Monday, November 21, 2005

50 Cent - Window Shopper (2005)

*1/2 (of four)

The onslaught of soundalike, monotone-flow 50 Cent singles continues, "Window Shopper" being the flagship single from 50's semiautobiographical new movie, Get Rich or Die Tryin'. He raps so wooden, I can't begin to imagine his acting chops, even if he is playing himself.

This video focuses on the first part of the movie's title - the "get rich" part - with 50 Cent and posse on a shopping spree down in the Caribbean. While a mob of fans mills around outside the store window, 50 plops down nine grand for a pair of $85 shoes. It's supposed to be tongue in cheek, you see, but from the lack of expression on 50's face - fresh from a starring role in a widely distributed motion picture - it's rap star business as usual.

There's plenty more in "Window Shopper" intended to tickle the funny bone:

EXAMPLE ONE - 50 negotiates the sale of a hottie's jewelry on the street by tossing a rubber-banded roll of hundreds at her.

EXAMPLE TWO - 50 and a partner who looks astonishingly like Mase* hit an outdoor burger stand and pay $75 for a two-gallon milkshake and $400 for a hamburger. No cheese, though. That costs a hundred bucks extra.
* = He had to learn that monotone,
mush-mouthed rap flow from SOMEwhere.

EXAMPLE THREE - Thousands of Americans pay ten bucks for adult tickets to a piss-poor movie by the name of Get Rich or Die Tryin'. Only the third example really makes me bust up laughing.

I searched the Internet just now for further information about 50's movie, and I came across a review of it on the website Christian Spotlight on the Movies. These family-oriented, well-informed reviews tell believers what movies to see and what to avoid.

Here's the opening line from the Get Rich or Die Tryin' review: "If you had asked me who Fifty Cent was before I saw the trailer for Get Rich or Die Tryin', I wouldn’t have been able to tell you. I am not a fan of rap music, nor have I followed the Billboard popular music charts since the early 90s." See, this is the guy you want reviewing your hip-hop movies - I'm glad I have experts to evaluate these movies and influence my decisions.

Surprisingly, though, the R-rated 50 Cent movie is said not to live up to the teachings of Christ: "Christians, there is nothing in this film worth subjecting yourself to. It is, from start to finish, full of bad language, nudity, and violence." I guess hip-hop has changed since the early '90s. Where are M.C. Hammer and P.M. Dawn when we need them?

I'm inspired. I want to start a website called Christian Spotlight On Porn: "I must confess, I'm sort of a newcomer to bukkake films and haven't followed the adult industry since Ron Jeremy was under 200 pounds. But I was utterly surprised by the sheer amount of semen swallowed by the female star of A Rear and Pleasant Danger. Don't any of these supposed role models know consumption of multiple wads is strictly forbidden by Paul's teaching in Hebrews 8?"

NOTE: For more hilarious video commentary, check out the "Window Shopper" review on the Talkin' Videos site.

Lindsay Lohan - Confessions of a Broken Heart (Daughter to Father) (2005)

*1/2 (of four)

I remember the glory days of this video-reviewing gig, when the only back-and-forth girl-pop rivalry was Britney and Christina trying to outskank each other with every successive video. (That was a win-win situation, as far as I was concerned.) Now the girl-pop rivalry is between Kelly Clarkson and Lindsay Lohan, and they're competing for the title of Most Scarred Childhood Thanks To Abusive Parents.

Clarkson's "Because of You" features a grown woman wagging her finger at a broken, ambitionless mother figure whose dead spirit was apparently passed along to the daughter. Now here's Lindsay blaming her dad - celebrity tabloid mainstay Michael Lohan, played here by a menacing clone of Gabriel "Satan" Byrne in End of Days - for all her problems.

You know Gabriel Lohan is abusive because he yells a lot and points his finger threatingly in Mom's face and at one point smacks the copy of Parade magazine she's reading right out of her hands. (MOM: But honey! Marilyn vos Savant has a killer brain teaser in her new column that involves prime numbers! I can't live like this!)

A blonde Lindsay Lohan, who also directed this mess, emotes from the bathroom floor while wearing way too much black and blue eye makeup. (Ah, black and blue - the universal colors of spousal abuse.) Intercut are screaming-dad flashbacks that have a nine-year-old Lohan counterpart - played by Lindsay's little sister Aliana - watching all the drama go down in the living room and immediately becoming Scarred For Life.

It turns out - and, damn, Director Lindsay was clever here - the whole scene is going down in a department store window, outside of which a crowd gathers to watch the dysfunctional domestic proceedings. It's all so transparent and heavy-handed it can't possibly be taken seriously.

And, shit, I can't stand Hilary Duff and Jessica Simpson, but I always liked Lohan. For her whip-smart turn in Mean Girls, if nothing else. Shit, she even brought an odd dignity to her uptight-mom-stuck-in-teenybopper-body part in the 2003 remake of Freaky Friday. But after watching Lindsay try to force out the tears in the closing shot of "Confessions of a Broken Heart," I'm gonna have to let her go. You're fired, Lindsay. Clean out your desk. It was fun while it lasted.

P.S. Here's the funniest thing about "Confessions" - Michael Lohan, when asked to comment about his daughter's deadbeat-dad ballad, claimed he was thrilled with Lindsay's ambition and talent. And said he wrote his own song in response, to clear the air. Now, see, coming across that at 7 a.m. would be worth watching. Instead we get this ludicrous TV-movie shit.