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Hello, and welcome to my pain of the day - I shall dub it "Blockbuster Dub Conspiracy". Here's the trouble...

It would seem evident these days that Blockbuster, the megastores for video purchase and rental, has caught up to the times and is adding more and more foreign films to their shelves. If you're a big fan of Chinese films like me, this would seem like a great thing as you pass by the shelves and notice that they've got films like "The Storm Riders" and "Once Upon A Time In China" on the shelves.

However, as you bring the tape/DVD to the checkout, pay your $5, and go home to watch the film, you realize with horror (or something quite similar to it) that you've been scammed...for it turns out that the foreign film in question is a DUBBED version!

If there is one thing in the world that proves that there is a devil, it's dubbed movies. I hate them with a passion. I like to believe that any movie, no matter how bad it may be, is still a product of some hard work - whether it be from the directors, the screenwriters, the actors, somebody put some hard work into it. All that gets thrown out the window when dubbing comes into play. Every bit of hard work that goes into the dialogue, every emotion that is put into dictating the words by the actor - all that gets trashed when dubbing kicks in. An emotional performance by Chow Yun Fat gets turned into a pair of moving lips and a flat delivery of a flat translation - most of which is incorrect or just not reflective of the culture in play.

Blockbuster is the worst culprit here. It would seem that for every foreign film out there, they will only carry those that are dubbed. Even DVDs are affected as you will find that most, if not all, of the foreign film titles that they have are English Dub only. DVDs! I mean, the idea behind DVDs was that you could carry a lot more on them, including multiple language tracks and subtitles. For Blockbuster to carry English language only movies on DVD is very disturbing - it's as if they decided that we're all illiterate and just dig moving pictures without talk.

A couple of years ago, I rented "Life is Beautiful" from Blockbuster on VHS, only to find out at home that it was a dubbed version. I immediately went back to Blockbuster and asked for a subtitled version. It turned out that they didn't have any. Worse still was the reaction from the guy at checkout - "Why would you want to read the movie?"

Idiot.

Stop the madness now - go to your local video store and demand that they carry foreign films in all of its original glory! Watch Jackie Chan move his lips and hear Chinese! See Beat Takeshi move his lips and hear Japanese! DO NOT accept this dumbing down of the masses!


Ah, the softlinks. Well, yes...it is my opinion and I could be wrong in many things. However, I am of one camp and you may be of another - I don't think we can decide what is right or wrong for another.

And as for how "it doesn't mean it can't exist"...nobody said it couldn't exist. There are some movies that do well with dubbing - but animation is pretty much it. Akira had some very good dubbing. Princess Mononoke had the script translated and rewritten properly by Neil Gaiman...that turned out very good because any loss of effect in translation was muted by the fact that somebody took the time to change it to make sense to a different culture.