Sean’s Funtime Adventure!

forbidden_kingdom

Hold on to your magical bo staves, because The Forbidden Kingdom is definitely not the Greatest Movie EVER!

Click on the movie poster or the title above to download our review of the film, featuring Sean “Hollywood” Hunting.

Review in a Nutshell: With glimmers of its true potential shining through despite poor editing and a hackneyed script, The Forbidden Kingdom nevertheless manages to squander an enormous amount of talent.  Our whopping 63 minute podcast explains all the reasons why Sean describes this film as a ‘kung fu love letter written by an illiterate’.

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11 Responses

  1. Paul, don’t feel the need to read the dumb Twitter questions.

  2. Hi Paul,

    I love the podcast. Just finished listening to your review of “The Forbidden Kingdom”. My academic background is in Chinese language and literature and one of your twitter followers had asked if there was anyone in Hollywood who could do true justice for “Journey to the West”. I had read on Indiewire.com that Chinese TV producer Zhang Jizhong has been in talks with Neil Gaiman to make a movie out of the novel for Western audiences. Guillermo del Toro and James Cameron are also involved. Below is the website
    http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/neil_gaiman_to_pen_epic_journey_to_the_west_guillermo_del_toro_being_courte

    I agree with your thoughts the Hollywood is the problem in making a good adaption of Journey to the West. The only way I think Journey to the West could be done is if its either a direct adaption set in the time period with actual Chinese or Chinese American actors, or if they just make a very lose adapation of the story and set it in the US in contemporary times. I hate the studio notion of “we need a white guy in the film or no one will see it” but we still want some elements of Chinese culture. The end result is always a mess that neither has authenic cultural descriptions nor a good story. The Lost Kingdom was a good attempt, but it still had problems.

    For “The Forbidden Kingdom,” given the fact the movie came out in 2008, I’m not surprise if this was just a way for the studio to make a cheap buck off of the China craze that was going on before the Beijng summer games.

    I was wondering if you are reading the Anthony C. Yu translation of Journey to the West. Anyway great review as always, I hope the fans aren’t so cruel to Sean with their movie choices in the future.

    Take Care,
    John

  3. John,

    My copy of Journey to the West is translated by W.J.F. Jenner and released by Foreign Languages Press Beijing. It’s a three volume set. My parents gave it to me for Christmas a few years ago. One good thing came out of The Forbidden Kingdom podcast: I’ve picked it up and started reading it again.

  4. I swear if they make another movie where some punk from New York is supposed to be from Boston they’re gonna get a wicked hard punch in the face.

  5. A kung fu love letter written by an illiterate………That’s just freaking beautiful.

  6. This movie would have been a lot better if the kid and his various subplots were taken out completely. I could have dug a fantasy Little Big Soldier.

  7. Great podcast guys. Two quick thoughts:

    a) I do hope you’ll still do Batman and Robin (and Batman ’89) at some point.

    b) You have now directly referenced Grosse Pointe Blank twice on this podcast (both in the context of Benny The Jet), and we still have no podcast on it. THIS NEEDS TO BE RECTIFIED.

    Also, speaking of Expendables 2, maybe a podcast on that too at some point?

  8. Chan beat Jet Li in a real life fight. HA!

    LMAO for the rest of my natural born life. Thanks for that.

    Research Jet Li’s training and Chan’s training. Then get back to me. Jet was a wu shu prodigy. Jackie learned martial arts from the Peking Opera.

    For a second, thought Sean was serious. But then he said he had a chubby for The Tuxedo and resented Chris Tucker, so I get it.

    As 4 F Kingdom. Cheese. Review encapsulated in one word.

    How about reviewing a new kung fu flick that is good like Shaolin (cameo by Jackie), The Lost Bladesman, or Wu Xia. The last 2 are very cool Donnie Yen projects. He’s been killin it since Ip Man.

    Nice podcast, keep the good work, Catch y’all on the flip flop.

  9. Donnie Yen has been killing it since long before Ip Man.

  10. Hi Guys
    Here in Oz I grew up with the fantastic Japanese tv show Monkey(or Monkey Magic) which is journey to the west. It was fun and silly while I believe sticking to the original plot.

    A great show which there is a box set out.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey_%28TV_series%29

    I can’t remember it being mentioned in the podcast so if anybody hasn’t seen this and likes martial arts fantasy I cannot recommend it enough.

  11. Man, for a movie neither of you liked, it sure entertained me and sparked my interest.

    Paul, you need some more Jet Li in your life. While it isn’t exactly the greatest example of hard sci-fi or good screenwriting, The One is just so much fun, Jet Li being a superhero-level badass. I also liked him as the Lethal Weapon 4 villain.

    Sayuki has been redone all over the place. There have been a lot of Journey to the West anime, with one of the most recent being “Saiyuki” where the Monk was this stoic badass with a gun, and the dragon turned into a car instead of a dragon. Also, they were all bishounen, or pretty boys.

    Sammo Hung has reappeared recently. He was great in Ip Man 2.

    Whitewashing in Hollywood is worse than racist, it’s soulless. They just hold tightly to their stats and figure that a white male lead is the safest box office investment. It’s funny that you brought up the Rush Hour series: a black guy and an Asian man whose first language is not English. The series was massive, and made hundreds of millions of dollars. Still, Jackie and Jet can’t have their own film.

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