What's up with Toho?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Sean Campbell, Dec 12, 2002.

  1. Sean Campbell

    Sean Campbell Second Unit

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    Anyone else as annoyed as I am at the fact that Toho won't put English subtitles on their sci fi DVDs? ( Godzilla, Rodan, The Mysterians etc... )
    Ever since I was a kid I've been a big fan of these movies. They were always bright and colourful, had huge special effects scenes that bordered on the epic and always had great scores. ( Akira Ifukube is God! )
    As time went on and I grew older I realised that there was more to these movies than met the eye. Why did it look like scenes were missing? Why did the voices not match the mouth movements of the actors? The sad fact was that these productions had suffered at the hands of the distributers, hacked to pieces and mangled to such an extent that their quality was considerably drained. For years I've wanted to see high quality, letterboxed and subtitled editions of the original cuts.
    But sadly, the otherwise great Japanese releases are lacking in English subtitles [​IMG] Now, I understand that these discs are intended for the Japanese market - but then again, so are the Gamera DVDs and the Hayao Miyazaki ones, both of which feature English subs.
    The thing is, I'm not alone in my desire to see these movies as originally intended. I'm willing to bet that almost every Godzilla fan would kill for proper editions on disc. So why didn't Toho add English subs... make the discs region 0 so they could be played worldwide? Don't they realise that they're sitting on a potential goldmine?
    BTW, for those who speak Spanish, the original 1954 cut of Godzilla ( sans Raymond Burr ) is available in Spain and subtitled in Spanish. You can pick it up from www.dvdgo.com
     
  2. Richard Waller

    Richard Waller Second Unit

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    It's a shame they don't put English subtitles. I would love to see the original Godzilla without Burr. I'd also love to see some of the Toho Akira Kurosawa movies, but they also don't have English subtitles.
     
  3. JohnAD

    JohnAD Cinematographer

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    Sean:
    Last thing I heard, Toho will never release any of the Japanese Godzilla movies with English subtitles. Probably something to do with licensing. I doubt that they would ever make them R0 either. I too would like Godzilla disks with subs instead of dubs.
    John.
     
  4. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    You have seen Toho Kurosawa movies. Seven Samurai, Hidden Fortress, Rashomon and many many others, all Toho

    It works like this:

    Fearing reverse importation(so they can jack the Japanese for whatever they want), Toho does not want the Japanese soundtrack released outside of Asia. The Hong Kong release DOES have English subs of the later G films, but like Pokemon the movie, you can ONLY get English subs (dubtitles) with an English soundtrack.

    So Toho won't let anyone else release the Japanese soundtrack, so all their foreign licenses have to be dub-only, but at the same time those licensees know that if Toho were to put English subs on their disc, that even at $65 a pop the G-Fans would buy it in droves and dump their releases. SO to keep their licensees happy, Toho will never sub, but then, neither will their licensees.

    So the Godzilla fan is stuck turning to fansubs, and NO ONE sees the cash except bootleggers who sell the tapes.
     
  5. Richard Waller

    Richard Waller Second Unit

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    It seems like every Kurosawa movie is being released on DVD in Japan with new remastered prints. I wonder how long (if ever) it will take Criterion/Voyager to release them all over here.
     
  6. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Most of the jobs were done for Criterion that are on those discs. Criterion is going to keep plugging at it,2-3 titles a year. I know Do-des ka-den is up next year
     
  7. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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  8. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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    Looks like he was right. The Japanese soundtrack is available on the DVD release in Spain for about $12. Look here.
    Jeff
     
  9. Jeff Wilson

    Jeff Wilson Stunt Coordinator

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    As far as the Spanish release, it would be in PAL, and how many Japanese have players that convert PAL to NTSC?

    At least Daiei has the right idea, as far as subbing their kaiju releases (the two Gamera series, Daimajin). I doubt any American release will ever match their product quality.
     
  10. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    Back in September I purchased a R2 NTSC japanese version of the original "Godzilla"(Sans Mr Burr) here. So for those persons that are multi-regional, but can't do PAL, the japanese version is an option.
     
  11. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Yes, they don't usually worry somuch about PAL because very few Japanese have converting players. It STILL doesn't have English subs tho, and any that there were would be locked to the English track.
     
  12. Sean Campbell

    Sean Campbell Second Unit

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    It's lucky I work in a public library then - I can get an extended loan on the Japanese linguaphone. ( looks like that's the only way I'll ever get to see these movies properly )
    As regards the Kurosawa films, 'Dodeskaden' is one that I'd really love to see. Sadly, the only edition currently available is the one from Mei Ah... and having found the subtitles on their previous Kurosawa releases to be poorly translated I've no intentions of ordering it. Hopefully either Criterion or BFI will put together a reasonable edition sometime soon. ( The BFI versions tend to have burned in subtitles - can the Criterion ones be removed? )
     
  13. Sean Campbell

    Sean Campbell Second Unit

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    It's lucky I work in a public library then - I can get an extended loan on the Japanese linguaphone. ( looks like that's the only way I'll ever get to see these movies properly )
    As regards the Kurosawa films, 'Dodeskaden' is one that I'd really love to see. Sadly, the only edition currently available is the one from Mei Ah... and having found the subtitles on their previous Kurosawa releases to be poorly translated I've no intentions of ordering it. Hopefully either Criterion or BFI will put together a reasonable edition sometime soon. ( The BFI versions tend to have burned in subtitles - can the Criterion ones be removed? )

    Sean Campbell
     
  14. JohnAD

    JohnAD Cinematographer

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    Sean:

    I have several Criterion Kurosawa disks, and IIRC, the subs can be removed.

    John.
     
  15. Tim Fleming

    Tim Fleming Stunt Coordinator

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    I also think that it is an absolute disgrace that Toho won't put English subtitles on all of their DVDs (Godzilla, Mothra, Kurosawa etc etc)... after all, the Americans, British, French, Germans, Italians, Australians, and everyone else always include Japanese subtitles on all of their releases!! (don't they?)

    regards, Tim...
     
  16. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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  17. Hendrik

    Hendrik Supporting Actor

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    "...after all, the Americans, British, French, Germans, Italians, Australians, and everyone else always include Japanese subtitles on all of their releases!! (don't they?)
    ...no they don't... I have a lot of American, British, French German, Italian, Australian, also Dutch and Russian and Polish and Spanish DVDs and one DVD from Finland ... only the ones on the (Russian) RUSCICO label have Japanese subs...
    . . . [​IMG] . . .
     
  18. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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  19. Tim Fleming

    Tim Fleming Stunt Coordinator

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    I suppose I should have used an emoticon, but I really did think that the general tone of my comment was obviously rather sarcastic [​IMG]
    My point was, why should the Japanese companies such as Toho put English subtitles on their R2 domestic releases when very very few R1, R2 (PAL), and R4 releases have Japanese sub-titles on them. I always find it rather amusing that we should react with such indignation when it comes to Japanese releases without English subtitles, particularly when we offer them probably less titles with Japanese subtitles.
    regards, Tim...
     
  20. Tim Fleming

    Tim Fleming Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff Kleist wrote:
     

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