Raiders of Destiny: Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny vs Raiders of the Lost Ark

For a film all about time loops, the new Indiana Jones picture Dial of Destiny sure seems interested in repeating the past. Harrison Ford returns for the fifth Indy movie, which is filled with daring chases, speeding trains, mysterious artefacts and troublesome Nazis. But how much does the film owe to its 1981 predecessor Raiders of the Lost Ark? We run them both through our projector this episode, and ask: just how similar are they? Can the new version match the textbook film-making of the original? Will it address some of the racism of Raiders’ stereotypes? And exactly how many vehicles does Indy steal and wreck in the course of an average day?

Plus an appearance by Tom Hanks on a rival podcast, a quick blast of Nick Drake, a trip to the Temple of Doom, a shot of vitamins from our sponsor, and a sensible question about why the ancients could build elaborate traps that work for two thousand years but today a phone battery only lasts for eight hours.

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Popcorn Counter: The Process of Writing

If we got a dollar every time someone asked us where we get our ideas, we’d have eight dollars. Everyone seems to have a great idea for a movie, but what does the process of converting that idea into a hundred page script look like? This episode we talk at the popcorn counter about what writing techniques work for us. Mind maps? Post it notes? Treatments? Or just plain ‘listening to strangers’ conversations on the bus and writing them down verbatim’? Plus, what’s the one screenwriting book we’d recommend above all others?

If you enjoyed the show, find us on social media:

Instagram: @tworeelcinemaclub

E-mail us at tworeelcinemaclub at

Or come to our website, where we’ll be writing about the movies we cover in the show and a few more things besides:

Asteroid City vs Rushmore: The Magnificent Andersons

There’s a new Wes Anderson film out! Is it very different to the last Wes Anderson film? Good question…

This episode we watch Asteroid City and compare it to Anderson’s sophomore picture Rushmore from 1998. The new film is certainly starrier, with the kind of cast that would cost hundreds of millions of dollars on any other film. But does that result in much actual drama or is Asteroid City as flat as the desert that surrounds it? And has the work of America’s most recognisable director changed in the last 25 years? Or has Wes stayed the same while the world has changed around him?

Plus, we play our new game ‘The Coppola Count’, invent the school of ‘Insiderism’, debate the difference between ‘fluff’ and ‘fondant’, watch a slapstick interpretation of Watergate, catch ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm for Middle Schoolers’ and enlist a hair-raising new sponsor.

Popcorn Counter: The A to Z of 1970s Hollywood

The 1970s is often called the last Golden Age of Hollywood, with big stars and auteur directors making challenging and experimental films aimed at an adult audience. Join us as we relax in the sticky, grimy foyer of our local repertory cinema for our longest Popcorn Counter yet, where we try to come up with an A to Z of the most influential pictures and talents of the decade. Will we see appearances by Coppola, Spielberg or Altman? Are there any uniting themes that define the era? And which of us gets stuck with the letters ‘X’ and ‘Z’?

Reality vs Three Days of the Condor: Three Days of Reality

Some movies are ‘ripped from the headlines’ but new HBO feature Reality has been literally transcribed from the headlines, using the text of a publicly available FBI interview as its script, word for word. It’s a mesmerising tale about espionage, betrayal and the US intelligence services, and this episode we put it in a locked room with Sidney Pollack’s 1975 spy thriller Three Days of the Condor and see which one breaks first. How have attitudes to spies and leaks changed in nearly fifty years? Do the films treat their female characters fairly? And does any of this remind us of any big news stories happening right now?

Plus a discussion of toupees in the movies, some controversy over the pronunciation of the word ‘translator’, a warning from the Cliche Squad, a look at a new VR headset, a trip to see a 1980s rock star and a place on the team for the Tour de France.

Episode 65: Popcorn Counter: Ninety Minutes or Less

Brevity is famously the soul of wit, but exactly how short can a film be to still get classified as ‘feature length’? We looked it up and the answer is probably shorter than you think (and more than four times shorter than Avatar: The Way of Water…) Join us at the Popcorn Counter this episode where we try to figure out what is the greatest film of all time under ninety minutes using our own, foolproof, scientific scoring system. Along the way, we struggle with French pronounciation, fail to add up single digit numbers, and finally prove that Christopher Nolan is a greater film maker than Akira Kurosawa. Maybe.

Episode 64: Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret vs Welcome to the Dollhouse: Growing Pains

It’s back to the first year of Junior High this episode, with two preteen dramas that both perform well in their midterms. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret is a heart warming family story that’s witty, fresh, sweet and more moving than we expected, while 1995s Welcome to the Dollhouse is its antimatter equivalent, jarring, grimy and nihilistic. But the two have so much in common that it’s like looking in a greasy, fire-damaged mirror. Which film has the more modern view of adolescence? Which film has the best chunky phones? And how does each film use food to explore character?

Plus we discuss the banning of books from public libraries, watch a greatest-of-all-time TV climax, recount a podcast-inspired nightmare, listen to an extremely well-recorded word from our sponsors, and ask: does corn have sides?

Episode 63: Popcorn Counter: Adèle Haenel

French actor Adèle Haenel, best known for Portrait of a Woman on Fire, published an incredible letter about her retirement from the film industry a couple of weeks ago. This episode at the Popcorn Counter we read the letter and talk about some of the issues she raises. What are our responsibilities as writers and as consumers of cinema? What is the right way to respond to news of sexual assaults and the abuse of power? And what can we do to effect progress? Some heavy subject matter this time round, and neither of us feels like we have the answers, but it’s good to talk.

Episode 62: Beau is Afraid vs Forrest Gump: Life is Like a Box of Terror

We’re still trying to recover from the trauma of watching Beau Is Afraid for this episode. Ari Aster’s new Freudian ‘comedy’ horror movie feels like a three hour nightmare that left us begging to wake up. Happily, we’re comparing it to Tom Hanks’ 1994 Oscar winner Forrest Gump, which is just the right film to cleanse our tainted, rancid, bloody palates. These two have so much in common that one is like a ‘dark dimension’ mirror image of the other. But which movie features the most running? Which movie says more about the state of America? And which movie draws from the David Lynch playbook?

We also hail the invention of ‘elastic thinking’, visit Iñárritu’s new homage to Fellini, rewatch a low budget time travel romp, and give a lesson on how to fit a burro in a station wagon. Plus Tom Hanks. Did we mention Tom Hanks? Tom Hanks’ name comes up in this podcast. Many times.

Episode 61: Popcorn Counter: Inner City Blues

Welcome to the ‘urban planning’ section of the podcast, as we meet at the popcorn counter this week and talk about why the inner city gets such a bad rep in cinema. Who is London’s most famous inner city resident? What does ‘NF’ stand for in the world of Shane Meadow’s ‘This is England’? And why should ‘Boyz N The Hood’ be remade as ‘Boyz N The Garden’?