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 …”!
Welcome to an excellent installment of your Chillpak Hollywood Hour that begins with tales of springtime before a couple of great soapbox moments courtesy of the “sensitivity editing” of Agatha Christie and newspaper headline treatments of black men in the media. An actress who starred in many beloved projects, a screenwriter behind crowd-pleasing movies, a singer in a legendary doo-wop band and the designer responsible for the way Phil smelled throughout his teens and twenties (!) all get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. Dean champions Cocaine Bear, Elizabeth Banks, and the return of Nicolas Cage (not that he went anywhere). Phil regales with amazing original casting choices for a couple of popular recent films before launching into an appreciation of the fable-making on display in John Wick: Chapter 4.
Happy St. Stephen’s Day, Happy Boxing Day, Happy (final day of) Hanukkah AND Happy 2nd Day of Christmas! Dean and Phil celebrate it all by comparing notes on their holiday celebrations, by sharing stories of Dean’s jury duty and of Phil’s cross-country travels with THE Fuzz Aldrin! Film critics everywhere have been weighing in on the best movies of 2022. Dean and Phil will check in on their consensus picks (thus far). They will also discuss a handful of current and recent releases, including Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pinocchio”, the dark satire “The Menu”, Ti West’s “X” and “Pearl”, and they re-visit the recent comedy actioner “Bullet Train”, using it as an excuse to analyze the work of Ryan Reynolds, and to celebrate the greatness of Michael Shannon.
Happy Halloween! Come trick-or-treating with Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness as they take a cinematic tour of “Horrorville USA”, the new nickname Phil has coined for Detroit! Several horror films get discussed, including the current Detroit-set shocker Barbarian as well as non-Detroit-based classics like The Leopard Man and Séance on a Wet Afternoon. Dean has started watching HBO’s “Avenue 5” and he finds that scary! Phil also weighs in on the Jon Hamm vehicle Confess, Fletch and a big-time Oscar front-runner, The Banshees of Inisherin from Martin McDonagh. In “Celebrity Deaths”, the “killer”, Jerry Lee Lewis, the beloved comedic actor Leslie Jordan and the stop-motion animation giant Jules Bass all get remembered. And finally, in a re-visitation to a past “What We’re Reading”, Phil talks about ghostly radio signals! All in all, it’s a spooky good installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour.
After a cold open that involves a fascinating horror film from the UK in the 1940s (a rarity at the time) and the scientific theories it helped spawn, Phil reveals the horrific travels he undertook since he last convened with Dean on YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour! In “Celebrity Deaths”, the political cinema of Jean-Luc Godard gets analyzed, and the lives and careers of five performers and a jazz master get celebrated. Then, it’s back to the movies, with Dean recommending a current horror film and Phil revealing the two mysteries currently in theaters he is dying to see, before he and Dean sing the praises of several “Stranger Things” cast members and then try to figure out what went so right with one Ryan Reynolds vehicle from director Shawn Levy, and what went so wrong with another Ryan Reynolds vehicle from director Shawn Levy!
Dean and Phil start the show by answering a question they posed last week about The NeverEnding Story. A question about Dean’s painting leads into a deep-dive discussion about scheduling, energy management, and the time of transition in which we all find ourselves. In “Celebrity Deaths”, a character actor-turned-acting instructor gets remembered, as does a true renaissance man known primarily for playing gangsters! Olivia Newton-John’s career also gets examined at great length, including her starring role in a 1970 science-fiction film and how history could have been different had that film been a hit. Phil is more than a little bit grumpy about a “Live Event of the Week” and he and Dean wonder if Amadeus might be the most mediocre movie ever to win Best Picture. Mediocrity itself is discussed as a business model, and Netflix is in the crosshairs!
Last week, Dean and Phil ran out of time while discussing a vampire show from Norway that Dean has discovered and is enjoying. They kept recording, however, so this week’s show starts (as a cold open!) with that brief and hilarious discussion. Once the show proper starts, your friends in podcasting send love and best wishes to a dear friend who is having surgery this week. Then, they leap into discussions of the latest show business news, including the IATSE strike authorization vote that might lead to the halt of most television and film production, the resolution of Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney, James Bond saving the global box office, Venom: Let There Be Carnage setting the domestic box office ablaze, and the #1 worldwide box office hit of 2021 that neither Dean nor Phil have seen or even heard of! Phil and Dean then discuss Roman Polanski’s Repulsion and the importance of taking the time to do “nothing”, and what “Loki” season 1 might be telling us about the existence of multiverses. Finally, Dean and Phil celebrate the lives of a pioneer of Japanese anime, one of the best funk and soul bandleaders of all time, a character actor beloved on both the small and big screen, a groundbreaking singer-turned-activist, and two very popular comedians.
On last week’s show, Phil introduced what will be a recurring segment for the near future: The overlooked films of 2020. This week, a unique, uniquely painful, esoteric and funny take on both the family drama and the con-artist picture, as well as a superhero movie that really did deserve to be overlooked! Last week, Dean panned a Tom Clancy adaptation written by Taylor Sheridan. This week, another new Taylor Sheridan-scripted actioner gets discussed, this one directed by Sheridan and starring Angelina Jolie. “Celebrity Deaths” is a long-standing segment of the show, but never before have Dean and Phil discussed an actor who worked for 9 decades and died at 106! Phil, is, as listeners will know, a state certified Violence Prevention Specialist. In the wake of the horrific hatred and violence being directed at members of the AAPI community, he decided to augment his training by taking bystander intervention training. He will report on this training, and offer up tips that everyone can use to both #stopthehate and #spreadthelove. And speaking of spreading the love, over the past couple months, your friends in podcasting have begun to check in “on air” with friends of the show who have appeared on past episodes, to see how the year plus of pandemic life has treated them. This week, the great storyboard artist Rob Consing drops by. He discusses the big movies he has been working on, including Morbius and Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and he competes against Dean in a round of our new, and apparently popular, vintage movie ad game (where Dean tries to guess the movie from the ad copy Phil reads)!
This week, your friends in podcasting definitely put the “Hollywood” into YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour, not only with the topics they discuss but by recording the show in, you know, Hollywood! That’s right, the “Turlock” drinking game might need to take a couple weeks off, while Dean and Phil discuss jury duty, a forthcoming X-Files/Lone Gunmen virtual convention and a spate of recent “Celebrity Deaths” (including a Supreme Court justice, a founder of Women’s Studies, the founding figure of reggae, a controversial jazz journalist and cultural critic, and more). Phil and Dean sing the praises of the late, great Bea Arthur (discussing both “Maude” and “The Golden Girls”). A comparison of Martin Scorsese to David Lean leads to a conversation about Robert Mitchum. A conversation about last week’s show leads to a discussion of the Vincent Price/Diana Rigg vehicle Theatre of Blood, which leads to a discussion of what it will take for movie theaters – and moviegoing – to survive the pandemic and the digital streaming age. Finally, there is the return of “Lawsuit of the Week” featuring everyone’s (real? phony?) favorite heavy metal act, Spinal Tap!
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.