From the sublime to the ridiculous, from the cosmic to the deeply personal, Dean and Phil are going deep on this week’s show! Remembering the haunting, ethereal “voice” of “Twin Peaks”, Julee Cruise, leads into ruminating about the afterlife, hauntings, consciousness, and moral underpinnings to the universe. This, naturally, involves analyzing two new Netflix comedy specials – Ricky Gervais’ “SuperNature” and Norm MacDonald’s “Nothing Special” – and two fascinating and troubling cinematic releases of the late 60s – Otto Preminger’s Skidoo and Richard Brooks’ In Cold Blood.
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.
After a funny cold open where Dean tells about another of his haunted house adventures, Dean and Phil kick off this week’s show by sharing what they are thankful for during this Thanksgiving week, Dean battling Covid-19, Phil reflecting on his mother’s death two years ago. The career of Dean Martin, his work with Jerry Lewis, and a terrific TCM documentary “Dean Martin: King of Cool” all get discussed. A great jazz film from the 1980s, Round Midnight, and the “sacred” aspect of cinema get celebrated. The box office success of Ghostbusters: Afterlife and No Time to Die get analyzed through a very optimistic lens. In “Celebrity Deaths”, Dean’s love of funk gets exposed, as two great funk stars get remembered, along with a star of HBO’s “Oz”. And speaking of HBO, Dean and Phil tease an upcoming discussion about HBO’s “Succession” and about Will Ferrell’s considerable behind-the-scenes clout in Hollywood.
Saturday was International Ghost Hunting Day and Dean was at the forefront of it. Phil has been thinking a great deal about Buster Keaton, his influence, and other films and filmmakers that might have influenced the making of his beloved Wings of Desire. Phil asks Dean about legendary actress Ruta Lee, and an episode of “The Twilight Zone” in which she starred. One of the greatest banjo players of all time, a giant of reggae, and a founding member of a chart-topping UK pop band all get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. In the return of “What We’re Reading”, Dean discusses an artist who was once the most popular in Amsterdam and who has fallen into obscurity. This leads into a fascinating discussion about communicating with the future. Phil is reading a novel that explores two different timelines in the marshes and on the coastline of North Carolina in the 1950s and 60s. Dean and Phil then re-visit last week’s Emmy Awards and do an analytical deep dive into the furor surrounding “Ted Lasso” season 2 and the concept of “public ownership” before reviewing season 1 of “Hacks”. Finally, we want to wish our sponsor, Empire State Gas, Many Happy Returns! Thanks for sponsoring us all these years. You’ve got great gas!
Happy August, everybody! This month might well tell the tale of whether the USA puts the pandemic behind it or whether Covid-19 stays with us in some form or another for quite a while longer … Before we let go of July, however, Dean and Phil want to celebrate the recent Cannes Film Festival, putting several very promising and fascinating films on your radar. They also want to celebrate the recent, groundbreaking Emmy Award nominations, celebrating the best TV has to offer, while also offering up three picks of current series you might well enjoy! All that plus The Clown Prince of Hip Hop and a beloved sitcom star of the 80’s get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”.
Dean and Phil follow up on last week’s awesome show by discussing more about “Hollywood accounting” and how in show biz the “bottom line” is often NOT the bottom line! Last week, while discussing the box office struggles of the brand new In the Heights, Dean and Phil were inspired to look back at two dance films based on the same craze that opened on the same day many years ago, one of which boasted a music score from Phil’s frequent collaborator, Greg De Belles. Greg composed the score for Phil’s Karl Rove, I Love You and for Dean and Phil’s The Truth Is Out There and The Lady Killers. Greg died on Friday, and Dean and Phil speak of their immensely talented friend. Of course, the box office struggles continue, so Dean and Phil discuss how a Pixar movie might have been able to change everything. That leads into a deep dive into Disney +, the movie Soul, the miniseries “WandaVision” and the episodic series “The Mandalorian”. There is also a lot of talk about painting, from the advice given by the great Leigh McCloskey to the thematic approach of the Barbizon school of artists and the brilliance of Julian Schnabel’s Van Gogh film At Eternity’s Gate. Finally, Dean and Phil celebrate the careers of an Oscar-nominated character actor and a beloved sitcom actor and director.
The heartfelt and the hilarious are both in abundant supply this week. For Phil Leirness and Dean Haglund, one of the best things about co-hosting YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour these past (almost) 14 years has been the friendships they have enjoyed because of the show. And these friendships are very much on their minds. Sure, there is the latest show biz-related Covid-19 news, a great joke about people’s reaction this past week to Dr. Seuss books, reviews of movies both recent and classic, fun with movie ads from the year 1986, “Celebrity Deaths” featuring two great reggae artists, and the return of “What We’re Reading”, but there will also be special birthday wishes, the celebration of a good friend’s new music, tales from a friend’s memoir, lessons learned from a friend’s work as a podcaster, and more. Dean will also discuss the show he did this past week with his good friend Gary Jones, and Phil will preview the two new podcast series he will be producing!
With special “theme” shows planned to ring out 2020 and ring in 2021, this week’s show will be the last of Dean and Phil’s usual irreverent and insightful show biz grab bags for a few weeks! In it, they celebrate the lives of two Broadway legends, an accomplished New Orleans-based actress, and a “Star Wars” icon. They discuss some of their favorite Christmas movies and share what movies they have gravitated towards this holiday season. They offer up a few holiday-themed movie print ads in what has become a weekly tradition. They discuss why Hitchcockian cinema (i.e. Hitchock-like movies directed by people other than Hitchcock) might have had its peak in the 1970s. They weigh in on Tom Cruise’s Covid-19 safety protocol rant. All that, plus, “The Mandalorian”, “Star Trek: Discovery”, “The Boys” and John Cassavetes!
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!
This week’s show will be action-packed and an especially fun show for movie-lovers. In “What We’re Reading”, Dean will update us on his Da Vinci-esque “Mind Maps”. In “Celebrity Deaths” a chart-topping singer and an iconic TV star of the 60s who went on to star on-screen and on-stage for more than 60 years will be remembered. Cinemas are re-opening in the U.S., but should they? Not according to filmmakers whose movies are actually going to play in those theaters! Dean and Phil will discuss, and they will analyze both the controversy surrounding Netflix’s “Cuties” and the changes the Oscars will be making to its “Best Picture” category to promote greater diversity in front of and behind the camera. Finally, a whole mess of great films will get celebrated, with a particular emphasis on the greatest British filmmaking team of all time. And if that’s not enough, there’s even a new Chillpak Hollywood Hour drinking game!