THE MONKEY KING MOVIE REVIEW
You may be familiar with the legend of the Monkey King from the ancient Chinese myth Journey to the West. The tale has been adapted into film, television, books, comics, and music hundreds of times. If you’re somehow not familiar, the story of the Monkey King is an epic adventure filled with supernatural feats, battles with Gods, mythical creatures, and profound lessons that have captivated audiences for centuries. The stories of the cheeky trickster are some of the most enduring and popular in Chinese culture. The newest adaptation comes from Netflix studios and producer Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle). In this iteration of the lore, we see Monkey’s (Jimmy O. Yang) origin and his quest for immortality, facing 100 demons, challenging the gods themselves, and developing a rivalry with the God of the weather, the Dragon King (Bowen Yang). He is accompanied in his journey by his loyal magical weapon, Stick and his assistant Lin (Jolie Hoang-Rappaport), who is a mere pebble in the universe, but also a young girl desperate to save her village. Mindy, Harmoni, Eliot, and T.C. sit down together to discuss this entry into the Journey to the West library, and one of the Squad who knows more about this legend than all of the others combined will tell you exactly how well this adapted the myth.
DIRECTED BY: Anthony Stacchi
STARRING: Jimmy O. Yang, Dee Bradley Baker, Jolie Hoang-Rappaport, Bowen Yang, Jo Koy, Nan Li, Stephanie Hsu, BD Wong, Ron Yuan, Hoon Lee, Andrew Pang, Andrew Kishino, Jodi Long, James Sie
T.C. De Witt (Screener Squad)
T.C. De Witt is a multi-awarded writer/director originally from Wisconsin and now based in Los Angeles. His life has been devoted to the arts since he was a child. He’s been a stage performer, playwright, stand-up comic, film and television actor, radio DJ, podcaster published author, recorded musician, and comic writer/illustrator. He is now a professional screenwriter and has been thriving for the past decade, regularly offering his talents to production studios in LA, Chicago, Milwaukee, and internationally in Sydney and Poland. He’s provided content for Amazon Prime, Netflix, and several YouTube partners. His films have screened internationally, and his stageplays have been performed across the country. In the last ten years, he has directed 57 films, 23 episodes of his series The One Minute Rewatch, 300+ episodes of podcasts, and his multi-award-winning short film Screen: Righter screened at the Festival de Cannes in 2016. He has released two feature films, The Princess Knight and A Christmas Sunset. He thrives on collaboration and the thrill of sharing stories in all forms.
Mindy Rast-Keenan (Screener Squad, Highly Suspect Reviews)
Having grown up in Nairobi, Kenya, and being very disappointed at the lack of riding elephants her cartoons had promised her, Mindy spends the majority of her time as a film, theater, and voice over actress in the Austin, Texas area. They still give her money for being on HBO that one time, with her name in the credits spelled wrong. A nerdy geek, this award-winning actress joined One of Us figuring she’d put her summa cum laude BFA acting degree to good use…by judging other people’s acting. In the few seconds she gets to herself, Mindy bakes for charity, knits eccentric plushies, plays original RPG’s with her gamemaster husband, and spends time with her soulmate, Batman.
Harmoni Anderson (Screener Squad, Highly Suspect Reviews, Unstabletop Gaming)
Harmoni is a mermaid-haired, millennial, rum drinking, Section 31, Slytherin (who’s divorced J.K. Rowling) preschool/nursery teacher and multi genre geek who also loves all things film, tv, fashion, makeup, and an embarrassingly huge BTS stan. Like really embarrassing. As in, mention them and then sit back and watch the insanity. Harmoni likes being able to game and talk movies/TV with people that aren’t 3 feet tall or all that demanding of her. Plus she can curse at us and not get fired….so bonus!
Eliot Nelson (Screener Squad, Staff Writer)
Soaked in the soggy rains of Seattle, Eliot developed a love of sci-fi, movies, cartoons, heavy metal, and all of geekdom. Pursuing his passion for the written word, he got his BA from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. He has since worked exclusively in the foodservice industry, like any liberal arts major worth their salt. Eliot wiles away the hours listening to movie reviews, writing his epic sci-fi novel, and consuming as much media as possible. His favorite movies include The Lord of the Rings, City of God, Dawn of the Dead, and Groundhog Day. When not rambling to himself about the ineptness of entertainment executives, Eliot posts infrequently on Twitter and squawks regularly on his podcast The Debasement Tapes.
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