▲▲COMPILED BY MARTIN WILLIAMS
Detroit Metal City
We’ve all heard stories of professional musicians who pay their dues performing music they can’t stand. This manga adaptation from Japan takes this predicament to the wackiest level, as a good-natured rural boy with a thing for easy listening finds himself forced to retain the identity of a death metal icon caked with gothic makeup after his titular band DMC hits pay dirt. This feverish metal revisiting of the Mrs Doubtfire theme has had audiences in stitches on both sides of the Pacific. And yes, if the title weren’t already a giveaway, Gene Simmons makes a late appearance.
The release of director Koki Mitani’s The Magic Hour two weeks ago allows this handsome, impressive Japanese comedy from three years ago to hit Taiwanese theaters. The scene is a large hotel, the time is New Year’s Eve, and the players are a bunch of powerful and/or eccentric guests and staff. Mitani respects his characters and how they interact, and the result is a wide and detailed canvas of hilarity and drama that has delighted critics and audiences.
700 Days of Battle: Us vs the Police
Another Japanese release, but a polar opposite in terms of sophistication. Based on part of a “hit” blog serial (as measured by Web site hits, presumably), 700 Days proceeds through a litany of comical clashes between some high school friends and a cop. Broad and family-friendly, this is recommended for anyone who thinks youthful rebellion only ends with a pie in the face of authority rather than drug addiction or a debilitating police record.
With Billy Zane, Dennis Hopper and Ann-Margret in a movie, there should be something for everyone, but the reaction to this little-seen chiller from 2006 was less than generous. Zane is afflicted with “memories” that may or may not have been his own. One would hope not, seeing as they included abducting and killing kids. The response to this potentially horrifying scenario seems to have largely focused on the viability of Zane’s hair and why the market forgot to send it straight to DVD. That forgetfulness now extends to the Taiwanese market.
Another promotion for TiVo product makes its way to Taipei’s Baixue theater in Ximending. The shadow of Porky’s looms large as a bunch of Thai college friends set about capturing the girls of their wet dreams by forming a group called “The Gig.” The first rule in associating with women, so the newspaper ad sagely tells us, is “don’t fall in love with the girl you’re banging.” Got that straight? This 2006 release made enough money to get a sequel filmed the following year. Starts tomorrow.