Episode 280: Thor: It’s Not NOT Like Ghostbusters 2

The Overthinkers tackle Thor: The Dark World and interview Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje.

Matthew Belinkie, Peter Fenzel, and Matthew Wrather overthink Thor: The Dark World and interview Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje.


→ Download Episode 280 (MP3)

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Alternative Titles

  • Thor: The Picante World
  • Pantaloons or Sausages
  • In Thor 2, Stuff is Going to Come up Through the Portal
  • The Only Thing Worth Writing About is Thor in Conflict with Himself
  • Thor Treats Objects like Women, Man
  • The Solution to Beat Them is to Hit Them Very Hard
  • That’s Not a Hammer. This Is A Hammer.
  • No Thor for Oil
  • In the Dark World, Pillage Must Be Countered By a Different Kind of Pillage
  • Google Asgard Paul
  • I’m Long on Robocop Dollars
  • Dead or Alive, You’re Paying with Me
  • That’s What Barry Goldwater would say if he were a RoboCop
  • I’ll Show You Fear in A Handful of Elf Spaceships
  • I Thought Those Were Load-Bearing Columns
  • Party on Thor! Party on Thor!

12 Comments on “Episode 280: Thor: It’s Not NOT Like Ghostbusters 2”

  1. Chris Morgan #

    The podcast has only just begun, but I must comment already, because a person said something wrong about sports, and it must be corrected.

    First, before I get to that. I don’t think it is fair to characterize Michael Jordan as kind of a jerk. That greatly undersells a man who excels at being an asshole almost as much as he excelled at basketball. For just a little taste of it, read the brief story about the way Jordan treated NBA rookie Kwame Brown one day, bearing in mind that at the time Brown was an 18-year-old fresh out of high school: http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-triangle/post/_/id/81380/the-miami-dolphins-and-everything-that-will-never-make-sense

    Now, to the crux of my issue. Fenzel completely mischaracterized both Jordan’s baseball career and the Mendoza Line. Let us not even take into account the fact that batting average isn’t really looked at as much as on-base percentage, and swing mechanics vis a vis prospects and such.

    The Mendonza Line isn’t really a “thing” in any scouting sense. George Brett was just once off to a slow start and took a friendly jab at his teammate for his lousy batting average, even though Mendoza routinely hit over .200. It’s just a round number thing. It’s also not a “Hey, if you can hit this, you might have a shot” thing. It’s a “Wow, you are hitting awful” thing and it is just colloquial. If you can’t hit .200 at the major league level, you won’t play unless you are a great fielding catcher or shortstop.

    Now, as to Jordan. His slash numbers were .202/.289/.266 as an outfield in Double-A. Given that he just up and picked up the sport as a 31-year-old after years of playing basketball, that’s not too shabby. From a baseball perspective, that is truly horrendous. As a “prospect” he was terrible.


    • Pasteur #

      So what you’re saying is… that the Mendoza Line is a Maginot Line.


    • fenzel OTI Staff #

      Pretty much all my knowledge of Michael Jordan and the Mendoza Line came from a pub trivia game six weeks ago, so I definitely appreciate being corrected.


  2. Tulse #

    The problem I have with the more “cosmic” superhero films is that everything feels so unconstrained — there is no way to understand what it is possible for the characters or environment to do. In Thor 2, for example, Jane Foster inexplicably falls through space right to the spot where the Aether is inexplicably imprisoned, which inexplicably can somehow “infect” her (and yet not immediately kill her — it mainly seems to make her sleepy). Kurse is inexplicably invulnerable to the hugely powerful Asgardians. Loki inexplicably knows an interdimensional tunnel to The Dark World. Dr. Selvig inexplicably understands the danger of The Convergence, even though the danger is really only because this time the Dark Elves will use it for evil, unlike the millions of other times The Convergence has occurred. The rod-thingies that he possesses inexplicably do something to space that is effectual, even though Jane directly comments that she didn’t know they could do that.

    Good fiction is in part a balance between conforming to a viewer’s expectations and confounding them. While one doesn’t want a completely obvious plot, with all the mechanisms predictable in advance, at the same time it is unsatisfying to see events occur and be unable to say how or why they happened.

    This is not just an issue in the cosmic superhero movies (certainly any fantasy or sci-fi property runs this danger), but it seems especially endemic to them.


  3. Redem #

    I’m going to be very suprise the day I see Mark Ruffalo in a lead role if they do a new hulk movie (the guy a good actor but usually play secondary part)


  4. Agam #

    Matt Belinkie: “Very high tech space ships but also capes and swords . . ”
    Peter Fenzel: “Maybe it’s paradoxical, because characters like this seem to hate the sensations that light generates and the sensory enjoyments of the world and yet they’re divas who take great pleasure in ornateness and costume . . . costume requires light, otherwise no one can see the sequins.”

    I think you’ve both manage to outline a kind of Warhammer 40k resolution to a Project Runway quandary . . .


    • fenzel OTI Staff #

      You want a hot body?
      You want a Bugatti?
      You want a Maserati?
      You better “WAAAGH!” Bitch!

      You want a Lamborghini?
      Sip martinis?
      Look hot in a bikini?
      You better “WAAAGH!” Bitch!

      You wanna live fancy?
      Live in a big mansion?
      Party in France?
      You better “WAAAAGH!” Bitch!

      You better “WAAAGH!” Bitch!
      You better “WAAAGH!” Bitch!
      You better “WAAAGH!” Bitch!



  5. Agam #

    Orkz iz the most fashion savvy wunz ‘der iz! Orkz rock those Fall colorz! WAAAGH!


    • fenzel OTI Staff #



  6. Agam #

    Ha! Heresy has never looked so good.


  7. Nick Nutter #

    As luck would have it, new Paste Picante sauce ads started showing on Hulu this week. These are the first I’ve seen in 20 years.


  8. Gab #

    There have been rumors that Black Panther will get a movie for… years. So um. Who knows? There was a decent animated miniseries with a pretty good cast a few years back (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1441105/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2), but nothing very solid about a major film (the IMDB page is just “in development”).

    Yeah, there’s a lot to say about the gender politics in this movie with respect to Natalie Portman’s character (and it’s important to note, she “trips and finds” the Ether while looking for Thor). And the fact that one of the two women shown in Asgard was killed off, too.

    Weeeell… the part at the end when Thor says he can’t be king because it would involve killing a lot of people all the time (and the part where he accuses Odin of being no better than the bad guy) could be alluding to some bigger commentary on what it takes to be a leader, the whole “dirty hands” dilemma. They didn’t go into it, like, at all, but there was potential for perhaps the Loki v. Thor as king stuff- as in Loki could be a good king, because he would be willing to make those sacrifices, while Thor could, too, because he wouldn’t want to, etc.

    Belinkie, you’re right, one of the Green Lanterns is a planet!!! There’s a pretty good summary of its backstory in the animated Emerald Knights movie.

    That part with Idris Alba stabbing the spaceship made me think of the part in Return of the King when Orlando Bloom takes down the oliphaunt. I was kind of expecting one of Thor’s buddies to start a tally.


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