Don’t worry, the sixty-nine jokes are small but perfectly formed, and then it’s on to Ant-Man And The Wasp, this year’s final Marvel film.

But first, recent cultural acquisitions, such as Alastair watching the new Mission Impossible film and Nick reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (and also mentioning the work of Daniel Ruiz Tizon).

And then Nick and Alastair launch into Ant-Man And The Wasp (7:42), this year’s last Marvel film and one interestingly working as a little superhero movie that could in the shadow of Black Panther, Infinity War and chums.

Of course, American audiences got the film around a month ago, which explains this fortnight’s related question: If you can’t release a film globally at the same time, is it still worth bothering? (24:15)

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This fortnight, after not one but two previous failed attempts, Nick and Alastair finally review Legion season 2!

But first, they talk about their recent consumption, such as Nick reading The Unwritten, a meta-fantasy-conspiracy comic by Mike Carey and Peter Gross, or Alastair watching Who Is America?, the new ambush-satire show starring Sacha Baron Cohen.

And then they finally get stuck into the Legion season two chat (9:18), including full and total spoilers for the whole thing and a content warning about one story point. Will it be worth the months-long wait?

Once that’s done, Nick and Alastair ask aquestion that… honestly has even wider relevance than Nick realised when he thought of it: How far can you twist your audience before they snap? (31:11)

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We’re just over halfway through the year, so Nick and Alastair have prepared a mid year review instead of a regular episodes. This is completely because we love taking stock and not because we have holidays.

First up, Alastair counts down his top 6 films he’s seen on the big screen so far this year (because it was too hard to choose 5) and then he offers some thoughts on what we have to look forward to for the rest of the year.

Then Nick and special guest Julianne Benford, discuss interesting development on the small screen. They talk over TV shows of 2018 that we haven’t covered so far on the podcast. Some good, some confusing and some that maybe should have ended a season ago or two ago.

You can find more information Julianne Benford here!

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Nick and Alastair return to the mean streets of the Netflix-Marvel Defenderverse this episode, as they stride into Luke Cage season 2.

But first, Nick’s talking about The Handmaid’s Tale season 2 moving beyond the Margaret Atwood novel, while Alastair cheats on his own pop culture podcast with Slate’s Decoder Ring.

And then it’s time to head back into Harlem, as Nick and Alastair tackle Luke Cage (8:50) for the first time, ready to find out if they’ve finally picked up the pace. No real spoilers for this season but some discussion of major events in Defenders and the previous run of Cage.

Our related question looks at the memorable sense of place in this show, with the eternal dilemma: Can you take Luke Cage out of Harlem? (26:35)

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This fortnight, it’s the comics podcast of Nick’s dreams, as MFV covers the latest Hulk and Superman relaunches from Marvel and DC respectively!

But first, other recent consumption includes Nick watching Marvel’s Runaways TV show (so yes, on-brand), and Alastair heading briefly out of comics-land to watch Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

And then they head into the world of fictional strong blokes, to read the unsettling The Immortal Hulk #1 (6:52) by Al Ewing and Joe Bennett, followed by the uplifting Man of Steel #1 (15:48) by Brian Michael Bendis and Ivan Reis and Jay Fabok, showing us two very different ways of reimagining guys with abs.

And after that, after the success of last episode’s Marvel/Star Wars debate, it’s time to ask what these two comics can tell us about the forever-ongoing Marvel vs DC rivalry. (25:15)

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This fortnight, one more swing into the big franchises with solo Star Wars move Solo: A Star Wars Story!

But before that, Nick and Alastair examine their recent consumption, including crime comic 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank and the esoteric music of Public Service Broadcasting.

That done, it’s time for the real business of the day as Nick and Alastair review Solo: A Star Wars Story (7:08), trying their best to stay focused on the contents of the film rather than just whether it needs to exist.

And then it’s on to this week’s related debate point, indulging the geekery a little more than usual: Marvel vs Star Wars! (21:02)

You may not be surprised which pod-host is representing each side.

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How is Deadpool like a business park in Slough? They’re both postmodern. If you just wanted to find out the answer to the click-bait headline, there it is. If you want to find out more then read on.

For a better answer to the question we need to ask: what is postmodernism? Well, it’s like pornography, in that it’s only acceptable to look at it in public as part of an art installation or at the sort of parties that I don’t get invited to. Also, like pornography, it’s difficult to define, but you know it when you see it.

You can find postmodernism in contemporary art galleries, usually in the room that just has a load of tyres piled up in the corner. You can find it on the reading lists for MAs in contemporary literature. You can find in in the architecture of post-industrial areas that were rebuilt in the 1990s, the places where the decaying factories and wharves were replaced with Italian restaurants and coffee shops that aspired to be just like Central Perk.

Postmodernism might be a movement in high brow, high class, high cost, impenetrable, elitist and confusing art forms, but it doesn’t have to be an exclusive idea. You can see postmodernism in the cinema and you don’t have to go to the ICA or even your local Picturehouse to see it.

There’s lots of postmodernism in Deadpool and Deadpool 2. Looking at what makes these films different from every other superhero film will help us answer the question of what postmodernism is.

Continue reading

Way back in Moderate Fantasy Violence #1, Nick and Alastair covered a little film called Deadpool. And they’ve kept this up for so long that, yes, it’s time for the sequel!

But first of all – as briefly mentioned last time, their guest appearance on the And Then What? podcast is now up! Listen to Alastair talk about politics and film, Nick talk about weird crime and lovely hosts Amy & Becky dig into the drugs-and-organ-transplanting underworld. This was great fun to record and you should definitely check it out.

But back in the regular recommendations feature, Alastair’s seen Entebbe, a film that may or may not resemble Zero Dark Thirty, whereas Nick’s listening to The Weezer Bracket, a new podcast trying to find the worst Weezer song through a whole 64-item tournament bracket. There’s a lot of choice there.

And then they get into reviewing Deadpool 2 (11:04) – can it live up to the widely beloved original?

Last but not least, this week’s ultimate question – Are they any unmade sequels we’d like to actually see? (28:13)

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At long last, the one you’ve (okay, we’ve) (okay, Nick’s) been waiting for – Avengers: Infinity War!

But first, it’s an instructive double-bill of other recommendations: Nick’s read Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge and Alastair’s seen new Gaiman adaptation movie How To Talk To Girls At Parties.

And then, at long last, the main event – Avengers: Infinity War with full spoilers! (8:06) Can it ever live up to the sheer length of the cast list?

Not to mention our related point: How standalone must a film be to count as a real film? (28:16)

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It’s oh-so-still this fortnight, as Nick and Alastair cover A Quiet Place, the hit horror film in which nobody can hear you scream, because you can’t even speak.

But first, Alastair’s been watching The City & The City, the new BBC adaptation of a China Mieville book, while Nick’s seem the first episode of his beloved surreal superhero show Legion.

(And yes, the original plan was to cover Legion as this fortnight’s main review, but it turns out, that too was surreal misdirection.)

And then it’s time to review A Quiet Place (7:02), with moderate plot discussion throughout and a few (carefully labelled) hardcore ending spoilers from 22:13.

Until 28:23, where this fortnight’s question is asked: How much do plot nitpicks really matter?

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