This week marks the 4th anniversary of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour moving to live broadcasts, which you can find Monday night’s at 9 pm Eastern on Subspace Radio (http://subspace.radio) and the I Heart Radio app. Dean & Phil celebrate this milestone by bringing back the “Live Event of the Week” (involving Phil scaring children!), “Celebrity Deaths” (wherein an award-winning filmmaker, a legendary actress, a groundbreaking television creator, a Louisiana music treasure, and one of the all-time great cinematographers all get remembered), and “What We’re Reading” (including what Phil is most definitely NOT reading)! In addition to all that, the deaths of a retired supreme court justice and a former U.S. Secretary of State inspire a conversation about how things have changed, possibly for the worst, while a discussion about the just-started awards season leads to thoughts of how things have changed for the better! Phil has seen at least one film he loved (Cannes-winner Anatomy of a Fall), one film that did not work (Saltburn), and Dean saw The Marvels (which Phil will have none of!).
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!
The bulk of this week’s show is comprised of two pre-recorded interviews with special guests. The first was a conversation between Phil and Eric Kurland, the pre-eminent authority on the art, science and history of 3-D. The second was recorded last weekend on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood outside the Broadwater Plunge (with a live audience of one, who ends up playing a supporting role), as Dean and Phil hoped to catch up with their friend Eric Mark about his recent trip to the Sundance Film Festival, the successful sci-fi podcast he produces, his many game show appearances and the harrowing health travails he has endured. Only the last of these really gets much coverage in a freewheeling, head-spinning, hilarious conversation on the mean streets of Hollywood.
Their cross-country holiday travels behind them, Dean is back in Michigan, Phil is back in Los Angeles, and they will regale you with stories of Hollywood parties, catch you up on awards season news, analyze the merits of two award hopefuls (the disastrous Babylon and the controversial The Whale) and one indie horror film franchise. They will also remember an award-winning cinematographer, an iconic journalist, a revolutionary fashion designer, and one of the most famous athletes of all time in “Celebrity Deaths”.
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.
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!
Your friends in podcasting (AND broadcasting!) have quite the week to discuss! As the holidays approach, and Covid-19 dashes Dean’s travel plans, Awards Season in Hollywood gets underway. The National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle announced their winners of the best in cinema for 2021, and a consensus has begun to form through critics Top Ten lists about the best of the year in television. Dean and Phil discuss it all. They also try to make sense of the latest in the accidental shooting on the set of “Rust”. A whole lot of classic films get discussed, including which films may have best depicted what life in America was really like in the mid-1980’s. A new documentary series about The Beatles from Peter Jackson gets reviewed and four actors and a musician get remembered in our penultimate installment of “Celebrity Deaths” for 2021. If nothing else, you will learn that the movie Beau Geste is NOT the movie Gunga Din and director Wim Wenders is NOT director Werner Herzog.
Dean and Phil get the ball rolling by discussing the most “fun” (?) cities in California. Then they discuss the role film critics play as we emerge from a pandemic. The quality and box office fortunes of The French Dispatch, The Eternals, Last Night in Soho, Dune, Venom: Let There Be Carnage and No Time to Die get analyzed and discussed. Phil sings the praises of a great Japanese film, a legendary Japanese actor, and a charismatic Japanese pop star. Dean sings the praises of Benedict Cumberbatch and his new film about a famous artist. Phil sings the praises of Mike White’s satirical “The White Lotus” and tackles the controversy surround Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer” from a much different angle. Finally, Dean intrigues Phil with his description of Channing Tatum’s Amazon Prime series “Comrade Detective”.
Following a “cold open” all about another of Dean’s all-time favorite episodes of “The X-Files”, Dean and Phil open their mailbag to answer questions from listeners like you (yes, YOU!). One email concerns why actor Nicholas Lea never appeared on the spin-off series “The Lone Gunmen” and whether Dean would ever join the internet service “Cameo”. Another is from friend of the show Yoshi Kato, who can’t quite remember whether his friends in podcasting have ever done a show about their favorite movie musicals. They have. And episode #497 is once again available for listening pleasure! Finally, loyal listener and good buddy, Greg Vincent, asks a very compelling question about Blade Runner 2049. Dean offers up a brief review of A Quiet Place Part II, Phil offers up a surprisingly glowing review of Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) before launching into an analysis of the head-scratching financial reality of the D.C. Extended Universe. Finally, “The Mod Squad” star Clarence Williams III and 80s “video vixen” Tawny Kitaen get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”.
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.