The return of The Oscars, celebrating a most unusual year in cinema, deserves to be celebrated, too! And so, this week, your friends in podcasting bring back their old Oscars smackdown style show for the first time in years! There will be wagering – for stakes both ridiculous and sublime. There will be critiquing of the Oscar show itself. There will be analysis of the winners and the snubs.

After a whirlwind, emergency trip to Turlock, Phil is back in Los Angeles. Dean Haglund is in Northern Virginia. They hook up via Zoom for a first half that covers the great new, Oscar-nominated film Another Round, and its director, Dogme 95 co-founder Thomas Vinterberg. They discuss the controversy that brought destruction to the annual Ovation Awards, honoring the best in Los Angeles theater. They play two rounds in their weekly vintage movie ad game and they celebrate the lives of a great character actor and a great funk musician, both of whom died this past week. All that, plus we find out if Dean ever went by the moniker “Dean E” or “Deanie”. In part 2, Dean interviews film and television critic, friend of the show, and fellow Michigander Mattie Giles. They discuss dogs, great bookstores, binge-watching “E.R.”, the D.C. Universe movies, why Dean can’t actually watch anything in one sitting and more!

Seven important notes about this week’s show:

1) It’s our 600th episode!
2) It features a brand new version of the theme song appropriate to Dean’s relocation to the Motor City.
3) A horrible recording problem leads to a few choppy transitions at the start of the show and to an extremely bad electronic hum during the first 25 minutes or so of the show.
4) We have done the best we can to get rid of the hum and to at least make these first 25 minutes listenable, and you will want to bear with us as those minutes contain very personal conversation between Dean and Phil about things they love lost in the current SoCal fires, what they love that is seriously threatened by those fires, and about a great Canadian actor of Dean’s acquaintance who died this month. There is also a great story about baby diapers!
5) Several amazing movies get discussed – including the Sandra Bullock starring post-apocalyptic, action-horror vehicle Bird Box, the Coen Brothers rather amazing Western anthology feature The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Alfonso Cuaron’s seminal black-and-white memory piece Roma and Dean and Phil’s very own The Lady Killers, which Dean has finally seen!
6) The show is 72 minutes long, with about 45 minutes of that boasting clean audio!
7) We wish you all a “Malkovich Hug”!