Believe it or not, I have been asked a number of questions repeatedly about the site. I thought it might be fun to create this document to help clarify some of what goes on behind the scenes here at Army of Monkeys.
Q: Where did you get the name "Army of Monkeys?" Is there any meaning to it?
A: Originally, my thinking was simply that I wanted to create a website. I had nothing specific in mind when I thought this, just that I wanted to have a name that was somewhat unusual that would be easy to remember. In an odd turn of events, I decided to try my hand at recapping movies from India. It wasn't until quite some time after I started that anyone pointed out the army of monkeys led by Lord Hanuman in the Ramayana. Weird how these things work out, isn't it?
Q: Why recap Bollywood movies? What's so interesting about those?
A: I get this question more than any other. The reason is basically this: Have you ever seen a Bollywood movie? I was tired of Hollywood and the same old cookie-cutter formula movies that we'd been fed over and over again. Bollywood was so different than the average American movie that it instantly took hold and fascinated me. Yes, there are a lot of American movies that are remade into Bollywood films, but usually that conversion process adds so much to the original that it's worth watching again. For me it is, anyway. I won't say that they always come out better than the original, but I will say that they're different enough to merit a look, and often times I enjoy the Indian equivalent more than the original. We haven't even gone into all of the cultural aspects that I've learned as a result of this exploration into the industry, but this answer is already getting to be a bit lengthy!
Q: How do you choose which movies to write about? Are there any that you will not use for an article?
A: In the beginning, I just chose those that I thought had certain production problems that made them easier to write about. I am a bit of a sarcastic person by nature, so it was much easier to pick on the movies that had problems. I didn't try to do a movie that I thought was really good until Dil Chahta Hai, and that was a tricky one to write. Most of the time these days I will just go with actors that I enjoy, and see how the movie is. If I have to make a choice, I still tend to go with the ones that have those adorable little quirks that I enjoy so much.

As for movies that I will not use, there are a couple of rules of thumb that I adhere to. I will not use a movie that deals with major political issues (there have been several that I've watched in this vein) as I am not Indian, and as such feel that it is not my place to comment on how things are done there, or the matters that are present. I also want to avoid writing about comedies. There's just something about telling someone else's joke that seems to suck all of the humor out of it. Plus, I know that on a few occasions I've missed the jokes as a result of the differences in culture. It wasn't until afterwards that I asked someone from India about the lines, and they explained that those were jokes. So, no comedies.

Q: How do you get the pictures for the articles?
A: I use Cyberlink PowerDVD to play the movies on my PC. That program has a "screenshot" feature that allows me to get individual frames from the movies. I then take those pictures into Adobe Photoshop to crop out the letterbox bars, resize the image, and apply the watermark for the website.
Q: Do you have a favorite Bollywood movie?
A: There have been several that I really liked. Dil Chahta Hai and Lagaan are high ranking films in the collection. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge is another one that I found myself really caught up in. For some reason, Gupt never gets old for me either!
Q: It seems like it takes forever for you to get another article written! How much time do you spend on each one?
A: Updated 06/16/07 - As of late, it's been months between articles! I'm working on a LOT of projects, both writing as well as construction/home improvement related stuff. Unfortunately that has a direct impact on the writing for this site. I am still actively working on articles, and hope to do several per year. I hope that you can bear with me as life stays hectic in these parts!
Q: What's up with the weird pictures in the Afterthoughts pages for the ratings?
A: Originally I had no ratings at the end of the movies. Some of my associates told me that I "had to have those," so I decided to take an awkward or silly moment from the movie and single it out as the ratings icon for the film. Sometimes I spot it even watching the movie the first time. Other movies I have to reach a little bit to isolate that one perfect little moment. I think the one from Asambhav is my personal favorite.
Q: Have you ever been contacted by anyone in the industry as a result of this website?
A: Not to my knowledge, no. I do get a few emails here and there from readers, but as of yet no one has identified themselves as being a part of the Bollywood film industry.
Q: Why Manisha?
A: Well, look at her! Just kidding! Manisha was the first repeat performer for me as I started watching these movies, so she became a welcome familiar face. My first two Bollywood movies were Jaani Dushman (think about how that must have gone over! That was the very first Bollywood movie I ever saw!) and Gupt. I have seen her in many movies, and while the films themselves vary in quality, Manisha has always given me a good performance.
Q: Do you make a lot of money from the site?
A: I don't make any money from operating this site. This started as a hobby to just see where it went, and it has stayed that way! I don't advertise on the site, and the only logo I use from any other business is the one on the current news page for Alienware. That's who made the computer I do most of the work on, so I thought I would give them a nod. The only sort of return I am seeing from maintaining this site is far more valuable to me than money - I've made friends with some wonderful readers, and have learned far more about India and the culture than I ever thought I would.