Happy New Year! It’s the end of 2021 wrap-up episode so, as the ancient traditions demand, Nick and Alastair must check off their top five TV and film releases of the year.

But first, one last catch-up review as they finally take aim at the full first season of Marvel’s Hawkeye show. (But still not Spider-Man: No Way Home. It’s coming!)

And then, at last, Nick and Alastair get into the sweet summary material with TV (15:37) and film (38:47) given the rigorous treatment of chat and then chart. Plus, with increasing amusement, the hotly contended worst of each medium.

And if you want still more end-of-year type content, Nick’s Top Ten TV Shows and Alastair’s Year In Film articles are also now available on this very website.

Download the podcast directly in mp3 here!

Listen on YouTube over a static image here!

Subscribe on iTunes! Reviews welcome!

Get the show on Spotify!

Listen on Stitcher! Reviews also welcome!

Subscribe in multiple Android podcast apps here!

Reading back my summary of film in 2020, I was reminded of the desperate state cinema was in a year ago. In 2020, cinemas were dogged by closures and low audience numbers, due to many people being too frightened of Covid-19 to see a film during the few points of the year where cinemas were open. One year down the line, I would like to reassure my past self that, yes, I did make it to the cinema at least once in 2021 and, yes, Black Widow and No Time to Die did come out.

2021 was a cinematic year of two halves. In the second half of the year, cinemagoers experienced a return to normalcy, with blockbuster films coming out and audiences packing out cinemas to enjoy them. I also managed to make it to in-person screenings for the London Film Festival and have (so far) avoided getting Covid-19.

However, many questions still hang over the future of cinema. Audiences are not back to where they were in pre-pandemic times and the emergence of a new Covid-19 variant may keep them low for the foreseeable future. Can the current form of the franchise blockbuster, which has dominated cinema for so long, survive these uncertain times?

Continue reading

Ladies and gentlemen, ten years of top ten TV lists. Ten sets of ten. The big ten tens.

Weirdly, it feels both a long time and… almost not long enough. My relationship with time truly is fraying as I move through both this pandemic and my late thirties.

Those previous nine years? Here they are:

Anyway, this has been a weird year in me watching television. I’ve somewhat failed to stay on top of big Premium Telly shows in the same way I might’ve done in previous years, perhaps in part because there’s so many of them now, plus a few haven’t put a season out due to the pandemic. (Although yes, not seeing Succession season 3 is entirely on me.)

So there’s a few more genre shows (which means, yes, more comic adaptations), plus plenty of older shows and comfort viewing for the Honourable Mentions, such as the Sorkin seasons of West Wing.

Nonetheless, I’ve seen enough to put together a top ten, and oh, I have… Continue reading

Merry Christmas! Let’s mention it here since Nick and Alastair barely do in the episode! Because they’re too busy reviewing Doctor Who: Flux and Wrath of Man!

And yes, sorry to say Wrath of Man comes to you instead of the promised Spider-Man: No Way Home, as Team MFV didn’t make it out to the cinema due to the Omicron variant. Much to Nick’s extreme disappointment.

But first, Nick’s channelling his Spider-FOMO into the subtle tension of The Americans, while Alastair’s ending the year as he spent most of it – watching subtitled Netflix drama, specifically My Name.

And then they hit Doctor Who: Flux (11:00), complete with full total ending spoilers. Will Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor finish on a high, or slink out quiet and shamed?

Lastly, Nick and Alastair explore the Wrath of Man (26:47) with Jason Statham, in a movie which might be a subtle, nuanced exploration of male rage. They’re not sure.

One thing’s for sure, though – it’s not the new Spidey sequel.

Download the podcast directly in mp3 here!

Listen on YouTube over a static image here!

Subscribe on iTunes! Reviews welcome!

Get the show on Spotify!

Listen on Stitcher! Reviews also welcome!

Subscribe in multiple Android podcast apps here!

It’s another full-Netflix episode to start the next hundred-and-fifty, with smash hit animation Arcane and mega-musical-movie Tick, Tick… Boom!

But first, Alastair’s reached the final season of Hanna, while Nick keeps up a time-honoured tradition by giving us an early check-in with new Marvel series Hawkeye.

And then they blast their way into Arcane (13:55), only a short time after everyone else did, to find out why this video game adaptation has taken the internet by storm.

Lastly, but more tunefully, it’s time to get musical about musicals with Lin Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut Tick, Tick… Boom! (26:10), an adaptation of Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical show featuring an all-singing all-dancing Andrew Garfield.

Download the podcast directly in mp3 here!

Listen on YouTube over a static image here!

Subscribe on iTunes! Reviews welcome!

Get the show on Spotify!

Listen on Stitcher! Reviews also welcome!

Subscribe in multiple Android podcast apps here!

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.

Download the podcast directly in mp3 here!

Listen on YouTube over a static image here!

Subscribe on iTunes! Reviews welcome!

Get the show on Spotify!

Listen on Stitcher! Reviews also welcome!

Subscribe in multiple Android podcast apps here!

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?

Download the podcast directly in mp3 here!

Listen on YouTube over a static image here!

Subscribe on iTunes! Reviews welcome!

Get the show on Spotify!

Listen on Stitcher! Reviews also welcome!

Subscribe in multiple Android podcast apps here!

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?

Download the podcast directly in mp3 here!

Listen on YouTube over a static image here!

Subscribe on iTunes! Reviews welcome!

Get the show on Spotify!

Listen on Stitcher! Reviews also welcome!

Subscribe in multiple Android podcast apps here!

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.

Continue reading

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.

Download the podcast directly in mp3 here!

Listen on YouTube over a static image here!

Subscribe on iTunes! Reviews welcome!

Get the show on Spotify!

Listen on Stitcher! Reviews also welcome!

Subscribe in multiple Android podcast apps here!