Is Dean’s Detroit-adjacent neighborhood of Birmingham, Michigan, a winter wonderland? What are bath bombs? What is conveyor belt sushi? These are just some of the pressing questions answered by your friends in podcasting (and broadcasting) at the outset of this week’s show, before they get down to the business of remembering a founding member of Moody Blues and Wings, an Emmy-winning TV cop, a 1960s TV star-turned-casting director, a big screen star of British cinema, an award-winning Canadian filmmaker, and a wonderful character actor (and friend of Dean’s) in “Celebrity Deaths”. Then, Dean and Phil roll up their sleeves and dig deep into Ridley Scott’s Napoleon, the brand new Wonka, Godzilla Minus One and Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon.
Dean and Phil commiserate about power outages in Dean’s Michigan neighborhood and about snow in Los Angeles! More important than winter season weather, however, are which way the winds are blowing in Hollywood’s award season and they discuss the latest news and how it affects handicapping this year’s Best Picture Oscar race. Long before it was called “Best Picture”, the top Oscar was called “Best Production” and Phil analyzes one of its earliest recipients – Cimarron, one of the only westerns ever to win the top prize from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Another western also has Phil’s attention: Red Sun starring Charles Bronson, Toshiro Mifune and Alain Delon. Phil follows up on last week’s remembrance of Raquel Welch, by sharing thoughts on and stories about one of her earliest films, Lady in Cement starring Frank Sinatra. Finally, Phil saw a screening of the great Italian classic The Conformist and discussion of this leads to appreciations on the art of editing and some of its greatest practitioners, as well as an appreciation for the great production designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti. Dean also saw a movie this week – the current (modest) box office hit 80 for Brady and Dean actually sings its praises! Dean also has two personal stories about the great stand-up comedian-turned-actor Richard Belzer (with whom he starred in and episode of “The X-Files” exploring the origin of the Lone Gunmen). Other notables remembered in “Celebrity Deaths” include a big screen star of the 60s and 70s, and a 6 time Emmy-nominated television actress of the 80’s and 90s.
After a funny cold open where Dean tells about another of his haunted house adventures, Dean and Phil kick off this week’s show by sharing what they are thankful for during this Thanksgiving week, Dean battling Covid-19, Phil reflecting on his mother’s death two years ago. The career of Dean Martin, his work with Jerry Lewis, and a terrific TCM documentary “Dean Martin: King of Cool” all get discussed. A great jazz film from the 1980s, Round Midnight, and the “sacred” aspect of cinema get celebrated. The box office success of Ghostbusters: Afterlife and No Time to Die get analyzed through a very optimistic lens. In “Celebrity Deaths”, Dean’s love of funk gets exposed, as two great funk stars get remembered, along with a star of HBO’s “Oz”. And speaking of HBO, Dean and Phil tease an upcoming discussion about HBO’s “Succession” and about Will Ferrell’s considerable behind-the-scenes clout in Hollywood.
This week’s show really puts the “Hollywood” into YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour! The cold open starts with a quick, wicked and insightful recap of the Writers Guild of America winners for Best Original and Best Adapted screenplays. Spring has sprung and your friends in podcasting are high energy, high-stepping their way through remembrances of 3 actors, a journalist, a beloved children’s book author, a Tuskegee Airman, and the inventor of cassette tapes, as well through a diversity-inspired round of their almost weekly celebration of vintage movie ads from the 1980s and 90s! From there, Dean and Phil set sail for the “Season of Self-Congratulation”, focusing on the forthcoming Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Oscars. They discuss such TV shows as “Ted Lasso”, “Dead to Me” and “The Crown” and such movies as Minari, The Father, Da 5 Bloods, Wonder Woman 1984, Zack Snyder’s Justice League and more! All that plus several of the best directors working in film today: Christopher Nolan, Chloe Zhao and Kelly Reichardt.
Dean and Phil compare hilarious notes on their Thanksgivings, Phil shares tales of his birthday adventures, updates on his sister’s medical status, and relays what a birthday card he received from a loyal listener and friend to the show inspired. Phil quizzes Dean on a few ad lines from movies to see if Dean can guess the films they describe. In “Celebrity Deaths”, a groundbreaking TV executive, a chart-topping doo-wop singer, a beloved voice actor, a civil rights trailblazer, a former mayor of New York, and a fascinating pop culture icon get remembered. David E. Kelley has a new television series mired in controversy and that controversy will lead to a discussion of “Law and Order” and Q Anon! Finally, Dean and Phil share a couple of their favorite all-time episodes of television, one from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and the other from “Homicide: Life on the Street”.