Film Junk Podcast Episode #367: The Avengers and Hot Docs 2012

0:00 – Intro
6:00 – Review: The Avengers
1:08:15 – Headlines: New Hulk Movie in 2015?, Marvel to Eventually Recast Iron Man, Universal Sues The Asylum Over Battleship Knockoff, The Dark Knight Rises Trailer, The Expendables 2 Trailer
1:39:10 – Hot Docs Reviews: The Imposter, Indie Game: The Movie, GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, Beauty is Embarrassing, Tchopitoulous, Women with Cows, The Tundra Book, China Heavyweight, Shut Up and Play the Hits, Detropia, Low & Clear, Only the Young, Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet
2:42:05 – Other Stuff We Watched: Firefly, Serenity, 24/7: Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto, Senna, The Five-Year Engagement, Hook
3:01:30 – Junk Mail: Directors with Perfect Filmographies, Movies You Don’t Like That Have One Great Scene + Movies You Dislike for How They Make You Feel, Best Movie-Themed Rides
3:15:00 – This Week’s DVD Releases
3:18:40 – Outro

Film Junk Podcast Episode #367: The Avengers and Hot Docs 2012 by Filmjunk on Mixcloud

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  • Anthony

    @ James: I don’t have an issue with Jay giving a negative review. I really liked the Avengers, but I can see why someone like Jay wouldn’t be getting a massive hard-on for it. But you can’t speak that negatively about a film and then give it 3 out of 4 stars and expect us to take the review seriously. If he had given it something like a 1.5/4, I would have disagreed, but it would have made more sense. But what he did was the equivalent of an english teacher making a shit ton of corrections, markings, and comments about the flaws on your essay and then giving it a B+. It’s like he said what he wanted to about the film, and then maybe thought he was too harsh so gave it 3 stars to make up for it or something.

  • Gerry

    Frank, the ‘White Squall’ plot sounds formulaic but I thought it was really good with a couple of unexpected things in the movie. You should definately check it out.

    It’s out on blu this week but via a smaller label so I’ve no idea about the transfer or if the aspect ratio will be right.

  • patrik

    #49 I don’t think anyone wants Jay not to be on the podcast, I sure as hell don’t. But that doesn’t mean you always have to suck his cock either. I usually agree with Jay for the most part, but not in this case and so I voice my opinion. It seems like no one can criticize/disagree with Jay in your opinion, kinda like a fanboy. Maybe people just really liked the movie and think that Jay is wrong.

    I don’t get the hate for “fanboys” really.. I would guess that the Dark Knight is probably most fanboys favorite comic book movie. So why are people using Nolan as a stick to beat everyone with as soon as they like another comic book movie? The Dark Knight is far from perfect btw, lets get that straight. The action is not very interesting for one, and a lot of things doesn’t make sense.

    “The “fanboy’s” generally conservative and overly-precious view of their favourite superhero properties does nothing but inhibit the output of creative minds that are likely much greater than their own. The idea of transforming vibrant, inspired filmmakers into journeymen in favour of continuity/conformity is to squander some potentially interesting takes on these characters/stories.”

    Again, I would guess that the Dark Knight is most peoples favorite comic book movie so I don’t get this statement that the fans are inhibiting the filmmaker? If that is the most artistic comic book movie, then clearly people responded to it. The studios are the only ones doing any inhibiting, not the fans. All the fans want is an awesome movie.. Sure, fans bicker about characters not looking right and that stuff like with the Joker but they loved the end result didn’t they? Didn’t seem to stifle Nolan one bit.

  • #51. Quite a few “James'” out there so not sure if directed at me, but I see your point there. I just didn’t think that Jay disliked it as much as people thought, and therefore the knee jerk reaction from some is unwarranted in my opinion. As I mentioned, I haven’t seen it yet (Saturday is the plan) but I have read and heard a lot that the film has a slightly clunky start, and that the enemy lacks some depth. I’ll either agree or disagree. To my ears, Jay just kind of hammered home why, and hated in particular the “Galaga” scene. I never got the sense that he didn’t enjoy the film and for me a 3 out of 4 demonstrates that he enjoyed it , but felt it had flaws. I will be listening to the episode again though, I usually do.

  • Falsk

    You boys sure love talking about other guy’s butt holes, huh?

  • Patrik:
    ” It seems like no one can criticize/disagree with Jay in your opinion, kinda like a fanboy”


    “The Dark Knight is far from perfect btw, lets get that straight. The action is not very interesting for one, and a lot of things doesn’t make sense.”

    Yes, I agree with portions of that. I might have even said so in some earlier post.

  • patrik

    #56 Well, the first part was kinda meant to be tongue in cheek, maybe it didn’t come across well.

    I kinda skimmed through some of the comments so that’s quite possible. Then we’re in agreement. =)

    Imo, The Avengers is a pretty awesome popcorn movie. I thought it flew through the running time. I also thought it made better use of the characters and their powers in the various action scenes then what their respective solo movies did. The Galaga scene is literally a 5 second scene, I really don’t understand how that can bother anyone that much. If you like Galaga, you’ll enjoy the joke and if you don’t, then it’s a five second scene out of a two and a half hour movie.

  • Aaron

    I’m glad to see Hook getting some appreciation from Frank. That movie is dismissed too often as one of Spielberg’s duds. I love it. But, then again, I’m also one of the few who enjoyed 1941.

    I like that Frank fit in another Nothing But Trouble reference right at the end of the show. Gotta get that in every episode.

    Surprised there wasn’t any Celebrity Apprentice talk, especially since it’s close to the end now. Perhaps a special podcast on the finale is in order?

  • KeithTalent

    Quality show gents. Fanboys of anything are annoying.

  • #57
    All is good, Patrik.

  • I am a fan of Hook also although it is too long. The scenes showing The Lost Boys helping Peter become Pan again, drag on. Overall though, Frank knows of what he speaks.

    Nothing But Trouble, on the other hand, is a horse of a different colour.

  • Steve

    Too bad all the Buffy fans didn’t watch Firefly when it aired, or it may have lasted longer. I don’t think the resume of the show’s creator had much to do with it’s viewership. I saw a couple episodes when it aired, but then re-watched the whole series on DVD because I heard about how quality it was. I wasn’t a fan of the Buffy TV show, so I didn’t care who the producer was. But now Firefly is the first thing I think of when I hear his name. He’s still hit or miss for me, so I wouldn’t see something just because his name is attached.

  • Brendan

    I wouldn’t say the Hulk had two “failed” movies, like Jay said. Both the 2003 and 2008 films netted about $150 million each. They both got similar critical response, which was generally middle-of-the-road.

    It’s more accurate to say that they didn’t meet expectations. I think the 2008 Leterrier film suffered more in that they thought it would do much better than the first, but it only managed to do about the same. It did earn a bit more than Ang Lee’s movie, but the budget was also higher, so it was a wash.

    So I’m not surprised, especially after The Avengers, that they’re willing to give it another go.

    Also, am I the only one who felt Ruffalo’s Banner was reminiscent of Bill Bixby? Not only his look, but his voice especially reminded me of him.

  • Jonny Ashley

    I think the FJ social media scene is better off in the comments sections and the Facebook page. Too bad!

  • P. Traum

    I was glad to hear your criticisms of the Avengers, because it seems most fans and critics have given this movie a pass because it had some fun scenes. I really felt that the movie showcased Joss Whedon’s glaring limitations as a writer. You called it “wit”, but I saw it as a lot of “faux-wit”, and worse still, every character that he writes speaks in the same “voice”. Stark is interchangeable with Zander, Loki with early Spike, Banner is Angel, and the rest are, collectively, Buffy, Willow, and Giles…not realistic characters at all, but rather the types of imaginary friends that Joss wishes he grew up with.

  • Wintle

    Sean slapped the sass out of my mouth at lunch when I said that I would have given The Avengers a 2 out of 4.

    Despite the promise of more beatings if I get out of line, I still maintain my stance that no movie with a running time of longer than two hours can be defended as a ‘popcorn’ movie.

  • @Wintle

    Sure it can. You just have 2 large buckets instead of 1.

  • @Wintle, would you elaborate on your reasoning? I feel as if any time limit on any movie is somewhat arbitrary simply because, with every person having different attention spans, one can’t say that one person’s idea of a long running time is somebody else’s idea of a long running time.

  • John Gibson

    The ratings on filmjunk have become progressively more arbitrary as the years have gone by and by now should really be ignored.
    @Anthony – You’re right Jay’s review specified where and when he felt the movie failed but he then awards 3 out of 4 in line with all the other junkies. This has been happening for ages now and as such renders their ratings meaningless.
    It usually breaks down like this –
    Greg agrees with Jay since he can never argue a point in specific detail beyond bland platitudes. Frank sticks to his predetermined viewpoint no matter what which leads to recent interesting disagreements with he and Jay. Sean comes out in the middle somewhere and only when he has a personal interest in the subject matter does his grade vastly differ from the rest.
    I was actually waiting to see if Greg could manage to offer more detail than usual in his opinions on a movie that I assumed would be simplistic enough for his tastes but to no avail. Until Frank started speaking he sounded as if he hadn’t even seen the thing – such is his half-assed laidback incompetent manner when talking about film. If you don’t have an interest in sport or bad puns then there is no reason for him on the show except – in the guys case – as friends hanging out. I have read his TIFF reviews from the last few years and whilst they go into a little more detail than his spoken reviews they also tend to deviate into areas such as what he ate that day and anecdotes about people that offended him and other unfunny bullshit.
    I find it incredible that he is able to sit there offering nothing and the others tolerate it. A few times in the recent shows I have sensed Jay and Frank getting pissed at his lack of effort or engagement but stopping short of calling him on his obvious “don’t give a fuck” delivery.
    Finally each week the guys state “What we watched” and without fail every week Greg is the only FILM junkie to not have actually watched any FILMS!. This has been going on for months now and its very tedious not clever or cute.

  • I think we would all agree that the ratings are just a quick reference and we don’t put a ton of effort or scientific thought into them. As far as your analysis of our review habits, I can give you plenty of examples where we deviate from these supposed patterns. But hey, I guess you’ve got us all figured out!

  • I look forward to Greg’s TIFF reports every year especially because he gives you the full experience of what it’s like to be there, not just about the film’s themselves. If that means getting reports about the people and the food, I’m all in.

  • Lucas3D

    I wonder if Greg saw Roger Ebert eating cheese burgers again. Or if he got a 2nd chance at biting Salma Hayak’s ass.

  • Bob

    Ummm…John Gibson (#69) may not be a fan of Greg. That’s a wild guess.

  • John Gibson

    Sean – These deviations you offer as mitigation would be in the minority of cases if you peruse the last few dozen casts. I think you’ll find that there is an overwhelming acquiescence with each other in your reviewing habits and this is compounded by the inadequacies of certain members. I am not trolling with these comments since I have been a listener for close to five years and have listened to all 367 casts and associated spin-offs with great interest for the most part. I spend more time indulging in podcasts than any other medium due to the convenience of doing so and you guys did inspire me to start my own a few years ago. The reason I specifically mention Greg in these harsh terms is that I don’t think comments like this unduly bother him and with other positive developments in his life of late he would not mind greatly if he gave Frank the room to truly grow as a contributor. Oh and he effectively bullied Gerry into a neurotic rejection of the little love he was getting on his rare appearances and was generally an asshole to him when he was appearing. Jay knows him – so it was informed criticism on his part whereas Greg clearly did not and did not really want to so it was just destructive. Any thoughts about him not actually watching movies…?

  • We’ve had discussions about it, and while I’d love for Greg to watch more movies, I’m not his boss and I can’t tell him what to do. As long as he participates in the main review every week, I’m happy.

    Greg’s outside interests allow for a different point of view on things and I think most listeners would agree that when he’s not there, something is missing. I find it hard to believe that you’ve stuck with Film Junk for so long when you have these issues with Greg, but to each his own!

  • John Gibson

    Interesting point about the topic having been brought up. I’ll cut my losses here Sean but I do appreciate your, as always, organised and balanced approach to those who contribute on these issues and more specifically your logistical strengths which allow Film Junk to endure.
    Have you seen Triangle? Aussie psycho-time-travel headfuck from 2009. It’s got Liam Hemsworth, brother of Thor, which I suppose means something nowadays. Perfect fodder (Greg’s new favourite word courtesy of Frank:)for a quite week sometime when you like to surprise us.

  • sansho1

    Any news as to when this week’s ep is going up? I have a mountain of paperwork and need FJ content to make it bearable!

  • John: I know we talked a bit about Triangle somewhere back in the archives, but not as a group review. I enjoyed it.

    Sansho: New episode will be up later tonight, probably about 3 or 4 hours from now.

  • sansho1


  • csidle

    Wow, what a fucking lashback. I hope you dudes know that some of us aren’t massive assholes with sticks up our asses. You guys do a great show.

    As for the criticism of the – uh, casual nature? of the show, that’s one of the things that raises it above other podcasts. I can’t even listen to a lot of the other popular ones because they take themselves so seriously. FJ is great precisely because there’s no attempt to sound like official radio or to whip anyone into stuff – it’s just a bunch of friends hanging out and talking about movies, some with more depth than others. It’s awesome and I hope you guys keep it up, even if the comments section seems a graveyard of rationale.

  • John Gibson

    csidle – thanks for the fairminded retort. Just checked and I never actually mentioned anything about a casual nature of the show or hating the show or anything like that. The point of the whole thing was Greg. I like casual. I just don’t like Greg’s participation. It appears that you took this to heart since no-one else has commented apart from Sean. I’ll assume you’re a Greg fan and so that explains your “casual” browsing of my original post. Obviously I had to mention the other participants to illustrate how Greg was failing them and the show. Read Sean’s post and you’ll see there is an element of validity to that claim. Anyone who has listened to the development of the show and the guys can see that, like all artistic endeavours, they peaked years ago and the original trio will know that but that’s friendship. Hope this isn’t too long for you but I realise I have to keep this short since you couldn’t handle absorbing the actual content of my original posts. Saying something negative and being critical about a very specific and quite negligible aspect of this show is a clear indication of my affection. I care man, I really do.

  • I find it amusing that some people have issue with Jay’s rating not matching his mostly negative comments about a film. I get accused of this all the time! In my case, whenever a film is highly praised, I like to lend some perspective and balance by pointing out the negative aspects even though I might enjoy a film overall. I also don’t like to repeat accolades that I know the other guys say or will say.

    @John Gibson: I just wanted to say that I have no hard feelings against Greg’s jibes towards me; even though, as you pointed out, Greg doesn’t really know me, I always thought Greg’s “insults” were said for comedic effect. I appreciate people feeling pity for me, but my feelings were never hurt by Greg. The reasons for my limited appearances on Film Junk have nothing to do with Greg.

  • John Gibson

    Hey Reed. I guess not being in the room makes it hard for listeners to determine intent but Greg is not subtle enough to be joking when he said those things so many times. If you ever want to make another appearance I for one will be interested to hear what you haven’t been up to in the interim. :)

  • Greg

    I’m bunned that I just saw all of this now..

    1) I have nothing against Gerry. It’s a show. Gerry is a nice guy unless he’s playing board games apparently.

    2) I am not a film reviewer and have never claimed to be. When I write unfunny bullshit for the site you do not have to read it.

    3) I’m just a guy that likes going to the theatre to watch a movie and talk about it with my friends. I do not like to sit in front of my TV or computer and watch movies. I don’t get the same enjoyment out of it that I do when watching it on the big screen.

    4) If I tried to compete with Jay, Frank or Sean in how they critique films, I think we can all agree that it would sound pretty fake and disingenuine.

    5) I would agree that the other three do get annoyed that I don’t watch as many films as them and I’m sure they’ve talked about it a few times and when the time comes that they want to part ways with me, I’ll shake their hands and wish them well in their future endeavours. Who knows, John Gibson, maybe it’ll happen this week.

    6) I’ve never been called negligible before. I have been called much worse though.

    7) Thanks for listening to all 367 shows with such disdain for my ‘contributions’. I’ll have some good stuff for you next week.

  • Henrik

    I think Greg should stay on the show!

  • Chris M

    John, it is possible to voice your opinion about the show without sounding like a total prick.

    Who cares if Greg doesn’t have a huge list of stuff he watched in a given week? These are grown men with full-time jobs, relationships, kids (in one case), interests outside of film, and yet somehow they still manage to catch at least one new release each week and discuss it on a ~2 hour show. And they’ve done it for years. I’d say that’s pretty remarkable. Besides, the show is already so damn long, it’s probably a good thing.

    As for Greg’s review style, fine, you don’t like it. Fair enough. He’s a casual reviewer. He admittedly doesn’t have much interest in delving too deeply. But for me, that perspective is unique to the show, and it’s nice to have at times. And I don’t think it’s always the case. For instance, I find his reviews of the 30-for-30 docs interesting.

    I also disagree about Greg’s personality and humor. I find it meshes well with the rest of the crew. It’s just a lot of fun to listen to the four of them chat about movies and whatever they feel like for 2 hours a week. I don’t think they’ve peaked – with the inclusion of Frank, I think the show is as good as it’s ever been.

    So anyway, I guess my takeaway is this: continue to voice your opinions, but perhaps work towards not being a smug asshat in the process. And show Greg some respect – he’s been a major part of a show that has supposedly entertained you free of charge for years.

    Also, Greg, I’m the guy who said hello a couple TIFFs ago before a screening of My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? Your hearty laughter throughout the film was the most entertaining thing about it.

  • Greg

    Ahh yes…My Son, My Son. A LOT of people walked out in that screening. I never understood how film festival goers have the easiest time of walking out on films. I’ve walked out on movies before too, but there’s always a record number of people jetting at TIFF.

  • John Gibson

    @Greg: I’m bunned that I just saw all of this now..

    lol – still can’t keep food out of it can you!

  • Dken1

    Granted I haven’t read all of the above comments so my opinions may have already been posted. This just was a boring sounding podcast. Everyone was tired sounding and so unenthusiastic about the main topics that I stopped listening 40 minutes in. I don’t mind if you guys didn’t like the Avengers, but what was bad is most of your nit picks about the movie were just factually wrong. I’ll probably purchase some of the premier podcasts from this site just because I like to support sites like yours, but this particular show is not a good selling point for the rest of the series…