Subtitles (Subtitles)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Brad M, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. Brad M

    Brad M Second Unit

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    Being a fan of Star Wars I was sure to pick up a copy of both of the films that have been released to our current favorite format. After watching the movies a few times I noticed that you had the option of watching the movies without subtitles. Already knowing what the characters say in their alien language, I think it is great that you can watch the Star Wars movies without subtitles thus allowing you to take your eyes off of the words and focas on the performance. I have several dvds and I can't turn the subtitles off on any of them other than Episodes 1 & 2. I love this feature. Do any other dvds allow you to turn off the subtitles? Is this a unique feature? Does or would anyone else watch a film without them if given a chance?
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Any film that uses electronic subtitles can do this. Mostly MGM titles. They may not give you a menu option, but just use your sub key
     
  3. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

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    I prefer "burned in" subtitles on DVD, since they are more attractive than the player generated ones. If I am already familiar with the dialogue in the subtitles, I simply don't read it.
     
  4. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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  5. Artur Meinild

    Artur Meinild Screenwriter

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  6. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Some players (like my Pioneer) will let you change locked-out controls in Stop mode- stop the disc, then hit the Subtitle button and it'll let you change subtitles- I've played a few Trimark screener discs and have been able to get rid of the "NOT FOR SALE" message that comes up, though they seem to have gotten wise to me as their newer screeners have the player bring a menu screen up if you hit Subtitle while in Stop mode, so there's no way to get rid of it on those (though you can tap the reverse-scan button when it comes on and it'll disappear.)
    I don't buy movies with altered subtitles- if they're presented as burned-in on the theatrical prints, that's how I want them at home. That's why I haven't bought any of the Star Wars movies except on widescreen VHS.
     
  7. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Lead Actor
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    I hate player-generated subtitles. For a foreign film they're OK, as it allows the film to be viewed in its original language if one chooses, and the film itself wasn't designed to have subtitles. I prefer the small white font that Warner uses as opposed to the unsightly yellow that Sony uses, or the large clunky white letters that Universal uses. (I know, it's nitpicking, but I end up watching a lot of movies later at night, and the subtitle track allows me to understand everything being said without turning up the volume too loud.)

    For English language films with English subtitles burned into certain scenes, whether as location subtitles or dialogue, it's meant to be there, it was part of the original film, and that's how it should be on DVD.

    I've said this before, but if you want a bright shining example of why DVD player generated subtitles are bad, check out MGM's Annie Hall. There's a scene maybe halfway through the movie with Woody Allen and Diane Keaton standing on her balcony talking to each other. The scene features a gag about the differences between what men and women say, and what they actually mean - Woody does this by having the characters speak their lines, and using subtitles to reveal (or translate, if you will) what each is saying into what each person really means. It's a hilarious scene. Now, on the DVD... if you watch the film without changing any of the options, player generated subtitles appear at the right moment. It's distracting when they pop up, because they don't appear to be part of the film. Even worse, they're not placed properly, making it hard to figure out which character is thinking what if you've never seen the film before. But that's the least of it; if you're hard of hearing, or watching the film late at night and want subtitles to help you understand the dialogue, the English subtitle option gives you what the characters are saying onscreen, but doesn't give you the "thought" subtitles. In other words, the gag is ruined, and the whole scene becomes pointless. If you watch the film without subtitles, the player generated ones pop up at about the right time but not placed in a way to help the viewer understand which character they're coming from, and in a very distracting font. If you watch the film with subtitles, you don't get Woody's gag at all.

    Great job, MGM!
     
  8. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Austin Powers III would've been ruined if they'd messed with the subtitles in that [​IMG]
     
  9. Mikko Rasinkangas

    Mikko Rasinkangas Stunt Coordinator

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