Podcast: Marvel Extravaganza! Ms Marvel, Thor: Love & Thunder, Our MCU Top Ten(s), and The Ultimate MCU Top Ten

Ms Marvel, Thor: Love & Thunder, Marvel Top Ten

Greetings, programs, and welcome to our one year anniversary! It’s hard to believe we relaunched the podcast a year ago to the day but here we are a year later. We are so grateful for all of you, for your listening and engagement, and for the community that we’re starting to build.

It’s fitting that this week saw the release of two new Marvel Cinematic Universe entries because that’s how the show began. Last year we covered the Disney+ series Loki and the film Black Widow. We decided to make an event of it, so this is a super-sized episode –nearly 2 hours long. Not only do we discuss the new Disney+ series Ms Marvel and the new film Thor: Love & Thunder, but we also break down both Simon and my MCU top ten lists, and then we asked over fifty of our friends to contribute to a consensus top ten list. That’s right, the top ten MCU entries as decided by over fifty people.

Below are streaming links powered by JustWatch for both of the new entries we discussed, a breakdown of the methodology used to determine the consensus top ten, an embedded player for the episode, and a complete listing of over 30 podcast networks you can find us on.

Join us!

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Games Podcast: Red White Yellow Cruising

Games: Red White Yellow Cruising

It’s back! New year craziness and some technical issues brought the game podcast to a halt, and life found a way (to get in the way), but it finally feels like a good time to restart!

You’ll notice that the games podcast is going to have shorter episodes from now on, both to help make it fit into my schedule, and also because I’m only going to talk about one game at a time. However, it’s now fully scripted, so you can read along if you please! Bonus article!

This week, I’m trying to put into words the greatness of a new music-based block matching game called ‘Red White Yellow Cruising’ on the Nintendo Switch. Enjoy!

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With ‘Fresh’, Mimi Cave Emerges As Horror’s Most Exciting New Director

When I tell you that you’re not ready for ‘Fresh‘, I don’t just mean the moment it pulls back its curtains to reveal its true nature leaving you wide-eyed and breathless. I also don’t mean the last 30 minutes, where I though my heart might actually escape through my mouth and run out of the room. It’s the moments where director Mimi Cave slams us out of our genre comfort zone, throwing our expectations on their heads, and confronting us directly through the eyes of her cast smashing through the fourth wall. The absolute dread she induces by just having a steady hand on the edits. The sheer desperation she squeezes out of every moment.

The meatball.

By the time you see the credits, one thing is incredibly clear: Mimi Cave is the freshest (sorry) new horror director in town.

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Matt’s ‘Best of the Rest’ of 2021

2021 in Review: Best of the Rest

It has been a hell of a year and a hell of a year for film. The second year of the ongoing worldwide pandemic has been a bit of a roller coaster, with wave after wave of COVID once changing the film landscape. Theatres re-opened, but people have only really gone back for the biggest blockbuster titles, and even then, the numbers are a bit soft. 

That’s not to say that there hasn’t been many a literal ton of films this year, though. I set a new personal record, having seen nearly 180 films released in 2021, and let me tell you that most of them are good! 

To break down my favourites a little more this year, I’ll be dividing things up into three lists, one for my favourite performers, one for my favourite films, and one for the best of the rest. There are navigation links at the bottom of each page to the others. 

So let’s get started with this year’s best of the rest, featuring a baker’s dozen more films you should see from 2021.

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2021 in Film: Matt’s Favourite Movies of the Year!

2021 in Review: Best Films

It has been a hell of a year and a hell of a year for film. The second year of the ongoing worldwide pandemic has been a bit of a roller coaster, with wave after wave of COVID once changing the film landscape. Theatres re-opened, but people have only really gone back for the biggest blockbuster titles, and even then, the numbers are a bit soft. 

That’s not to say that there hasn’t been many a literal ton of films this year, though. I set a new personal record, having seen nearly 180 films released in 2021, and let me tell you that most of them are good! 

To break down my favourites a little more this year, I’ll be dividing things up into three lists, one for my favourite performers, one for my favourite films, and one for the best of the rest. There are navigation links at the bottom of each page to the others. 

So let’s get started with my favourite films of the year!

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2021 in Film: Matt’s Favourite Performers of The Year

2021 in Review: Best Performers

It has been a hell of a year and a hell of a year for film. The second year of the ongoing worldwide pandemic has been a bit of a roller coaster, with wave after wave of COVID once changing the film landscape. Theatres re-opened, but people have only really gone back for the biggest blockbuster titles, and even then, the numbers are a bit soft.

That’s not to say that there hasn’t been many a literal ton of films this year, though. I set a new personal record, having seen nearly 180 films released in 2021, and let me tell you that most of them are good!

To break down my favourites a little more this year, I’ll be dividing things up into three lists, one for my favourite performers, one for my favourite films, and one for the best of the rest. There are navigation links at the bottom of each page to the others.

Without any further ado, let’s get started with my favourite performers of the year!

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The Films of the DC Extended Universe Ranked, The Suicide Squad Edition

The Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad has been out for about two weeks now, and since this is the kind of thing the internet loves, here is how the various DC Extended Universe movies stack up for me. There are 11 films in the franchise so far, which in case it’s not clear, means I am only looking at films in the current, interconnected universe that started with Man of Steel. If I’m honest, this list didn’t turn out exactly how I thought it might when I decided to do it, which is interesting to me at least!

If you agree or disagree, feel free to reach out to me on social media, I’d love to hear from you. And now, on to the list:

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The Films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Ranked, Simon’s Edition

Marvel Studios' BLACK WIDOW

Matt loves a list way more than I do, not through any sense of my own hatred of them, but more than I find it hard to find the time or energy to rate art against itself. But Matt’s ranking of the Marvel movies was too interesting to resist texting him my own (very different list), which he then encouraged me to put up as a companion post. So here it is!

Please remember that A) lists aren’t facts, art is subjective and B) my value starts and stops at “is it creative/fun?” these days, so feel free to disagree. We’re both right.

Anyway, here’s my list of Marvels.

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Let’s talk about the end of ‘Loki’

Loki

Loki, Marvel’s latest Disney+ television series ended last night with a number of surprises, but perhaps the most surprising thing is that it was a season finale –cliffhanger and all– rather than a the end of a self contained series.

There are a few big revelations, so let’s talk about them and what they might mean and a few thoughts I have on where things might go. Yes, this article will be absolutely riddled with spoilers (and assumes you’ve watched the series).

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The Films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Ranked, Black Widow Edition

Marvel Studios' BLACK WIDOW

Well, here’s a thing that I haven’t done in quite a while. The last time I wrote out a full ranking of the films in the MCU there were only 14 entries in the franchise. Only. Now, there are 24, plus the three limited series on Disney+, and if that doesn’t sound like a lot? There are ten movies and ten series on deck in the next two years.

If you had any doubts about the Marvel money train slowing down? Think again!

For the purposes of this list I am only looking at the films, and thinking back on how they all work (or not). This list is obviously my opinion, but feel free to agree or disagree with me here or on the social medias.

Without any further ado, here are all the Marvel films ranked from worst to first, according to Matthew.

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Matt’s Favourite Films & Performers of 2020

2020 Best of the Best

2020 has been a hell of a year. With theatres ending up being an unsafe place to be during an ongoing worldwide pandemic you’d think it would be a harder year for film, but looking back it’s clear that this year has been an as vibrant and diverse year for film as any other.

Of course, the difference is that without theatres, there have been far fewer blockbusters and far more indie and middle-tier films. The impact on my film diary for the year has been an interesting one, with bigger budget films losing the endorphin high of the theatrical experience –and thus losing some of the immediate forgiveness they earn if they aren’t great. Additionally, film festivals moved to an online experience either in whole or in part this year, which has meant that I have “attended” more of them.

As a result, I have seen more than 120 of 2020’s films, a steep increase from years past. Narrowing the list down to a group of favourites is as difficult as ever! Also this year, for the second time, I am going to highlight some of the performers that blew me away.

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All 93 Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Segments, Ranked

The Simpson's Halloween Special

The Simpson’s annual Treehouse of Horror Halloween Special had its 31st edition this year, one year shy of the 32 years that the series has been running. It has produced some of the best episodes of the entire series and, over the years, let the writers and performers explore stories that they couldn’t get away with during the regular season.

As any child of the 90s, I watched many of these episodes as a child but gave up sometime around the end of the so-called “golden age” of the series. This year I am stuck indoors, though, and 29 of the 31 episodes are on Disney+, so I spent the last few weeks watching (or re-watching) every Treehouse of Horror they have made, including the 31st edition, which aired this past Sunday and ranked all 93 segments, from my least favourite to my most favourite.

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Oculus Quest 2 is an incredible leap into an untethered VR future, but at what cost?

Oculus Quest 2

It’s hard to properly capture how amazing it is to slip into Oculus Quest 2’s alternative dimension. I’ve owned and play a plethora of VR headsets over the years – from the second iteration of the Oculus Rift years ago at an expo, where the blurry Godzilla-style city smashing game made me sick to my stomach in seconds, through to my own Gear VR, Oculus Go, and PSVR. Each has dangled the promise of VR immersion, but with enough caveats (overheating, low resolution, screen door effect, clunky setups) to stop them from realising the medium’s potential.

So it’s with a mixture of triumph and trepidation that I can tell you, after two days with the newly-released Oculus Quest 2, the dream is finally here. Triumph, because it not only removes those lingering issues but its cable-free, high framerate/resolution experience exceeds even your highest expectations. The store is packed with great games and experiences. Digital delivery is quick and easy.

But trepidation because this is very much a Facebook machine, in ways you maybe hadn’t anticipated, which could very well outweigh its incredible potential.

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