Thursday, April 27, 2006


* Sorry, this post got pretty long, but its well worth the read!! *
I can't stand watching foreign films with English Dub.
Can't stand it!!!!
The filmmaker's intent and vision is completely lost for one. Plus, the voice actors are usually sub-par and don't seem to be emulating what their screen characters are supposed to be feeling and behaving. At best, the dubbed version comes across as comical like an old Godzilla movie. So whenever I rent a foreign film, I ALWAYS watch in its original language with English SUBTITLES. The film is always leagues better. In fact, I sometimes find having subtitles in any movie often times aides the film as you can focus more on the writing and less on the actor's delivery, which in American films, is sometimes pretty crappy (Thank you again Hollywood for continually diminishing film standards).

With that said, please hear me out with this one....
I'm a big fan of French director JEAN-PIERRE JEUNET. He directed "City of Lost Children", "Delicatesson", "Amelie" and "A Very Long Engagement." I just love his films! One of the fun aspects of the ALIEN Saga is that each outing is with a new visionary director who puts their own style and an entirely new take on the ideas and themes of the Original. So I was excited to see what "ALIEN meets City of Lost Chilrden" would be like!!! But to say I was disappointed in ALIEN: Resurrection is a HUGE fucking understatement (I'll leave that rant for another post some day). I couldn't figure out how one of my favorite directors which such a great track record fucked up an ALIEN movie so badly. Sure the script sucked, but that's not his fault; he was approached and hired to direct the film after the script had been greenlit. In a Q&A session at a small theater in Santa Monica a few years ago, he said that during the making of A4, he did not speak English and therefore had to direct most of his actors through a translator. Whoa! Well, that may explain why the delivery and performances from decent actors sucked so hard. So one night I decided to watch ALIEN: Resurrection in FRENCH with English subtitles to get a feel of the movie HE was seeing when he made it.

I have to say, the movie became something else. Instead of the abomination I saw in the theater, I now was watching another French Jeunet movie! Now, I don't speak French, so perhaps the audio dub actors suck, but to my ignorant American ears, they were wonderful! While every single actor before annoyed me, now the characters were interesting and likable (yes, even Wynona Ryder)! The movie is now yanked out of cheezie Hollywood flopland and instead resides within a great Jeunet french film of freakiness and creepy atmosphere. Also, with the bad performances no longer in your face and blocking the enjoyment of the movie, you now have a clear vision of the IDEAS of the story; genetic manipulation of both species and unintentional cross-breeding.

The movie still has a few bumps, but they pass quickly. So seriously, give the movie another viewing one night with the French audio track activated - do it for Jimmy. I think you'll enjoy the movie...atleast moreso than previously... especially if you're a fan of Jeunet's films. However, once Ripley8 gets pulled into the Hive, just stop the movie. God himself cannot save the movie once the Newborn arrives.

Also, here are a few angles to watch from to enjoy and geek:
-The cinematography, as with all Jeunet films, is mouth-watering gorgeous!
-Think of the film as a 100% French made film; this is their take on the Alien Saga.
-Pretend it came out in the mid-70s; heavily influenced by Heavy Metal magazine and European comics of the time.
-The Set Design is really cool; the interior of the ship is like one big metal Alien Hive!



Dr. Lazarus said...

at first I thought you were crazy, Jim. but as i continued to read, it made actually started to make sense. I enjoy his other movies so I will give it another viewing this time in french!

pepsilover said...

holy crap, Jim, you really are an Alien fan, huh?? whoa.
but I am intrigued with what you said and the reasons for watching it that way. if dr. lazarus is game, then so am I! maybe this is the start of a movement where you get everyone to watch alien ressurection in dubbed french and the movie becomes a new cult classic! hahaha

Jim said...


Seriously, you guys have NO idea how pyschotic I am with ALIENS. You think my Star Wars love is crazy?? Not even close.

Let me know what you think about the "French version" of A4, good or bad!

Thanks for giving it a try!

pumpkin said...

I'll watch it that way. I like foreign sci-fi and I like Jeunet.

rick1999 said...

YO JIM!! We watched Alien Resurrection this weekend like you suggested and I must admit, we liked it! Emphasis on "WE", my wife enjoyed it! It's a different movie and much much better. You are insane for discovering it, but I thank you. Now if I can summon the courage to tell my friends and coworkers to try it without them laughing at me! hahaha, no offense. :) :)