Dean was still battling Covid and Phil was heading to Savannah, Georgia, so this week’s installment of was recorded several days early. In it, Dean offers suggestions to Phil of sites he should visit in the Hostess City of the South and Phil regales Dean with the history of the place where he would be staying. Dean and Phil preview what they expected to happen in the ongoing labor strife in Hollywood. A deep discussion of improv leads to Dean recounting a particularly hilarious scene in which he once performed. This leads to a preview of Richard Linklater’s new movie, Hit Man, and that leads to a discussion of two classic films celebrating anniversaries this year: the Hong Kong actioner Executioners (aka Heroic Trio 2) starring Anita Mui, Michelle Yeoh, and Maggie Cheung, which turns 30 this year, and perhaps the greatest concert film of all time, Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense, which turns 40 this year and which has inspired Talking Heads reunions. Finally, a beloved English folk singer and a former piano prodigy get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”.
This week’s episode is quite the mélange and it begins with a cold open featuring a musical duet recorded late at night in Dean’s Motor City-adjacent home last week while Phil was visiting. Then, it is back to the “now” with Dean previewing his forthcoming trip to Minneapolis for a convention celebrating the 30th anniversary of “The X-Files” and Phil reveals the challenges he faced getting home from Detroit. Then, Phil reveals the latest show business strikes news and Dean offers up another vintage television series, this one an exemplar of Scandinavian Noir. In the return of “What We’re Reading”, Dean and Phil reveal the books that have garnered their attention, including a memoir, classic literature, historic fiction, poetry, music analysis and a guidebook. The phenomenon that is Oppenheimer gets discussed, as does large format film exhibition. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, Jimmy Buffett gets remembered (as do his cafes and hotels!).
This past week, your friends in podcasting & broadcasting were reunited in Michigan. You can hear all about the tour Dean gave Phil of some of his Detroit stomping grounds, and their neighboring environs. You can learn about the Mandela Effect. You can get your taste buds watering as you discover the joys of Detroit pizza and home-made ginger ale. You can recoil in horror at both the latest behavior by the AMPTP and the studio moguls in their ongoing conflict with the Writers Guild as well as the reasons Trader Joe’s had to remove some products from its shelves. All that, plus the number one song in the country, the most legendary pubs in the world and a very special guest pops in from time to time to lend her irrepressible spirit and joie de vivre!
Pop quiz: What show features discussions about the great Motown artist Barrett strong, founding member of The Eagles Randy Meisner, Tony Bennett, Pee-wee Herman, the director of The Exorcist and The French Connection, a rock musical parody of The Exorcist, Dean’s final (?) “X-Files” improv (at a forthcoming “X-Files” convention), and the classic comedy films of Jacques Tati? Answer: This week’s brand new Season 3 Episode 81 of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour!
Dean previews his upcoming improv show. Phil previews his forthcoming travels with his cat. Dean and Phil analyze the latest news in the escalating showdown between the Hollywood studios and the creative unions, including the terms of the tentative agreement between the studios and the directors. Then, the rest of the show is about a handful of the greatest films of all time, including Casablanca (with fascinating and surprising stories about its making), Seven Samurai, Pickpocket and Out of the Past, and a couple of truly awful ones (a musical version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde starring Kirk Douglas?!). Discussion of great actors, great editing, great cinematography, and Wabi-Sabi ensues!
After three special theme shows celebrating their 16 years of changing the way people listen to the internet, your friends in podcasting and broadcasting are back doing whatever the heck it is they usually do! Dean and Phil discuss all the news coming out of the Cannes Film Festival and the latest in the ongoing labor turmoil in Hollywood. They discuss art, comedy, and Disneyland. They offer up reviews of three new or recent releases. They celebrate the lives and legacies of a chart-topping singer-turned-actor, the Queen of Rock ‘n Roll, a groundbreaking filmmaker, and an award-winning novelist.
Dean is back in Los Angeles and Phil picks him up at the Eastern Columbia and they take to the mean streets of Los Angeles at the outset of this week’s show! Topics discussed include Dean’s experiences with the late character actor Tom Sizemore, the live-streamed Chris Rock special on Netflix, and the disappearance of the great actor Julian Sands. Then, Phil is joined (via zoom) by Yoshi Kato to discuss the career and legacy of jazz great Wayne Shorter, and later, Phil is joined (via zoom) by Marc Hershon, who shares a great story about the late comedian-turned-actor Richard Belzer. After that, and after several cocktails in Hollywood (!), it’s back into the car for a return trip to the Eastern Columbia where Phil stumps Dean with a very interesting trivia question pertaining to the relevancy of the Oscars. This leads to Dean and Phil deciding (for the first time) to not do any Oscar-related show this year, though they do establish one way in which the Academy Awards probably do matter culturally.
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.
Last week, Dean and Phil discussed the ten films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, the ten films released in 2022 that earned the most revenue at the domestic U.S. box office, and the ten (or twelve) or so films the critics have come to consensus on as the best of the year. This week, it’s Dean and Phil’s turn! They will revel their Top Tens, as they count down what might be the films they consider the best, the most groundbreaking, the most important, or just their favorites of the year.
After a brief cold open about Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, Dean and Phil switch gears from the Holiday Season to “Awards Season” as they tackle a handful of this year’s award hopefuls, including Tár, Don’t Worry Darling, The Menu, Cate Blanchett and Ralph Fiennes. There is a brand new “Lawsuit of the Week” AGAIN involving the tragic Alec Baldwin-starring western Rust. An email from a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!) about a celebrity death will be followed by … “Celebrity Deaths”! A versatile actor, a comedy impresario, and a legendary prop comic have their lives and legacies celebrated. All that, PLUS Phil shares a hilarious account of a recent 50th high school reunion.