Their cross-country holiday travels behind them, Dean is back in Michigan, Phil is back in Los Angeles, and they will regale you with stories of Hollywood parties, catch you up on awards season news, analyze the merits of two award hopefuls (the disastrous Babylon and the controversial The Whale) and one indie horror film franchise. They will also remember an award-winning cinematographer, an iconic journalist, a revolutionary fashion designer, and one of the most famous athletes of all time in “Celebrity Deaths”.
Dean and Phil knew they were going to be celebrating the career of the great actor and star James Caan on this week’s show and then the floodgates opened, with many beloved character actors exiting the stage, so after a brief and hilarious cold open, Season 3 Episode 23 begins with “Celebrity Deaths”. Then, the whole concept of “celebration” as a lost “art” gets explored, before your friends in podcasting use it as a springboard to discuss several current television series and a handful of truly brilliant performances. The big screen will not be ignored either, as the cinematic output of Edgar Wright gets examined through the prism of his recent ghost story (Last Night in Soho) and a baseball comedy classic from the 1970s gets revisited.
Phil (in Hollywood) and Dean (in the environs of Detroit) checked in with each other before, during and after Sunday night’s Oscars and recorded their conversation about the movie industry’s big night. There are insights, there are jokes, there is snark, there are criticisms, and oh, yes, Dean has been drinking!
Your friends in podcasting (AND broadcasting!) have quite the week to discuss! As the holidays approach, and Covid-19 dashes Dean’s travel plans, Awards Season in Hollywood gets underway. The National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle announced their winners of the best in cinema for 2021, and a consensus has begun to form through critics Top Ten lists about the best of the year in television. Dean and Phil discuss it all. They also try to make sense of the latest in the accidental shooting on the set of “Rust”. A whole lot of classic films get discussed, including which films may have best depicted what life in America was really like in the mid-1980’s. A new documentary series about The Beatles from Peter Jackson gets reviewed and four actors and a musician get remembered in our penultimate installment of “Celebrity Deaths” for 2021. If nothing else, you will learn that the movie Beau Geste is NOT the movie Gunga Din and director Wim Wenders is NOT director Werner Herzog.
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”.
Following a “cold open” all about another of Dean’s all-time favorite episodes of “The X-Files”, Dean and Phil open their mailbag to answer questions from listeners like you (yes, YOU!). One email concerns why actor Nicholas Lea never appeared on the spin-off series “The Lone Gunmen” and whether Dean would ever join the internet service “Cameo”. Another is from friend of the show Yoshi Kato, who can’t quite remember whether his friends in podcasting have ever done a show about their favorite movie musicals. They have. And episode #497 is once again available for listening pleasure! Finally, loyal listener and good buddy, Greg Vincent, asks a very compelling question about Blade Runner 2049. Dean offers up a brief review of A Quiet Place Part II, Phil offers up a surprisingly glowing review of Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) before launching into an analysis of the head-scratching financial reality of the D.C. Extended Universe. Finally, “The Mod Squad” star Clarence Williams III and 80s “video vixen” Tawny Kitaen get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”.
The return of The Oscars, celebrating a most unusual year in cinema, deserves to be celebrated, too! And so, this week, your friends in podcasting bring back their old Oscars smackdown style show for the first time in years! There will be wagering – for stakes both ridiculous and sublime. There will be critiquing of the Oscar show itself. There will be analysis of the winners and the snubs.
No broken finger can keep Dean Haglund from joining Phil Leirness for another brand new installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour! This week, your friends in podcasting talk about what they miss because of Covid-19 (and are certain to be missing for the rest of this year at least). Dean and Phil then explain why there might not be many new movies or television shows for a long while. They will, however, discuss several recent titles like Cats, Alita: Battle Angel and It Chapter Two as well as several under-appreciated, vintage gems like John Frankenheimer’s Seconds, Samuel Fuller’s The Crimson Kimono and the jazz adaptation of “Othello” All Night Long. Plus, Phil has harsh criticism for a couple beloved musicals from the 1950s! In “Lawsuit of the Week”, Dean and Phil discuss a courtroom victory for Jerry Seinfeld. Then, following a mea culpa from Dean about an error made on last week’s show, the Chillpak Morgue opens for “Celebrity Deaths” where a glass ceiling-shattering broadcaster and a world-class independent filmmaker and director of top television are remembered. Finally, Phil shares a story about perhaps the greatest phrase ever uttered before death.
After a cold open in which Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness celebrate the fact that YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour becomes a teen-ager this week, they launch into what they do best, trying to make sense of a (Covid-19) world gone wild with humor, insight, irreverence and inspiration. In the return of “Wingnut of the Week”, Dean and Phil offer a wag of the finger at Covid-19 conspiracy theorists and a doff of the cap to UFO “truthers”. In “Celebrity Deaths”, they pay tribute to a true titan of comedy publishing and filmmaking, an international star who broke big in both Bollywood and Hollywood, a character actor-turned-casting director, an influential folk singer, and the musician who turned Hugh Grant into a pop star! Then, your friends in podcasting tackle how Covid-19 will affect the up-coming television season, and how it will affect the Oscars, before turning their attention to what years in cinema might rival 1962 as the best year ever for movies!
Sure, Covid-19 may be no laughing matter, but Phil Leirness gets things started with a quarantine lockdown joke nonetheless before he and Dean Haglund dig down into the protests surrounding stay-at-home orders, the hopes they have for how society might change in the long-term, and about the dangers of placing your faith in “distrust”. Ageism in Hollywood gets discussed, and then “Star Trek: Picard” and season 2 of “Star Trek: Discovery” get compared and get praised before the commercial break. In the back half of the show, Phil regales Dean with “Star Trek”-related tales involving the likes of JJ Abrams and … Toshiro Mifune?! In “Celebrity Deaths”, two of the all-time great character actors, three legendary jazz musicians, a ground-breaking sculptor, a pop-culture influencing illustrator, an award-winning cinematographer, and a glass-ceiling breaking animator get remembered. Keep calm, stay safe, and enjoy YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour!