Everyone knows China is the treasure trove of bootlegged movies. DVDs of the latest films hit the streets within hours of their box office release and oftentimes sooner. I am grateful to the people who take risks to bring us classics like Jurassk Park 3 and Forzen Impact.
But few people realize the hidden gems within these bootlegged DVDs. Sure, the picture quality is terrible, audio sounds like AM radio, and sometimes you can see people in the front row get up to go for a piss during the movie. But the subtitles are amazing.
What appears on the surface to be the hack-job of low-paid worker completely making up random Engrish dialogue is in fact a completely new level of story telling superimposed onto the original movie. These subtitles add depth and greater insight to Hollywood’s otherwise bland and boring derivative drivel.
For example, here is a clip from Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones. Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) has been assigned to protect Senator Amidala (Natalie Portman) during her stay on her home planet of Naboo. What appears to be a lush, green getaway is in fact a front for a…COCAINE PLANT!
I didn’t think Mandarin would become an intergalactic language in the future (I suppose it’s only logical considering its ~ one billion speakers), but I never would’ve imagined Padme had hatched a diabolical plan to turn Naboo into a narco-planet!
There are some new mysteries that arise from the subtitles. Does she reveal the truth of Naboo to Anakin because he’s in on it too? Is the Jedi getting a cut of the profit? Did the Trade Federation invade Naboo in the previous movie because they wanted control of the queen’s poppy fields? What exactly does Padme mean when she says, “Just because I’m brown and down”? And what’s up with all that awkward staring?
In this next clip you’ll see how impatient Anakin can get when he’s hungry.
Meanwhile, on the capital planet of Coruscant, the plot thickens. Jar Jar Binks (don’t ask me how he learned Chinese when he can barely speak English) has proposed to Senator Palpatine the idea of negotiating with the terrorists Padme and Anakin. It becomes clear at 0:51 that the drug lords have an army of hairy gorillas peddling their narcotics.
The bombshell comes at the end of this clip. The Jedis are not a monastic peacekeeping organization but instead a devious drug cartel. Just look at Master Yoda (who runs his cocaine operation out of Columbia – 1:35) and Mace Windu perched sneakily up there.