Oh dear, I've mucked up my daily posting regime. Oh well, it was bound to happen sometime. Better sooner than later; I wouldn't want to lure you all into a false sense of regularity! Ah ha ha.
Anyway, today, another movie review. Because... well, basically, whenever I watch one of these movies, I remember things to say about them, get inspired, and there you have it.
Today, we're going another direction entirely: 少年メリケンサック.
Already I'm lost. What genre to put this in... probably comedy. At times, mockumentary, but not to the extent to classify the whole movie as such. Nah, we should probably stick with comedy. Crack-tastic comedy, maybe.
Again, I must divulge enough plot to you to whet your appetite, but not too much so that the movie is spoiled! Oh, the reviewer's dilemma.
The movie opens in the mockumentary format, getting the opinions from various (apparently live-house patron) people concerning a certain band, who we find out is named 少年メリケンサック. Cut to an office worker in a record company, who has found a live video of this band while cruising the internet for work. Though she hates it (they are, after all, a punk band, and we can tell from looking at her that this girl is NOT a punk fan, from her sparkly pink desk to her brightly decoupaged nails) she realizes its potential selling qualities, and runs to show it to her boss.
We find out at this point that Kanna (the girl, I wasn't being a bad reviewer, you don't know her name until this point!) was scheduled to quit today. Unfortunately, dear readers, once again, your host's Japanese skills fail you. (I blame it partially on the mad Tokyo-ben they're speaking. Geez.) I believe, however, that the basic idea is that she's worthless, and hasn't done anything to merit continued employment thus far, but had worked out a deal to continue working until this day, in the hopes that she might do something.
Anyway, her boss (who is a secret punk) loves the music, and is determined that Kanna should sign the band, and get an album and a tour out of them to save her career. Kanna, who is at first reluctant, jumps on the opportunity when she's made "director," and subsequently makes contact with the band's イケメン bassist through info listed on their "official" website.
The movie thus follows Kanna trying to get the band together, taking them on tour and fighting to keep them playing, all while being completely unimpressed herself by their music. Trust me, it's not nearly so boring as I make it sound, but I write any more, and I get into SPOILER ZONE, and that's a zone we want to avoid, kids.
Regardless, I recommend this movie, especially if you're into the Japanese comedy scene--while it's not so novel as to be completely separated from all other comedy genres... well, if you've seen a Japanese comedy, you'll get what I'm talking about. There's a lot of slapstick, let's put it that way. I laughed aloud any number of times, both at intentional jokes and some characters, which are basically there to be running gags.
It's also good if you're at all interested in the music world; admittedly, I'm not sure how true to real life the story is, but at the same time it's an interesting way to look at what we always assume to be the glamorous lifestyle of bands and music execs.
And hey, it's always good if you're パンク. Admittedly, this is classic パンク--you know, the kind where they're not actually that good at playing music. But still, you can tell, it's a different kind of music than we're used to; the movie even parodies the modern phenomenon of Asian Kung Fu Generation(アジカン)-bands (as I call them). You know, every other band currently popular in Japan that sounds exactly the same? I mean, if I gave you a GreeeeeN song and an アジカン song, ten bucks says you couldn't tell who was who. Same goes for twenty-or-so other bands who scratch their way onto Music Station every week. Boring, emotionless, nerd-vogue. If you don't seem to care about your music, even when you're playing it to a live audience, any good fan should question their own devotion. Hell, Johnny's boys have more oomph than these guys, generally.
...apparently being a Dir en grey fan makes you a music snob. Huh.
But I digress. As I am wont to do.
Anyway, it shows パンク as the kind of thing that isn't watered down or catering to the masses; or at least, パンク as it was. Personally, I think they implied that modern パンク is less so, in the beginning, but... well. I'll let you be the judge.
Personally, as a fan of hard rock, I can empathize. I love the older bands, and simply have to shake my head at the new V-kei bands who think looks are more important than talent and don't realize that their chosen genre died in the 90s. It's an epidemic.
... so there's another reason. Nostalgic for the music of the good ol' days? Watch 少年メリケンサック. Feel their pain. Cry out at the disrespect of the modern punk fan. Lament at the state of the current music scene. Get a hankering to go to a live house.
And really, on the whole, it is inspiring, to a certain extent. It may be a slightly over-done message, but at the same time, a good one. Boil it down, and you basically get "don't worry about what other people think, just do what you do as hard as you can." I like it. Might not be the best motto to live by, but in the punk world? That's life. And it's not really as sappy as it sounds, because of the way it ends, but... well, you'll see.
Also, when you do watch the movie? Tell me (a) who you think Telya is a parody of, and (b) what you think about Kanna's boyfriend. I have opinions on both, and oh would I love to share.
This is Edo, signing off, and apologizing for this rather crappy movie review. Apparently, how opinionated I am and how eloquent I am are inversely correlated...
1 day ago