March 26, 2009

Get the right one?

I missed Let the Right One In when it was in theaters, so when the critically-adored tween vamp pic came to Blu-Ray I added it near the top of the Netflix queue.

Now I see that the home release (DVD and BR) has badly translated subtitles that strip much of the dialogue of its nuance and dark humor.


The distributor did the right thing and hurriedly restored the theatrical version. But there's no guarantee that Netflix will make the switch. It seems likely that it won't. But in any case, there's no way to know in advance which version you're getting... nor even after the disc arrives, since it ships without the case, where the subtitle information is indicated. And since I haven't seen the movie, I presumably can't be sure I have the better version even after I start watching.

The obvious thing to do would be to e-mail Netflix and ask if they intend to swap out all copies of the film. But have you ever tried to contact Netflix about anything? They have a really good automated feedback system for customer service issues, and even an actual phone number for solving problems, but I can't find any way to contact them with questions about content. Somehow I can't see calling the help line and asking this question. As we say in the vampire trade, this sucks.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Just treat "customer service issue" as a poor Swedish translation for "issues that concern me" and you'll be fine.

The unfortunate thing about the DVD (and the movie was fine, but I'm not going to sit through it again for any masturbation jokes I might have missed out on) is that the default is the English dubbed version (which at least has the proper Swede dialogue).

Jerk off at home? Jamais!

FWIW, this may not be a case of self censorship, just bad subtitling--the other examples cited in the link above suggest that they were much too willing to drastically condense dialogue for the sake of not making lazy American audiences do too much reading. This is annoying, to say the least. It's hard to imagine this one jerk-off reference was a deal breaker for anyone, since the movie also includes a very brief instance of full-frontal 12-year old female nudity. (How did you miss this one, Radosh?)

On the Netflix question, you're right that they are not as conscientious about these things as they should be. Very few Criterion discs when there's a cheaper option, for example. More evidence that the "long tail" theory is not panning out.

Oh well, there's always BitTorrent.

If I wanted to jerk off at home, it wouldn't be to this crap!

Seriously, I would have rented this... but not without a written (and subtitled) guarantee that I'm getting the original.

@Jared. Oh, I never meant to suggest that the motivation (or even the effect) was censorship. But I can see how you made the assumption give how I've typecast myself.

how does the 12-year-old nudity in this movie relate to the "sexting" scandal? is everyone at netflix at risk????

Dammit, I hate it when they muck with things like that. I just finished reading the book today, and it's worth picking up for even more nuance that the movie had to leave out -- not that the movie wasn't great, it was, just the age-old difference between movies and books.

And do brief instances of 12-year-old nudity even really count when the body in question isn't even human?

For what it's worth, the movie is still playing in NYC -- it's at the Village East, at what I'm sure is the convenient-for-a-parent-of-two-young-kids time of 10:40 PM.

I just rented it from netflix and it said you can jerk off at home.

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