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.
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.
This week, Dean and Phil follow up on one of their best episodes ever by discussing the importance of manners as they relate to masks, shoes, and award shows! They have some bracing words about the nature of “safety” in show business. Then, they turn their attention to the Oscar-winning documentary Summer of Soul before discussing Oscar-winner George Chakiris and what he thought made original West Side Story choreographer Jerome Robbins so great. They also discuss the importance of representation, which leads to a discussion of an early Vincente Minnelli film, Cabin in the Sky from 1943, featuring an incredible all-black cast. That leads to a discussion of the version of A Star is Born produced by and starring Minnelli’s one-time wife, Judy Garland. It was a remake, of course, and has been remade twice more. And speaking of remakes, Dean and Phil conclude by analyzing Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile, why it failed as a movie and what is being blamed for its failure at the box office.
Phil (in Hollywood) and Dean (in the environs of Detroit) checked in with each other before, during and after Sunday night’s Oscars and recorded their conversation about the movie industry’s big night. There are insights, there are jokes, there is snark, there are criticisms, and oh, yes, Dean has been drinking!
Phil has been chasing trains all over California and he has stories. St. Patrick’s Day was this past week and Dean and Phil have jokes about that. In “Celebrity Deaths”, Oscar-winning actor William Hurt gets remembered and the controversy surrounding celebrations of his legacy will get examined. Star of the original “Godzilla” and a great story about him get discussed, and before the Chillpak Morgue closes, R&B great Timmy Thomas has his praises sung. This is, of course, the biggest week in Hollywood and Dean and Phil “go to the movies” to discuss Steven Spielberg’s next film (a sequel to a 1960s classic), the brilliance and pain and artistry of Richard Pryor as seen in Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip and the inspiring visual storytelling on display in the works of Paolo Sorrentino, specifically his current Oscar nominee for Best International Film, The Hand of God.
Dean starts the show by talking about shoveling his driveway. Phil talks about location scouting and chasing trains. Then, they roll up their sleeves and in “Celebrity Deaths”, they remember 8 actors and 1 legendary studio exec turned producer who was responsible for some of the greatest and most beloved films of the past 45 years. Speaking of great films, two of this year’s fascinating and inspiring nominees for Best International Film will get appraised. So, will the franchise prequel A King’s Man. This weekend’s Directors Guild Award-winner, Jane Campion, gets the last word with an epic takedown of Sam Elliott in the wake of his unfortunate commentary while a guest on Marc Maron’s podcast.
On this week’s episode, Dean and Phil pick up right where they left off last week when they were discussing the SAG Award winners. Specifically, they will analyze what the foreign-language “Squid Game” winners tell us about the ways Americans in general (and younger generations in particular) consume their entertainment and their openness to subtitles. This conversation continues with a review of the multiple Academy Award-nominated Norwegian film The Worst Person in the World. Other nominated films get reviewed, including Coda, and the 1961 classic Judgment at Nuremberg gets reappraised. The box office triumph of The Batman and what it might mean for movie-going gets examined. An awards season controversy and what it means for the Best Picture odds of The Power of the Dog get dissected. Dean offers up a BBC Series recommendation. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, one author, three musicians, and the “Freddy Krueger of Magic” get remembered.
Phil is back from Hawaii and bringing with him observations about how the islands AND America have changed since he last visited the spots he traveled to (24 and 36 years ago respectively). He and Dean bring back “What We’re Reading” after a lengthy absence, and the discussion of books will lead to discussions of comedy, the Golden Age of Radio, watercolor painting and YouTube instructional videos! In “Celebrity Deaths”, an Oscar-nominated star of M*A*S*H, one of the greatest comedy movie directors of all time, and the “Queen of Funk” all get remembered. The show concludes with an analysis of Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild awards. What do the Film winners portend for the forthcoming Oscars, and whom did Phil and Dean vote for in these award categories? All that, plus what non-nominated film might be one of the very best of 2021?