Happy 2023, everybody! Dean and Phil get the year off to a good start by regaling each other (and you) with their respective holiday week road trip adventures. Dean drove all the way back to Detroit and Phil explored the two-lane back roads of Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as the mean streets of the Big Apple. Because it’s “in with the new”, your friends in broadcasting and podcasting will reveal their resolutions for 2023. They will also say goodbye to a couple of notables who left us in December 2022, including a key David Lynch collaborator, the “Hollywood Cat” and an editor with whom Phil was working. All in all, a very inspiring and personal and irreverent installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour is on tap!
After a brief cold open about Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, Dean and Phil switch gears from the Holiday Season to “Awards Season” as they tackle a handful of this year’s award hopefuls, including Tár, Don’t Worry Darling, The Menu, Cate Blanchett and Ralph Fiennes. There is a brand new “Lawsuit of the Week” AGAIN involving the tragic Alec Baldwin-starring western Rust. An email from a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!) about a celebrity death will be followed by … “Celebrity Deaths”! A versatile actor, a comedy impresario, and a legendary prop comic have their lives and legacies celebrated. All that, PLUS Phil shares a hilarious account of a recent 50th high school reunion.
This week’s show opens with a brief interview with one of the stars of a “Live Event of the Week”. Dean is in Washington, D.C. and he gives a full report on one of the most beautiful road trip sights he has seen and an exhibit at the National Gallery focusing on Joseph Singer Sargent. Phil has just returned from his (penultimate?) trip to Turlock to finalize “family business” and he is in an exhausted, tormented, philosophical mood, opining on family, marriage, and alternate universes. The comedy of the Marx Brothers, Billy Wilder, Marilyn Monroe and See How They Run gets dissected, and in “What We’re Reading” the art of Edward Hopper, the comedy of Martin Short and the poetry of Betsy Holleman Burke get discussed. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, the lives and legacies of a Canadian voice actor, a Japanese star of an American miniseries, a blues singer, a sitcom producer and a law student-turned-best selling novelist all get explored.
During this week’s cold open, Dean and Phil finish up their discussion of Marlon Brando and Jack Lemmon, offering up some final movie recommendations. Phil is back after a lengthy trip to the east coast and he returns with tales of a Shakespeare Theater production about Leonardo Da Vinci and thoughts inspired by Hurricane Ian about how human beings become fixated on the statistically anomalous and he also shares with Dean the exciting way in which their former podcasting home – the Eastern Columbia Building – had a starring role in the new season of Amazon’s fashion competition show “Making the Cut”. Loyal listener Maurice Terenzio checks in with a thought-provoking email that brings the conversation back to Marlon Brando before the return of Lawsuit of the Week focuses Dean and Phil’s attention onto the ill-fated Alec Baldwin western Rust. Celebrity Deaths begins by bringing the conversation once again back to Marlon Brando (!) with a remembrance of activist and artist Sacheen Littlefeather. Many other notables get remembered as well, including an Oscar-winning actress, a comedic “love goddess”, a comic book artist who dazzled live audiences, and a chart-topping rapper-turned-reality star. Finally, two movies get reviewed: the current whodunit theatrical release See How They Run and the 2020 Netflix offering from Charlie Kaufman, I’m Thinking of Ending Things.
Ike Eisenmann starred in the “Witch Mountain” movies for Disney. He acted alongside such giants as George C. Scott. He appeared in award-winning movies like Martin Ritt’s Cross Creek. He worked with William Shatner on numerous occasions. He even “stayed at his post while the trainees ran!” in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Currently, he is the co-host of the excellent “Pop Culture Retro” podcast. He joins Dean and Phil for a fascinating, insightful and frequently hilarious conversation about his career, about his father, who was a pioneering host in live television before becoming a successful commercial actor, about the art and business of working with child actors, and much, much more.
This week, Dean and Phil pick up right where they left off … With Dean enjoying the weather in Michigan, Phil in COVID isolation in Los Angeles, and Robert Blake’s Cinefantastique interview about David Lynch’s Lost Highway providing the basis for a “cold open”. The themes of transition, embracing what wants to come forward, emotional intelligence and more get explored deeply in the wake of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The Royal-themed discussion doesn’t end there, as Pablo Lorrain’s Princess Diana biopic Spencer goes under the microscope. That just starts the movie talk, though, as after raving about Joanna Hogg and her films The Souvenir and The Souvenir: Part II, Phil previews her new film, a mysterious ghost story, The Eternal Daughter, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Praise gets heaped upon filmmaker Steve McQueen and two of the films he made for his “Small Axe” series available on Prime: Mangrove and Lovers Rock. Finally, Dean and Phil wrap things up by analyzing three comic book movies (and the industry built on comic book movies): Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, Daniel Espinosa’s Morbius, and Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis (NOT a comic book movie, you say? Just listen – you might change your mind!).
If you’re in the USA, we hope you are having/had a wonderful Labor Day. If you are elsewhere in the world, we wish you a wonderful Monday! Either way, we think this installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour will help you get the week off to a good start! Phil is playing hurt, battling COVID, migraines AND the intense L.A. heat wave, yet nevertheless brings his “A” game as he and Dean take their talk of “transitions” to a whole new level, thanks to a beautiful email from a listener like you (yes, YOU!). Dean saw Bullet Train and has a lot of thoughts. Phil weighs in on The Souvenir: Part II and shares a wonderful story about acting based on Robert Blake’s experiences making David Lynch’s Lost Highway.
This week’s show runs the gamut culturally, from a production of “Uncle Vanya” in “Live Event of the Week” and a discussion about whether the play is a comedy, to stories of jury duty prompted by a “Lawsuit of the Week”, from an excellent documentary recommendation by a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!) to a deep dive analysis of the U.S. box office (including a quiz!). The success of Where the Crawdads Sing gets paid particular attention, as does the “Mission: Impossible” franchise. The once-every-ten years Sight and Sound poll of the greatest films ever made leads to a discussion of the Daniels, Edgar Wright and Roy Andersson. Finally, great stories about the making of David Lynch’s Dune, Blue Velvet and The Straight Story get shared.
Season 1 of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour ended in November of 2019 after 652 episodes. Season 2 ended last week after 113 episodes. This week, Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness launch Season 3 as they make the move to Subspace Radio! They will “re-set” their topics, bringing back the “Explanation of the Week” while discussing something called the “Gell-Mann amnesia effect” and the “Wingnut of the Week” while discussing sci-fi novelist and filmmaker Michael Crichton. In “Celebrity Deaths”, they will remember the legendary improviser who played “Dr. Johnny Fever”. All that, plus a deep dive into what made season 2 of “Ted Lasso” so divisive for viewers and a big award hopeful this Oscar season: Aaron Sorkin’s Being the Ricardos.
Dean and Phil get the ball rolling by discussing the most “fun” (?) cities in California. Then they discuss the role film critics play as we emerge from a pandemic. The quality and box office fortunes of The French Dispatch, The Eternals, Last Night in Soho, Dune, Venom: Let There Be Carnage and No Time to Die get analyzed and discussed. Phil sings the praises of a great Japanese film, a legendary Japanese actor, and a charismatic Japanese pop star. Dean sings the praises of Benedict Cumberbatch and his new film about a famous artist. Phil sings the praises of Mike White’s satirical “The White Lotus” and tackles the controversy surround Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer” from a much different angle. Finally, Dean intrigues Phil with his description of Channing Tatum’s Amazon Prime series “Comrade Detective”.