xmenapocalypseIt’s our eighth episode, the fourth to feature a major superhero movie! But at least there isn’t another one until Suicide Squad in August! We start with X-Men: Apocalypse (3:22), then move on to cape-free TV comic adaptation Preacher (23:34). After all that, we finally watch an all-original film, namely horror-thriller Green Room starring Patrick Stewart as a Nazi (43:21).

And then we leave the realm of narrative entirely for our recommendation feature, as Alastair suggests the Cammell Laird Social Club album by irreverent post-punk band Half Man Half Biscuit (53:27).

Spoilers abound, especially for the X-Men movie. Beware!

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One thing that I have learnt from being an amateur writer, attending writers’ groups and reading a lot of unpublished work, is that there are no bad story ideas, there are only story ideas that are executed badly. Romeo and Juliet is a story that is older than Shakespeare, but it endures because storytellers create original versions. A more recent example is Avatar: The Last Airbender (a good TV show) and The Last Airbender (a bloody awful film). Both essentially have the same story, but one tells it well and the other tells it appallingly.

With this in mind, I saw Kill Command at the Sci-Fi London film festival. On paper, Kill Command seems like a generic sci-fi film: a group of soldiers are engaged in maneuvers against new military AIs. There is a problem with the software, and the machines attempt to kill the humans. The soldiers find themselves in a fight for survival against an army of robots that are intelligent, quick-learning and deadly. Continue reading

Hi! Nick here, and since there are no excess clips from our latest podcast (because we’re such fine pros), I thought I’d tap out a blog post for the website on something I’ve been thinking about lately – also a topic I can’t discuss at length on the show as Alastair doesn’t care at all. Yes, it’s the DC superhero twin shows Flash and Arrow.

I’ve been observing the difference in their love interest situations – Flash is still trying to put our hero together with Iris West, his original comics girlfriend/wife, whereas Arrow long ago ditched canon ladyfriend Laurel Lance (aka the superhero Black Canary) in favour of largely-unrelated-character Felicity Smoak. So which one has a better approach to wringing romance out of comic books? And how does one adapt long-running comic relationships into new TV shows without it getting odd? Well, let’s dive deep into that!

NOTE ON CANON: The old school canon love interest in the Green Arrow comics is Dinah Laurel Lance, so evidently the producers of Arrow do not think “Dinah” is a cool name for a main character.

NOTE ON SPOILERS: Spoilers up to and including around episode 21 of both shows’ current seasons, including any major deaths. Also a brief talk about love interests in Captain America: Civil War. You have been warned.

And now, to avoid anyone who didn’t want to see spoilers by accident, I’ll put a cutaway and a picture. Last chance to run.

Continue reading

orphanblackEpisode seven is here! If it seems like it’s come around pretty quickly, well, it wasn’t that long since last time. In this one, we’ve got a look at the BBC America clonefest Orphan Black (2:56), upcoming indie sci-fi film Tourbillon (16:06) and our glorious final thoughts on Daredevil season 2 (29:05).

Then in our never-to-be-named recommendation feature (49:17), Alastair checks out early Aaron Sorkin comedy-drama series Sports Night for the first time. Can it overcome his bafflement at the strange rules/team names of American sport? (He’s a pretty big Sorkin fan, so odds are good.)

As ever, timestamps provided above if you want to skip a segment to avoid spoilers. The Daredevil segment is particularly full-fat with ending details, for those who haven’t seen season 2 yet.

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game-of-thrones-season-6-poster_1280.0d11Back to our usual deleted scenes after a couple of specially recorded EFV specials – a clip cut from our Game of Thrones chat as we try to work out where some of our favourite lesser-seen characters have gone. What does Littlefinger mean to you?

Listen to the entire episode here, along with Civil War, Better Call Saul and Blue Velvet action!

CW-RUNWe are back with the second part of our specially recorded Captain America: Civil War spoilers side-chat – the first is here if you missed it – and as before we’re doing full maximum ruination from the very start so don’t listen if you don’t want to know. This time, we’re digging into the niggly details of the villain’s masterplan, the final fate of Bucky and what the ending means for the main Avengers characters and film franchise going forward. And then we drift so far off-topic that we are left with no choice but to terminate the conversation.

If you want to hear our full, slightly less spoiler-tastic review of Civil War, alongside Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul, Doctor Who and Blue Velvet, go here to get MFV #6.

Captain+America-+Civil+WarIt’s our first ever specially recorded Excessive Fantasy Violence special, so we can discuss Captain America: Civil War with full total spoilers! Seriously, we start picking apart the ending about thirty seconds in. If you don’t want to know until you’ve seen it, don’t listen to this clip. (And we also kinda spoil the end of the original Civil War comic from years ago, just FYI.) In this first half, we discuss the final showdown, how much it’s okay to show in the trailer and Alastair attempts (briefly) to unpick the real geopolitical implications of the Sokovia Accords. The second half of this chat is also up now, click here!

If you enjoyed this snippet and want to hear our broader, less spoilery chat about the film (along with other stuff), our full review is in MFV #6, which you can get by clicking here.

captain-america-civil-war-trailers-clipsOur sixth episode is here, a few days late but overloaded with A-list geek franchises to compensate! We’ve got a brief chat about the new Doctor Who companion announcement (2:19), and then full-on segments for Captain America: Civil War (4:10), the Game of Thrones season 6 premiere (26:15) and the whole of Better Call Saul season 2 (37:08).

And then, in the forever-anonymous recommendation feature (47:48), we discuss Blue Velvet, the odd David Lynch mystery thriller suggested by Alastair. Plus a musical treat at the start and we establish the first rule of the MFV drinking game!

INEVITABLE NOTE ON SPOILERS: We attempted not to flat-out describe the plot points (especially the ending) of Captain America: Civil War, but we discuss it for just over twenty minutes, so inevitably stuff like the shape of the story and the role of certain characters leaks through. If you want to remain totally spoiler free, recommend not listening until you’ve seen it, or using the timestamps provided above to skip the segment.

An Excessive Fantasy Violence special should follow on this very website in the next few days – as soon as Nick has edited it – where we do discuss Civil War plot spoilers with reckless abandon. Follow us on Twitter at @MFVPodcast to be notified as soon as that happens.

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punisher-bornREMINDER: MFV #6 is going to be a few days late so we can incorporate a Captain America: Civil War review. Sorry for your anguish, hopefully it’ll be worth it. The episode will likely be with you some time on Sunday.

As a small consolation prize, Nick has managed to carve out a record-breaking fourth deleted scene from MFV #5! And it’s Marvel related! Specifically, an extended chunk from our Punisher comics discussion. What do the team think of the mysterious narrator voice in Punisher: Born? Good idea? Bad idea? Too ambiguous or not ambiguous enough?

To hear the full Punisher: Born and From First To Last chat, click hear to get the full MFV #5 experience. (Also features The Witch, Serial and Her Story.)

ipad-806394_640Today’s offcut is from our Her Story piece. What took us so long to cover video games on MFV and why did we end up choosing an old-ish one that is more of an interactive video story? The answers and more, as we briefly discuss our technical limitations and the emergence of gaming as a storytelling medium. Now, if anyone fancies buying us both an X Box One so we can be more timely with new games, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

If you enjoyed this brief chunk, check out the full-length podcast it came from, where we review Her Story in full, as well as other things such as Serial and The Witch.