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 411mania » Music » Columns

The Savage Animal 02.22.12: The Videography of 30 Seconds to Mars
Posted by Mikey MiGo on 02.22.2012

I knew going into the Elimination Chamber Pay Per View that something was "fishy". Some kind of big storyline or big surprise HAD to happen. Why the hell would The Great Khali AND Santino be in an Elimination Chamber? There is just too much filler there. They could have just as easily had Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre, Ezekiel Jackson, or a mid card guy they seem serious about grooming. Something had to give. On the RAW side of the show it's not too much better. The Chamber line up on paper is a million times better, but something still feels off. Maybe I was over reacting, but it just felt like Wrestlemania would be changed based off this show in a bigger way than expected. Call it a "gut feeling" from a fan of literally 25 years.

The show started off with the RAW Chamber match. That was surprising. I expected it to be the last match. It went like what, fifty minutes? It was a great match! I really don't have anything bad to say about it. It's my favorite match of the year so far. I've not enjoyed a match that much in awhile. Good stuff all around. The people involved busted their asses, pulled out some cool and innovative spots, and made is really hard for the rest of the show to follow. After that was a long John Cena "work out promo". It was cool to see some of the FCW guys on TV, but other than that it felt too much like filler. They'd follow this with a Diva Title match. Beth and Tamina had a pretty solid match up. I'd go as far as saying it was the best diva match in recent memory. Beth Phoenix should be held on a pedestal for her carrying of and importance to the WWE's female roster.

Then more filler. This time a whole lame spiel to get Mark Henry, Otunga, and Christian in the ring. They REALLY wasted the return of Christian, which just proves they don't give a shit about him. He's good and all, but he's not a main eventer. He never has been. And then the Smackdown Chamber? At this point my head is spinning. "What? The Kane/Cena match is the closer? What the hell?" My thought process instantly thinks "Oh…. They must have gotten The Rock to show up today". The Smackdown Chamber was fun, but not as good as the RAW. They had some crazy moments like the whole Big Show "breaking in" to Bryan's Chamber. I appreciated the point where it was Daniel Bryan and Wade Barrett going at it. To me it was like saying "Here's what we'll be over-doing in a few years for your Main Events." I'm cool with that. They've both risen up the ladder a lot since NXT. I heard a lot of stuff about how Santino was going to be beaten down and his spot would be taken. Nope. Not only did he get to wrestle the match, but he made it to the end. Now we get Sheamus and Daniel Bryan at Wrestlemania? This same match was SCRAPPED last year in place of a dark match battle royal.

Jack Swagger vs. Justin Gabriel was a randomly added match. It's a good combination of wrestlers and all of that, but there was no build or heat to the match. Why hot have had this promo on Friday or Monday to give the match a tiny bit more "meat". A little thing like that would make it feel much less like filler than it is. What a waste.

I couldn't get into the Kane/John Cena match. I just have a hard time focusing on John Cena. I don't like his character or wrestling ability. I just sort of go into a coma or something when he's on. I like the way they're making Kane a serial killer type of monster than a supernatural freak type. Kane and Mark Henry are proving the Attitude Era guys can still be utilized very well in today's WWE. I dug the energy the match got when they started brawling at ringside. Cena is being more "ruthless". It's the most entertaining his character has been in years. It's still not as fun as he used to be or could be. I don't want to see this on my TV, but I won't deny the fact I was entertained for a few moments. No Rock. Nothing. It was just a way for John Cena to be in the Main Event again. Blah. I really enjoyed the RAW Elimination Chamber match and didn't hate the Smackdown one. Other than that, this wasn't worth the three hours of time spent watching it. There was just SO MUCH FILLER in this show. It's like they got so used to writing for TV that they forgot PPV's were three hours. I'm excited for Wrestlemania because the level of talent they currently have. I really like the upper mid card and newer main eventers. Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Punk, Kofi, Cody, Barrett, Sheamus, and the rest of the "Athetic-tude Era" rock. The build up just isn't on par. This show put some stuff in place, but did nothing to really sell me.

Acting Like Rockstars or Rocking Like Artists?
I've never claimed to be a fan of 30 Seconds to Mars. In fact, part of my younger folklore involved shouting the random, yes random, phrase "Chew My Foreskin!" at a very new electro-rock band called 30 Seconds to Mars. It was a Sevendust show in the Chicagoland area. I don't know what came over me, but I was there to rock and not listen to synth rock. By the way, the story ends with the crowd erupting with laughter and the band not finishing. For a while there I had a mission to shout the random, yes random, phrase to the rest of that years "50 Most Beautiful People".

That's not the point. The point is that I did feel bad and did end up buying 30 Seconds to Mars first CD. I dug it. I know at the Sevendust concert I was ready to rock, but the truth is that I love industrial and new wave. The time and the place was just off. I now know that newer bands have to take the tours they can get and sometimes they're stuck on bills that might not have the best of crossovers. I think that's what happened there. This CD was pretty good. Nothing really grabbed me or moved me, but it was a solid album that I did enjoy. My problem is that the band's style changed completely after this album. They went the pop-emo-punk-whiney-rock route. They became a band that I not only disliked, but would put on a totally unfair and irrational (but honest) level of "you're not cool if you listen to THIS band".

I liked the music, the tone, the imagery, the care for production and art. My main problem was the whiny vocals. It's not that I can't handle a little sadness or anything. I mean I DO love me some Nine Inch Nails and I grew up on Smashing Pumpkins. Those artists prove that a "strained soul" doesn't have so sound like an entire genre that have been proven to be disposable. Maybe that's my problem. I didn't like the way they quickly evolved (sold out?) in a direction I wasn't a fan of. It's that wasted potential of sounding just like everyone else.

All of that said, they put out some interesting videos. With Jared Leto's background in film it's cool they showed that much care in their videos. Today I'm going to watch the ten music videos of 30 Seconds to Mars. I'm watching for the visual art, but I'm optimistic I'll find something of value in the music as well.

Track: "Capricorn (A Brand New Name)"

Album: "30 Seconds to Mars"
Year: 2002
Paul Fedor
I really don't remember this video, but I'm pretty sure I had to have seen it. We see a little boy listening to the ground and hearing something stirring beneath it. Then a lot of people show up and start digging. This is cut with shots of the band playing in a old-timey warehouse looking spot. The craftsmanship of the video is nice, but nothing special is happening here. It's a really forgettable video, but one of the better songs of the band from what I can recall.
Rating: 6.0

Track: "Edge of the Earth"

Album: "30 Seconds to Mars"
Year: 2003
Kevin McCullough
This is a live, "on the road", candid, concert video. They call it a lot of different things, but it's the same thing. It's a collage of road stuff. Sometimes it's done in a way where it's artistic and interesting. In this case, I don't really feel like it "works". It feels like a DVD extra or a video EPK or something more supplemental than an official music video.
Rating: 4.0

Track: "Attack"

Album: "A Beautiful Lie"
Year: 2005
Paul Fedor
This was the first video off the album that put the band on the map. You can clearly hear a "different sound" here compared to the first album. The video production increased too though. This video is pretty decent. At first you think it's a normal performance video, but the weird scratchy edits, the lines, and the different cuts make for a really solid rock video. It's not reinventing the wheel or anything, but the energy in the edit works well.
Rating: 7.0

Track: "The Kill"

Album: "A Beautiful Lie"
Year: 2006
Batholomew Cubbins
Ah ha! This is the video I remember the most. The video starts off with a little preface about the band going to this weird isolated hotel to veg out and I suppose record. They are left a cryptic note to avoid a certain room. Of course they'll approach it. We get cuts of the band performing on an auditorium looking stage mixed in with the story. Each band member goes to the room and gets a weird mind-fuck. It's pretty creative and has way more substance than I remembered. Maybe today's videos are just that bad. I don't like the song at all, but I have to give this video proper credit.
Rating: 8.5

Track: "From Yesterday"

Album: "A Beautiful Lie"
Year: 2006
Batholomew Cubbins
I remember seeing the condensed version of this video and being really annoyed by it. Now I find myself sitting here for a thirteen minute extended cut. Basically from what I gather, the band is called upon by the little boy from "The Golden Child" to come to his land and to glare sexily into cameras and to transform themselves into emo ninjas. I can't take this video serious at all. It's well shot and well done. I'd expect at least this much with Leto's film connections and the band's major label backing. The narrative and story here just sucked. I wanted to like it, I swear. Can anyone explain to me, without being a dick, what is going on here and why is it in this theme? Thirteen minutes!
Rating: 6.0

Track: "A Beautiful Lie "

Album: "A Beautiful Lie"
Year: 2008
Angakok Panipaq
The video starts off flaming. No pun intended. We are shown dramatic photos of what I believe are Eskimos. Apparently this video has an Arctic and ice theme to it. It looks really good and the swooping shots of the ice and what not is beautiful. Nothing else really happens.
Rating: 6.0

Track: "Kings and Queens"

Album: "This Is War"
Year: 2009
Batholomew Cubbins
For some reason, I don't remember this video at all. The band performs in front of a sun set as a whole bunch of people on bikes ride though a city. It's a great looking video, like the others. But also like the others, it goes nowhere. It's fun to look at it, but I'm not exactly having my mind blown.
Rating: 6.0

Track: "Closer to the Edge"

Album: "This Is War"
Year: 2010
Batholomew Cubbins
We are treated to a whole bunch of feel-good freak quotes and it goes into a live video. It's A LOT better than their second video. The crowds at their shows are pretty damn big. I knew they were popular, but I didn't think they were that big. The song, the kid testimonials, the words popping up all over, and the cuts remind me of something seen in between episodes on Disney or Nickelodeon. This felt really clean and artificial.
Rating: 7.0

Track: "Hurricane"

Album: "This Is War"
Year: 2010
Batholomew Cubbins
Another thirteen minute video? Yeesh. Off the bat, it's pretty cool. The shots, the direction, and everything seems spot on. It's good shit. And then we get to the story about a minute or two in. Leto is being stalked by a bondage business man. He jumps out of his high rise hotel and lands on his feet. More and more of weird surreal stuff like this would happen. It's trippy and intense, but not gritty enough to have a lasting effect. As a film making project, this is a great thing. Its connection to the song and the tone isn't my cup of tea. Cubbins deserves a ton of respect for this project. The song sucks though.
Rating: 8.5

Track: "This Is War"

Album: "This Is War"
Year: 2011
Édouard Salier
I almost forgot about this song. The video depicts Leto and the guys as members of the military. They cut it up with shots of real war and political figures. They get into a shoot out with… aliens? Transformers? A tornado? Gravity? The Predator? I have no idea. The effects are cooler than most movies I've seen lately. This would have been the story and theme I'd like to have seen a thirteen minute video of.
Rating: 8.0

It turns out I wasn't being a close minded asshole. I just REALLY didn't like 30 Seconds to Mars. I was fair about it though. I gave them an honest chance here. I wanted my mind to be blown and a connection to be made. I still couldn't get pass the crazy sound shift/sell out? In between the first album and the rest. A preachy emo-rock band just wasn't something that was connect with me. I still like Leto's acting and I respect his art. I didn't really get into the videos all that much, but I like what they were attempting. The videos have a cinematic feel to them. They feel more special than a standard rock and roll video. While I think some of the themes were lame, just the idea that they actually had themes is cool. You don't see this kind of effort and creative energy put into music videos that often. In a perfect world I'd like this music and the videos, but the truth is that in this band's case their music videos are better than their music.

My work on Rockstar Wrestling this week has been a bit tedious. Last week I mentioned that our music selection process is over. We've selected about 300 tracks out of over 1100 that were submitted. For each track, we need a sync license from the artist so we can legally display it and use it in the project. It sucks, but it's a necessary evil in 2012.

It's not a big deal. Most bands just sign it, scan it, and email it back. From that point, I add their track to our production list, compile their contact info, the track info, a promo photo, and anything like that. Of course, I answer all emails from the artists and take care of any questions, comments, or concerns. I enjoy the correspondence because if we accepted them then odds are I found appreciation in their work. It's just a crazy and overwhelming process. I'll spend an afternoon responding to emails and then before I know it, another afternoon, and so on and so on.

That's the thing though. Rockstar Wrestling is more than a independent wrestling show. It's a hybrid variety show that showcases independent artists of ALL TYPES. I want the music to gain as much attention as the wrestling, the stories to get as much attention as the ring work, the ring work to get as much attention as the music, and so on and so on. It's one BIG collaborative art from. If it's a tenth as entertaining as I plan it for it to be then it should be a fun experience for everyone.

Along with the music side of things, a deeper plan of attack has been made for the next official "introduction" type of video. It'll be "What IS Rockstar Wrestling? Vol.2". Angelica Cade, Reed Roberts, and Haynes will be joined by another member of the crew, a bigger picture will be painted on our plans, and we'll finally reveal our rather ambitious plans for Season One.

If you've come this far, you might as well watch the video…



The Duplass's bring us what's being tagged as a "an indie comedy film" on Wikipedia. Whatever, man. It's a little "non-mainstream", but it's got big stars and is going to get more attention than a REAL "indie". I'll forever hate on that aspect of Hollywood. Anywho… I DO want to see this. I like Jason Segel and Ed Helms a lot. Both are very entertaining people and I can't wait to see them work off each other. They're brothers. One is an uptight white collar guy and the other is a slacker who still lives at home. They go on an adventure together to see if someone is cheating or something. I'm sure it'll be funny. We also get Judy Greer, Susan Sarandon, and a few other familiar faces. It'll be funnier than "I Love You Man" for sure. I'd almost want to bet on it.


In 2009 a movie called "Malice in Wonderland" was released. I don't want to say "Hey! Didn't that Tim Burton rendition come out around then?!", but it's a fair question and statement. Is this a "well timed" release or a "piggy-backer"? That's not for me to decide. I really don't care one way or another. I didn't like Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" at all. I did, however, enjoy this Simon Fellow's directed euro-crime drama told in the world of "Wonderland". It's a way more modern take on the subject. It follows the standard mythos of Lewis Carroll's original work, but it puts it in some sort of Guy Ritchie-like "crime thriller". I thought it was going to be cheap and lame, but the story turned out to be pretty interesting. Maggie Grace placed Alice, an American law student from a well off family. She's run down by a cab and then finds herself going on the normal "Alice" journey. The characters are what made this for me. Danny Dyer played "Whitey", the cab driver. He's pretty much the rabbit. Dyer is awesome. He's not the lead, but he sort of carries the movie. Something about him was familiar and I could have sworn he's been in stuff I've seen before, but apparently not. One dude I DID know was Matt King playing "Gonzo". He's the sleazy bad guy in the situation. He plays "Super Hanz" on my favorite Brit-com of all time "Peep Show". That was a pleasant surprise. I'm surprised the guy hasn't caught on to bigger roles yet. The twists and turns were fun. The Caterpillar was a white-Jamaican stoner who spoke in rhymes. The guy looked like kind of/sort of/a little big like Andy Samberg, but it wasn't him. The Cheshire cat was a smooth talking DJ named "Chester Felix". It was all borderline cheesy and as I'm typing this I know I'm not doing it justice. It sounds like a lot of crap, but it works well. It's a well crafted movie with some decent performances. If you're into the "Alice in Wonderland" story then you'll want to see it for sure. If not, you can watch something else and not miss too much here. It IS better than the Tim Burton movie though. If you cross paths with this movie I can only recommend you give it a fair chance. It will most likely surprise you. It did me. B

That's another one. Thanks for reading. I don't say it enough, but I totally appreciate all the reads, emails, comments, and support. This column is going on SIX YEARS OLD. This July will be six years since the first "Savage Animal". That's a long ass time. I think I might even have surpassed the milestone "300th Column". I don't plan on letting up any time soon, but thinking of topics every week is becoming a rough task. For next week's column I'm going to do another "First Impression" special. I think this month I'm going with the The Yardbirds. Why? I have no idea, but I'm sure it'll be good. Until next time… Have a Great Week!


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