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23 October, 2005

Pirates on the Coast part II

Another great purchase from the peddling pirates was "Bridget Jones: The Ekge of Reason" [sic]. This played fine in the DVD player, save for the fact that it was dubbed in French. Inmates here have a modest grasp of la langue francais, but the sound was too distorted and the dubbed voice too high-pitched to be comfortably clear for the semi-fluent. No matter: English subtitles are available.

The film opens with Bridget writing her diary, then arriving at her parents' house:

"The voice you hear is not my speaking voice, but my mind's voice." (This sounds oddly cerebral compared to the book). "I have not spoken since I was six years old. No-one knows why. Not even me." (Stranger still, given Bridget is currently shown chattering to her family). "My father says it is a dark talent and the day I take it into my head to stop breathing will be my last. Today, he married me to a man I've not yet met. Soon, my daughter and I shall join him in his own country." (Granted the film is said to deviate somewhat from the book, but an arranged marriage?)

The next scene arrives: Bridget dancing over the hills with Mark Darcy to The Sound of Music:

"Right lads, unbutton your muftis. Piss like a tom."

And the light slowly dawns: these are the subtitles to The Piano.

Quite apart from the budget fifteen dirham price tag, Bridget Jones II en francais, grainy and distorted with the wrong subtitles was infinitely more entertaining and multi-layered than the regular English version, seen on a plane a few weeks later. If only critics had seen this Chinese Director's Cut of "The Ekge of Reason", it might have won an array of Oscars.



Blogger strangeloops said...

SD, thanks for documenting this essential element of UAE culture.

23 October, 2005 06:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


well at least you had seen The Piano to know where the words had come from!

it must have been very entertaining watching such a frivolous video with such a heavy soundtrack!


23 October, 2005 08:25  
Blogger CG said...

My son is glued to his Dh.10 copy of Star Wars episode 3...I think it runs for about 3 hours a day in the car plus another 3 hours at home, all I can say is it is a good job he cannot read since the script has come from a 5 star porn movie. I think it is time to visit Kazaa for a new copy ;)

23 October, 2005 09:59  
Blogger samuraisam said...

the government seems not able to ignore a bunch of street pedldldlers with pirate DVD's who make minimal profit and don't recieve licenses for sale from the govt;
yet all the network games places offer pirate movies, tv shows, pirate games, etc, etc, etc and they get licenses from the govt.

23 October, 2005 10:11  
Blogger John B. Chilton said...

You're sure it wasn't The Pirates of Pissants?

Visit Ajman 1 and 2 dirham stores for a tube of Crust toothpaste or Crack footbalm.

Sweat is widely available - it competes with Gatorade.

23 October, 2005 10:17  
Blogger secretdubai said...

well at least you had seen The Piano

I hadn't actually but I guessed, as I know the basic plot!

23 October, 2005 11:49  
Blogger _sublime_ said...

I got a copy of Jackie Chan's the Medallion in chinese with the wrong english subtitles on it once...barely noticed until halfway through when i realised that i had abs no frikkin clue what was happening...didn;t detract from the movie much though :)

23 October, 2005 13:36  
Blogger luckyfatima said...

15, that's expensive. u should only pay 10 next time and 5 for indian stuff since u surely enlighten yourself with the likes of Indian flix if u watch bridget jones

i don't buy those fakes anymore cuz the quality is sooo bad and sometimes u pay and the bloody thing don't even work

23 October, 2005 14:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you waste your 10 dhr on these bad quality films? Most people who have internet have a high speed connection. Just get a torrent program lit Bit Torrent or go to Kazaa and download your movies direct. This way u know that you are getting a dvd or near dvd quality of the film you want.
I send this message in anonymous coz i dont want the Motion Picture Association emailing Etisalat and telling me to pay for all the films I have watched for free ;)

23 October, 2005 15:19  
Blogger Parv said...

The key is to strike a deal with the delightful Mr. Li (name changed for protection). We had an agreement - if a DVD refused to work (proper quality films, none of that dodgy handycam shite), he would happily replace it with long as there were no cash refunds involved.

This was an amicable agreement.

23 October, 2005 15:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its worth spending AED 10.00 on DVD movies.. the guy i buy from , lets call him Mr Chan :) gives very good prints. the key here is as something said earlier to buy slightly older films maybe 1-2 years old. NEVER BUY the new ones, most of the time they are camera prints and you can see people walking in and out of the cinema :)

as far as downloading from the internet, even with ADSL connections its become a nightmare.. The monopoly provider is sooo... #$@#%$% at times..

23 October, 2005 15:29  
Blogger samuraisam said...

anonymous at 15:19, you obviously don't do this much.

just today, after waiting 49 hours, 59 minutes, and 19 seconds for a 3.14 gigabyte file, of charlie and the chocolate factory to download. i opened it, and it was a dodgy handheld video camera.

i've downloaded shrek 2 in spanish, i've downloaded countless other movies in the incorrect language through no fault of my own, people don't label them correctly.

i dont bother with kazaa etc cos they are the worst.

good luck finding torrent sites in dubai, etisalat lists the best ones as "criminal skills". also they make a big effort to ensure the speed is nothing to get excited about.

in dubai i downloaded a 700 megabyte file in 13 hours, 22 minutes, and 79 seconds.

On the exact same computer, different connection, but same source with a file just as popular (popular files have more sources and as such download quicker), a 700 megabyte file took 9 hours 7 minutes and 52 seconds, keeping in mind i changed the seed time after completion to 2 hours, because i actually get a full 128 kbps up in australia, it only took 7 hours 7 minutes and 52 seconds.

In the 20 days since i had my connection installed i have downloaded 32.89 gigabytes of files, the same connection in Dubai took around 60 days to push that amount of data.

I've only ever bought 5 or 6 movies from those door to door pirateers, I dont lose any sleep over it, because i think the 10 dhs i give to a third world person trying to make a living by selling these movies will go to better use than the 120 dhs i'll spend on a stupid DVD that'll go towards some american company.

23 October, 2005 15:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hah! I've got this [obviously fake] DVD of Schindler's List from Pakistan and there's this scene in the movie where one of the characters says to another, "By law, sir, I'm required to tell you - I'm a Jew." And the subtitle reads, "I'm required to tell you, I want you." What was supposed to be a tense, serious scene set in 1930s Poland was un-artfully turned into a hilarious mistake.

23 October, 2005 17:55  
Blogger Mohannad said...

i'm now laughing hard in a serious edgy workplace!
i had the worse happen to me with a film called "TVKI" ("TAXI" that is).. weird subtitles and bad quality the DVD would hang up whenever any car in the film makes a three figure speed..

24 October, 2005 11:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Samuraisam - if you don't like Americans, why watch American films? Also - Carrefour sell almost brand new films for 39 dhs - it's hardly daylight robbery! Oh and the argument that you are paying for some poor unlucky "3rd world person" is totally misguided. More likely you are contributing to organised crime, drug smuggling or even terrorism to watch your crappy cinema copy. Anything to save a few dhs eh! Carry on - as you were... blinkered.

25 October, 2005 08:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


25 October, 2005 18:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the good old days when Hobo and Thomsun were also 'pirates'? Now they're respectable businesses? Hypocrisy rules...

25 October, 2005 20:36  
Blogger samuraisam said...

anonymous, that wasn't my point. the money is going towards people who have far too much of it in the first place, there have been a higher percentage of shit movies in the last 10 years so i honestly do not think my contributions to them go very far.

Perhaps i am a bit naive about where all the money goes, but don't believe all those stupid "piracy kills people" crap they put on the beginning of all video's nowadays. that is BS, there is no way to detect where all the money goes.

and as for terrorism, in dubai if you bought EPSON printers, EPSON print cartridges, or EPSON paper, you were contributing to terrorism, the agent for these products got shut down for money laundering and funding terrorism, i wonder what other products we use that contribute to crime? probably most of them.

25 October, 2005 20:40  

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