Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Backup Dancers From Hell: Hoobastank - “The Reason”

We start out with one of the band members standing across the street from some crappy-looking establishment named “Monte Carlo Restaurant”. As we wonder why anyone would ever want to eat there, we notice that one of the people in the crowd walking past the eatery is slowing down. She gazes at our boy, and our boy grins back, in that “aw shucks” way that has led many a teenager to lose her virginity. The girl steps into the street and is immediately hit by a car.

Well, then. 14 seconds into the video and somebody is already dead. This looks fun.

Quick shot of the girl not moving, then a shot of birds flying overhead. This is either symbolic of her passing on to a higher plane, or we’ve rudely interrupted some type of migration. Cut to the mean car that took the life of an innocent supermodel, and inside we see the lead singer. He starts singing the song, then grabs at the rearview mirror so he can make sure his eyebrows have been plucked correctly. Apparently he’s satisfied with what he sees, so he hops out of the car.

Lots of folks are milling around the sprawled supermodel, so you know we’re not in New York City because none of those people even blink when bodies appear in the streets. The lead singer (I believe his name is Doug) shoves a few people out of the way so we can see that the supermodel (Let’s call her Gertrude. She won’t care; she’s dead.) is kind of bloody, so there’s going to be some stain issues with the laundry later in the day. The people standing in a circle around Gertrude all look tragic and pale, with one of the extras really getting into her acting craft by slightly clawing at her face and making her eyes widen in shock.

Brief glimpse of Gertrude and Doug (I think) lying on a floor somewhere else and gazing at each other with silly grins on their faces. What’s that all about?

Oh, look, Gertrude is walking down that same evil street again, just before the bump and grind, but this time we get to see her shoes really close-up. They’re ugly and pointy, so this might be why she had to die. We see her get hit again, from a few new angles, so someone clearly went to film school and wanted to prove it. The guy working in the “Lucky Loans” place behind our first guy (let’s call him Hector, shall we?) comes rushing out with his phone. Hopefully, he’s going to use that phone to call someone for assistance and not just make an intrusive video that will get a million hits on YouTube.

Wait, Hector, upon seeing the Lucky Loans Guy go stomping off to be a hero or at least a viral sensation, turns and slips into Lucky Loans, locking the door behind him. Is this whole thing a setup? Or just a primer in how to take advantage of every business opportunity that you see, even if a supermodel had to give up a life on the catwalk?

Hector cuts the alarm to this place, then opens the back door to let one of his equally-unkempt buddies join the party in the pawn shop. Dude Number Three grabs his little tool case thing, which probably contains ultra-secret theft technology and a rocket launcher, and runs inside. Cut to Unkempt Dude Number Four, fiddling with one of those old-school overhead projectors your fifth-grade teacher would use to present you with spelling words that you would never use again the rest of your life. Number Four seems to be studying a map of the pawn shop, but I can’t really tell because I’m looking at his hair and wondering how much peroxide it took to do THAT.

Back to the pawn shop, where Hector and Three start breaking into the safe, although Three might be a little confused about his actual duties, because he’s wearing headgear that Thomas Dolby would sport in one of his artsy but head-scratching music videos.

Now we’re back on the street outside, where everybody is still pale and tragic over Gertrude’s final time on the runway. Lead Singer Doug is still there, not looking the least bit guilty about having narrowed the field of contestants for the next Vogue cover. He sings some more, then we get to see the accident one more time from another angle, apparently taken by a mini-cam attached to Gertrude’s crotch. (No idea why we needed that.)

Wait, very quick shot of the supermodel’s face, and there’s not any blood. And she opens her eyes. Oh? (See, it’s just not fair. Ugly people have to die when hit by a car, but the beautiful people just take a short nap and then they’re ready to head to Bimini for the swimsuit edition. ) Lead Singer Doug, since he didn’t really care about his actions in the first place, hops in his car and takes off. The shocked bystanders run to tell the cop in a squad car that just pulled up, which is totally unrealistic. Normally, when the po-po arrive, people throw their bongs out a window and run.

But the policeman must be a rookie, believing the crowd’s story, so he slaps on his police lights and gives chase to Doug. (Shot of Hector and Dude Three finally getting the safe open. Shot of Dude Four making a giant red “X” on his overhead projector thing, so he might have decided to do some bowling until his little friends got back from cracking safes and not brushing their hair.)

Dude Three goes through a few nifty compartments in the safe, until he finds a secret spot where a large jewel sits all alone in some sort of precious-stone timeout. (Well, I’m assuming we’re supposed to think it’s an expensive gem. It really looks like something you would get out of a gumball machine, or maybe some crafty pre-schooler made it out of jello and a cookie cutter.) Dude Three snatches it up and goes to look for some whip cream to spoon on top of it.

Cut back to Doug, still eluding the police, even though he’s driving a nasty, broke-down hoopty compared to the squad car. Then we see an extra from “Hogan’s Heroes” receiving a phone call, with the caller instructing him to hop on a motorcycle and drive really fast down an alley. Back to the supposed crime scene, where a sad EMT is starting to work on Gertrude. She’s not really interested in his ministrations, so she hops to her feet, then hops on the back of Hogan’s motorbike as he conveniently putters up right at that time.

This leads to a montage of all the apparent duplicity that we’ve seen so far, with the Pawn Shop Guy finally figuring out the gig and racing back inside to see that his jello jewel has gone AWOL. We see Doug, Gertrude and Hogan all racing off to wherever they are going, and shots of the band performing in the lobby of an older hotel where everyone checked out a long time ago. The bystanders wander away from the accident scene, a little pissed that no one actually died, and considering writing their congress people about this injustice.

The final scenes are at what we’ll assume is the gang’s hideout, where they are all grinning dopily and using the jewel to make red-tinted refractions flash about the room.

That’s right, folks. They staged an accident, burgled a pawn shop, and ruined a perfectly-good blouse, just so they could lie on the floor and watch pretty shapes dance on the ceiling. Great…


Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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