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Cinema: A to B

Media & Entertainment Podcasts

Meet Alec and Ben, long-time friends who once worked in Hollywood but don’t anymore. Together they’re discussing movies and streaming series. The goal? Bridge the gap that exists between film industry insiders and movie-goers.

Location:

United States

Description:

Meet Alec and Ben, long-time friends who once worked in Hollywood but don’t anymore. Together they’re discussing movies and streaming series. The goal? Bridge the gap that exists between film industry insiders and movie-goers.

Language:

English


Episodes
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Stardust (2007) revisited

6/24/2024
In a first for Cinema: A to B a listener request brings forth a film Ben had never previously seen in the form of the 2007 fantasy film Stardust directed by Matthew Vaughn. Ben gives his initial impressions of the film and kicks off a discussion of the career of actor Charlie Cox as well as the challenges of pursuing acting in Hollywood. Alec explains key differences between the Neil Gaiman novel and the film. The guys praise the all-star cast including Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, and Claire Danes. The conversation shifts to a discussion of the film's cinematography and visual effects and closes with a call to revisit this fairy-tale throwback. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob

Duration:00:32:39

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Fallout - Season 1 (2024)

6/17/2024
In this spoiler light episode Alec and Ben discuss the first season of Fallout now streaming on Amazon Prime Video. Alec explains how the show properly adapted its video game source material and comedic tone. Ben reveals character arcs he appreciated as well as the show's excellent use of real world locations. The guys discuss how the show avoids typical post-apocalyptic tropes and evaluate the performances of cast members Ella Purnell and Walton Goggins. The conversation rounds out with a discussion on the changing landscape of streaming TV and whether star power is even driving viewership anymore. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob

Duration:00:33:11

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No Country for Old Men (2007) revisited

6/10/2024
The 2008 Best Picture Winner warrants another look as Cinema: A to B discusses No Country for Old Men written and directed by Ethan and Joel Coen and based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Alec details how the movie shaped his view of the Coen Brothers as filmmakers. Ben revisits a memorable theatrical viewing of the film. The guys discuss the landmark Academy Award winning performance by Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh and how it often overshadows the expert work of the rest of the cast including Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, and Kelly MacDonald. Alec and Ben converse on what the Coens do as filmmakers that place them among the all-time greats. The guys also discuss the work of cinematographer Roger Deakins before rounding out the conversation on a philosophical discussion of the film and its unconventional ending. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob

Duration:00:29:21

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The Iron Claw (2023)

6/3/2024
A spoiler light discussion on the 2023 professional wrestling biopic, The Iron Claw, starring Zac Efron and written and directed by Sean Durkin. Ben explains why this true story of the Von Erich brothers may have been a better fit in a different format. Alec delves into the acting growth of Zac Efron as well as performances of the cast including Jeremy Allen White, Maura Tierney and Holt McCallany. Ben credits Durkin for risk taking within the film and also discusses the dark side of professional wrestling. The guys question the casting of Ric Flair. The conversation closes with a discussion on why we might start to see more films of this budget range coming out of Hollywood and why that's a good thing. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob

Duration:00:30:30

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Fight Club (1999) revisited

5/27/2024
Cinema: A to B is breaking the first and second rules... A look back at the 1999 David Fincher cult film, Fight Club, starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter. Ben discusses how Fox had difficulty properly marketing the movie. Alec explains how Brad Pitt was cast in the film as well as how the novel's author Chuck Palahniuk views the movie. The guys discuss the iconic performances of the films leads as well as why the movie is so rewatchable. The conversation rounds out with a discussion of the philosophical questions posed by the film. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob

Duration:00:28:39

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) revisited

5/20/2024
A look back at the 2016 Star Wars prequel to A New Hope directed by Gareth Edwards. Alec ranks the film within his SW hierarchy. Ben describes his initial theatrical viewing experience as well as how Disney changed the film from its original cut. The guys discuss how the first season of Andor has impacted the film. Alec and Ben discuss the performances of Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk and Ben Mendelsohn. Alec nerds out and gives his fan theory on robot K-2SO. Ben explains why the VFX in Rogue One looks more convincing than much of the Star Wars prequels and Disney sequels. The conversation rounds out with anticipation for how the second and final season of Andor will connect with the film. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob

Duration:00:48:12

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Ferrari (2023)

5/13/2024
Spoiler warning. A conversation on the latest film from director Michael Mann starring Adam Driver, Shailene Woodley and Penelope Cruz. Alec poses the question whether Mann is still a top flight director. Ben questions some casting decisions in the film. The guys discuss specifically what drew them to the movie and on Mann's decision to not shoot film. Alec explains his full sensory viewing of the movie. Tangents ahead as Cinema: A to B looks at this snapshot of the Italian motorsport giant Enzo Ferrari. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob

Duration:00:34:37

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Masters of the Air (2024) limited series

5/6/2024
Some spoilers ahead during a discussion of the WW2 aerial combat series from the makers of Band of Brothers and The Pacific, now streaming on Apple TV+. Alec draws comparisons to the previous miniseries and where he ranks this latest entry. Ben explains how the source material posed unique narrative challenges. The guys discuss the performances of Callum Turner and Austin Butler. Alec praises the use of a particular piece of cutting edge filmmaking technology that really brought the show to life. The conversation closes with a discussion on the future of the WW2 genre in cinema and why we've yet to see a naval Pacific theater series. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob

Duration:00:26:01

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The Big Lebowski (1998) revisited

4/29/2024
"The Dude Abides." Join Cinema: A to B for a laughter filled conversation revisiting the Coen Brothers cult comedy from 1998. Alec surprises Ben with his initial impression of the film. Ben praises the movie's absurdist humor and discusses the Hollywood writer-director legend that inspired Walter. Alec explains what sets a Coen Brothers script apart. The guys discuss the film's impressive cast including Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Turturro. Ben contrasts the film with Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. The conversation rounds out discussing why great films demand your full attention. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob Merch - https://www.bonfire.com/store/cinema-a-to-b/

Duration:00:41:10

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Sorcerer (1977) revisited

4/22/2024
Cinema: A to B takes a look back at a film that had been on Ben's to-see list for quite some time: the late William Friedkin's 1977 thriller Sorcerer starring Roy Scheider. Alec questions whether some creative decisions work in 2024. Ben lauds the tension built in the film's most memorable scene. The guys discuss some of the nuance Friedkin was attempting to build into the film as well as its ending. The conversation shifts to a discussion on the latter portion of Friedkin's career as well as his volatile personality. The guys discuss the importance of risk taking in cinema. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob Merch - https://www.bonfire.com/store/cinema-a-to-b/

Duration:00:31:33

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The Goonies (1985) revisited

4/15/2024
A look back at the 1985 adventure film written by Chris Columbus and Steven Spielberg and directed by Richard Donner. Alec and Ben discuss their very different initial viewing experiences of the film. Ben evaluates how the film has aged and how it serves as a window into mid-80s America. Alec explains why the movie works. The guys discuss the extensive cast including Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, and Ke Huy Quan. The conversation concludes with a desire to see Hollywood get back to the basics of sound filmmaking. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob Online Store - https://www.bonfire.com/store/cinema-a-to-b/

Duration:00:29:03

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Napoleon (2023)

4/8/2024
Spoilers ahead as Alec and Ben discuss Ridley Scott's 2023 historical epic, Napoleon, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby. Alec questions key casting decisions for the film as well as whether Ridley Scott's best days as a director are behind him. Ben discusses modern political undertones present in the movie. The guys contrast where the film worked, where it struggled, and whether or not the story of Napoleon Bonaparte might better be served as a miniseries. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob Online Store - https://www.bonfire.com/store/cinema-a-to-b/

Duration:00:31:30

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Winning Time - Season 2 (2023)

4/1/2024
An assessment of the shortened second and final season of Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty streaming on HBO Max. Alec compares and contrasts the first and second seasons. Ben explains the major narratives that the show never got the chance to cover. The guys discuss the impressive Season 2 performances of Adrien Brody (Pat Riley) and Jason Segel (Paul Westhead). Ben theorizes why the the show never took off. Tangents galore as the episode covers the NBA, MJ vs. Lebron, a critique of Warner Bros. Discovery and the challenges facing streaming platforms. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob Online Store - https://www.bonfire.com/store/cinema-a-to-b/

Duration:00:28:05

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Tron: Legacy (2010) revisited

3/25/2024
A look back at the 2010 sequel Tron: Legacy starring Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde. Alec contrasts his experience with the original film vs. the follow-up. Ben describes what he believes is the definitive theatrical version of the film. Alec discusses the visuals and the importance of having Daft Punk score the film. Ben explains why the box office wasn't larger and the pit falls of making sequels to cult status movies. The guys discuss the performances of Garrett Hedlund and Michael Sheen as well as the directing background and path of Joseph Kosinski. The conversations moves to potential narrative avenues for the upcoming 2025 sequel Tron: Ares. Join Cinema: A to B as they shine a light back on a underappreciated piece of cinema from the 2010s. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob Online Store - https://www.bonfire.com/store/cinema-a-to-b/

Duration:00:34:06

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Dune: Part Two (2024)

3/18/2024
A SPOILER FREE conversation on the second installment of Denis Villeneuve's Dune Saga slowly evolves into a larger discussion on the current state of big budget filmmaking. Ben dispels some recent hyperbole surrounding the film. Alec contrasts Part Two with the first entry. Ben likens the visual effects to that of another massive film franchise and also compares Part Two with other memorable IMAX screenings. The guys converse over the performances of Timothée Chalamet, Austin Butler, Javier Bardem, and Christopher Walken. The conversation shifts to what's working and what isn't in today's Hollywood film scene -- particularly big budget movies and streaming series. Apologies in advance for several bad Walken impressions. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob Online Store - https://www.bonfire.com/store/cinema-a-to-b/

Duration:00:51:10

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Ted Lasso - Season 1 (2020)

3/11/2024
At long last Alec gets Ben to finish Season 1 of Ted Lasso on Apple TV+ for a lively conversation. Alec explains what draws him back to the show. Ben discusses whether the series still works 4 years removed from the pandemic. The guys discuss the stellar ensemble cast: Jason Sudeikis (Ted Lasso), Hannah Waddingham (Rebecca Welton), Phil Dunster (Jamie Tartt), Brett Goldstein (Roy Kent), Brendan Hunt (Coach Beard), and Juno Temple (Keeley Jones). Ben discusses Sudeikis's personal connection with the character. Alec delves into the backstory on the casting of Roy Kent and explains why this is one of the greatest first seasons of all time. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob Online Store - https://www.bonfire.com/store/cinema-a-to-b/

Duration:00:40:24

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Wonka (2023)

3/4/2024
A spoiler light episode on the Willy Wonka prequel film starring Timothée Chalamet. The guys discuss the musical nature of the movie. Alec evaluates Chalamet's performance in the role of Wonka. Ben praises the production design. The conversation moves into risk taking in filmmaking or the lack thereof. Ben shares a missed marketing opportunity while the film was in theatres. The comparisons with the 1971 Gene Wilder film are... numerous. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob Online Store - https://www.bonfire.com/store/cinema-a-to-b/

Duration:00:27:55

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Barbie (2023)

2/26/2024
Light on the spoilers and heavy on... analysis? Maybe. The guys discuss Barbie written and directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie. Alec explains differences between his first and second viewing. Ben critiques the script. The guys praise the production design and performances of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling and weigh in on the Oscars controversy. Join Cinema: A to B for a fun conversation on the biggest film of 2023! Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob Online Store - https://www.bonfire.com/store/cinema-a-to-b/

Duration:00:26:40

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The Holdovers (2023)

2/19/2024
A spoiler light conversation on The Holdovers written by David Hemingson and directed by Alexander Payne. The guys discuss their overall impressions of the film as well as draw comparisons to two earlier movies. Alec shares a personal anecdote on actor Paul Giamatti (Paul Hunham). Ben discusses the distinct look and camera movements in the film. The guys converse on newcomer Dominic Sessa (Angus Tully) and the acting talents of Da'Vine Joy Randolph (Mary Lamb). The conversation closes with a discussion of the upcoming Academy Awards season. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob Online Store - https://www.bonfire.com/store/cinema-a-to-b/

Duration:00:29:44

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Moneyball (2011) revisited

2/12/2024
A look back at the 2011 sports drama, Moneyball, written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Bennett Miller. The guys discuss the performances of stars Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. Alec reveals his general opinion on sports movies and how the film fits within that view. Ben reminisces on his relationship with the sport of baseball. The guys discuss the quality of the screenplay and how it elevates the subject matter. Ben discusses the importance of high level execution in filmmaking. The guys reflect on the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Official Site - https://www.cinemaatob.com YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/@cinemaatob Online Store - https://www.bonfire.com/store/cinema-a-to-b/

Duration:00:28:20