Sunday, August 28, 2011

Are Americans as Stupid as Hollywood Thinks We Are?

I had the opportunity to see Attack the Block in theaters this weekend. The movie was an import from the UK, only showing in one theater in town. The premise of the movie was pretty simple: Some youths in hoodies mug a woman and have to then band together to save their apartment complex from ravenous pitch black alien creatures with glow in the dark teeth. You add some pot jokes, some drug dealers and Nick Frost as comedy relief and you've got the makes of an entertaining survival-horror action-comedy.

Now here's the thing that really bothers me, this movie was a midnight selection at the SXSW Movie Festival, and is currently at an 89% Fresh rating on Rotten, but for a while it looked like this movie would not get an American distributor. The reason why it was having difficulty finding an American backer was because the kids were speaking in thick South London accents, which if you've haven't had the opportunity to ever hear it before, it can be damn near unintelligible. The boys are speaking slang and jive, and people were suggesting the addition of subtitles to the movie so American audiences could understand them. Why is it that Hollywood thinks we need to have things dumbed down for us? We dub English audio over every movie coming out of China or Japan; actually any movie out of any country that doesn't speak some form of English. Those movies lose the tone, rhythm, and inflection of the people speaking; or they completely change the dialogue to better suit the American audience. Are we really that stupid?

I love foreign movies, Hero with Jet Li is one of my all-time favorites, and I have no problems watching them with the subtitles on. You get used to them after a while. But why put them in when the situation doesn't apply for them. Sure the accents take a little adjusting to, and sure you may not understand some of the slang, but that doesn't mean you need Hooked on Phonics to watch a good British movie.

While I'm on the subject of Hollywood and their need to be unnecessary, check out the trailer for the remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, or watch the original Swedish trilogy instantly on Netflix.

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