Who doesn’t love a sequel?! Your friends in broadcasting & podcasting return with part 2 of their celebration of the best in cinema from 2023. If you listened to part 1, you know this is no ordinary “Top Ten” show. Ultimately, dozens of films and just as many topics will get explored. This week the topics include editing, black and white, curated experiences, gender identification, feminism, entertainment and films from a wide variety of filmmakers and genres, including Past Lives, Poor Things, The Holdovers, The Creator, All of Us Strangers and many more.
Making every Monday night merry and bright since before many of you were even born, your friends in podcasting and broadcasting hope you are all enjoying a wonderful Christmas. Unless you don’t celebrate Christmas, in which case, Dean and Phil hope you are having an awesome Monday! Among the many topics to be enjoyed in this week’s audio stocking stuffer are an honor being bestowed upon one of the most important directors of “The X-Files”, the brilliance of actors Jamie Foxx and Mahershala Ali, two of the best Christmas films of all time (and both are brand new theatrical releases!), animated superhero movies, Netflix movies, a UK Northern Soul legend, a star of TV’s “Route 66”, and the Detroit art scene.
This week marks the 4th anniversary of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour moving to live broadcasts, which you can find Monday night’s at 9 pm Eastern on Subspace Radio (http://subspace.radio) and the I Heart Radio app. Dean & Phil celebrate this milestone by bringing back the “Live Event of the Week” (involving Phil scaring children!), “Celebrity Deaths” (wherein an award-winning filmmaker, a legendary actress, a groundbreaking television creator, a Louisiana music treasure, and one of the all-time great cinematographers all get remembered), and “What We’re Reading” (including what Phil is most definitely NOT reading)! In addition to all that, the deaths of a retired supreme court justice and a former U.S. Secretary of State inspire a conversation about how things have changed, possibly for the worst, while a discussion about the just-started awards season leads to thoughts of how things have changed for the better! Phil has seen at least one film he loved (Cannes-winner Anatomy of a Fall), one film that did not work (Saltburn), and Dean saw The Marvels (which Phil will have none of!).
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 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.
On this week’s installment, your friends in broadcasting and podcasting tackle the latest show biz news, including criminal charges in the on-set shooting death of Halyna Hutchins, and the closure of dozens of multiplexes in the Regal Theater chain. Three musicians, two groundbreaking dancers, a legendary broadcaster and two famous jumpsuits all get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. Oscar nominations get announced this week, and Dean and Phil offer reviews of no fewer than three current award-hopefuls. All that, plus an all-time classic from Michelangelo Antonioni gets celebrated and a round in the “vintage movie ad” game gets played – this one 75 years in the making!
Pile into the back of the car, buckle up, and join Dean and Phil, reunited on the mean streets of downtown Los Angeles, as they make their way into Hollywood for a live improv comedy show! On the way there, Dean reveals his Thanksgiving celebrations, Phil reveals his birthday celebrations, and they discuss the life and legacy of Irene Cara, and analyze a very important and interesting weekend at the box office. Such movies as Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Spirited and The Fabelmans get reviewed. On the way back downtown, they take a deep dive into different kinds of improv comedy AND improv comics. Dean gets weepy about a robot documentary before he sings the praises of the Netflix series “Wednesday”. Phil does likewise with season 2 of “The Mysterious Benedict Society” before he and Dean close with thoughts about season 2 of “Avenue 5”.
During this week’s cold open, Dean and Phil finish up their discussion of Marlon Brando and Jack Lemmon, offering up some final movie recommendations. Phil is back after a lengthy trip to the east coast and he returns with tales of a Shakespeare Theater production about Leonardo Da Vinci and thoughts inspired by Hurricane Ian about how human beings become fixated on the statistically anomalous and he also shares with Dean the exciting way in which their former podcasting home – the Eastern Columbia Building – had a starring role in the new season of Amazon’s fashion competition show “Making the Cut”. Loyal listener Maurice Terenzio checks in with a thought-provoking email that brings the conversation back to Marlon Brando before the return of Lawsuit of the Week focuses Dean and Phil’s attention onto the ill-fated Alec Baldwin western Rust. Celebrity Deaths begins by bringing the conversation once again back to Marlon Brando (!) with a remembrance of activist and artist Sacheen Littlefeather. Many other notables get remembered as well, including an Oscar-winning actress, a comedic “love goddess”, a comic book artist who dazzled live audiences, and a chart-topping rapper-turned-reality star. Finally, two movies get reviewed: the current whodunit theatrical release See How They Run and the 2020 Netflix offering from Charlie Kaufman, I’m Thinking of Ending Things.
This week, Dean and Phil pick up right where they left off … With Dean enjoying the weather in Michigan, Phil in COVID isolation in Los Angeles, and Robert Blake’s Cinefantastique interview about David Lynch’s Lost Highway providing the basis for a “cold open”. The themes of transition, embracing what wants to come forward, emotional intelligence and more get explored deeply in the wake of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The Royal-themed discussion doesn’t end there, as Pablo Lorrain’s Princess Diana biopic Spencer goes under the microscope. That just starts the movie talk, though, as after raving about Joanna Hogg and her films The Souvenir and The Souvenir: Part II, Phil previews her new film, a mysterious ghost story, The Eternal Daughter, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Praise gets heaped upon filmmaker Steve McQueen and two of the films he made for his “Small Axe” series available on Prime: Mangrove and Lovers Rock. Finally, Dean and Phil wrap things up by analyzing three comic book movies (and the industry built on comic book movies): Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder, Daniel Espinosa’s Morbius, and Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis (NOT a comic book movie, you say? Just listen – you might change your mind!).
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.