This show runs the gamut geographically from the U.K. to Detroit, and from Los Angeles to Laguna Beach. And it features a wide array from topics, including the supposed demise of radio in general, the new hopes for one station’s programming in particular, the death of a great actress, the acquisition of a legendary Hollywood company, and the latest (and final?) news in the prosecution of Alec Baldwin. There are also a slew of TV and movie reviews, including “Tulsa King”, MaXXXine, Remembering Gene Wilder, I Used to Be Funny and Janet Planet. Join Dean Haglund, Phil Leirness and special guests Alex Lewczuk and Lily Holleman as they bring you the insightful, the irreverent, the inspiring and the deeply felt. And if you are so moved, please visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/witham-radio/. Donate if you can and share if you will.

We hope you are hungry this week because Dean and Phil are serving up Detroit-style pizza, Japanese-Italian fusion, and red, white and blue margaritas! They discuss their 4th of July activities, celebrity sightings of a Supreme Court Justice and a former President of the U.S., modern and contemporary and text-based art, and a classical music “Live Event of the Week”. In “Celebrity Deaths”, one of the greatest screenwriters of all time and a beloved musician-turned-comic actor-turned artist both get remembered. A television show set in Tokyo and another set in Detroit both get discussed. Then Dean reviews the latest movie featuring everyone’s favorite Detroit cop, the brand new Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F and Phil previews three very cool sounding movies that debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in May. All in all it is a delicious and nutritious feast for the senses (at least your hearing) and for your funny bone!

This week’s episode finds Phil in the “DMV” (DC-Maryland-Virginia) area and Dean safely ensconced back in Michgan. Phil quizzes Dean about Renaissance man Martin Mull, iconic Winnipeg musician and broadcaster Ray St. Germain, two Oscar-winning composers, and an Oscar-nominated documentarian. Dean and Phil also sing the praises of perhaps the greatest actor to NEVER get nominated for an Oscar! Such streaming fare as “Tulsa King”, Season 4 of “The Boys”, “Ripley”, Season 2 of “Tokyo Vice”, and Richard Linklater’s Hit Man all get reviewed as well.

Dean and Phil got together in Los Angeles this week to watch David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows, to see if it’s as good as they remember OR if, as Quentin Tarantino claims, the film does not “play by its own rules”. You will hear the discussion in real time as your friends in podcasting watch the film and analyze it. First though, because a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!) asked, Dean & Phil will tackle the controversy surrounding the use of AI-generated art in the recent Late Night with the Devil (a film Dean loved and which Phil pointed out definitely discards its own rules 75 minutes in). Finally, actress-singer-writer-improviser Lily Holleman drops in to discuss Juneteenth, her birthday, the latest “refurbishments” at Disneyland, the demise of Siren Radio and the music of comedian Sinbad!

In more than 17 years of bringing you free, weekly entertainment, we don’t believe either Dean or Phil have mentioned the great theologian, humanist, educator, philosopher and satirist Erasmus. Finally, that oversight gets rectified! Sci-fi, radio, journalism, history, education, the “sound of the future” and the scenic delights of Middlesbrough are just some of the topics covered as lifelong broadcaster, educator and friend of the show Alex Lewczuk joins your friends in podcasting.

Dean will be heading to Los Angeles this week and plans to deal with a “haunted vacuum”? Paramount Pictures (and its parent company) are for sale. Dean and Phil discuss the ramifications of this. Many great films premiered in competition at the recent Cannes Film Festival. Dean and Phil examine the award-winners. A film festival favorite available now on Netflix is Richard Linklater’s dark romantic comedy Hit Man. Dean and Phil discuss it. Then, they take a deep dive look at three “art house” films of recent vintage and use that dive as the vehicle for exploring the function, importance and failure of critics. The films in question are Joanna Hogg’s ghost story The Eternal Daughter and Jane Schoenbrun’s coming-of-age psychodramas We’re All Going to the World’s Fair and the current theatrical release I Saw the TV Glow.

This week’s show begins with a correction about the great Death Race 2000 (discussed two episodes back) and about the talented filmmakers behind it. Then, in “What We’re Reading”, Dean discusses the Beatrice Hyde-Clare Mysteries and Phil reveals his thoughts inspired by Brian Greene’s The Hidden Reality. These thoughts, in turn, lead to stories about UCLA great Bill Walton, who died this past week, and the Integratron, which Phil visited before last week’s show. After discussions of Multiverse theory, sound baths, and the wit and wisdom of John Wooden, focus shifts to a staggering array of movies and television shows. The movies include Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, the Egyptian comedy Voy Voy Voy, the Canadian vampire film Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person, and the great Céline Sciamma’s Petite Maman. The television shows are “The Mandalorian”, (followed by a deep dive into the entire Star Wars small screen universe), “Star Trek: Discovery”, (followed by an examination of a fatal flaw that has doomed “Star Trek” at various points in its history), and the genre mash-up Colin Farrell vehicle “Sugar” (for Apple TV +). After that, a question from a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!) leads to a discussion about the large screen format ScreenX. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, Phil quizzes Dean about a convicted felon-turned-actor and a two-time Oscar Winner for Best Picture!

The best thing about being podcast-only (again) is that for the first time in years, Dean and Phil can produce shows of whatever length tickles their fancy. Indeed, this week’s Chillpak Hollywood Hour gives you more than 10% more “hour”! The show begins with a cold open, wherein Phil reveals that he is not the only filmmaker who gets upset when other filmmakers don’t follow the rules they themselves have set up for a particular movie. In this instance, it’s Quentin Tarantino taking a much-loved modern horror classic to task. Then, Phil briefly revisits his recent travels to Catalina and Dean’s forthcoming travel plans, revealing that Dean has added a NYC trip to the mix in order to see a little-known, conceptual gem of a gallery. Phil previews where he will be spending Independence Day this year, and how a re-watch of Jim Jarmusch’s early classic Mystery Train has him jazzed to visit Memphis (and Graceland!) again this November. Standing ovations at Cannes, the impending financial train wreck that is Kevin Costner’s multi-part big-screen Horizon: An American Saga, and Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two all get discussed. Phil then reveals the latest news regarding a potential defamation lawsuit against Netflix and “Baby Reindeer” and explains why he is willing to now give the show and its creators the benefit of the doubt. After discussing the brilliance of actor Dabney Colemna and how Phil once ruined a birthday party for the 9 to 5 star, the “Funniest Man in America” and a groundbreaking recording engineer get remembered before “Celebrity Deaths” turns into a quiz testing Dean’s cultural/show biz literacy. Finally, after a brief musical interlude, Dean re-joins the festivities, this time from London, where he files a “boots on the ground” report. Phil concludes by previewing next week’s show, including an extraordinary adventure he took to the Integratron!

Phil is back from a weekend excursion to Catalina and regales with tales of his trip. Dean previews his forthcoming trips to London, Los Angeles, Japan and Europe. Many different Netflix shows starring comedian John Mulaney get discussed, and his work ranging from stand-up to sketch to performance art gets analyzed. Three recent movies also get analyzed: the “found footage” horror favorite Late Night with the Devil, the Ian McShane-starring indie thriller American Star, and a modern classic from France, The Taste of Things. Finally, Hollywood giant Roger Corman gets remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”.

 

After traveling across the country (on Spirit Airlines), Phil has been laid up all week, sick as a dog. Dean has been avoiding the dazzling nighttime Aurora displays put on by the current solar storm. They both have a great deal of show biz news, views and reviews on their minds, however. First off, Dean previews the forthcoming Ryan Coogler-led “X-Files” reboot, hipping us to its premise. Then, he and Phil make sense of the Ryan Gosling-starring The Fall Guy, both appraising its merits and explaining its box office failure. The future of action as a genre on both the big and small screens gets analyzed. Jerry Seinfeld’s utterly silly, possibly sly Unfrosted and the seething reaction to it get dissected. Everybody’ seems to love Netflix’s new series “Baby Reindeer”, except for the possibly defamed subject of it! Dean and Phil come at this one from all angles. Finally, Phil explains what went wrong with Taika Waititi’s recent true-life sports comedy Next Goal Wins and expresses confusion over why Hulu’s “The Bear” is considered a comedy.