Cinema: A to B

Cinema: A to B

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.


May 20, 2024 48 mins

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...

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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: ...

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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 cuttin...

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April 29, 2024 41 mins

"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, ...

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April 22, 2024 31 mins

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 di...

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April 15, 2024 29 mins

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 convers...

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April 8, 2024 31 mins

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...

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April 1, 2024 28 mins

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 ga...

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March 25, 2024 34 mins

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 mo...

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March 18, 2024 51 mins

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 ...

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March 11, 2024 40 mins

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 (...

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March 4, 2024 27 mins

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... num...

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February 26, 2024 26 mins

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!


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February 19, 2024 29 mins

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'...

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February 12, 2024 28 mins

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 imp...

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February 5, 2024 38 mins

A fun-filled conversation on the 1987 action sci-fi film, Predator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (Dutch) and directed by John McTiernan. The guys reminisce on how they first discovered the film. Ben explains an important aspect of the movie that makes it like none other. Alec shares funny behind the scenes anecdotes on actors Jesse Ventura (Blain), Carl Weathers (Dillon) and Sonny Landham (Billy). The guys evaluate how the film h...

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January 29, 2024 40 mins

An in-depth discussion on the 2016 crime-drama film, Hell or High Water, written by Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Wind River, Yellowstone) and directed by David Mackenzie. Alec explains why he keeps coming back to the film. The guys discuss stand out performances from Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham. Alec discusses the script and character arcs in the film. Ben lauds the film's cinematography and edit in this mo...

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January 22, 2024 31 mins

"Inconceivable!" A trip down memory lane as Alec and Ben discuss the beloved adventure-comedy The Princess Bride written by William Goldman and directed by Rob Reiner. Alec reminisces on where he first watched the film. The guys reflect on what is now considered an all-star cast featuring Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest, Wallace Shawn, Andre the Giant, Fred Savage, Peter Falk, Billy Cryst...

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January 15, 2024 39 mins

Cinema: A to B revisits the fourth entry in George Miller’s Mad Max saga, Fury Road. Alec discusses the visuals and cinematography. Ben discusses the use of practical effects work and action sequence editing. The guys discuss the performances and on-set drama between Tom Hardy (Max) and Charlize Theron (Furiosa). Alec and Ben discuss the film’s award winning achievements at the 2016 Oscars and speculate on the future of the franchi...

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January 8, 2024 40 mins

Cinema: A to B's 50th Episode: a livestream revisiting Guy Ritchie's crime comedy Snatch (2000) starring Brad Pitt and Jason Statham. The guys compare the film with Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, discuss their personal connection to the film and analyze its influence on filmmaking in the 2000s. Ben discusses the film's visual style and editing techniques. Alec explains Guy Ritchie's prowess in building the movie's soundtrack. ...

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