Subtitles: Not Just For Art Flicks Anymore

Every week, Vern Seward takes a look at Appleis latest offerings at the QuickTime Trailer site, letting your know whatis new.

There are those of us who hate subtitled films. It seems to defeat the purpose of going to the movies, doesnit it? If you wanted to read a story you would buy a book and sit in the light, not buy a ticket and sit in the dark.

There are a few positive aspects about watching movies with subtitles:

  • You can always understand what is being said. How many times have you watched a movie and the character on the screen starts talking so fast that you canit understand a thing being said? You just know it was something important and you missed it. Worse, a joke gets cracked and people are laughing so loud and long that you canit hear the next thing being said. All of that could be avoided if there where subtitles.
  • You donit have to know a foreign language to enjoy a foreign film. Flunked high school Spanish? You French ainit so hot? Maybe you Russian isnit what it should be? Who cares when you are watching a foreign film with subtitles? The words on the bottom of the screen puts you on more or less even footing with the geeky girl who aced every Spanish test ever thrown at her back in high school. Subtitles means never having to conjugate another verb.
  • In the dark of the theater, no one can see your lips move. All of our lives we were told that moving your lips while reading is a sure sign of lower intelligence. We were also told that the only people who enjoy subtitled movies are artsy eggheads. If you are embarrassed to read in public because of your overly animated lips, then sitting through a subtitled foreign film may be just your ticket. Itis a lot like scratching yourself in public: you do it not just because it feels good, but also because it rubs convention the wrong way. Another good thing is that, because you read the subtitles with lips flapping, the fact that you are doing so in front of a foreign film effectively cancels allusions one might have about your intellectual capacity; you canit be too stupid when youire watching a foreign movie, even if your lips are doing double-time.

Subtitled movies can be a lot of fun and liberating, and here is a movie where you may enjoy your newfound indulgent merrymaking: A Man Without A Past comes to us from Finland, and is a comedy about a guy with a head injury who canit remember anything about himself. Amnesia is usually an excellent basis for a comedy so A Man Without A Past should delivery the snickers.

If your lips are getting tired chasing words at the bottom of the screen then you might want to try these:

Raising Victor Vargas made its round at the film festivals, including Sundance, and has gotten very positive reviews. The movieis cast is made up of Hispanic unknowns, but, if the reviews are any indications, they wonit be unknown for much longer. Raising Victor Vargas is a coming-of-age drama centered on a teenager growing up in an odd family surrounded by odd friends. The trailer shows a movie that has a gritty edge that makes you want to watch. Should be a good one.

Another movie featuring an all Hispanic cast is Chasing Papi, which also stars relative unknowns. Where the cast of Raising Victor Vargas look like people you might know or have passed on the street, the cast of Chasing Papi are too beautiful to be so common. Papi, played by Mexican actor Eduardo Velazquez, is living every manis dream: he is engaged to 3 different extremely beautiful women at the same time. He manages this feat because the women live in separate cities. Perhaps not too surprisingly, the dream becomes a nightmare for Papi when the women learn of each other. Should be very interesting.

Other trailers you should review are:

  • Head of State: Chris Rock and Bernie Mac get talked into running for the office of the President of the United States. This movie may remind you of Warren Beattyis Bullworth and Kevin Klineis Dave, but with a heavy dose of Black-centric jokes thrown in. Could be good.
  • Holes: Based on a best selling novel, Holes is about the adventures of Stanley Yelnet and a group of misfits at Camp Green Lake. Sigourney Weaver, John Voight and Patricia Arquette star in the Disney comedy.
  • Rugrats Go Wild: Itis the Rugrats in a brand new adventure featuring the voices of Bruce Willis and Nancy Cartwright.

Thatis it for this installment. If you havenit already, check out the trailers for the 75th Annual Academy Awards nominees. Good fun.