Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dr. Dre, Eminem, Skylar Grey - “I Need A Doctor”

Note: This is the explicit version. WAY explicit. Just sayin.

Okay, we’ve got another one of those mini-movies that are apparently the rage these days with certain singers, so it takes a while to even get to the song. We start off with a title letting us know that it’s February 18th, 2001. Obviously, something must have happened that day, but I must not have been directly involved because there are no bells ringing. I’m assuming that Dr. Dre is going to fill us in with the details. Or maybe not. You know how these music videos are. Sometimes it’s just talking fish, a floating kumquat, and stripper-dancers, while somebody recites French poetry in an ugly outfit.

Anyway, we’re looking down from a high cliff over some swirling ocean water, then we’re not, then Dr. Dre comes into view, looking very pensive while the sun sets. Or rises. Something to do with the sun changing its mind about what it wants to do. Cut to ocean waves, pretty waterfalls and some smiling gangsters who have probably just done something questionable. More Dre with that serious expression, then we start getting flashbacks of what we’ll assumer were happier, or at least busier, times. I’ll try to interpret.

Rappers run about, there’s a purple-hued doctor performing surgery on a turntable, and some woman in an orange something-or-other is really proud of her booty. We also have scenes involving machine guns, Compton, people running, Eminem bopping his head with a friend and then wearing Batman and Robin masks, people getting married, cute children at the age before they start asking so many questions that you start to not care for them as much, and a giant pink gorilla possibly attacking an otherwise contented family.

Now we have an extended sequence with Dr. Dre getting in a fancy sports car, firing it up, and heading out onto what might be the Pacific Coast Highway but could just as easily be the private entrance road to a Beverly Hills mansion, because those people have a lot of money and can build whatever they want. Dre is driving way too fast for safety or comfort, so it’s not going to be surprising if Dre doesn’t quite make it back from the corner store with the requested milk and eggs.

As Dre races along, we see additional flashbacks, mostly of people having a really good time at parties, wearing outfits and dancing. Oh, and we also have shots of people like Eminem and Snoop Dogg praying in a circle. (Why there would be a camera in the middle of the circle recording what should be a moment of personal spirituality, I don’t really know, but since I don’t typically run about with rap stars, I may not know all I should about how one should behave in groups of people who have rhythm and their own record labels.)

As expected, the car eventually swerves out of control and flips over about 400 times before the remnants of the car skid to a halt, not looking very sleek and sporty any more. This can’t be good for Dre. And I’ll just have to assume that the eggs didn’t fair very well either. Fade to black, and a new title explains to us that it is “Years Later”. Um, like what? Just a few years? Or, like, expect to learn that “The Simpsons” are now in their 284th season?

We enter some type of medical facility, where we get a brief glimpse of what I think is Skylar Grey wearing something billowy and shoving her breasts at the camera while she floats in the air, followed by multiple shots of various doctors looking serious and fiddling with medical type things. Back to Floating and Billowing Skylar, who sings for a bit, then we see Eminem tromp into the facility, wearing the same standard outfit he has worn since somebody first handed him a microphone back in the day.

Eminem approaches somebody stretched out on some weird wires and attached to what we assume are life-saving machines, and he studies this arrangement for a few seconds before Skylar comes back on the screen. She warbles while floating and doing back bends and a modified breast stroke that really doesn’t seem to be effective in helping her travel anywhere.

Eminem again, just as one of the machines indicates that Dr. Dre may have rapped his last, giving off a menacing flat-lining noise. This apparently pisses off Eminem (like everything does) and he immediately launches into an invective-filled tirade about something or other. While Em rants, a large screen behind him is filled with various flashbacks of things that happened in places where we weren’t invited.

Eminem has a lot to say, so this goes on for a while, with him hollering and such. If the medical people around him were really caring and patient-focused, you’d think one of them would wander up and tell Eminem to pipe down so Dre can get some rest while they figure out if he’s still alive or not. But no one intervenes, so I’m thinking I really don’t want to stay in this particular hospital should I need medical attention in the distant future.

We finally go back to Skylar, and the poor thing is still floating in the air and trying to build up enough momentum to get to the cash bar so she can order another drink. (Maybe she should kick her legs a little more effectively instead of just weakly waving them about and screwing around with her gauzy dress?) She’s still singing, but it’s the same chorus as before, so we don’t learn anything new or useable. Oh, wait. Now there are two of her. Did she just clone herself? That’s a pretty impressive skill. Heyyy.

Now we have Dre floating in some type of liquid-filled tube chamber, while Eminem continues to air his issues and Skylar continues to do little of importance in the background. She politely floats away so we can concentrate on Eminem’s trademark movements of looking very angry and waving his hands about while he vocalizes. (Still no nurses running up to make him settle down. In fact, I don’t see any personnel around anymore, so maybe they’re all in the coffee shop.)

Why does Eminem feel it’s so important to point his finger like that?

After several days, we cut back to Floating Skylar, and now there are three of her, so she’s been very busy procreating while we were gone. To show their appreciation at our return, all three of them go into a floating line dance involving leg-kick moves that almost show us their hoo-hoo’s while they sing. It’s a special moment.

Cut to Dr. Dre in a hospital bed, with the medical people having returned from their coffee break so they can stand around Dre’s bed and stare at him. No one is doing anything, so it’s getting a wee bit boring, which causes the Skylar Triplets to appear on screen and give birth to a fourth sister. I guess this is somehow a cosmic-alignment kind of thing, because Dre’s eyes suddenly pop open while Eminem stares in wonder and some extra playing a medical secretary starts typing things on a keyboard.

Despite having supposedly been in a coma for years or possibly centuries, Dr. Dre immediately starts physical therapy. This sets up a sequence of training scenes, where it’s very clear that Dre doesn’t need this therapy, since he’s bulging with muscles that apparently worked themselves out while Dre was taking that long nap. As Dre raps, he does things like lift skyscrapers with his thighs, pose at just the right angle so we can memorize his personal landscaping, and sweat. The physical therapists leave the building and are never heard from again.

This goes on for a while as well, just like Eminem’s bit. But Dre is rapping AND working out, so I think he wins, yes?

Dre also does a shameless plug for Gatorade while his nipples point in different directions.

Dr. Dre finishes up, and here we go with a stream of flashbacks again. Lots of people doing odd things that inspired someone to pick up a camera. Mixed in with this is Dre walking along and looking pensive again while the sun either rises or sets. As the flashbacks start to trickle dry, we see Dre walking up to a grave and pausing to reflect about the person buried there...

Which forces me to end without snarkiness, because I’m not touching THAT…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Britney Spears - “Hold It Against Me”

Wow. This is one messed up video.

We start off somewhere in outer space, where a rude little meteor or flaming spacecraft of some kind has decided to attack the planet, or at least make a quick stop at the local Starbucks. Then we start seeing scenes of people prepping a really intense soundstage of some kind. People are racing about setting things up, while the camera is jumping around all over the place and low-paid staffers are making sure that Britney has the exact amount of contractually-defined jelly beans in her makeup room.

The flaming thing finally crash-lands, which first triggers the power grid to make everyone’s lights all pastel and pretty, then triggers Britney to walk out on that soundstage wearing a very industrial bra. This is followed by more jump-cutting, with close-ups of video equipment and ghostly people wearing underwear. (This might be something that happens all the time in L.A., but you’d get a shotgun pulled on you in Texas if your panties can glow in the dark.)

Oh wait, now Britney is singing, even though it’s clear that her backup dancers are still putting their pants on and not quite ready to thrust their crotches to the beat. (Britney must be in a hurry. There might be another family member that she needs to sue in order to regain control of her own life.) While the dancers try to hurry up and dress, Britney does a lot of things that involve showing us her armpits.

Look at that, Ms Britney If You’re Nasty is wearing a string of bullets as a useless but shiny belt. That’s nice, Brit. Let’s promote bullets in a world where so many people already don’t understand that those things can actually kill people. Then she tops this off by waving around a bottle of her own cologne, which is really important. I often watch music videos just so I can understand how I should smell.

The backup dancers are still trying to put clothing on, which is a little amazing, since these guys are clearly past the point of puberty, judging by the light-enhanced bulges in their skivvies. You’d think they’d know how to dress themselves by now. In a tragic moment of realism, we see that one of the dancers has apparently had his hair colored by former set designers on Fraggle Rock. Poor thing.

Next we have Britney waving her arms in a frenzy like Paul Revere just rode by on his horse, bellowing that we might have some uninvited dinner guests. Hearing this, Britney changes into an enormous dress where all of the non-hypocritical Republicans in America can hide under her skirt. (On second thought, it’s probably pretty lonely in there, so scratch that.) Then we have a montage of Britney in this all-white getup, touching her head and letting fans blow her hair about while her breasts fight to stay covered.

Oh look, there’s some type of hydraulic system in her panties, because Britney is now airborne. This prompts Brit to show us her fancy gloves and overdone eyeliner. (I’m just going to ignore the IV tubes she suddenly starts waving about, because neither she nor I have any valid explanation for THAT.) This leads to a montage of overly-caffeinated chorus boys hopping about and playing squat tag with the camera.

Britney decides to look something up online about the best places to find fish bait in America. Not really sure why this is critical, but it does allow her to prominently feature a “Sony” computer. I’m going to guess that they are sponsoring her in some way. Or maybe Brit thinks SONY stands for Sluts of Negligent Yearning and she really wants to be a part of that.

Very brief scene with Britney’s lips paying homage to the start of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. Something tells me this part had to be explained to her.

Weird scene with Britney having a small meltdown whilst surrounded by hundreds of microphones. Was it really wise to go there, Miss Impromptu Haircut?

Okay, good, now we have some dancing, which is something basic that we can all understand. I’m a little confused by the baby bibs that the dancers have hanging out of their pants, but at least they finally got those pants ON. Whatever the case, now that they are properly dressed, those dancers are able to pivot and flip all over the stage like they just spotted the image of Jesus in a tortilla.

And we’re back to Britney in the inflatable, skyscraper dress. She does some more hand movements and mascara close-ups, which leads to the dancers wearing outfits that make me think of monks who really like to be in an antiseptic environment. This doesn’t stop them from dancing, of course, because once you have the music in you, or a crabs infestation, you can’t help but wave your arms when you wear a white hoodie.

Now we have some mess with Britney appearing on video screens and speaking in a slightly-British accent. I’m not even going to go there. Then Britney squirts paint out of her fingers (not making this up) which triggers a sequence with two Britney wannabees having a fistfight as if Tina Turner cloned herself in “Mad Max: Beyond Thunder Dome”. These two wail away at each other while Giant-Dress Britney keeps squirting paint all over hell. I’m thinking we’ve lost control.

I should probably mention that the odd kung-fu and paint-spillage goes on for far longer that one would expect, accented by shots of additional strange people reenacting scenes from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. Except without any actual skilled actors. Or a plot. Or… any sense of societal worth. (Just like the Republican National Convention!)

Did I mention this goes on too long? Seriously, can we stop with the “Kill Bill, Part 3: Revenge of Girls and Martial Arts Gone Wild”?

Well, now at least they’re doing things in slo-mo, which adds a slightly artistic quality to the goings on, but it’s still basically the same thing. Thelma and Louise are now fed up with each other, and insist on trying to kill one another while wearing stilettos and mini-skirts. Britney is able to create a Pride Rainbow pattern just by waving her arms around. And the dancers are unable to remain still because their outfits are chafing in all the wrong places.

Oh, wait. I think Thelma and Louise just died. And Britney tripped and fell down in the middle of her self-imposed color wheel. This is a very sad video. Are they going to kill Bambi’s momma next? I’m not sure if I can take that.

Whoops, we’re not done. All the dead (or at least very tired) people are coming back to life, which inspires Britney and the Underwear Corps to do a final line dance. They’ve all changed to black outfits, probably to match the real color of Britney’s pubic hair, because the truth had to be told at SOME time, and the shimmying continues. To make sure we understand that this is the finale, somebody starts releasing dry ice vapors from the stage floor, and Britney wears a pretty necklace that makes her fondle her thighs.

We close out with confetti falling from the ceiling (“Despite my weirdness, all I really want is to party and make you happy. And for you to buy my perfume. You get a free pair of my panties for every fifty dollars spent!”) and the dancers thrusting their crotches with such vehemence that life-long virgins who watch this video will instantly be with child….

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

La Roux - “Bulletproof”

So we start in some place where black lines are racing across the floor to take over a set piece that somebody found on a soundstage from 1987 when everything was angular, stark, and far more colorful than really necessary. The conquering lines eventually lead us to the odd tennis shoes of someone seated in an uncomfortable plastic chair. Oh look, it’s La Roux (or whatever her real name might be), pimped up in a too-busy outfit and sporting a hairstyle that can get cobwebs out of the corner of the room with one flick of her head.

She starts singing, but we’re so distracted by her vibrant orange lipstick that we probably missed a few words of the lyrics. This probably isn’t important, since it’s very clear that she’s angry about something and needs to vent. We’ll go with that. (Side note: Just googled, and apparently the angry lead singer’s name is Eleanor, or Elly, for her closest 5,000 friends.) Elly hops up and starts stomping around in her stark world, with her facial expressions indicating that she will gladly decapitate anyone who gets in her way. She scary.

We get lots of close-ups of Miss Ellie’s futuristic makeup, with a special emphasis on her startling green eye-shadow that could probably cause satellites to stop in their orbit. Elly and her Rubik’s Cube accessories keep strutting around, but we have no idea where she’s going, unless it’s to an anger management class. Just to keep things jazzed up, the producers are jacking around with the psychedelic set piece so that it looks like Elly is trapped in a scene from “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Without Stanley Kubrick. Or an off button.

Oh look, Elly did a quick costume change, and now she’s running about in a modified Goth outfit that involves pieces of aluminum foil and some new eye-shadow that confirms you are only cool if you have metallic bits smeared on your skin. She’s also wearing what looks like a cameo necklace, which has nothing to do with anything, so somebody in Wardrobe probably got fired.

The inappropriate accessories don’t stop Elly, though. She keeps marching through her alien world, fully intent on destroying the boyfriend or girlfriend or potted plant that did her wrong. We get some shots of her looking really sad and not singing, but this might just be the result of so much hair product that her brain had to shut down until the noxious vapors cleared the room.

And we have yet another outfit, this one involving a tribute to the Spandau Ballet album cover for “Communication”. This signals the producers to make it look like Elly is on a catwalk that leads through a giant piano. Then they do some fancy camerawork so that it appears Elly has been trapped in an Ikea showroom. This leads to a segment where Elly and her hair have to rest, probably because the spandex tights are cutting off her circulation.

Costume change once again, and now we have a tribute to Dale Bozzio in Missing Persons, complete with cryptic pink eye-shadow that has taken over Elly’s entire head. (Seriously, there’s a stylist somewhere who actually told Elly to wear what she’s wearing right now? I am SO not understanding musical fashion at the moment.) And there goes Elly again, tromping around in her “Tron” environment and still looking angry. Does she EVER smile?

Wait, is she now singing in a futuristic bathroom? What’s up with that?

Okay, now we get to the slightly calmer part of the song, and Elly is now ensconced on a throne of some kind, coupled with images of her flat on her back (probably because her hair is too heavy). She’s looking more tragic than ever, so I really don’t know if we should believe all her bellowing about being “bulletproof”. Just sayin.

Then some discordant projectiles start falling from the sky, looking like Elly is being attacked by an alien spaceship in an old-school “Galaga” video game, and things start to pick back up. Stone-faced Elly starts strutting around again, and the projectiles miss her completely instead of smashing her to smithereens. (Not that she would notice, with her clenched jaw and “I’m going to stomp along until I get my way” attitude.)

And now the producers start slicing-and-dicing the imagery, so that we get to see composite shots of all of Elly’s questionable attire in one image, along with some fracturing of the camera angles. Great. I didn’t care for the individual outfits, and now we get a fantasia of sense-assaulting couture. This right here is why people turn to drugs. But I’m not bitter.

And that’s how we wind things up, with the split-personality wardrobe, sprinkled with re-visits to the startling unisex bathroom that no one apparently uses except Elly. We also get shots of Elly on that odd throne thing, so it’s possible that she is some type of interplanetary queen just waiting for the right time to take over Earth and rule forever. I’m fairly certain that this won’t happen, because the Republicans won’t allow anyone who isn‘t white and rich to govern, but I’m still going to pack an overnight bag just in case…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi - “All Of The Lights”

Side Note 1: There’s a disclaimer with the video that we also have vocals from Fergie, Charlie Wilson, John Legend, Tony Williams, Alicia Keys, La Roux, The Dream, Ryan Leslie, Alvin Fields and Ken Lewis. Seriously? Did they record this song at a Grammy after-party? Anyway…

Side Note 2: You might not want to watch this if you have any type of seizure tendencies. There’s some irritating strobe-light business going on…

We start out looking at a letter board with lots of names and numbers. We have no idea what this thing really is. It could be an apartment directory or some weird stock exchange. Who knows. Cut to a little girl opening a door, and we immediately feel sorry for her, because some wicked parent or guardian has forced her to wear a scarf around her neck that is bigger than she is. But the little girl is a trooper, so she and her neckwear and backpack head out into the snowy streets of some city.

The little cherub wanders around for a while, probably because she can’t see where she’s going and is just walking until she slams into something, then she’ll adjust her plan. Then we start seeing images of what might be an apartment complex, or perhaps a mental institution for people traumatized by things around their neck. Back to the little girl, still trudging along and trying to breathe, It’s dark now, so this poor thing has been marching for a while. I hope she has some snacks in that backpack.

And here we go with the really busy part of the video. Words are flashing and zooming all over the screen in a variety of colors and fonts. It’s interesting for about three seconds, and then you’re over it. Apparently somebody doesn’t understand this, and it goes on forever. Rihanna’s voice shows up during this bit, and she has quite a mouthful to say, so I’m already thinking this is one of those “featuring” songs where the guests do all the work while the supposed main singer plays Scrabble.

Two hours later, the words finally quit flashing, and we see Kanye make his debut, first on top of a police car (no idea), followed by him holding his head, and then some shots where he might have been involved in some domestic violence. It seems that somebody was doing something they shouldn’t have, and people got slapped, and then somebody else went to jail. Not really sure.

Back to the squad car, where Kanye is busting some moves on the roof, or at least doing something with his hands that might possibly be coordinated with the beat of the song. Even though there are several police cars in this odd alley, we don’t see any officers, so who knows what happened to them. (Did Dunkin Donuts just open?)

Oh my, Rihanna just made her onscreen debut, and the poor thing is wearing what looks like a horse’s bridle on her headlights, and that’s ALL she’s wearing. She’s trying to be sexy and seductive, but she has to restrain her movements or we’re going to see nipple, and we know how that turned out for Janet Jackson. Back to Kanye thrusting his arms around some more while he straddles the lightbar on top of the police car. He’s really insistent about something, but I’m just waiting for him to slip and fall, because that’s how I roll.

More Rihanna, with her nipple-limited dance moves (she basically waves one hand over her head while swaying back and forth approximately 2 millimeters). Then she throws caution to the wind and gives us a side view, making it clear that there’s really no reason for her to be wearing anything at all at this point. At least the security-screening people at the airports will appreciate her getup, because it’s obvious that she’s not hiding anything anywhere.

Now Kanye is in some room where it’s necessary for different-colored lights to flash all over his body while he performs a dance that I can only describe as “Cave Man Looks For Bush To Pee Behind”. Then we get a close-up of his face, so we can see his designer shades and jingling bling, because you’re really not a pop star unless you have such. He also insists on looking at the ground instead of at us, and this is very annoying.

More shots of the little girl. She’s still out on the streets, her head balanced on the killer scarf, and she’s looking around in all directions. (Is she trying to find the rest of Rihanna’s outfit?) Zip back to the alley with the police cars, so Kanye can do some more mystifying moves while law-enforcement personnel remain AWOL.

Next we have a close-up on Rihanna‘s face, and she really is pretty, so I really don’t get the need for her to choose couture that lets us check the status of her latest Brazilian wax. Well, shoot, we go back to the full figure shot, and you can tell that Rihanna is a bit over the harness thing, because she does the same few simple moves, and then turns her spotlights toward Tokyo.

Oh look, now it’s time for Kid Cudi in his red leather jacket. It looks like somebody forgot to explain some fundamental rules to him, because he faces away from the camera the whole time. (Has he done something lately where he’s concerned that people might recognize his face?) Whatever his reason for the doing that, it doesn’t stop him from waving his arms all over the place and jiggling like he really needs to find a bathroom, stat.

And we’re back to Kanye on the police car. It’s obvious to me that we’ve milked this setting for all it’s worth, but nobody asked me to direct the video. To make it even more annoying, Kanye is just standing there, trying to look all street while trumpets blare on the soundtrack. (Does he think he’s in “Rocky XXII: Sylvester Stallone Done Spent All His Money And Needs To Fight Somebody Else”?)

Kanye poses for a very long time. We even get a close-up of his shoes. None of this is necessary in any way and my attention is waning. I start hoping that Taylor Swift will walk around the corner and set Kanye off, because at least that would be interesting.

Aw hell, now we cut to more of the blazing and jittery words flashing across the screen. I was over it the first time, and now we’ve got an encore. During this mess, the director of the video (Hype Williams, like that’s a real name) keeps splashing his name like he’s really proud of this part. He shouldn’t be. This segment goes on forever as well, with all the people supposedly singing on the song getting a shout out, along with the food service people, somebody’s dog, and a list of good criminal lawyers.

And we end with a series of colors jittering on the screen. That’s one way to finish things up. But I’m more concerned about the little girl. Did she ever get that damn scarf off her neck?

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Colbie Caillat - “Bubbly”

We start off with a nice shot of the ocean, then a pleasant little shack-home nearby, and finally some shots of Colbie and her man snoozing inside the rustic dwelling. (They’re wearing matching torn jeans, so you know they’re in love.) Quick glimpses of various things about the house, like a drippy faucet, surfboards and an immodest statue with discernible genitalia. Oh my.

Whoops, it’s time to get up. The guy (who looks like his name should be Huck or something guttural like that) hops out of bed and runs off to do something, inspiring Colbie to start singing about him while wandering through the house. She’s very happy and aglow about Huck, especially when he sits in that one chair and shoves his crotch at the camera.

Colbie sings for a while, and even summons up the energy to stroke her guitar while sitting in an undefined area of the house that has odd-shaped windows. Oh wait, she’s dragged her guitar out on the front porch, so we can survey the colorful potted flowers while she sits on a homemade bench and wears flip-flops. (Side shots of Colbie and Huck giggling and dashing about on the beach during a rainstorm, proving that they are adventurous and don’t mind sudden wetness at unexpected moments.)

Now Colbie throws her guitar in a jeep and heads out. We don’t know where she’s going, but she’s still singing, so it must be a happy place of some kind. She gets to wherever, and then proceeds to start marching through a field of wheat or something. Then she gets tired and decides to plop down in the middle of the waving grains for a quick rest. While rejuvenating, Colbie has flashbacks of her and Huck apparently wandering around this same field, with Colbie sporting a startling handkerchief on her head and channeling 1973.

Colbie finally gets moving again, and decides to walk along a cliff next to the seashore, which is exactly what you want to do when wearing flip-flops and not paying attention to where you’re going because you’re too busy singing and grinning about what Huck can do to your toes. We have more flashbacks, with Huck showing that he can do other things to Colbie that make her want to write lyrics and eat granola.

Then Colbie is back in the jeep, driving and recalling additional Huck moments, like the time they both smiled at something a cow did while they drove past. They pull up to the beach, and since the sun is lowering in the sky, it’s obviously time to head out on that beach where all their happy friends are gathered around a campfire. But before we can find out what’s for dinner, we see Colbie back in her house and in the back of her jeep, banging on that guitar. (Seriously, were they unable to find a single camera angle where the sun didn’t light up Colbie’s golden tresses like she’s Madonna With Guitar?)

Anyway, we head back to the campfire gang, where Colbie and Huck are kind of hogging the spotlight with their cuteness, but I guess that’s okay since this is Colbie’s song and all. And that pretty much wraps it up. We get a few more images of sun-dappled Colbie in acoustic settings, Colbie wandering around her quaint love shack in search of other reminders of how Huck makes her effervescent, and finally the two of them hop back into the jeep and drive off to make pretty babies named Bean Sprout and Tofu…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

One Republic - “Stop And Stare”

Hoo boy, this is a busy, cryptic video, so let’s get crackin’…

We start off out in the desert somewhere, with nothing much to look at except a lonely road and an odd doorknob. Suddenly, Ryan Tedder appears out of nowhere, moseying along through the underbrush with a hoodie pulled over his head, making him look a little creepy. Quick shots of a hotel room door (number 13!) and Ryan lying under green water in a bathtub. Something tells me this is not going to be a happy video, filled with cute, furry animals and pretty women who sing while they iron.

As Ryan nears what appears to be an ancient preacher standing next to a grave, we get more doom-filled flashes of hotel doors and somebody watching static on a TV. Ryan gets to the preacher and we see the grave is freshly-dug, with no one it. Ryan takes a gander into the hole, which is not something that I would recommend. There are no witnesses out her except the preacher and some scorpions. Anything could happen.

Flash to Ryan ringing the bell at the hotel front desk, then a very quick shot of a very pregnant woman, apparently in the back of a speeding car. I think it’s Ryan driving, but Ryan is also back in that hotel lobby, where no one is answering a ringing phone even though there are about 20 people outside the hotel, staring at Ryan like they would like him served on a platter with an apple in his mouth. I don’t like those people.

As the stupid phone continues to ring (why do some idiot callers stay on the line that long, when it’s clear that whoever you are calling is not interested?) we get a bunch more flashes of gloomy things, focusing on that empty grave where Ryan is still standing, even though he’s also driving a car and sitting in a hotel lobby. In that hotel, we watch the front door slowly close on its own. Uh oh. This is the signal that smart people should run like hell and stupid people should start having random sex just before they are impaled on a farm implement.

At the grave, that Ryan splits into two, so one of them can start walking away and the other can continue staring into the open pit while preacher man continues to not explain anything. Staring Ryan starts singing, while Non-Singing Ryan goes wandering off and finds the mysterious hotel where people don’t answer phones. Wait, he’s already inside, looking really serious while sitting on the end of a bed. Meanwhile, the rest of the band is playing their instruments in another hotel room. Don’t any of these people understand that they have more important things to be doing? Like running for their lives?

Well, now we’ve got Ryan joining his band-mates in that questionable hotel room, and his pals don’t seem to notice that Ryan is still wearing his satanic hoodie and looking kind of grim. They jam for a bit, then we cut to Ryan performing massage on a wall with wood paneling. Then back to the band, where we are treated to shots of Ryan’s footwear. This is yet another indication that people should quit screwing around and just run, but nobody does.

More shots of those creepy people outside the hotel, the Parents of the Corn, as more of them flock to the hotel so they can stare with evil intentions whilst wearing ugly clothes. There’s quite a few of them now, so it might be too late to escape. But the band doesn’t care, insisting on giving a free concert instead of saving their asses. It looks like the band is performing in Room 13, which we already know from earlier scenes that this is a bad place and we might need more old preachers and freshly-dug graves before the night is through.

Oh look, two of the Parents of the Corn seem to be in love, holding on to each other while they wait for the proper moment to eat humans alive, so that’s kind of sweet, unless you happen to be one of the people on the Cannibal Menu. Then we have Ryan singing in that hotel lobby again, even though he doesn’t look happy to be there, followed by Ryan singing while standing in the crowd of Corn People. What the hell is he doing out there? Ryan really needs to make up his mind about whether he’s good or evil.

The band keeps playing, because they don’t care, even if the room service is crappy because the staff is busy being zombies walking the face of the Earth because Hell is full.

We check up on the amazingly pregnant woman in that car, and we get confirmation that Ryan is indeed driving the car. (That dude is one busy guy.) He tries to assure his passenger that everything is going to be alright, but it’s a little hard to have faith in his words while they keep showing images of that manic preacher and Ryan floating in a bathtub. To make it even more complicated, we keep getting shots of Ryan’s shoes. Why are we seeing that? How is that helping in any way? Wait, are the video producers in on this? Are they Parents of the Corn? OMG!

Now we start jumping around all over the place. It’s bad enough that no one is really paying attention to the deviltry happening around this sleazy hotel, but it’s even worse when some editor that drinks too much coffee is whip-sawing through all the venues so that we can’t really figure out what’s going on. I want to warn the innocents, but I’m not really sure who they are any more. But I’m going to guess that anybody who is just standing around and staring blankly is not my friend.

Non-Singing Ryan is still wandering through the dusty landscaping, that woman is still pregnant, and the preacher man is still not explaining who is supposed to be in the grave. Suddenly, we see Car-Driving Ryan With The Pregnant Woman racing toward Meandering Ryan Who Stupidly Wandered Onto The Road. This can’t be good. Car-Driving Ryan tries to slam on the brakes, but Meandering Ryan doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to avoid death. What the hell is wrong with these people that they can’t move fast when their life is in danger? God.

The Parents of the Corn just watch the impending road kill with blank expressions and non-movement.

Cut to Sitting On The Bed Ryan, who is still watching that stupid TV that doesn’t work. Then the TV bursts into flames, so the reception quality no longer really matters. Back to Staring Ryan and the Pointless Preacher, with nobody actually in the grave yet, so that bit is starting to get old. More of the burning TV and Sitting Ryan staring at his hands, like that’s going to help in any way, then more scenes with the band banging away on their instruments and not caring that ugly cannibals have growling stomachs.

Then we’re back on that road where one Ryan is about to run down another Ryan with his car, but Driving Ryan manages to stop just before we have Ryan butter. The brain-dead zombie people notice that maybe you don’t really have to kill people to have a good time, and they ponder about this. The final images are of Bathtub Ryan breaking the surface of the eerie green water and sucking in some oxygen, which causes Staring Ryan to disappear from the side of the still empty grave. Preacher Man looks really sad that he doesn’t get to bury anybody after all, and he wasted a lot of time reading from the Bible and stuff…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Switchfoot - “Dare You To Move”

We start off with the band playing the song on a beach, under one of those long wooden piers that are always a little creepy and you expect them to fall on you at any time, crushing your cotton candy and making thing unpleasant. Then we start seeing a lifeguard trying to revive a surfer guy who has apparently had some type of accident in the water. Things look fairly grim, but this does not stop the band from playing.

The lifeguard works for a while, but he isn’t getting any response. People start wandering up to stare in that non-helpful way that they have, just standing there and not doing anything constructive or moving the plot along in any way. We start getting flashbacks, and it appears that the surfer guy has a history of activities that lead to him lying flat on his back, unconscious. (Mean bullies, skateboard mishaps, tiredness.) Meanwhile, the band continues to play and not call 9-1-1.

The song kicks up a little bit, and this inspires the producers to show us the Surfer Dude having all those accidents again. This time we see people trying to help Little Surfer, but to no avail. He just keeps laying there on various sidewalks and playgrounds, just like he keeps laying on the beach in the present day and not exhibiting healthy vital signs. Then we take a small break from the tragedies so the various band members can pose for the camera or gaze out to sea, with the lead singer making sure that we see his t-shirt, which he apparently likes a lot.

Back to the drama, with more falling to the ground and apparent avoidance of safety precautions. Oh wait, we have a few new elements. Surfer Dude Boy is still lying on his back, but this time in what we’ll assume is his own bed. Then he picks up a phone, and we get another shot of a pretty teen girl showing us that she has straight hair and perfect teeth. Ah, memories of young love. Then we cut back to the band, because it’s a part of the song where guitars are important, and we have to watch the guitar players do that intense rocking-out business with their instruments, making them look like chickens with something lodged.

Okay, some shots of people we don’t know arguing, so I’m not sure what that mess is all about. Oh look, there’s Surfer Dude Boy again, listening to this argument while naturally lying on his back. (Maybe he just doesn’t like chairs? Or sitting?) And then we’re back with the band not helping the lifeguard who is still working on Surfer Dude while we peer through a forest of sandy legs and board shorts. A parent runs up and drags away one of the watching children, which is good, because kids really don’t need to see this, even if there is a free concert to go along with it.

More scenes of young love, with Surfer Teen and Straight-Hair Girl lying on a blanket (on their backs, naturally, because that’s the theme) and cautiously inching their fingers toward one another in a potential hand-holding move. (This development is cute and refreshing. In most current videos, where strutting people rap the same three words over and over while wearing electrical tape as an outfit, they would normally be having sweaty sex by now while mascara gets smeared.)

More of the band playing. Why do they all have the same hairstyle?

Oh wait, things are looking up. All of the Little Surfers start opening their eyes in the past, and current-day Surfer Dude spits out seawater in a messy but positive indication of life. (To help along all these sudden recoveries, the band starts playing louder and the lead singer is really wailing away.) All the Surfers, big and small, “lift themselves off of the floor” in some nice, synchronized choreography. Everybody’s all better, and the lovebirds finally clasp hands on that otherwise innocent blanket.

The song winds down with some close-ups of the band members showing their total enjoyment of performing music, playing their instruments while the wind blows their hair just right. Once done, the lead singer looks off to the side and just laughs. Did he just figure out the matching haircut thing?

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Killers - “Mr. Brightside”

We start off with the band onstage in what looks like a cross between a fancy nightclub, a Chinese Buffet and a bordello. There are lots of people off to one side, lounging around in the V.I.P. area of the buffet, with the women all dressed like unfocused hookers. (So much for not objectifying women, eh? Oh wait, just look at the album cover.) There’s one woman in particular that we are supposed to pay attention to, because the camera keeps doing so. She’s got pale-white, baby-doll skin and enough frizzy white hair to fuel Amsterdam for a month.

Oh wait, was that Eric Roberts sitting in a throne-like chair and wearing a bathrobe? That can’t be good.

Lead singer Brandon finally starts singing, and he makes sure that we can see his snazzy threads, a mix of Willy Wonka and David Bowie going to church. Then we have another shot of Eric, and a shot of Frizzy Hair looking bored because she doesn’t have a gentleman that she can straddle while all of her little slut friends do. Suddenly, Eric throws her an apple, which she happily snatches out of the air with uncontrolled lust.

Frizzy is now inspired to start pawing on a few of the gentleman callers, which in turn inspires her little slut friends to up the ante with their provocative poses and thigh-exposure. It’s suddenly very hot in there as people yearn and stretch and wiggle their tongues. Brandon keeps singing about not wanting to see all this mess, but it doesn’t stop him from looking. He might have some unresolved issues.

Eric throws another apple at Frizzy, since she apparently isn’t being trashy enough. Frizzy gets back to work with latching on to old men while Eric sweats and smiles. Like he’s not creepy enough when he’s dry.

Oh wait, Frizzy and Brandon have run behind a curtain and seem to be back together again, so I don’t know why Brandon is still even singing this song. Hmm. We’ll have to figure that out later, because now all the slut girls dismount from their aging partners and head out to the dance floor. Once there, they start doing some choreography that mostly involves twirling without letting their massive hairdos unravel or the body paint to start flaking off. Whoops, they just lifted their tawdry dresses so we can see their barely-clad crotches. Then they do the same with their hind quarters. That mess was really important to the story.

Quick shot of the patiently waiting but still unattended gentleman callers in the V.I.P. lounge, with the only young one looking a bit too much like LeAnn Rimes for my comfort.

Anyway, while the Slut Dancers finish up waving their love boxes, we cut to an outside balcony where Brandon hooks up with Frizzy again. They clench hands romantically for 3 seconds, then Frizzy runs back inside and hops on Eric’s lap. Frizzy really needs to make up her mind. To be fair, maybe she can’t see with all that hair, so she’s sleeping with everybody just to make sure she gets around to her real boyfriend at some point.

Well, it seems Frizzy can’t keep her eyes off Brandon even while she’s riding Eric, so Eric throws her to the ground. (Don’t worry, the hair cushioned her fall and she’s just fine.) A few scenes later and Frizzy is back with Brandon in another secluded area, but we know not to trust that skank at this point. There’s still a few men hanging around that she hasn’t sampled.

And there she goes, snagging up yet another beau so they can do a sexual tango in some ballroom, which quickly becomes Frizzy and Brandon dancing, then back to Frizzy and Alejandro, then Frizzy and Eric, then back to… oh, who cares. There’s some dancing, people. Accept and move on.

The Waltz of the Multiple Personalities goes on for a bit, with absolutely no resolution so I’m not sure what the point was, then we’re once again on that outside balcony, where it’s now daylight and Brandon is clutching Frizzy, who has managed to find another outfit, probably borrowed from that odd LeAnn Rimes boygirl.

Aw hell, here come the Slut Dancers again, hooking it out to the dance floor even though you know they’ve got to be tired by now. This time they are even more invested in showing us their personal jewelry collections and flashing their underwear at the Peanut Gallery. Some of them even hold one foot over their heads while belching the words of the chorus with their hoo-hoos. It’s really inspiring.

Cut to Eric and Brandon playing chess, because that’s exactly what I would do in the middle of a Chinese Bordello Buffet. I guess Brandon’s not a really good sport, because when he realizes that he’s going to lose he knocks the table over and stomps away in a little snit, while Eric licks his lips and sweats some more.

We end the song with a whirl of images. We have gauzy scenes of a couple getting married but we really can’t see their faces. (If any of the guys are marrying any of the girls up in this place, they better get a pre-nup.) Shots of Brandon and Frizzy having a tender moment, even though we know she’s only resting before she couples with the next man who walks into the place, even if he just needs directions to Wal-Mart. She’ll offer him the bonus plan.

Final shot is of Brandon walking away and leaving little Frizzy, bereft and all alone with just her raging libido and insatiable hair to keep her company. Poor thing. Oh wait, someone else just came through the door. Yay!

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Coldplay - “Viva La Vida”

We start with what looks like the image of an unfolding rose, which is pretty and all, but then it sort of changes into…I don’t know what that is. But before I can figure it out, we cut to lead singer Chris Martin wearing a very serious expression and studying something off to his side that we can’t see. But we can see that something appears to be odd about the texture of the video, and this is confirmed when we get a closeup of somebody banging on a drum, and the drum skin has that crackle effect that was popular on walls a few years ago. Did Martha Stewart direct this video from her prison cell?

Chris sings for a while, as we get quick images of other band members banging and stroking instruments. Then the band members start shoving their guitars and such directly at us, very dramatically, so I’m thinking maybe this thing was supposed to be in 3-D, but somebody forget to do something important. Like make the 3-D work.

The technology glitch apparently doesn’t matter, because Chris is determined for us to get the effect anyway, constantly waving his arms around and thrusting his hands at the camera. He looks a bit overly-frenetic while he’s doing this, and his actions do nothing to dispel the odd rumor I once heard that Chris Martin is actually Paula Abdul on crack.

Chris also likes to bounce. I mean really, really bounce. And thrust about. Incessantly. I understand that the rhythm of the song is infectious, and some people naturally express their appreciation of a good song by shaking their groove thing, but really, Chris, do you need to make it look like you and Gwyneth are procreating another child, this one named Starfruit?

And there he goes with shoving his hands at the camera again. Despite the stirring emotion of the story, this bit of theatricality is starting to annoy me. I don’t like to feel mildly threatened while listening to a pop song with a Spanish title. It’s just not something that I look forward to. So stop it.

Short bit where Chris does pushups incorrectly.

And somebody else keeps banging on a cast-iron bell. Is it time for supper?

Then we slip into the really dramatic part of the song. Everybody is still basically doing the same things, it’s just louder. Oh, and they let us see the screen waving behind them, which has images just like the album cover. That’s a nice touch. I still don’t really understand what this song is about or why the band is dressed in vaguely French-Revolution era couture, but at least the confusion is consistent.

Geez, that one dude really loves that damn bell. I wonder what happened in his childhood that led to this?

Oh no, it appears that Chris may have stepped on a live wire that some idiot left stretched across the stage. His arms are flailing and his eyes are rolling back in his head. Poor guy. I may not care for his dancing, but I certainly don’t wish him electrical harm. That would just be rude.

We cut away to the other band members, all of whom have that requisite “I’m really bored out of my skull but I’m going to pretend like I’m having a swell time when the camera turns my way” look, an expression that all non-lead band members have to learn how to make per union rules. I’m assuming we’re cutting away so that medics can rush out and patch up Chris so he can finish the video shoot. Time is money, people.

Okay, Chris is back singing, and for the first time I notice a giant “V” on part of his shirt that is mostly hidden by his French Lieutenant’s Woman’s jacket. I don’t know if that symbol was always there, or it’s the result of his recent shock therapy, or if he really, really likes sci-fi series concerning Lizard People taking over the planet and making us all wear uninteresting clothing. Whatever the case, Chris has modified his dancing to now emulate a mime who has taken too much sinus medication. Okay, maybe a mime that doesn’t understand he’s not actually supposed to speak.

Then Chris gets a really bad migraine and has to hold his head in his heads. (This is really just not his day.) Luckily, the moment passes just in time for Chris to pretend that he is a marionette during the “puppet on a string” bit of the song. He’s very convincing at not having any life in his body. He must have taken classes or something.

Whoa, where the hell did Chris get all those rubber bracelets? Has Madonna been doing some spring cleaning?

Anyway, the song goes on for a while, with nothing really new to discuss. Chris is still pogo-ing around the stage, the band members are thrusting violin bows and guitar arms at us, and supper is getting cold and the bell-ringer is getting frustrated with our tardiness. (There is one quick shot of Chris singing the “St. Peter” part of the song while grasping at his crotch. I would normally get three paragraphs out of a move like that, but it’s getting late and I don’t have time for that.)

Short update from the Weather Channel. Something about a hurricane headed toward where the band is playing. Then it’s over and no one dies. Yay.

We finally get to that fun group chorus thing at the end where the whole band sings together, and you can see that they were all waiting for this part. The rest of the band goes from Slacker Cool to Glee Club in two seconds, wailing away with really wide mouths and their heads thrown back like they’re in the throes of extreme personal satisfaction. Good for them.

The song ends, and then we get short clips of the individual band members. Each just stands there for a bit, then they look off to the left while what looks like little rose petals fly off their bodies in slow-motion.

I have no idea.


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lady Gaga - “Paparazzi”

Okay, Gaga’s put together another little mini-movie. This one starts out with pretty images of a fancy estate somewhere, complete with well-tended gardens and the absence of anyone wearing non-couture outfits. The title credits roll, and we see that Alexander Skarsgard is also in this. (Eric from “True Blood”! Yay! I hope he exposes as much of himself as Lady Gaga does, because you know she’s going to be waving her hoo-hoo around, whatever the song might be.)

We get scenes inside the house, and it’s clear that whoever lives here makes so much money that they just have to leave stacks of it lying around, they’re so bored with trying to spend it all. Cut to a bedroom, where Lady and Eric are astraddle each other in bed. Sadly, they are both wearing clothes. (Well, in Gaga’s case, she’s typically wearing whatever she could find in Liberace’s tool drawer.)

The two of them are having some insipid conversation about whether or not they love each other, but I’m distracted by Lady’s “tribute to Liza Minelli” wig. Then they smooch for a while, but no fangs appear, so I’m a little disappointed. The love-making gets a little more passionate, which naturally inspires Eric to lift Gaga off the bed and carry her out on a balcony. (Hmm. Does Gaga have something that needs to be aired out?)

He plops her down on a convenient railing that is just the right height for some vertical lovin’, and we suddenly realize that someone is taking pictures of them. Gaga surprisingly gets a little bent out of shape. (Did she hear the cameras? Surely she’s not bothered by them. Girl has cameras over her bidet.) Whatever the case, they tussle a bit and then Gaga slaps Eric. He doesn’t really care for that so he just shoves her ass off the balcony. Oh my.

As Lady Gaga falls, she does a nice tribute to the movie “Vertigo”, complete with dramatic poses and some hand choreography. Cut to Gaga splattered on the pavement below, with paparazzi rushing to take her picture. Even in death, Gaga looks artsy and chic. Newspaper headlines start flashing across the screen, announcing the end of both Lady Gaga and her career. How sad. (Well, except for Madonna.)

Hold up. Looks like Gaga survived, because we next have her being assisted out of a limo and placed in a wheelchair, while she wears a cinnamon bun on her head and happy servants do a line dance. While that mess is going on, we start seeing another Lady Gaga, this one wiggling around on a fancy couch while wearing a modified version of those plastic-ring things used to hold cans of soda together. This Gaga likes to do things with her tongue and show us her pretty leather gloves.

Back to the wheelchair business, where Gaga is being wheeled into (presumably) her house. Just before they cross the threshold, she and her servants do a rousing jazz-hands thing. I don’t know if that was for good luck or they just have the music in them. Anyway, they get her ass inside, and the dancing servants start assisting her with changing her outfit. (I guess she was too tired to go somewhere private and do this.)

Quick shot of a dead Playboy bunny in a bathtub. What in gay hell?

And don’t forget about Couch Gaga, who is still trying to prove something which pretty much requires that she ride that couch like it’s a rodeo and a bull just shot out of a chute. Of course, none of her movements mess up her hairdo, because that would just be too tragic for anyone to take.

Anyway, back at the Rehabilitation Clinic, Gaga is now wearing an outfit inspired by “Metropolis”, and is struggling to get on her feet using little walker things. To provide moral support, more dancers come in from the sides and do a routine. It’s over the top, and I think we can all agree that we will never see a line dance quite like this one again.

Shot of another pretty but dead woman, possibly in the garden. Then we have a dead female impersonator wearing Statue of Liberty headgear. What’s up with these dead people? Somebody around here does not like to be contradicted.

More fun with Couch Gaga, as she continues to get the antique furniture all sticky, and additional shots of glamorous dead people sprawled around the estate. (Oh look, even that nice maid apparently plummeted from an upper floor onto the tiled entryway. I guess she didn’t bring someone’s tea on time.) Wait, now Couch Gaga has some friends joining her on the couch, and they both look like Greg Allman. Then they’re gone. And then they’re back, so inspired by Gaga’s writhing that everyone decides to shove tongues down each others’ throats. How nice.

Oh boy, another Gaga, this one wearing a drug-inspired senorita outfit and marching into a room with a bevy of similarly-dressed attendants. Naturally, it’s time for another line dance, and away they go. If I had to give their routine a name, it would be along the lines of “Reenactment of That Time When the Flock of Psychotic Hummingbirds Attacked Picasso during the Running of the Bulls. Part Two.” Or something like that.

Well, look at that. There’s a third Greg Allman sucking face with Gaga.

Anyway, The Hummingbirds fly back to wherever, and now we have another Gaga. This one also likes doing things with her tongue, and has a fondness for feathery headdresses and tributes to Napoleon’s horse. (This is intercut with shots of more supermodels that will never hit another runway.) There’s also something about Dalmations, but this is very obscure.

And we start to wind things down with Lady Gaga and Eric back together again, no explanation given. His fashion statement in this scene is a metallic eye patch and the lack of pants. Her motif is a Minnie Mouse rip-off paired with odd black lipstick that makes her mouth look tiny. They’re in one of the sitting rooms of the estate, where they have just been brought refreshments by presumably the last surviving member of the household staff.

As newspaper headlines flash that, whoops, our bad, Gaga is really alive and still dominating the entertainment world, Gaga hops up and fixes Eric a nice cocktail. We see her slip what looks like poison into his drink, so I guess she’s not quite over his having tossed her butt over the side of the building, but then she licks the spoon after stirring the concoction. Hmm. Is this going to be a Romeo and Juliet ending? Probably not. Gaga still has a few albums left on her contract.

Gaga prances back over to the couch and hands the drink to Eric and his eye patch. He takes a swig while Gaga patiently sips her own tea, and then he dies, rudely dropping his glass onto the fancy carpet next to his purple silk socks. Gaga grins weirdly, puts her sunglasses on Eric, then slips out of the room to see if the Allman Brothers need anything.

Next we have the police and such checking out Eric’s body, then wheeling it out of the house. Cut to Lady Gaga and her traffic-cone hairdo being escorted to a waiting car while the paparazzi goes crazy with attention and devotion. More newspaper headlines inform us that she’s been found innocent and all is well. But we still end the flick with Gaga and her metal bustier in a police lineup. In typical Gaga fashion, she makes even potential incarceration sexy and fun…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Fugees - “Killing Me Softly”

We start out with Lauryn Hill watching a movie in some theater. We can’t really tell what’s happening on the screen, but whatever is going on it inspires Lauryn to sing the lyrics of the song whilst shoving popcorn in her mouth and sporting a creative hairstyle. The clips on the screen look kind of tragic and sad, but Lauryn keeps grinning, so I guess it’s all good. Who knows.

Cut to outside the theater, where the marquee is proclaiming that the feature is “The Score - Starring the Fugees”. Oh? They made a movie? Didn’t know that. Based on the confused expressions of the people standing in line to get into the theater, they didn’t know it either, but this doesn’t stop them from wanting to get in. An SUV pulls up, and the members of the band pile out and run inside the theater, while they sing a part of the song that I’ve never heard before, so this must be the Director’s Cut of the video. These things happen.

Back inside the theater, the Fugees get all settled in with their snacks and ghetto fab outfits. Then we’re seeing more of that movie that I really don’t understand. This part is in slow-mo, giving me ample time to figure out a plot, but I really don’t make it there. Lauryn is singing again, which would irritate me if I was in the audience, but I’m not so we’ll let it go. Girl still has the munchies, cramming that popcorn in her mouth like there’s a buttery prize at the bottom of her bucket.

Now we’re out in the lobby, where people are looking swank and greeting one another. It appears that this movie is really important to these people, but we still don’t know what it’s about. Then we get a wide shot of the balcony where the Fugees and all their friends are sitting, and it’s immediately clear that none of these folks know any white people. There also appears to be a giant dildo sitting in one of the seats. Totally confused.

Cut to another part of the lobby, where Wyclef Jean is just trying to talk on a payphone while several tartlets flirt with him whilst sitting on a couch for no apparent reason. One girl in a too-tight orange blouse seems to be winning this race, licking her lips and shoving her chest forward. She suddenly gets up and strolls out of the little seating area. Wyclef can’t help but follow her to some staircase, where an intrusive camera angle makes it clear that Orange Blouse Girl isn’t wearing any panties under her slacks.

Meanwhile, back in that non-white balcony, Lauryn is still belting out the song while Wyclef insists on counting something with his fingers. I guess you had to be there. All of these people seem to be far more happy than one should be while attending a movie that no one knows anything about.

Orange Blouse leads Wycelf into the men’s bathroom, where one bystander is so excited about the fact that Orange has breasts that he nearly wets himself, while another bystander, standing at a urinal no less, doesn’t even bother to let go of his johnson during this whole scene. Orange Blouse leads Wyclef into one of the stalls and slams the door.

Really? God.

Back to that damn balcony, where Lauryn has decided to start throwing popcorn at people and Wyclef seems to have a Baby Ruth lodged in his throat. Then Lauryn plays with her hair for a little bit, and we see more scenes of that movie that doesn’t make any sense. Wyclef manages to spit out the candy bar long enough to start with that insipid counting business again. He’s really proud of himself for doing this. Lauryn laughs like he’s the most amusing thing ever, but really, I’m done with Count Chocula. We’re not in on your joke, Wyclef. Stop it.

Suddenly, the whole audience is really invested in the movie, where some guy with a hoodie over his head is about to do something. Another guy on the screen falls to the ground, and we don’t know if he’s been shot or if he’s really drunk. Then Lauryn helpfully points out that the movie just got stuck and the film melted in two. Naturally, this leads to a riot in the audience where people start banging around on one another, with more popcorn flying through the air and expensive hairstyles getting flattened.

These folks really need to chill out. Why you gotta get all gangsta? You’re just watching a movie, people. I don’t think anybody’s civil rights have been violated.

This goes on for a while, with people body-surfing and scores being settled. Lauryn is supposed to be acting all outraged by this, but she’s actually laughing her ass off and having a great time, so we’ll assume that she’s drunk. Which is fine. There’s an extended sequence where one of the gangstas proves that he’s not all that by running to hide in the women’s bathroom. He tough.

Then we have a nice artsy bit where some of the gang members run behind the movie screen, and then burst through it in some pretty black-and-white cinematography. This also doesn’t resolve anything, but it does prove that somebody went to film school. The impromptu riot finally settles down, with Lauryn once again laughing and having a good time with her popcorn. I never knew she was such a happy girl.

The video winds down with a cute little character update for the band members. Praz becomes president of Sony, Lauryn gets married and has 13 kids (I guess her uterus fell out after that point), and Wyclef becomes a minister. Uh huh. Fade to black.

I just have one lingering question. Why would you let anyone strum your face with his fingers? Seriously.

Note: This is another video where the official version is no longer available on YouTube. I don't know what happened in the 1990's, but there are some bitter people up in that grill...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Rihanna - “S & M”

Wow. I didn’t think that Rihanna could surprise me at this point, but holy cow.

Okay, we start out with Rihanna sporting a frizzy red wig and shoving her face at the camera like Tina Turner in that infamous bit as the Acid Queen in “Tommy”. Cut to Rihanna being dragged out of somewhere to a press conference where she’s speaking to “Cox News”. (Uh huh.) Interestingly enough, both her handlers and the press people at this conference are wearing… well, let’s just say a it’s a surprising accessory that one won’t see on “Good Morning, America”.

Rihanna is dolled up in an outfit (well, a partial outfit) that has words printed all over it. We can’t really read these words, because Rihanna is kicking her legs in the air like she needs to whisk some eggs. More shots of the Acid Queen, then the handlers are shoving Rihanna on a stage, where they then attach her to the wall with heavy-duty cellophane while cameras flash. I’m so thinking that Rihanna might not have the best PR people on her staff.

Back to the Acid Queen bit, where some guy in stupid pants and electrical tape is being dragged in, so that Rihanna and what looks like Pink can take torture him. Zip back to the press conference, where reporters are kissing Rihanna through the cellophane. Then Rihanna manages to sing a bit, even though I’m amazed that we can hear her through all that plastic sheeting. (Is that Candy Crowley in the press pool? Poor thing. She must have pissed somebody off at CNN.)

While Rihanna sings on the stage, the reporters are writing things like “Slut” and “Totally starving for attention” in their notebooks. (Big surprise.) Meanwhile, headlines are running across the screen about “Daddy Issues?” and “God, I hope there’s an open bar after this”. Despite being trapped in cellophane, Rihanna has plenty of room to perform all the hand choreography necessary to tell the depraved tale of how she thinks that S&M is really neato.

Now we have Rihanna wearing a questionable flat hat and waving a cigarette holder about as she prances in a beige leather outfit. This Rihanna apparently lives in an otherwise pleasant suburban house, except at this dwelling Rihanna likes to lead a man around on a leash so he can tinkle on a pink fire hydrant. Then she whips him for his naughtiness.

Did I mention “holy cow” at any point? I think so.

Brief visit with the Acid Queen again, then we’re back at the press conference where nobody has left the room like they should if they are really professionals and not just horny and bored. The press seems to be throwing things at her, but she’s got that plastic sheeting to deflect airborne objects, so it’s all good. We have another visit to the Acid Queen house, where folks are apparently fornicating with any object that they can find. Is there something in the water?

Now we have a medley of the press conference where Rihanna likes to be orally violated and the Acid Queen’s boudoir where everybody likes to be violated, especially if they are wearing leather with studs. Rihanna is still insisting on shoving her face at the camera whilst wearing a wig that has its own zip code. In the background, some folks who probably know Adam Lambert are posing in aggressive couture and trying to make even table condiments look sexy.

Well, then. Now we’ve got Rihanna wearing a pink bathing cap and matching thigh-high boots. She’s fondling a bucket of either pink popcorn or condoms, and sitting in a chair that conveniently spins around so she can do high-kicks and shove things in her mouth suggestively. This is interspersed with glimpses of that press corps tied up in some room that’s probably not approved by the International Journalist Society.

Rihanna doesn’t care. She and her pink latex pick up a whip-thing conveniently located nearby, and then she proceeds to torture her captives while posing seductively and winking at the camera. I don’t know what happened to that one guy’s shirt, but he probably should have begged harder to keep it on. Sayin.

Oh, look. Now Rihanna is in some room where she’s been forced to wear a polka-dotted leotard and a wig stolen from Fraggle Rock. Some Boy Scout must have stopped by, because she’s been tied up with some interesting knots that cause her colorful high heels to point skyward along with her booty and, somehow, her nipples, even though she’s on her stomach. Sort of. Rihanna rolls around and tries to get free, but she’s not really trying all that hard. I guess I haven’t seen enough subtitled foreign films to fully understand all of this.

Back to Pink Latex Rihanna with the press corps, where she’s apparently hungry and is chewing on her cute little pink whip. I can’t really speak for bondage aficionados, but I’m thinking she needs to take that thing out of her mouth. If the leather gets too mushy, it won’t elicit the proper response from your sexual captives. (I only know this because of an unexpected viewing of “Big Brother After Dark” on Cinemax.)

It doesn’t really matter, because Rihanna seems to be having a swell time dominating people that she normally wouldn’t even have a conversation with, but she really needed to get this video out. As if to prove her dedication to her craft despite all the hiccups in the production process, Rihanna places some tape over the lips of a female reporter and then kisses her. This reporter pretends to be appalled, but you know she’ll be making a very special entry in her diary tonight.

Next up is Rihanna wearing a Lolita wig whilst doing some kind of shimmy dance in front of giant newspaper headlines. Her lips are apparently important in this part of the video, because we keep getting shots of their dewy wetness. (Is that a bow or bunny ears on her head? Not sure.) And there’s some more of that Fraggle Rock mess, with Rihanna still not trying really hard to get loose and change into another outfit.

Now we’re at a twisted office party, where people are wearing colorful but stupid outfits and Rihanna is modeling a dress made out of a melted-down Barbie Malibu Camper. She’s sprawled across a desk, and you know nobody in this place can get anything done while she’s doing that. For some reason, Rihanna actually places her hand over her crotch when the camper dress rides a little high. Seriously? It’s a little late for her to think about being discreet.

And we wind things down by jumping around to all the soft-porn sets that we’ve visited thus far, and we learn that nothing new is really going on, mainly because Rihanna has already shown us every position in the Kama Sutra and she’s out of material. Oh wait, I spoke a little too soon. Rihanna slaps on some Carmen Miranda drag and then proceeds to seductively eat a banana with her coral pink lips instinctively caressing the fruit. Maybe she was low on potassium.

I guess Rihanna found the produce angle to be exciting, because now she’s shoving strawberries in her mouth while sporting a hat made out of mutant cherries. And then we’re on to the Dairy section of the supermarket, so she can tongue an ice cream cone with jewels as sprinkles. This is followed by more jumping around to see what her slutty friends are up to, and I can only say that I will never look at blow-up dolls in quite the same way again.

Fade to black…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

INXS - “Need You Tonight”

We start with somebody standing off camera and flicking their hand in front of the lens and making some sort of odd signal, but I’m paying more attention to the 400 bracelets this person is wearing. (Does the weight make their arms longer?) Then the name of the album rolls by, and this kicks off a long series of other things scrolling past on the screen, like band members and fruit. It becomes clear very quickly that we’re not dealing with a story here, just film editors sitting around and going “Hey, let’s have Michael Hutchence flip his hair right here!

Speaking of Michael, he shows up to whisper the classic “come inside”, and then he starts dancing in the background while various band members appear and disappear. Oh, and there’s a white mouse crawling up the sleeve of Michael’s jacket during this bit. Maybe the image of a rodent on your bicep is more important to Australians than other people. We also get glimpses of some sad woman who keeps turning her head to one side and looking despondent. (Is she the one that lost the mouse?)

We finally get a full shot of the whole band, but almost immediately Michael starts hopping around and wiggling his hips, making it hard to see anybody else, so he was probably one of those Diva people who are high-maintenance. To get back at him, two of the band members shove their heads in from the sides of the screen. It’s a rather startling move, so prepare yourself. You don’t want to be in the midst of chugging an adult beverage when this happens or there could be issues.

Then we go back to more random images floating around. (Um, somebody might want to tell that drummer that he’s missing his drum. On second thought, he seems to be very happy playing nothing and wearing his Oompa Loompa shirt, so maybe we should just let him be.) Another band member shoots in from the side and sticks out his tongue. I’m starting to not care for these abrupt drive-bys. They’re a little unnerving. And there goes another one. Oh wait, he’s kind of cute. He can come back. Make the others do something else.

Now there’s a sequence where Michael might be behind prison bars, and the rest of the band is lined up behind him wearing what might be mime outfits. The band is trying to do some type of intricate hand movements to the song, but you can tell they didn’t practice very hard and aren’t taking it seriously. This might explain why we get another image of Michael, this one looking sad and disappointed.

The mimes slide away and we get the band playing again. (Why is that one guitar player doing that thing with his leg?) Two more of the band members do the creepy “burst in from the side” thing, and then they’re just as quickly gone. And another scene with that overly-happy drummer. I want some of whatever medication he’s taking. Please.

Now we’ve got people flashing peace signs, which is hip and cool although a bit dated, and then Michael is doing a part of the song which requires him to point at us a lot and make his hair bounce. (Okay, the happy drummer just slid into the creepy category with some weird laughing. He really needs to settle down.) And the mimes are back, still not having really learned their choreography. Focus, people.

Another shot of the sad girl, then Alicia Silverstone, I mean Michael Hutchence, is back for the final bit of the song. He flops his hair around seductively, then holds his arms out so we can see his belly button under his jacket. To make sure we see it, he closes in on the camera while doing one of those dances from the 80’s that could easily be mistaken for a medical condition. Then he leans in and whispers the infamous last line “you’re one of my kind”…

Behind him, we can see that the happy/creepy drummer has finally found his drum set. But now his sticks are missing. Guy just can’t catch a break…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.


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