This fortnight, it’s 3.5 hours of power as Nick and Alastair tackle Martin Scorsese’s gangster mega-epic The Irishman!

But first, Alastair’s dissecting Alien with new documentary Memory: The Origins of Alien, while Nick’s caught up with DC’s cult favourite villain team-up comic Secret Six, by Gail Simone, Dale Eaglesham, Nicola Scott and more.

And then they sit their arses down for a long spell to watch The Irishman (11:07), complete with some ending spoilers after a short while. To the extent it’s possible to spoil this movie.

Finally, after that epic sit-in (which Nick watched in three separate sessions), they ask: What makes a good 3.5 hour movie? (30:50)

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Alien is one of the greatest horror movies ever made. It slowly and suspensefully builds to moments of sheer terror. The first act of the film is an uneventful character study of people working in a spaceship, which introduces the characters and sets the scene for what’s to come. We see the crew working, sharing meals and talking. It establishes the ordinariness of working in a spaceship, before that ordinariness is shattered by a horrific turn of events.

I’ll simultaneously assume that you have seen the film and that you don’t want any annoying spoilers. If you haven’t seen Alien, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s one of my all time favourite films, if not my favourite film.

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This fortnight, Nick & Alastair saw the first two episodes of the new His Dark Materials adaptation from the BBC and HBO!

But first, Nick’s caught up with Netflix’s popular women’s wrestling series GLOW, while Alastair’s acquainted himself with the latest re-release of Apocalypse Now – The Final Cut.

And then we get into His Dark Materials (10:50), the latest adaptation of Philip Pullman’s beloved novels starring James McAvoy, Ruth Wilson and Dafne Keen. Alastair has a deep love for these books – can the show live up to them?

Small spoiler note: inevitably, Nick and Alastair can’t get through this review without mentioning a few plot points from later on in the book series.

All that done, they ask this week’s big question: whatever happened to British sci-fi/fantasy on TV? (27:27) The bleakness of the answer will shock you.

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Nick and Alastair face an awful future in horrendously named franchise sixquel Terminator: Dark Fate!

But first, Alastair’s zoomed off into Netflix space show Another Life, while Nick’s dived into past podcast material yet again to catch up on the second batch of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina episodes.

And then they lunge into the grim scifi concept of more than one-hundred MFV episodes and more than five Terminator films to review Terminator: Dark Fate (10:52), with… surprisingly few spoilers. Good work, boys.

Finally, as Terminator takes a cybernetic swinging blade to its own continuity yet again, Nick and Alastair ask: Do the plots of past films matter? (29:31)

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Nick and Alastair made it to the century! One hundred podcasts! Has… the world improved yet?

Oh well, never mind. To celebrate, they’re covering the new Breaking Bad epilogue movie El Camino, then recommending each other some teenage favourites: A Room For Romeo Brass and Transmetropolitan.

But first, Nick’s seen recent HBO the-teens-aren’t-alright drama Euphoria, while Alastair’s made his annual rounds of London Film Festival and seen… all kinds of stuff.

And then they’re on to El Camino (13:10), to find out what happened to much-abused relatable meth cook Jesse Pinkman after Breaking Bad finished.

With their present day obligations discharged, Nick and Alastair dive into some celebratory nostalgia, trying to bring you some insight into what the hell they’re about (if ninety-nine podcasts of chat wasn’t enough) by throwing their youthful media favourites in for discussion.

First up, Alastair brings in Shane Meadows’ debut feature A Room For Romeo Brass (20:36), a thoughtful British comedy drama featuring an early performance from Paddy Considine, and then Nick chucks out Transmetropolitan (35:03), the gonzo cyber-punk journalist comic by Warren Ellis & Darick Robertson.

And with that, it’s time to move on. To MFV #101, obviously.

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Sword

We all know what tropes are and we all know one when we see it. It could be a vampire being destroyed by sunlight, a dragon hoarding gold or a militaristic alien race with an honour based culture. Tropes are like archetypes, recurring motifs that crop up in fiction.

A trope is not the same as a cliché, but tropes used badly can be clichés. Tropes are also not the same as lazy writing, although lazy writers rely on tropes.

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This NINETY-NINTH fortnight, Nick and Alastair launch themselves screaming into the discourse with a review of the new Joker movie!

But first, Alastair’s giving Disenchantment another disenchance with its second season (after MFV shrugged at it previously), while Nick brings us the last ever instalment of his extremely sporadic iZombie coverage.

And then it’s time to explore the chaos at the heart of our so-called society with Joker (10:15, lapsing into ending spoilers from around 21:30).

Finally, the dark, morally unsettling question of the week: To what degree are you supposed to empathise with villains? (35:21)

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair watch the entire first season of Amazon’s superviolent superhero supersatire The Boys!

But first, Nick’s started watching premium computer show Halt & Catch Fire, while Alastair’s gone to see new crime movie Hustlers.

And then the boys crack into The Boys (9:57) with surprisingly few spoilers, and a lot of thoughts from Nick about how it compares to the original comic by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson. As well as some not-too-detailed discussion of the sexual assault aspects of the storyline, just so you’re aware.

Finally, this fortnight’s big question: Is it realistic to portray superheroes realistically? (33:04) Weirdly, they manage to cram a minor storyline spoiler for the latter half of The Boys season 1 into this. Be warned.

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Many of Stephen King’s books have been turned into films of varying quality. For every bonechiller, there is a film that leaves me cold. To make sure you only watch the scariest Stephen King adaptations, I have counted down five of the best films based on his work. Then I have listed five of the worst, so you know which ones to avoid like the plague.

These are only adaptations of Stephen King’s horror stories, so there are no Shawshanks or Green Miles in this list, although they are great films. So without further ado, let’s cut to the murder.

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This fortnight, a fully-grown Nick and Alastair return to the traumatic scene of their first ever revamped episode to confront evil clown Pennywise in It: Chapter Two.

But first, they discuss some other podcast blasts from the past, such as Orange Is The New Black (via Nick) and Descender (via Alastair).

And then, at last, they return cautiously to the old town of It: Chapter Two (10:27), with not too many spoilers for once, to see if it’s as scary as they remember.

And then, after taking a look at this particularly extreme case study, Nick and Alastair ask: How do you cram a novel into a film? (21:04)

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