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”.
A cold open about a … melon festival (?!) … inspires a story about racial hostility in Turlock in the early 20th century. From there, Phil is inspired to pick up on a brilliant observation Dean made last week about Mike Nichols’ Working Girl and apply that observation as a potential thru-line for this celebrated director’s career. Alec Baldwin gets into hot water for tweeting support for Anne Heche and Salman Rushdie gets stabbed on-stage right before hailing the USA as the last bastion of freedom of speech. Dean and Phil try to make sense of both of these events. The return of “What We’re Reading” sees Dean learning how to sketch people’s hands and Phil learning what the next World War will be like! In “Celebrity Deaths”, a good friend and frequent collaborator of Stanley Kubrick, a popular and inspiring painter, a legendary French movie star, and the composer of one of the most indelible theme songs of all time all get remembered. Finally, Dean and Phil discuss the finely-tuned instincts Marlon Brando possessed as a great entertainer, and Phil hails the allegorical storytelling on display in Jordan Peele’s Nope.
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.
Is Dean Haglund embracing his madness with a new sleep schedule? And what is his favorite episode of “The X-Files”? These are but two of the questions asked and answered on this week’s show, which also features celebrations of the great comedian (and comedy writer) Paul Mooney and the great comic actor (and provocateur) Charles Grodin. Phil hates when old white guys (like himself) complain about “woke” culture so he gets out his soapbox to rant about it before shining a spotlight on the insidious global conspiracy to … convert people to Hinduism? Apparently in Alabama, elected officials think that’s a thing! After that journey down the rabbit hole, which includes discussion of yoga, meditation and desserts, Dean and Phil tackle three overlooked movies from 2020: Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield, the documentary Dick Johnson is Dead, and the “weird western” from Brasil, Bacurau. Are movie theaters going to make a comeback? And if so, will projecting movies on FILM actually play a part in this comeback? Your friends in podcasting having thoughts about this!
Following up on one of their best episodes ever, your friends in podcasting return with the latest installment of Dean’s Down Under Bucket List (before he moves to Detroit)! Then, after a discussion of the visual symbolism of watching Aretha Franklin and John McCain memorialized in back-to-back days, Dean and Phil tackle the current season of “Better Call Saul”, the upcoming season of “Man in the High Castle”, the new movie from Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) and the Spike Lee joint Do The Right Thing (at almost 30!). Then, an actress with a once-promising, high-profile career who was shot and killed by police and the writer with the most ever combined Tony and Oscar nominations are remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”.