Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tips When Buying Films (Especially Hollywood Films)

I am somewhat a film addict. However, I must admit I do not really like all. But when one film catches my interest, I wanted to own it so that I can watch it anytime I want. My husband is also the same. We both like some Hollywood films, the only difference is, he wanted to see it in German rather than in original English. I can understand him because he has no formal English training and it would be difficult to understand the context when you do not speak the language. Hence, I decided to scout some films that I love and let him watch it too so that he'll understand a part of me. And we do it too vice versa.

For some films I am lucky enough that the German companies retained the English titles such as 50 First Dates, Shrek, Hop, Hangover, Rat Race, etc. or directly translates the title from English to German such as My Best Friend's Wedding (Hochzeit meines besten Freundes), Bruce Almighty (Bruce Allmächtig), Pink Panther (Rosa Panther), The Devil Wears Prada (Der Teufel trägt Prada) and more.

The problem starts when the title is translated indirectly. Like today, I was searching for Naked Weapon DVD because I wanted my husband to see this. I searched throughout the DVD shelves in Media Markt for something with the words "Naked Weapon" or "Nackte Waffe" or whatever with either of the words nackte or Waffe. I failed to find it. All I saw were Lethal Weapon and Naked Fears but none of those phrases on my mind. So we ended up buying films that my husband loves so much and I am totally unaware of, namely Donnie Darko and Spiel Mir Das Lied vom Tod.

While watching Spiel Mir Das Lied vom Tod, the screen flashed me totally different words when I played it in English. Then it occurred to me: the original title of this film is Once Upon A Time In The West. It was indirectly translated!!! It made me think how "Once Upon A Time In The West" that for a simple mind should have been translated as "Es War Einmal Im Westen" was translated to "Spiel mir Das Lied vom Tod" (or in English means "Play Me The Song from Dead")? The harmonica answered my question (I will not say more, if you have watched it, you know what I mean and if not, I suggest that you watch it, it is indeed a good film!).

Because of that, I turned to Google for answers why I cannot find my other favorite films or why I sometimes after reading the title I think I haven't seen that film yet but once I watch it, I end up saying "yeah, I've seen it already!". Here are some answers:

1. Naked Weapon is actually Drei Todesengel in geheimer Mission (Three Deadly Angels in a Secret Mission)
2. Closer is Hautnah (Skin Near?!?)
3. Get Me To The Greeks is Männertrip (Men's Trip?!?!)
4. Hall Pass is Alles Erlaubt - Eine Woche Ohne Regeln (All Allowed -Week Without Rules)
5. Just Go With It is Meine Erfundene Frau (My finally-found- Woman?!?)

...And so much more!

Lesson learned: check the net first for German titles before hitting the store because not all titles are directly translated. Searching the titles first can save you from headache and time.

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