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REVIEW: Millennium Actress (English dub)




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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3566
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:06 pm Reply with quote
This is the only Satoshi Kon that I have yet to watch, and I've heard it's best one.
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Arale Kurashiki



Joined: 24 Aug 2015
Posts: 571
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:21 pm Reply with quote
I found the dub really shaky. Very frequently there were lines that the actors had to interrupt themselves in the middle of awkwardly for the sake of the lip flaps; it didn't feel natural in the slightest.
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 1705
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:02 pm Reply with quote
I thought it was a fairly solid dub effort, though I remain bewildered about why the senior actress retained the same voice actress throughout instead of getting an older woman for her later years like Chiyoko did. And while I can’t fault swapping the cameraman’s more bombastic Japanese performance for a more sarcastic “everything sucks and is lame” vibe in English, I do miss it. But I did find the dialogue similarly clunky, along with the new subtitles track. Both go for a more literal translation, when I think the original script put out by Miramax retained more of the spirit of the intent of a scene, if not a direct translation. And I also remember there being a mistake in the dub; when Chiyoko passes out partway during her retelling, you hear Gen’ya speak, but that line shouldn’t be there, and is in fact later repeated when he recounts his own history.

I’d also like to mention that I think the opposing male gaze theory holds some water, since, like you mentioned, all of the production interviews shown after the theatrical screenings mention that Millennium Actress and Perfect Blue are sister films, intended to show opposing sides of roughly the same subject. It wasn’t a major theme like it was in Perfect Blue, but I think the intent of showcasing a wholly different kind of fan was still there.
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Izanagi009



Joined: 20 Oct 2014
Posts: 373
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:11 pm Reply with quote
I remember watching this in a indie theater in Pittsburgh

This movie as a technical piece and a thematic piece was moving to me. It showed me the potential of animation as art and is part of what drives me to ask for more in work.

Enough of the personal stuff though. On a technical level, i remember this film having so many wonderful camera and editing transitions that weaved the film and the real world together in a way that I still don't know how live action can replicate.

Thematically, it was quite simple but i like it's message. Feels almost like a Albert Camus absurdist theme of "make your life have meaning" that is very meaningful in our society.

I, as a critic and an anime fan, will recommend this film to anyone who might be interested.
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FireChick



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 1520
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:27 pm Reply with quote
I thought the new dub was pretty good, and no matter what flaws it has, I'm sure we can all agree its infinitely better than the old, awful British dub, and they actually pronounce Japanese words and names correctly! Definitely buying this when it comes out on DVD next month.
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Snomaster1
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Joined: 31 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:35 pm Reply with quote
There's an old saying that goes "Better late than never." That certainly applies in the case of "Millennium Actress." While the earlier dub had a guy named John Vernon,who was a pretty good actor,but from what I've heard,it was one of his weaker roles. I don't know how Satoshi Kon would have felt about having this dubbed into English but I think he would probably have liked this version. It's a shame he didn't live to see it.
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Nilrem



Joined: 06 Dec 2003
Posts: 116
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:53 pm Reply with quote
I'm looking forward to seeing this again, especially with the new dub, as I've been itching to do so for a while but have put it off in the hope of a blu-ray release.
I'm sort of hoping Alltheanime over here will get the rights and do one of their collectors sets (the Perfect Blue one is a thing of beauty), preferably with both the new and old dubs, as I have a weird thing about liking to know the old dub is still there, even if I never watch that version again.Wink
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GeorgeC



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 772
PostPosted: Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:19 pm Reply with quote
Wait a minute --- Millennium Actress had an earlier English dub?

I never knew that! They never released it in the States with a dub. The last home video release in the US, the awful DVD (2002 or 2003), was subtitled only which was also how I saw it in theaters when Dreamworks had the rights to this film and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence.

There are two actors named John Vernon listed on IMDB. The John Vernon most Americans are familiar with is deceased. He was a Canadian actor best known as Dean Wormer in the 1978 comedy, Animal House. He did a fair amount of voiceover work in animation and was the original voice of Tony Stark/Iron Man in the 1960s Marvel Superheroes animated TV series. He later played Doctor Strange in the mid-1990s Spider-Man:The Animated Series.

The British (?) actor John Vernon is still alive. He's the guy in the UK dub of Millennium Actress.

Double-checks = 2005 UK-exclusive dub; released well after the US DVD. There was a question on WHO had the rights to this film for a while which I understand now DELAYED re-licensing the movie for home video (on top of the fact they were waiting for a remastered video for HD release after 2007!).
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FireChick



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 1520
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:18 am Reply with quote
Yeah, Manga Entertainment did make a British only dub for the movie way back when, and from what I've heard it's...not very good.
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TurnerJ



Joined: 05 Nov 2004
Posts: 442
Location: Highland Park, NJ
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:03 pm Reply with quote
I haven't seen the Manga UK dub, but I doubt it could be any better than the one I saw here. Although I really wouldn't say the newer dub of Millennium Actress is a particularly strong dub. It's got great performances and no noticeable laughable lines, but the lip sync is really off for many scenes in the film. Some lines sync well, others happen seconds AFTER a character starts talking. That really brought it down for me. It always jars on me whenever I see a character's mouth moving and nothing coming out, and that this dub is full of such moments took me out of it. Which is quite a shame, because I really loved this movie overall.

Snomaster1 wrote:
There's an old saying that goes "Better late than never." That certainly applies in the case of "Millennium Actress." While the earlier dub had a guy named John Vernon,who was a pretty good actor,but from what I've heard,it was one of his weaker roles. I don't know how Satoshi Kon would have felt about having this dubbed into English but I think he would probably have liked this version. It's a shame he didn't live to see it.


Nah, he was never really a fan of his films being dubbed. I doubt he would be any different here.
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