This week’s show runs the gamut culturally, from a production of “Uncle Vanya” in “Live Event of the Week” and a discussion about whether the play is a comedy, to stories of jury duty prompted by a “Lawsuit of the Week”, from an excellent documentary recommendation by a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!) to a deep dive analysis of the U.S. box office (including a quiz!). The success of Where the Crawdads Sing gets paid particular attention, as does the “Mission: Impossible” franchise. The once-every-ten years Sight and Sound poll of the greatest films ever made leads to a discussion of the Daniels, Edgar Wright and Roy Andersson. Finally, great stories about the making of David Lynch’s Dune, Blue Velvet and The Straight Story get shared.
Since 1984’s Risky Business, Tom Cruise has been one of the most reliable and bankable stars of major motion pictures. Since 1984’s Stranger than Paradise, Jim Jarmusch has been one of the most reliable and influential auteurs in independent cinema. This week, Dean and Phil compare and contrast these two icons’ filmographies, making recommendations, drawing parallels between two very different artists, and examining forty years of American culture and hundreds of years of American mythology in the process!
Although summer hasn’t officially begun in the northern hemisphere, it sure feels like it has what with Dean and Phil discussing Dean’s new sandbox and the state of the summer box office! Not only that, but there’s a message from Agent Summer (“Summer” – get it??) that gets discussed! An on-air production meeting yields an outstanding idea for a future show all about movies, while on this week’s show, such movies as Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm and Skidoo, the time travel movie Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann, the World War II classic Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, and the wizarding world entry Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore all get discussed. Such popular performers as Kim Novak, Van Johnson, Jude Law and Jessica Williams get discussed as well. Plus, loyal listener Maurice Terenzio shares a great story about the wonderful character actor Richard Kiel. On the small screen, Phil offers up a mea culpa on “Hacks” season 2, and he and Dean share a message from friend of the show Mattie Giles all about “Station Eleven” and “Made for Love” on HBO Max, “The Book of Boba Fett”, season 2 of “Picard”, and the brand new “Strange New Worlds”. Finally, the return of “Lawsuit of the Week” focuses on Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, defamation, libel, toxic relationships, social media reactions and the cycles of abuse and violence.
With special “theme” shows planned to ring out 2020 and ring in 2021, this week’s show will be the last of Dean and Phil’s usual irreverent and insightful show biz grab bags for a few weeks! In it, they celebrate the lives of two Broadway legends, an accomplished New Orleans-based actress, and a “Star Wars” icon. They discuss some of their favorite Christmas movies and share what movies they have gravitated towards this holiday season. They offer up a few holiday-themed movie print ads in what has become a weekly tradition. They discuss why Hitchcockian cinema (i.e. Hitchock-like movies directed by people other than Hitchcock) might have had its peak in the 1970s. They weigh in on Tom Cruise’s Covid-19 safety protocol rant. All that, plus, “The Mandalorian”, “Star Trek: Discovery”, “The Boys” and John Cassavetes!
After a special 2-part “Top Ten” show counting down the all-time great comedy movies, your friends in podcasting are back with a wide array of topics to discuss. Dean recounts his New Zealand adventures and previews his forthcoming trip to the USA. He and Phil celebrate the lives of the cat-loving gorilla with the huge vocabulary, the original Bond girl, and the celebrity chef who finds himself the subject of a conspiracy theory. Two emails from a loyal listener concerning the aforementioned “Top Ten” shows lead to a couple of great filmmaking stories and the discussion of another all-time great comedy film. Dean and Phil’s former collaborator, Chris Hardwick, has found himself in #MeToo hot water, and because they have been asked about it, Dean and Phil discuss it. There is a lot of “Star Trek” news to discuss, a slew of Netflix Marvel shows to review, as well as a popular HBO drama series based on an Australian-set novel to analyze. All that AND several recent cinematic releases get reviewed, including Solo, The Incredibles 2 and Isle of Dogs.