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Old June 20 2012, 01:10 AM   #166
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Mothra was fun. I liked Zen, the chubby reporter; he was a good comic hero. And it's interesting how it's kind of a King Kong pastiche, with baddie Carl Nelson being basically a more malevolent and powerful Carl Denham. Also kind of a clever twist that they took the scale-changing special effects in the other direction this time out, giving us not just giant monsters but tiny people. That, plus Mothra being more a protector and avenger of injustice than a malevolent predator, gave us some new variations on the kaiju formula -- and the latter would influence many other movies in the genre.

I'm used to seeing old American shows and movies that feature imaginary foreign countries that are stand-ins for real ones and where everyone speaks English (they were a staple of the Mission: Impossible TV series). But it's kind of freaky to see it the other way around, with "Rolisica" as a thinly veiled stand-in for the United States, a powerful, English-speaking nation east of Japan whose key metropolis is "New Kirk City" -- yet Nelson and his goons often speak Japanese to each other even when alone or back in their own country.


The H-Man was an interesting departure, but not that great. The crime story and monster story didn't mesh all that well, and the monsters proved far too easy to defeat, being rather passive in the climactic sequence aside from conveniently taking out the human bad guy. Also, why did so many people think that shooting at a moving puddle of ooze would accomplish anything? Did they think ooze had any vital organs?

I wonder if the title had a double meaning, with the heroin dealer being the other "H-Man." Although the original title of the film, Bijo to Ekitainingen, means "Beauty and the Liquidman."

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ETA: The dubbing of a 50s torch singer on a very Japanese woman in H-Man is frickin' hilarious.
Actually I think that was the only part that wasn't dubbed. Or rather, the actress was overdubbed by (according to IMDb) a Japanese jazz singer named Martha Miyake, but the song we heard was the same one used in the original. There's no doubt the actress we saw was lip-synching the same English words we heard. And if the song was in English in the original, there was no reason to redub it here.

By the way, several of the voices here were clearly dubbed by Paul Frees, a ubiquitous announcer and voice actor from the '50s-'60s.
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Old June 20 2012, 01:28 AM   #167
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

^^ Well, the overdub was humorous, anyway. Didn't seem to match very well.

I'm not the first with that thought anyway:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s2973toho.html
An American cabaret singer dubs Ms. Shirakawa's torch song, very unconvincingly.
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Old June 20 2012, 01:40 AM   #168
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

^Then they were wrong, because it was a Japanese singer who was singing in English, not an American singer replacing the original soundtrack. Lots of movies have singing doubles for their lead actresses -- for instance, Marni Nixon dubbed Natalie Wood's singing in West Side Story and Audrey Hepburn's in My Fair Lady. Presumably the makers of Bijo to Ekitainingen cast Ms. Shirakawa for her looks and non-singing talents and then brought in a popular Japanese jazz singer to record her songs, which were in English since jazz is an American music form. And then, when the film was dubbed into English, the original songs' audio was kept intact -- but some reviewers failed to notice that the lip movements matched (except for occasional synchronization problems) and mistakenly assumed that what they were hearing was added in America to replace a Japanese song.
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Old June 20 2012, 04:18 AM   #169
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

^^ Yeah, he was wrong about the nationality of the singer (really, how many Japanese artists of the day sounded like that) but I was mainly pointing out that he also thought the dubbing was unconvincing.

Hey, that's just my opinion though, I'm not trying to "win" here, peace.


ETA: Y'know, I do believe there isn't a Martha Miyake video on the internet to compare.

Last edited by Mr. Adventure; June 20 2012 at 04:30 AM.
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Old June 20 2012, 04:30 AM   #170
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

There's no competition. I just want to make sure the facts are clear.

I'm sure that any Japanese artist who was specifically a jazz singer, as Martha Miyake was, would emulate the sound of American jazz singers. Japanese adoption of aspects of American culture has been commonplace for a long time. And it did sound to me like some of the pronunciations were either a bit off or a bit too precise, as if the song were being sung by someone who was not a native speaker of English.

Some of the dubbing was unconvincing, yes, but that's just normal lip-sync problems. A lot of people aren't aware that virtually every time someone sings onscreen, the voice track was recorded beforehand in a recording studio (for optimal sound quality), then played back on the set and lip-synched by the performer, even if it's the same person who actually sang the song. Some people are better at doing the lip-synching than others. So yes, it is a dubbing problem, but not the same type of dubbing as when Japanese dialogue is replaced with English dialogue. It's understandable that the two would be confused, but if you read her lips, she's clearly mouthing the English words, even if she sometimes isn't mouthing them exactly in synch with Miyake-san's voice.
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Old June 20 2012, 04:32 AM   #171
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

My edit came as you commented so I'm not sure if you saw it, have you been able to find any videos of Martha Miyake? My search has come up empty.
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Old June 20 2012, 05:33 AM   #172
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

ARRRGH! I recorded Gojira and Mothra, but I skipped Rodan because I already had a copy. Come to find out too late that my copy was the English dub and they were showing the Japanese version.

Oh well, I do have both Gojira and Godzilla to compare now.

How much difference is there between the two versions of Rodan?
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Old June 20 2012, 01:45 PM   #173
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Mr. Adventure wrote: View Post
My edit came as you commented so I'm not sure if you saw it, have you been able to find any videos of Martha Miyake? My search has come up empty.
Not videos, but a couple of audio clips with still photos of her at a couple of different ages. Here's "Goody Goody" from her album My Favorite Songs. (Which is the first hit on her name on Google, so I'm surprised you missed it.) And on the homepage for the Martha Miyake Vocal House, a music school she opened in Tokyo in 1974, there's a clip of her singing "What a Wonderful World" on her 45th Anniversary Edition CD. It does sound like the same voice we hear in the movie.

I also found a reference on Google Books confirming that "Yumi Shirakawa... was dubbed by Martha Miyake in both the Japanese and stateside versions." (The book also translates Ekitainingen in the title as "Hydrogen Man" rather than "Liquid Man," but that seems to be an error. Japanese for hydrogen is suiso.)
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Old June 20 2012, 04:19 PM   #174
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

^ Found those "videos" but I was hoping to see some performance to see if it seemed so incongruous when she was singing.
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Old June 20 2012, 06:07 PM   #175
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Mr. Adventure wrote: View Post
^ Found those "videos" but I was hoping to see some performance to see if it seemed so incongruous when she was singing.
Why would you have to see anything? Only Miyake's voice is present in the actual movie; the person we see "singing" onscreen is Yumi Shirakawa. So I don't see any basis for a visual comparison.
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Old June 20 2012, 06:22 PM   #176
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Since Yumi singing Miyake felt off to me I wondered what it'd be like to see Miyake singing her own stuff plus just the interest of seeing her performing.
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Old June 25 2012, 06:29 PM   #177
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

TCM has a sci-fi/horror marathon on Thursday:

http://www.tcm.com/schedule/index.ht...ate=2012-06-28

6 AM: The Time Machine (1960)

8 AM: Village of the Damned (1960)

9:30 AM: The Manster (1962): "A mad scientist turns a reporter into a two-headed killer." This was a US/Japanese co-production.

10:45 AM: The Snow Devils (1965): "Aliens plot to freeze the Earth as a replacement for their doomed home planet."

12:30 PM: War of the Planets (1965): "Martians with mind-control powers attempt to take over the earth."

2:15 PM: The Wild, Wild Planet (1965): "Space amazons control the Earth by shrinking its leaders." According to Wikipedia, the above three Italian-made films are parts of a series and are actually being shown in reverse order. So it might be best to DVR them and watch them the other way around. (Also, it's a 4-part series, and part 3 is apparently not included.)

4 PM: Five Million Years To Earth (1968): "Subway excavations unearth a deadly force from beyond space and time." This is more properly known as Quatermass and the Pit, and is the third Quatermass movie from Hammer Films (actually adapting a TV serial, which I suppose is kind of like what Hammer did with the first two Doctor Who Dalek serials).

5:45 PM: The Green Slime (1969): "A mysterious fungus invades a space station and turns the inhabitants into monsters." This is an MGM/Toei co-production and apparently has writers in common with the Italian movie series above -- and was co-scripted by Bill Finger, the uncredited co-creator of Batman!


Also, The Monkees' Head will be on at 12:30 AM Thursday night/Friday morning.
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Last edited by Christopher; June 25 2012 at 06:40 PM.
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Old June 25 2012, 07:02 PM   #178
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Thanks for the heads-up, Christopher! Time to introduce my nigh-unto-seven-year-old to the same nightmares that plagued me after seeing Quatermass and the Pit at that age!
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Old June 25 2012, 07:20 PM   #179
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Christopher wrote: View Post
This is more properly known as Quatermass and the Pit, and is the third Quatermass movie from Hammer Films (actually adapting a TV serial, which I suppose is kind of like what Hammer did with the first two Doctor Who Dalek serials).
What is your source for this information regarding the two Amicus Dr Who movies? What part did Hammer play in these films?
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Old June 25 2012, 07:32 PM   #180
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

OmahaStar wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
This is more properly known as Quatermass and the Pit, and is the third Quatermass movie from Hammer Films (actually adapting a TV serial, which I suppose is kind of like what Hammer did with the first two Doctor Who Dalek serials).
What is your source for this information regarding the two Amicus Dr Who movies? What part did Hammer play in these films?
I think Christopher just made the mistake of confusing the lesser known Amicus Productions with Hammer Films, which (per wikipedia) are similar in visual style and share stars like Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Hammer didn't have anything to do with the two Cushing Doctor Who movies, as far as I know.
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