Saturday, July 24, 2010

Brother Fang's Special Note (The First Entry)....


Uh, I'll elaborate on this by saying that for whatever information I post about what I enjoy reading, watching or listening to, my facts are bound to get screwed up somewhere, as my knowledge of my favorite trivial stuff is better on some things than others. (This will be most likely found out with my first review of a Shaw Brothers movie!) That said, any corrections are welcome: ACCURATE ones! Otherwise, I'll be sure to do as much fact-checking on my end the best I can before posting. Promise.

Next, it should be known that the opinions I will express here are those of this humble archivist ONLY.

Finally, I mention this important information that must be taken into consideration when the reader goes through my reviews of foreign films. Let's remember in the movies where the actors' voices are dubbed, there are two pairs of talent we are enjoying when those DVDs are spinning: the PHYSICAL actors on-screen and the VOICEOVER artists who speak for them! It's this unique partnership that captivates us when we're watching a great film, and a lapse by either pair will alter the viewing experience, sometimes for the worse. (If you like the English dubs of classic "old school" martial arts films like The Thunderbolt Fist --illustrated above-- then what I've just wrote means NOTHING!)

To all the talented vocal actors (past and present) who covered all the languages needed for whatever format the entertainment gets presented to us (big-screen or video): while we often do not know your names like we do of the actors moving their lips, your work is equally valued and much appreciated. Thank you.

Keeping it trivial....

Fang Shih-yu, Shaolin Temple.


  1. Regarding THUNDERBOLT FIST, I wonder why the Shaw's were so set on calling it that for its international release? The film was originally promoted as THE DEADLY KICK. I have no idea what the actual Chinese title translates to, though.

  2. IMDB has as an alternate title THE TERRIBLE KICK, so that's two emphasizing what ACTUALLY did the job for Chuan Yuan! Considering this came out when Bruce Lee was getting hot, I'm thinking whoever changed the title wanted to draw in anybody who saw FIST OF FURY; they should've called it THE THUNDERBOLT KICK! Still, when I saw this the first time, it was a big surprise to see how James Nam got it the way he did; I didn't feel cheated by virtue of the title!

  3. Thanks for the discussion of dub actors. I know nothing except that they paired dub actors with screen actors so that the voice would remain the same throughout the movies. I have noticed a couple times where actors "mess up" their Mandarin. Especially Ti Lung, who sometimes finishes a word with the Cantonese "m" instead of the Mandarin "n". Fun stuff! Please write more on this!

  4. Thank you, Ms. achillesgirl! You know Cantonese and Mandarin? That must handily get you through language tracks a lot easier, compared to anyone else who's limited to speaking only English and reading subs! (Brother Fang said, raising his hand.) Not every on-screen prescence wound up with one dub voice per language soundtrack. It's a touch weird to hear Fu Sheng's [Mandarin] voice in THE DEADLY BREAKING SWORD as it's the same guy that could often be heard dubbing for Kuo Choi or OLD MEN! I liked his "Fang Shih-yu" voice much better. Now, I'm watching THE PRODIGAL BOXER with Meng Fei, and his English dub sounds like the one for Fu Sheng in HEROES TWO! (They're BOTH playing Fang, so maybe it's no coincidence?) Love your writing, by the way! :o)

  5. I'm VERY far from fluent in Canto and Mandarin but slowly working on it...and the more Chinese I understand, the more I shout at subtitles, "Hey, what the...? That's not at all what he said!" I feel you with the dub identity thing. I tend to freak out over the "New Zealand" dubbers when I've watched a movie too many times (like the Yuen Clan's Buddhist Fist" and have connected one voice with one actor. When Yuen Shun Yi's "voice" then comes out of Hwang Jang Lee in another movie, I experience weird crisis feelings, hahahaha!