Dean and Phil get the ball rolling by discussing the most “fun” (?) cities in California. Then they discuss the role film critics play as we emerge from a pandemic. The quality and box office fortunes of The French Dispatch, The Eternals, Last Night in Soho, Dune, Venom: Let There Be Carnage and No Time to Die get analyzed and discussed. Phil sings the praises of a great Japanese film, a legendary Japanese actor, and a charismatic Japanese pop star. Dean sings the praises of Benedict Cumberbatch and his new film about a famous artist. Phil sings the praises of Mike White’s satirical “The White Lotus” and tackles the controversy surround Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer” from a much different angle. Finally, Dean intrigues Phil with his description of Channing Tatum’s Amazon Prime series “Comrade Detective”.

Last week, Dean and Phil ran out of time while discussing a vampire show from Norway that Dean has discovered and is enjoying. They kept recording, however, so this week’s show starts (as a cold open!) with that brief and hilarious discussion. Once the show proper starts, your friends in podcasting send love and best wishes to a dear friend who is having surgery this week. Then, they leap into discussions of the latest show business news, including the IATSE strike authorization vote that might lead to the halt of most television and film production, the resolution of Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney, James Bond saving the global box office, Venom: Let There Be Carnage setting the domestic box office ablaze, and the #1 worldwide box office hit of 2021 that neither Dean nor Phil have seen or even heard of! Phil and Dean then discuss Roman Polanski’s Repulsion and the importance of taking the time to do “nothing”, and what “Loki” season 1 might be telling us about the existence of multiverses. Finally, Dean and Phil celebrate the lives of a pioneer of Japanese anime, one of the best funk and soul bandleaders of all time, a character actor beloved on both the small and big screen, a groundbreaking singer-turned-activist, and two very popular comedians.

Phil Leirness is joined by music journalist (and friend of the show) Yoshi Kato, who briefly fills in for a tardy Dean Haglund, to discuss the lives and legacies of six notables from the world of music in “Celebrity Deaths”, as well as to set the table concerning a later discussion of Asian Pacific American Heritage month and the 1961 film Flower Drum Song. Dean then arrives just in time to remember a prolific character actor, the decorated police officer who played Eddie Haskell on TV’s “Leave it to Beaver”, and the great Fred Willard. Dean and Phil then answer an email from a loyal listener about an upcoming Michael Bay film set in the world of Covid-19. This leads to a fascinating discussion and argument before attention is turned to the ramping up of film and TV production and the announcement that the Venice Film Festival will go ahead as planned this September. Dean then sings the praises of two different television series, Phil sings the praises of two classic movies about gambling. Then the conversation turns to the careers of Sessue Hayakawa, one of the first heartthrobs of the silver screen, the hilarious and brilliant Jack Soo, and the tragically overlooked Reiko Sato.

With the Oscars coming up this weekend, the book will finally close on the year in cinema 2019 … The Best Picture nominees are 1917, Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Parasite. The top performing films at the US Box office released in 2019 (ranked from 1 thru 10) were Avengers: Endgame, Star Wars: Episode 9 – The Rise of Skywalker, The Lion King, Frozen II, Toy Story 4, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man: Far from Home, Aladdin, Joker and Jumanji: The Next Level … Would any of these films make Dean and Phil’s lists of the best films of 2019? Find out this week as your friends in podcasting count down their Top Ten Films of 2019!

This week’s installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour features the return of special (recurring) guest and free-lance journalist Yoshi Kato! He has recently returned from the Tokyo International Music Market and he offers up a full report on a life-time achievement award for cinema icon “Beat” Takeshi Kitano and two hot bands from Japan: VAMPS and Sakanaction. 

Yoshi joins your friends in podcasting in a spirited discussion on HBO shows, the faults in The Fault in Our StarsFoxcatcherThe Imitation Game and a commemorative stamp of … Dean Haglund?!