Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lifehouse - “Halfway Gone”

 So we start out with this really blurry image of a person walking toward us. I don’t know if they’re just being artistic or if the cameraman is drunk and no one noticed. This goes on for a little bit, and boredom is already creeping in, when suddenly the shot comes into focus just as the lead singer starts warbling the lyrics. A few seconds later, the rest of the band magically appears out of the singer’s back, then they wander off to do something else.

  Then we have close-ups of each band member singing the song, proving that they at least know the words. This is a really greasy-looking bunch of people, and none of them appear to be very happy. Come on, folks, lighten up. We know you’re getting paid for this. Crack a smile or two.

  Anyway, all of this is taking place in some type of peaceful park next to a quaint little lake. Very pretty and calming. Then some rude people in cars come driving up, killing the grass and polluting the atmosphere. Crowds of yuppies pile out of the cars, and everybody starts dragging out blankets and picnic things. Great. Nothing says “serenity” like 500 of your closest friends screaming and eating fried chicken.

  But it’s a good thing these other folks showed up, because it appears that the band is no longer interested in singing the song. Now all of these extras are put to work performing bits of the song, with close-ups of people we don’t know, lip-synching and dancing like an injured moose.

  Then we have several scenes showing part of the herd breaking away and racing off to do something. This pack runs up a hill, then bursts forth over the top of it, all of them waving and cheering like they just won the World Cup. We have no idea why they are doing this, but they certainly have lots of energy. They thunder down the hill,  laughing and carrying on. I’m guessing there was a stop at Starbucks before they hit the park.

  While we were away watching this mad race to nowhere, someone in the legal department must have spoken to the band, because now they’re back in the picture. More close-ups of them half-heartedly singing the song. These shots are interspersed with some fool running around in one of those giant hamster-balls that are apparently the rage with certain classes of people. Why do people even want to do this, when you could just sit around somewhere and drink beer?

  More clips of strangers singing along. I’m fairly certain that I don’t want any of their CD’s.

  Then there’s a disturbing scene where lots of these strangers come running out of the side of a very skinny tree and race directly at the camera. This is NOT what Nature intended, with trees giving birth to threatening people that fill the screen. I don’t think I like this park anymore. It’s evil.

  More clips of unknowns who can’t dance. This is starting to get old. All of these people running around and they can’t come up with something more satisfying to do? I almost miss the stupid hamster-ball.

  Oh wait, there’s Hamster Man. He’s given a nice extended shot as he furiously works the contraption across the screen, running like a fiber drink just kicked in. Thrillingly, he trips and falls right at the last second. Watching people bust their ass is one of the finer things in life. They cut away just as this happens, but I still got my fix.

  Then some of the peeps in the cast of thousands decide it’s time to eat, throwing down their blankets and setting up a spread. Sadly, and inexplicably, this quickly leads to some severe rough-housing, with folks rolling around on the ground and potato salad flying. Some people just don’t have any manners.

  Next up is a long scene where they’re doing some of that digital magic again. This time, we zoom in on one of the band members facing away from us. At first, it actually appears that he might be relieving himself, so I’m a little concerned about the plot at this point. But no, he’s just standing very still so pretty women can burst out of his crotch and back, then caress him lovingly.

  Holy cow. This is one naughty magical park.

  We check back in with the rough-housing hooligans who don’t understand how to properly have a picnic, to find that things have progressed to an all-out food war, with entrees and drinks being hurled about. This is what happens when lip-synchers are unsupervised. But at least they’re having fun, bless their little ADD hearts.

  And we’re just about done. They cram in about a thousand quick shots of the Benetton extras as they shimmy and groove to the last of the song, a few more glimpses of the bored band members, and a final update from the food fight, where some idiot has pulled out a crate of whipped cream cans. People are squirting and screaming and running, like some jacked-up Fertility Clinic of the Damned. I hope they’re all wearing protection, especially since you never know where they might morph next.

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