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.
Welcome to part one of a two-part installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour wherein Dean and Phil will discuss the best in cinema of the year 2023. This is no ordinary “Top Ten” show. Ultimately, dozens of films and just as many topics will get explored. This week’s show actually begins with discussion of atmospheric rivers, of spreading a loved one’s ashes, of comparisons between the original Cape Fear and the Martin Scorsese remake, and the beloved athlete-turned-actor Carl Weathers gets remembered. Then, before setting their sights on the cinematic year that was, your friends in podcasting (and broadcasting) examine something last week’s guest (Luke Y. Thompson) said about what an all-time great year for movies 1999 was. It turns out he could not have been more right, and so Dean and Phil wonder, when looking back at 2023 many years hence, will it be as impressive as 1999 is now in the rearview mirror? That serves at the springboard into discussions of Wim Wenders, editing, Imax, and such films as Anselm, Perfect Days, Napoleon, Cocaine Bear, A Haunting in Venice, Oppenheimer and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. And, of course, the best thing about this week’s show is that it is “to be continued …”!
The bulk of this week’s show is comprised of two pre-recorded interviews with special guests. The first was a conversation between Phil and Eric Kurland, the pre-eminent authority on the art, science and history of 3-D. The second was recorded last weekend on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood outside the Broadwater Plunge (with a live audience of one, who ends up playing a supporting role), as Dean and Phil hoped to catch up with their friend Eric Mark about his recent trip to the Sundance Film Festival, the successful sci-fi podcast he produces, his many game show appearances and the harrowing health travails he has endured. Only the last of these really gets much coverage in a freewheeling, head-spinning, hilarious conversation on the mean streets of Hollywood.
Happy Halloween! Come trick-or-treating with Dean Haglund and Phil Leirness as they take a cinematic tour of “Horrorville USA”, the new nickname Phil has coined for Detroit! Several horror films get discussed, including the current Detroit-set shocker Barbarian as well as non-Detroit-based classics like The Leopard Man and Séance on a Wet Afternoon. Dean has started watching HBO’s “Avenue 5” and he finds that scary! Phil also weighs in on the Jon Hamm vehicle Confess, Fletch and a big-time Oscar front-runner, The Banshees of Inisherin from Martin McDonagh. In “Celebrity Deaths”, the “killer”, Jerry Lee Lewis, the beloved comedic actor Leslie Jordan and the stop-motion animation giant Jules Bass all get remembered. And finally, in a re-visitation to a past “What We’re Reading”, Phil talks about ghostly radio signals! All in all, it’s a spooky good installment of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour.
Dean and Phil start the show by answering a question they posed last week about The NeverEnding Story. A question about Dean’s painting leads into a deep-dive discussion about scheduling, energy management, and the time of transition in which we all find ourselves. In “Celebrity Deaths”, a character actor-turned-acting instructor gets remembered, as does a true renaissance man known primarily for playing gangsters! Olivia Newton-John’s career also gets examined at great length, including her starring role in a 1970 science-fiction film and how history could have been different had that film been a hit. Phil is more than a little bit grumpy about a “Live Event of the Week” and he and Dean wonder if Amadeus might be the most mediocre movie ever to win Best Picture. Mediocrity itself is discussed as a business model, and Netflix is in the crosshairs!
Although summer hasn’t officially begun in the northern hemisphere, it sure feels like it has what with Dean and Phil discussing Dean’s new sandbox and the state of the summer box office! Not only that, but there’s a message from Agent Summer (“Summer” – get it??) that gets discussed! An on-air production meeting yields an outstanding idea for a future show all about movies, while on this week’s show, such movies as Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm and Skidoo, the time travel movie Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann, the World War II classic Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, and the wizarding world entry Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore all get discussed. Such popular performers as Kim Novak, Van Johnson, Jude Law and Jessica Williams get discussed as well. Plus, loyal listener Maurice Terenzio shares a great story about the wonderful character actor Richard Kiel. On the small screen, Phil offers up a mea culpa on “Hacks” season 2, and he and Dean share a message from friend of the show Mattie Giles all about “Station Eleven” and “Made for Love” on HBO Max, “The Book of Boba Fett”, season 2 of “Picard”, and the brand new “Strange New Worlds”. Finally, the return of “Lawsuit of the Week” focuses on Johnny Depp, Amber Heard, defamation, libel, toxic relationships, social media reactions and the cycles of abuse and violence.
You might not know the name Don Phillips, but you will definitely know the names of many the performers whose careers he launched as a casting director, and the films with which he was involved. He is one of four cultural titans that Dean and Phil remember in “Celebrity Deaths” on this week’s show, including a poet and founder of the mythopoetic men’s movement, an iconic Broadway composer, and a trombonist who received the highest honor ever bestowed on jazz musicians. Dean will update us on the latest in his bout with Covid-19, his travel plans, his live ghost hunts and his “Hellacious Renovations”. Phil will regale us with his birthday adventures, his deep dive into historic movie locations, and his exploration of the Manzanar “War Relocation Center”. Several movies will get analyzed as well, including a Kurosawa classic ripe for a modern-day remake, a film noir with a claim to the best dialogue of any movie ever, and a current box office hit that begs the question, “Does bustin’ make Dean & Phil feel good?”
After a funny cold open where Dean tells about another of his haunted house adventures, Dean and Phil kick off this week’s show by sharing what they are thankful for during this Thanksgiving week, Dean battling Covid-19, Phil reflecting on his mother’s death two years ago. The career of Dean Martin, his work with Jerry Lewis, and a terrific TCM documentary “Dean Martin: King of Cool” all get discussed. A great jazz film from the 1980s, Round Midnight, and the “sacred” aspect of cinema get celebrated. The box office success of Ghostbusters: Afterlife and No Time to Die get analyzed through a very optimistic lens. In “Celebrity Deaths”, Dean’s love of funk gets exposed, as two great funk stars get remembered, along with a star of HBO’s “Oz”. And speaking of HBO, Dean and Phil tease an upcoming discussion about HBO’s “Succession” and about Will Ferrell’s considerable behind-the-scenes clout in Hollywood.
It’s Halloween season, so this week, Dean and Phil will get into the spooky spirit of things by celebrating “All of the Them Witches” – programming a dream film festival of witch-themed double-features! Of course, there is a ton of spooky, unsettling and downright terrifying show biz news for them to cover as well, including the potential resolution of the IATSE conflict with the AMPTP prior to almost all film and television productions getting shut down, the messy publicity slaughterhouse that continues to ensue following Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer” and Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos’ response to it, and a little bit of “inside” info regarding Marvel’s Black Widow. All that, plus really good box office news and a pioneering animator, a chart-topping bassist, and a best-selling YA novelist get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”.
The show begins this week with a lot of questions for Dean. What is Sci-Fi Valley Con? Who is Julian? There is/was a TV show called “Supernatural”? Is Detroit really Canada’s Tijuana? And a listener wants to know if Dean got bit by a monkey on “The Lone Gunmen”! You will learn the answers to all these and many more, including what Dean and Phil think of the controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix special. You will also learn about one of the greatest voices in comedy, about perhaps the greatest Hammond organist of all time, and about one of the most groundbreaking indie filmmakers of all time in “Celebrity Deaths”. After the break, Dean and Phil offer analysis on the new James Bond film’s box office performance in the USA and put that performance into historic context. They will do the same with the film’s quality. Finally, they will reveal what upcoming movies might get them to go back into a movie theater in the coming weeks.