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 …”!
Is Dean’s Detroit-adjacent neighborhood of Birmingham, Michigan, a winter wonderland? What are bath bombs? What is conveyor belt sushi? These are just some of the pressing questions answered by your friends in podcasting (and broadcasting) at the outset of this week’s show, before they get down to the business of remembering a founding member of Moody Blues and Wings, an Emmy-winning TV cop, a 1960s TV star-turned-casting director, a big screen star of British cinema, an award-winning Canadian filmmaker, and a wonderful character actor (and friend of Dean’s) in “Celebrity Deaths”. Then, Dean and Phil roll up their sleeves and dig deep into Ridley Scott’s Napoleon, the brand new Wonka, Godzilla Minus One and Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon.
This week’s Canadian Thanksgiving installment features follow-ups on several topics from past episodes: Are the most important pop culture figures of the last quarter of the 20th century all named “David”? Why is contemporary art so abundant with creativity and so full of joy? What are some of the most thrilling aspects of Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia? And speaking of Savannah, why is The Pirate House so darn haunting? In addition to those follow-ups, Phil has been researching “Trainee” programs offered by the Writer’s Guild in the wake of their (tentative) deal with the producers. And a loyal listener has thoughts about the best/worst actors to play Hercule Poirot on the big screen. This last leads into Dean’s thoughts about Kenneth Branagh’s A Haunting in Venice before three films starring the great Dirk Bogarde, the soulfulness of Oliver Reed and a brilliant, unheralded masterpiece by the late William Friedkin all get discussed. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, a beloved star of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (and “NCIS”) gets remembered.
This week’s show begins with a round of Dean and Phil’s vintage movie ad game before becoming a preview of April events to which Dean and Phil are looking forward. From there, the show seques into a discussion of the latest news surrounding the Rust on-set shooting trial as well as the latest news involving the ever-expanding on-screen universes of John Wick and Blade Runner, during which Phil questions whether the USA can ever rid itself of gun violence when we so profoundly enjoy fictional depictions of such violence. Two cinematic classics by the great French director René Clément get discussed (one a 1960 adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley and the other a 1970 Lewis Carroll and Alfred Hitchcock-inspired film that turned Charles Bronson into the biggest global box office draw), and a circus film from Carol Reed gets celebrated, along with the body of work by its star, Burt Lancaster. In “Celebrity Deaths”, the original Wednesday Addams, the co-creator of “Sesame Street”, and the star of “James at 15” and “Salem’s Lot” all get remembered. Finally, your friends in podcasting and broadcasting commemorate the 12th anniversary of THE “comedy soundcast soundcast” Succotash!
Dean is getting into the spirit of Halloween, Phil is dressing up in steam punk to judge a fashion show, and they are both curious about Jim Thorpe PA, and they talk about all of this! The death of Nikki Finke inspires a celebration and analysis of the Deadline Hollywood website that was her creation and a discussion of a recent headline on the site about ageism in Hollywood. In “Celebrity Deaths”, Phil rants about people claiming anyone is “best known for” a particular work before he and Dean celebrate the lives and legacies of actress Angela Lansbury, actor Robbie Coltrane, author Peter Straub, groundbreaking disc jockey Art Laboe, and significant Hollywood matriarch Eileen Ryan. There is much discussion of the greatest film directors of all time (according to a 2002 Sight and Sound poll) before Dean and wrap things up where they began with Halloween-themed movie viewing.
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 discuss the death of a genuine L.A. icon, the changes sweeping thru Phil’s beloved neighborhood, the “right” time to move, a TCM podcast about Peter Bogdanovich, his film Saint Jack, workplace safety on the films of Roger Corman and more thoughts on the recent releases The Last Duel and Nightmare Alley. All that, plus they celebrate the lives and legacies of a Nashville broadcasting giant, the “singer of the millennium”, a rock music superstar, three actors, a beloved comedian, a groundbreaking fashion maverick, and two historic figures from the world of sports.
Dean and Phil discuss Martin Luther King Day, share three messages from loyal listeners like you (yes, YOU!), reveal a handful of new nicknames for Phil, and analyze three recent cinematic releases. They also celebrate the lives and legacies of several music legends, a couple of beloved sitcom stars, and a true Hollywood icon.
Your friends in podcasting (AND broadcasting!) have quite the week to discuss! As the holidays approach, and Covid-19 dashes Dean’s travel plans, Awards Season in Hollywood gets underway. The National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle announced their winners of the best in cinema for 2021, and a consensus has begun to form through critics Top Ten lists about the best of the year in television. Dean and Phil discuss it all. They also try to make sense of the latest in the accidental shooting on the set of “Rust”. A whole lot of classic films get discussed, including which films may have best depicted what life in America was really like in the mid-1980’s. A new documentary series about The Beatles from Peter Jackson gets reviewed and four actors and a musician get remembered in our penultimate installment of “Celebrity Deaths” for 2021. If nothing else, you will learn that the movie Beau Geste is NOT the movie Gunga Din and director Wim Wenders is NOT director Werner Herzog.
Dean and Phil follow up on their deep dive analysis of the quality and box office fortunes of a wide variety of cinematic releases with an even DEEPER dive into the box office calamity that has befallen Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel. From a movie that died at the box office to “Celebrity Deaths”, a pioneering stand-up comic, an inspiring and award-winning jazz guitarist, a legendary writer of “Doctor Who” and “Wallace and Gromit”, and a popular actress of the 60s and 70s all get remembered. Then, Dean and Phil turn their attention to Thanksgiving by programming another of their “film festivals”. This time it’s five double-features you might be well-advised to watch in order to celebrate the holiday in style!