Movies In Music Videos

You know those "Meow Mix" commercials whose sole purpose is to get you to buy cat food? Imagine that the song is seven times longer, and replace "cat food" with "movie tickets."

The right way to advertise your movie.

The wrong way.

Just The Facts

  1. Music videos are supposed to be additional outlets of creativity.
  2. They are actually outlets for rock stars to pretend to be action stars.
  3. Because they need dreams too.

U2 "Elevation"

Movie: Lara Croft's Tomb Raider.

U2, currently (notice we said currently) one of the most retarded bands ever made, teamed up with one of the most retarded movies ever made to make one of the most retarded music videos ever made. While we could easily write an essay on the various atrocities committed by this video, we're going to narrow our focus with regards to how it is related to the movie it pimps.

The main "plot" is that U2 (minus their guitarist, The Edge) has to fight "Evil U2." Where's The Edge? "Evil Bono" calls up normal Bono and says that "we have the Edge" and "we want the key." As it turns out, The Edge is really off somewhere hanging out with Lara Croft in a temple, and already has the key.

The Edge was digitally inserted into scenes of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider to make this possible. (Fun Home Project: Say the words "digitially insert The Edge into Lara Croft" out loud. You'll be surprised to find you're now under arrest for a sex crime!)

Edge promises to give Lara the key if she can get him out of this temple, and she agrees. So now we've got a bargain struck, the rest of the plot can unfold, right? Nope: The rest of the Lara Croft bits are her fighting a robot while The Edge just kind of hovers in the background.

Eventually, Edge reunites with his group, because the temple was apparently right outside the city that the band was walking around. The entire debacle could've been solved at any point by "going outside."

He must've realized this, because he never gives back the goddamn key.

Puff Daddy ft. Jimmy Page "Come With Me"

Movie: Godzilla.

This match up between Puffy and the remade Godzilla actually works: The "new" Godzilla was a steaming turd, and Puffy is a musical hack. It's like getting your chocolate in my peanut butter, only both the chocolate and peanut butter are really feces, and both of us have terminal cancer. Why Jimmy Page decided to do a slightly different version of "Kashmir" for this song is beyond us. Really? You won't let itunes sell your songs, but you're cool with letting one of the douchiest people alive rap over one of your most memorable guitar riffs?

The video kicks off after Godzilla throws a bus at Puffy's apartment (located on the top floor, naturally), which Puffy avoids by flying out of the way (n...naturally?) Puffy then raps in front of this new hole in his apartment, because he's not a very good carpenter. Then a military jet flies by and explodes for no reason. Puffy absorbs the impact of the explosion like a sponge...getting hit by a train...that is also exploding.

Yet Puffy is completely unscathed (there's not even damage to his clothes). The explosion did, however, knock him into the world's brightest and fastest elevator. This doesn't phase Puffy, who strips off his jacket and continues to rap.

Puffy's elevator crashes through the roof of the building, Puffy bursts out...

...and turns into a flock of doves. No you are not hallucinating, that sentence did in fact, happen. We hate to be the ones to break that to you. Grief cousenlors are on hand, should you need them.

Puffy reappears wearing all white and falls from the clouds, landing in the middle of Times Square, where a complete orchestra and pyrotechnics set is waiting for him. More rapping, more snippets of Godzilla running around, and more reminders that Jimmy Page has lost it.


The finale of the video is Godzilla coming face-to-face with Puffy. Godzilla is apparently put at ease by Puffy's ability to say "yeah" over and over, because this video ends with nobody by the name of "Puffy" getting eaten alive.

GODZILLA APPLAUDS YOUR UNIQUE SAMPLING AND AWKWARD FLOW

Prince "Batdance"

Movie: Batman (1989)

If you hold Prince in high regard, then watching this video is like seeing Mr. Rogers appear on "To Catch A Predator." If you took the insanity that caused this man to change his name into a symbol and amplified it by a trillion, it would not come close to whatever thoughts generated this video.

So Prince is Batman...

And the video does not follow up that implication with "ha ha, just kidding." He's the foppish ethnic Batman, and you just deal with it, buddy.

Then another version of Prince shows up on the TV, but instead of kind of looking like Batman, he kind of looks like the Joker. According to wikipedia, this is actually a character Prince is playing called "Gemini," who is half Batman and half Joker. So Prince is rewriting his own Batman universe, and it looks like this:

Because he's fucking Prince, man. That's why. Of course Batman is purple, androgynous, and probably a little sticky.

Batman/Prince (who shall be henceforth known as "Batprince") hits a switch, and then the dancing Joker clones come in...

...followed by the Batman clone chorus who shout "BATMAAAAAAN!" at various points...

...before heading down to the dance floor to "serve" the effeminate Joker clone army.

Crank dat soulja bat.

Then we found out that this video is nearly seven minutes long and we're not even a minute into it. So in the interest of brevity, this happens for six minutes:

...and then it's over, and you now have hepatitis.

Now that that's over with, what was the point of whatever that was? This is supposed to promote the movie to people who are all about Prince, but don't know what Batman is. And by the looks of things, the only person that accurately describes is...Prince. But if there were someone unfamiliar with the movie just watching this video, it looks like Batman is a movie about interpretive dance and cross-dressing filmed in the foggy Scottish moors.

Will Smith "Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)"

Movie: Men in Black II

Will Smith's music is so radio-friendly it makes the Jonas Brothers sound like N.W.A. Remember, this is the guy who coined "gettin' jiggy wit it," which (if you were a kid in the 90's) is what your parents said in front of your friends whenever they were drunk and hated you.

In this video, Will Smith (as Agent J) is performing a concert in a packed stadium located in outer space that is being broadcast around the world, while rapping about the secret organization that doesn't technically exist.

We admit that the other video he made for these movies is no masterpiece (it has an animated Alien doing a choreographed dance alongside Smith; the only reason we said 'it's no masterpiece' is because, tragically, the word 'anti-masterpiece' hasn't been invented yet), but "Black Suits" is about as subtle, logical, restrained and relevant as Michael Bay riding a bull though a minefield.

The Fat Boys "Are You Ready For Freddy?"

Movie: Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

The plot is straight out of Scooby-Doo: One of the group members' uncles has died, and in order to inherit his estate, all three of them must spend a night in his abandoned house (located on Elm Street). Freddy Krueger then chases them around the house. Also, Scooby acts like a dick. He's not actually in this video or anything, we just want to go on record as saying that he's a dick.

Unlike the other videos on this list, there isn't any one screencap we can take and crack jokes about. That's because the baffling nature of this video isn't so much the images present, but the retarded logic behind it: That you can sell an R-rated horror movie to kids with G-rated rap and cartoonish adventures.

Now, we understand that back in the day, rap was a lot cleaner and advertiser friendly. Hell, Run-DMC did the theme song for Ghostbusters II. The difference here is that this movie isn't about a group of charming smart-alecks running around zapping non-threatening ghosts with magical vacuums, it's about a child murderer with knife gloves who kills people in their dreams.

The end result is a rap with a plot-line less threatening than Finding Nemo trying to convince people to see a movie about a guy who turned Johnny Depp's bed into a blood volcano. Oh, and if that wasn't bad enough, Robert Englund raps: (skip to 3:55 in the video). They make the monster rap!

Thrillin'!
Young ones, old ones, yo mamas too
And if you don't watch out, I'm gonna thrill you too
So my advice to you is to...stay ready
'Cause you know who's back? Freddy!
You see my name is Freddy and I'm here to say
I'll wrap you up and take you all away!
So if you feel like your tired and ready for bed
Don't fall asleep or you'll wake up dead!

...and by 'thrill you,' he means 'cut open your intestines.' Because that's what he does in the movies. Hope that subtext wasn't lost on you, kids!

A Professional Opinion: Chris Thilk

Author's note: I don't know much about movie advertising. If someone put me in charge of an ad campaign for a summer blockbuster, I wouldn't have a clue as to how to properly advertise it (though I'm sure it would involve boobs and questionable legality) so who am I to say this is retarded, detrimental, and makes no sense? That's why I contacted Chris Thilk, who runs the Movie Marketing Madness blog, and asked him for an opinion, attatching U2's "Elevation" video as a reference. Here is his response:

I would agree that these sorts of videos are not very effective. Even though I love that song I can't watch that video because the interspersing of movie footage (particularly awful in this case because Edge is added to scenes) makes it awkward to watch and a good representation of neither the movie or the song. The two components wind up competing with each other to entertain the viewer instead of creating a cohesive whole as most trailers, TV spots and viral campaigns do. Take the Iron Man 2/Oracle spot...

...and see how it manages to weave in film footage to make its point and then effectively mirrors it when it switches to the Oracle half of the commercial. It manages to create a single focus and message, whereas the shoehorning of movie footage into a video for a song that, with a few notable exceptions, initially has nothing to do with a movie or its story, does not.

--Chris

See? That's an expert opinion right there, stating unequivocally that this whole practice is cork-on-the-fork retarded and must be stopped. We're uh...we're pretty sure that's what he was saying, anyway.