Everything Everywhere All At Once with Writer / Directors the Daniels + Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Theories & Moon Knight Ep 2 | Crooked Media
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April 08, 2022
X-Ray Vision
Everything Everywhere All At Once with Writer / Directors the Daniels + Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Theories & Moon Knight Ep 2

In This Episode

On this episode of X-Ray Vision, Jason Concepcion and Rosie Knight go verse-jumping with Michelle Yeoh! First in Previously On (3:14), Jason and Rosie discuss the news that Warner Bros. is hitting pause on upcoming projects with Ezra Miller, theorize about the latest Ms. Marvel and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailers, and recap episode two of the Disney+ limited series Moon Knight. In the Airlock (41:44), they dive deep (deeeep) into the A24 film Everything Everywhere All at Once (in theaters now!) and the masterful ways EEAO plays with genre, offers thrills, laughs, and heart, explores mental health, and, of course, celebrates its iconic cast (James Hong anyone!?). Then, in the Hive Mind (1:01:45), Jason and Rosie are joined by the Daniels, the writer/director duo behind Everything Everywhere All at Once, to discuss the multiverse as a story tool to explore morality, the brilliance of Hong Kong cinema, how the film pulled off its incredible stunt work, and the importance of telling inter-generational Asian-American stories. In Nerd Out (1:37:19) a listener pitches us on the creative comics partnership between Jeff Lemire & Andrea Sorrentino and in the Endgame (1:41:07), Jason and Rosie offer Hong Kong movie recommendations for before or after you see EEAO.


Tune in every Friday and don’t forget to Hulk Smash the Follow button!


Nerd Out Submission Instructions!

Send a short pitch and 2-3 minute voice memo recording to xray@crooked.com that answers the following questions: 1) How did you get into/discover your ‘Nerd Out?’ (2) Why should we get into it too? (3) What’s coming soon in this world that we can look forward to or where can we find it?


Follow Jason: twitter.com/netw3rk

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Rosie’s IG, website, author archive, & Letterboxd.

Pick up a copy of Spider-Punk#1 by Cody Ziglar now!


The Listener’s Guide for all things X-Ray Vision!

Supercop (1992) – The third in the iconic Police Story franchise and the first not to be directed by Jackie Chan himself. Available to rent/buy on AppleTV.


Yes, Madam (1985) – One of the first of the ‘girls with guns’ style films, this one stars Michelle Yeoh & Cynthia Rothrock and features a cameo from producer Sammo Hung (who Jason references as being a frequent collaborator of Jackie Chan and a major star in his own right). Available to rent/buy on AmazonPrime.


Once Upon a Time in China (1991) – Starring Jet Li, directed by Tsui Hark and the first installment of a popular franchise. Check out the box set from Criterion.


Project A (1983) – Co-directed by Sammo Hung & Jackie Chan, this swashbuckling action comedy is one of the greats in Jackie Chan’s extensive catalog. Featuring Jackie’s interpretation of Harold Lloyd’s clock sequence. Available to rent/buy on Amazon & Apple.


Holy Flame of the Martial World (1983) – Brought to you by the iconic Shaw Brothers; available to rent on AppleTV.


The Killer (1989) – Directed by John Woo and starring the iconic Chow Yun-Fat; balletic gunplay,  dead bodies, doves, and more doves. ‘Nuff said. Not available to rent or stream and DVD copies are sold out at the Criterion Collection.


Return to the 36th Chamber (1980) – Starring the icon Gordon Liu and featuring one of the most meta plotlines we’ve ever heard. Available to rent on AppleTV.


Police Story (1985) – He directed, he starred, he choreographed, he fell through glass and dived off moving vehicles, he trained stunt people, he sung the damn theme. Is there anything Jackie Chan can’t do? Just watch this clip and then watch the rest. Check out the Criterion Collection’s restoration for the ultimate viewing experience.






Jason Concepcion: [AD].


Jason Concepcion: Warning this podcast contains spoilers for limited series Moon Knight on Disney Plus, the film Everything Everywhere, All at once. Plus various theories that we have for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Miss Marvel that we think are right. Hello, my name is Jason Concepcion, and welcome to X-ray Vision, the Crooked podcast, where we dive deep deep into your favorite shows, movies, comics and pop culture. In today’s episode on the previously on, we will cover the newest trailers for Miss Marvel plus Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and a little extra extra footage and some new trailer action there. And we will recap Moon Knight episode two. Some of the suit in the airlock, we will dive deep into A24’s newest sci fi Rollic Everything Everywhere, All at Once, which is really fun, super fun movie in the Hive mind. We will discuss that movie with the Daniels as they are known. That is the writer director duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who created and directed Everything Everywhere, All At Once. In Nerd Out, a listener will tell us about the creative partnership between Jeff Lohmeier and Andrea Sorrentino, and in the End Game Rosie and I will recommend some Hong Kong movies for folks to see before or after or whenever they see Everything, Everywhere, All At Once. Joining me today to do all of that is the greatest, the best, the writer, the comics historian, the comics creator. We’re talking about the only the number one Rosie Knight, Rosie. How are you?


Rosie Knight: Oh, hi, so nice to be here. How are you doing?


Jason Concepcion: I’m doing good. How are things? What’s going on? How are you?


Rosie Knight: Yeah, I’m alive. You know, I’m doing lots of marvel things happenin so we’re staying busy.


Jason Concepcion: There’s so much happening


Rosie Knight: You know. The usge. But yeah, excited to dig into all this stuff, especially Everything Everywhere, All At Once, because it’s so good.


Jason Concepcion: Ah. So fun. So so good. Let’s get into the news. First up, news and recap. OK, first up, some news that we can file under unfortunate Warner Brothers is hitting pause on all Ezra Miller related projects. This is a story that appeared in Rolling Stone, and it’s a little bit amorphous in terms of like what exactly is getting paused. But we can we can guess that the Flash movie will be paused. According to Rolling Stone, on March 30th, Warner Brothers and DC execs held an impromptu meeting to discuss Ezra’s future with the studio following the Flash star’s recent arrest for disorderly conduct and harassment in Hawaii, according to a knowledgeable source. The consensus in the room was WB’s hitting that pause button on any future projects involving Miller, including possible appearances in the extended DC Cinematic Universe. The studio has more than a year before it has to make any hard decisions about a potential sequel to The Flash. Warner Brothers has avoided making any key decisions on tentpoles ahead of Discovery, taking control of WarnerMedia in a $43 billion Mega Mega Mega Mega Mega megamerger. This is unfortunate, and I hope that Ezra is doing OK and I hope they’re getting the help that they need in this time because it appears that that may be the case. And certainly Rosie, like, it wouldn’t be too hard should WB want to do this if they were just like, Oh, the flash had to return to the, you know, to the speed force and here’s Wally West.


Rosie Knight: And here’s Wally West. There’s there’s many different flashes if they need be. I hope Ezra’s getting the help they need. This is something that I feel like is not really surprising. If you’ve been following Ezra’s last few years seems like they’ve been struggling. And I think the report said that the filming of The Flash there was some chaotic thing that kind of hinted this.


Jason Concepcion: So not necessarily like toxic or or like abusive behavior, but like erratic. I think it was the way they termed it.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, behavior that made people worried for Ezra.


Jason Concepcion: Yes.


Rosie Knight: But not worried enough to do anything too now. So I’m glad they’re doing something now.


Jason Concepcion: So hopefully Ezra’s getting that help. Next up. Miss Marvel’s fantasy teaser trailer, which is super fun to set to the the iconic weekend song Blinding Lights. Always. It’s certainly like a weird choice to be like. Let’s set a teen sci fi comic book adventure to one of the most notorious like cocaine soundtracks of recent years, but that is what they have done. We continue to believe that the powers that Kamala is displaying are due to the quantum bands, right? What do you think, Rosie?


Rosie Knight: I definitely think so. They kind of they really highlight the idea of this cosmic nature. There’s this moment when she’s like, You know, I spend too much time in fantasy land and they’ve got the Carol Danvers suit in a museum flying through space, and then she puts the bands on which she finds and it looks. We talked about this briefly at South by Southwest, but like in this trailer, it seems more obvious that she finds the bands in a trunk. There seems to be in a house, so maybe there’s some kind of familial connection there. And then, yeah, her powers look like energy manipulation powers she can manipulate things around her molecules that would fit in with the quantum bands. So I think we’re we’re pretty safe to guess that it’s going to be those or a version of those, maybe the Nega bands, or maybe they’ll call them something else like the Marvel Band, because they’re from Kree they’re kree connected. So it will be interesting to see.


Jason Concepcion: There is, of course, I think the identities of the four mysterious like beings that are walking out of like a fog in an alleyway. I don’t know. I think fog and the origin of this character, and I think these are the Inhumans perhaps walking out of its origin mixed metaphors, right?


Rosie Knight: They really want people to think of the terrigen mist. I mean, more than more than one message being like, Is this the terrigen mist? And I’m like, I feel like they’re probably just playing with us. But I saw some really interesting stuff. Yeah, inhumans definitely a high up one. I think a lot of people, when they first saw the clip, they were like, Oh, is it the Netflix defenders? Like, Could this be them? But I think that we were probably onto something. There’s some kind of alien group probably trying to get the quantum bands back could be allies like the protectors of the universe or they were.


Jason Concepcion: That’d be cool.


Rosie Knight: They could be like Skrulls. We’re getting into that territory.


Jason Concepcion: We are getting into that territory. We should add what that is a reference to. So this character, Kamala Khan as Miss Marvel, made her first appearance in Captain Marvel number 14 August 2013, and this was a period of time in like Marvel slash MCU history, when it did not appear there would be any way to bring the X-Men and mutants into the fold in the movie side. It certainly seemed like, yeah, long range and possibly long shot chance. And so this was there was an attempt on the comic side to basically, like, raise up the Inhumans to be like the mutants that they could use in the movies and Inhumans. They are an alien race. They get their powers by being exposed to this. This mixture, this chemical, the Trojan mist that activates in certain Inhumans, activates their genetic structure, and they develop these powers that are unique to them. And around this time, this this storyline kicked off with a tarragon bomb essentially being like detonated over New York and turning a whole bunch of people that had no idea they had in human DNA into super beings, and Mishcon was one of them. So that’s what this is kind of like.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, that seems what it kind of aligns with in in a classic kind of Marvel licensing kerfuffle because of them not being able to use the X-Men. That was like this side effect that was written in like Terra Genesis or the Trojan. It would kill mutants. So they were like, Mutants don’t matter anymore. Yeah, we’re getting rid of them, humans. And now, obviously, if you’ve seen the series of Inhumans that was created by the pre MCU Marvel TV, you will know that that probably isn’t going to happen for a while. Though we may see Black Bolt, we think.


Jason Concepcion: We may see Black Bolt, certainly in the as a member of the Illuminati and Multiverse of Madness very, very possible.


Rosie Knight: So it’s an exciting time. But yeah, I do think we’re onto something with the idea that Kamala is almost going to have a Green Lantern style hero’s journey here where she’s selected.


Jason Concepcion: Yes.


Rosie Knight: Or worthy to wear the quantum bands, which would give her this mantle and enable her to kind of become the street level hero she’s always wanted. But with this little bit more of a cosmic twist.


Jason Concepcion: Now, I wonder, are they the nega bands or the quantum bands, a quantum bands? I guess they, you know, it’d be very easy to retcon them, but I think the quantum bands, it’s like, Man, those are powerful. But then again, who knows, it’ll be really interesting to see on to a new and some new other new trailer news. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has a couple of recent teaser trailer shows that have been released. Lots of similar footage, some of those highlights from both trailers. Of course, we get strange in want to talking about the multiverse in an orchard, we see a glowing and very powerful figure that is maybe like an alt variant of Captain Marvel. Or who do you think that person is?


Rosie Knight: I still I still think that we are on the right track, imagining that it’s a version of Maria Rambo, who was one to his mother in and from a universe where she became Captain Marvel when hiring Carol was on the fated trip that gave Carol the powers. I think that’s what we’re seeing. I do like this idea that it’s some kind of like Iron Man variant that’s being played by Tom Cruise. It’s just so out there that I’m open to it. And it would obviously link back to the the the classic Hollywood legend that he was the original dream for Iron Man, you know, before Robert Downey Junior.


Jason Concepcion: That has certainly that it is a variant. Iron Man has certainly been out, there is a thing that people are talking about. I don’t quite see it, but it’s certainly possible. I’m trying to think of an Iron Man suit with an open face. And I.


Rosie Knight: I think there is I think I saw people saying there was something. I think it was the chest that was really speaking to people kind of the chest plate. I think they might have been thinking of like a supreme.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, like a supreme. Yeah, that could be. It’s the chest, though. Looked to me like


Rosie Knight: the head start looks like a Captain Marvel.


Jason Concepcion: It looks Captain Marvel ish with the kind of like hair and energy, like flowing out the top. But we will, of course, see other questions. Who who are Wong and Wanda fighting in the trailer? There is like this rocky creature with red eyes, just like a multiversal baddie, somehow. Yeah.


Rosie Knight: Well, the interesting thing is, depending on which trailer you watch, sometimes it seems like it’s fighting alongside them.


Jason Concepcion: Right.


Rosie Knight: So it’s kind of like, is this one of their multiversal people that Wong’s kind of. Picked up on his little, you know, we already know he’s training abomination, like, who else does he have and is a monster pocketing some


Jason Concepcion: earnings of side cash, right, like training and and fixing fights with his good friend abomination?


Rosie Knight: Yeah. And if we have Wanda and Wong fighting together alongside each other, then that opens up the question as well. Which a lot of us have been wondering is like, is it going to be that one guy is going to have a heel turn? Or is there going to be two versions of Wonder Wonder who’s fighting alongside us? And then I wonder who is the cause of whatever is happening?


Jason Concepcion: Let me throw a wild twist in their classic strange villain. We know we’re going to Marvel Horror at some point, you get that end of the trailer with the kind of like multi armed shiva god of death. Strange, very, very disturbing. And certainly, Wanda is having a crisis of what to do in this movie and is, as we saw in in WandaVision, you know, much more powerful than anyone could have imagined. What if? What if the secret like villain pulling the strings again? Classic classic strange baddie nightmare?


Rosie Knight: I 100 percent. I’m so glad you brought that out, because trust me, if you watch this trailer and you watch the other trailers, I’m just saying count how many times they say nightmare. I’m just saying we already in Loki. There’s a moment where Loki is talking to Mobius, and he says something like, you know, Oh, do you control nightmares too? And then maybe he’s like, Oh, no, that’s someone else, you know? And everyone, it seems like they’re teasing it. And, you know, Nightmare actually debuted in a Doctor Strange comic that’s like a very classic foe. And I and also there’s been a lot of talk about like sleep walker and Sleep Connected kind of characters. And Sleepwalker is actually the extra figure in this new legends range for the Doctor Strange movie. So I think we are getting into that horror space. I think Nightmare would be such a smart use of a deep cut Doctor Strange character


Jason Concepcion: Tell the people, tell our tell our, our wonderful listeners who nightmare is.


Rosie Knight: Let’s do it baby.


Jason Concepcion: We’re assuming that like some evil, strange or evil Wanda or Wanda who’s just like lost kind of like the her grip on right and wrong is the bad is the baddie. But like, what if? What if it’s not that?


Rosie Knight: So this is actually really, really smart stuff and beginning nightmare. He first debuted in Strange Towers 110, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko iconic Doctor Strange Creatures. He’s the ruler of like, like a dream dimension.


Jason Concepcion: Right. The Nightmare Dimension,


Rosie Knight: the nightmare dimension, right, where you can like, torment people in their dreams and control them. And that sounds 100 percent like a way that you could manipulate Wanda, making her relive the family that she lost tormenting her into doing your bidding and showing her world where you could actually. Have something better and that would directly connect to Sleepwalker, and I think a lot of people had in one of the earlier trailers, America Chavez is looking into the kind of swirling mouth of this demonic character and people were like, Oh, that looks like something from a sleepwalker, you know? Also, one of the other characters that nightmare is most known for being like a primary antagonist who is Ghost Rider. That’s right. So you would end up in this brilliant situation where it could be that true direct link to that Midnight Sons Marvel nights straight horror. I just feel like they’ve been saying nightmare. So much like, seriously, if you do whatever you watch, watch the MCU TV shows, watch the trailers in the lead up to this, and you will hear people saying nightmare more than any normal person. There’s nothing that


Jason Concepcion: I have not seen other people say this, and honestly, I didn’t think it until these last trailers when I was just like, God, where is the bad guy? Like, is it? It feels like, what if it’s nightmare? Let’s put us. Put us down for if it is nightmare.


Rosie Knight: Nightmare. We called it. What we call happened.


Jason Concepcion: All right. Let’s go to our recap of Moon Knight episode two. Summon the suit written by Michael Castilian and directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. Steven wakes up as usual as per usual feeling like absolutely dog shit leg chained to a post.


Rosie Knight: Terrible times.


Jason Concepcion: He goes to work at the museum and remembering the events of the previous night. You know, the big kind of kerfuffle with the monster dog and the and the fight that took place in the bathroom he goes to talk to security is like, Listen, I know the place is a mess, but like, you had to check the security tape and you got to see what’s on there because what happened is crazy. And they check the security tape and it’s just Steven running around by himself and then wrecking the bathroom. So Steven and the tape, by the way, ends with Steven locking eyes with the security camera, suggesting that he knows what he’s doing like he is.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, and Steven can see in his reflection that it’s not him.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, he’s like, That’s not me. So, you know, Steven is fired.


Rosie Knight: Understandably.


Jason Concepcion: And they do him. The understandably, the museum management does him a solid. They don’t have him arrested. But Steven’s boss doesn’t give him a brochure for what Steven admits looks like a posh mental health facility. Steven then goes to talk to his friend, the stripper from a crawly, and he says, Listen, I don’t know what’s going on with me. I’m finding stuff hidden in my flat. What do I do? Crawley, of course, does not say anything, but Steven reacts as if Crawley gave him the idea of what to do next, which is find this mysterious storage locker in order to figure out what is going on with him and prove to everyone that what’s going on with him is real and it takes a lot of searching. But Steven does find the locker. It is a very huge walk in like a storage facility style locker, and it’s being used as a safe house. Clearly, it’s filled with all this kind of like military looking gear, weapons cache cot for sleeping a passport in the name of Marc Spector with Steven’s picture and a golden scarab, which Steven immediately suss out is like a compass of some kind. Steven then has a conversation with Marc in the reflection on the wall and seems like, What the fuck are you? And Marc is like, Listen, just let me control the body for a little while and then Marc tell Steven that he Marc is the avatar of country of the Egyptian God of the Moon, which means Steven is as well since they share this body, and Marc has some kind of deal with Concha that needs to be honored. Steven tries to flee with a duffel bag full of spy shit in the hopes that he can get himself locked up. Just like, Look at all this illegal shit, I have flus. Lock me up, can’t you? Then appears Steven is terrified, and she demands that Steven hand the body over and Steven runs away right into the arms of the mysterious Layla, who is now here in London. And she found it my tracking Steven’s phone, and she’s annoyed because she’s like, I haven’t hurt for you for weeks. And when she says you, she means Marc. And she’s like, Listen, I know you have the suit, whatever that means, like, I know you have the suit and I would have kept you safe, but I’m still worried. Like, Where have you been? And also we’re married. By the way, we’re married by the Per se. We’re married, and Steven’s like, Oh, interesting, let’s go to my apartment. Marc, tell Steven, Listen, you got to get rid of Layla. She’s in danger. The more you talk to her, it’s going to get worse for her. Layla, meanwhile, is like, Why are you speaking like in an English accent? Why are you conversing in French? What is happening? Layla also knows some ancient Egyptian history. She’s clearly like an Egyptologist herself. She gave Steven some papers that she says, Oh, you Marc wanted these papers and sign them in their divorce papers. And she was like, Wait, hold on a second. You are an Egyptologist. You’re mysterious not, you know, you’re pretty easy on the eyes, do we do I really want to get divorced right now, even though I don’t. I just found out I was married and


Rosie Knight: literally never met you.


Jason Concepcion: I literally never met you before. And Steven was like, Do I actually want to sign these divorce papers? As a show of trust, Steven is about to show Layla Marc’s duffle bag full of spy shit. But Marc is like, don’t. That’s dangerous. Layla then shoves Steven aside and goes to the back, finds the scarab, and now she thinks Marc is double crossing her. She’s like, We’ve been doing all this stuff together, and here you are. You have the scarab and you didn’t tell me about it. We’ve been like doing all these crazy things in order to find this thing. And now you have it and you haven’t said anything. And also that the Scarab points the way to Ammit. We doubt we. We are learning more and more. Take it seems like take it. Listen, I’m not Marc Spector. I work in a gift shop. It’s like, I see I need help because I’m in danger. I don’t remember anything that’s ever happening. Yada yada yada. All this crazy stuff. And then just knock on the door and it’s the cops. It is Deeks, Fitzgerald and Kennedy. They come in. I guess the laws are different. They’re right, Rosie. Like, you don’t even have to like, there’s no you can just come in.


Rosie Knight: You can and you can’t. If somebody opens the door, you, you, you’re putting yourself in a bad situation. They’re not technically supposed to do that. But also, as we later find out, that probably not real cops.


Jason Concepcion: Right. They’re probably not real, right?


Jason Concepcion: Also Steven, he just does whatever anyone tells him. He’s quite passive in his life


Jason Concepcion: That is 100 percent correct. So they look around. They seem to be searching for someone who isn’t. Steven Layla has slipped out the window. She’s on the roof. Fitz and Kennedy find the Marc Spector passport. They take Steven in. They as they’re driving him to, we think, the police station. They run the name Marc Spector, discover that he’s a mercenary who recently raided a dig site and murdered an archeologist, which is very much in line with the comics origin of Moon Knight. Then Fitz and Kennedy stop at a place that is clearly not a police station. And Steven looks, he’s asking for help, and the person who he’s asking, he looks and sees that they have a scale of just a statue. Oh, this is the cult of Ammit, and I am in the clutches of Arthur Harrow. Yes, Harrow is here. He seems to know everything that’s going on. He knows my country knows about Marc Spector. He knows about the voices. He even seems to know like, what can’t you is saying to Steven, like in the moment he’s like, Oh, is, can’t you telling you to kill me? Is that what he’s telling you to do right now? So Harrow is like, Let me make you a pitch. Here’s this What is Steven? I know what’s going on. Let me make a great pitch. OK, check out this neighborhood. Look at this was used to be really terrible, like crime ridden neighborhood in the middle of London, OK, once the most dangerous street slash neighborhood in the entire city, which means on the scale of things like not a bad neighborhood because it’s like, OK, all right, it’s really not that big a deal. Not that, but it is now a peaceful urban utopia where it’s like free food and like people frolicking in the streets and goats running around free. Is this fantastic look and people of all the races and ages and from various countries around the globe, they found peace here in London. It’s all because of what I am offering, and I’m here to tell you, Steven,


Rosie Knight: You got to kill some people.


Jason Concepcion: You just got to kill some people because, Khonshu? He’s a bad guy. He’s a manipulator. He preys on people with a strong moral compass and he, like, sways them. Gods have no respect for Khonshu. They have banished him. In fact, they don’t like him. Harrow, in fact, tells Steven, I was the previous Moon Knight. I know what I’m talking about. I used to work for this guy and in order to truly bring justice, the wrongdoers of the world, here’s what I’m going to do. Like, if you care about bringing justice the wrong doers as Khonshu wants, here’s here’s my version of that. We resurrect Ammit. Ammit will tear up evil root branch and stem around the world, and then Steven is like, She’s a crocodile God, isn’t she? She’s just like, sounds a lot like mass murder and genocide stuff, right? And I was like, Don’t worry about it, just give me the scarab so I can find Ammit and kill everyone who has ever had an evil thought. Now at the word Scarab Heroes, people all turn their attention to Steven and Harrow. Arthur wants everyone to be judged by Ammit like and again, it’s clearly going to be like a mass murderer thing. And he says, Listen, whatever deal that Marc and you, Steven have with, Khonshu, Khonshu’s lying about it. He always has some other thing that he wants and wish. As we go through this episode, it’s clear Khonshu also like whatever’s going on with Arthur Harrow clearly a bad guy and clearly is like his philosophy is like mass murder for people who think bad thoughts.


Rosie Knight: Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: That said, Khonshu also like very dicey, very dodgey fellow.


Rosie Knight: And that’s definitely like part of the the Moon Knight mythos. Is this idea of like, well, Khonshu kind of took this guy by force? There’s not like a consensual like situation, he he. He took he takes these avatars and he makes them do the things that he wants them to do, and he try and like, you know, how often do we hear him say stuff like break his windpipe? Yeah. Abrams amazing droid, dulcet tones, you know? So yeah, it’s a there’s a lot. Everyone’s everyone’s struggling with the Egyptian God.


Jason Concepcion: Steven’s like, no, I don’t want to do that. That sounds like very that sounds like a sprinkling of genocide to me. I’m not sure. Harrow then threatens Marc with his cane, which he says is imbued with the power of Ammitt. And I need to ask this because as I was watching again this morning. So. Harrow has embedded some kind of glowing thing in his cane, and he takes a cane, kneels before it in in in in cants, some sort of saying and then everything glows purple in a big portal opens and then a monster dog comes out. But I have to ask. We’ve talked a lot about this being like an alternate version of the mouth of the standard MCU multiverse. And that like there are different. It’s possible that there are different multiverse versions of this person who is Marc Spector, slash, Steven Grant and others are collapsing onto this one body. What I see like purple and I think Infinity Gem Power Stone. Is it possible that this is like a variant universe power stone?


Rosie Knight: I always think about that kind of stuff. We know that the TVA in Loki, we saw multiple powers, dams that were just in the drawer, you know, and they were useless. They were basically paperweights because they weren’t in the right universe. The universes had been pruned. Also, I feel like it wouldn’t be hard. If this is in the main MCU, you know, I think some people spotted like a Jazzi bus sign, which still wouldn’t mean it necessarily has to be the same MCU because I’m sure the blip happened in multiple places. But it could also just be like a chip of the power stone. The Infinity gems consistently find a way to come back and be resurrected. Yes, and there is a chance that the the stones that Thanos handed down were not the original ones. I mean, if somebody was going to have them, it would make a lot of sense. There was a deity thousands of years ago. Yeah, you know, especially one from a culture that deeply understood the cosmos in the stars and they know what they’re doing, and it’s like they know what they’re doing when they do a shiny purple thing


Jason Concepcion: the way it’s in his cane. It’s very reminiscent of like the way Ronan the accuser, like put the power stone into his whatever you may say or whatever. Who knows, but it made me think of that.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, I think is interesting as well, because like in the MCU, something that we’re seeing a lot from the very earliest days because of the gems, but something that’s continued is this idea of artifacts. And I think that the idea of it being more of a physical component in the cane rather than just like there’s some magic, it seems to go along a lot more with what they’re doing. You know, even Dr. Strange, we’ve seen that Chiwetel as Baron Mordo, he’s going to have, you know, a sword that looks like it lights up. There’s all different kinds of artifacts. We got the ebony blade in Eternals, so artifacts are going to be a big part of this. And also as well. Like Harrow was the original avatar, or he says he was the original avatar of Conscious, so he is someone who would probably have had access to multiple artifacts, not just this first scarab, which is kind of the MacGuffin of this series.


Jason Concepcion: Speaking of the scarab, guess who has it? It’s Layla. And here’s Layla. Just as Hiro is interrogating Steven to try and figure out where the scarab is, Layla is like Steven. You got to summon the suit and a big fight breaks out hair cast. A spell summons the demon dog. Steven falls out of window, and as he’s falling, he manages to summon a suit. But he’s almost a suit, a suit, thus saving his life. And it’s the Mr Knight version of the Moon Knight suit, which is like a kind of white three piece suit with a very form fitting mask. Not the not the OG can’t shoot. No Marcs reflection that is talking to Steven is just as confused as Steven is Steven in the Monster Dog Fight. But this is all invisible to Layla and everyone else. Only Steven can really see the dog that he is fighting. Steven gets hit by a car and Marc takes control Marcdowns. The classic midnight suit beats the absolute fuck and breaks off this dog and pales in on a spider Marcs and suits, and is like checking his pockets like whispering Put that scarab scarabs don. He dropped it. Herro finds it. It was in the possession of just some random guy who quickly kills Steven, then talks to Marc from the reflection. He’s like, This sucks being in the reflection and not being like the main person in control. How long you been doing this? And Marc was like for quite a while, actually, like a long time. Steven is like, Can I get the body back? And he tries to take the body back by force. Marc does not relinquish it, he says. And here we get some important information, something that’s changed in the in the relationship they have. They used to be separated and it used to be more balanced. But now whoever is in control. Has more power and is more dominant than once, then once was the case. Steven blames Marc for everything bad that everything ever happened in his life. And Marc is like, Listen, I’ll get out of your hair. Once I repay my debt to cost you, I will leave. I will split. And that’s it. I just have to pay the price to cost you whatever it is he needs and also like it. Keep Layla out of this because she wants Layla as my replacement Marc. Since I got to ask so this waxing and waning of who the most powerful is in the comics for a period of time? Moon Knight’s strengths, like physical strength, waxed and waned with the man he was most. He was strongest when there was a full moon. Maybe seeing some kind of version of that now with with this dynamic of like now, whoever is in control is more powerful for reasons that we don’t know.


Rosie Knight: I would be interested to see where they’re going with it. I think it kind of adds to that theory that we had that we might not be seeing them necessarily going with a solely, you know, solely a representation of like dissociative identity disorder because the idea that an alter could leave. Yeah, and just has a choice to do that. But it does. It kind of really reminds me as well. Like, I think you’re really onto something with the waxing and waning and kind of that strength also that would tie into werewolf at night and those kind of horror connections this this connection of the Moon. Maybe that’s why he has defined Jack Russell or whichever werewolf Fauci just to help him. But also it kind of reminds me more. While the version that Marc tells him about that reminds me kind of of those original, like older Moon Knight comics where they were more like personalities that he could put on?


Jason Concepcion: Yes. He could disguises, essentially.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, they were essentially like disguises, but because he could define the personalities and he felt like each one was separate. He was very believable. And that kind of sounds like what they had and what they have now is more of that. Sliding in and out of control that we’ve seen in the newer comics, so I’m really interested to see where they go with it, especially because and I know like me and you have talked about this a lot, not on the show, but like. The choice to make the Mr Knight suit a manifestation of the suit for Steven rather than its own unique personality is a huge diversion from the comics and that kind of that hints at some really interesting stuff.


Jason Concepcion: I agree. Can’t you then appears as Marc and Steven are hashing it out? Can’t you take Marc to the woodshed rhetorically? That is for essentially changing whatever deal it was they had. Don’t forget, he says, I saved your life, and this is hearkening back again to the comics origin of the character in which Marc Spector dies. This is the this is the original origin story of Marc Spector wounded. Yeah, dies, or is about to die under the statue of Con Shu in this ancient Egyptian temple. And then can’t you save his life in return for Marc becoming his avatar on Earth? And that layer has been retcon several times, but that was the original. That was the original origin story, and it seems like they’re referencing that here. She then tells Marc, Hey, Herro has the scarab and listen, we can go, we should go get it. And. But listen, if you don’t want to go get it and you don’t want to be my avatar on Earth, my moon knight, I’ve got a I’ve got a great potential candidate after you named Layla. So guess where you’re going? You’re going to Egypt to stop Arthur Harrow from finding Emmet, and we’re on to episode three. Any questions that you have, any lingering concerns theorizing stuff, the stuff that you’re thinking about as you watch this,


Rosie Knight: I’m definitely very interested to see what happens with the Marc SteveA and how many other personas we’re going to get because this is the second episode. And in the comics, you know, we we haven’t seen Jake Lockley, who’s the primary we know now. Mr. Nye is not going to be its own separate per se now. Where in the comics, the Declan Shalvey like Warren Ellis, he was, they were the ones who built on the character the the. The original suit was drawn by Michael Lock, who gets thanked in this episode, but Shalvey and and his collaborator, I’ll say they they created that character as essentially like a professional face of Moon Knight, so that was a different personality who could interact with the cops, who could be kind of this interloper between the different worlds that the alters all inhabited. So I think to kind of see it here is like, and I did think it was, I like to see someone getting used to a superpower that’s like one of my favorite things to watch. So it was nice to see Steven kind of trying to find out. But that to me says they’re really going to veer off the path of what we’re necessarily kind of expecting. I really like Layla. I think I think she’s great. She’s definitely my favorite thing about the show, so I’m really excited to kind of see more where they’re going with that. And I think this episode where we learn that she’s also an Egyptologist, an adventurer, an archeologist that leans into what we were talking about from the last episode, which was the idea of her maybe being a recontextualize Asian or the daughter of or related to the one of the few Marvel Egyptian characters called the Scarlet Scarab. So I’m really excited to see if we get some kind of like exploration of that.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, same here. I keep thinking like, OK, if this is indeed taking place in an alternate Marvel reality, right? Who or what is the thing that gets pulled into the main six one six quote unquote MCU? And I think that it would be Layla if it’s anybody. Yeah, right. Either that way, right? Either is either is like Disney Plus version of Scarlet Scarab or Disney Plus version of like Moon Knight. Once you know it was either Oscar Isaac great idea moves away on his other contractual obligations.


Rosie Knight: Well, we know that he didn’t sign the so-called golden handcuffs, allegedly, according to I think it was a variety article he signed just for this season. So that means that whatever it sets up, you know, it will be very interesting to see. Who makes it through to the wider MCU and what they do? I mean, if countries already looking at Layla as his avatar, maybe that’s something that we see. Maybe she actually chooses to do that to save Marc and Steven. You know, she’s definitely got big like Evy from The Mummy Energy, like she is the real hero to dislike like him, Bo Guy. Yes. And yeah, and also soul like soul just added something that I think like. Let’s talk about the phone calls to Steven’s mom. Like, Yes. Is that Steven’s mom, Layla says here Layla’s like, Oh, you’re talking to your mom again. So the implication is Marc wasn’t talking to her. I’ve always been very interested. Like, who is he on the phone to? Is actually his mom. Is he calling one of his other alters like Jazzi calling? I think there’s something really interesting there. And also, I read a lot of midnight comics over the weekend. Surprising nobody. Yes. Shock, shock twist. Rosie, read a comic, but there is. I think that this episode definitely leans into one of our favorite theories, which is, is the museum something that was actually created for spectacle? Could Marc be behind it? Could Steven be behind it? Is his bumbling persona kind of to to trick people? Because we had Donna last week and this week we get to know JB a little bit more. Who is the security guard who sits behind this huge screen of TV’s that very much evokes the man behind the screen? And in the Moon Knight might expect comics from the 90s Westpac Corp. is a large part. There is a character called Junior Batman, who is known as JB, who is a hacker, and that alongside the Donna thing, I feel like his very evocative. Even if they just doing another little thing with Hawkeye, I feel like they want us to be having these conversations. They know this is why fans find this stuff fun. And I think the fact that as Steven got closer to learning the truth about Marc, he got fired from the museum. I think that’s really interesting. Like, the museum wasn’t useful anymore. So I think there’s a lot of really interesting stuff to kind of explore going into episode three.


Jason Concepcion: Well, we will be continuing to cover Moon Knight up next when we’re back to a discussion of the wonderful film Everything Everywhere, All at once.




Jason Concepcion: All right, we’re stepping out of the airlock and into the mind bending world of an IRS building to discuss the sci fi action comedy masterpiece that is Everything Everywhere All At Once. It’s opening wide today this Friday, April 8th, and if you like the movies and you want to have a good time at the movies that is action packed and really heartfelt and like, uplifting too like, not violent in a way that’s like, Oh, this is like really entertaining, but I feel bad, like watching 50 head shots in a row. You will not feel that way about this movie. Has an incredible cast. Michelle Yeoh, The Absolute Legend Qihoo Kwan as Wayman Wang back in the game again in front of the camera. Stephanie Hsu as Joy, James Hong, The Legend, James Hong, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more. Really fun movie. Keep it well. This is like a spoiler.


Rosie Knight: Well, it’s it’s spoilery, but we’re not going to go like full recap. We’re just gonna kind of talk about it.


Jason Concepcion: So I just loved. I love this movie. You know, for everyone complaining that like, there are too many comic book movies, everything’s a Marvel movie or a DC tie in or something like that, I guess, you know, people would still criticize this movie for, you know, depending heavily on the multiverse for for its plot momentum. That said, it is just like so original in the way it deals with it and the imagery it uses. It is so funny. And then like to have, you know, an all Asian cast as your, you know, as your kind of like the crux of the movie, their feelings about each other, their kind of disappointments with each other, their miscommunications. It’s three generations of a family and it was just like felt really good to see. And then the crowd that I saw when I saw it here in L.A., it was clear that somebody somebody worked on the movie in my theater because like people sort of cheering when the credits roll like randomly at a random place. So like, I love that. It was really, really, really great energy. What did you think of the movie?


Rosie Knight: Yeah, I absolutely loved it. I went to go and see it with a big group of friends after we went into this amazing Black kind of flea market called Black Market Flea. I was just like a very good day, and I saw it in L.A. too, and it was in a huge cinema. We couldn’t go to the IMAX, but we saw in the biggest screen we could see it was wasn’t IMAX and people were reacting like it was a Marvel movie like it was. I couldn’t have seen it with the bat as like things were happening and people were like, Yeah, just like screaming. And I was just like, This is so incredible, because on the surface, if you describe what this movie is in a sentence, it’s like Michelle Yeoh is kind of late middle aged woman who runs a laundromat and she’s doing her taxes. And Jamie Lee Curtis is her iris lady and she’s evil. And it’s kind of this like, dreary Middle-Age where she’s thinking, like, what could I have done in my life? Yeah, and she’s pulled into this crazy multiverse, all kind of war where she has to use every vision of herself to gain the skills she needs to beat this mysterious bad guy Josie to barky. And it sounds so outrageous. But like, I watched that movie and it felt like it was the most accessible thing in the world. I think it’s that balance. Like you talked about this idea of this intergenerational Asian storytelling, this cast just full of absolute legends, and it is this bonkers movie where there’s 50 versions of Michelle Yeoh, which, by the way, who didn’t want that. That’s like the dream movie. But it’s also like this really intimate niche story about like intergenerational misunderstandings and cycles of like familial emotional trauma and Chi Kwan is just like, so incredible.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, he’s like, I kept thinking that it’s like actually criminal that this actor could not find work for as long as he could not find work in front of the camera. He is so engaging. He’s just like has a lightness and a charm to him. That is all the more impressive for the fact that he does some real like, impressive and authentic, like martial arts stunt work that is like high high level stuff


Rosie Knight: And even stunt work. But this is like. That’s the other thing about this movie, which is why I think so far the the screenings and the limited release have been really successful. And I hope the wide releases too, because I feel like this. People say this stuff, but this is literally a movie that has something for everyone.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah. Yeah. It does.


Rosie Knight: Feeling depressed, nihilistic, wishing the world would end. It’s for you feeling like you wish everyone was kinder to each other. Also for you feeling like you just want to see loads of cool action sequences that are completely outrageous and some of the best big screen Hollywood action that we’ve seen in years. Also for you, want to see an intergenerational family story also for you need more queer people on your screen? Also for you. Like it? It’s got everything. And yeah, I mean, those action sequences are just the choreography is unreal. It’s like Hong Kong cinema. It makes you feel like you’re watching, you know, a Shaw Brothers movie late night on the TV, but you’re going to see it beautifully big screen in this really unbelievable sci fi context.


Jason Concepcion: It does something that really hits me on an emotional level, which is like and I think the best stories do that, which is take some wild, you know, sci fi slash fantasy esque concept, a multiverse ride of multiple realities, existing side by side, but like links it to something that is like really human, which is like regret about the way your life turned out. You know who doesn’t, who hasn’t at a certain point in time been like, Man, if I had done this, if I’d done that, I wanted all these things for myself when I was younger earlier on. But then I made a bunch of decisions that were maybe foolhardy or not particularly thought out or is thinking emotionally with my heart when I should’ve been thinking with my brain. And now here I am in middle age and I’m doing a thing that I don’t want to do. Yeah, that it doesn’t fulfill me like emotionally, and I am in a relationship that maybe is not the most fulfilling and I don’t have a great relationship with my kids. And maybe I wish I had done a bunch of things different and this movie just on top of or underneath, rather being like this kind of rollicking sci fi multiverse adventure. It’s really a story about like how people can feel boxed in by the life that they have led and how, you know, a core experience. Existential experience of just being a person is wondering, Man, what if I had done things differently? Yeah. And this movie lets the characters access all these different lives that they could have led. You know, like when when Evelyn manages to access the dimension in which she is a movie star and international, which was her dream, her dream, right? She comes to this place where she’s like, Man, I guess I shouldn’t have run away with with my husband, Wayman, who I loved at one point in time. But like, maybe that wasn’t for the best. Maybe I should have chased my dream, and I could have. I could have been a international movie star like that. I want to stay there. Maybe I want to stay there. And that just felt like universal to me. That’s a universal dream, a universal fantasy that people have.


Rosie Knight: There’s something like incredibly honest and vulnerable about it, too, where it’s like admitting that there’s maybe something you want. That’s more and then kind of the realizations of of what that really means. Like, though, that really like I just I mean, there’s so many good bits in that world like we were talking about this, but like Raymond in that world, when she accidentally bumps into him, it’s very much his Wong Kar wai in the mood for love kind of moment. And Ki is so brilliant and you just think, like, why isn’t these roles he’s been getting anyway? But in that world, the first thing Evelyn asks is, You know, where’s joy? Where’s my daughter? Yeah, but she doesn’t exist in that world. And it’s those little moments where it’s just like, Oh, like, these are the things the pieces that come together, the the butterfly effect, you know, theory. It’s the little things that could change everything. And something else I love in the terms of that in this movie that I love in every movie, it’s one of my favorite things in any movie from any era is like the way that they show technology and they have so much fun with this kind of retro futuristic technology.


Jason Concepcion: I love that.


Rosie Knight: It’s so great and the visuals are fun. And also like, I love the way that they literally do the chaos theory butterfly effect thing where like, you’ll see the one decision and then you get to see this kind of mapped out how everything changed. And I’m just like, wow it’s like, it’s a really cool visual, but it’s really deep. It’s really scary.


Jason Concepcion: On the one hand, that kind of like retro future hardware, like the different kind of like reverse jumping hardware that Raymond in the Alpha Per se awareness to like and his crew where to keep track of what’s going on. On the one hand, like I remember thinking, it’s great design, but also like it must have been great because like, this is cheaper than like CG or making it cool. But the other thing I was thinking, Did you ever watch The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai? Of course, it felt like that. It felt like, oh, super weird, like retro future. Take on a sci fi movie that felt like alongside all the different references to Jackie Chan references the Shaw Brothers references the very, you know, Wong Kar wai references there in this movie. It also felt like it was pulling on that what I think is actually like a super weird, not that good kind of bad sci fi from the 80s, but. That is so unique in the way it looks, and that’s what it reminded me of Buckaroo Banzai.


Rosie Knight: There’s like so many unbelievable kind of like. Draw things here, like there’s this old South Korean movie from 2003 called Save the Green Planet and there’s like something to that of the way his head looks, and that’s like definitely those old 80s Sci-Fi kind of the almost like the serialize like Flash Gordon costumes that you just pull on and you have to build, you know, the Rob Liefeld. Many pockets like there’s a lot of pockets in those universes and like, there’s something so tangible and I am a big proponent. I’m always the person who’s like, I wish this was practical, you know, on the South by Southwest episode, I was like, If I could change one thing about the MCU, I’m like, Fuck it, I’ll just make it. Oh, I’d love to see what it would look like. But they do. They utilize practical and VFX in this movie in a way that feels very tangible and touchable and stylized, but also really slick. Like, it doesn’t feel that there’s something very special about that balance in this movie that I think also comes from the nature of doing like so many in-camera stunts and so many unbelievable kind of you have to have that balance of like, what can we use? How can we use VFX here to elevate what we’re doing while still making it feel real and being able to to feel those punches? And I mean, the Waymon fight scene went to like, this is fanny pack that’s going to go down in cinema history.


Jason Concepcion: It absolutely is going to be, you know, I always write, I always rate a movie, an action movie in part by Am I going to rewatch this scene at one a.m. on YouTube randomly? Because it’s like a random Wednesday night, and I want to take a break from work. And the answer is 100 percent. Yes, I’m going to watch that. I’m going to watch that fanny pack scene. I’m going to watch the Eveline fight scene with Deirdre. I’m going to there’s going to be a bunch of stuff that I watching this. And again, I can’t stress enough, like how frenetic and energetic the action scenes are. The Daniels came up through music video and like, there’s a level of A-D-D-ness.


Rosie Knight: Mmmhmm. It feels very much like it’s looking into our ADHD brains.


Jason Concepcion: A hundred percent, like their most famous music video is the DJ Snake Littlejohn classic. Turn down for what? So the action scenes are in a lot of ways like very reminiscent of it’s like, you know, like people being thrown through floors and like so much action and comedy on the screen at the same time and incredible camera moves just really, really, really funny and original film in that way.


Rosie Knight: Yeah. And I think just shout out, I believe they’re called Marshall Club. They’re a group of YouTubers who create like martial arts kind of stunt pieces in their own houses, and that’s through the Daniels found and brought on to kind of collaborate with them. Just unbelievable stuff. When you watch it, you sort of you can’t really believe it. It definitely is that rewatchable factor, like afterwards, I was like, Yes, this is like it’s like the scene in The Raid where they get halfway up the building and eco always starts doing silly and uses his knife and takes out like 10 people in the corridor. It’s the corridor scene from Old Boy. It’s the John Wick, the first time that he shows his gun fu in the house when he’s being invaded. The scenes where you’re just like, Oh, have you seen this? And you don’t necessarily have to show the whole movie, but this film is like absolutely feminism, but also it’s like this really sweet. I mean, there’s a whole segment of this movie that is just to rock’s not going to get any is, but it’s it is the most powerful part of the movie.


Jason Concepcion: Heartfelt. Yeah, it is like, really, really heartfelt. And to your point, with the rock scene, there are four other people who are like, Oh man, like whereas I’m worried about the state of movies today, with comics being so kind of warped by the success of the Marvel movies. Here is a movie that does everything you want, like a summer blockbuster to do, but also has like that indie movie heart and audacious, super weird choices that are like.


Rosie Knight: There is so much weird stuff.


Jason Concepcion: Like the To The Rock the rock scene where you’re just like, Man, I can’t believe that worked. And it and it really works. It lands so hard.


Rosie Knight: Yeah. And I think as well, like, we’ve talked a lot about the icons, but like nobody was writing a script like this for Michelle Yeoh, you know, she set the script where she read it and she was like, This is the movie that can see all the different things I can be. I can be funny, I can be serious, I can be badass, I can be sad. I can, you know, and we know, like we’ve said, key. He hadn’t been in a major Hollywood movie for like 20 years. This was his first audition, I think the Daniel said for for 20 years. And then obviously James Hong, who’s like an icon and has over 600 credits and his just absolutely one of my favorite actors of all time. But he gets to have this really dynamic, complex, hilarious, action packed character again that nobody is really writing for him, like probably his biggest role in a movie like this. It’s like big trouble in Little China, where you’re getting this really layered like character piece and it’s just that’s like miraculous to see and that’s not even shouting out like Jamie Lee Curtis, who just plays everything so straight, like you can’t believe the things she does in this movie. And the sincerity with which she does them like in my dream dreams, like this movie sweeps every Oscar and every awards season next year. And Michelle Yeoh is 100 percent there.


Jason Concepcion: Just one of our greatest living talents. Absolutely


Rosie Knight: Like, she should be getting a Best Actress Oscar and Jamie Lee Curtis. I’m like, Put her up for Best Supporting Baby because she Stephanie Hsu as well. But like this cast is just unreal.


Jason Concepcion: Let me ask you what was your Michelle Yeoh entry point? What was your original? What was your original drug?


Rosie Knight: You’re to you’re talking my language.


Jason Concepcion: Mine is like getting into the Michelle Yeoh version. I mean, mine is like super. It’s the obvious one super cop plus story three super cop in which she plays like a police detective who then has to link up with Jackie Chan’s character to take down drug dealers in Malaysia, and it contains some of the craziest stunts. Michelle Yeoh jumps a dirt bike onto a moving train in this movie like just fucking insane. And then, you know, later on, I would watch all the rest, you know? Yeah. Yes, madam.


Rosie Knight: I was going to say, Mine is definitely yes, madam. Yes.


Jason Concepcion: Absolutely. Classic Hong Kong movie would say, Well, it’s it’s Cynthia Rothrock, Sui Park icon edible.


Rosie Knight: It’s like it’s so bonkers to think like Michelle. Actually, they’re really incredible. Interview recently with my friend Gretchen Smale at Bustle, which is just so wonderful and adds a lot of really complex layers to to the movie where she talks about how she retired from acting and Hong Kong cinema at the age of twenty eight with plans to start a family. So she’d already done all of that. By the time she was 28, she’d had a whole career. Yes, madam, you know, super cop like these unbelievable iconic movies. Just just put yes madam into YouTube. Yes. Some of this must be seen with Cynthia Rothrock and Michelle Yeoh. I mean, as a kid who grew up watching like kung fu movies, that movie was like a revelation.


Jason Concepcion: It must be seen.


Rosie Knight: And then she came back, and she has this second wave of like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Yeah.


Jason Concepcion: You know, I mean, yes, Madam was like


Rosie Knight: 1985 85 Thats what I’m saying like just unbelievable stuff. And. It’s just she’s been so iconic on so many levels, and I think for a lot of us, she has been like a staple, yeah, of all kinds of cinema, whether it was like Hong Kong cinema, whether it was the weather, whether it was were you actually coming to Hollywood for the first time with Crouching Tiger? You know, it’s it’s astonishing the impact she’s had, and I feel like this is a celebration of that, but also probably just Marcs like the third wave of her career while she’ll just become even more powerful.


Jason Concepcion: Well, let’s talk with the the creators of this movie. The writer director duo known as the Daniels, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.




Jason Concepcion: Welcome to the Hive Mind, where we explore a topic in more detail with the help of expert guests and say we are thrilled to have Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinetr known collectively as The Daniels writer directors of Everything Everywhere, All At Once. Gentlemen, love the movie. How? How did it? How did this come together? How did this film come together? And I just like I kept thinking, how what is the script look like? Because this is so like the level of like absurdist randomness action is so off the charts. I was like, Man, how do you even write this down?


Daniel Kwan: Yeah, thank you. By the way, thank you for having us. Very excited talk about the movie. Well, I’ll start there. The random acts to use as an engine for traveling to other universes. That’s just kind of one of the initial ideas. We both grew up on Douglas Adams and his friends, guys and Vonnegut, and just that sort of absurdist sci fi that very whole look like. Yeah, that’s great. But there’s such a irreverent quality to their sci fi that is still very much grounded in science, and there’s still something like a kernel of truth in it all. And you know, that idea came the idea of using improbable actions to build up momentum. A probabilistic momentum to slingshot yourself into other universes kind of was like a really silly initial idea that I pitched to Scheinert and I was like, Is there something here? Could we do something kind of like like like Douglas Adams meets the Matrix?


Daniel Scheinert: And I was like, No, no, I said, I think I thought it sounded like an exciting short film like which we have a long list of kind of like gags, you know, that interest us. And so we would brainstorm it. But it didn’t kind of take shape until we had sat with it for a while and started kind of thinking about the multiverse and how the multiverse makes us feel. And why would we make a whole movie about, you know, that sci fi premise? I really love to lean into the premise and not just brush over it like some like. That’s a pet peeve of mine, I guess.


Daniel Kwan: Sometimes it’s like a convenient device for the story, but you don’t actually get to really sit in these philosophical and existential consequences of the premise.


Daniel Scheinert: Yeah. So it was it wasn’t until we decided that we were going to go to too many universes until it was existentially terrifying and it was going to be a Chinese-American family and that the kind of immigrant experience and also just generational divide would become like the kind of relatable companion that we’d be using the multiverse to play with that. Then we were like, Oh, there’s enough for a feature film here,


Daniel Kwan: you know, is enough for three feature films


Daniel Scheinert: to bring them into one. Yeah, we’re like and all. It’ll take us four years of miracles and then we’ll put it out in theaters and somehow that happened.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, that’s so incredible. I mean, the movie was just so wonderful. It was like immediately in my favorite movies of all time. It’s just like, I can’t wait to go and see again. I’m just it’s everything that I love, so it’s so wonderful. But you said something that I just think is so interesting and I’d love to dig into a bit more. What is it about the multiverse that spoke to you? What is it about exploring that and that being the idea that was worth exploring? Because, like you said, a lot of times it’s a buzz word. It’s it’s a conventional narrative device. But what was it about the multiverse and the idea of multiple different universes kind of existing alongside each other that made this story click?


Daniel Kwan: Yeah. One of the fascinating things about the multiverse or just the idea of infinity is that it’s very interdisciplinary. You know, obviously there’s like quantum mechanics and quantum physics has its version of it, which, you know, talks about, you know, superpositions and you know, whether or not the way function collapses and, you know, parallel universes, that’s kind of I think that’s what most people think of when


Daniel Scheinert: it or another way of putting it that I like to put it, it’s like, like, there are a lot of scientists who believe there might actually be an infinite number of universes. That’s a pretty scary thing. You know, physics wise.


Daniel Kwan: And then and then and then, you know, when we were doing research for this movie, we found that one of the first known instances of the word multiverse being used in the English language actually had nothing to do with science. It was actually a geologist who was basically lamenting the fact that how confusing everything was, he was like, you know, moral perspective. I know that God is the one and only moral center of the universe, right? There’s a universe. But when I look around me and I see, you know, the heathens and whatever, it’s like, there’s a moral multiverse that the secular world doesn’t, doesn’t necessarily have one. We narrative. And so he used the word multiverse and from a moral standpoint. Oh, that is fascinating. You know, and linguistics has its own linguistics, has modal realism, which is kind of taking the idea of like when you are swapping out any word in the sentence, how it drastically changes the reality of that sentence and basically like pauses. Like what happens if each one of those sentences is its own reality that that has its own integrity or whatever? And so we’re kind of looking at it. I mean, there’s so many different angles into this, this this concept that no one else is tackling, you know, like for the most part of the multiverse is kind of used as a way to combine it an interesting way, you know? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, it’s a cultural fracking. We call it. You’re digging the past.


Daniel Scheinert: Of course, we didn’t coin that. We found it online and we’re like, Ooh, we like that word


Daniel Kwan: cultural fracking, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Like, I think there is. I love now. I love statistics for this. You know, Super Smash Brothers is like incredible. I remember being like, I can have Pikachu and Decay at the same time. How incredible. But we wanted to dig


Daniel Scheinert: into just like decay. Because you’re intials.


Daniel Kwan: I think it’s you as my main Pikachu with the with the wizard hat. That’s my curve. But so for our movie, we’re like, Oh, the multiverse becomes a metaphor for the internet and what it feels like to be alive with the internet. It also becomes a metaphor for the way that we all have these like bubbles, and we all kind of exist in our own versions of our own movies. You know, we believe where the main character of our own movie and what happens when those two movies collide and they don’t mesh. And so the whole film is characters who are living in their own stories, not realizing that they’re talking past each other. And and so there’s so many different ways you can kind of use this premise to explore really real feelings and really real experiences. And, you know, I feel like our movies just barely beginning to tap into that.


Jason Concepcion: The cast is unbelievable. Jamie Lee Curtis, Michelle Yeoh, The Legend. Yeah, which, you know, not enough can possibly be said about her. James Hong Icon Absolute like titan legend in it. And then Ke Huy Quan, who probably most people remember from a Temple of Doom, which is an Indiana Jones movie that is aged poorly and The Goonies. But like men seeing him in this movie, I’m just like, Why has he not been one of our like top 20 most compelling actors over the last 20 years, when it’s like when you went to the movie star universe and he’s in the suit? I’m like, Am I in a Wong Kar wai film? Like, What is it? I didn’t even know he had this to talk about that this incredible cast that I also. One more thing I thought about a lot last night was just like, how this is the best action movie ever that is primarily set in an IRS office like that. So franchise? Yeah. Talk to us about this cast.


Daniel Scheinert: Yeah, for sure. I mean, it started with Michelle and we knew we wanted to her, and we were worried that if she said no, there was no one else right like that. The movie just wouldn’t happen. And then luckily, she believed in it. Turns out she was more right for the role than we even knew, you know, and she really responded to the script. And then that made it so much easier to attract exciting people, you know, and to get the movie greenlit.


Daniel Kwan: But even with with key, you know, there was no there is no question that like there was something special about him and he even when he read the script, he knew, like right away, he’s like, This role was made for me. You know, he told us that he told us that after we cast him, how how the moment he read it, he was like, I think I need to come back into acting and this is going to be my first role. And how exciting is that going to be? So he had his audition was the first audition he had done like a couple of decades. Wow.


Daniel Scheinert: Holy cow. Yeah, so he hasn’t been. He kind of retired from acting and went behind the camera, went to film school, did stunt coordination, and he was a first aid for Wong Kar wai for a while. Yeah, yeah.


Jason Concepcion: Forty six.


Daniel Scheinert: Yeah, yeah.


Daniel Kwan: And the funny thing about Ke, you know, because you’re just talking about how we’ve been missing out on him for so long, it is this just kind of tragic that this kid that Spielberg found and Spielberg and his team found out of like, you know, thousands of other kids, they auditioned and auditioned forever, and they almost gave up on the character. They almost wrote the character out of the movie. And then they find key like out of all these kids, and he has this special like X Factor. It’s a lame, lame way to put it, but if he has something special that that you can’t put a number on, you can’t. It can’t like, yeah, there’s no way to. Evaluate it in that in any other way, except for when you watch him, you just want to smile and when you watch him, you see just what you fall in love with him. And we knew that Raymond, the character women had to be that way because anyone else delivering lines about kindness are like, You know, please stop fighting everyone, just let us get along, you know? Anyone else delivering those kind of lines, I think, would have gotten a lot of eye rolls. But with with ki kwan, like he can say those lines and you believe it and again, and you want to live in a world where that is true. And I think there’s, yeah, we’re so lucky that we got him in this movie and we’re so lucky that I think our industry has him back. You know, I’m so excited to see what you guys are doing next.


Rosie Knight: For sure. And I would love to talk like he was. Definitely. I love him. I mean, I love Michelle Yeoh. I love James Wong. I love Jamie Lee. So this was like a movie where everyone in it is just incredible. But Ke is someone who is so. Core to so many of our childhoods, but I never kind of saw. How I never saw why this story was going in the media, and it was it was just so powerful and wonderful, and you kind of touched on it a little bit of his his message of kindness. Could you talk a little bit about that aspect, the radical empathy and that being kind of the the main line message and kind of understanding overarching that comes out of the movie?


Daniel Scheinert: Yeah. I mean, I think at the start, as we kind of told you, it was just like we had this first jumping idea and and we were like, Oh, what if we could do some stylized fight scenes? We love action movies and liked to to do our version of The Matrix, but with like Steven Chow craziness, you know, was so exciting. And then as is usually the case, when we’re like making something funny, we start to feel guilty about like, but why? Why I mean, what’s it about? Are we going to just culturally fracture some more people’s time? And we started kind of thinking about how we’re not violent guys and and and also like, OK, I’m a pacifist, in fact. And so like, there’s this like subtext to action films, which is violence isn’t is a good answer. Hmm. Yeah. And so we just we had our heads against the wall and that a lot. And and it became kind of the project of the movie, you know, to be like, can we can we explore that and lean into it and question it? And and so this character took shape of like the dismissible beta male, who is not the alpha male action star. And unless he’s being taken over for moments by, you know, the more appropriately action version of himself. But like once we kind of unlocked that we got it was like a real aha moment for the whole script to be like, Oh, this movie is going to celebrate that sweet person. And the fact that being kind is is a way of fighting like this is a way of changing the world that’s just as valuable, if not more so.


Daniel Kwan: And we specifically wanted to be like, Let’s make someone kinding people to death.


Rosie Knight: That sequence is so great.


Daniel Scheinert: Yeah. And that was that was the last puzzle pieces like, Oh my god, at the end, if she just kind, kind kinds, people like that,.


Rosie Knight: Everyone’s happy. Everyone’s happy.


Daniel Kwan: But it’s like, what if we made that just as satisfying as, like kill bill or just as satisfying as, like a headshot from from John Wick? Because I think those things give us such a dopamine hit, which is why they’re so fun and the way that they’re shot in the way that but the the editing works, it is candy. And so we wanted to take all of our special skills that we have in our back pockets to give to deliver that doubling hit. But like, totally, you know, show it in a completely different radical way. So yeah, we call that the empathy fight. It’s it’s very silly, but it was really, yeah, that became like one of the North stars for films like If we can pull that off, I think this is gonna be a very special movie. So, yeah,


Jason Concepcion: we really did. And I’d love to ask about some of these action scenes, because I mean, to so wish you fanny pack fight is one of the most and truly like one of the most original fight scenes I’ve seen in a while. How did all of that stuff come together and how hard was it to get it to get it on film?


Daniel Kwan: Yeah, yeah. We struggled with finding the right collaborators for this. We are such Hong Kong action cinema nuts like we grew up on that stuff, all the Shah brothers stuff and specifically General King’s work. You know, he’s worked with all the greats and


Daniel Scheinert: this guy, Jackie Chan is like, really good. If you’ve already done anything, just come on. Yeah.


Daniel Kwan: And, you know, we really wanted to make a conscious effort to pull away from a lot of the modern action trends in the movies that we’re watching and go back to the basics because we love that stuff. It’s in our bones. But B, because it’s actually, if done right, it can be just as it can be way cheaper to do, you know, because know those Hong Kong action films didn’t have much money.


Jason Concepcion: And so no money,


Daniel Kwan: no money, basically no money, a lot of time. And like, you know, maybe, maybe a lot of injuries, but you know, we was like, this is something that we could do well if we found the right people. And one day we were on YouTube and we were looking up martial arts videos just for references, and we found this short film from these guys called the martial club. And really, are these guys are these guys in the US because like these people, these guys are amazing. Not only are they so technically incredible, but their camerawork is really smart, and they also infuse humor in a lot of their fights, which, like most, I think most modern action films try to do. But it’s not really. It’s usually with quippy dialog and not with right or visual physical comedy, which is what we. Went into our movie to have and so we reached out to them. They’re a bunch of friends from Josie and they just became instantly just like the the the people that we wanted to work with because they reminded us of ourselves the way that they are just a bunch of friends shooting stuff in their in their living room and putting them on. And that was that was exactly the energy we needed for our film, for for this movie.


Daniel Scheinert: Yeah, yeah. So it ended up being a huge priority for us, but like a successful collaboration between us having strong opinions and kind of being like, let’s make each fight different and and writing writing in a way that each one could be an ode to a different kind of style of filmmaking that we love. And then the Marshall Club bringing their like encyclopedic knowledge of all country movies ever made.


Daniel Kwan: It’s worth noting that none of them have, or at least the two brothers the two main choreographers never took any lessons. I have a friend


Daniel Scheinert: who’s like, he’s like, more formally trained, but but Andy and Brian are just like, they just know what has been in movies. They just watch movies.


Daniel Kwan: The old Hong Kong movies and everything they know.


Daniel Scheinert: It’s yeah, so they so then they helped us pre-viz it all. And then we had our stunt coordinator, Tim Youlike, who we’ve worked for, what make it. So we successfully hurt nobody. Yeah, yeah. I love to hear it. Yeah. And so we were able to just kind of like, move really fast. Michelle was very surprised that we were able to shoot it all in the time we had and not do. It’s called spray it with. Some people call spraying it down where you’re just like, Get three cameras now, do the fight that you guys rehearse. We’ll figure it out in post. Move on. You know, we we tried really hard not to do that.


Daniel Kwan: We had the opportunity to sit down with Quentin Tarantino like years ago, like six seven years ago at the Sundance Institute at the Sundance Lab. He was one of our advisors and we took the opportunity just to pick his brain and be like, what? What was it like shooting in kill bills like fight sequences? Because those are some of, like my favorite American action scenes I’ve ever seen. And, you know, he said something that, you know, kind of feels obvious now, but like at the time was really interesting. He was talking about how Hollywood usually springs it down, or they kind of kind of try to cover it conventionally, as if it was like a dialog scene when really shooting it. Like, it’s like it’s a dance sequence, like it’s own, it’s its own version of a narrative of a visual narrative. And so he learned from you paying who was a consulting choreographer on the kill bill that every single shot was perfectly catered to the move that they were about to shoot. The next shot? So it’s like this punch to the face. Let’s get the perfect shot for that punch in the face. And then if the shot of him falling down has to kind of turn around 180 and break the 180 line and also force the entire crew to relight that, we’re going to do that. So we shoot everything in order sequentially, just finding the best shot for each moment, which is incredibly time consuming. But also it’s why those fight scenes were so beautifully done and so clear. You know, there’s a narrative clarity to them. And so our


Daniel Scheinert: our ad and our cinematographer were like, No way we can do that. You’re so nice. But yeah, and we but we tried to like, take that ethos to heart and find some compromise somewhere in there and not. And yeah, and try to really study that style.


Daniel Kwan: Yeah. And you can tell it our movie. I think the fight scenes are I’m very proud of them because I feel so different. And you know, after when when we go to see it in the theaters, after every fight scene, things like applause breaks, which is like, Come on, that’s how amazing is that? Yeah, that’s that’s what it’s like when.


Rosie Knight: And my fear was people were reacting to it. Just it was it was wonderful to be a power sharing, you know, during the fight scenes, especially the fanny pack fight scene that was like a big a big statement piece.


Jason Concepcion: The butt plug prop work was incredible.


Rosie Knight: That was like being in the theater when, like Captain America picked up Thor’s hammer like everyone just lost their shit


Daniel Scheinert: yeah good comparison. No, exactly like that.


Daniel Kwan: That was what we were trying to go for, right?


Rosie Knight: Everyone was just like, Oh my God, I was really great. So like this kind of this, I love this juxtaposition between you guys bringing this grassroots, collaborative filmmaking, which is what you do. And then this being like the first A24 movie with like an IMAX release and that kind of juxtaposition. But you also did that with the VFX, right? Because like I was reading your thread about how you didn’t go to like a big post house and you just hired your friends. So could you talk a little bit about that? Because the VFX in this movie and the way this movie looks just astonishing. So could you talk about making that decision and and why it was the right one? Because the obvious, it’s obvious to us. But why was it right for you guys?


Daniel Scheinert: Yeah, I mean, the the script we wrote, people read it and they were like, This is going to be like 80 million dollar movie, right? No, it’s not. We promise. And then we did in the rewriting process, try to like, really lean into the tricks we were used to and the tools we were used to playing with. And and so coming from music videos like we, we have very basic VFX knowledge ourselves and we lean on that really heavily so that we could do a lot of our own visual effects in our shorts and music videos. And so, like the vast majority of the movie is done practically or we’re just using visual effects for very to make things safe or production friendly where it’s like, Oh, we can remove that light or that wire, but we’re not like, there’s no like characters that are computer generated,


Daniel Kwan: you know, or sometimes some practical effects. You know, people, people. I think people have like this nostalgic hard on for practical effects, but in practicality, it’s actually a pain in the ass. You know, just like the set up, time is such a pain.


Daniel Scheinert: And then every time you break it, you have to reset. You know, it’s like half an hour, and


Daniel Kwan: it’s never quite perfect. And so what we do is we take the imperfect take. You know, maybe we’ll get two takes if we’re lucky and then a lot of times just one, just one day. And then we just like spruced up and post because we know how to sew like we get the best of both worlds. So it doesn’t feel fully CG because I think audiences are aware of it when when it’s fully


Daniel Scheinert: so, we put tons of dust on them when they hit each other, because that’s how I can feel it. Yes. Yeah. And then we added more dust in post because some of the hits weren’t as dusty as we wanted, but it, but we were always kind of mixing the two. But to kind of get to the end of the the headline we had like seven friends do over 500 visual effects. Wow. And there was no post house. And we didn’t even think when we started that we were going to be able to do all of it with our small team. But they kind of stepped their game up and we weren’t sure they’d be able to do all the bagel or all the finale stuff. And some our friends were like, I want to learn some new stuff. And so they they did.


Daniel Kwan: And so our friends would be watching YouTube tutorials for this know this movie that we didn’t actually know was going to be playing in IMAX like that? How you know? But I think it was something that we honed in during our music video times. We did a music video for Tenacious D a long time ago, and we, you know, we had no time and very small budget. So we just brought in our friends who were other directors and we all got in my bedroom and we lined up all of our computers and we just kind of felt like a land party. You know, everyone was just, we’re just passing aftereffects projects back and forth. And you know, it was some of it was really frustrating because it was all new to us. But then, you know, the final shot of that of that Tenacious D video is this really epic shot of of the band floating in? You know, this cosmic, you know, tapestry that’s really beautiful. And what that final shot was was basically, you know, Ben Brewer, one of the other directors, created certain elements and then Zack Stoltz would create certain elements. And Jeff Dawson was create certain elements, and then it would all get funneled to me. And I would kind of create the the final, you know, just because I’m so particular just to save time on like all the back and forth of the notes I would, I would do the final pass and tie it all together. And I was like, Why maybe we should just do this for this movie? And so for a lot of the Big Lie shots, it was this very collaborative exploration where they would keep sending me elements or I’d ask for certain things, and then I’d try to stick it together into like something that felt stupid and cosmic and beautiful at the same time. And then I would pass it over to Ethan, who has like a really good eye for, like very old school techniques like he he, you know, he he was the kid in school because we all went to Emerson College. Yeah, he was the kid in school who


Jason Concepcion: that’s the first place I dropped acid.


Daniel Kwan: Nice.


Rosie Knight: Connected.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah.


Daniel Kwan: But he was doing like optical printing, like practically with with like 16mm back in college when everyone else was already moved on to digital or whatever. So like, it was a really fun, weird organic thing and we are really proud of it. Like all of all of it, feels unique to this movie. It doesn’t feel like we’re trying to compete with the big blockbusters. It has its own style and its own handmade ethos to it.


Daniel Scheinert: And during COVID, we were all just like we were going where everyone is working more hours than we expected. But we were just giving money to our friends, so it’s pretty cool way, too. That’s amazing. Yeah, the dream. And we weren’t going that far over budget. I was like, I guess we’ll just send some money to our friends. It was never came like a valuable job for, you know, all of them to be like, Great, let’s just let’s just chug away. And especially because


Daniel Kwan: all of these directors weren’t booking jobs because there is no such thing as being a really beautiful, like, weird, perfect project for all of us.


Jason Concepcion: But you mentioned the four year journey to get this on the screen and the the numerous miracles that were necessary to make it happen. Was there ever a moment where you’re like, Fuck, we’re just not going to make? We’re not going to make this movie.


Daniel Kwan: A couple of times


Daniel Scheinert: What were some of the lowest lows, Dan?


Daniel Kwan: I think the. I mean, the biggest one was like, and we haven’t talked, we haven’t spoken too much about this. But you know, when we set out to make this movie, Asian American films hadn’t been like a proven viable business like model, I guess, for lack of a better word. So we actually had a hard time figuring out the casting of it all. And at one point, you know, we had Awkwafina attached and that was going to give us our greenlight because, you know, she is one of the few Asian-American actresses or actors in our industry that could probably greenlight something. And when some scheduling conflicts came up, like the whole thing almost fell apart, which was really it was really scary, but also just really frustrating. It’s kind of it’s like


Daniel Scheinert: because they were also like, there’s a there are a lot of talented people out there who have like a good movie guy. Yeah.


Daniel Kwan: And so that that was probably my lowest low. Just just realizing how as independent filmmakers, how tied we are to the value, the imaginary value of all of these actors. And it’s none of them. It’s their fault. It’s just the way that the machine works in the way that the agents kind of talk to each other and and try to, you know, like we were always in like a this bad position as independent filmmakers where we have very little leverage, you know, and it’s very it’s so that that is a very disempowering experience to try to get your money funded. We’re right now, we’re executive producing another movie and we’re in that problem right now. And, you know, even as executive producers, we don’t know what to do. Sometimes it’s like this. The whole the whole conundrum of casting A-list actors for small indie movies is it’s it’s like it’s a really great model, because then, you know, these movies get to be seen by people. But then it’s also very frustrating because it’s so fragile the whole thing can just fall apart any moment. And I more and all the movies that basically died close to the finish line, you know, because of casting problems. And I know so many of my friends who have gone through that problem process. Yeah. Do you have a low point? No, it’s fun. Is the whole thing was fun.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, it’s just a blast.


Daniel Scheinert: Yeah, I finished. Yeah, we finished it last summer. And so we’ve been waiting until theaters were open because we, like everyone, really believed it was worth seeing in theaters. But, you know, so the last few surges of COVID were pretty demoralizing. It like this never is never coming out. It’s never, I don’t know.


Rosie Knight: And yeah, what is it like after kind of those that that journey, you know, the highs and the lows in everything? What’s it like for the movie to come out? And it hasn’t even gone wide yet, but what’s it been like to come out and see this story that I’m sure many people told you was like, not universal enough or was too niche and to have, like every single person who see it go, Oh my God, this is so relatable. I love this movie. Like, what was it been like to get to see it on screen and see all the work that you and your friends put in and see this story be received by so many different kinds of people as something that really means something to them?


Daniel Scheinert: Confusing. Yeah. I still don’t believe it. I genuinely don’t like I still like, well, like someone would be like, Oh, it’s got this score on Rotten Tomatoes. Like, I haven’t internalized that. I don’t think I believe, yeah, I don’t think I believe you


Daniel Kwan: because so much of our work is built off of the premise of like, no one’s going to let’s make this like like, that’s such a driving force behind our processes.


Daniel Scheinert: It’s like the things we want to see out there that aren’t getting made are the things that interest us. But then we know where we’re biting off something unlikely or that might be niche, but that will mean something to the people like us.


Daniel Kwan: And so we thought this would reach a bigger audience than sorry. I mean, obviously. But even still, like we knew that this movie would be too much for people like that. We made this movie specifically knowing that we would push some people away because we were just, you know, it’s such a loud long. Overstuffed wilds, chaotic thing, which is very intentional and, you know, every decision we made were like, OK, if we keep the butt plugs in what percentage of our audience do you lose and how much


Daniel Scheinert: do you know? But also, how much stronger are the themes?


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, yeah.


Rosie Knight: Hot dog fingers. What was the percentages on that one is


Daniel Kwan: exactly as they were like, OK, but if we keep the hot dog fingers and how beautiful and romantic can we make that? How how cathartic can that be? So again, we can just win a couple more people, and so the whole thing is a very calculated affair.


Daniel Scheinert: But our math was off.


Daniel Kwan: Yeah, this is too much. Yeah, I don’t believe it. I do hope that with the wide release, things start to like, you know, even a little bit more.


Daniel Scheinert: This will be a funny soundbite after the movie flops. Yes, exactly. Dot com bubble of a movie


Rosie Knight: It will be a funnier sound bite when it becomes like the biggest movie of all time. And then you too are just like crying. Like, Why


Daniel Kwan: do people like this theory is that it’s like the imposter syndrome in me is just as fully on fire right now. I’m like, This is a horrible feeling. But also so on the grand scale, it’s a horrible, horrible feeling. Oh wow. On an individual? Yeah, no, I’m fine. I’m fine. But on an individual level, when we get a chance to talk to people after Q and A’s or have people DM us these very personal stories, it is just the most fulfilling, beautiful experience, like the fact that we can work so hard on something that is very personal and very like specific to us. And to have so many different kinds of people from different walks of life just see themselves in it. And it’s like, you know, we’ve been doing screenings and cure and aids almost every feels like almost every night for the past three weeks. And you know, I would say at least half of them, if not more, someone will come up to us and start crying on one of our shoulders. And it’s just this, this very strange thing where we have created a space for people to fully express themselves. You know, now that, you know, because the movie kind of just destroys logic, destroys any conventions and just really just leaves you in this place of like possibility. Or at least that’s our intention. And some people take that as an invitation to fully express themselves to us. And and it’s it is just it is humbling and it’s a humbling reminder of the fact that, like our films matter, and I think a lot of people have forgotten that, you know, I even forgotten that like, I don’t I don’t. I’m still like, you know, three weeks ago when the movie came out and I was starting to lose faith in the idea that movies can change people’s lives. You know, I’ve forgotten that. I’ve forgotten that that’s what happened to me. Like, I forgot that movies changed my life, and that’s why I became a filmmaker. And so to have this response, remind me of the power of what we’re doing is like, really humbling and also just putting a put a fire under my ass because like, I’m realizing shit. The next thing I do, like I can’t I can’t go easy. This is this is so important. It’s too important for me to to get lazy. In fact, there’s so much more work to be done in the world. And you know, if this is the only tool I have to save the world, I’m going to use it, you know? And how thrilling, how exciting. And so like, you know, when our next movie comes out and it saves the world.


Rosie Knight: This will be a great sound bite!


Daniel Kwan: Exactly. exactly


Jason Concepcion: Bigger butt plugs


Daniel Scheinert: slash when Dan starts a cult?


Daniel Kwan: When I start a cult. Exactly. Yeah,.


Rosie Knight: The bagel cult. Its its happening


Daniel Kwan: No, but part of part of the the credit will go to all the wonderful people who have reached out to us and reminded us of the fact that stories matter.


Daniel Scheinert: Or the blame.


Daniel Kwan: Exactly. Or the blame.


Daniel Scheinert: Yeah.


Daniel Kwan: When, when, when the movie backfires and does the opposite somehow.


Daniel Scheinert: Right.


Daniel Kwan: It does the opposite, it ends of the world  Maybe that’s actually what our next movie should be.


Daniel Scheinert: Just just a suicide cult of a movie.


Daniel Kwan: No, it’s about two directors trying to make a movie to save the world and accidentally they


Daniel Scheinert: uh end the world.


Daniel Kwan: End the world. right.


Rosie Knight: That sounds good. Good plan


Daniel Kwan: Right, you guys gotta scoop scoop us on our next film


Jason Concepcion: Well, congratulations on really just a really super mind melty, heartfelt movie that it was a blast to watch. Congratulations on it coming out. Congratulations on the accolades. You all deserve it. Here’s hoping it’s the biggest hit in the world. Very soon. And we just we loved it. So thanks for taking the time to talk with us.


Rosie Knight: We loved it. Thank you so much for coming and talking to us.


Daniel Kwan: Thank you so much.


Daniel Scheinert: Nice to meet ya’ll.


Daniel Kwan: This was such a great conversation. Thank you, guys.


Rosie Knight: Thank you. Thank you so much for taking the time.


Jason Concepcion: Bye bye. Thanks to Daniels for coming on the show. Up next, nerd out. In today’s nerd out where you tell us what you love and why Mike pitches us on the creative partnership between comic creators Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino.


Mike (Listener): Hey, Jason. I’ve got a little bit of an unusual nerd out pitch for you today. I’m going to nerd out about a creative combo. I’m sure we’ve all got our favorite. You know, when just one writer gets with one artist and they just do something magic every time they get together. And my pitch today is Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino. They started together back in the new 52 run of DC, I think, 2011 2012, whenever that was. They did a weird stint Green Arrow 17 to 30 for those only those issues that didn’t start there and then finish the run. But what they did together was some legendary Green Arrow storytelling. Even if you’re not a DC person, just go check that out. It was very cool. Run that they did. Sorrentino has this very distinct art style. Lemire always gets this great tension and suspense while getting like inside the psychology of a character just got a gifted combo. Then 2016 2017, they tackle old man Logan together, and they didn’t complete that run either. They did one through 13, I think, like 16 to twenty three, and then the run kept going without them. But then in 20, I think maybe 17 or 18 they started Gideon Falls Together, which is a complete horror series. And I’m not normally a horror reader, even though I’m a huge Lemaire fan. But this horror series was really great the first six issues or the first trade as you would pick it up. Now I thought, this is kind of interesting. You’re not sure exactly what’s going on. Not really my genre. And by the time I got to like Issue 10, you know, right towards the end of the second trade, I basically read the entire run in one sitting. It was so good. Really enjoyed that. Then they moved to DC Black Label. They did some of those oversize magazine style books called Joker Killer Smile and Batman Smile Killer. They just recently or are about to finish primordial, which is a six issue limited series. It’s a Cold War thriller, and the great thing about this nerd out pitch is that if you accept the advice of this nerd out and start getting into the Lemire Sorrentino combo, you can be on the front end of Bone Orchard. Their upcoming project that comes out well depends when this gets used on a podcast, but it’s coming out. This spring should be another great one these guys have not yet missed when pairing up together. I it’s just as my final thought on the nerd out. I am the Jeff Lemire fan at my comic shop to the point where now when anything comes in, if it’s a variant, if it’s a one in 20 retailer thing, they set it aside and just give me first right of refusal. There come in and they say, Hey, man, no pressure. But this came in. We know you’re the Lemire guy. Do you want this or should we put it on the rack? And I always take it because that’s what makes local comic shops great. Jason, love the show. Thank you so much for doing it. My favorite episodes are when you guys just go through deep dives on comic recommendations. Keep bringing in new voices. Love to hear everybody’s take on stuff. Love finding weird books. And yeah, just keep building my reading list. Thank you.


Jason Concepcion: Thanks for submitting, Mike. If you want to be featured, send your nerd out pitch to XRay@crooked.com Instructions are in the show notes. Up next, we go into the end game.


Jason Concepcion: We’re in the end game now and today we are going to name our top three Hong Kong action movies are just movies that came out of Hong Kong. We may cheat, we may not cheat to involve movies that came from other locations in Asia and Southeast Asia. But that’s the game. Our top three Hong Kong action movies, Rosie, do you want to go first?


Rosie Knight: Yeah ok, I’ll go first.


Jason Concepcion: Yeah, yeah yea.


Rosie Knight: OK, I’m going to start with a classic, mostly because I actually just saw it. I do it recently, which is I went to the new Bev with my friends, Elijah and Vanessa, and it was so wonderful and we saw once upon a time in China. Oh yeah, with Jet Li as like a folkloric like, he’s like a hero. And one Fang, who is this martial arts master? And we saw Once Upon a Time in China, one and two, and it was just like, so wonderful to see that movie on thirty five mil. It’s like this historical epic. You know, Jet Li is a baby and there’s other babies in it


Jason Concepcion: Yeah he’s the little baby.


Rosie Knight: Dude you get to see. I was like, I literally no joke. I like was screaming, when you just see people popping up and you’re like, Oh, hi, you like, it’s just like a master class. It’s also incredibly funny, which a lot of the Hong Kong movies are, but this one has like this really serious historical kind of lens that it begins there. So when you get to those comedy moments, it’s really good. So, yeah, that would be that would be my number three.


Jason Concepcion: I’m going to start my number three guy. This is like honestly so hard. And just truly, if you just say like Jackie Chan, Jet Li and John Woo like Anthony and I mean, it’s just too many people. You’ve already done it. But so I’m going to go with. I’m going to go with the gosh. I’m going to go with the 1983 Jackie Chan and Samahang collaboration with UNB Al, also starring Project A, which is a period movie about early 20th century Hong Kong and how this trio of police heroes has to deal with these like evil pirates. And it’s got true. Some of the craziest like project days, the movie in which a Jackie Chan references the famous Harold Lloyd stunt where he falls like off the clock tower. Jackie Chan in this movie falls of a clock tower and onto his head, and it is like filmed in meticulous slo mo where you watch him fall like through awnings and then hit the ground. And it is just crazy. It is crazy. There’s some like really fun bike, bicycle, high jinks. It’s just like a fantastic movie. And I love the period of Jackie’s career when he was working with Satchmo and unbeatable closely and they were together doing all these movies. It’s just like, super fun, great movie. You can’t go wrong if you rent it or watch it. Yeah. Great. Great film.


Rosie Knight: That movie is amazing. And also like those that I think I’ve watched a lot of documentaries about like Satchmo and Jackie and stuff. And if you were on a summer movie, you were probably getting hurt and I think.


Jason Concepcion: Oh 100% you were going to get hurt.


Rosie Knight: I think that’s why those movies, like when you watch them, you’re just like, Oh my God. And then everyone’s like, Yeah, I broke my neck.


Jason Concepcion: And there’s a fight scene in the Pirates lair that is like the Pirates Slayer has this long. It’s almost like a balcony staircase with like two staircases that like kind of go up and meet each other on a rise with a like a tall balcony on that on the top. And there’s Dos getting kicked off of that, getting thrown off the balcony, landing on the stairs like hard where you could see there it is.


Rosie Knight: It’s pain.


Jason Concepcion: It is pain, pain, pain.


Rosie Knight: Ok. So my second one is like this I love Shaw Brothers movies and I especially I especially love in like the 80s when they started getting like, really, they they moved a little bit away from like the the kind of more serious, like Bruce Lee inspired, like historical stuff. And there’s this movie that I quote one time on TV that’s become one of my favorite movies called Holy Flame of the Martial World. And it is absolutely bonkers because it is like a Full-On fantasy movie, and it’s about a brother and sister who are seeking vengeance for the killing of their parents classic Hong Kong movie trope. But they all have like superpowers like street fighter style had do can ask like it’s directed by Chung Khulu, and it is just one of the wildest movies I’ve ever seen. It’s definitely is probably my favorite show brother’s movie, but I love every show brothers movie as soon as I see that logo come up like, sure, scope. I’m just like, I’m in a happy place. But that one I would definitely seek out because it is like, it’s trippy. It definitely has big everything, everywhere, all at once. Vibes, actually, because they’re just mixing so many genres and so many brilliant practical effects. But that one is like a that’s a stand out for me.


Jason Concepcion: I love that I was watching like a Shaw Brothers slash Hong Kong action film documentary, and they were talking to Cynthia Rothrock about one of her pictures earlier pictures. It might have been the Magic Crystal, but I forget what, and she was like saying how they were just like, OK, you come in and you just look up here, OK? And she didn’t. And then later she saw the movie and she realized like she was looking up at a UFO. She’s like, I wish somebody would have told me that that’s what I was looking.


Rosie Knight: Time’s money, baby times money


Jason Concepcion: Time is money. You got to do this quick. OK. My next pick. This is so hard, so hard. I’m not going to pick another Jackie Chan movie. I am going to pick. Do OK. This is my this was my. Unwittingly, kind of my introduction into Hong Kong cinema for Real. It is Giannis the killer. They were playing it like on Showtime or Cinemax, like late at night, like one two am and I caught it just some random evening. I had no idea. I didn’t know John was. I didn’t know about this new emerging style of of Asian action film that has been labeled since Gong Fu, which is like, take away the swords and the and the two handed fighting of like kung fu movies put to Beretta pistols in the hands of your absence. Just because may be lying majestically and you have kung fu the killer, it is, you know, another classic Hong Kong action set up. You have a assassin who has accidentally in the in the course of carrying out a hit, has blinded an innocent woman and is guilt ridden by this. And he then is like, I got to put everything I got. I got to. I got to atone for my sins. And then he ends up having this kind of like a, you know, like opposites attract a friendship bond with a cop, and together the two of them take out. I don’t know, hundreds of bad guys like


Rosie Knight: the body count is like more than Jason.


Jason Concepcion: The body count is so absurd in this film, and I had never seen anything like it at the time.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, it’s unbelievable to watch.


Jason Concepcion: I was like, I don’t know, like 12 or 13 or whatever. The first time I saw it and I was like, This is so crazy. I have never seen anything like this. And to this day, it’s just one of the most fun. There’s a scene in which the assassin and and the cop are there in the house of of the woman who has been blinded, right? And they have guns on each other in a classic setup that would then be ripped off a million times by a million other directors, including like Quentin Tarantino and others. And they are like in this, in this standoff like guns drawn, and she has no idea because they’re playing it off like everything’s fine. And it is such a super fun scene you realize like where a lot of the stuff from like face off camera. Anyway, the killer. Just phenomenal, phenomenal, phenomenal movie


Rosie Knight: I was going to say. Like, if you like John Wick, if you like, even like The Matrix, you know, things like that like that, that’s one of those movies where you watch and you’re going to be like, Oh my god, yeah. Okay, this is so hard. I’m going by pure enjoyment. So don’t let pure joy. That’s I would say, once upon a time in China, people will say that’s a top three. So I’m going to go. This is very this is very true. This is very true to my taste. So my number one, this is the one that I watch. This is the one where when I’m on a plane, I download it onto my iPod so I can watch it. And I actually was once on a plane to a set visit and I had an old grandma sitting next to me and and she ended up watching it with me, and she was so into it and that and this is returned to the 36th chamber. Oh, how starring the absolute icon Gordon Liu in one of the leather god Ray Lee matter plot lines of all time. So it is part of the 36 chamber series tangentially. And. It is. In this movie, Gordon, who plays a scammer who is pretending to be the monk that he plays in the movie, other movie, so he is like, it’s so mad and silly, and it is also one of my favorite things about Hong Kong movies the American action movies never, ever have ever caught on to. It’s a union movie. It’s a movie about workers rising up against their terrible bosses who work in this dying factory. And it is just it’s so silly and so funny, and Gordon lose one of the best martial artists who ever lived. He’s absolutely incredible, and he’s so charming, and it has this and see the end fight scene where he wants to learn how to become a martial artist. So he’s been at the school and they just keep making him do scaffolding like they keep making him work. They won’t let him actually, you know, learn anything. And in the end, he has a scaffolding fight where he he’s using the scaffolding poles and using what he saw in the school. And it’s like one of the most unbelievable things I’ve ever seen. I watch it so much. It makes me so happy when I watch it, it’s like, Great pic. Oh, I love Gordon there so much and I love these movies. But this is the one where I just think that’s so clever like I would love to see. It’s like having a Marvel movie. And then you have like a sequel to the Marvel movie where, like Robert Downey, Junior is playing someone who just looks like Tony Stark pretending to be him. It’s so silly, but it’s it’s done so well, and that, to me is like a peak. That’s like the peak of. All of the show about this stuff


Jason Concepcion: Ah I am going to pick for my final pick, my number one movie, I’ve I thought about going outside the box and this is kind of like a consensus. I think a lot of people might pick this, but I’m going to pick it anyway because this is my introduction to Jackie Chan. That wasn’t one of the Cannonball Run movies. The whatever the Cannonball Run movie is that Jackie Chan appears, and that’s the first time I ever saw Jackie Chan. I didn’t know who he was. This is the first time I watched a Jackie Chan movie and realized this is like a star who I never even knew existed and has been working in this other world. You know, on the other side of the Earth, it is a police story. Yeah, the. I mean, 1985 police story, Jackie Chan as a cop who has to take down like drug dealers and protect a witness. It is, I think, one of the greatest action movies. Legitimately of all time, ever, you know, the set up, the opening set piece of this movie is like the climax of most other action movies.


Rosie Knight: And that just like this is just the this is the open. This is the cold open


Jason Concepcion: This is the opening. The opening, like eight minutes of the movie is any other movies climax like the destroy, legitimately destroying entire fucking town on the side of a hill, and then it keeps going. Just some of the greatest fights, some of the greatest action. A famous stunt in the climax of this movie, which takes place in a mall that was later ripped off for Sylvester Stallone, a movie, tango and cash. It is just like a great, great, great all time. Great. Movie Jackie Chan Break Dancers in moonwalks in it at one point to get dog poop off his shoe, it’s just like a great, great.


Rosie Knight: Yeah I think.


Jason Concepcion: Film that gives you everything that Jackie Chan has, and the Criterion Collection has a wonderful like 4K restoration of this movie that if you want to get like a great version of this movie and have it in a in a actual like hard media version, that’s a great way to go. Just one of my favorite movies of all time.


Rosie Knight: Yeah, I think that’s the movie that a lot of people think about when you say Hong Kong cinema as well, especially in the in the times of Jackie Chan. And actually, I’m glad you brought the criterion because we’re in a really lovely phase now where this stuff’s getting recognized criterion. I love that unbelievable Bruce Lee collection recently. Very overdue, but absolutely brilliant with just unbelievable amounts of great restorations, but also incredible special features. One of the best things that I own the Arrow VIDEO Actually just did a Shaw Brothers collection, too, which is much earlier Shaw Brothers stuff, really serious martial arts like some movies I hadn’t even seen, which is kind of rare for me. And Once Upon a Time in China as well, the trilogy just got a criterion box, I believe. So I’m really glad that we’re in a time where these movies are being same for the cinematic impact that they have. Because, like you say, Jackie Chan is like a legend. He is a legend globally, and not just that he’s like. He he still runs a stunt school where he trains these unbelievable stunt teams who work with him and he trains the next generation of action stars, and that’s like a that’s a legacy aside from just the hundreds of incredible roles.


Jason Concepcion: And if you if you pick up that criterion version, some of the DVD extras include a documentary where Jackie takes you through his stunt school, shows you how he works with his, with his stunt performers, and how they create these unbelievable scenes. Really fun. OK. That’s it for the game. Who would you have picked? What movies would you have selected? Hit us up at hashtag Zareen game to give us your picks. Big. Thank you to the Daniels. And, of course, the ever great Rosie Knight for joining us on X-ray vision. Rosie Plugs Plugs. Keep plugging. What do you got to plug?


Rosie Knight: Ugh. Yes, you can. If you like Easter eggs and all that kind of stuff, I do them at every week at Nerdist. I do. I dig in deep into those eggs. Lots of comic book stuff that you can read on there. I also am at Instagram Rosie Marx and Letterboxd where I’ve been watching some extremely bad movies. Usually it’s just like usually about like subjective, where I’m like, I think they’re good, but I have been on a tear of bad network broadcast movies while I work. I’m going to have a Godzilla comic coming out. It should be coming out in June. We’re going to talk about more. You will be able to preorder it soon. Not right now, but as soon as you can. I will tell you a Jason’s where I guess Godzilla share in support.


Jason Concepcion: That’s right. Let’s go.


Rosie Knight: You know, I will plug. This is just to continue. So there was a 2021 Mortal Kombat movie. It’s very campy, right? It’s really scary. But I will say the kid who plays Kung Lao is called Max Huang. He’s an incredible martial artist, and he trained under Jackie from when he was a little kid at the stunt school. And this was like his first role. That wasn’t a stunt role, and that kind of shows you the the the caliber of martial artists that they went out that way to find for that movie. And I just think Max is such a great martial artist, and he’s done so much work for the stunt community as someone who promotes, like, say, fighting and good fighting in movies, and it was nice to see him get like a leading role. So if you want to go watch on HBO Max, it’s very fun and it also has incredible Lu Kang casting because Lady Lin is like, so perfect. So those two together are definitely the highlight.


Jason Concepcion: Let’s also add in the extended X-ray vision family. Cody Ziegler’s Spider Punk Number one


Rosie Knight: It’s out now, baby


Jason Concepcion: Listen, do you like spider people? Do you like people with spider powers? Is it never been a better time in the Marvel Comics universe for multiple spider powered people? And here we have Hobie Brown, the ever exciting spider punk in his own solo title. Written by Cody Ziegler with Justin Mason and Jim Charalampidis. It’s.


Rosie Knight: It’s so good. If you love. If you love Spider-Man, if you love punk music, if you know misfits lyrics. That’s right, ’cause the final page of that comic, I yelled, When I read it, it is so funny. It’s so good. The letters are unbelievable. It’s Travis Lanham. I believe, like the whole team is just killing it. It’s an anti-fascist punk Spider-Man book and it is just badass. Like, I’m so proud to say that we know Z because that comic is just it’s one of the best issues in a long time.


Jason Concepcion: I completely agree. The icon of Oliver Coipel is on the cover. Like, yeah, baby.


Rosie Knight: The best.


Jason Concepcion: Ok, well, that’s. Listen, that’s it for us. Check out our videos on the uncultured YouTube channel and catch the next episode on April 15th and again, send your nerd out submissions to Xray@Crooked.com. Don’t forget rate and review us five star ratings everywhere people give us the five star ratings. We absolutely love them. We thrive on them. They make us feel great. X-ray vision is a Crooked Media production. The show is produced by Chris Lord and Sol Reuben. The show is executive produced by myself and Sandy Girard. Our editing and sound designers by Vasilis Fotopoulis. Delon Villanueva and Matt DeGroot provide video production support, and Alex Relford handles social media. Thank you Brian Vasquez for our theme music. Bye.