Friday, April 27, 2007

DVDs on crack

DVD piracy being what it is, with no quality control whatsoever, it's best to expect that some things would go awry or askew every now and then. The movie may skip, some extras would be gone, the cover has mismatched credits--Truffaut's "Stolen Kisses," for instance, listing James Cameron as director and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jamie Lee Curtis and Tom Arnold as actors. "True Lies" meets the French New Wave!

Once, I snagged a copy of "I Girasoli (The Sunflower)," that classic Vittorio De Sica tearjerker starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni that Carlitos Siguion-Reyna remade as "Saan Ka Man Naroroon." Dawn Zulueta stood in for La Loren as the lovelorn beauty crossing desert, mountain and sea in search of the amnesiac Richard Gomez, who'd come under the care of Sharmaine Arnaiz (in a luminous debut). Three photogenic stars, but how would they hold a candle to the Italian bombshell?

I never found out. The DVD's subtitles were from another movie. Sophia was crying her heart out in Italian, but the translated dialogue was, I suspect, from "Gone in 60 Seconds." Well, Nicolas Cage is part-Italian, so maybe there was a connection there. I threw the disc away.

With the recent introduction of the "8-in-one" (8 movies in one disc) format, things have gotten only curiouser and curiouser. I have a theory that whoever is writing the general titles of these 8-in-one discs is either 1) a junkie, 2) an alien sending out coded messages to his earthly underlings, or 3) a closet surrealist. The funny, outlandish titles are matched only by the funny, outlandish cinematic mash-ups they offer--"Breakfast at Tiffany's," say, side by side with "The Flintstones." DVDs on crack, I tell you. Some actual samples:

At the Time of Criminal Case Hair
Femme Fatale/Way of the Sun/Taxi Driver/The Amityville Horror/Belly of the Beast/Lucid/Three Days of the Condor/Population 436

Murder the True Facts Factual Records
On the Waterfront/The Big White/The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio/Far From Heaven/Kiss Kiss Bang Bang/Dial M for Murder/City of Angels/Murder on the Orient Express

Big Ages in Plot in Literature
Edmond/Veronica Guerin/Willard/ The Motorcycle Diaries/ Lost in Translation/ The Beach/ Narrow Margin/ The Boxer

Make to Smile the House is Close
Meet the Parents/The Nutty Professor/Big Momma's House 2/A Fish Called Wanda/Meet the Fockers/Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps

The Feeling Article of the Classic Movie Dream
Emma 1 and 2/A Tale of Two Cities/Madame Bovary/Byron/David Copperfield

And Crime the Paradise of the Comedy
Sexy Beast/Without a Paddle/The Bone Collector/Blue Streak/O Brother, Where Art Thou?/Plan B/Crash Landing/One Night at McCool's

Convulsing Prague
Unlawful Entry/Unfaithful/8 Femmes/Dangerous Beauty/The Unbearable Lightness of Being 1 and 2/The Flintstones/Breakfast at Tiffany's

PLUS: My best DVD finds last year: A 7-disc boxed set of Carl Sagan's Emmy and Peabody award-winning TV series, "Cosmos," bought for P300 in Quiapo. And a 9-disc Claude Chabrol collection, at P450 a great steal since it has the best works of the director often called the "French Hitchcock." It got the titles right this time.


jher said...

omg gibbs you're buying pirated dvds? kakahiya. charing! ang hindi bumibili ng pirated discs sa pilipinas mamatay na ngayon din. joke. but anyway, natawa ako sa mga titles ng dvds mo. kasi nga di ba gawa sila sa china, so malamang kung ano lang ang naisip nilang english word na malapit sa mga movies na minash-up nila yun ang ginamit nila for the set. panalo. mas sure ka pa rin sa quality ng individually wrapped (lol) na dvds.

annamanila said...

Those incredible subtitles are the bane of my pirated-movie viewing. I was just wondering whether i'd put that among my post-retirement options -- apply for a job as script/dialogue transcriptor. (pati ba naman huni ng ibon transcripted din ha. and ah-choo of a character and the krrringgg krringg of the telephone). Well, it could be regarded as a side-amusement.

Tell me Gibbs, do you think it pays well? :)

joelmcvie said...

Kasi naman, Geebz, buy original. Don't buy pirated. Piracy is stealing.

Hihihihi. :-)

Adel said...

Geez. I bought that Cosmos boxed set for nearly P5K from Amazon several years ago. Huhuhuhu...

snglguy said...

Really? They made a Tagalog remake of De Sica's classic? Hehe, obvious na hindi nanonood ng Tagalog films.

Oh heck, now this post is making me hum the movie's theme song, "Loss of Love"...

gibbs cadiz said...

hi JHER, agree! i don't actually buy the 8-in-1 kasi pangit ang compression, me tendency mag-pixelize. plus, wala pa extras, if ever. i still go for the individual discs. :)

hey, ANNAMANILA, actually, i think you're talking about subtitles for the hearing impaired, which really spells out everything including the sounds. :) hmmm, si jessica zafra does subtitles of local movies, maybe we should ask her if it pays well. kung papansinin niya tayo, haha. :)

MCVIE, haha, sabi nga ni jher, "ang hindi bumibili ng pirated discs sa pilipinas mamatay na ngayon din!"

fret not, ADEL, mas ok pa din naman talaga ang original copy. am sure some valuable extras were ditched in the pirated edition. kung me pera lang ako i'd buy genuine copies of all criterion collection titles. :)

hi SNGLGUY, yep, carlitos did. he was into adaptations like that -- hihintayin kita sa langit was wuthering heights transported to the batanes islands, ikaw pa lang ang minahal (maricel soriano) was based on the heiress, and saan ka man naroroon took off from the de sica film. :)

Radioactive Adobo said...


This was terribly funny. Truly made my morning (actually, dawn)!

Nice to visit again. Nice profile photo, btw.

gibbs cadiz said...

hey RADIOACTIVE ADOBO, welcome back! and thanks for the kind words. :)

ADRIAN said...

WOW! A CHARBOL COLLECTION! A rare find indeed. I love Charbol. If you want high quality (because they check first everything before selling) P-DVDs of artfilms, indie films, and classic films, i suggest you go to UP Diliman Shopping Center, Stall 1 on top of Zagu, because they have almost everything there. From the silent period to popular front French Cinema to 1970s Hollywood, last years Cannes, Hitchcocks collections to the recent box office hit.

I am a regular buyer there.

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