Archive | November 16, 2014

Giving back my grown up card; I like the Shane Dawson movie “not cool” better than Anna Martemucci “Hollidaysburg”

I’ve mentioned a few times that I have been avidly watching the Stars Original “The Chair” while working out.  Yes, 90% of the time I watched this I was running at 60-70 steps per min (ellipticaling really) so I honestly watched the show far more then when I’m in my living room playing phone or crafting while watching something.  There were days I even ran all 50min just to see the end that is how much I liked The Chair.

Let me lay out my demographic for you (just in case someone new is reading this).  I am female, mid/early 30’s, mother of 3 under 7, MBA, 10+ years in business and 2+ years as a stay at home mom.  I am also a fan of social media, youtube, I’ve watched 100% of the Vlog brothers and some other youtubers of note BUT I never actually watched Shane’s channel so I am pro youtube, but, I’m not innately pro Shane.  I watch a ton of TV both network, premium, Netflix and Amazon prime.  The last movie I saw in the theater was The Lego Movie and before that Frozen (do you see a trend?).  I am a home consumer of entertainment.

I just finished the series tonight and feel compelled to write this because of a few things.

1. The producer said he didn’t feel like this project was a ‘win’.  My reply is I think the scene of entertainment is evolving and I think you ARE winning but it is a slow burn rather then a quick flash.  I didn’t know a thing about this (so ya, you lost there) but I saw it on stars app and gave it a shot and I was captivated by the documentary style of the reality tv show “The Chair”.  I love that they set up the premise of two radically different people directing from the same base script.  I think the way they showed the positives and negatives of both directors fairly and I really liked that they even evaluated themselves in the show by allowing an unbiased break in the 4th wall concept.  I have recommended this show to basically every person I’ve talked to for weeks.  Like Agents of Shield, the movies stand alone but are better because of the TV show but I think the interplay is a real big thing.

2. I’m ticked at the two of Steeltown producers (Steeltown films is behind The Chair and the founders were integral to the 2 movies and ALL were supposed to support BOTH)   that yanked their support – that did change the story from “rah rah we made these two great films come see them” to “there is a divide at the top, lets talk about these famous guys instead of the movies”.  That move was like a mistress in a political race, you end up stop talking about the real issues and focus on the sensational story.  Independent films can’t waste their air time on that… or maybe it was genius because it stirred up the story…


Here is why I liked “Not Cool”;

– I think the cartoon style beginning and more mainstream end shows an evolution in the story from the surreal of coming ‘home again’ to figuring out who you are at home again,  for real.  Yes, the girlfriend and most of the characters are complete characters but it is also a way to view people quickly and not ‘waste’ time on long back story.  The important characters are real and you can dismiss the cartoons and focus on the primaries.  The couple of in between characters in the secondary love story/supporting roles are nicely in the middle with 50/50 cartoon and reality.

– I like the jokes.  Yup.  Giving back the cultured adult card but the zingers that were in there were funny!  I watched the producers, including the 2 that didn’t like it and pulled support, watching the first cut and they laughed too!!!!  The version I watched was polished and fast and quippy and I’ve very glad that editing happened but Shane walked the line and stayed on the PG sophomoric side.  It is funny the same way bad jokes are funny.  I also liked American Pie but I did not like Borat so this one is in that spectrum but just my side of acceptable.

– It gave me something to talk about.  In my opinion a movie should last longer in your life then the 90ish minutes in the theater.  I like brimming with the wow! I HAVE to talk about that joke/character/dance/crazy/funny/sad/touching thing.  Not Cool had that and even the bad parts were incredibly notable even if they are in the “I can’t believe…!” category.

I do NOT like;

– The name of the movie.   I just don’t like it.  It says nothing to me, it isn’t easy to talk about, and it does not seem to relate to the movie all that well.

– The incredibly now references, they are not going to be recognizable or funny way too fast.

I want to be fair and list what I like about Hollidaysburg too but part of the reason I liked “Not Cool” more is because in Hollidaysburg nothing really super stands out, but, here is what I like;

– I liked how pretty it was.  They used way more pretty places and artistic lighting.  It was a soft movie with fuzzy edges.  It also shows off that Pittsburg is a cool looking city and that is not something I really knew and I’ve actually been around there tons of times, I just never looked.

– The movie title is awesome.  I would read more about a movie named Hollisdaysburg.  It is a one word story and entirely successful in my opinion.

– I like the choice to leave out the parents and just have a brother to brother relationship.  That was well done and sweet.

Unfortunately the Not Like list is longer;

– I, like many including Lars (my husband who didn’t watch The Chair, just both movies with me), had a hard time telling the two female leads apart.  If the one didn’t wear the same sad stinky sweat suit the entire time it would have been really really hard.

– The characters all seemed flat, slightly unlikable and slightly unrealistic.  I know the critics say the characters were the best part, but to me, they didn’t read as real, they didn’t read as over the top, they were in an odd middle ground.

– There were some jokes and some situations like the BFF kissing the lead girl and weird pot scenes that were completely out of left field.  They were more distracting because they didn’t fit in then anything else.


The point of the exercise of making two movies from the same material in the same location is to compare them so I don’t feel bad doing so;

I laughed at both but I laughed more in the first 15 minutes of Not Cool then in all of Holidaysburg

I wanted to like Holidaysburg more since I feel like it was aimed more toward me. Anna and I have far more in common and she was so much a part of making the movie that we even watched hers first – while totally watchable it was unremarkable.  I don’t even want to talk about the story because it was dull.  Shane’s movie was anything but dull.  It didn’t tell a novel story either but the script was not novel – it did tell that story in a memorable way.

The bones of both movies were pretty much the same but the choices are wildly different.  I like more of the story structure choices Shane made better.  They both cut things and arranged things but Anna’s movie felt more like an unbalanced ensemble movie, Shane’s had a clear central characters – supporting characters – and window-dressing.


From the perspective of watching The Chair it is interesting to note that I had no real idea what the movies were about until I watched them.  That was very very well done.  The show gave background on some moments but it was surprising to be so surprised by the end product of both movies.  I do love that I can see what notes were taken and what was not and on the whole the professionals were right…


Circling back to the slow burn of success.  I watched this entire thing after the competition was finished and it was still a compelling product for me.  I actually ordered STARS in part because of this.  There are so many shows out there that I can’t watch them all but with Netflix etc I have the ability to watch shows when I have the time.  I will be recommending Not Cool to my friends – I might say “you have GOT to see this Stupid Funny movie” but I can’t say I’ll be recommending Holidaysburg other then the fact that they go together for the experiment value.


Sorry this got really long but I just have to say bottom line I love the concept of The Chair and I think the brains behind it are brilliant – Go Chris Moore, you rock.