Sunday, October 28, 2012

Miley Cyrus – “Party In The U.S.A.”

  We start out with folks arriving at a drive-in theater as the golden sun is lowering in the sky. This must be a very special drive-in, because not only is it still standing when all the others have been torn down, but everyone here is really young and pretty and thin. Apparently it’s considered socially improper to arrive with anything more than zero-percent body fat. They probably check your weight at the ticket gate.

  Anyway, Miley climbs out of her sporty car, making sure that we see her cowboy boots first, because she’s a country girl and all. (Side note: All of the cars here are sporty and expensive. It seems they also check your financial history at that special gate. You might have to arrive early just to fill out all the forms.) She leans against her car and starts singing, wearing short-shorts no bigger than a stick of gum. I guess it’s no longer necessary to hide the goods until you meet someone special.

  Eventually Miley gets bored with the leaning, so she hooks up with a posse of her home girls, who have been carefully selected to show a rainbow of racial diversity and give the impression that all are welcome in Miley World. (As long as you’re young and pretty and thin, natch.) They strut around for a while, as we get shots of other people getting out of their cars and joining the party. (At no point does anyone seem interested in actually watching a movie, so maybe things have changed since the last time I went to a drive-in.)

  Wherever the girls are headed, it takes a while for them to get there, so we get plenty of shots of Miley’s boots and Miley’s smiles and Miley’s ability to make grown men stop what they are doing and stare at her. Then Miley snatches up one of the speakers from those poles and hops into the bed of a pickup truck. (It’s not her truck, but things like ownership and clothing that serves any real purpose are clearly not important in this video.) It’s time for Miley and her backup posers to give an impromptu concert! (I’m sure this won’t interfere with the movie at all.)

  So Miley rocks it for a bit, and of course the crowd goes wild with adoration, dancing and singing and fist-pumping. (One gentleman gets so excited that he starts doing gymnastics, a response that seems to happen quite often in music videos but never in real life. You try doing a round off into a handspring at a real concert and somebody is going to cut you. Those people paid good money to see the stage, not your airborne ass.)

  Balancing in the back of a pickup while wearing heels is exhausting, so eventually Miley calls for an intermission and she decides to go stand in front of a metal wall. There’s something written on the wall, but it’s hard to concentrate on what it might say, what with all of Miley’s hair and us worrying about her accidentally bending over and getting a surprise flossing situation with those shorts. But Miley is a trooper and she professionally avoids the bending as she continues with the song. She even does some type of modified two-step moves as added entertainment value.

  We cut to Miley wandering around the drive-in by herself, the Benetton girls having run off to do something else for a bit. (Was there a sale at the Ace bandage factory? They could get four or five outfits out of just one roll of that stuff.) But Miley doesn’t mind that they have gone AWOL, because she’s still singing and walking and smiling at everybody, approving of their thinness and prettiness and supposed richness if they got past the screening process at the gate.

  But singing and walking in the dirt is not as much fun as singing and dancing on a stage, so Miley convinces someone to unroll a giant American flag over the movie screen and build her a nice stage just beneath it. (Nobody is ever going to watch a movie in this place, seriously.) This helpful but unseen person also arranges for an airplane to fly overhead and dump tons of confetti over the whole shindig, because it’s really not a party unless there are colored bits of paper in the air.

  Miley does an energetic solo for a bit, with just her and her hair and her microphone that she clearly adores by the way she fondles it continuously. Oh, and the flag. You can’t really miss that flag, which is bigger than some of the states on the Eastern seaboard.

  Cut to later that night, with Miley and more of her carefully-selected friends taking advantage of the playground equipment at the drive-in. She’s got the primo spot, of course, standing in a centrally-located swing, but her friends are still artfully arranged on a nearby jungle gym. Amazingly enough, all the fly girls and fly boys are able to dance and gyrate with complete abandon without plummeting to the ground and ending their careers as dancing extras in music videos.

  The Gymnastics Dude even runs up to perform another one of his hands-free flip things, but it’s not nearly as impressive since he’s on the ground and not clinging to metal bars two stories up like his risk-taking dance-class partners. But if he can pull off that same stunt while on top of the jungle gym, and survive, I’ll buy the man a corn dog, sure will.

  Then we’re back to the stage, where the American flag has been replaced by a giant video monitor, because it’s not really a concert unless you have a giant TV that people can watch instead of the performer. The Benetton girls are back (love the new look, it’s nice that you were able to share one outfit between the four of you) and everybody is super thrilled to be partying in the USA.  The girls are happy to share with us some intense choreography that they learned on the way back from the mall, and Miley is happy to raise her hands over her head as often as possible.

  And that’s pretty much how we wrap things up, with well-toned folks dancing and singing and proving that they have excellent stamina. Even Gymnastics Dude is still at it, suddenly running up and doing a flip-roll thing across one of the tables at the concession stand. (Note to self: Do not eat at that table.) We end the video with Miley back in front of the American flag, proud of her music, proud of her country, and proud of her ability to pick friends that can coordinate with the design theme of any room in your house…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Madonna – “Burning Up”

  Wow, this one goes quite a ways back, to a time in the early 80’s when I had the energy to dance all night but the only place I could afford to do that dancing was at Wal-Mart. Anyway, here we go…

  We start out with a close-up of one of Madonna’s eyeballs, which can be quite alarming if you’re not prepared for it, then we zip through what appear to be a string of random images. Flowers, lips, modified pickup trucks, a marble bust, and the first of many scenes where Madonna is wallering around in a random parking lot at night. This was made during a time when people who worked on music videos first discovered something called “the editing button”, and these people are whacking at that button like woodpeckers.

  Then we head back to that bust, the non-Madonna one, and we learn that it lights up, so that the eyes glow and it looks like something that menaced  William Shatner on an old Star Trek episode. I’m not sure how we’ll use this information in our lives, but we’ll see. Then we suddenly have Madonna, decked out in the leather and chains that she was so fond of as a freshman, lunging at the camera and then doing a few mad twirls, probably because the peroxide in her hair is still burning her scalp. Then she does something with her arm that makes a laser beam shoot at an otherwise innocent goldfish bowl. I guess she doesn’t care for seafood.

  Next up is a nice Risky Business tribute with sunglasses, followed by another visit to the parking lot, where Madonna is sitting on the ground and holding her legs to keep them from flying open. We get another shot of the sunglasses, which have now become radioactive because Madonna’s lust is so burning, and several more shots of the Parking Lot Madonna, who has finally stopped flopping around enough that she can model her dress for us, which appears to be something inspired by Roman togas, a cute little number that she can easily slip out of later in her career when she decides to pose naked as often as possible.

  Cut to some black-and-white footage where Madonna is supposed to be all sweaty with desire, but some makeup person must have done something she shouldn’t have, because Madonna just looks like she has malaria. The camera pulls back and we learn that Madonna is standing behind a heavy-duty X-ray machine that has enough lights flashing that somebody somewhere must have just hit a jackpot. That’s a little too busy, so we zoom back in to Madonna’s drenched head, and I guess she’s shaking off the malaria because now she has some color in her cheeks. Still a lot of wetness, though.

  Zip to somewhere else, where Sunglass Madonna goes into a dance that requires her to throw some of her many accessories around the room. (Based on the number of rubber bracelets she has on that one arm, this routine could go on for quite some time.) The main motif of the choreography has something to do with Madonna jumping around in a circle and clutching at her trendy half-jacket. Eventually she gets a little tired, so we cut to a dramatic sequence where Madonna is trying to open a door that has far too many knobs. Failing to get the damn thing open, she turns and just sings to us for a while, occasionally yanking on the chain at her throat to let us know that bondage apparently has a very special place in her heart.

  Brief bit where different eyeballs fill the screen. You can user your own judgment on that image.

  Then Bouncing Madonna is standing right in front of the complicated door, and just as it hits us that it appears to be shaped like a rowboat, it turns into one, which is really something that doors shouldn’t do, and suddenly we’re floating on a green sea with Toga-Dress Madonna resting comfortably inside it while she sings. This is followed by several shots of some guy driving an older model car, one of those barge-like things that can seat 12, as he races toward some destination. (Did he get word that Madonna has malaria?) He looks sort of like someone who might have gotten kicked out of Duran Duran for not wearing enough makeup, but that’s probably not important to our story.

  Time to check in with Parking Lot Madonna again, and she’s heavily involved in doing poses as if she’s a swimsuit model, despite the fact that she’s not wearing bathing attire and her ass is rolling around on asphalt instead of sand. (Could these people not afford to fly somewhere with a beach?) But at least she appears to be having a good time, and that’s all that really matters.

  Next up is an image of Madonna in the rowboat on the green sea, lying on her back and floating along peacefully, not bothering anyone. Suddenly, the Duran Duran guy drives by in his whale of a car, somehow managing to not sink as he plods along. (Maybe he used some of those rubber bracelets as floaties?) This is probably a political statement of some kind, but I don’t have enough dance training to fully understand it.

  Now we have a montage of Duran driving along less-watery highways, Madonna becoming super-heated in her Parking Lot of Lust, and Madonna suddenly disappearing from that rowboat (maybe she went to take out more insurance after nearly being killed at sea by a Buick?). Then we focus in on Parking Lot Madonna, who apparently still has a lot of naughty poses that she simply must get out of her system or she will implode. It appears that certain key moves help relieve the sexual pressure, like flipping her multi-hued hair around, crawling around on all fours, tugging in frustration at her clothing, and snarling at the camera whilst in the midst of presumable orgasm with an intensity that no one on the planet has ever experienced before.

  Meanwhile, Duran is still driving around, so I’m starting to think this is not someone you should call if you need him to get somewhere in a reasonable amount of time. His tardiness doesn’t really matter, though, since Madonna is still on fire in the parking lot and is happy to share with us even more ways one can express uncontrolled passion. (I’m surprised she isn’t physically riding the camera by now. I’m sure it crossed her mind.) This part of the her repertoire includes more hair-flipping, posing in a manner that reminds everyone she does indeed have breasts that have certain needs, and undulating in such a startling way that no one will ever use slot 12 in that parking lot again.

  The video comes to an end with slow-ass Duran finally arriving on the scene just as Madonna is eyeing the nearby shrubbery as possible relief, and even though we don’t get to see the discussion that immediately follows, things apparently don’t work out too well for Duran. The final shot is of Madonna driving the tanker away, all alone. I guess she doesn’t like to have sex with people who are wearing more eyeliner than she is…

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Alex Clare – “Too Close”

  We start out with Alex sitting in what might be an abandoned warehouse somewhere, looking vaguely Irish and vaguely poor. He seems to be a little unsettled for some reason, and this might have something to do with the quick images we get of another person pulling on some type of Ninja-biker gear, an intimidating outfit that doesn’t indicate happiness and sunshine. Right off the bat, this doesn’t look like a very healthy situation, so maybe Alex should go sit somewhere else that doesn’t have people preparing for war while creepy music plays.

  But instead of heading out the door like a responsible person, Alex chooses to remain seated and stare at a dilapidated wall, a trashy mess that hasn’t been properly maintained. (Why did the words “honey boo boo” just pop in my head?) We get a full shot of the back of the Ninja (and I’m only assuming it’s a Ninja, since I’ve never actually been one and don’t have all the details) and then a full shot of the front of Alex, who has managed to stand up and move to a better-lit area of the room so we can confirm that he does look vaguely Irish. (I would not be surprised if this turns into a commercial for breakfast cereal or invigorating body soap.)

  The Ninja person has now managed to pick up an intimidating stick-weapon and hold it in front of him, so perhaps he’s about to practice for a “Star Wars” sequel that we haven’t heard about. Whatever he’s about to do, I’m not thinking very fondly of that stick. Couldn’t he have just picked up a beer and handed it to me? I’d feel much better then.

  Now Alex is back in the one room where he likes to sit and stare at the wall, although now we have a bigger shot and can see that there’s also a window in the mesmerizing wall. This means Alex has twice the amount of things to look at, so he’ll probably be entertained for weeks. (There’s also an odd closet off to his right, with broken things and crappy shelving and probably a rusty murder weapon or two from that time in 1947 when somebody got pissed about the unsatisfying results of a card game or a spouse who was playing squat tag with someone whose name did not appear on the marriage certificate.)

  We cut back to the Ninja, front view this time, and we can see that he’s wearing a spooky fencing hat that has been modified to protect one’s face from more than just one of those skinny swords that prancing people use to poke at one another. (The headgear also has a flying-nun enhancement that will probably help the Ninja take off like a helicopter, should the need arise.) Oh look, in the background we can see another evil-priest Ninja walking into the room, sporting the industrial mask and carrying one of those hefty stick things. (Do they shop at the same stores?) I’m thinking these two will probably not be discussing the weather.

  Quick shot of Alex in the other room, singing. He doesn’t know what’s going on, either.

  Back to the more exciting room, where the first Ninja is kneeling on the ground, while Fashionably-Late appears to be walking in a circle around the squatter. (I may not know that much about Ninja etiquette, but I’m thinking I’d be getting my ass off the floor if Darth Vader’s cousin was anywhere near me, holding a weapon and not saying anything. Then Squatty suddenly leaps to his feet and faces the other man so they can both cross swords in a non-gayporn way. They start slowly circling around, sticks still touching, doing some type of intricate routine while they wait for just the right moment to… do whatever it is that they plan to do with those sticks.

  (This is an entire different rumble from what we have in my neck of the woods. Over here, when you want to physically have it out with some fool that has gone too far, you just walk up to them (hopefully when they are drunk and not as light on their feet) and then both of you start beating the hell out of each other with whatever you can find, like rocks and barstools and cue balls and somebody’s weave. It doesn’t have to be pretty as long as somebody finally gives up. None of this formal mess where you follow traditions and send out hand-written invitations.)

  The Ninjas get up in each other’s face (even though they can’t actually see them, what with the Blade Runner tribute-gear) and kind of breathe and push on each other. This quickly becomes boring, even to Alex in the other room, so Alex starts belting out one of the louder parts of the song. This inspires the Ninjas to actually start whacking at each other with their man-toys, which perks things up a bit, but I’m not sure if they are doing things correctly because nobody is losing any blood or teeth, which is how we normally keep score in bar-fights.

  This goes on for a while, with the no-blood and the sense of nothing getting accomplished, so I start hoping that Alex goes back to the quieter part of the song so the Ninjas can break apart, go sit in their corners for a bit, and have other men squirt water at their face. Then one of the Ninjas pokes his stick in the barbecue grill of the other mask and they instantly stop fighting. Wait, was that a foul of some kind? Does somebody have to go sit in a box now?

  But before I can get any answers, we switch gears with the video, and now we have Alex and Ninja 1 and Ninja 2 wandering around in a really dark part of the decaying warehouse. Somebody starts screwing around with the minimal lighting, so we end up with a series of images that look very “Blair Witch”-like (Josh? Josh!! Oh my GOD!!) but don’t really explain anything. (Does a proper Ninja competition include a scavenger hunt? Did they get some breaking intel about where Jimmy Hoffa might be buried?)

  Then Josh, I mean Alex, starts singing again, and the Ninjas race back to the bigger room that has more light and less of chance that you will walk into a spider web and temporarily lose your mind, and they go at it again. (Hey, maybe the Ninjas can only make physical contact when there are lyrics involved. Who knew.) This round goes on for a very long time, so obviously the regulation time periods are quite different from something like boxing, where the rounds are the same length and the women who hold up numbers between those rounds are clearly not virgins.

  The loud part of the song kicks back in, and while Alex gets down with his bad musical self in that room where peasants probably milked cows at some point before deciding to band together and overthrow the Romanovs in Russia, the Ninjas decide it’s time for some Matrix action. We now have freeze-frame shots of them leaping through the air while hoisting their poles skyward. It’s a nice change of pace, but I’m still not seeing any bloodshed or resolution.

  This also goes on for a long time. Stunt-work and trick photography are very expensive. If you’re going to shell out the big bucks, you might as well make sure those dollars show up on screen.

  We briefly zip back to one of the dark and dusty rooms where we had the Blair Witch flashback (Don’t go in the basement!), and we see the Ninjas doing some form of kick-boxing. This doesn’t seem to be as much fun as using the giant chopsticks, so we head back out to the main arena for more of that action. And finally, one of the Ninjas manages to knock away the other Ninja’s stick, so even though we haven’t  seen any blood, at least things seem to be wrapping up.

  The victorious Ninja touches his man-stick to the neck of the loser, and the loser (per the sacred instruction manual, page 43) drops to his knees, and then proceeds to remove his pimped-out Robo-Ninja hood. We see that his head is encased in black rubber that mashes his facial features flat, making him look like somebody left Voldemort out in the sun too long.

  What the hell?

  We turn to Alex for answers. (Did you have script approval on this thing? ) But Alex doesn’t have any answers. Instead, he just stands there in his questionable sweater as the camera pulls back and the screen fades to black…

  Wait! Were those handprints on the dusty wall behind him? (Josh!)

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Maroon 5 - "One More Night"

  We start out with a shot of two goldfish in a bowl, which is probably symbolic in some way but really just makes me want cute salty crackers, then we start getting shots of an apartment. Based on the number of photos we see where lead singer Adam, a supermodel, and a cherubic baby are smiling and looking wholesome, the little family appears to be quite content with life. We know this is a lie, of course, because it’s a Maroon 5 song. Sooner or later somebody is going to get pissed off about something, and there will eventually be harsh words, possible gunfire, and court rulings.

  But we put that part of the fun on hold for a bit, so we can watch Adam and his facial scruff interact with the baby. She has no idea who he is, of course, but she’s a competent little actress, professionally trained to show emotion and drink from a bottle. The wife/girlfriend appears to be cooking something on the stove, so perhaps she’s preparing a meal. Or maybe she just likes the sound of sizzling. In any case, there are no signs of emotional strife and people are being fed, so it’s all good.

  Cut to Adam in a gym, where he’s banging around with the equipment and managing to sweat seductively. Then we have some guy wrapping Adam’s hands with white tape, that stretchy stuff that boxers use for some reason that has never been explained to me. The guy with the tape is possibly a trainer of some kind, or maybe he’s just really good at wrapping, who knows. He doesn’t introduce himself and they don’t take any questions from the audience.

  Back to the apartment, where Adam is now bouncing the baby in the air. (Which, as many of us know, is not something you should do with a baby that just sucked down a gallon or two of formula. But it’s not our video. Or our baby, as far as we know.) The wife/girlfriend (she needs a name, let’s call her Renata) is still at the stove, so this must be a very complicated recipe that goes way beyond pushing a button on a microwave. But her hair looks really good, so she’s all set.

  Quick shot of the gym, where Adam is slipping on boxing gloves, in case we haven’t yet figured out that boxing is one of the important themes of this video, then we head back to the apartment. Renata is finally done stirring whatever and she shoves a plate of the stuff at Adam, then she takes the baby from him for more bouncing and cuteness. Adam starts shoving the food in his mouth without thanking her. Then he snatches up a stuffed bunny that’s lying on the table and tries to entertain baby, still not thanking Renata for the food or for being so pretty. Or even looking at her.

  Uh oh. It appears that Adam is paying way more attention to baby than to Baby. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is not a good thing. This right here is why they invented the Jerry Springer show. Well, this situation and the fact that many people are amazingly stupid and have a tendency to act a fool if they spot a camera in the near vicinity.

  So we head back to the gym, where Adam is doing those boxing-training moves where he punches the gloves of the other guy who is maybe a personal trainer and maybe just somebody that doesn’t understand there are other, less-painful careers out there in the world. (I’ve never understood this about boxing, either. Why practice punching somebody’s hands? That’s not what you do in the ring. How are you learning from this? Then again, I’m not a fan of boxing in general. How is it that some people love a “sport” where you beat the hell out of somebody else? And yet some of those same people are stunned that we have a domestic violence situation in this country. Go figure, right?)

  End of soapbox. For now.

  Anyway, the sparring finally ends, and the personal trainer pours bottled water over Adam’s head, presumably to cool him down, or maybe they both just think that wetness is really fun. Can Adam not just go take a shower? Such an activity would surely increase the viewing stats of this video, and it could lay the groundwork for a really festive line dance involving near-nudity and billows of steam.

  We cut back to the apartment again, where Adam has finished up his home-stirred meal. He decides it’s time to jet, and he briefly smooches Renata, spends a longer time smooching baby’s head, and then does a bit where he lightly punches baby as if in the ring. He completely doesn’t notice the look Renata gives him for doing such a thing. The signs are all there, Adam. I’m not even having sex with the woman and I can tell she is none too happy with your ass.

  Brief shot of the goldfish, reminding us that it’s an important plot device. Because it’s way too much expectation for us to remember something that we’ve seen a mere two minutes ago.

  Zip over to some arena, where a microphone is lowering as a boxing match begins. An announcer guy that doesn’t look like he really belongs in a boxing ring grabs the mike, and it appears that Adam is about to fight some other guy with bushier hair than he has. The bell rings and they go at each other, with the crowd roaring in that bloodlust way that people have when there’s an open bar in the other room and there’s nothing else on TV. Kid Rock appears to be in the audience, or at least his evil twin, Adult Rock, encouraging Adam and Bushy to pound away on each other.

  Back to the apartment, where Renata is following a different life plan. She’s rushing about the house, gathering up her designer clothes and random personal items, and shoving all these goodies into boxes and suitcases. It appears that Home Girl has got leaving on her mind, determined that she is not going to end up living a sad existence that is eventually played by Tori Spelling in a Lifetime movie, a biopic probably named “The Renata Boombata Story: Living With A Boxer Totally Sucks”. She scurries about and snatches things with fierce determination, while baby Adam-Nata reviews the domestic flight from her high-chair.

  This kicks off an extended montage where we cut back and forth between Adam and Bushy gettin’ busy and Renata gettin’ packed. We learn two things from this montage: Adam can spit water at the camera in a very sexy manner, and Renata sure has a whole lotta crap that she wants to take with her on that midnight train to Georgia.  (She manages to grab a copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Interesting.  Honey, why you wanna take that? The fairy tale didn’t work. Throw that bitch in the trash.)

  Eventually, the boxing bout ends, with Adam victorious over Bushy. (Naturally. It’s Adam’s video and we don’t know squat about Bushy and any of his possible issues.) Adam parades around the ring in triumph, and we’ll just assume that Adult Rock is satisfied with the results even though we don’t see it. A short bit later, Adam arrives at the apartment, only to find the place basically cleaned out except for a pile of his athletic equipment and trophies. He collapses on the couch, in defeat despite his now unimportant win.

  Cut to the goldfish bowl, which now only has a single swimmer.

  Hold up. Renata took half the fish? I’m sure the lawyers didn’t see that coming when they were working on the pre-nup. Somebody clearly has some issues up in this grill.

  The video ends with a voice, possibly Adam’s,  saying “I don’t know. Whatever.”

  And therein lies the problem. Soapbox, part two.

  On the next episode of Jerry Springer, we talk to baby Adam-Nata, who tells us what really went down in the crappy apartment where people are unsatisfied, and she shares a video that she taped using a camera hidden in her pacifier…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.


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