Music Video Monday: Lady Gaga (feat. Beyoncé) – Telephone


I’ve debated starting this theme for a few weeks, and I ultimately decided I would as it would encourage me to looks for options that actually fit what I’m aiming for. If one pays too much attention to Top 40 type music you tend to see a dearth of creativity in the music video form. The music video is spawned from short films and can be as creative if not more so than their predecessor. Far too often it does just become singing heads. I want to try and buck that trend and find ones both new and old that do something somewhat outside the box, at the very least have some sort of visual narrative. Here we go.

Lady Gaga (feat. Beyoncé) – Telephone

Here is a more recent video that fit here for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that this video co-stars a very famous vehicle from the Kill Bill films.

Short Film Saturday: Scarlet Sunsets (Music Video)

I honestly cannot say that I watch that many music videos anymore. In part, because the two channels initially created in part to broadcast them scarcely do anymore. The other reason is that, at least with many popular music acts, videos are virtually bereft of narrative and scarcely events any more as they once were. Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” is a recent exception that proves the rule.

However, I’ve been told that storytelling, with smaller more independent-minded (if not in musical styling or label) do do some interesting things with the form.

One example I stumbled upon was this video by Russian boy band Heroes which depicts scenes of the German invasion of Russia in 1941. It is animated uses some interesting techniques and is about the story not necessarily the band, though they are clearly personified in the video.


Review- Men in Black 3

To be entirely honest, I was not planning on watching it but circumstance conspired such that I did. I, like most people I believe, did enjoy Men in Black when it first rolled around. As this latest installment was coming down the pike I was hearing chatter about it compared to Part II, and count me in the camp of those who have no recollection of Part II whatsoever, and based on what I’ve heard that’s all for the best. This is all a very long way of saying that this film wasn’t playing with house money with my being a fan. Conversely, it was also coming sixteen years after the last Men in Black that I do have some recollection of, so I was pretty much an open book.

The only news items I heard that made up my pre-life with this film were the ridiculously overblown reports of Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber being aliens, which constitutes their likenesses appearing on background monitors in the beginning.

Ah, the beginning, what an ungodly mess it is. Apparently one of the old screenwriting axioms doesn’t really apply here; there’s nothing easy about getting through this first act. It is slow, stilted and uncertain of itself until the mission is embarked upon. What’s perhaps even more perplexing is that the film does get better but the beginning is slow and bad such that it makes recovery difficult. Needless to say that when I discovered, after having seeing it, that principal photography began and the script had not been finalized, I was not surprised in the slightest.

It’s also a bit like that half-baked ethos carried through post-production in regards to the edit. There are two neuralyzer scenes that make little to no sense, add no humor and do not really advance the plot in anyway. In fact, they’re so dubious that even Will Smith seems as if he’s just going through the motions in these sections. Whereas that doesn’t necessarily really ring true for the rest of the film. In a film that has such issues getting off the ground any other extraneous material’s impact is multiplied. Not even to mention the fact that there is a severe shortage of humor in this particular installment, there are chuckles to be had but there’s nowhere near the level of fun that these films are supposed to engender.

The more enjoyable moments in the film are provided by Josh Brolin’s hilariously deadpan take on Tommy Lee Jones and Michael Stuhlbarg’s wonderfully quirky Griffin. Jemaine Clement, who is usually hilarious here is more intent on being creepy as Boris the Animal, and while that succeeds the film could’ve benefitted from a bit more levity, especially given the ending.

When your film already has its issues and is only minimally interesting things like the nearly unavoidable time traveling paradoxes that arise are allowed to occupy more of your attention than they really ought to.

Given the fact that portions of the second and third did work on an intermittent basis, it’s really unfortunate that this film proceeded full speed ahead instead of righting the ship before they got rolling. As it stands, the film is an unfortunate mess that’s a waste of time and talent.