Episode 198: Avengers Endgame

As nobody else on the internet is talking about it, Martyn and Gerrod decided to take 19mins and 39 seconds out of their busy schedules. To bring you the only review for Avengers: Endgame, that you’ll be able to find.

Check out our previous Avengers reviews;

Avengers Assemble

Avengers: Age of Ultron

The podcast is available from all good podcast services, such as;

Audioboom, Player fm and Itunes.

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Review-This Time With Alan Partridge

Aha! Smell my cheese. Alan Partridge returns to the BBC after his exile and two decades on digital and satellite radio. He’s temporarily co-hosting a The One Show-esque programme called ‘This time’. The result is, as you might expect, comedy gold. This is easily some of the best Partridge to date.

‘This time’ is the perfect setting for Partridge, much like ‘The Day Today’ and ‘Knowing Me Knowing You’. This Time’s 30-minute episodes plays out in real time. But unlike those shows, we don’t see much of the full broadcast. Instead, we see Alan’s pre-recorded VT’s and off-air conversations between the shows Co-hosts.

This time Co-host Jennie Gresham (Susannah Fielding) is a perfect foil for Alan, she’s as ambitious as he is and often steals his jokes. The frustration boils in Alan, but he internalises it as he knows this could be his last chance at mainstream broadcasting.

If you’ve never seen Alan Partridge before, then this is a great jumping on point. It has references long-term fans will get, but it isn’t bogged down with 25 years worth of continuity.

This is a six episode series, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is quickly commissioned for a second series.

This Time with Alan Partridge begins on Monday 25th February at 9.30pm, BBC ONE.

Review-Fighting with my family

The idea for the film came about, when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson watched a documentary one sleepless night. That documentary was ‘The Wrestlers: Fighting with My Family’. The next morning he called his good friend, The Office co-creator Stephen Merchant and pitched the idea. Merchant loved it and started writing the script immediately.

Paige and her brother Zak (Florence Pugh and Jack Lowden) were born into a wrestling family. They’ve spent their entire lives dreaming about leaving their small town of Norwich and heading to America, to join the WWE. Their parents (Nick Frost and Lena Heady) run a local wrestling club and have raised them to be champions. The pair both get called for WWE try outs, but only Paige makes the grade. She then heads off to Florida for training, whilst Zak is left in Norwich.

Although Stephen Merchant has been writing/directing films and TV for nearly 20 years, this is his first time going solo and he shines. His signature razor-sharp dialogue is present throughout. Fighting With My Family is the first great film of 2019, given that it’s Merchant’s baby, I went in expecting a feel-good, character-based comedy. This is much deeper than that. The laughs come thick and fast, but the film isn’t afraid to tone down the comedic elements, when the story calls for it and it. The dialogue and characters always feel authentic and, it never falls foul to any sports biopic tropes. There’s no unnecessary romantic subplot, even the “mean girls” cliché is wonderfully subverted.

This is also quite possibly the most realistic sibling relationship ever put on screen. Pugh and Lowden are instantly believable as brother and sister, their equal respect and jealously for each other is perfectly balanced.

Merchant has crafted a wonderful film, that excellently reflects the highs and lows that come with chasing your dreams, but it also teaches us that even if you don’t quite achieve what you’ve wanted. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed. This film will appeal to both wrestling fans and those, like me-who’ve never seen a match.

Venom-Blu Ray review

Venom is a bold project for Sony, they’re attempting to launch a Spider-Man universe, without Spider-Man. They want this universe to stand alone, but they don’t want to rule out the chance of a future crossover.

Whilst it’s never stated this is in the MCU (Marvel cinematic universe) they don’t say anything to contradict that it isn’t. Instead of New York, the action takes place in San Francisco.

Tom Hardy plays Eddie Brock, an investigative journalist. Eddie lives with his fiancé Anne (Michelle Williams), a successful lawyer, working for a firm that represents the controversial billionaire Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed).

One night, Eddie makes a bad decision and ends up losing his job, his relationship and his apartment.

Cut to six months later. Eddie has given up on himself — but when Dr. Dora Skirth (Jenny Slate), a scientist who works for Drake, tells Eddie that Drake is sacrificing homeless people in mad experiments, Eddie decides to leap back into action to expose him. Whilst exploring the lab, Eddie gets bonded with an alien, that calls itself Venom.

All of a sudden we’re in a slapstick/buddy comedy. Invoking the obligatory talking alien mechanical baritone, Venom at first barks out primal commands such as “HUNGRY!” and “FOOD!”, but soon he’s commenting on Eddie’s romantic life and opening up about how he was considered a “loser” on his home planet.



The movie is a strange beast, it never truly settles on an identity. It’s unevenly dumb, part superhero movie, part horror/comedy and it doesn’t really do either well. It is funny? Yes, at times. I’ll admit I laughed. But, not always at the times the film wanted me to.

According to Hardy his favourite bits of the film, are the 40 minutes that ended up on the cutting room floor. He’s also said in interviews, that he mostly improvised his scenes. Which could explain some of the choppy editing, or inconsistencies in characters motivations.

The film wants us to want Eddie and Anne back together, but they’ve put her in a relationship with Dr. Dan, probably the nicest/most understanding man in the universe. Venom feels like it fell through a time vortex, this is like a pre-MCU superhero movie. Something akin to 2003’s Daredevil.

The special effects are underwhelming. The CGI is terrible and the fight scenes are predictable and murky at best. The villains — human and extraterrestrial — are forgettable. And neither the ordinary guy nor his alter ego is particularly compelling to watch.

This film cerments Tom Hardy, as the British Nicholas Cage.

Blu-ray Disc Exclusives

  • Extended Post Credit Scene and Deleted Scenes
  • PLUS over an hour of extras including
  • Venom Mode: Trivia Track
  • The Lethal Protector in Action
  • The Anti-Hero
  • Venom Vision
  • Designing Venom
  • Symbiote Secrets

*AND MORE

Also includes

  • Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Sneak Peek
  • Eminem Music Video

Blu Ray review-Reign of the supermen

Six months after Superman (Jerry O’Connell) sacrificed himself to defeat Doomsday, the world has been introduced to four new versions of the man of steel; Superboy, Steel, Cyborg-Superman, and the Eradicator. Each one of them is very different in their personalities and crime-fighting style compared to the original Man of Steel; leaving the world questioning which one, if any, is the true Superman.

At 87 minutes, this is one of the longer DC Universe Animated films. But the extra length enables it to achieve a number of things, such as continuing threads that were set up in ‘The Death of Superman’. We also get a great amount of character development, not only do we see some really touching moments between the Kents and Lois Lane (Rebecca Romijn). We also see Lois develop a friendship with Wonder Woman (Rosario Dawson). Lex Luthor also plays a very active role in this story-excellently voiced by Rainn Wilson. It also allows for the film to set up the wider DC animated universe.

Let’s just say, DC’s animation department has done it again. Reign of the Supermen is a triumph. Despite being based on a comic book from 1993, writers Tim Sheridan and Jim Krieg-along with director Sam Liu, manage to keep the film feeling fresh and engaging. They understand just how much the original comics mean to fans and expertly adapt them for the screen.

This is the kind of movie I wish DC’s live-action department were making. It’s got a darker/edgy tone, the heroes actions have consequences. But, it doesn’t take itself seriously. There’s a lot of fun to be had here.

REIGN OF THE SUPERMEN is available now on Digital Download, Blu-ray™ and DVD

The Blu Ray special features include;

Lex Luthor:The greatest nemesis

Sneak peak at Justice League vs The Fatal Five

From the vault-two bonus cartoons.

Review-Buffy #1

It’s sometimes strange to think that Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been off the air, longer than it was ever on. Yet it continues to capture the imagination of the original audience, as well as picking up a new generation of fans a long the way.

Buffy began life as film, then became TV series-launching a successful spin-off, Angel. There have been variations of Buffy comics over the years, but they mostly carried on the adventures seen on TV. Boom! Studios have bravely decided to reboot the entire story, it’s still the Scooby gang. But with subtle differences, they’re teenagers in 2019-Willow is more confident than she ever was in the show and she’s gay from the get go, Robin Wood is a teenager and not the school principal, Joyce has a boyfriend, Cordillera is nice, Drusilla isn’t crazy, Xander is a tad geekier and to an extent, so is Buffy.

There’s no big introduction to Giles, he’s just there. Willow and Xander meet Buffy in a very different way, all of which allows for less exposition.

Jordie Bellaire has successfully captured the uniqueness of Sunnydale, the personalities of the characters, the shorthand in which Buffy, Willow, and Xander speak to each other. All whilst crafting a new story. That’s no easy task.

If you’re a fan of the Buffy TV show, you’re sure to find this entertaining. It can however, take a while to forget everything you know about the series. I’ve read this twice, because my first read had me stopping every page saying “Well, that’s different”. But, Boom! Studios has hit the ground running, with this reboot. This first issue is exhilarating.

Book review-Doctor Who:Scratchman

Roughly 40 years ago, one Thomas Stewart Baker sat in the pub with his Doctor Who co-star, Ian Marter and started writing a Doctor Who movie, Doctor Who meets the Scratchman.

Ultimately, it never secured the required funding and the un-produced film became the stuff of legend. Tom Baker later had to apologise, after kids started sending their pocket money to the BBC. After he joked that fans could fund it.

Over the years, you’d hear a rumour here and there at fan gatherings and meet ups. Some people even claimed they’d read it. It sounded bonkers, the fourth Doctor going up against the devil and at some point, pinball would be involved..

Now, after years of speculation and “what ifs” Tom Baker- with the help of James Goss, has adapted the screenplay into a novel.

The Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane Smith arrive at a remote Scottish island, when their holiday is cut short by the appearance of strange creatures – hideous scarecrows, who are preying on the local population. The islanders are living in fear, and the Doctor vows to save them all. But it doesn’t go to plan – the time travellers have fallen into a trap, and Scratchman is coming for them.

With the fate of the universe hanging in the balance, the Doctor must battle an ancient force from another dimension, one who claims to be the Devil. Scratchman wants to know what the Doctor is most afraid of. And the Doctor’s worst nightmares are coming out to play…

Baker and Goss have taken full advantage of the novel medium. There’s a sense of freedom here, that a film probably wouldn’t allow. The story takes its time and feels like the fourth Doctor era, but it’s also clearly influenced by the big sci-fi/horror films from the 70’s. Mostly John Carpenter’s work, but I also got hints of Wicker man and the Omen. This blend makes for an intriguing read.

The first half reads very much like a standard Doctor Who story, it’s the second half that gets whacky, outlandish and high-concept. I don’t want to spoil it. It’s a bit far-out and some may feel it makes the book a bit disjointed. But it worked for me.

This is the most fun I’ve had with a book for years. Tom Baker claims this will be his last time writing a Doctor Who book, if that’s true then he’s left us with an entertaining read. However, I’m hoping he can be talked into another.

Review-Stan & Ollie

I adore Laurel and Hardy, I remember the first time I discovered them-age 10, in 1992. I was captivated, I would memorise scenes and try to get my friends to act them out with me. It’s clear that the team behind “Stan & Ollie” love them even more.

The film opens in 1937 with Stan Laurel (Steve Coogan) and Oliver Hardy (John C. Reilly) making the classic ‘Way our west’. The duo are at the height of their careers. They’re popular, happy and enjoying a good-natured chat about alimony, filming schedules and attending a party with Clark Gable.

We then flash forward 15 years with the pair reuniting after a creative break-up, hoping to use a series of live performances to generate interest in a film they want to make.

The tour doesn’t get off to a good start, they’re staying in a second-rate hotel, whilst the youngster on reception tells them how much her mum loves them, highlighting their fall from grace. The audiences is sparse and their tour manager is more interested in promoting Norman Wisdom.

Steve Coogan and John C Reilly both put in tremendous performances in this ambitious film.

Coogan has Laurel’s mannerisms down to a T, he even sounds like him. Switching between an American accent when filming and a transatlantic accent when not (Stan Laurel was originally from Yorkshire). Reilly brings a light touch to Oliver Hardy and captivates in every scene. Watching the two of them re-enact classic sketches is an absolute joy to see.

Nina Arianda and Shirley Henderson star as Laurel’s and Hardy’s wives-respectively. They hold their own throughout and are portrayed as equal partners, as well as the most important people in either man’s life.

Stan & Ollie is a wonderfully sweet film, a proper love letter to true Hollywood icons. See it on the big screen.

Stan & Ollie will be in cinemas, 11 January 2019.

DVD review-The Festival

After his girlfriend Caitlin (Tointon) dumps him at graduation, Nick (Thomas) is convinced by his best friend Shane (Animashaun) to attend a music festival, they’d previously booked tickets for-even though it means running into her.

On the train, they meet the annoying Amy (O’Doherty).

Sure enough, they run into Caitlin and after a number of humiliating situations, Nick ends up getting himself and Shane arrested, which leads to Shane’s mum’s boyfriend(Clement) bailing them out.

Whilst the cast provide enough energy to make it watchable, the film feels like it’s made from rejected jokes from The Inbetweeners. Which makes sense considering it’s written by the shows co-creator and stars Joe Thomas.

The script is packed with gags-none of which land. In fact, some of the humour is so grotesque and tasteless that it’s jarring, alienating and cringe-worthy. The filmmakers abruptly cut scenes to distract from the thin plot and random set-pieces.

Jermaine Clement gives a great performance and steals every scene he’s in. Nick Frost and Noel Fielding manage to raise a few smiles, with their cameos. But there’s little substance here. Ultimately, the film feels like that random drunk guy on a train. Chattering endlessly, but never getting to a point.

Doctor Who series 11 overview

Jodie Whittaker’s first year has come to a close and, as I’m a Doctor Who fan, it’s time to analyse it. Of course I’m going to analyse it. What else am I gonna do, talk to my family? Go outside, join a gym?

The casting of Whittaker ruffled a few feathers, when she was announced. A certain section of fandom just couldn’t accept The Doctor would now be played by a Northerner. But, it’s okay. We’ve been here before. Tom Baker, Paul McGann and, Christopher Eccleston were all from places North of Watford.

Whittaker wasn’t the only change, we also got three new companions, Graham, Ryan, and Yaz – played by Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole, and Mandip Gill, respectively.

We also got a new composer, a slightly different structure, a different broadcast day, a shorter episode run and, a new show runner.

Chris “The Chib” Chibnall has always been clear on his intentions for the show. He wanted to go back to basics. He wanted historicals and smaller scale character-driven stories. He wanted to bring in new villains. He wanted stand alone stories and he wanted to make it entirely accessible to new/casual viewers. So, out went The Daleks and Cybermen. In came the bubble wrap and talking frogs.

Whether you like or agree with the changes, I think we can all agree The Chib is a man of his word.



The Chib’s style varies drastically to his predecessors. In 2005, Russell T Davies brought the show back in a more American style. He was inspired by the likes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which would feature stand alone stories for the most part. But would also drop little connecting threads, to reward the dedicated viewer. These threads would join together, for a massive crescendo in the finale.

Steven Moffat mostly continued with this template, although it could be argued he concentrated too much on making the series a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, inside a puzzle box. With narratives, that were impossible for the casual viewer to track.

I imagine that’s why Chibnall wanted to focus on standalone episodes, in an attempt to course correct the show. However, these choices have lead to absence of overall narrative. The cast have all been superb, each have put in a great performance. But neither of them had the opportunity to evolve.

The closest thing to character development, was the relationship between Graham and his step-grandson, Ryan. Their relationship bookended the series, but it fell a little flat, as their closure didn’t actually include The Doctor. Ten episodes in, I still don’t know what the thirteenth Doctor is about. She just comes across as ineffective.

And poor Yaz, she’s just sort of…..there. Even in an episode about her grandmother, she was just there. She’s had no attention, served no purpose. Other than to be spoken at in exposition.

Fans have expressed their displeasure with the series now taking a break until 2020, however I’m choosing to see the break as a positive.

In October 2006, The Chib-led series Torchwood debuted. Aside from a few episodes, it’s mostly considered a dud. However, the show took a mini-break. Series 2 debuted in January 2008 and was applauded by fans and critics alike. The Chib even made Ianto, who like Yaz, was just there and turned him into a firm fan favourite, the same could happen here.

Check out 5 potential Doctor Who spin-offs.