As the holidays approach, it’s the season of self-congratulation in Hollywood, where awards are being handed out and award shows are being planned. Dean and Phil weigh in on the controversy surrounding the Academy’s choice of Oscar hosts, and where they go from here. A filmmaker who never won major awards, but who left an enduring legacy, is remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. Steve Coogan is a comedic actor (writer and producer) who is a source of contention between Dean and Phil. Your friends in podcasting roll up their sleeves and analyze his gifts and review his two 2018 big-screen releases: Ideal Home and Stan & Ollie. This leads into a terrific discussion of pathos and of the enduring film catalog of Laurel and Hardy.

Do you know what Stan Lee’s real name was and why he changed it? Did you know that during the 1940’s and 50’s conservatives weren’t just on a witch hunt against suspected communists but against superhero comic books as well? Join your friends in podcasting as they remember the comic book giant in “Celebrity Deaths” and discuss his cultural impact, his legacy and the controversies in which he found himself. Then, Phil sits down in the woods with filmmaker Ilana Rein, to discuss her narrative feature debut Perception. Long-time listeners might recall that Ilana served as Dean and Phil’s co-host during their 26 hour Mayan podcastathon, back in 2012. So, it’s great to finally have her back to discuss her work. Then, Dean and Phil get into a fascinating discussion about how much films can change from script to screen, using the upcoming Netflix post-apocalyptic action epic Bird Box movie as a case in point. Finally, the joy of still having so many amazing movies from the past to discover and enjoy gets celebrated, with an awesome little mystery film from the late 1970’s taking center stage. YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour. Enjoy!

Seven important notes about this week’s show:

1) It’s our 600th episode!
2) It features a brand new version of the theme song appropriate to Dean’s relocation to the Motor City.
3) A horrible recording problem leads to a few choppy transitions at the start of the show and to an extremely bad electronic hum during the first 25 minutes or so of the show.
4) We have done the best we can to get rid of the hum and to at least make these first 25 minutes listenable, and you will want to bear with us as those minutes contain very personal conversation between Dean and Phil about things they love lost in the current SoCal fires, what they love that is seriously threatened by those fires, and about a great Canadian actor of Dean’s acquaintance who died this month. There is also a great story about baby diapers!
5) Several amazing movies get discussed – including the Sandra Bullock starring post-apocalyptic, action-horror vehicle Bird Box, the Coen Brothers rather amazing Western anthology feature The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Alfonso Cuaron’s seminal black-and-white memory piece Roma and Dean and Phil’s very own The Lady Killers, which Dean has finally seen!
6) The show is 72 minutes long, with about 45 minutes of that boasting clean audio!
7) We wish you all a “Malkovich Hug”!

After last week’s outstanding episode, your friends in podcasting keep the movie talk going as they remember Robby Muller, the late great “Master of Light”, perhaps the most important cinematographer in independent cinema over the final 30 years of the 20th Century. Dean and Phil then discuss what it means on those rare occasions when critics like a movie far more than audiences do. It’s common for audiences to like a film more than critics, but who is to blame when critics love a film and audiences HATE it? Your friends in podcasting answer that question before shifting gears into an incredible “Live Event of the Week”. They welcome special guest Zac Greenberg, the composer of The Bradbury Tattoos: A Rock Opera, which premieres this month in Cincinnati courtesy of a National Endowment of the Arts Grant. Based on four Ray Bradbury short stories from “The Illustrated Man (including “Kaleidoscope”, which Dean once starred in on-stage in Los Angeles as part of Sci-Fest L.A.), this sci-fi spectacular promises to be a production like no other! Oh, and make sure to stay tuned following the closing music and announcements for a sensational Easter egg!

This week, your friends in podcasting complete their epic 2-part celebration of the all-time greatest comedy movies! Boasting films from (almost?) every decade of feature filmmaking, this week’s installment covers Dean and Phil’s respective Top 5’s! There are bound to be crowd-pleasing favorites, silent classics, independent gems and studio blockbusters. So, keep those Netflix queues handy!

We know you’ve been waiting, and here it is. I’m pretty sure Dean and Phil spent their entire weekends watching movies, avoiding the uncommonly torrential SoCal rains, and it paid off, because this is the greatest Top 10 movie countdown. Ever.

Oscar, schmockter, this is what you want to know!