Prequel”. Now, everybody knows Star Wars. Star Wars had the three original movies, then they went to the “prequel”. What they did, they went backwards. So the three stories are original ones, and then they gave you three stories that happened before these stories. And next year or the year after that, they will make the “sequels”, the next three stories. So “sequel” comes after; “prequel” comes before.
14. Last one: “epic”. When a movie is very long, and very big, and very broad story, we call it an “epic”. That’s usually what it means when we’re talking about movies. But people use this word in everyday life, and then like
something happened like a big story, a new story and somebody says: “Man, that was epic.” That was huge, that was so big that it takes a lot to take in. But it comes from movies. You have “epic” novels like War and Peace, you have “epic” movies like Lord of the Rings, for example.
Okay, hopefully you can start talking about all your favourite movies with all your friends in English. And, of course, you can practice all these…
Source: English Lessons with Adam [engVid] Channel on Youtube