It’s the 150th episode of Moderate Fantasy Violence, and Nick and Alastair celebrate this occasion by breaking new ground with… a couple of Netflix movies! Specifically, The Harder They Fall and Army of Thieves.

But first, Nick returns to a former topic with Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s final season, while Alastair’s catching up on new Wes Anderson movie The French Dispatch.

Finally, Nick and Alastair try to come as big as possible in advance of The Harder They Fall (12:35), the new Western  from Netflix with an all-black cast including Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Regina King and many more.

And then they cruise to a stop with Army of Thieves (22:59), the latest entry in their beloved Army of the Dead franchise.

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One of the podcast’s more underwhelming theme weeks, as Nick and Alastair tackle Eternals and Last Night In Soho.

But first, Alastair’s watched self-explanatory Apple TV sci-fi drama Invasion, while Nick’s getting under the skin of Kevin Can F**k Himself.

And then they join the Eternals (11:13) in its neverending life, from lukewarm critical reception to giving us a new angle on the universe.

Lastly, Edgar Wright also has a fresh approach to share with the team with Last Night In Soho (22:54), but will he find more success?

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This fortnight, both Nick and Alastair see their favourite teenage culture return in terrifying forms, with the new Dune adaptation and Venom: Let There Be Carnage. Which one has aged better?

But first up, they check in with Star Trek: Lower Decks season 2, and Alastair gives you his annual update from London Film Festival, now back in real physical space.

And at last, time to enter the desert of Alastair’s childhood dreams with Dune (10:43), the 2021 adaptation directed by Denis Villeneuve. Which got its sequel announced since Nick and Alastair recorded the episode and said it hadn’t – good news for moviegoers, less so for our heroes not sounding like suckers on the pod.

After that, the oily wasteland of Nick’s teenage years also rears its toothy head in Venom: Let There Be Carnage (25:46), although it may not have much in common with the comics he read when he was thirteen. But is that such a bad thing?

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Frank Herbert’s novel Dune is inherently political. The book is so clearly laced with politics that a meme has appeared in Dune fandom mocking those who deny that it is a work of political fiction.

For those not in the know, the novel tells the story of a betrayed young duke who starts a revolution, becomes a religious leader, then Emperor, and leads his fanatical followers in a massive jihad killing billions. The novel is a warning against charismatic leaders who spin dreams of paradise that must be bought in blood.

One thing I find fascinating about Dune is that the political system it depicts is pre-modern, more like that of a medieval society than something we would recognise. This is a society of noble houses, emperors, and marriage alliances. It’s a universe where the emperor having only daughters heralds an oncoming succession crisis. There are noble feuds (the art of Kanly as it is called in the book) that are settled with knife duels.

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair control their liquid intake and sit down for lengthy new Bond film No Time To Die, then return to Marvel’s multiverse with What If…?

But first, an up-to-the-minute blast of new Netflix content, as Alastair’s wincing at the childish violence of Squid Game, while Nick’s… also wincing at the embarrassing erotic encounters in Sex Education.

And then they get dressed up and dive head first into No Time To Die (11:15), the movie that finally lets Daniel Craig stop playing that suave superspy who haunts his nightmares. Features brutal ending spoilers from 27:07 – don’t worry, there is a warning.

Lastly, Nick and Alastair return to Marvel’s speculative indulgence event What If…? (32:03), chat about how the rest of the season played out and each reveal their top 3 episodes.

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair tackle the popular film genre of movies beginning with G which came out in America a while ago – it’s The Green Knight and Gunpowder Milkshake.

But before that, Nick has predictably tuned in to the final season of Lucifer, while Alastair’s getting in at the start of the new Foundation show.

And then, at last, they set out on a long arduous journey into the heart of magic with an attractively beaten down Dev Patel in The Green Knight (11:24).

Lastly, Karen Gillan goes on a stylish crime spree in Gunpower Milkshake (22:03).

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The superhero movie resurrection continues with Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, then Nick and Alastair take things down a notch with Netflix’s The Chair.

But first, it’s an unusually eventful recommendations section, as Alastair brings us bad news about our podcast title while covering Censor, and Nick unleashes a dark earworm as he discusses Alan Partridge: From The Oasthouse.

And then it’s time for a big step in Marvel’s fourth superhero phase with Shang Chi (11:28), which Nick and Alastair don’t spoil in detail, but perhaps in vague structural terms – the shape of the ending is described.

Lastly, they return to their golden years in academia with Netflix’s The Chair (27:04), including expert commentary and exciting news about David Duchovny.

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This fortnight, reality itself is crumbling as Nick and Alastair cover games-come-t0-life movie Free Guy and Marvel’s multiverse-humping animated series What If…?

But first, Nick follows up on recommending Chew many years ago by reading new prequel comic Chu, and yes, talking about the difference between these two on an audio podcast proves hard work. Meanwhile, Alastair’s watched the next few episodes of Lupin, a much simpler choice.

And then time to log on to their main features with Free Guy (10:06), in which Ryan Reynolds plays a video game NPC named Guy who starts to wonder if his life lacks purpose, a plot which only somewhat closely resembles Nick’s 2019 comic The Catalyst.

Lastly, a look at the opening episodes of What If…? (25:16), the latest show from Marvel/Disney+, showing us how our lives could’ve been different if Peggy Carter became Captain America, or if Nick & Alastair never started this podcast. (That one is coming up in season 1 episode 11.)

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Another all-Netflix fortnight, as Nick and Alastair take flight with Blood Red Sky, then travel the land with Masters of the Universe: Revelation.

But first, Alastair’s bending time itself, aptly, to return to Christopher Nolan’s first movie Following, while Nick finally gets round to watching hit BBC sitcom Ghosts.

And then it’s time to stow our trays and fasten our seatbelts for Blood Red Sky (11:55), a new movie in which two bogeymen of our age finally meet: vampires and terrorists.

Lastly, Nick and Alastair turn up fashionably late to another hot cultural issue by finally watching Masters of the Universe: Revelation (23:09). They last a full few minutes without spoiling the ending of the first episode.

And yes, if you’re so inclined, Nick’s comic Kickstarter for FairyFare is still up and running as of now. Get involved. 

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Would you put a chip in your brain to find true love? This either romantic or dystopian question is the premise of Netflix’s French sci-fi thriller Osmosis.

The show is set in the eponymous tech company who are about to launch a product that does exactly this: implants a chip in your brain that will guide you to your soulmate. An AI called Martin uses sophisticated data processes to find the person who is the perfect match for you.

However, the trial of Osmosis doesn’t go entirely to plan. Partly because Osmosis’s creator, Esther Vanhove, plans to use the brainwaves of the initial test subjects to further her own research. What follows is a dark thriller about desire, the difficult road to finding a healthy relationship and the lengths people will go to save the ones they love.

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