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PEDICAB DRIVER (1989) from Warner Archive! But...

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jeffrey Nelson, Dec 22, 2015.

  1. Jeffrey Nelson

    Jeffrey Nelson Screenwriter

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    ...apparently the subtitles are botched. And I'm not talking about typos and grammatical errors, which kinda go with the territory; I'm talking about HOH stuff like "musical interlude" and "thwacking continues". So sayeth Bob Cashill:
     
  2. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    I think some companies go for HOH subs because it covers all bases, even for foreign films. MGM DVDs used to have a lot of these and I think Universal among others used them in the place of straight subtitling.


    Like that review states, they probably just got the sub files from Golden Harvest. Yeah, I don't like 'em myself but I doubt any future Golden Harvest MODs will be any different.
     
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  3. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    Yep WA did not do the subs they only used what was provided by Golden Harvest. So any fault is with Golden Harvest.
     
  4. Jeffrey Nelson

    Jeffrey Nelson Screenwriter

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    The buck stops with WB, who could have done a proper subtitle track. They're not a struggling small company. I'll just have to hope that at some point this classic will get the properly subtitled Blu-ray it deserves.
     
  5. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Producer

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    Thanks for the kind words, Jeffrey, but I really don't fault the Archive. They went with what they received, and given the scarcity of the title on home video I'm pleased to have this MOD. But, indeed, now that this issue has been flagged, if it does go Blu, perhaps it can be fixed. I found the movie to be all the more visceral and engrossing without the HOH track, frankly.
     
  6. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    If the title can't sell enough to be a retail DVD release then they are certainly not going to spend a ton of money making a new subtitle track. Warner is a business and all business have to make money and answer to stockholders. So even though we may not like it they are not going to spend a lot of money on a title that would be guaranteed to lose money if they spent that much money on it. The fault is entirely with Golden Harvest for providing this to Warner. If it wasn't for Warner we still would not have a good looking transfer of this film on DVD. With all the classic films that warner still needs to release on Blu-Ray I really can't see them ever consider the golden harvest films for Blu-ray.

     
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  7. Rhythm-X2

    Rhythm-X2 Auditioning

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    I'm pretty sure these subs closed captions are WB's fault and not Golden Harvest's. They don't correspond to the theatrical subs they would have gotten from Golden Harvest. I've compared these to the old DVDs of DOWNTOWN TORPEDOES and BIG BULLET, and the WB releases of both titles have lines of dialog that don't correspond to either the audio (in either Cantonese or the not-included Mandarin version) or the original subtitles, and do so in ways that strongly suggest they're actually captions for a not-included English dub. This isn't to say they're bad translations, as for the most part they follow the original subtitles closely (and often more coherently).


    As Warners has been the outright owners of these Golden Harvest titles since 1999, and has made occasional use of a handful of them here and there*, I assume that they're not depending on Golden Harvest for materials at this point. These are Warner Bros. films now, to the same extent as the older MGM titles are now WB's films. I figure WB decided to use the captions from the dubs instead of the sometimes-awkwardly-broken English of the theatrical subs because proper translations cost too much money. (As does paying someone to delete lines which aren't there or inaccurately reflect lines of spoken English in the Cantonese track, apparently.)



    *A US DVD of THUNDERBOLT with Cantonese and English audio tracks was already released by WB-owned New Line without this caption issue; WB released Asian DVDs of the US cuts of MR. NICE GUY, RUMBLE IN THE BRONX, and POLICE STORY IV: FIRST STRIKE, and the export version of DRUNKEN MASTER II (which ends immediately after the final fight). PEDICAB DRIVER, BLADE OF FURY, THE BLADE, ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA 4 and 5, and possibly others were released to US TV stations in Spanish-dubbed versions. Those same titles (minus PEDICAB DRIVER if I remember correctly) also aired in Cantonese with (actual) English subtitles on Cinemax a few times in the very early 00s, not long after WB bought them.
     
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  8. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    I just ordered BLADE OF FURY (from Amazon), one of my favorite Hong Kong films from the 1990s and one which I've only ever had on VHS (copied from a laserdisc, I believe). It's a period martial arts film set in the 1890s and was directed by Sammo Hung, who appears in a supporting role.
     

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