Monday, October 31, 2011

What Did He Just Say? 5 Awesome Subtitled Movies

Some of the best movies that I have seen in the last couple of years are what we in North America would call foreign films, (I guess if you live in the places that they were filmed you would just call them "movies", and call our movies foreign, but I live where I live, so I will call'em like I see'em). Now, this post almost could have
 been a rant, cause one of the things I hate is when people will not watch a movie just because it has subtitles, (one of my teen friends hates subtitles so much that he actually told me that Inglourious Basterds* was the worst movie he has ever seen**) and for me, if a film is in subtitles and you have a choice to watch the dubbed version, I always pick the subtitled version*** cause I like to hear the actors performances as they were meant to heard, even if I have to read what they are saying. So with that said, I am recommending five foreign movies from five different countries that are totally worth seeing.

So, first up is the brilliant film based on the true story of a young man who wants to become a photographer and get out from the....
City Of God (Brazil) is a film that has amazing acting and an incredible true story, all about a drug lord controlled slum in Brazil that ends up as a war zone between two groups, and "Rocket" is a young man who gets caught in the middle. City Of God is a movie that took me a long time to finally get around to watching, but after seeing it I can say it is an incredible worthwhile experience. There are interesting and memorable characters, the editing is incredibly well done and as always, it is great when films are based on true stories. Now a word of caution, it does have swearing and violence, so it is not for everybody and if you are easily offended then it is not the film for you.

Next up is one of the saddest and yet most beautiful animated movies ever made, which takes a child's perspective of the horrors of war, in......
Grave Of The Fireflies (Japan) is the story of a brother and sister who find themselves orphaned during the second world war, (this is the one movie of the five that I don't mind seeing without the subtitles, because it is animated it is not quite the same, although both the original language track and the english version are both done exceptionally well). Their Mother is killed during a bombing raid and their Father is out in the Japanese navy, leaving the siblings to be placed with an awful family relative, which causes them to leave and be on their own, living in caves and trying to make the best of it until their father comes home. Grave Of The Fireflies is a one of a kind movie that conveys incredible emotion through phenomenal animation, and telling a tale that is very unique amongst movies about war. It manages to entertain while pulling at your heartstrings and leaves you with an ending that is not really happy but more realistic. On a whole this is a great example of the unseen horrors of war, sibling love, and how far family will go to take care of each other.

From looking at World War 2 through the eyes of children, we move to looking at it from the perspective of the Norwegian underground resistance, that was trying to desperately get Hitler's goons out of their country, and one "mad"**** man named Max who led the way.
Max Manus: Man-O-War (Norway) is a movie I came across at the library when it was mistakenly put in the wrong section, and I am really glad that someone misplaced it, cause it is a great unique war movie. It tells the story of Max Manus, a leader in the Norwegian underground resistance against the nazis, (I hate frickin' nazis, did I ever tell you that) who have taken over the country. It is filmed really well, has very believable action and has a decent pace. And it too has the whole "based on a true story" thing going for it. Plus, how great is the name Max Manus, it just screams, "I AM AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!", so it has that going for it as well.

After two movies about WW2 lets move on to the only movie I have ever seen about the Korean War made from the Korean perspective, in the very violent.....
Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood Of War (Korea, duh!) is the story of two brothers who are forced into the army when their neighbors to the north declared war on the south. The one is incredibly smart, and the other one is incredibly loving and only wants whats best for his family, and he thinks that means his brother should become a doctor and is willing to do anything to get him out of the fighting and back to their mother and family. It has solid acting and action, and is very original in its storytelling, although it is not for the faint at heart as there is a fair amount of graphic bloodshed, but it is a war film after all, so think of it this way, if you can handle Saving Private Ryan, then you should have no problem with this.

Last up is a movie about one of the most important and best martial artist to have ever lived, the quiet and unassuming.....
Ip Man***** (China) has to be one of the best martial arts movies I have ever seen. Donnie Yen, (the guy who plays Ip Man for those of you who don't know who Donnie Yen is) is amazing, with fists so fast that sometimes you would swear they had sped the film up, (they didn't, if you can believe Wiki that is, and if you can't trust Wiki then what can you trust******) the story is great, (basing the story on a real person always bla bla bla, you should know the deal by now), it is beautifully filmed, the acting is solid all around and the fight scenes are just simply amazing. Oh, and did I forget to mention, that Ip Man was another famous marital artists first master, now what was his name again, oh yeah, BRUCE "I AM THE DRAGON" LEE!!!!! So yeah, Ip Man rocks on so many levels that it hurts just thinking about it, and the fact that more people haven't seen this just cause it is not in english is maddening.

So there you are, five movies that although you will have to do some reading to enjoy, are well worth the effort, (that is unless you are illiterate, and in that case just sit back and enjoy the cinematography, but come to think of it, if you got this far in my blog and you are illiterate, you haven't understood a word I have typed, so I will just say enjoy the pretty pictures, and pretend you got it). So give foreign films with English subtitles a chance, you never know what you are missing until you give it a try, and for all my illiterate readers, I will end with a funny picture of a monkey for making it this far, and remember everybody, hands up and chin down is good, chin up hands down will make you sleepy real fast. Until next time, Blog at you later.
*Hey, I actually spelt it right, which is to say, it is spelt incorrectly if you are using the proper words, but Q.T. spelt it wrong on purpose, now, I know I spelt it right/wrong cause when I bought it on Blu-ray it came with a dog tag that now shares space around my neck with a Jesus dog tag, and if not for that I would have spelt it wrong, or right, or something, my head hurts now either way.
**I actually think it was the best movie of 2009, so my friend Connor basically couldn't be more wrong.
***Animated movies are one category this fits in, but the best example is the Japanese Godzilla movies, which become so much cooler when you watch the dubbed version, like the following video will show.
*****Big shout out my friend Jim Chen for telling me about Ip Man and then giving me it as a birthday present, thanks Jim, this picture is for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment