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 …”!
This week’s show picks up where last week’s show left off, in a cold open about Godard’s Contempt and Scorsese’s Raging Bull. Then, Dean and Phil talk about the importance of supporting movie theaters, and Dean offers up another vintage TV title ripe for viewing/re-viewing during what promises to be a very lengthy halt in television production. Phil shares deeply personal thoughts about two remarkable people who died this year. That leads to an edition of “Celebrity Deaths” dedicated entirely to great writers. Then, it’s back to Robert De Niro (and Raging Bull) as Dean celebrates what he believes to be the all-time five greatest performances by the multiple Oscar-winning legend.
Dean previews his upcoming improv show. Phil previews his forthcoming travels with his cat. Dean and Phil analyze the latest news in the escalating showdown between the Hollywood studios and the creative unions, including the terms of the tentative agreement between the studios and the directors. Then, the rest of the show is about a handful of the greatest films of all time, including Casablanca (with fascinating and surprising stories about its making), Seven Samurai, Pickpocket and Out of the Past, and a couple of truly awful ones (a musical version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring Kirk Douglas?!). Discussion of great actors, great editing, great cinematography, and Wabi-Sabi ensues!
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.
Dean is back from the UK and reports on his travels. Phil has been availing himself of classic movies and has thoughts on an indie gem from the 1980s, a mind-bending oddity from Joseph Losey, and a 1960 epic about the founding of Israel. The episodic series “Space Force”, “Barry” season 3, “Our Flag Means Death”, “Hacks” season 2, “The Book of Boba Fett”, “Obi-Wan Kenobi” and season 2 of “The Mandalorian” get discussed. Four giants of the music industry and 3 beloved character actors get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. Finally, Dean and Phil explain why Tom Cruise was probably the perfect person to produce and star in a brilliant sequel 36 years after the original, and Phil shares some inspiring words relating to Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
This week, YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour turns 15 years old! And Season 3 Episode 13 features several anniversary celebrations, including wisdom from a special guest, a story from Dean about why he is no longer a vegetarian and the return of a classic movie ad from the Vintage Movie Ad Game that saw Dean and Phil through the pandemic! There is also an email from a loyal listener who both asks a question and throws accolades in the direction of longtime friend of the show, Page Branson. Movies and moviemakers get discussed, including the very first big-budget, major studio adaptation of a television series, and the great director of last year’s Oscar-winning Drive My Car. Bill Murray has found himself in a lot of hot water. Dean and Phil will tackle the controversy, Bill Murray’s thoughtful response, and discuss empathy in great detail. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, a rock drummer, a country music legend, a teen idol, and a chart-topping singer all get remembered.
You might not know the name Don Phillips, but you will definitely know the names of many the performers whose careers he launched as a casting director, and the films with which he was involved. He is one of four cultural titans that Dean and Phil remember in “Celebrity Deaths” on this week’s show, including a poet and founder of the mythopoetic men’s movement, an iconic Broadway composer, and a trombonist who received the highest honor ever bestowed on jazz musicians. Dean will update us on the latest in his bout with Covid-19, his travel plans, his live ghost hunts and his “Hellacious Renovations”. Phil will regale us with his birthday adventures, his deep dive into historic movie locations, and his exploration of the Manzanar “War Relocation Center”. Several movies will get analyzed as well, including a Kurosawa classic ripe for a modern-day remake, a film noir with a claim to the best dialogue of any movie ever, and a current box office hit that begs the question, “Does bustin’ make Dean & Phil feel good?”
Because the only way to truly let go is through gratitude, Dean and Phil spend this week’s show celebrating the Best of 2020! From space exploration to snail mail, from nanotechnology to basketball, from ice cream to the Criterion Collection, from television series you can stream to rooms that produce steam it’s an eclectic mix of items that get celebrated and discussed. Frequently hilarious, often thought-provoking, and even inspiring, it’s YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour wishing you a healthy and prosperous 2021!
Listeners of this show know that Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness love to read, and that includes poetry. Yet, in all the years YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour has been “changing the way people listen to the internet”, Dean and Phil have never dedicated an entire episode to discussing a particular poet’s work. Until now … All That Remains is a powerful, evocative new book of poetry by Betsy Holleman Burke, and it announces the arrival of an indelible voice onto the scene. Betsy joins Phil to discuss the book, its themes and the “moment” poetry seems to be having now. Dean then takes a deep dive into two of the book’s more “stand-alone” poems. Quite unexpectedly, listeners will learn a few new things about Dean, himself! You can learn more about All That Remains and its author at searchingforhummingbirds.com. Have a happy and safe New Year, everybody!
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!