That's a quote, not something I said. It will make sense in a minute. Also, 7 other things worth your time.
I thought I was just losing my hearing! At my age, that is a viable assumption.
I loathe subtitles and rarely watch a foreign film as a result. The primary reason? I enjoy actually WATCHING a movie. I read books, plenty of them. Also the news from multiple sources. I love to read.
When I WATCH something visual, I don’t want to move back and forth between words and the bottom of the screen and the visual content. I want to experience the visual using both sight and sound. Reading the dialogue for me adds a complexity I’m unwilling to endure when I want to be entertained.
I was watching “Casablanca” the other night, and (believe it or not) I could recite the dialogue for most of the movie. Then I watched “Love and Friendship” and couldn’t understand a word, they were talking much too fast and mumbling - a lethal combination. I stopped watching knowing the problem wasn’t mine.
I remember when Marlon Brando was in his first movies. He mumbled so much that my friends who saw his movies began “mumbling” in school when they didn’t know the answers when called upon. It was funny to us at the time, now I can see it was dumb teen pranking.
I found that a sound bar helps.
I haven't noticed any such audio issues at all.
Fascinating subject and thought-provoking information here. I loathe subtitles unless it’s a foreign movie (and I enjoyed watching lots of subtitles French movies as a kid) and also hate people talking during movies (and hence I love going to the movie theater). I feel it’s important to hear every word.
We have a Bose sound bar on our tv and still have to turn the volume up for some movies
Just as bad as not hearing dialogue on a movie you paid $15 to see, reading the characters' cell phone texts. UGH! Don't make me read your cell phone (Ted Lasso), and if it's that important, put the speech bubbles up on the screen, otherwise I'm missing all of it.
As someone who DOES have significant hearing problems, you gave me a bit of hope that it's not just me. I moved to using subtitles whenever possible a year or two ago so as to get more out of the show or movie. Thanks for making me feel just a little bit less old.
very comforting to know that I am not the only who has struggled and MAYBE it is not completely due to older age...
My bride and I decided to use subtitles mostly due to age. Funny thing is lots of times we used to struggle to understand what people were saying and we now SEE it’s “unintelligible muttering“.
I like that you bring up such a variety of topics in your articles!!! With 4K, Dolby Vision, PCM Audio, Dolby Audio, Dolby Atmos options that are available from the source or on home theater sound systems/set-ups today, not having them set up properly make the dialogue very hard to understand. At the same time, I believe there is truth to the mumbling (diminished dialogue) that seems to be occurring. If the center speaker settings, etc. are not set up properly, the surround sound will drown out the dialogue. I spent much time (too much?) getting the dialogue/center speaker to the right volume, but there are still programs were I still need to turn on closed captions. Not everyone will spend the time optimizing the sound, when there concerns. The industry, with all of its options, has not made it easy either.
My husband, who listens with a New England accent in his head, started using subtitles when watching British films or series from the BBC. This has moved on to pretty much all the movies we watch on tv. Mumbling has become the new cool way for kids to speak. When my sisters and I were in hs, we had an elocution teacher who had a British accent. We repeated, “ALL young ladies should carry a hanDkerchief” and other unforgettable adages over and over. (If you were here, you would see me rolling my eyes as we did then). Actually, it did make us aware of our presentation and communication skills. As for those ever-present subtitles, they do get in the way of the whole picture, but they are a good hearing tool for these mumbling ear straining actors. Ok-another complaint: Why are all the ads super loud, so much so that we mute them. No wonder we all have carpel tunnel!!
When I was a kid we had a special night eating dinner in front of the tv .
I would like to add to that the fact that people do not enunciate when they speak any longer. As the daughter of an English prof it was ingrained in me to speak clearly. Mumbling and low talking make me insane too.
I worked for many years as a professional audio engineer and I agree that the quality of sound in films and television series has deteriorated. Too many reasons to cover here. I wanted to let you know about ZVOX AccuVoice sound bars that were developed to address this problem. They provide multiple levels of audio filtering to clarify sound in the voice range and are simple to add to a television. They are also on sale at the moment. https://zvox.com/collections/accuvoice I have no connection with this company other than I purchased one and it has solved the issue of muddled audio for films and TV series.