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Grab a bag of Trader Joe’s olive oil popcorn (or a skull of absinthe). It’s time for my latest Japan/Gothic movie reviews. (Thanks to VIZ Media, Tigerlily Films and Alliance Atlantis for the DVDs/passes.)

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Is there anything more epic than Spinal Tap? Yes: a new Japanese extravaganza called Detroit Metal City. Negishi, a doofus with a mushroom haircut finds no success with his cheese tart love songs. Somehow, he’s roped into singing for a Visual death metal band. You’ll cackle like the evil record label boss as Negishi tries to balance his oshare (Daikanyama-trendy) and Satanic double life. The movie is pure camp: Negishi’s dorky running, the metal-heads screaming to “kill everyone” lyrics, and even a “metal buffalo.” Gene Simmons of KISS appears as the reigning metal god, alongside Marty Friedman of Megadeth — what more could you want?

San Francisco friends, there will be a screening of Detroit Metal City on November 4th, 7:15pm at VIZ Cinema in New People World. The DVD comes out from VIZ Pictures on November 9th, so you can order a copy here.

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Cruise vacations make me think of retirees. Conga lines. All you can eat buffets. Lame. But what if one of these vessels were pillaged by a crew of Goths? Ingenious. Goth Cruise. The documentary follows a wide cross-section of Goths, from parents to crossdressers. We learn who they are and how they fell into dark culture. While I wasn’t inspired by the American Goth fashion in the film, the narrative is balanced and respectful, and has an A+ soundtrack that includes The Cure and The Banshees. Find out more on the film’s website (and also check out my 10 Quirkiest Theme Cruises article for CNNGo.)

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I’ve been biting my nails in anticipation for The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the final film based on Stieg Larsson’s breakout novels. (You may recall that I reviewed the second installation, The Girl Who Played With Fire.) Lisbeth Salander, the defiant Gothic hacker, unintentionally sports a “guro” look as she recovers from severe wounds. In no time, she’s back in her platform boots, a deathrock hairstyle and several spiked necklaces: armor against the three murder charges that threaten to institutionalize her forever.

The problem with being a law school graduate is that it’s impossible to accept the liberties taken with proper courtroom procedure: such as broadcasting a video the prosecution has not seen, or surprising the court with evidence stolen by a hacker. Although there’s less action and mystery in the last installement, Hornet’s Nest succeeds in tying up narrative ends and resolving character questions — a hard task for a trilogy. I also felt for Lisabeth the most in this film, which shows her quiet strength as a survivor. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is out today in North American theaters and on DVD.

Just released: the new PV (music video) of Calendula Requiem by KanonXKanon (the collaboration between Miss Wakeshima and An Cafe). What do you think?

Anyone excited about upcoming movies? Which films have you watched recently and enjoyed?

Japanese Word of the Day: Kiseki – Miracle
Song of the Day: KanonXKanon – Calendula Requiem

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  1. Jrockonhigh
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 3:28 am | Permalink

    These musicians should do more collaborations in the future. I loved the video; it was great and so interesting (in a good way).

  2. Laura
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Detroit Metal City! I loved that movie, super hilarious XD
    The cameos made it even better haha it was like watching an onscreen interpretation of Guitar Hero!

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 1, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      Wasn’t it brilliant??? I laughed so hard at this movie.

  3. Mynn
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    I loved their collaboration music-wise, especially when Kanon played her cello. Their sound is a pleasing mix of traditional and modern instruments, which is always intriguing. Visually-wise, I don’t know how to describe my feelings. Both Kanons look beautiful in traditional Japanese garb, and the video showed Japanese culture stunningly. It’s just the randomness of the dancing ninjas and the headless dancing people that made me… disoriented, somewhat. Perhaps it has something to do with the lyrics? *goes to search it up*

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 1, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      hahah yeah, her videos tend to be a bit discombobulated…

  4. shadowpal2
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    I thought the whole collaboration between Kanon and Kanon from An Cafe AS PURE AWESOMENESS. Really enjoyed the sound – but as Mynn described it was kind of random with the whole ninja thing heheh. But still damn hilarious, gotta love the PSP-headed Ninja and the “duck?”-headed Ninja. ^_^. I got to check these movies out though sooner or later and definitely Detroit Metal City – I mean being a huge fan of Spinal Tap, that’s one I can’t miss out on. And goths on a cruise ship? Sounds hilarious to me! HAHAHAHA! Sounds like the most random and insane things can happen with that kind of combination – lmao.Anyway I watched “The Social Network” yesterday night. And what did I think? Well it definitely violated one of the Internet’s rules: “DON’T TALK ABOUT THE INTERNET.” – but…it was overall pretty good. The dialogue was quite smart and witty. It was fast paced and made you pretty well attached to the characters. And it makes me wonder – say La Carmina when you were at Yale or Columbia, did you hear about “The Facebook” at the time? What was it like?

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 1, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Ohh, I saw The Social Network. I didn’t fall in love with the film, but I thought it was well done and worth watching. Hahah Columbia had its own social network called CU Community (RIP!) Columbia students got access to Facebook early, so I had friends who were on it from the start. Myself, I didn’t start until 2007-ish (I didn’t want the excess baggage until it became a necessity)…

  5. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THAT SONG I LOVE KANON WAKESHIMA AND AN CAFE WAS ONE OF THE VERY FIRST VISUAL KEI BANDS I LISTENED TO (the 2nd one, after the GazettE :P) I was disappointed when I heard they were going to go on hiatus…
    this is JUST TOO TOO EPIC!!

    And that movie has a cool promotional picture. I want to pull off that style. :)
    I’m doing college applications at the moment. Early Decision! Columbia! EEEEE —

    • shadowpal2
      Posted October 30, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      OOOOOO!!!! – Are you applying as a Freshman or Transfer student? I’m currently thinking about transferring except I have no idea where at the moment.

      Maybe Berkeley, L.A, Santa Barbara, or maybe the east coast. Though I’ll admit I had a terrible experience in the east coast during Summer Break 2009. UGH.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 31, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Oh, I’m applying as a freshman :D. Are you at Columbia right now?! OMG GIVE ME YOUR SPOT I WANNA GO THERE SOOOOO BAD but my grades aren’t up to par DX
        UCLA is amazinnnnng. The campus and surroundings are gogreous but Berkeley is nice too…hehe.

        • shadowpal2
          Posted November 1, 2010 at 12:00 am | Permalink

          No I’m not at Columbia right now haha. But it’s certainly a school where I am thinking of transferring. Now let me tell you something. If you don’t get in to your desired University/College the first time, you can always go through the transfer process.

          You save a ton of money considering the first 2 years of any regular university is just General Education. You could finish it up at any place and then transfer. Plus something tells me you’ll be like me in that your grades will be much better in college.

          Because for General Education and stuff – the homework is seriously nothing…you’ve got 1 paper, sometimes maybe a few question worksheets to answer…and then 2 midterms and 1 final and BAM – that’s it for the class. Hell sometimes you just get tests and nothing else for the class.

          High School is nothing but a ****-load of busy work. Plus you’ll learn more in college classes trust me.

          Now another thing is that grades aren’t all for Columbia. Hell to be honest…you could get a 2400 on the SAT, 800s on SAT II’s, hold a 4.3 GPA AND STILL not get in Columbia. There’s the personal statement to think of and how you as an INDIVIDUAL stick out. Do something for the major you’re interested in. Start an organization – don’t join clubs from high school they’re a waste of time (unless you’re having fun of course).

          ANYTHING, anything at all – it could be acting, music, asian arts or anything like that. It does not AT ALL have to be some crazy attempt to try and achieve the Intel Prize Award, because in all honest that’s just ridiculous. Just show yourself really.

          If you don’t succeed at first, you can always transfer there through Columbia – you have a greater chance and it’s a much more relaxing way to do so. One interesting thing is that when you’re applying as a transfer student they require you to take a minimum of a year off to do something that’s meaningful to you. It’s fantastic really. GO WILD – do your best and do what’s right for you.

          • lacarmina
            Posted November 1, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

            I think it’s really important to be an individual. Show your shining personality, your quirks, your eccentricities. Columbia is not the place for cookie cutter geeks with standard resumes full of jargon… :)

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 1, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      Eeee! Columbia ROCKS. I loved my time there, and it’s way better than Yale haha. Wishing you the best of luck!!

  6. Tabitha
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    the gothcruise page has been suspended.

  7. Jason
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    I want to go on goth cruise so bad. Sounds incredibly awesome~

  8. Didymus
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m excited about seeing Gypsy 83, although I’m beginning to wonder if I should be. I don’t know a great deal about it other than the plot summary, but the dvd just arrived in today’s mail. In short its about 2 young goths that travel to NYC to participate in a Stevie Nicks impersonation competition. I’m not sure why goths want to pretend to be like Stevie Nicks, and I see the movie has won a lot of awards from Gay & Lesbian film festivals.. So… I’ll letcha know how it is ^^

  9. Ildiko
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    ooooh! I like that new PV! That’s interesting though how its kanon off AnCafe…but it works! 8D
    heh heh, DMC rox. But they had to tone down the movie because the show was a weee bit more vulgur! XD

  10. Liching
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Happy Halloween!

  11. Moco
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    wow! XD

  12. Natalia
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    i really enjoy this film

  13. Ai
    Posted October 31, 2010 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    I love this film! It was so much fun to watch it.The whole audience was crying and headbanging. Amazing!

  14. Melanie
    Posted October 31, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    theres more than one released? only saw the first one this week, thought it was brilliant, fantastic casting!

  15. Ildiko
    Posted October 31, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Happy Halloween! Have a SPOOOOOKY night! :D

  16. Rash
    Posted October 31, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Whoooo Halloweeeeeen >:D mwehehehehe

  17. Magnales
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    I would never think of Kanon Wakeshima collaborating with An Cafe. It sounds awesome, but I still have to look op the translated lyrics to really judge. I’ve got high expectations now…

    Recently I have watched Black Kiss (japanese trailer: ). It’s about girl who just started a career in modelling and witnesses a mysterious and gruesome murder. A police investigator tries to find the killer who kills the victims with a scalpel and precision. On the back of the DVD-box, the film is compared with Silence of the Lambs. It’s not the same as Silence of the Lambs, but because of the comparable theme there is the same ambiance as in Silence of the Lambs. I do recommend the film.

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 1, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Oooh, I’d love to see that… I’ll see if I can find a DVD.

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