As this is my first post, let me tell you about myself, then I will get to the good stuff. My name is Colby Howell. I am a news writer here at KPEL and an avid fan of movies. I watch many movies and watch them often. The name of these articles will be called Thirty Seconds or Less as my audio snippets will be thirty second reviews. I will be grading the films I write about on a thirty second grading scale. The scale will be broken into 6 different 5 point grading points. The six aspects are:
1.) Cinematography (This does include lighting)
2.) Acting
3.) Writing (Mainly the way it’s written, not the storyline)
4.) Editing
5.) Story
6.) Sound/Music

Each of these aspects of a movie will be closely looked at and judged. I will do the thirty second reviews, then post a larger, more in depth review in writing on the website. One last thing, if there is anything that you disagree with in my review, you are encouraged to post about it on the website, as well as our Facebook page. Now that the introduction is out of the way, let’s talk film.

Yesterday was a super hero movie bananza as I saw two films in the theater that dealt with super heroes. The first was...

X-men: First Class. First I would like to say that this was a great movie, and you should make the time to see it. Now, let me explain why.

Cinematography 5/5

Something that really stood out in this movie was fantastic cinematography. The CGI was very well done as well. For the layman, CGI stands for computer-generated imagery. The lighting was perfect in almost all the shots and seriously sets the tone for many of the scenes. Something that really stood out to me was the brightness of colors in the film. Little things that usually wouldn’t stand out as much, stood out greatly, but wasn’t distracting. One example was Mystique’s red hair. It seemed vibrant.

Acting 4/5

The acting in this film was great, aside from a few actors and actresses that didn’t quite make the cut. The actors in this film that are considered the “greats” did an excellent job. Actors such as Kevin Bacon and Kevin McAvoy did great jobs, but some of the younger actors were a little inexperienced and it showed. That’s the only reason why this film is getting a point off for acting.

Writing 4/5

First Class was very well written, but I always like to keep my ears open to listen for cliche lines and cheesy love stories in super hero films, and First Class did a great job in avoiding it for the most part. There were a few parts when some of the younger X-men said a few cheesy lines that I may have laughed at, but I didn’t thing were necessary, and made the movie a bit cheesy.

Editing 5/5

This movie was so well put together. The continuity was fantastic and there didn’t seem to be any really nasty jump cuts that caused the audience to lose track of what was happening. No SCS. That’s something that I should point out now while I’m thinking about it. I HATE movies with fight scenes and NO choreography. I call it SCS, shaky camera syndrome. SCS occurs when a camera shakes and shakes more during a fight scene. I’m sure the director is just meaning to convey the chaos of a fight, but all he is doing for me is giving me a headache and looking pathetic. I will write a full article on this soon.

Story 5/5

This is the part of the film that made it so enjoyable to watch. The story was incredible. It was like watching a really great movie, that just happened to have X-men characters in it, not the other way around. I really have nothing negative to say about the concept and the story itself. Good stuff!

Sound/Music 5/5

This was something that also stood out to me greatly. The sounds of X-men have been the similar quality since the first movie was back in 2000, but the score in First Class was incredible. Some of the orchestrated parts blew me away. I really noticed a certain song toward the end of the film during a climactic scene and how well it fit the film. This truly deserves the 5/5.

Closing thoughts 28/30

Go see this movie in theaters if you can. It’s worth your time. Anything negative I may have said about the film can seriously be overlooked by the greatness of the film overall. See it, soon.

The Green Lantern was the second film that I saw yesterday.

Cinemtography 3/5

This side of the movie wasn’t too bad, but it suffered from SCS a little bit and the CGI was dreadful in certain parts of the movie. I understand that nearly everything that has to do with The Green Lantern as the character needed to be CGI, but it could have been a bit more polished. It seemed as though the things created by Hal were a bit simplistic in detail.

Acting 3/5

Well, it’s a movie starring Ryan Reynolds, so you would be expecting cheesy one liners and quirky smiles... well you expected correctly. Reynolds does his things, as many of the other characters do theirs. Honestly, the best actor of the bunch was Peter Sarsgaard who played Hector. His deterioration in the film made him a really fun villain to watch.

Writing 3/5

Well this aspect of the film wasn’t too bad, but had it’s quirks. Quite a few one liner jokes for Reynolds and a few for Sarsgaard as well. The romance between Hal and Carol materialized way too quickly and seemed forced. It could have been done a little better. The lines themselves were okay, but it was nothing to go crazy over.

Editing 2/5

Considering the film had a lot to take in, I am being a little cynical about it, but it was so jumpy and rushed that it was hard to follow at times. The explanation of one thing would happen, then BAM, it cuts to something completely different and important as well. It was almost as though it was an information overload. I do understand that a lot of ground must be covered with such a big name in comic book history, but that doesn’t mean someone who has never read any of the series needs to be overcome with information about it.

Story 4/5

This happened to be a redeeming quality of the film. I really thought that this was a cool and fun movie to watch. I enjoyed it. It had a way about itself, but was a cool and interesting concept that was tackled in just under 2 hours. It was a lot to take in, but if you really pay attention and attempt to make sense of it, it’s fun and enjoyable to be introduced to a new comic book universe.

Sound 4/5

This was something else that was well done in the film. The sound effects really stood out for me as they sounded fresh and different. I think it was the sound effects that the ring made when it materialized things. The score was well done as well and had a tense effect on the film.

Closing Thoughts 19/30

Allow me to point something out about how you should see this film. If you happen to be a Green Lantern fan, then you should find the movie satisfying and enjoyable. But, if you go into the film knowing nothing of the Green Lantern, you should find the movie enjoyable, but a overload of information and how it feels rushed. As a fan, you will know the character back stories and the things behind what’s going on in the movie, whereas, if you aren’t a fan, be prepared to find the movie difficult to follow and be sure to pay attention to find it good. I hope you find it as fun I did.

Thanks for reading!

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