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Two Reel Cinema Club

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Every episode we watch two movies, one old, one new, and try to connect the dots.


United States


Every episode we watch two movies, one old, one new, and try to connect the dots.




Popcorn Counter: Call Me Maybe

We get stuck in a phone booth on the way to the popcorn counter this episode. (Do they still even exist?) Mobile telephony has ruined a lot of plots since about 1999, and smart phones have spoiled even more since 2007, but on the other hand there have been some great telephone scenes in cinema. We talk about the joys and pitfalls, celebrate Hal Hartley and Scorsese, curse Steve Jobs, and discuss the lengths we’ve had to go to in our own projects to stop someone’s phone ruining the whole...


Women Talking vs Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown: Nervous Women Talking

Sarah Polley’s new film Women Talking gives us plenty to discuss this episode, with shocking violence, sobering drama and a deep examination of patriarchy, all delivered through outstanding performances. But for all its excellence, we have one major criticism: is it really a film at all? Then after the break we compare it to Pedro Almodóvar’s 1988 international hit Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Two different looks at the issues facing women, with wildly different presentation,...


Popcorn Counter: Frenemies

This time as we shoot the breeze at the Popcorn Counter, we have a confession about school punishments, make a trip through the Chambers English Dictionary and add some reminiscences about the UK stand-up comedy scene before we compare some of our favourite frenemies in cinema. Surely, any proper believable friendship on screen has an element of the frenemy about it, doesn’t it? It’s yin and yang. Butch and Sundance, Whiplash, the Avengers and more come up for discussion before we realise...


The Banshees of Inisherin vs The Field: Donkey Redux

Welcome back to the Two Donkey Cinema Club, where we seem to exclusively discuss donkey based films from around the world. This episode, current Oscar favourite The Banshees of Inisherin grazes the pastures alongside 1990 Richard Harris classic The Field. These two films about rural Ireland have so much in common that one feels almost like a remix of the other. But the differences they have really underline the ways the world has changed in the last 32 years. Which film goes full Hamlet, and...


Popcorn Counter: Animal Boxing

This place is like a zoo! After a week of donkey pictures we’ve set up a short series of bestial fights at the popcorn counter, pitting some of our favourite animal movies against each other to see which will win. Just two rules: no anthropomorphism, and no mercy. Can Bambi defeat King Kong? Do bears dream? And who will reign supreme as the king of the Hollywood jungle? If you enjoyed the show, find us on social media: Twitter: @tworeelcineclub Instagram: @tworeelcinemaclub Or come to...


Eo vs Au Hasard Balthasar: Donkey Kong Country

It’s on like Donkey Kong at the Two Reel Cinema Club this episode, as we watch new Polish donkey movie and best international feature Oscar contender Eo, and yoke it up to its direct ancestor, the 1966 Robert Bresson movie Au Hasard Balthasar. There’s plenty of uncomfortable watching here, with many scenes of cruelty to both animals and humans, but there is also hope, kindness and love on screen. Which film left us numb and which film made us literally shout, ‘No!’ at the screen? Which film...


Popcorn Counter: Game of Death

Death stalks the halls of the Two Reel Cinema Club this episode, as we get stuck at the Popcorn Counter and kill time with a quiz about our favourite movie demises. How often do you hear Jeff Bridges, Stanley Kubrick and Public Enemy in the same show? Also, be prepared for plenty of dead air while our brains move at the speed of melted cheese. Plus one of us almost electrocutes themselves. Guess along with us, and place your bets on who will win or, more accurately, who will lose the...


The Menu vs Babette’s Feast: A Cinematic Smorgasbord

Man cannot live by popcorn alone (and God knows we’ve tried) so this episode sees us drinking deeply from the cup of culinary cinema. The Menu boasts a high concept story, a starry cast and a considerable body count, but is it a comedy or a horror movie? And how does it measure up against one of its primary influences, 1987’s beautiful Danish Oscar winner Babette’s Feast? The two form an incredible double bill that pits late stage capitalism against the foundations of liberal democracy,...


Popcorn Counter: Under the Sea

Ah, the water: clear, blue, enveloping. And also cold and airless and deadly. Do we have any favourite films set on or under the water? You bet we do. From Moana’s beautiful vistas to Jaqueline Bisset’s effect on an impressionable eight year old, we look back at half a lifetime at sea in the cinema. Plus we reveal the secret to successfully pitching an ocean-going picture, and contemplate the benefits of drowning in butter. If you enjoyed the show, find us on social media: Twitter:...


Avatar The Way of Water vs The Abyss: James Cameron Deep Dive

Avatar The Way of Water is dominating screens all over the world, closing in on two billion dollars at the box office as we record. But it’s not the first time James Cameron has been on a diving holiday - and we’re not talking about Titanic, either. 1989 sci-fi swimathon The Abyss was the superstar director’s first foray into the water (Piranha II doesn't count), and although it flopped at the time, it has a great deal in common with his new, all conquering CGI epic. We submerge ourselves in...


Film of the Year 2022

We’ve been doing this podcast for a whole year now, and we’ve seen some astonishing and remarkable movies. We’ve seen some dreadful clunkers, too. So join us for our inaugural award ceremony, celebrating the best of the best in six categories, while not forgetting the awful films, which get an award all of their own. If you enjoyed the show, find us on social media: Twitter: @tworeelcineclub Instagram: @tworeelcinemaclub Or come to our website, where we’ll be writing about the movies we...


Popcorn Counter: Bah Humbug

There’s a whole channel of Christmas movies now, a whole channel! Why? This episode at the popcorn counter we ask how come there seems to be such a wealth of Christmas movies, but not nearly so many Easter movies or Thanksgiving movies or Harvest Festival movies. And seeing as there is such a glut, we single out some of our favourites to give you a bit of a guide to the best of Yuletide watching. If you enjoyed the show, find us on social media: Twitter: @tworeelcineclub Instagram:...


Your Christmas or Mine vs It’s a Wonderful Life: Festive Face-Off

It’s that time of year again, when Christmas movies come to our screens thick and fast. But do either of those adjectives describe the new Amazon original, UK-based, rom-com feature Your Christmas or Mine? And how does it compare to the eternal yuletide classic It’s a Wonderful Life? We examine both films in depth, including a look at the writing process and the challenges of creating a good ‘bottle episode’. Which film features Elon Musk in disguise? Which film has the Cliche Squad working...


Popcorn Counter: Hot For Teacher

We’ve got it bad, got it bad, got it bad at the popcorn counter this episode. Teachers appear in so many films, but how often do they get it right? What does Matthew Broderick do to convince us he knows what real teaching is like? And has anyone in the US ever heard of Grange Hill? If you enjoyed the show, find us on social media: Twitter: @tworeelcineclub Instagram: @tworeelcinemaclub Or come to our website, where we’ll be writing about the movies we cover in the show and a few more...


My Old School vs Kes: Clipped Wings

We’re travelling through time this episode, back to the podcast we missed last summer, and back to school. Acclaimed Scottish 90s teenager doc My Old School has arrived on streaming platforms, meaning we can at last watch it and draw parallels with Ken Loach’s 1969 classic Kes. Two films about struggling youths, one doing everything he can to escape his oppressive life, the other doing everything he can to turn back the clock and live it all again. But how differently do the two films...


Popcorn Counter: Sequels

Haven’t we been here before? We bump into screenwriter Inês Braga at the popcorn counter this episode, where we talk about that rarest of beasts, the sequel that’s not equal: second films that are better than the first film. Yes, they exist! We nominate some of our favourites, mention a few sequels that went totally off the rails, and invent a new word, before finally getting some insight into Inês’ current hit television show 'Santiago' and her thoughts about her own sequel. If you enjoyed...


Wakanda Forever vs Quilombo: Clash of Utopias

Screenwriter Inês Braga is our guest on the show this week, and she schools us on our Portuguese pronunciation as we compare the monolithic new MCU picture Wakanda Forever with 1984’s Brazilian take on very similar themes, Quilombo. We find epic battles, extravagant costumes, warehouses rammed with gear, and awkward diving suits full of melons. But do these two versions of utopia have more in common than super-powered spears and elaborate headgear? And what is the idea that Wakanda Forever...


Popcorn Counter: Adapt or Die

So about half of all films are based on pre-existing works, be they books, plays, magazine articles or toy cars that turn into robots. But how have we approached the task of turning some other thing into a movie script? What films do we think did it well? And what does Aphex Twin have to do with it all? If you enjoyed the show, find us on social media: Twitter: @tworeelcineclub Instagram: @tworeelcinemaclub Or come to our website, where we’ll be writing about the movies we cover in the...


All Quiet on the Western Front vs Full Metal Jacket: Two Trips to Hell

We take two trips to Hell at the Two Reel Cinema Club this episode, and emerge bloody, traumatised, and hungry for croissants. Netflix’s current release is the third time All Quiet on the Western Front has been adapted into a film, and this time it’s a good one, reversing the recent trend of disappointing original features from the streaming giant. But can the new film survive an attack from Full Metal Jacket, Kubrick’s shocking and unconventional Vietnam war movie from 1987? And which of...


Popcorn Counter: That 80s Feeling

Big hair! Shoulder pads! Day-go jumpsuits! But enough about us, what about the cinema of the 1980s? After watching David Bowie’s 80s incarnation recently, we trawl through the 80s' biggest movies with a quiz, and then search for common motifs. We visit Project Fear, look at solving problems with guns, and have a strange Leonard Nimoy fever dream. Finally we ask: is the 80s the decade that’s responsible for the film business we see today? If you enjoyed the show, find us on social...