Column Corner: Movies

What happens when a YouTube sensation crosses over into big-screen cinematography? The result in this case is “Not Cool.”

“Not Cool” is a comedy starring YouTube personality Shane Dawson, who incidentally is also the director and producer of the movie. Dawson began his YouTube career in 2008 with his channel ShaneDawsonTV. Most of his videos are spoofs of popular music videos, comedic videos and video blogs. ShaneDawsonTV is now the 56th most subscribed channel on YouTube.

“Not Cool” is Dawson’s first film and was released on Sept. 19 in select theaters, On Demand and on television. The film focuses on college students from Pittsburgh visiting home for Thanksgiving break and reuniting with their high school peers.

Dawson’s character, Scott, is the former prom king who gets dumped by his girlfriend, Heather (Jorie Kosel), in the beginning of the movie. He later finds a romantic connection with Cherami Leigh’s character, Tori, who recently underwent an extreme makeover.

Scott is a quirky, lost kid whose mind is still stuck in high school. Back then he was cool, but now, frankly, he’s not – hence the movie’s title.

The film’s plot is unfocused, presenting random concepts and jokes. The movie attempts to relate to college students in a comedic way by concentrating on love connections, new and old friendships and crazy partying.

Based on survey results, polled during Starz reality show “The Chair,” Dawson’s film averaged a 63 out of 100 in votes compared to “Hollidaysburg,” a movie of similar caliber, which received a 58 out of 100 in votes. Almost 40 percent of the votes were disqualified for lack of evidence that the voter viewed both movies.

It is not surprising that this film’s budget was only $800,000 and that it only took 20 days to shoot. Viewing it from the beginning, you can tell that the film was poorly made. It is also no surprise that this is Dawson’s first film. The characters were not developed, and the acting was nothing short of terrible. Dawson should stick to YouTube. He does not seem cut out for film making quite yet. His decision to cast himself as the main character was not wise, and his attempt at acting was miserable.

The film attempted to be funny in a raunchy, gruesome and hateful way, even making fun of the obese and the blind. There were too many distasteful references to stereotypes, and none of the cracks were funny.

In the end, the vulgar humor did not work. The film did not break any box-office records, receive impressive ratings or many positive reviews. This movie really was “not cool.” Mission accomplished?