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Can you detect bad acting in foreign films?
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TheVaultDweller
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Can you detect bad acting in foreign films?

I had this discussion with a friend the other day. Basically, the question was, can you (and if so, how easily) tell when there is bad acting in a film that is either in a foreign language or, alternatively, in your native language, but the people have heavy foreign accents.

Because I have noticed that it can sometimes be hard to judge whether an actor's line delivery is just bad, or if they are having problems due to the language, when they have an accent. Or, alternatively, when a scene is in a totally different language, with subtitles, and you basically have to go on body language, expressions etc. it can be hard to tell whether someone is overacting, or phoning in it.

Then again, in some films, it is plainly obvious. Like there are a few Japanese films, especially from earlier eras, where everything is blatantly exaggerated and over-theatrical.

So, can you readily identify these things, or do they just go right past you?


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Old Post Oct 28th, 2017 03:20 AM
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John Murdoch
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Upon my most recent viewing of Leon/The Professional, I noticed that Jean Reno mostly succeeds in playing his character Leon as an introverted assassin who learns how to love and interact with a young girl, but sometimes it seemed Reno was trying too much to convey to the audience that his character is a loner and distant from others, all while struggling with the English dialogue.

He's still one of my favorite lone-gunman archetype characters in one of my favorite films ever, and him seeming stilted a few times is probably due to getting more fluent in English, which I remember being more natural in Godzilla 98 onwards.

EDIT: Needed much more clarity.

Old Post Oct 28th, 2017 05:03 PM
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Surtur
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They would go right past me, I don't even really watch many foreign movies.


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BruceSkywalker
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depends on the type of foreign film


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Patient_Leech
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Yeah, I think when someone has a strong accent in an American film it is hard for them to be convincing as a good actor or actress. Arnold comes to mind. Also Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek.


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Dr Will Hatch
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It took me some practice, but yes, you definitely can. The language/cultural barrier isn't that strong, and you can generally tell when someone is a good actor and when somebody sucks.

Old Post Oct 29th, 2017 01:02 AM
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socool8520
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You can definitely tell the evolution of someone's acting. I know action stars aren't the greatest actors, but I can tell that guys like Donnie Yen and Jet Li got much better as their careers went on.


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Old Post Oct 29th, 2017 03:28 AM
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socool8520
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by Patient_Leech
Yeah, I think when someone has a strong accent in an American film it is hard for them to be convincing as a good actor or actress. Arnold comes to mind. Also Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek.


I can see Arnold.

I can't think of a movie where Hayek was playing a part that was hard to pull off so her accent didn't matter much to me.


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Old Post Oct 29th, 2017 03:30 AM
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riv6672
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I just figure all foreign films are bad.
-shrug-


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Old Post Oct 29th, 2017 04:26 AM
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socool8520
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^ I thought the Asian version of Oldboy was better than the Western version honestly.


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Old Post Oct 29th, 2017 04:33 AM
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HulkIsHulk
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If it's really bad anyone can spot it imo


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TheVaultDweller
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Well, one really obvious example was the last Danny Trejo movie I watched. It wasn't a foreign film, but the lack of quality was obvious despite his accent. I can't even remember what it was, but his acting was really bad. I stopped watching purely because of how terrible it was. Might have been Dead Again in Tombstone, but not sure.


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Old Post Oct 29th, 2017 11:12 AM
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John Murdoch
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by socool8520
^ I thought the Asian version of Oldboy was better than the Western version honestly.


I even liked Spike Lee's Oldboy, but the original South Korean version is WAY WAY WAY better for sure.

You bring up a really good point with the Hong Kong martial arts action stars: Jet Li, Jackie Chan, and Donnie Yen all have put in good dramatic performances as of late in their filmography. Whether it was Li being a silent, stoic type in the Expendables trilogy, Jackie Chan in Karate Kid 2010 or - from what I've heard on reviews - something recent like The Foreigner, or Yen in blockbuster fare like Rogue One, they can all be standouts in varying genres.

Old Post Oct 29th, 2017 04:45 PM
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socool8520
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by TheVaultDweller
Well, one really obvious example was the last Danny Trejo movie I watched. It wasn't a foreign film, but the lack of quality was obvious despite his accent. I can't even remember what it was, but his acting was really bad. I stopped watching purely because of how terrible it was. Might have been Dead Again in Tombstone, but not sure.


Danny Trejo just isn't a good actor. He's basically the Hispanic tough guy/criminal in almost everything. The only time this wasn't as noticeable was in con Air and that's because everyone's acting was shitty. I still like the movie though. lol


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Old Post Oct 30th, 2017 08:29 AM
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TheVaultDweller
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It was exceptionally bad in that film though. There would be supposedly tense scenes, where he is meant to be having heavy conversations with people, but he might as well have been discussing the contents of a salad for all the expression/emotion he showed.


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Old Post Oct 30th, 2017 08:35 AM
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riv6672
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quote: (post)
Originally posted by socool8520
Danny Trejo just isn't a good actor. He's basically the Hispanic tough guy/criminal in almost everything.

He was great as Jaguar in RICK & MORTY, with his thick Hispanic accent passing as a thick Russian accent!


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Old Post Oct 30th, 2017 09:34 AM
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digiosmosis
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Arnold in Batman vs Robin.

Old Post Oct 31st, 2017 09:24 AM
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TheVaultDweller
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You mean this? laughing


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Old Post Oct 31st, 2017 09:47 AM
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riv6672
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That was just a bad movie. Universally so.


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Old Post Oct 31st, 2017 09:48 AM
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