This week’s Canadian Thanksgiving installment features follow-ups on several topics from past episodes: Are the most important pop culture figures of the last quarter of the 20th century all named “David”? Why is contemporary art so abundant with creativity and so full of joy? What are some of the most thrilling aspects of Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia? And speaking of Savannah, why is The Pirate House so darn haunting? In addition to those follow-ups, Phil has been researching “Trainee” programs offered by the Writer’s Guild in the wake of their (tentative) deal with the producers. And a loyal listener has thoughts about the best/worst actors to play Hercule Poirot on the big screen. This last leads into Dean’s thoughts about Kenneth Branagh’s A Haunting in Venice before three films starring the great Dirk Bogarde, the soulfulness of Oliver Reed and a brilliant, unheralded masterpiece by the late William Friedkin all get discussed. Finally, in “Celebrity Deaths”, a beloved star of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (and “NCIS”) gets remembered.
This week’s show covers a lot of ground thematically AND geographically! The death of João Donato takes us to Brasil and the era of bossa nova. The death of Dianne Feinstein takes us back to San Francisco of 1978. The death of Jane Birkin inspires discussion of her daughters, fashion, Hercule Poirot, Dirk Bogarde, and Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania! And the death of Sir Michael Gambon inspires Phil to get up on his soapbox railing against those who think of the great actor as “Dumbledore”! The charms of Savannah, Dean’s ongoing battle with Covid after-effects, the end of the Writer’s Strike, and murder mystery dinners are all on the menu as well!
It’s all classic comedy, classic television and classic movies on this week’s show! The truly legendary Carl Reiner gets celebrated. Then, Dean and Phil compare the years in film 1982 and 1974 with 1962 to see which year they think was the best year ever for movies!
From the inner space of quiet, self-quarantine lockdowns, to the outer space of “Star Trek: Picard”, Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness take you on quite the journey this week! It starts with their latest observations about themselves and others in the wake of another week of isolation. Sadness, quiet and dehumanization are on the thematic menu! They then compare notes on their respective Easter celebrations, which leads to a discussion of a couple of classic musicals: 1934’s Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers vehicle The Gay Divorcee and 1948’s seasonal staple Easter Parade, starring Astaire and Judy Garland. The recent, modern classic, Uncut Gems gets championed by Phil, who tries to get Dean to overcome his trepidation surrounding Adam Sandler performances (and yet, Dean once championed You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, so go figure!). The second half of the show consists of Dean and Phil comparing the years in cinema 1973 and 1974, discussing all the notable films from those two halcyon years, in hopes of determining which year might challenge 1962 as the greatest year in cinema. Finally, your friends in podcasting beam up to the La Sirena to discuss and debate what went right and what went wrong in season one of “Star Trek: Picard”, a show so successful that a big-screen movie version is already in the planning stages.
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!
Your friends in podcasting have been teasing episode #568 for weeks! They had really been looking forward to counting down their all-time favorite Mystery films and the final results prove to be a lot of fun. So, get those Netflix queues handy, because Dean and Phil will hit you with more than two dozen movies they discuss at length with four films actually finding a place on both their Top Tens. There are comedy “whodunits” from the 1930’s, foreign language allegories from the 2000’s, independent films that launched careers, classics from international masters that launched entire sub-genres, mysteries based on books, mysteries based on plays, mysteries set in the farthest reaches of space, mysteries full of post-war romance and cold war anxiety. The biggest mystery of all is after almost eleven years, how do Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness keep managing to provide an hour (plus) of free audio entertainment each week?!
With how much ground your friends in podcasting cover on this week’s show, you’ll forgive them going almost eight minutes overtime, won’t you? The show starts with a “Live Event of the Week” as Phil regales Dean with tales of his 49th birthday celebrations on a day that involved marionettes, Norse mythology and the oldest restaurant in Hollywood. Then, for the first time in ages, Dean and Phil discuss what they’re reading. After that, it’s onto “Celebrity Deaths” which contains a correction of a correction from last week, as well as remembrances of a former teen idol, a jazz great, a country music great, a gospel great and two award-winning actors. Then, a few more thoughts about the latest news involving toxic masculinity, the United States Senate and “Whataboutism” before Dean and Phil roll up their sleeves to discuss almost a dozen movies, including both the 1974 and 2017 versions of Murder on the Orient Express, Orson Welles’ 1952 Othello, Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women, and this year’s award hopefuls Last Flag Flying, Call Me By Your Name,Lady Bird, Mudbound, Hostiles and The Disaster Artist.