Recorded late last week from a certain “historic building in downtown Los Angeles”, this episode begins with Phil doffing his cap about what Dean got right in discussing Sarah Polley’s Women Talking a few weeks back AND wagging his finger at what Dean got wrong while discussing Netflix’s “Wednesday” this past week. Phil then hails Joel de la Fuente (of “Man in the High Castle” and most recently “The Mysterious Benedict Society”) as his favorite actor. At that point, Dean and Phil switch gears for a show ten years in the making, analyzing the just-released, decennial Sight and Sound poll of all-time greatest films! What Dean and Phil were expecting and what surprised them leads to what promises to be an ongoing conversation about re-contextualization and the importance of learning how works of art resonate with different groups and different cultures.
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”.
Dean is on a crazy road trip from Detroit, one that has led him to Des Moines and Denver. What city beginning with “De” will be his next stop? You will find out! The show opens with a tale of bad behavior by one of the biggest stars currently living in the Hollywood Hills. The latest on the Rust on-set shooting tragedy, and ensuing legal chaos, gets covered. A holocaust survivor-turned-sitcom star, the composer of one of the most iconic themes in cinema history, and an Oscar-nominated filmmaker all get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. A whole mess of 2022 movies get reviewed, including leading “Best Picture” hopeful Women Talking, as well as The Woman King, Where the Crawdads Sing, and The Outfit. An overlooked noir-ish classic from Carol Reed gets reappraised, as does a Nazi gold caper film from the 1970s, and a truly bizarre satire about presidential assassination from the author of “The Manchurian Candidate” and “Prizzi’s Honor”.
After a brief cold open about Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, Dean and Phil switch gears from the Holiday Season to “Awards Season” as they tackle a handful of this year’s award hopefuls, including Tár, Don’t Worry Darling, The Menu, Cate Blanchett and Ralph Fiennes. There is a brand new “Lawsuit of the Week” AGAIN involving the tragic Alec Baldwin-starring western Rust. An email from a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!) about a celebrity death will be followed by … “Celebrity Deaths”! A versatile actor, a comedy impresario, and a legendary prop comic have their lives and legacies celebrated. All that, PLUS Phil shares a hilarious account of a recent 50th high school reunion.
This week’s show opens with a brief interview with one of the stars of a “Live Event of the Week”. Dean is in Washington, D.C. and he gives a full report on one of the most beautiful road trip sights he has seen and an exhibit at the National Gallery focusing on Joseph Singer Sargent. Phil has just returned from his (penultimate?) trip to Turlock to finalize “family business” and he is in an exhausted, tormented, philosophical mood, opining on family, marriage, and alternate universes. The comedy of the Marx Brothers, Billy Wilder, Marilyn Monroe and See How They Run gets dissected, and in “What We’re Reading” the art of Edward Hopper, the comedy of Martin Short and the poetry of Betsy Holleman Burke get discussed. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, the lives and legacies of a Canadian voice actor, a Japanese star of an American miniseries, a blues singer, a sitcom producer and a law student-turned-best selling novelist all get explored.
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.
A cold open about the horror classic (?) Phantasm gets the ball rolling on a fascinating, funny, free-wheeling conversation between Dean and Phil about such topics as Dean’s forthcoming creative endeavors, Phil’s stressful experience judging a costume competition, the ongoing Los Angeles city council scandal and the difference between “representing” and “reflecting”. A message from someone very close to Dean about the most recent Palme d’Or winner at Cannes leads to a spirited appreciation of the comedy in Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend and a message from a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!) leads to hilarious stories about Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre and to a discussion of the very first episode of the new season of “Documentary Now” (a parody about Werner Herzog)! Kanye West’s ridiculous claims about Django Unchained and the onslaught of criticism directed at the new season of “The Crown” get examined before your friends in podcasting (and broadcasting) offer up a very lengthy, (and way too short!) celebration of the “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, Loretta Lynn.
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.
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.
After another hilarious cold open, Dean and Phil briefly discuss the actors George C. Scott and William Shatner, the time their careers intersected, and how memory might have played a role in their careers. Then, it’s a deep dive into the careers of two of the most accomplished screen stars of the 2nd half of the 20th Century: Marlon Brando and Jack Lemmon! Some of the greatest movies, filmmakers and writers take their turns in the spotlight, as do several overlooked or under-appreciated gems!