Jump to content
JulyDiaz

Episode 207 - Dragon Blade (w/ Daniel Radcliffe, Erin Darke)

Recommended Posts

Daniel Radcliffe (Miracle Workers, Harry Potter) and Erin Darke (Dietland, Summer ’03) join Paul and Jason to discuss the 2015 action film Dragon Blade starring Jackie Chan, Adrian Brody, and John Cusack. They talk about there being no dragon blade in the movie, arrows doing amazing things, Cusack’s accent, and much more.

Subscribe to Unspooled with Paul Scheer and Amy Nicholson here: http://www.earwolf.com/show/unspooled/

Check out our new website over at www.hdtgminfo.com!

Check out new HDTGM merch over at https://www.teepubli…wdidthisgetmade

Where to Find Jason, June & Paul:

@PaulScheer on Instagram & Twitter

@Junediane on IG and @MsJuneDiane on Twitter

Jason is still not on Twitter

Share this post


Link to post

Jackie Chan is the dragon blade. they just should of called it .the dragon's blade.  i think this is old time talk, saying he is the dragons "Chinas" swordsman or "blade".

 

Share this post


Link to post

I watched the longer version with the bumpers at beginning andn the end ... so I was expecting time travel  or tie in to future/present somehow.

Also do to some odd dialogue by  the couple at the end I thought  .. wait what after all this did you guys come here to BREAK UP?!! A must watch.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Hearing Jason scream" Fuckkkk You! " at Harry Potter has changed me as a person.

I think this movie turned him into a Deatheater. Frankly I don't blame him.

  • Like 6
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post

Was Jason a big fan of the HP movies? I thought he listened to the audiobooks? Anyway, I've weirded myself out that I guessed who the guest was last week. I'm concerned that I know more about Daniel than I thought I did. Can I be unintentionally stalking him? What does that say about me? Am I okay? Should I lay down?

So far my big take away is that I like Erin Darke.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

Why were so many people getting blinded? The kid, Cusack, whoever the birds were attacking... it was a constant attack on the eyes.

Share this post


Link to post

So Wikipedia says Mel Gibson was originally going to be John Cusack’s part. ... do we think that version would be better or worse? 

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, The_Other_MikeD said:

Why were so many people getting blinded? The kid, Cusack, whoever the birds were attacking... it was a constant attack on the eyes.

Much like this movie

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

Not to necessarily defend this movie or John Cusack's performance, but I think I can at least explain it.

They mention in the show the movie made $121 million but it only made $74 thousand in the US. So, I speculate this movie was never meant to be seen outside of China.

Part of that means that there's simply cultural stuff that doesn't translate to Americans. Chinese audiences might simply want a different experience than what we're looking for. Anyone who has dug deep into foreign film has probably run into a movie that was a smash in its home country but simply doesn't work in the US due to different expectations (I'm sure Cam Bert can give us examples of Japanese movies). So, does anyone know how this did critically in China? Was this Chinese Transformers 2 or Chinese Mad Max Fury Road?

But a movie never being seen outside of China might explain John Cusack's lazy performance and accent. There are lots of celebrities who do commercials or bad movies in foreign countries because it's easy money that doesn't ruin their reputation in Hollywood. 

I know I can't pick up accents in a foreign language and I suspect Chinese audiences can't tell a Chicago accent from what Italian accent Cusack could have put on. So, no real need to do an accent if no one in the intended audience will even notice.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, grudlian. said:

Not to necessarily defend this movie or John Cusack's performance, but I think I can at least explain it.

They mention in the show the movie made $121 million but it only made $74 thousand in the US. So, I speculate this movie was never meant to be seen outside of China.

Part of that means that there's simply cultural stuff that doesn't translate to Americans. Chinese audiences might simply want a different experience than what we're looking for. Anyone who has dug deep into foreign film has probably run into a movie that was a smash in its home country but simply doesn't work in the US due to different expectations (I'm sure Cam Bert can give us examples of Japanese movies). So, does anyone know how this did critically in China? Was this Chinese Transformers 2 or Chinese Mad Max Fury Road?

But a movie never being seen outside of China might explain John Cusack's lazy performance and accent. There are lots of celebrities who do commercials or bad movies in foreign countries because it's easy money that doesn't ruin their reputation in Hollywood. 

I know I can't pick up accents in a foreign language and I suspect Chinese audiences can't tell a Chicago accent from what Italian accent Cusack could have put on. So, no real need to do an accent if no one in the intended audience will even notice.

I will back up everything you are saying here.

I can only go by what I know from my friends and people I've met but most people do not know accents. I should say people who study English or particularly like a certain country will notice a difference but the average person will think it's all English. There might be "He sounds different than him" but not the the point of thinking about country of origin. Also, unless again they know English they will be reading the subtitles at the bottom of the screen and not so much care about how they sound. It's more about the look of the person and also a hollywood name. Which I find odd because I don't image John Cusack is a huge draw in China. I think it is more about "we have a hollywood star" than anything else.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I know this won't mean much to anybody because most everybody probably watched the American edit, but they talk about the couple that bookends the film in the international cut. Yes while they use satellites and computers to reconstruct how the city looked there is a plaque that they uncover that basically gives a brief history of the city. This combined with the fact that it is mentioned they found out about the place from a book and legend would imply how they knew the story and the computer wasn't telling them the story. Their reason for lying about it is still a mystery. However the craziest part is how in just under 2000 years the city that seemed to be on level ground in the desert went to being in the snow covered mountains. That's the craziest part about the bookends.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Cam Bert said:

I will back up everything you are saying here.

I can only go by what I know from my friends and people I've met but most people do not know accents. I should say people who study English or particularly like a certain country will notice a difference but the average person will think it's all English. There might be "He sounds different than him" but not the the point of thinking about country of origin. Also, unless again they know English they will be reading the subtitles at the bottom of the screen and not so much care about how they sound. It's more about the look of the person and also a hollywood name. Which I find odd because I don't image John Cusack is a huge draw in China. I think it is more about "we have a hollywood star" than anything else.

When Great Wall came out, Matt Damon got a lot of shit for this Chinese movie being whitewashed. I remember articles at the time saying that getting any big American Hollywood star to be in a Chinese movie for Chinese audiences kind of legitimized the movie to a degree. It wasn't that Matt Damon injected himself into this; it's that Chinese audiences thought that was cool.

I'm not sure American audiences have a cultural equivalent. Stunt casting an international star in an American movie typically only works for international audiences or for 1% of Americans.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I’d have to say the star of the film was Adrian Brody’s wig. It had a real Mary Tyler Moore vibe. 

To quote June: Is this a movie?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

First of all, I just wanted to say that I thought Erin and Daniel were fantastic guests! I loved the energy they brought, and I really hope that they can be brought back sometime in the future.

In defense of John Cusack's accent work, or lack thereof, I have to admit that I was totally cool with it. The movie had already made the decision that English was going to equal Roman/Latin, but back then, just because someone was "Roman," didn't necessarily mean that they were "from Rome." The Roman Empire stretched from the Portugal to the Middle East and from the British Isles to Africa. Once a culture was conquered by the Romans, they weren't expected to completely abandon their native language, so I'm sure that a pure "Roman accent" would be pretty hard to pin down. I mean, how many accents are there in the America? Hell, accents can change within the same state.

So, maybe, in the world of Dragon Blade, to show a difference in class, Roman's born in Rome - like Brody's character - have English accents, while Roman's born in Gaul or some shit have a more Chicagoan, every man type of flavor.

The fact that they all sing in Latin still makes no fucking sense though...   

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

The in-universe language barriers in this movie drove me insane.

I've seen enough Jackie Chan movies to know that he can deliver lines in English, even if he has a strong accent. And yet, when he's speaking to John Cusack he has obvious grammatical errors. I'm pretty sure he's reading the script correctly, and that the writers of Dragon Blade wanted to emphasize that Hua An and Lucius speak different languages. Ok, except...

The dialogue in this movie is already so bad. The only thing that could make Hua An's monologues less inspiring was the addition of grammatical errors.

Were we supposed to think Huo An had never heard Latin before? In that case, is Lucius teaching him the language by speaking louder and gesturing?

Or, are we accepting that Huo An has to have learned some Latin to get by as a Silk Road Protection Force Captain? Well then it would have been so easy to put in a line explaining his near-fluent speach instead: "As more Romans are traveling the Silk Road, I decided to learn Latin."

Or, just gloss over it and write the best dialogue you can! It's not like they're trying to explain why the Roman centurions speak english, except for when the sing in actual goddamn Latin. Were the modern-day scientists actually speaking Latin?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

So they have 15 days to rebuild the fortress walls. The Romans decide that the quickest way to accomplish this is to chisel the damaged parts of the wall flat, forge metal to build cages, fill the cages with stones, then stack the cages and cover with cement. I’m no engineer, but that seemed unecessarily complicated.

Share this post


Link to post
15 hours ago, Robert Denby said:

Without the slow motion, this movie would have been 45 minutes long. 

About that, I was annoyed by the quality of the slow-mo. Was it just my copy, or did it seem like they shot the movie at too low of a framerate to produce smooth motion?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

The gang seemed confused by the idea of massive armies sending out a champion to fight a battle for them. Daniel concedes that this probably happened, but everyone agreed that it probably didn't happen until later in history. First of all, I don't feel like the idea that each side would send out a champion is really all that crazy. The rationale being: if our very best guy can beat your very best guy, then ultimately, we'd would probably win the battle anyway, so why bother with all the bloodshed? 

As far as it not happening until later in history, according to Judeo-Christian history, the story of David and Goliath (perhaps the most famous example of this kind of thing) was said to have occurred around 1025 B.C. - approximately 975 years before the events of this film. Whether or not you believe in David and Goliath as historical fact, it would have been a story circulating for almost a millennium. To me, that at least suggests that the idea of sending out a Champion to fight a proxy battle for your army wasn’t something that would be completely unheard of at the time.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, Doctor Suessicide said:

The in-universe language barriers in this movie drove me insane.

I've seen enough Jackie Chan movies to know that he can deliver lines in English, even if he has a strong accent. And yet, when he's speaking to John Cusack he has obvious grammatical errors. I'm pretty sure he's reading the script correctly, and that the writers of Dragon Blade wanted to emphasize that Hua An and Lucius speak different languages. Ok, except...

The dialogue in this movie is already so bad. The only thing that could make Hua An's monologues less inspiring was the addition of grammatical errors.

Were we supposed to think Huo An had never heard Latin before? In that case, is Lucius teaching him the language by speaking louder and gesturing?

Or, are we accepting that Huo An has to have learned some Latin to get by as a Silk Road Protection Force Captain? Well then it would have been so easy to put in a line explaining his near-fluent speach instead: "As more Romans are traveling the Silk Road, I decided to learn Latin."

Or, just gloss over it and write the best dialogue you can! It's not like they're trying to explain why the Roman centurions speak english, except for when the sing in actual goddamn Latin. Were the modern-day scientists actually speaking Latin?

There is a line (again maybe cut from the American edit) when they encounter the two armies at the start and identifying them and what language they speak. I think it is a given that the Silk Road Protection Force is versed in various languages.

What I find strange is that it seems that Jackie Chan is the only character than can speak Latin. Or that he knows enough to have some broken communication with them. However, his second in command that betrays them, Yin Po, met Adrien Brody's character and made a very complicated plan with him to set up the Silk Road Protection Force and take over the area. So Yin Po knew Latin as well? He seemed to be speaking much better "Latin" than Jackie Chan as well.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Also, everybody seems to be talking about the Latin song, did the American version not have Jackie Chan singing before that?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Possible correction/omission:

The actor who plays the blind kid is named Jozef Waite, and per his bio he is "English-Chinese" and born in England (though raised in China since the age of 1). Per this photo of his family, looks like he's half Chinese, half English by parentage.

Apparently he and his sister are both pretty popular kid actors in China. I'm guessing he was the whitest child actor they could find in China, so they threw a wig on him and put him in this movie.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 2/15/2019 at 6:16 PM, Elektra Boogaloo said:

So Wikipedia says Mel Gibson was originally going to be John Cusack’s part. ... do we think that version would be better or worse? 

I'd think he'd be bringing more nutso-ness to the role while Cusack just seems to be on Quaaludes the whole time. As for the name I think it is a reference to that sword Jackie Chan has because when he first fights Cusack, he attaches the wire to it that allows him to whip it around and the hook is shaped like a dragon claw, so I'm assuming that was the name he had or some derivation for the sword.

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×