Tuesday, February 05, 2008

There Will Be Crud

After a great deal of trial and error, we've finally found a bootleg DVD dealer with an air of quasi-respectability about him - meaning he's willing to give you his email address, and if your DVD is no good, you can come to him and complain. It's not much, but it's enough to set him apart. So over the weekend we went and dropped fifteen dollars on a dozen or so Oscar contenders, including Juno, There Will Be Blood, Michael Clayton, Elizabeth, Charlie Wilson's War, and a few more that escape me at the moment. Mostly, we did it to screw all the Hollywood weasels sitting in the audience at the Clinton/Obama debate last week. (Seriously, pinheads, is it too much to ask that you not just hand the Republicans b-roll for their attack ads next fall? We know the WGA strike is cutting into the red carpet time this year but, Jesus Christ, people, eyes on the ball.)

Usually these movies are Academy screener copies (like the ones 60 Minutes story editor Vicky Gordon copies every year for all of her friends - hello, does anyone from AMPAS reads this blog?) which the Mexican pirates then subtitle on their own. Oftentimes the titles will take up half the screen or more (Julia Roberts is under there somewhere). It turns out that guys who steal Hollywood movies for a living are not exactly UN-level translators, in fact they're terrible. We don't mean subtle errors of grammar and word choices - how the hell would we know, anyway? - We mean boners so clunky and obvious even we can spot them, usually because the translator mishears the English, rendering "I see ten of them," as "I need a tent," (which is a weird thing to yell during a shootout with the cops) or our favorite so far, from Michael Clayton, "The burden - that's how it feels," which came out on screen as, "The burden, like Sally Fields." For us, it's like a free comedy bonus, but how a Mexican reading along with this would have any idea what the movie is about is really beyond us.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you may be underestimating the subtitles.

They could be a kind of metaphysical interpretation of the movie which reveals a deeper truth. For example, a burden is, in fact, how Sally Fields feels to me.

Anonymous said...

You should buy, rent or ask borrow the original, not promote piracy.

Burro Hall said...

And you should sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up, don't you think?