We are one week away from our 17th Anniversary and on this week’s show, your friends in broadcasting & podcasting ask for your help in celebrating this milestone! They also discuss a whole lot of movie news and reviews, including the death of a Cannes Palme d’Or winner, the latest on Francis Coppola’s Megalopolis, the return of George Lucas to Star Wars, Steven Spielberg directing a television series based on a script by Stanley Kubrick, the controversy surrounding Taylor Swift’s new album, the meaning of “anti-war” and “anti-violence”, the latest in the Rust on-set shooting prosecutions, the latest terrible twist of fate in the Harvey Weinstein prosecutions, the latest (last?) in Michael Apted’s “Up” documentary series, the cinematic greatness of Jean Cocteau, and a new Japanese classic hitting theaters soon.

As we approach Halloween, the spooky and the scary are foremost on the minds of Dean and Phil, and we aren’t just talking about the actors’ negotiations with the giant media companies! Of course, your friends in broadcasting and podcasting DO talk about those negotiations, but they also discuss such spooky films as the 1980s vampires-with-great-hair spectacle The Lost Boys, the influential Ingmar Bergman classic The Magician, the beloved modern Japanese masterpiece Ring, Disney’s misbegotten Haunted Mansion, Alex Garland’s fascinating Men, and the “Citizen Kane of horror movies”, 1973’s The Wicker Man. All that, plus two non-scary recent releases, the Guy Ritchie-directed spy comedy Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre and the Ashley Park-starring Joy Ride get reviewed, and the beloved Oscar-nominated character actor Burt Young gets remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”.

 

The riddle: What show covers the best film of 2023 (thus far), one of the best films of the 21st century (a movie from Hungary), the 11th greatest film of all time (according to the Sight and Sound poll), AND one of the worst films of all time (a musical version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), in addition to drag shows in Florida, the charms of Santa Catalina Island, the Japanese American National Museum, Dobie Doodle puppies, and several fascinating (quasi) “Celebrity Deaths”?

The answer: Why, this show, of course!

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 and Phil knew they were going to be celebrating the career of the great actor and star James Caan on this week’s show and then the floodgates opened, with many beloved character actors exiting the stage, so after a brief and hilarious cold open, Season 3 Episode 23 begins with “Celebrity Deaths”. Then, the whole concept of “celebration” as a lost “art” gets explored, before your friends in podcasting use it as a springboard to discuss several current television series and a handful of truly brilliant performances. The big screen will not be ignored either, as the cinematic output of Edgar Wright gets examined through the prism of his recent ghost story (Last Night in Soho) and a baseball comedy classic from the 1970s gets revisited.

In the first half of this week’s show, Dean and Phil discuss the latest controversial news surround filmmakers Joss Whedon and Woody Allen and ask how do we separate the art from the artist? And should we? After that, a Motown great, a rap great, the Godfather of salsa, a groundbreaking singer and DJ, and a pioneer of jazz fusion all get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. The second half of the show is part 2 of the roundtable discussion that began last week, where special guests Marc Hershon and Suli McCullough compare notes with Dean about pursuing careers in comedy. On this week’s agenda are the topics of the pandemic and how it has and will change professional comedy, and the importance of pain in comedy.

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!

From the inner space of quiet, self-quarantine lockdowns, to the outer space of “Star Trek: Picard”, Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness take you on quite the journey this week! It starts with their latest observations about themselves and others in the wake of another week of isolation. Sadness, quiet and dehumanization are on the thematic menu! They then compare notes on their respective Easter celebrations, which leads to a discussion of a couple of classic musicals: 1934’s Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers vehicle The Gay Divorcee and 1948’s seasonal staple Easter Parade, starring Astaire and Judy Garland. The recent, modern classic, Uncut Gems gets championed by Phil, who tries to get Dean to overcome his trepidation surrounding Adam Sandler performances (and yet, Dean once championed You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, so go figure!). The second half of the show consists of Dean and Phil comparing the years in cinema 1973 and 1974, discussing all the notable films from those two halcyon years, in hopes of determining which year might challenge 1962 as the greatest year in cinema. Finally, your friends in podcasting beam up to the La Sirena to discuss and debate what went right and what went wrong in season one of “Star Trek: Picard”, a show so successful that a big-screen movie version is already in the planning stages.

On this week’s show, Dean reveals details of his Halloween night, one-man, improv “X-Files” episode and Phil shares tales of a Halloween week visit to the legendary Magic Castle in “Live Events of the Week”. Accomplished stand-up comic and actor John Witherspoon and Hollywood icon Robert Evans are remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. Once again, Dean and Phil discuss the terrific Dolemite is My Name and champion another great title available on Netflix, 2016 Palme d’Or winner I, Daniel Blake. All that, plus HBO’s “Watchmen” and the throw-away gags of “Silicon Valley” get discussed.

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!