June 02, 2006

Mandarin phonetic symbols in trailer for Jet Li's Fearless

I finally got around to seeing Jet Li's latest movie, Fearless. I had delayed seeing the movie because the rental version available in Taiwan does not have English subtitles (although the retail version does).

On the DVD, two trailers were included. One of the trailers billed Fearless as Jet Li's last martial arts movie. I hope this does not mean that Jet Li will turn into a sad figure like Jackie Chan, always harping away about how he wants to be taken seriously as a dramatic actor. Anyway, one of the trailers included some nice nonsense Chinese for Westerners.

Intercut with scenes from the movie was a burnt-yellow background, suggesting aged parchment, with Chinese characters flying past. Along with the Chinese characters were some Mandarin phonetic symbols (zhuyin fuhao注音符號). It's bad enough that they included phonetic symbols (which are mainly used in Children's books) in the flying sea of what wanted to be an ancient Chinese text, but the symbols flew past in strings of gibberish! Imagine the following text dramatically moving across the screen, "Integrity... Peace... Courage... Cabnap... Grunplitk... Uwsugls." Gives you chills just thinking about it.


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