Welcome to an excellent installment of your Chillpak Hollywood Hour that begins with tales of springtime before a couple of great soapbox moments courtesy of the “sensitivity editing” of Agatha Christie and newspaper headline treatments of black men in the media. An actress who starred in many beloved projects, a screenwriter behind crowd-pleasing movies, a singer in a legendary doo-wop band and the designer responsible for the way Phil smelled throughout his teens and twenties (!) all get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”. Dean champions Cocaine Bear, Elizabeth Banks, and the return of Nicolas Cage (not that he went anywhere). Phil regales with amazing original casting choices for a couple of popular recent films before launching into an appreciation of the fable-making on display in John Wick: Chapter 4.
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!).
Dean and Phil discuss Martin Luther King Day, share three messages from loyal listeners like you (yes, YOU!), reveal a handful of new nicknames for Phil, and analyze three recent cinematic releases. They also celebrate the lives and legacies of several music legends, a couple of beloved sitcom stars, and a true Hollywood icon.
After their most drunken episode ever, this week’s show finds Dean back in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham and Phil in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. Thanks to an email from a loyal listener and frequent collaborator, they will be revisiting a discussion of Wu Tang Clan from two weeks ago. And thanks to developing news, they will follow up on last week’s discussion of the movement to remove tributes to D.W. Griffith’s legacy in Hollywood. There will be further analysis on the state of the box office in the U.S. and there will be reviews of two new movies: The comedic DC comic book actioner “The Suicide Squad” and a feature documentary about AND photographed by Val Kilmer. Yet another “Night Court” star will get remembered in “Celebrity Deaths”, along with the actress daughter of an iconic filmmaker, an award-winning folk music star, and a beloved cast member of TV’s “Sherlock”. Plus, we still have many celebrity death memories (of a Clint Eastwood collaborator, a legendary voice actor, and a best-selling sci-fi author) recorded during last week’s red wine bacchanal that we include at the end of this week’s show!
Phil is back from exploring the east coast of the USA. Dean has been in Los Angeles, celebrating his birthday. You can join them poolside atop a certain “historic building in downtown Los Angeles” for big laughs, a lot of wine, and attempted conversations about Dean’s birthday, the joys of Maine, an awesome bookstore, the influence Jack Benny had a on a great law professor, the movement to tear down a possibly racist monument in Hollywood, Dean’s new show about haunted house renovations, Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney and “sexy Joe Namath”.
Phil is in Turlock. Dean is “Motor City adjacent”. Special guest Page Branson is in Baltimore. Between the three of them, they have a wide array of topics covered: Memorial Day, the Tulsa Race Massacre, Amazon’s purchase of MGM, the deaths of beloved actor Gavin MacLeod and singing star B.J. Thomas, the forthcoming declassification of government UFO files, another of Dean’s favorite episodes of “The X-Files”, awesome new video games and anime, race relations, Brood X Cicadas, vintage movie ads, and more! It’s funny, it’s heartfelt, it’s disturbing. It’s YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour!
Phil is back from another emergency trip to Turlock, and Dean is safely ensconced back in Detroit after a trip to Virginia, and after adopting another kitten! Cats get discussed, of course, and in an almost weekly occurrence, “Lord Turlock” issues proclamations. Then your friends in podcasting continue to tackle the appalling, ongoing wave of violence being directed against member of the AAPI community, which somehow leads to a discussion of just one of the problems Phil had with Godzilla vs. Kong. Dean and Phil share a text message from a loyal listener, and celebrate the show business lives of the actor who played “Cousin It”, a country-rock hitmaker, and a prolific country songwriter, and wax rhapsodic about the pedal steel guitar! Friend of show Jon Lawlor has another single out and it inspires a conversation about mental health and the messy business of having feelings. Dean and Phil both have feelings about the death (?) of the Arclight and Pacific movie theater chains, and about the controversy surrounding this year’s Oscar front-runner for Best Picture, Nomadland. Finally, speaking of the Oscars, Dean and Phil close the proceedings with an Oscar-themed edition of their recent (and apparently popular?) vintage movie ad game!
Frequent contributor and good friend to the show Marc Hershon takes time out of his birthday celebrations to join Phil Leirness for a conversation about several current and recent television series, including “Fargo” Season 4 and “Lovecraft Country”. They also discuss HBO’s “The Watchmen” and Amazon’s “The Boys” in light of recent comments by creator of the original “The Watchmen” graphic novel, Alan Moore, who called superheroes and superhero movies “blights” on our culture. Finally, Marc hits us with a sitcom suggestion from Apple TV+ starring Jason Sudeikis.
Dean may be in the Motor City, and Phil may be conveniently located “between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge”, but they definitely still put the “Hollywood” into YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour. Of course, first they will share their latest thoughts on the social unrest and social evolution taking place, including what Phil terms his “7 percent solution” and Dean describes as “Quantum Life”. From there, and in the wake of some truly disturbing deaths and disappearances in California’s San Bernardino county, Dean and Phil will offer a “Black Lives Matter” edition of “Celebrity Deaths”, remembering the lives of a trailblazing screenwriter, a chart-topping singer, an award-winning dancer and choreographer, and an Olympic bobsledder who once helped inspire a Hollywood box office hit. Then the show becomes all about movies … And car culture! Drive-in theaters are having a moment. Will that moment continue? What will happen to theater chains, especially AMC which is close to going out of business? This year’s The Invisible Man, about which Dean has a compelling theory, will get discussed, as will the 1920 Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Thoughtful, elevated discourse on the evolution of society, insightful analysis on two movies 100 years apart and irreverent banter from your friends in podcasting – Who could ask for more?
Best laid plans … Phil had to hit the road for an emergency trip this week, which inspires him to ask Dean whether “plans” are a thing of the past, a luxury one is foolish to consider in our contemporary world. Of course plans are being made to re-start motion picture and television production, and your friends in podcasting will analyze these plans and how movies and TV shows will be different both on-screen and behind-the-scenes as the industry moves forward. A headline-making shakeup in show business occurred at the vaunted comedy institution Second City in the wake of recent social justice protests. This will get discussed in depth, as will America’s empathy deficit, with some insightful analysis and heartfelt and hilarious stories about empathy, or the lack thereof, from Dean and Phil. So, buckle up, and if this week’s show seems a bit all-over-the-map topically (technically?), well rest assured, that’s because it IS coming at you from … all over the map!