AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON REVIEW: Whedon character greatness vs. 1000 plot points


AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON is finally here. And it’s loaded with the classic Joss Whedon take on character-based action that took the world by storm in 2012! Except that, this time, Whedon also has to do so much heavy plot lifting. So. Much. Plot.

So, it’s not as much of a perfect summer movie as the first AVENGERS. And that’s okay – especially because it gave us enough material to podcast for two hours. We talk about the character arcs we still liked (Black Widow and Hulk! Hawkeye! Some Iron Man stuff!), and try to parse how the muddled plot held the rest of it back. But, we still loved James Spader! And Thor was still a charming goofball.

In conclusion, Black Widow needs her own movie, the end. Agree with our takes? Disagree? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter! It’s a huge movie event, and we’d love to hear from you.

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Chris Baxter – @cbax
Brian Shirlaw – @Brian_RS


BIG HERO 6: Baymax, grief, and awesome characters – That Thing You Like #86


BIG HERO 6 is Disney’s latest animated film, and we talk about it! Hiro Hamada and Baymax are amazing together, but there’s a lot more to discuss: Great cast, good dialogue, and non-stereotypical characters make it shine. Plus, a random weird state of the podcast chat between Brian and Chris! Enjoy, and let us know what you thought of Big Hero 6.

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Or, listen to the episode here: http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/id/3182059

Hope you enjoyed the show, and please, tell a friend about the pod! Plus, maybe throw us a review on iTunes? If you want to? But only if you want to. Thanks friends!


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Follow us on Twitters: @TTYLshow

Chris Baxter – @cbax
Brian Shirlaw – @Brian_RS

Thor: The Dark World Review – That Thing You Like #35

Thor: The Dark World podcast

THOR: THE DARK WORLD isn’t just a sequel! It’s the rare sequel that isn’t as good as the original! Wait. You mean that’s actually super common? Well, your friends at THAT THING YOU LIKE are here to break down all the ways THOR 2 succeeds in spite of its boring plot by focusing on great characters. Also, Brian and Chris yell at each other about the Stuffed in a Fridge trope!

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We hope you enjoyed our talk! If you liked it, please consider leaving us a rating and review on iTunes, and tell your friends!


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Chris Baxter – @cbax
Brian Shirlaw – @Brian_RS

That Thing You Like #27 – Marvel’s The Avengers / Agents of SHIELD

Marvel's The Avengers

THAT THING YOU LIKE zaps it up! We finally got around to discussing THE AVENGERS – a movie that shines a light on what big-budget blockbusters can be, entertainment-wise. If those blockbusters focus on, you know, giving memorable characters some good dialogue, treating the audience with respect and creating crowning-moments-of-awesome that they actually earn. And also focus on having Joss Whedon; that guy is just the best.

Click Here to Subscribe! – …And then shawarma after.

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It may seem like a silly, men-in-armor-and-tights kind of joint, but beneath all that, THE AVENGERS is actually a testament to the importance of letting real character moments drive your story. Seriously. Everybody go read some Film Crit Hulk. We talk about how Whedon manages to not just create a solid action movie using pre-established characters, but also uses their interactions to make the characters more well-rounded and funnier – and thus, more compelling overall.

We go next level on a few elements of the movie, including Whedon’s characterization of ScarJo’s Black Widow, Mark Ruffalo’s amazing take on the hulk, and then spend a little while getting prepped for the (hopefully fun) Agents of SHIELD tv show, which premieres next week. Excited for the new show? Have thoughts about Marvel’s box-office-destroying masterpiece? Let us know!


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Chris Baxter – @cbax
Brian Shirlaw – @Brian_RS

TTYL #6 – Iron Man 3

iron-man-3-tony-stark-robert-downey-jrIt’s an IRON MAN 3 podcast! That Thing You Like‘s first movie review is flying across the sky like a streak of red and gold, and gently landing in the welcoming arms of your preferred podcast downloading tool.

As you might have seen from it’s 78% on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s proving to be a slightly divisive film. But don’t worry – only That Thing You Like has the DEFINITIVE report on whether or not it’s actually any good. Spoilers: It is only kind of good. Even though Shane Black and RDJ are a perfect writer/actor tag-team and the movie has wit and quips to spare, it has some real problems.

We cast caution to the wind and answer the hard-hitting questions: How charming is Robert Downey Jr.? Is it better than Iron Man 2? How inconsequential are Don Cheadle and Gwyneth Paltrow to the film’s plot? And how stupid is everything that’s not Robert Downey Jr.?

Spoilers again: Pretty stupid. But we watched the movie good, and have prepared our thoughts for you at the links below. Agree with us? Disagree with us? Feeling largely indifferent? Get down to the comments and express yo’ self.

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Chris – @cbax
Brian – @brian_rs