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.
No broken finger can keep Dean Haglund from joining Phil Leirness for another brand new installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour! This week, your friends in podcasting talk about what they miss because of Covid-19 (and are certain to be missing for the rest of this year at least). Dean and Phil then explain why there might not be many new movies or television shows for a long while. They will, however, discuss several recent titles like Cats, Alita: Battle Angel and It Chapter Two as well as several under-appreciated, vintage gems like John Frankenheimer’s Seconds, Samuel Fuller’s The Crimson Kimono and the jazz adaptation of “Othello” All Night Long. Plus, Phil has harsh criticism for a couple beloved musicals from the 1950s! In “Lawsuit of the Week”, Dean and Phil discuss a courtroom victory for Jerry Seinfeld. Then, following a mea culpa from Dean about an error made on last week’s show, the Chillpak Morgue opens for “Celebrity Deaths” where a glass ceiling-shattering broadcaster and a world-class independent filmmaker and director of top television are remembered. Finally, Phil shares a story about perhaps the greatest phrase ever uttered before death.
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!
Sure, Covid-19 may be no laughing matter, but Phil Leirness gets things started with a quarantine lockdown joke nonetheless before he and Dean Haglund dig down into the protests surrounding stay-at-home orders, the hopes they have for how society might change in the long-term, and about the dangers of placing your faith in “distrust”. Ageism in Hollywood gets discussed, and then “Star Trek: Picard” and season 2 of “Star Trek: Discovery” get compared and get praised before the commercial break. In the back half of the show, Phil regales Dean with “Star Trek”-related tales involving the likes of JJ Abrams and … Toshiro Mifune?! In “Celebrity Deaths”, two of the all-time great character actors, three legendary jazz musicians, a ground-breaking sculptor, a pop-culture influencing illustrator, an award-winning cinematographer, and a glass-ceiling breaking animator get remembered. Keep calm, stay safe, and enjoy YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour!
Dean and Phil discuss Leap Day, tackle the challenges and joys of teaching (improv and acting respectively) and then open the Chillpak morgue to remember a novelist-turned-adventurer, a talk show host-turned-soap opera producer, a quick draw specialist-turned-western star, a psych-rock innovator-turned-dream pop icon, and a mathematician-turned-space program hero in “Celebrity Deaths”. Dean offers up analysis on the “38%” in “Explanation of the Week”. Then, after some appreciation of a Canadian television series (available on Hulu), John Mulaney, David Byrne (and the “Sack Lunch Bunch”), the gents tackle an email from a loyal listener and frequent contributor about the recent practice of releasing “de-colorized” modern movies. Finally, a couple more great movie monologues performed by women get discussed. Something for everyone? We like to think so!
As the holidays approach, it’s the season of self-congratulation in Hollywood, where awards are being handed out and award shows are being planned. Dean and Phil weigh in on the controversy surrounding the Academy’s choice of Oscar hosts, and where they go from here. A filmmaker who never won major awards, but who left an enduring legacy, is remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. Steve Coogan is a comedic actor (writer and producer) who is a source of contention between Dean and Phil. Your friends in podcasting roll up their sleeves and analyze his gifts and review his two 2018 big-screen releases: Ideal Home and Stan & Ollie. This leads into a terrific discussion of pathos and of the enduring film catalog of Laurel and Hardy.
Do you know what Stan Lee’s real name was and why he changed it? Did you know that during the 1940’s and 50’s conservatives weren’t just on a witch hunt against suspected communists but against superhero comic books as well? Join your friends in podcasting as they remember the comic book giant in “Celebrity Deaths” and discuss his cultural impact, his legacy and the controversies in which he found himself. Then, Phil sits down in the woods with filmmaker Ilana Rein, to discuss her narrative feature debut Perception. Long-time listeners might recall that Ilana served as Dean and Phil’s co-host during their 26 hour Mayan podcastathon, back in 2012. So, it’s great to finally have her back to discuss her work. Then, Dean and Phil get into a fascinating discussion about how much films can change from script to screen, using the upcoming Netflix post-apocalyptic action epic Bird Box movie as a case in point. Finally, the joy of still having so many amazing movies from the past to discover and enjoy gets celebrated, with an awesome little mystery film from the late 1970’s taking center stage. YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour. Enjoy!
Seven important notes about this week’s show:
1) It’s our 600th episode!
2) It features a brand new version of the theme song appropriate to Dean’s relocation to the Motor City.
3) A horrible recording problem leads to a few choppy transitions at the start of the show and to an extremely bad electronic hum during the first 25 minutes or so of the show.
4) We have done the best we can to get rid of the hum and to at least make these first 25 minutes listenable, and you will want to bear with us as those minutes contain very personal conversation between Dean and Phil about things they love lost in the current SoCal fires, what they love that is seriously threatened by those fires, and about a great Canadian actor of Dean’s acquaintance who died this month. There is also a great story about baby diapers!
5) Several amazing movies get discussed – including the Sandra Bullock starring post-apocalyptic, action-horror vehicle Bird Box, the Coen Brothers rather amazing Western anthology feature The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Alfonso Cuaron’s seminal black-and-white memory piece Roma and Dean and Phil’s very own The Lady Killers, which Dean has finally seen!
6) The show is 72 minutes long, with about 45 minutes of that boasting clean audio!
7) We wish you all a “Malkovich Hug”!
After last week’s outstanding episode, your friends in podcasting keep the movie talk going as they remember Robby Muller, the late great “Master of Light”, perhaps the most important cinematographer in independent cinema over the final 30 years of the 20th Century. Dean and Phil then discuss what it means on those rare occasions when critics like a movie far more than audiences do. It’s common for audiences to like a film more than critics, but who is to blame when critics love a film and audiences HATE it? Your friends in podcasting answer that question before shifting gears into an incredible “Live Event of the Week”. They welcome special guest Zac Greenberg, the composer of The Bradbury Tattoos: A Rock Opera, which premieres this month in Cincinnati courtesy of a National Endowment of the Arts Grant. Based on four Ray Bradbury short stories from “The Illustrated Man (including “Kaleidoscope”, which Dean once starred in on-stage in Los Angeles as part of Sci-Fest L.A.), this sci-fi spectacular promises to be a production like no other! Oh, and make sure to stay tuned following the closing music and announcements for a sensational Easter egg!
This week, your friends in podcasting complete their epic 2-part celebration of the all-time greatest comedy movies! Boasting films from (almost?) every decade of feature filmmaking, this week’s installment covers Dean and Phil’s respective Top 5’s! There are bound to be crowd-pleasing favorites, silent classics, independent gems and studio blockbusters. So, keep those Netflix queues handy!