Brass Knuckle Boys (Shonen merikensakku) The Shonen Merikensack [2008] • Japan

I'll watch anything with Aoi Miyazaki in it but it was extremely tough this time. She's fabulous, of course, and the film starts off with a refreshingly bizarre sense of humor, but it quickly devolves into toilet humor. Miyazaki plays a record company office worker who discovers a punk rock band on the Internet, thinks they are the next big thing, and decides to represent them on behalf of her company. What she doesn't know, at first, is that the band's web site and videos are 25 years old, so she must follow through promoting a group of middle-aged punk rockers because contracts have been signed and jobs are on the line. I can't imagine who this movie is aimed at. Young people (who are into punk) will recognize it as fake and older people (who may have been punks) will too. Brass Knuckle Boys confuses punk with childishness and fails to create characters that anyone will care about. For every quick and funny moment that works, and there's a bunch of them, there's umpteen that don't. And the sibling rivalry family drama subplot is painfully uninteresting. I'm a huge Aoi Miyazaki fan but a two hour fart joke is a bad vehicle for her.


  1. Hi!
    I think you're focussing to much on the girl than the real plot. There's a real gap between the music provided by the company and punk music.
    Pop music : repetitive
    Punk music : random

    I also do not agree with this part of your arguments.

    " Brass Knuckle Boys confuses punk with childishness "

    For your information, punk is something that is free from moral codes and rationality. You can't oppose childishness and punk.

    " and fails to create characters that anyone will care about. "

    Do you think a punk guy/girl cares about the fact they interest anyone ?!? No, totally. A punk band is playing music for their own pleasure (i'm not talking about fake groups that need money). That's why this kind of music seems so far from conventionnal money making pop music.

    My email is
    If you desire to discuss about it.

  2. Can you tell me what the double entendre with the main lyric used throughout the movie is? translated as "surfing to pass the time" ... translated, that is, to try and get to what it sounded like because he sang it with a lisp?

    My reaction is to the movie (not to what punk is). A movie which stars one of Japan's leading actresses, an actress who couldn't have a more squeaky clean image ... so there's not really going to be anything punk about. I think it flopped into childishness as a substitute.

    I do think punks care a LOT about catching people's interest and that punk music is as repetitive as pop music. It just repeats a different motif.

    Remember, this is a movie we're talking about. Contrast to "Sid and Nancy", a movie a lot closer to what punk is ... and it had sympathetic characters. I'm not sure if you are defending the movie as being better than I thought it was or if you are just challenging whether or not I know what punk is. But you're right, I did focus on the girl--the reason I watched the movie--and may have come up short in appreciating a certain zeitgeist the film was attempting to portray. But the movie isn't punk, it's a project put together by people to make money.

  3. " it's a project put together by people to make money. "

    That's something i could agree with you but i really think Kankuro Kudo sincerily wanted to do something different from traditionnal japanese movies, full of moral lessons etc...Yes, there are many pointless scenes in this movie but there are some solids moments such as when Aoi asked to his producer " what is Punk ? " and he doesn't answer anything, because he can't explain it with words. Another moment when she was scared/curious about all that violence and still can't explain it at the end of the movie.

  4. I thought there were more genuinely hilarious scenes in the film than "solid" ones. Seems like you are just happy, and perhaps rightly so, that "punk" was used as a theme in a mainstream, and as what I see as a "traditional japanese movie, full of moral lessons etc". I thought it exploited it, though, rather than actually exploring it seriously.

  5. I never said it was perfect that's why i didn't criticize your rating :P

    " I thought it exploited it, though, rather than actually exploring it seriously. "

    Well, we can't ignore people are doing movies for money but just put that idea aside.
    I'm just questioning myself about some good scenario details :
    The punk band was reunited for bad reasons, so they failed in the end.
    Aoi can't understand the essence of Punk because she already accepted rules of the adult world (Getting a decent job, earning money, get a lover etc...).
    When a punk guy/girl have to choose a binary choice, he's choosing a 3rd, 4th or maybe a 5th way.
    For the producer's silence about aoi's question, i probably think he wasn't a real punk. He was probably a follower surfing on this wave.
    I really think that the most important sentence in this movie was Aoi's sentence : " What is Punk ? "

    " I thought there were more genuinely hilarious scenes "

    Yep that wasn't the good side of the movie, i agree.

    One more thing : Song's lyrics weren't very appropriate i agree too.