Friday, February 24, 2012

M83 - “Midnight City”

  We start out with some child being escorted down a hallway by a bigger person, at least I’m assuming that’s the case, since we can only see walking feet and a stretch of boring floor. We might be in a hospital or a detention facility, anything is possible these days with all the processed sugar in our diets. Then we see the big man leading the little boy into a large room where other kids are sitting at work tables. No one appears to be very happy, despite the presence of a really interesting marble fireplace that might have belonged to Napoleon before that Waterloo mess.

  The original boy is shoved at one of the empty tables, and then we get jump shots of the other sad kids as they go about doing whatever it is they are doing. One girl appears to be using ESP to determine what’s on a series of cards (probably don’t want to get into a game of poker with her), a very small girl is sprawled on the floor and doodling cryptic artwork, and another boy is levitating a Rubik’s cube above his head (something we all wished we could do when we couldn’t figure the damn thing out). This is not your average daycare facility. Something tells me you don’t want to sample the juice and cookies at snack time.

  Suddenly, all the mystical activity comes to a halt, and the various children turn and glare at the new boy, which is standard procedure when new boys walk into a place where children gather. In this case, however, their rudeness might be justified, since the new boy’s eyes are glowing in a way that eyes should not glow. He seems to have done something telepathic that caused their experiments to short-circuit and the levitation to cease. This is the point where people who like committees should form one to investigate Glowing Boy and his issues.

  Instead, we cut to (presumably) later that night, in a dormitory setting where Glowing Boy is slumbering whilst various other students/captives stare at him in a dissatisfied manner. Glowing Boy’s eyes pop open, and he heads toward the doors of the sleep chamber. The other kids fall in line behind him, perhaps on the off chance that he knows about a really good late-night diner with cheese fries, and they all want them some of that.

  Glowing Boy blows open said doors with his mind, and then all the kids are off and running, navigating ornate stairwells and eventually escaping the confines of their odd little school. (The fact that we don’t see any security-type people attempting to stop them indicates that the staff is either stupid or dead. Details are not given.) The children race across a pretty field and then into a dark forest. This would not be my choice of destination, having seen “The Blair Witch Project”. Then again, I can’t move objects with my mind, so our backgrounds are a little different.

  The kids race through the trees for a while, with none of them smiling, so it’s possible that they will never be happy without the proper medication. Then they seem to meet up with some folks who are carrying flashlights and fully expecting them, so maybe there’s a very fine plan that someone has hatched. Or maybe the kids just enjoy portable lighting. Still no smiling, though.

  Next we see the kids trudging along and finally meandering out of the woods. It’s daylight now, so the little urchins have been at it for a while and are probably regretting the non-raiding of snack-filled vending machines before they hauled ass away from the Academy of Unpleasantness and Odd Behavior. They come upon a very large building and head inside. Perhaps this is where they are planning to meet Professor Xavier and request an official school transfer.

  The inside of the immense, cavernous building is in a considerable state of disrepair and dustiness. This inspires the children to immediately begin running around and performing acts of random vandalism. Perhaps they found this to be a very festive menu option, but I’m not sure what the actual point might have been. In any case, some of them finally start smiling, especially the tiniest youngster, the diminutive Picasso that we first spied scribbling masterpieces whilst sitting on the floor at the beginning of the video. She really enjoys the destruction, so it’s clear that her future romantic relationships will be troubling.

  The kids finally settle down and begin practicing and fine-tuning their superpowers. One teen boy, with long golden hair from the Lucius Malfoy line of hair products, manages to juggle three big tires high in the air with just his mind and outstretched hands. Little Picasso girl, not impressed, shows them how it’s really done by using her outstretched hands to pick up a large vehicle and hurl it several football fields away (it’s a really big building), with the startled vehicle finally slamming into a wall with enough power to make it clear you shouldn’t deny these children pudding cups when they request one.

  Cut to Glowing Boy, the one who started all this mess, as he heads up some stairs and out onto the roof. He heads to one edge of the building, where spunky little Drew Barrymore holds his hand as the rest of the kids join them. They gaze into the distance, where the sun is lowering over a nondescript city. They stare for a while, because the sun doesn’t really move all that fast and you have to be patient. (I’m guessing their powers must have some type of boundary limitations, something they should probably speak to their union representative about.)

  Finally, the sun drops below the horizon, plunging us into darkness and allowing us to see that all of the children’s eyes are now glowing. (In case you don’t notice this right away, the camera zooms in on a random eyeball so we can see that, yep, we have glowing.) While the end credits roll, the camera pulls back from the radioactive Children of the Corn as they stand in a line and continue to not explain what the hell this video is all about….

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Katy Perry - “The One That Got Away”

  We start out focusing on the outside of a nice little house somewhere in the valley, one of those retro modern things that basically says the architect was too bored to actually be original. We zip inside and see an elderly couple. The man is welcoming home his wife, who has apparently been off doing something that makes her walk funny on the stairs as she basically ignores her husband.

  Then we’re upstairs in Old Lady’s fancy closet (think “bigger than entire apartments you’ve lived in“), where she’s arranging her shoes just so. (Proper shoe alignment makes you a better person, yes?) Then she’s back downstairs, pouring herself some tea from a way cool teapot. It’s clear that she’s not very happy, despite successfully cleaning her closet and having a distinctive hairdo.

  Just as I’m starting to think “hey, that looks like Katy with a serious makeup budget going on”, we zip back in time where we find young Katy and her probable beau sketching on drawing pads in some trashy but funky dwelling. They make funny faces at each other, a clear indication that they’ve been having sex, then Beau shows Katy the sketch he made of her. She looks exactly like Joan Jett, so I’m not sure what went wrong where. But Katy loves it, and they immediately tape it to the wall because actually framing it or anything would be too tiring.

  While they fool around for a little bit while looking young and pretty, we cut back to Old Katy in her bedroom, where she’s sitting at the end of the bed and still not happy, despite being able to afford the expensive modern art on the wall behind her. She sighs and stares off at nothingness. (No sight of the husband. Those stairs might have been too much of a challenge, and he’s waiting at the bottom for her to remember he’s still living.)

  Back to young and artsy Katy and Beau, as they do interesting things with makeup and put on odd clothing, because that’s just something you do in your early twenties. They strut around and take pictures of each other in their studio/apartment that appears to be decorated like the 70’s that Katy clearly did not live through. No matter, they’re in love and thematic accuracy is really not that important.

  Cut to a dance that might be at a school or possibly a church, where the 70’s thing keeps going, with lots of older people wearing the horrifying outfits that people wore during the decade when Nixon lied and everybody was stoned. This is the part of the song where Katy is singing about Johnny Cash, so of course Beau is wearing black and Katy looks vaguely like June Carter. At least her hair does.

  The bad couture does not prevent our lovely couple from stealing bottles of champagne and guzzling them while they run around and scream for attention in that questionable-child-rearing way, so they do that for a while. Eventually they get sick of looking at all the horrid clothing and they run out the door, leaving the old people to wait for fashion styles to change.

  Quick check on Old Katy. She’s still on that bed and still sad. Got it.

  Whoops, now Young Katy is sitting in Old Katy’s mammoth closet, staring at all the hanging fancy clothing like one of them might be named Michael Myers. Not sure what that’s all about. Then we’re back in the day to the young-lovers studio, with Beau giving Katy a tattoo by candlelight, using this nasty-looking needle thing that I wouldn’t let anywhere near my body. Katy doesn’t seem to mind the pain, though, because he’s making a heart, and we all know that if you tattoo something on your body, it will stay true forever. (Right Johnny Depp and Wynona Ryder?)

  Then we have a not-really-clear scene where Katy and Beau are waking up after the tattoo session. He’s anxious to run off and do who knows what, so Katy just lays there in her party dress and wears sunglasses that she stole from the set of Almost Famous. Brief montage of random things, then we have Young Katy sneaking into Old Katy’s bedroom and watching her sleep. (Creepy, much?) Old Katy wakes up and starts singing part of the song, while Young Katy and her jacked-up psycho hair watch the warbling.

  Back to the studio, where Beau and Katy are standing in front of giant canvases. Beau is doing really well with his after-school project, creating a nice mural, but Katy has some focus issues and hasn’t drawn a damn thing. Well, Beau, because he apparently has rage issues that Katy hasn’t noticed before (despite him wanting to pierce her skin with a rusty spike), marches over, grabs Katy’s arm, and forces her to paint something ugly. Then he goes back to his Sistine Chapel ceiling.

  Well, Katy ain’t havin’ none of that, so she picks up some paint from the trashy floor and splashes it all over Beau’s handiwork. Thus ensues a big fight where Beau eventually storms out (dude, you started it), mixed in with some split-screen footage of the Young and Old Katy bellowing the song together. (Perhaps that bit was a tribute to Lindsay Lohan in the remake of The Parent Trap, back when The Lindster was known for her acting and not her inability to “just say no”.)

  Anyway, Beau grabs his guitar (just like Johnny Cash would have done!), throws it in his black muscle car (warning sign!), and then he peels out, while Joan Jett Katy looks traumatized and cries a lot, both in the studio and in the fancy future closet that really isn’t hers and she should stop going in there.

  Brief shot of Old Katy leaving her retro modern home, driving a car that looks just like Beau’s from back in the day. Hmm.

  Cut back to Beau in his version of the car, tooling down the highway and still not looking very impressed that Katy put paint where it shouldn’t have been. (Young Katy continues to cry in the not-hers closet.) Beau jacks around with the one of the window visors, because the script said to do so, and out drops a bit of Katy’s outfit from the drunken hoedown at the church. (Can the girl just not put things where they belong?)

  More crying from Katy as Beau stares at the bit of Katy fluff and does not stare at the road, so of course he doesn’t see the pile of rocks that have apparently been arranged by Martha Stewart in the middle of said road. At the last minute, he notices the centerpiece and swerves out of the way, which of course means his car has to plow through a rustic wooden fence (also designed by Martha) and become airborne. We’ll have to assume that Beau bites it, even though nobody from the CSI’s in Vegas, Miami or New York shows up to confirm the details.

  The real song ends, but then we hear a bit of a Johnny Cash tune (naturally) as we watch Old Katy get out of her version of the muscle car and wobble her way to the wooden fence, which Martha has kindly replaced at some point, probably as a condition of her parole. She stares down the deadly hillside for a bit, then Beau magically appears and holds her hand. Then he fades, and the Johnny Cash song cuts off.

  Old Katy finally turns and heads back to the muscle car.

  Meanwhile, Old Husband That Katy Didn’t Really Want is still standing at the bottom of those stairs, wondering who the hell is crying in Old Katy’s closet…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.


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