After all this time, why can't studios do subtitles right?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MichaelO, Jan 3, 2003.

  1. MichaelO

    MichaelO Stunt Coordinator

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    This "little" thing really annoys me. Why can't the studios give us the original burned in subtitles? As far as I'm concerned, these burned in subtitles that are shown during the theatrical run are a part of the original theatrical showing of the movie. And it isn't just one studio. I watched xXx last night and Columbia saw fit to use player generated subs instead of the original burned in ones. Back a month or so I watched Windtalkers and MGM thought it would be better to give us the player generated subs instead of what was shown during the theatrical release. Also, Fox used player generated subs for their Attack of the Clones release (I actually think they used the original burned in subs for TPM, why regress?).

    Anyway, this probably annoys me more than most as I am still stuck in the dark ages with my old standard 50" 4X3 RPTV which displays player generated subs in the lower black bar. I use mattes to cover the black bars which makes the image and the presentation in my house a lot better. Of course when the studio decides they should use player generated subs then this essentially makes my lower matte useless.

    Does this bother anyone else? Is there a way to force my DVD player (Panny RV-80) to show the generated subs within the image? To me the burned in subs are a part of the original theatrical presentation and we should be given them just like we should always get the OAR and the original sound mixes. Just my thoughts.
     
  2. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    I agree with you in cases where the subtitles are part of the original film, as in the examples you mention (Annie Hall would be another good example).
    I didn't even realize this was still an ongoing issue.
    I do have to say though...in cases where the subtitles serve only as translation (on foreign films), I prefer the subs be optional as they are not truly a part of the film per se.
     
  3. MancusoB

    MancusoB Agent

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    I agree!

    Attack of the Clones was one confusing deal for me! I started the movie with the English 1 subtitles. Then I decided I didn't need them, so I turned the subtitles OFF. When the aliens started speaking, there were no translation subtitles at all! It seems the default sub track is English 3 or 4 or something.

    Also, in a somewhat related rant, I have been watching through the latest James Bond DVD set... Dr. No and Goldfinger both have English subtitles, but the third movie in the set, The Man with the Golden Gun has NO English subtitles! You must use closed captioning.

    One would think that the studios would try to strive for some sort of consistency.
     
  4. Adam_ME

    Adam_ME Supporting Actor

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    I'm pretty sure the reason Episode II uses player-generated subs is so Fox and Lucasfilm could have a simultaneous worldwide release of the DVD, much like they did for TPM.

    As for the other titles you mentioned, I don't know what the studios' reasoning was. If it's a foreign language film, I see no problem with offering player-generated subs. But if it's a movie that only has a few scenes with foreign dialogue, then just leave them burned-in(like Pearl Harbor for example). That way there's less of a chance of any DVD players having subtitle problems. To this day, my Malata player still can't get the Huttese subs in TPM to appear.
     
  5. MichaelO

    MichaelO Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one that has noticed this. Also, I couldn't agree more about foreign films, in that case they should be an option and player generated would be fine. However, in movies like the aforementioned ones which only have a few scenes with foreign dialog, then just give us the original burned in subs. As Adam mentioned above, Buena Vista did this perfectly with both Pearl Harbor releases. Another instance I can think of is Fox's first release of Last of the Mohicans. The original release used player generated subs, the new anamorphic release used the original burned in subs. When they did this I just assumed Fox had fnally gotten this right, well AOTC proved me wrong.
     

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