The return of The Oscars, celebrating a most unusual year in cinema, deserves to be celebrated, too! And so, this week, your friends in podcasting bring back their old Oscars smackdown style show for the first time in years! There will be wagering – for stakes both ridiculous and sublime. There will be critiquing of the Oscar show itself. There will be analysis of the winners and the snubs.

Your friends in podcasting follow up on last week’s conversation about how the response to hatred and violence directed at the AAPI community might shape the current movie awards season and in the second half of the show, they welcome a great friend, journalist and member of the AAPI community, Yoshi Kato, who weighs in on a year of hate crimes, as well as a year of pandemic and the toll it has taken on the music business and on the business of writing about the music business! He also weighs in on Dean’s Doberman, the Paramount Network and both his favorite and least favorite superhero movies! In the show’s first half, Dean discusses a new Korean sci-fi film, and Phil discusses a classic German sci-fi miniseries! There are also 4 vintage movie ads discussed in connection with four “celebrity deaths” as the careers of two great performers, one leading French filmmaker, and a best-selling, award-winning novelist get celebrated.

It’s all classic comedy, classic television and classic movies on this week’s show! The truly legendary Carl Reiner gets celebrated. Then, Dean and Phil compare the years in film 1982 and 1974 with 1962 to see which year they think was the best year ever for movies!

After a cold open in which Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness celebrate the fact that YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour becomes a teen-ager this week, they launch into what they do best, trying to make sense of a (Covid-19) world gone wild with humor, insight, irreverence and inspiration. In the return of “Wingnut of the Week”, Dean and Phil offer a wag of the finger at Covid-19 conspiracy theorists and a doff of the cap to UFO “truthers”. In “Celebrity Deaths”, they pay tribute to a true titan of comedy publishing and filmmaking, an international star who broke big in both Bollywood and Hollywood, a character actor-turned-casting director, an influential folk singer, and the musician who turned Hugh Grant into a pop star! Then, your friends in podcasting tackle how Covid-19 will affect the up-coming television season, and how it will affect the Oscars, before turning their attention to what years in cinema might rival 1962 as the best year ever for movies! 

In the first half of this week’s show, Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness celebrate the lives of several show biz luminaries who shuffled off the mortal coil these past few weeks. They also analyze the list of the 10 best films of the decade according to the legendary Cahiers du Cinema, especially their top choice. Finally, Dean and Phil reveal a newfound opponent to the Department of Justice’s plan to end the Paramount Consent Decree. Then, after a commercial break, your friends in podcasting welcome to the program, lifelong broadcaster and educator Alex Lewczuk of the University of Lincoln in the UK, Siren FM, and Southside Broadcasting. He discusses the past and present of sci-fi, as well as the importance of futurism.

It’s Dean’s birthday and we have a special, action-packed show! It gets under way with a famous movie star singing “Happy Birthday” to everyone’s favorite Lone Gunman. In “Live Event of the Week”, the return of Dean’s one-man improv “X-Files” show gets celebrated. Phil updates everyone on his most recent eye surgery before climbing his soapbox in the wake of the mass shooting in Gilroy and the seemingly ongoing war on humanity’s joy. 12 years ago, the summer of 2007 was Dean and Phil’s summer of 007 and they were discussing James Bond. This week, they talk about how the Bond producers have missed out on a seemingly huge opportunity and in “Celebrity Deaths”, your friends in podcasting remember a man who was a friend of Phil’s and the answer to an awesome 007 trivia question. They also celebrate the legacy of Rutger Hauer, and of a man whose life was synonymous with space exploration. This leads into a brief discussion about Moon landing “truthers”. Dean and Phil tackle the various ways movie theaters are looking to cure the box office apocalypse. They discuss Netflix’s deal with the Screen Actors Guild. They continue their ongoing discussion comparing the late Krzysztof Kieślowski and Quentin Tarantino, and, oh yeah, they review Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (spoiler free) and preview the “Star Trek” movie he might direct. Happy Birthday to Dean, and Happy Chillpak Hollywood Hour Day to all of you!

Dean Haglund stopped off in Los Angeles for a couple days and while he was there, he recorded a special 2 part installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour. Put on your walking shoes and join and Phil Leirness as they take an audio stroll through some of the most historic parts of downtown Los Angeles! The adventure begins in the iconic Union Station, continues through the original location of Chinatown, includes a stop at Olvera Street and ends high atop City Hall. Through it all, your friends in podcasting will discuss Blade Runner, Harvey Houses, It Happened One Night, classic Hollywood dirt, a controversial and long-lost mural, the challenging art of portrait painting, a bizarre piece of Americana, the history of L.A.’s mayors, Phil’s fear of heights and much more on part 1 of this movable feat for the ears, the spirit and the funny bone!

Your friends in podcasting discuss one of the most sad Christmas celebrations in history, before discussing the deaths of a pop music star, a Native American character actor, a documentary filmmaker and the mayor of SF. Then, Phil turns his attention to one of the most surprising facts to come out of the Disney purchase of 21st Century Fox and Dean tries to calm him down. Then, they delve into the trouble engulfing Matt Damon, before weighing in on three brand new Oscar hopefuls: Downsizing (starring Mr. Damon), Phantom Thread (starring Daniel Day Lewis in his final role), and the rather miraculous All The Money In The World. All that, plus Kyle Machlachlan weighs in on whether “Twin Peaks: The Return” was a terrific season of a television series or whether it was one of the best feature films of the year, and a fantastic note from a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!) is shared.

Let’s not kid ourselves … The holidays are never easy. And putting together this week’s episode of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour was particularly trying …

In fact, after an hour-long Skype-based conversation with their trans-Atlantic guest, Alex Lewczuk, your friends in podcasting, Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness, were shocked to discover that almost none of it was recorded!

So, they just kept talking … Without starting over! If it seems a little bit like joining a conversation in the middle, well … that’s EXACTLY what it IS! It’s a fun, free-wheeling conversation, however, about such a wide range of topics as ageism in the media, science-fiction, academia, Roman settlements, ancient cathedrals, Christmas markets … and more!

Those of you familiar with Phil’s extra-curricular activities know that he is a regular contributor to Alex Lewczuk’s Midweek Drive program(me) for Siren FM and Southside Broadcasting in the UK. You also might remember hearing Alex as part of the 28 hour Mayan podcastathon Dean and Phil conducted last year at this time.

Though, it lacks structure, due to the structure not being recorded, this week’s show is sure to stuff your stocking with audio good cheer. The elves at Rational Exuberance have edited together several holiday-themed goodies for inclusion in this week’s show – another way in which its like no other episode you’ve heard!

Happy Holidays, one and all!

This week’s show is over five and a half years in the making.

It starts with your friends in podcasting revealing their all-time Top Ten Films.

Then, they reveal the all-time Top Ten according to all the guests who have appeared on YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour!

What films will make the cut?

We wouldn’t dream of spoiling it. HOWEVER, we CAN let you know that these films did NOT make the top ten, though they came very close, finishing in positions twenty-four through eleven:

24. Vertigo (Director: Alfred Hitchcock, Year: 1958)
23. Apocalypse Now (Francis Coppola, 1979)
22. Amelie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
21. A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971)
19. TIE – Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994), The Big Lebowski (Joel Coen, 1998)
18. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1964)
17. Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders, 1987)
16. the Matrix (The Wachowskis, 1999)
15. The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949)
14. Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974)
13. Fellini’s 8 1/2 (Federico Fellini, 1963)
12. Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990)
11. Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean, 1962)

Got your popcorn? Then, let’s go to the movies!