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.
Dean is back in Los Angeles and Phil picks him up at the Eastern Columbia and they take to the mean streets of Los Angeles at the outset of this week’s show! Topics discussed include Dean’s experiences with the late character actor Tom Sizemore, the live-streamed Chris Rock special on Netflix, and the disappearance of the great actor Julian Sands. Then, Phil is joined (via zoom) by Yoshi Kato to discuss the career and legacy of jazz great Wayne Shorter, and later, Phil is joined (via zoom) by Marc Hershon, who shares a great story about the late comedian-turned-actor Richard Belzer. After that, and after several cocktails in Hollywood (!), it’s back into the car for a return trip to the Eastern Columbia where Phil stumps Dean with a very interesting trivia question pertaining to the relevancy of the Oscars. This leads to Dean and Phil deciding (for the first time) to not do any Oscar-related show this year, though they do establish one way in which the Academy Awards probably do matter culturally.
A cold open about the horror classic (?) Phantasm gets the ball rolling on a fascinating, funny, free-wheeling conversation between Dean and Phil about such topics as Dean’s forthcoming creative endeavors, Phil’s stressful experience judging a costume competition, the ongoing Los Angeles city council scandal and the difference between “representing” and “reflecting”. A message from someone very close to Dean about the most recent Palme d’Or winner at Cannes leads to a spirited appreciation of the comedy in Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend and a message from a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!) leads to hilarious stories about Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre and to a discussion of the very first episode of the new season of “Documentary Now” (a parody about Werner Herzog)! Kanye West’s ridiculous claims about Django Unchained and the onslaught of criticism directed at the new season of “The Crown” get examined before your friends in podcasting (and broadcasting) offer up a very lengthy, (and way too short!) celebration of the “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, Loretta Lynn.
Year 16 of YOUR Chillpak Hollywood Hour gets underway with a truly mind-blowing episode! It begins with a celebration of Kane Tanaka, who was, at the time of her death, the world’s oldest-living human! Phil then corrects Dean on an urban legend involving John F. Kennedy and a jelly donut. The Zen artistry of Bill Murray leads to an appreciation of The Man Who Knew Too Little. The inappropriate workplace behavior of Bill Murray leads to a discussion of the firing of Fred Savage from the reboot of “The Wonder Years” and the resignation of director Justin Lin from the 10th “Fast and the Furious” movie over “creative differences”. Meanwhile, movies about multi-verses are EVERYWHERE, not just in comic book movies. Dean and Phil have thoughts, including an analysis of both Everything Everywhere All at Once and Memoria. This discussion also inspires Phil to share with Dean some “otherworldly” thoughts about Will Smith’s violent outburst at the Oscars. These thoughts involve both the curse of The Scottish Play AND the briefcase from Pulp Fiction. The bridging of different universes, different realms, will continue in the return of the “Live Event of the Week”, focusing on a great new play at the Boston Court Pasadena – BOTH AND (a play about laughing while black). There is also a brand new exhibit in the Getty Gallery of the L.A. Public Library’s Central Library called “Something in Common” that all Angelenos should check out. And finally, Dean and Phil answer an email from longtime friend and loyal listener Takako Nagumo about a sitcom on Netflix starring the president of the Ukraine. This will lead to an appreciation of wit as a leadership quality, and to an analysis of what ails Netflix, and where the streaming giant will go from here!
This weekend, Dean and Phil got together in-person on the “American Riviera” for a fascinating discussion inspired by a loyal listener like you (yes, YOU!). The conversation involves the importance of awards not only recognizing and rewarding great work, but also rewarding the great stories surrounding the making of that work! Somehow that inspires Phil to reappraise the entire filmography of James Mason. That great Belgian sleuth, Hercule Poirot, gets more time in the spotlight, as Dean and Phil take a little more time giving both a doff of the cap and a wag of the finger to Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile and Phil, who took the time during the week to unearth the final Peter Ustinov performance as Agatha Christie’s protagonist, has some thoughts about Appointment with Death from the infamous Cannon Film Group. Finally, in a riff on their usual “Celebrity Deaths” section, Dean and Phil discuss three non-celebrity friends who died recently.
This week, Dean and Phil follow up on one of their best episodes ever by discussing the importance of manners as they relate to masks, shoes, and award shows! They have some bracing words about the nature of “safety” in show business. Then, they turn their attention to the Oscar-winning documentary Summer of Soul before discussing Oscar-winner George Chakiris and what he thought made original West Side Story choreographer Jerome Robbins so great. They also discuss the importance of representation, which leads to a discussion of an early Vincente Minnelli film, Cabin in the Sky from 1943, featuring an incredible all-black cast. That leads to a discussion of the version of A Star is Born produced by and starring Minnelli’s one-time wife, Judy Garland. It was a remake, of course, and has been remade twice more. And speaking of remakes, Dean and Phil conclude by analyzing Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile, why it failed as a movie and what is being blamed for its failure at the box office.
Phil (in Hollywood) and Dean (in the environs of Detroit) checked in with each other before, during and after Sunday night’s Oscars and recorded their conversation about the movie industry’s big night. There are insights, there are jokes, there is snark, there are criticisms, and oh, yes, Dean has been drinking!
Phil is back from Hawaii and bringing with him observations about how the islands AND America have changed since he last visited the spots he traveled to (24 and 36 years ago respectively). He and Dean bring back “What We’re Reading” after a lengthy absence, and the discussion of books will lead to discussions of comedy, the Golden Age of Radio, watercolor painting and YouTube instructional videos! In “Celebrity Deaths”, an Oscar-nominated star of M*A*S*H, one of the greatest comedy movie directors of all time, and the “Queen of Funk” all get remembered. The show concludes with an analysis of Sunday night’s Screen Actors Guild awards. What do the Film winners portend for the forthcoming Oscars, and whom did Phil and Dean vote for in these award categories? All that, plus what non-nominated film might be one of the very best of 2021?
On Christmas Eve in the nation’s capital, your friends in podcasting (and broadcasting!) got together in-person for this very special (and pre-recorded) holiday treat! Dean discusses his Los Angeles adventures, including the Cerritos mall, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and nudists! Phil discusses his east coast adventures, including a visit to the Hillwood Estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post and the night his beloved cat, Fuzz Aldrin, decided to go walkabout! They touch briefly on the death of beloved novelist Joan Didion, and they discuss a handful of holiday season cinematic releases, including (more on) Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley, Being the Ricardos, King Richard, Spider-Man: No Way Home and The Matrix Resurrections. There is even time for a brief follow-up on the zen brilliance of Bill Murray, and there is a photo shoot during the show! Join Dean and Phil as they ring out the final week of 2021 in style …
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.