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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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair return to big-name supercinema with The Suicide Squad, before reminding themselves of the inside world with Biohackers season 2.

In fact, there’s an uncanny amount of new cinema in this episode, as Nick’s talking about surreal French fashion-murder film Deerskin, while Alastair’s seen Edgar Wright’s rockumentary The Sparks Brothers.

Then, at last, The Suicide Squad (9:04) arrives to show us the fun, happy, almost uplifting side of murder. Surprisingly few spoilers in this one.

And in a short flashback to the pandemic world, Nick and Alastair return to the bizarre world of Biohackers (21:49) to see if the second season can live up to the first.

Meanwhile, Nick’s next comics Kickstarter launched the actual same day as this podcast – it’s FairyFare with his Little Deaths of Watson Tower collaborator Rosie Alexander, the story of the fairies finally joining the gig economy. Click on through to check it out.

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair fully enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe at last, covering the omni-franchise’s latest movie Black Widow and TV show Loki.

But first, Nick’s briefly defected to the other superhero universe with Legends of Tomorrow, while Alastair’s turned to booze with Another Round (plus an update on his attempts to finally see Fast 9).

And at long last, they hit the bold new territory of a new non-Netflix movie with Black Widow (13:01), including scattered spoilers about the fates of a couple of characters and the post-credits scene.

Whereas in the subsequent review of Loki season 1 (33:00), Nick and Alastair go ahead and spoil everything from beginning to end, just like they do at parties.

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From one extreme to another this fortnight, as Nick and Alastair chill out with new Pixar movie Luca, then freak out into a numb depression thanks to Inside by Bo Burnham.

But first, Nick’s read classic horror-action comic Hellboy by Mike Mignola, while Alastair’s making do with new Roman drama series Domina, because Covid wouldn’t let him see Fast 9.

And finally, they head on their Italian holiday with Luca (13:10), only to immediately disagree over whether this is standard Pixar fare or a particularly delightful entry.

However, they can definitely agree the last year was a bummer, and that Bo Burnham captured that glum vibe with his hit musical comedy special Inside (25:13).

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On an episode of the Moderate Fantasy Violence podcast, I described Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible films as “the little franchise that could,” alluding to the streak in the British character that always roots for the underdog. Yes, Mission: Impossible lacks the sun eclipsing profile of Disney mega-franchises such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe or Star Wars, however, this little franchise stars, arguably, the world’s highest profile movie star and grosses millions of dollars with every release. If it is an underdog, it’s a very popular and successful one.

What’s surprising about the Mission: Impossible franchise is its staying power. This year the franchise will turn 25. In that time, both Batman and James Bond descended into self-parody and needed dark and gritty reboots to regain their appeal, two trilogies of Star Wars films divided fan opinion, superhero films rose to their dominant position and Lord of the Rings had its moment. Despite all this, Mission: Impossible soldiers on, remaining popular but not reaching the culture defining heights of the mega-franchises.

Throughout my entire cinema going life I have been a fan of the Tom Cruise Mission: Impossible films. At every stage of my life, a new installment reliably pops up to offer up something that reflects my mood at the time. The films also chart how the world has changed, from Cold War hangovers, to the war on terror, to our current age of global paranoia.

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