Recorded late last week from a certain “historic building in downtown Los Angeles”, this episode begins with Phil doffing his cap about what Dean got right in discussing Sarah Polley’s Women Talking a few weeks back AND wagging his finger at what Dean got wrong while discussing Netflix’s “Wednesday” this past week. Phil then hails Joel de la Fuente (of “Man in the High Castle” and most recently “The Mysterious Benedict Society”) as his favorite actor. At that point, Dean and Phil switch gears for a show ten years in the making, analyzing the just-released, decennial Sight and Sound poll of all-time greatest films! What Dean and Phil were expecting and what surprised them leads to what promises to be an ongoing conversation about re-contextualization and the importance of learning how works of art resonate with different groups and different cultures.
Because Dean will be traveling to the UK, next week’s episode will be a special, pre-recorded, “theme” show. On this week’s show, Dean previews his trip. Phil shares an email from a loyal listener like you (YES, YOU!) about a rare and hard (impossible?) to find program from 30 years ago. That leads to a tribute to the late, great Robert Morse. Phil then pays tribute to a friend of his, a fixture of The Los Angeles Breakfast Club, who was as old as that 97 year-old club of hospitality and friendship when he died this past month. Phil also previews a speech he is giving this week at the club about Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Phil’s recently-acquired appreciation for the greatness of James Mason takes another turn and leads to an appreciation of the greatness of Paul Newman! Dean’s recent derision for all things Michael Mann gets explored and several of the most beloved AND a couple of the most under-appreciated crime films of the past 40 years get examined. Finally, Dean and Phil discuss the differences between disrespect and irreverence, the necessity of the latter and the unhealthy aspects of the former. Somehow this discussion involves both This is Spinal Tap and Elon Musk! From the heart-tugging to the thought-provoking, from the groan-inducing to the funny-bone tickling, it’s all on the menu!
Phil has been chasing trains all over California and he has stories. St. Patrick’s Day was this past week and Dean and Phil have jokes about that. In “Celebrity Deaths”, Oscar-winning actor William Hurt gets remembered and the controversy surrounding celebrations of his legacy will get examined. Star of the original “Godzilla” and a great story about him get discussed, and before the Chillpak Morgue closes, R&B great Timmy Thomas has his praises sung. This is, of course, the biggest week in Hollywood and Dean and Phil “go to the movies” to discuss Steven Spielberg’s next film (a sequel to a 1960s classic), the brilliance and pain and artistry of Richard Pryor as seen in Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip and the inspiring visual storytelling on display in the works of Paolo Sorrentino, specifically his current Oscar nominee for Best International Film, The Hand of God.
On this week’s episode, Dean and Phil pick up right where they left off last week when they were discussing the SAG Award winners. Specifically, they will analyze what the foreign-language “Squid Game” winners tell us about the ways Americans in general (and younger generations in particular) consume their entertainment and their openness to subtitles. This conversation continues with a review of the multiple Academy Award-nominated Norwegian film The Worst Person in the World. Other nominated films get reviewed, including Coda, and the 1961 classic Judgment at Nuremberg gets reappraised. The box office triumph of The Batman and what it might mean for movie-going gets examined. An awards season controversy and what it means for the Best Picture odds of The Power of the Dog get dissected. Dean offers up a BBC Series recommendation. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, one author, three musicians, and the “Freddy Krueger of Magic” get remembered.
Since it is Valentine’s Day, it’s only fitting that Dean and Phil are offering up a show that is nothing less than a love letter to movies, movie-going AND great comedic acting on television! In addition to a great story about Howard (“Dr. Johnny Fever”) Hesseman that involves the legendary Jack (“Dragnet”) Webb, and analysis of a handful of nominated films, shows and performances, Dean and Phil also engage in free-wheeling discussion about how we judge film and TV, how these works are consumed and what awards shows need to be moving forward. All that, plus a legend of visual effects and the Queen of Italian Cinema both get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”.
Another show 10 years in the making! Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness ring out 2019 by counting down their Top Ten lists of the Greatest Films of the Decade! Get that popcorn ready (and keep those Netflix queues handy) because we’re going to the movies …