Me and Chairman Mao
  Local dub.
We've bought a lot of DVDs here to watch (here you buy, you don't rent), and--for the most part--we had planned to leave them all here when we left. All that changed last night, however, with Napoleon Dynamite. What made this particular film so special? Not the movie, which I would describe as "okay" and "a poor man's Wes Anderson movie" (that will make sense to some of you). No, in this case, what made the movie special was the subtitles. Every movie here has English subtitles, which are usually normal--that is, they have the right words. This one was different, though. It didn't have the right words. Not even close, as a matter of fact. Our best guess is that it was originally subtitled in Chinese, and then someone who didn't know English turned the Chinese subtitles into English subtitles with the help of a dictionary. Needless to say, it was not exactly correct.

Here's what I mean. The first spoken lines of the movie were as follows:

Last week, Japanese scientists placed explosive detonators at the bottom of
Lake Loch Ness to blow Nessie out of the water. Sir Cort Godfrey of the Nessie
alliance summoned the help of Scotland's local wizards to cast a protective
spell over the lake and its local residents and all those who seek the
peaceful existence of our underwater ally.
That was subtitled as:
Last week, Japanese scientist the bomb set offs the to throw to pull the gram
inside the lake for is strange the sea in the watering to fry out. Holland's the
you call when the sorcery teacher of the ground improbity give the lake with be
the ground resident to descend the cursing of still have the allies of having to
support the nautical mile peaceful.
And yes, it only got better from there. The entire movie is actually worth watching just for the subtitles. My favorite? "Right on!" became "Really severe!" I think that one could actually catch on. You should try it sometime. That would be really severe, man. Really severe.
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