For their first proper episode of the new year, Nick and Alastair finally grapple with their long-time Aaron Sorkin fandom, courtesy of his new movie Molly’s Game!

But first, in recent media chat, Nick’s been catching up on strong BBC crime show Line of Duty and Alastair’s read cult sci-fi comic Omega Men by Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda.

After that, it’s the review of Molly’s Game (7:57), as our heroes try to balance talking about the film with, inevitably, comparisons to previous Sorkin films and TV shows.

Then the related question this week is: How do you follow up a career-defining work? (24:42), which starts off mostly about Sorkin and The West Wing, then ends up flirting with weightier questions about whether the public wants artists to just vanish after their one big project. Heavy, man.

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2017 is all over, and just like they did last year, Nick and Alastair are putting the beast to rest with a review podcast covering their favourite releases in TV and film.

But first, as ever, they’ve consumed some media and will briefly talk about it – specifically, BBC sadcom Fleabag and drone movie Eye In The Sky.

Then onto the meat of the show – first up, Alastair introduces our general chat about movies (5:06), then both take turns introducing their respective top fives from the year (10:14), before whittling it town to a unified MFV Top Three.

And then, yes, it’s the same treatment for television – first chat (29:32), then chart (35:38).

And if that’s not enough 2017 Summary, you can also find Alastair’s lookback at the year in film and Nick’s Top Ten TV Shows right on this very website.

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Hello and welcome to Nick’s Top Ten TV Shows of 2017, a blog post about television programmes and the order Nicholas Bryan lists them in!

This is the sixth time I’ve done this, which makes it one of the longest-running ‘traditions’ in my entire life. Pretty sure this series of blog posts has now out-lasted most houses I’ve lived in. It’s nice to really create something you can build on, you know?

Anyway, if you want to marvel at the previous lists, you can find them all here on a range of websites:

Now, let’s get on with it. Although – top end of this is pretty similar to my Top Five TV Shows to be unveiled in our upcoming MFV #53 2017 review podcast, so just FYI, the below is… technically a podcast-spoiler? If that bothers you?

As ever, subjectivity is king and objective truth is dead, we can all live in our own cultural silos thanks to the on-demand revolution, so this is what I like and if you disagree, that’s fine.

In fact, personal taste is probably coming in with pretty much our first entry. Continue reading

I finished my summary of film in 2016 by saying that I was not “hugely hopeful for an explosion of quality in 2017” and in many ways I was wrong. Like last year, 2017 was a year that I visited the cinema a lot and more often than not I enjoyed myself.

The year began with the usual run of films vying for Oscars and I was pleased to see that there was a lot of diversity in this year’s nominations following last year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy. Films such as Hidden Figures, Loving, Fences and Moonlight received Oscar nominations and had prominent roles for actors of colour. This was a welcome change from the usual parade of white people being nominated in the top Oscar categories.

La La Land walked away with several Oscar wins, as well as cementing Emma Stone’s position as one of the most talented people in Hollywood and Damien Chazelle’s reputation as an excellent director. Silence was a disappointing offering from Martin Scorsese, one of my favourite directors. Sadly, not even a collaboration with talented actors such as Adam Driver, Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson could make the film engaging.

Continue reading

A big fortnight, as not only is it Christmas, but there’s a new Star Wars film out! Fortunately, the new Moderate Fantasy Violence format has two sections for just such occasions.

Before the main features, though, we talk about our recent consumptions – Moon Dust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth by Andrew Smith and new movie The Disaster Artist. Both hosts have seen the latter, so that breaks out into a bit of a mini-review.

Then, at last, Nick and Alastair review Star Wars: The Last Jedi (8:16), the eighth episode in the decades-spanning saga and perhaps the most controversial one since the franchise returns in its current Disney incarnation. Where do they stand on all the big issues? (And beware, it’ll take full spoilers to get to the bottom of this.)

And then it’s Christmas party time, as our festive heroes ask: what makes a great Christmas film? (30:28) And will it still seem quite so jolly once Team MFV have analysed it to death? Only one way to find out.

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This week, Nick and Alastair face their sins after watching all thirteen episodes of Netflix’s guntastic new adaptation of Marvel’s The Punisher!

But first, they share some recent less hardcore consumption – Alastair’s been watching comparatively lightweight BBC comedy The Detectorists, while Nick’s decided to finally check out Mr Robot.

And then, at last, they get stuck into the punishment (7:56) with a long chat about all the surprising deep themes in this show about a gunwielding vigilante revenge man.

Lastly – two main characters in Punisher are living off the grid, so for the related issue this episode, seemed a good time to ask: is it ever acceptable to fake your own death? (33:51)

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This is it! The fiftieth episode of Moderate Fantasy Violence, and to celebrate reaching this half-centennial megaversary, Nick and Alastair assembled in person and arranged a Q&A with you, the listening public, via our social medias.

But before they can indulge themselves, they need to get through the episode’s scheduled business: a quick talk about some classic culture consumed (namely The Wire and 2001: A Space Odyssey) and reviewing DC superhero team-up film event thingy Justice League (8:27).

That done, at the time of 25:29, our heroes get down to your queries. If you want to zero in even more specifically on a topic, here are all the seven questions answered, with timestamps.

  • How can Warner Bros fix the DCEU taking into account getting rid of Affleck and Snyder is a given? – Simon Doig (25:29)
  • Is FlArrow (i.e. Flash, Arrow et al) still worth it? Are new series like The Gifted making it irrelevant? – Kirsty (33:12)
  • What is your favourite superhero film/TV adaptation of all time? – Julianne Benford (39:12)
  • What not-yet-adapted-for-screen property would you like to see adapted? – Julianne Benford again (43:23)
  • What was your favourite discovery from the recommendation item on your show? And did any of them cause you to investigate further? – Clive (49:24)
  • Can anyone pull off yellow braces? (i.e. What do you think of the new Doctor Who costume?) – Ed (52:55)
  • What will the state of the cinematic universes be by MFV #5000? – Oli (56:31)

Phew. And that really is it. Thanks for listening, everyone. See you again for MFV #100, obviously.

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After a short break, Nick and Alastair are back on the superhero adaptations this time (and the next couple of times also), with the latest trip to Fake Marvel Asgard!

But before that, they’ve consumed other recent, heavily talked-about media too, namely La Belle Sauvage, the start of The Book of Dust trilogy by Philip Pullman, and Stranger Things 2!

But most important, it’s super-fun super-sequel time with Thor: Ragnarok (7:28), as the God of Thunder takes on the Goddess of Death (and also the Hulk)! And in case you enjoyed that last segment too much, the guys bring you right back down to earth with this fortnight’s side-issue: are we on the verge of Ragnarok? (26:32)

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair are looking at exciting new space-ship show Star Trek: Discovery!

But first, other recent intake – Nick went on a Baltimore drug scene binge with HBO’s renowned series The Wire and related book The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighbourhood, by series producers David Simon and Ed Burns.

Alastair, meanwhile, is here with his annual report back from London Film Festival, covering films such as Tiger Girl, The Final Year and Downsizing – which Nick saw with him, so cue the inevitable mini-review.

Then they finally crack into Star Trek: Discovery (8:22), with talk (and spoilers) spanning the first five episodes. Alastair’s seen loads of the previous Trek shows, Nick barely any – will this affect their judgments?

For the follow-up question this time, prompted by the first f-bomb in Trek history, they ask: are there any franchises that shouldn’t go full adult? (23:40) You may not be surprised to hear that the conversation eventually turns to Batman.

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This fortnight, much to Alastair’s excitement, it’s time to tackle long-awaited sci-fi sequel Blade Runner 2049!

But first, Nick and Alastair update you on their other cultural consumptions, specifically The Furthest Station, a new Rivers of London novella by Ben Aaronovitch, and the album Exile in the Outer Ring by EMA.

And then, at last, they dig into Blade Runner 2049 (6:30). Can it live up to the original? Should it even try? And how will Nick’s lukewarm reaction to the original Blade Runner in MFV #38 pay off here? (No specific spoilers this time beyond the first few scenes, though some very vague chat about how the ending made us feel.)

Finally, this fortnight’s related point: are humanoid robots a good idea? (24:28) Which ends up sprawling into a wider chat about whether they’re even plausible and what humanity should probably worry about before we get to that. Deep, man.

Download the podcast directly in mp3 here!

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