On this week’s installment, your friends in broadcasting and podcasting tackle the latest show biz news, including criminal charges in the on-set shooting death of Halyna Hutchins, and the closure of dozens of multiplexes in the Regal Theater chain. Three musicians, two groundbreaking dancers, a legendary broadcaster and two famous jumpsuits all get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. Oscar nominations get announced this week, and Dean and Phil offer reviews of no fewer than three current award-hopefuls. All that, plus an all-time classic from Michelangelo Antonioni gets celebrated and a round in the “vintage movie ad” game gets played – this one 75 years in the making!
Pile into the back of the car, buckle up, and join Dean and Phil, reunited on the mean streets of downtown Los Angeles, as they make their way into Hollywood for a live improv comedy show! On the way there, Dean reveals his Thanksgiving celebrations, Phil reveals his birthday celebrations, and they discuss the life and legacy of Irene Cara, and analyze a very important and interesting weekend at the box office. Such movies as Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Spirited and The Fabelmans get reviewed. On the way back downtown, they take a deep dive into different kinds of improv comedy AND improv comics. Dean gets weepy about a robot documentary before he sings the praises of the Netflix series “Wednesday”. Phil does likewise with season 2 of “The Mysterious Benedict Society” before he and Dean close with thoughts about season 2 of “Avenue 5”.
During this week’s cold open, Dean and Phil finish up their discussion of Marlon Brando and Jack Lemmon, offering up some final movie recommendations. Phil is back after a lengthy trip to the east coast and he returns with tales of a Shakespeare Theater production about Leonardo Da Vinci and thoughts inspired by Hurricane Ian about how human beings become fixated on the statistically anomalous and he also shares with Dean the exciting way in which their former podcasting home – the Eastern Columbia Building – had a starring role in the new season of Amazon’s fashion competition show “Making the Cut”. Loyal listener Maurice Terenzio checks in with a thought-provoking email that brings the conversation back to Marlon Brando before the return of Lawsuit of the Week focuses Dean and Phil’s attention onto the ill-fated Alec Baldwin western Rust. Celebrity Deaths begins by bringing the conversation once again back to Marlon Brando (!) with a remembrance of activist and artist Sacheen Littlefeather. Many other notables get remembered as well, including an Oscar-winning actress, a comedic “love goddess”, a comic book artist who dazzled live audiences, and a chart-topping rapper-turned-reality star. Finally, two movies get reviewed: the current whodunit theatrical release See How They Run and the 2020 Netflix offering from Charlie Kaufman, I’m Thinking of Ending Things.
This week, Dean and Phil pick up right where they left off … With Dean enjoying the weather in Michigan, Phil in COVID isolation in Los Angeles, and Robert Blake’s Cinefantastique interview about David Lynch’s Lost Highway providing the basis for a “cold open”. The themes of transition, embracing what wants to come forward, emotional intelligence and more get explored deeply in the wake of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The Royal-themed discussion doesn’t end there, as Pablo Lorrain’s Princess Diana biopic Spencer goes under the microscope. That just starts the movie talk, though, as after raving about Joanna Hogg and her films The Souvenir and The Souvenir: Part II, Phil previews her new film, a mysterious ghost story, The Eternal Daughter, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Praise gets heaped upon filmmaker Steve McQueen and two of the films he made for his “Small Axe” series available on Prime: Mangrove and Lovers Rock. Finally, Dean and Phil wrap things up by analyzing three comic book movies (and the industry built on comic book movies): Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, Daniel Espinosa’s Morbius, and Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis (NOT a comic book movie, you say? Just listen – you might change your mind!).
Phil has been chasing trains all over California and he has stories. St. Patrick’s Day was this past week and Dean and Phil have jokes about that. In “Celebrity Deaths”, Oscar-winning actor William Hurt gets remembered and the controversy surrounding celebrations of his legacy will get examined. Star of the original “Godzilla” and a great story about him get discussed, and before the Chillpak Morgue closes, R&B great Timmy Thomas has his praises sung. This is, of course, the biggest week in Hollywood and Dean and Phil “go to the movies” to discuss Steven Spielberg’s next film (a sequel to a 1960s classic), the brilliance and pain and artistry of Richard Pryor as seen in Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip and the inspiring visual storytelling on display in the works of Paolo Sorrentino, specifically his current Oscar nominee for Best International Film, The Hand of God.
Since it is Valentine’s Day, it’s only fitting that Dean and Phil are offering up a show that is nothing less than a love letter to movies, movie-going AND great comedic acting on television! In addition to a great story about Howard (“Dr. Johnny Fever”) Hesseman that involves the legendary Jack (“Dragnet”) Webb, and analysis of a handful of nominated films, shows and performances, Dean and Phil also engage in free-wheeling discussion about how we judge film and TV, how these works are consumed and what awards shows need to be moving forward. All that, plus a legend of visual effects and the Queen of Italian Cinema both get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”.
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”.
It’s Halloween season, so this week, Dean and Phil will get into the spooky spirit of things by celebrating “All of the Them Witches” – programming a dream film festival of witch-themed double-features! Of course, there is a ton of spooky, unsettling and downright terrifying show biz news for them to cover as well, including the potential resolution of the IATSE conflict with the AMPTP prior to almost all film and television productions getting shut down, the messy publicity slaughterhouse that continues to ensue following Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer” and Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos’ response to it, and a little bit of “inside” info regarding Marvel’s Black Widow. All that, plus really good box office news and a pioneering animator, a chart-topping bassist, and a best-selling YA novelist get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”.
The show begins this week with a lot of questions for Dean. What is Sci-Fi Valley Con? Who is Julian? There is/was a TV show called “Supernatural”? Is Detroit really Canada’s Tijuana? And a listener wants to know if Dean got bit by a monkey on “The Lone Gunmen”! You will learn the answers to all these and many more, including what Dean and Phil think of the controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix special. You will also learn about one of the greatest voices in comedy, about perhaps the greatest Hammond organist of all time, and about one of the most groundbreaking indie filmmakers of all time in “Celebrity Deaths”. After the break, Dean and Phil offer analysis on the new James Bond film’s box office performance in the USA and put that performance into historic context. They will do the same with the film’s quality. Finally, they will reveal what upcoming movies might get them to go back into a movie theater in the coming weeks.
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.