Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Backup Dancers from Hell: Chris Brown featuring Tyga & Kevin McCall - “Deuces”

Well, the first scene has some big-ass titles informing us that “Collin Tilley Presents”, like this is going to be some fancy foreign movie where bitchy people make each other suffer about past indiscretions. But we know that’s not the case, because it’s a 4-minute music video, with guest rap stars, so there’s not going to be any intricate story or clever dialogue. Then we see Chris Brown’s name in even bigger-ass letters, and I get it. He wants us to think of him as an artist and not as someone who would get angry at Rihanna for changing her hair color yet another time.

We’ll see.

While the credits are still rolling (yes, there are more of them), we are shown three important plot points. One is that there is a woman walking along in one of those concrete waterway things, like where they did the car race in “Grease”. (I’m fully expecting Rizzo to walk in front of the camera, babbling about a defective typewriter.) She looks sad and is walking very slowly, so maybe she needs to speak to her doctor about her mood stabilizers. Other than that, we don’t know much about her, except that she’s wearing a flimsy shirt that is kind of pointless. We can already clearly see what she has to offer.

We also have three guys (I’m assuming this would be Chris, Tyga and Kevin) hanging out all street-like. We can’t tell if they’re also sad, or if they’re just bored, but all of them are staring at the ground like they just learned that they didn’t get any Grammy nominations this year. The final plotline centers around just Chris. He’s standing on the sloping wall of the concrete gulch and practicing “Karate Kid” moves.

Chris starts with the singing, sitting on a car and doing hand movements that remind me of my scary fourth-grade music teacher that always smelled like old baby powder. But he’s also singing in between high-kicks on the sloping wall, and the Sad Woman is still walking slowly. We start cutting between the three so we can understand that everybody is still doing what they’re supposed to do, and we shouldn’t get anxious about that.

Sudden close-up shot of Sad Woman’s eyes, then another shot of her smelling her hair. Maybe her sadness is coming from the fact that her apricot shampoo didn’t deliver on its promise to smell fruity and fresh. Then she turns and looks behind her, concerned about something, which is kind of confusing. If she’s trying to get away from somebody, shouldn’t she be running instead of just shuffling along and wondering where Olivia Newton-John was sitting during the car race?

Back to Chris and his boys, where we learn that every time somebody sings “deuces” in the song, they all hold two fingers up to the sky. Well, that’s really original. Was somebody actually paid to come up with that?

Oh look, now Chris is by himself in some tunnel, with the bright sky at the other end of the tunnel making a cute little box around Chris so that he appears in silhouette. He starts doing more of the odd poses, like he’s training for a Lady Gaga cover shoot.

And we go like this for a while, cutting between the guys sitting on the car, waiting for anything at all to happen in their lives, Chris in the tunnel channeling Liza Minnelli, and Sad Woman trudging through the gulch, not really getting anywhere. (Why does she insist on walking right where the thin layer of water is flowing, instead of on the 97% of the concrete that is DRY. Does she think there’s a prize at the end of this trail? Poor thing.)

It’s time for Tyga to do his solo, and he’s conveniently moved to another location so we can understand that someone else is singing now. He’s sitting on one of those concrete support beams, and he also likes to move his hands. This time I’m reminded of my Grandpa who would make those same motions before he lost his Italian temper and the Thanksgiving turkey would go flying throw the air, leaving a trail of cornbread stuffing as everybody dove under the table. Again.

Wow, Tyga sure has a long solo. (We get shots of Chris standing off in the background, reminding us that this is HIS video, people, don’t forget it. We also get more clips of Sad Woman on her mysterious journey, but I’m starting to not care if she ever gets where she’s going.)

Well, it seems we have a new development, as we start seeing snippets of the three guys walking down an alley while some hoopty car is bouncing along behind them. The boys seem to be having a lot more fun with this bit, strutting along, waving their arms, and grabbing their crotches. In fact, they almost crack a smile, which is forbidden if you want to retain your street cred, so we’re in dangerous territory here.

Tyga finally finishes up, and the film editor really ramps up the jump-cutting. We’re leaping all over the place in a frenzy, with the jumping only slowing down when Sad Woman’s breasts are in attendance. (And with the way Chris is bouncing off the walls in the tunnel, it’s safe to assume that he had Mexican for lunch, with extra jalapeños. What else would make a grown man jump in the air and do the splits like that?)

And here comes Kevin with his guest rap, and he’s really invested in that “holding up two fingers” thing, doing this at least 400 times during his cameo, shoving his fingers at us like one of the Three Stooges got lost in the San Fernando Valley. He seems to be really angry. Maybe because a certain woman’s appendages are getting more screen time than he is? And she’s not even singing. Or sure of where she’s at.

Shot of Sad Woman just standing there in the gulch, not even moving at all. (Well, to be fair, silicone never really stops moving, but that’s a minor technicality. Wait, maybe that’s why she’s following the water. She sprung a leak and is trying to figure out where it happened.)

Kevin goes on for a long time as well. In fact, between Kevin and Tyga, they’ve basically carried the whole song. Chris only warbled a few lines at the beginning, and then he ran off to play in that tunnel, whispering “deuces” in the background every once in a while. Maybe Chris just didn’t have enough time to learn all the lyrics, busy with that community service business like he was. Who knows.

Whoops, I just lied. Chris comes back and bellows some more, as we see shots of him ripping off his shirt in the tunnel and apparently tearing the thing into rags. (Did he pick up some fashion tips from Rihanna?) I guess the shock of wind on his nipples has a strong effect on him, because he suddenly does a back flip for no other apparent reason.

And that’s really it. As the song winds down, we jump-cut some more, with the guys and the gulch and the hoopty and Chris auditioning for Cirque du Soleil in that tunnel. Sadly, Woman With Breasts never makes it very far, still in the concrete riverbed, splashing endlessly along her trail of cosmetic tears and starting to lose her balance…


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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