Who doesn’t love a sequel?! Your friends in broadcasting & podcasting return with part 2 of their celebration of the best in cinema from 2023. If you listened to part 1, you know this is no ordinary “Top Ten” show. Ultimately, dozens of films and just as many topics will get explored. This week the topics include editing, black and white, curated experiences, gender identification, feminism, entertainment and films from a wide variety of filmmakers and genres, including Past Lives, Poor Things, The Holdovers, The Creator, All of Us Strangers and many more.
Welcome to part one of a two-part installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour wherein Dean and Phil will discuss the best in cinema of the year 2023. This is no ordinary “Top Ten” show. Ultimately, dozens of films and just as many topics will get explored. This week’s show actually begins with discussion of atmospheric rivers, of spreading a loved one’s ashes, of comparisons between the original Cape Fear and the Martin Scorsese remake, and the beloved athlete-turned-actor Carl Weathers gets remembered. Then, before setting their sights on the cinematic year that was, your friends in podcasting (and broadcasting) examine something last week’s guest (Luke Y. Thompson) said about what an all-time great year for movies 1999 was. It turns out he could not have been more right, and so Dean and Phil wonder, when looking back at 2023 many years hence, will it be as impressive as 1999 is now in the rearview mirror? That serves at the springboard into discussions of Wim Wenders, editing, Imax, and such films as Anselm, Perfect Days, Napoleon, Cocaine Bear, A Haunting in Venice, Oppenheimer and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. And, of course, the best thing about this week’s show is that it is “to be continued …”!
We hope you enjoyed last week’s special episode celebrating the cinematic legacies of two of Hollywood’s greatest actor/producers – Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster. This week is part 2 of that conversation, and covers the years 1960-1990. Some great movies, some horrible but (unintentionally) hilarious movies, and some fascinating stories of acting and filmmaking will get discussed.
Because Dean is “on assignment” in the UK, he and Phil recorded a very special episode for this week! Dean and Phil pay tribute to their friend Mark Bennett, who died at the end of 2021. Mark was a journalist, a filmmaker, a philosopher, a researcher, and a truly gentle, caring man, who features prominently in Dean and Phil’s The Truth Is Out There, and who last appeared on YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour in March of 2021. He has been described as a “spy from the future” and as such, Dean and Phil’s memories of him segue nicely into an email from friend of the show Jon Lawlor all about time travel movies. Keep pen, pencil or keyboard handy, because Dean and Phil hit you with a bunch of really cool movie recommendations!
Because Dean will be traveling to the UK, next week’s episode will be a special, pre-recorded, “theme” show. On this week’s show, Dean previews his trip. Phil shares an email from a loyal listener like you (YES, YOU!) about a rare and hard (impossible?) to find program from 30 years ago. That leads to a tribute to the late, great Robert Morse. Phil then pays tribute to a friend of his, a fixture of The Los Angeles Breakfast Club, who was as old as that 97 year-old club of hospitality and friendship when he died this past month. Phil also previews a speech he is giving this week at the club about Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Phil’s recently-acquired appreciation for the greatness of James Mason takes another turn and leads to an appreciation of the greatness of Paul Newman! Dean’s recent derision for all things Michael Mann gets explored and several of the most beloved AND a couple of the most under-appreciated crime films of the past 40 years get examined. Finally, Dean and Phil discuss the differences between disrespect and irreverence, the necessity of the latter and the unhealthy aspects of the former. Somehow this discussion involves both This is Spinal Tap and Elon Musk! From the heart-tugging to the thought-provoking, from the groan-inducing to the funny-bone tickling, it’s all on the menu!
There may be tricks aplenty, but we can assure you, this week’s Season 2 Episode 99 will definitely be a treat for the listener! Before Dean and Phil can fully celebrate the spooky (like Dean’s live exploration this weekend of the haunted Wheeler Mansion), they have to discuss the truly horrifying – a real-life horror story ending in tragedy on the set of an independent film western that claimed the life of a talented young cinematographer. Dean shares a story from “The Lone Gunmen” of how he was almost killed on set! That will lead to remembrances of other talented individuals who died recently, including a beloved actor from TV and stage, the 7th friend on “Friends”, a longtime star of “The Andy Griffith Show” and the drummer for both Elvis Presley and Jerry Garcia! Then, it’s off to the movies, where your friends in podcasting discuss a handful of Halloween-appropriate classics before discussing the box office performance of Dune and review the film as well. Finally, it’s the return of the “Vintage Movie Ad” game, where Dean will try to guess the titles (3 remakes of horror classics and 3 sequels to modern horror classics) just from their ad copy!
From the inner space of quiet, self-quarantine lockdowns, to the outer space of “Star Trek: Picard”, Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness take you on quite the journey this week! It starts with their latest observations about themselves and others in the wake of another week of isolation. Sadness, quiet and dehumanization are on the thematic menu! They then compare notes on their respective Easter celebrations, which leads to a discussion of a couple of classic musicals: 1934’s Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers vehicle The Gay Divorcee and 1948’s seasonal staple Easter Parade, starring Astaire and Judy Garland. The recent, modern classic, Uncut Gems gets championed by Phil, who tries to get Dean to overcome his trepidation surrounding Adam Sandler performances (and yet, Dean once championed You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, so go figure!). The second half of the show consists of Dean and Phil comparing the years in cinema 1973 and 1974, discussing all the notable films from those two halcyon years, in hopes of determining which year might challenge 1962 as the greatest year in cinema. Finally, your friends in podcasting beam up to the La Sirena to discuss and debate what went right and what went wrong in season one of “Star Trek: Picard”, a show so successful that a big-screen movie version is already in the planning stages.
Tucker Smallwood is immediately recognizable to fans of science fiction for playing Commodore Ross on “Space: Above and Beyond”, for playing Sheriff Andy Taylor in “Home”, the most notorious of all episodes of “The X-Files”, for playing the flight commander in Contact, for playing the Xindi Humanoid in “Star Trek: Enterprise”, for playing Admiral Bullock in “Star Trek: Voyager” and those are just his highest profile sci-fi roles. An actor, an author, a musician and a decorated military veteran, Tucker Smallwood joins your friends in podcasting to discuss two classic Francis Coppola movies in which he was involved.
Your friends in podcasting have been teasing episode #568 for weeks! They had really been looking forward to counting down their all-time favorite Mystery films and the final results prove to be a lot of fun. So, get those Netflix queues handy, because Dean and Phil will hit you with more than two dozen movies they discuss at length with four films actually finding a place on both their Top Tens. There are comedy “whodunits” from the 1930’s, foreign language allegories from the 2000’s, independent films that launched careers, classics from international masters that launched entire sub-genres, mysteries based on books, mysteries based on plays, mysteries set in the farthest reaches of space, mysteries full of post-war romance and cold war anxiety. The biggest mystery of all is after almost eleven years, how do Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness keep managing to provide an hour (plus) of free audio entertainment each week?!
It’s a special Top Ten show! Your friends in podcasting count down their all time favorite War Films! It’s amazing how many different sub-genres of war films, Dean and Phil discover and more than thirty films actually get discussed. Trust us – It’s totally awesome.