Blank Check with Griffin & David

By Blank Check Productions

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Subscribers: 2726
Reviews: 19


 Feb 27, 2022


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Description

Not just another bad movie podcast, Blank Check reviews directors' complete filmographies episode to episode. Specifically, the auteurs whose early successes afforded them the rare ‘blank check’ from Hollywood to produce passion projects. Each new miniseries, hosts Griffin Newman and David Sims delve into the works of film’s most outsized personalities in painstakingly hilarious detail. Produced by Ben Hosley.

Episode Date
Sweet Charity
8089
The minute you walked in the joint…I could see you were a man of distinction, A REAL PODCASTER! “Pod That Jazzcast” - our series on the films of Bob Fosse - kicks off with a real humdinger of an episode, as the boys discuss 1969’s swinging technicolor musical “Sweet Charity.” For folks unfamiliar with Fosse, we give an overview of his life and career in dance and theater leading up to his film directorial debut, and attempt to decipher his creative obsessions (women, fear of balding, isolated body movements, etc). Plus, Ben realizes he loves musicals, and the boys wonder which brass musical instrument has the most inherent humor.

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Jul 03, 2022
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness with Patrick Willems
8430
Our Sam Raimi series concludes with his most recent film - not to mention the first MCU film we’ve covered on the main feed - it’s time for Doctor Strange 2! Patrick Willems joins us to address the important questions: What was Raimi *doing* for the nine years between this and Oz? Does Kevin Feige and his Marvel Machine overpower Raimi’s creative voice? Should “Wandavision” have been released after this movie? Is Schnipper’s on 8th Ave the ideal place to debrief after seeing a movie in Times Square? Should America Chavez have been an adorable hobo riding the rails in between dimensions instead of a human MacGuffin? All that, plus Ben deploys his “nerd alert” buzzer instead of shoving the guys into a locker.

Patrick’s new film Night of the Coconut is available on Nebula (nebula.app/nightofthecoconut) or goto curiositystream.com/patrickhwillems and sign up for a discounted annual plan with free access to Nebula with your subscription. You can watch more of Patrick’s work on his YouTube channel.

This episode is sponsored by:
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Jun 26, 2022
Oz the Great and Powerful with Dana Schwartz
8257
Ah, yes - we’ve arrived at the reason why we held off on covering Sam Raimi for so long…because we didn’t want to end our series on such a dismal note! “Oz the Great and Powerful” - Raimi’s last feature until the recent “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” - features James Franco in a performance that guest Dana Schwartz (“Noble Blood”) characterizes as “having the energy of a hot boy in a school play who’s laughing with his friends in the front row.” It doesn’t have the tactile, zippy cinematic language of Raimi’s best work, instead opting for the popular hyper-saturated, entirely digital look of Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” (a clear influence). But it *does* have a little girl made of porcelain who almost made Ben cry. Topics discussed include our desire for a Mila Kunissance, Zach Braff being the surprise MVP in this movie, whether “Tinkers” are a specific ethnicity or a class or workers, and the Disney IP lawyers who had to be on set making sure nothing infringed on MGM’s copyright of the classic Oz visuals.


This episode is sponsored by:
Brooklinen (CODE: BLANK)

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Jun 19, 2022
Drag Me to Hell with Jamie Loftus & Caitlin Durante
7835
After the massive box office success of his Spider-Man movies, Sam Raimi went “back to basics” - returning to the gnarly demonic possession genre that he put his stamp on back in the “Evil Dead” days. This time, instead of the chin-god Bruce Campbell, we’ve got a particularly cherubic Alison Lohman in the starring role! The Bechdel Cast’s Caitlin Durante and Jamie Loftus join the #TwoFriends to chat about the goofy gross-out scares and economic recession relevance of 2009’s “Drag Me To Hell,” plus, we attempt to put together the ultimate canon of Goat Cinema.

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Jun 12, 2022
Spider-Man 3 with Jamelle Bouie
9376
If “Spider-Man 2” had the reputation of being the greatest superhero movie of all time, “Spider-Man 3” had the inverse - a bloated mess with too many villains, and a very goofy Peter Parker going to the darkside, if by “darkside” you mean a trip to Men’s Warehouse and Hot Topic. But is that reputation justified? We’re gonna air on the side of…not REALLY. Notable Spidey 3 defender Jamelle Bouie (The New York Times, his podcast “Clear and Present Danger”) returns to Blank Check to praise this film’s focus on interpersonal relationships and quiet character moments. What else do we like? Griffin likes the “Editor’s Cut” (on Amazon Prime!). Ben *obviously* loves The Sandman. We all can agree that the much-memed sidewalk strut and jazz club sequences are a ton of fun. What doesn’t work? Let’s just say we have some issues with a lil guy named VENOM.

This episode is sponsored by:
SplendidSpoon (splendidspoon.com/check)

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Jun 05, 2022
Spider-Man 2 with Chris Gethard
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For a while, “Spider-Man 2” was considered the high water mark for superhero movies - but does it hold up 14 years deep into the MCU? We’ve got two words for you - ALFRED MOLINA. Self-professed “Blank Check rabble rouser” Chris Gethard returns to the pod (and apologizes to the Blankie Community) as we trace the history and legacy of this iconic Spidey sequel. We love this movie so much, David doesn’t even care that the subway sequence isn’t accurate to New York! Other topics covered - why Aunt May should always be elderly and fragile, Tobey’s near-firing from the franchise, Mr Ditkovich Memes, our comic book villain rankings, and more!


This episode is sponsored by:
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May 29, 2022
Spider-Man with Matt Singer
11615
Upside down kissing, Bonesaw McGraw, and a soundtrack featuring not just one, but TWO of Avril Lavigne’s ex-husbands…it’s SPIDER-MAN! Screen Crush’s Matt Singer (who literally wrote a book about Spider-Man) joins us as we take a look back to a much different Hollywood landscape; a time when Marvel was a struggling comics company, when both Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire were considered odd choices for a superhero adaptation, and when no film had yet to open to $100M at the US Box Office. Is the hyphen in “Spider-Man” crucial to the film’s themes? Was it a mistake to cover Willem Dafoe’s already goblinesque visage with a mask? Does Joe Manganiello look too old to be a high school student? Join us as we discuss those questions and more!


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May 22, 2022
The Gift with Starlee Kine
8567
Katie Holmes in a lazy southern accent asks, “What’s the matter? See somethin’ bad?” and we are immediately transported back to the year 2000 when the trailers for this movie were EVERYWHERE.  Writer and podcasting icon Starlee Kine joins us to talk about Sam Raimi’s “The Gift” - a film with an incredibly stacked cast of actors who were eager to sink their teeth into a Southern Gothic Billy Bob Thornton creation. Do we buy Keanu as a wife-beating redneck? Is Cate Blanchett actually a terrible psychic? How does Giovanni Ribisi’s performance in this rank among his most deranged screen outings? Folks - we apologize in advance for bringing up “The Other Sister”.

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May 15, 2022
For Love of the Game with Olivia Craighead
8566
Is this not America? Is baseball not America’s favorite pastime? Is “For Love of the Game” a Sam Raimi movie? Technically speaking, sure! It’s about a guy who’s trying not to lose both his hand and his lady - some very Raimi-esque themes. Gawker’s Olivia Craighead returns to the pod to talk about Kevin “Straight Outta Compton” Costner, and we go long on crackerjacks, Vin Scully’s screenplay notes, and the cinematic pleasures of baseball. The crack of the bat, baby!
Plus - the boys open up about their little league days (Ben obviously loved to steal bases).

This episode is sponsored by:
Manscaped - (CODE: BLANKCHECK)
SplendidSpoon (splendidspoon.com/check)

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May 08, 2022
A Simple Plan with Kevin Smith
9506
$4.4 million, a murder of crows, and a cursed crashed plane…the ingredients for a real nail-biter of a fable! Filmmaker Kevin Smith (yep, THAT Kevin Smith) joins us to talk about one of his favorite films - 1998’s “A Simple Plan” - and to pay tribute to the late producer Jim Jacks, who shepherded several filmmakers (such as Raimi, the Coens, Richard Linklater, and Smith himself) as they made their transitions from scrappy indies to the big leagues. How successfully is Raimi able to meld his signature kinetic style with this film’s air of prestige? Was Billy Bob Thornton “the best actor alive between the years of 1998 and 2003,” per David? What would YOU do if you discovered all that money in the woods? Ben would buy an island, and there would be no problems or conflicts, and it would just be really chill and fun!


This episode is sponsored by:
Stamps.com (CODE: CHECK)
Brooklinen (CODE: BLANK)


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May 01, 2022
The Quick and The Dead with Roman Mars
8493
Considered a bit of a “blank check” for actress Sharon Stone (she used her clout to bring Sam Raimi, Russell Crowe, and a babyfaced Leonardo DiCaprio to the project), “The Quick and The Dead” may have been too quirky for mainstream audiences and too earnest for the post-Tarantino generation of cinephiles back in 1995. But boy, does it slap in 2022! Roman Mars - The golden-voiced host of “99% Invisible” - joins us as David offers his definitive Russell Crowe performance ranking, and as we finally get an excuse to go long on the screen persona of Gene Hackman.

This episode is sponsored by:
Dad Grass (dadgrass/com/check)

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Apr 24, 2022
Army of Darkness with Eva Anderson
9875
KLAATU BARADA NIKTO - did we get that right? Writer Eva Anderson (WeCrashed, You’re the Worst) joins us as we attempt to answer several questions related to the final entry in the Evil Dead trilogy - 1993’s Army of Darkness. Why was this film not called MEDIEVAL DEAD? Did Embeth Davidtz and Liam Neeson talk about Sam Raimi on the set of Schindler’s List? How does Ben feel about the concept of a town pit? And most importantly, we introduce a tantalizing Hollywood mystery - was there a falling out between Silver Lake roommates Sam Raimi, Joel & Ethan Coen, Frances McDormand, Holly Hunter, and their sixth roommate…Kathy Bates? 


This episode is sponsored by:
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Apr 17, 2022
Darkman with Chris Weitz
8869
Who’s Darkman? A man of a thousand faces! A walking fleshwound who probably smells awful! A dude who probably would be into night eggs! Filmmaker Chris Weitz joins us to geek out over Sam Raimi’s homage to the Universal Monsters - a film that establishes the comic book style that Raimi would later perfect with his “Spider-Man” trilogy. We discuss the early 90s run of pulpy comic book films (“Dick Tracy”, “The Shadow”), the shock of seeing Frances McDormand in what she describes as a “bimbo role,” and the unbelievably true story of how Sam Raimi swapped in his own cut of “Darkman” when the studio tried to release their own version. 

This episode is sponsored by:
SplendidSpoon (splendidspoon.com/check)
Dad Grass (dadgrass/com/check)

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Apr 10, 2022
Evil Dead II with John Hodgman
10191
It’s the definitive Sam Raimi film - a “symphony of silly” with a bravura performance from Bruce Campbell, and a prevailing sense of, “the more gore the merrier!” John Hodgman - who, believe it or not, was Bruce Campbell’s literary agent! - joins us to chat about the magic of “Evil Dead II” and what puts it in the pantheon of “sequels that improve upon the original installment.” Also in this episode - we imagine the time when Sam Raimi, the Coens, Frances McDormand, and Holly Hunter were all roommates in Silverlake; a behind the scenes look at the publication of Bruce Campbell’s best-selling memoir “If Chins Could Kill”; and an unrelated but very involved tangent about the Peanuts comic strip. 


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Apr 03, 2022
Crimewave with Brendan Hines
7785
Sam Raimi directed a movie between “The Evil Dead” and “Evil Dead II” that was written by the Coen Brothers and no one ever talks about it…until NOW! Actor Brendan Hines (“The Tick”, “Locke and Key”) joins us to make sense of this early career oddity - a tonal mishmash of slapstick and film noir that we’d later see more successfully executed in films like “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” and “The Mask”. Topics discussed include: the difficulties in scaling up the indie production model; Bruce Campbell’s evolving star persona; whether or not you can actually wash dishes in lieu of paying for your meal; and more!

This episode is sponsored by:
Catalina Crunch (catalinacrunch.com/check)

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Mar 27, 2022
The Evil Dead
7282
It’s Sam Raimi time - groovy! Our new series PODCAST ME TO HELL kicks off with a banger - 1981’s ultra-low-budget horror classic “The Evil Dead”. We’ll be taking you back to Royal Oak, Michigan, to explain how Raimi linked up with Bruce Campbell and the Coen Brothers, thus establishing a very consequential partnership. We’ll be dissecting exactly why this film (from a lean 14-page script!!) works so well. David will admit that he first learned about this movie from watching “Donnie Darko”. And then all of a sudden…*CRASH*...a branch goes through the window! All that, plus TWO box office games!


This episode is sponsored by:
Brooklinen (CODE: BLANK)


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Mar 20, 2022
The Seventh Annual Blank Check Awards with Joe Reid
9904
It’s Hollywood’s biggest night - that’s right, it’s the Seventh Annual Blankies! “This Had Oscar Buzz” host Joe Reid joins us as always to celebrate our favorite films of 2021. Will Griffin award something weird this year? Is anyone going to stump for Being The Ricardos? What crazy categories will Ben come up with? Walk down the red carpet and find out!


This episode is sponsored by:
Dad Grass (dadgrass/com/check)


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Mar 13, 2022
The Power of The Dog with Richard Lawson
8416
An unseen presence looming over the two friends, a man who has definitely ridden a dang horse, a larger than life character about whom many have speculated…are we talking about Bronco Hosley or Bronco Henry? Trolls impresario and Vanity Fair critic Richard Lawson makes his tenth (!!) appearance on the pod to unpack Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog.” Did Campion figure out the best use of Benedict Cumberbatch’s screen presence? Is anthrax the poison with the coolest name? Can you imagine Gerard Depardieu starring in this - it’s apparently his favorite book! All that, plus our final Campion rankings and the announcement of our next series.


This episode is sponsored by:
Stamps.com (CODE: CHECK)

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Mar 06, 2022
Bright Star with Fran Hoepfner
7721
You may as well call this episode “Ode to a Whishaw” because we love that gentle gent! Fran Hoepfner joins us (and joins the Five-Timers Club!) to discuss Jane Campion’s 2006 John Keats biopic “Bright Star,” a movie that prompts Griffin to wonder if he, too, would die of tuberculosis if he took a long walk in the rain in 1820. Of course we talk about Hampstead Heath (David being canonically from London), of course we wonder what the hell happened to Paul Schneider (canonically incredible in this movie), and of course Ben is obsessed with Fanny Brawne’s epic Regency Era fits!  


This episode is sponsored by:
Brooklinen (CODE: BLANKCHECK)
Mint Mobile (mintmobile.com/check)


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Feb 27, 2022
In the Cut with Jourdain Searles
7775
Want to hear us talk about how hot Mark Ruffalo is for two hours? Oooh boy, do we have a treat for you! Wikipedia-cited “In The Cut” stan Jourdain Searles joins us to unpack Jane Campion’s unjustly maligned erotic thriller. What happens to actresses once they turn 40? Would this movie have fared better with audiences if - instead of America’s Sweetheart Meg Ryan - it starred an edgier Nicole Kidman as originally planned? Do you remember the SCANDAL when Meg Ryan cheated on Dennis Quaid with Russell Crowe? Why did we care so much about that? 

This episode is sponsored by:
Catalina Crunch (catalinacrunch.com/check)

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Feb 20, 2022
Holy Smoke! with Kyle Buchanan
7212
Is it nobler to try to pee on camera and fail than it is to not try at all? Does Harvey Keitel’s performance in this film only work when he puts on a dress? What the hell is going on in this movie?! David’s Fest Friend Forever Kyle Buchanan (author of the forthcoming “Blood, Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road”) joins us to answer those questions and more as we discuss Jane Campion’s bugnuts exploration of power dynamics - 1999’s “Holy Smoke!” Come for the Winslet career breakdown, stay for Kyle’s “amazeballs” anecdotes about Campion on the international festival circuit.


This episode is sponsored by:
Purple (purple.com/check10 CODE: CHECK10


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Feb 13, 2022
The Portrait of a Lady with Marie Bardi
7560
This lady might not be “on fire” but she IS wearing a 19 inch corset! Social media maven Marie Bardi joins the boys to dissect Campion’s tepidly received follow-up to “The Piano” - the emotionally claustrophobic 1996 Henry James adaptation “The Portrait of a Lady”. If “The Piano” gave Jane her Blank Check, this film is a big swing and (in our opinion) a slight miss. Topics discussed include: John Malkovich’s clothing line for the modern dandy; the unfortunate plastic surgery-shaming of actress Barbara Hershey; Viggo Mortsenson’s performance in “Green Book” (one of our favorite topics);  and, of course, the queen of AMC Theaters herself - Nicole Kidman.

This episode is sponsored by:
Stamps.com (CODE: CHECK)

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Feb 06, 2022
The Piano with Esther Zuckerman
9409
Just imagine…it’s 1993. Bill Clinton is in the White House, Seinfeld is on TV, and America has PIANO FEVER! Newly-minted member of the Five Timers Club Esther Zuckerman joins us to unpack Campion’s Oscar-Winning erotic drama (possibly the first prestige pic to feature mild butt play). We’re asking all the tough questions: is “The King’s Daughter” the new “Margaret”? Should Harvey Keitel play Wolverine? Did Sam Neill tell Anna Paquin that he was going to work with actual dinosaurs after their shoot? Does Mr. Skin have a film critic on staff? 
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Jan 30, 2022
An Angel at My Table with Dana Stevens
6380
Dana Stevens (Slate.com / Her new Buster Keaton biography “Cameraman”) returns to the pod to *literally* wax poetic about the literary coming-of-age story “An Angel At My Table”. The film is an intimate, often heartbreaking saga of a woman discovering her own creative voice…and yes, the woman just happens to look like Little Orphan Annie. The gang discusses the film within the context of other films that show age progression through the casting of multiple actors; the context of films that depict mental illness; and the context of small redheaded children with very curly, almost spherical hair, who may or may not have hard knock lives. Plus - possibly our most obscure box office game yet, and some genuine Janet Frame poetry reading!

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Jan 23, 2022
Sweetie with Sarah-Violet Bliss
6805
We’ve climbed up in our childhood treehouse and we’re not coming down! Sarah Violet Bliss (Search Party) joins us to talk about “Sweetie” - Jane Campion’s off-kilter meditation on suburbia and sibling rivalry. Revelations within the episode include the fact that David was part of the “Neighbours Society” at Uni (a group of students in favor of airing the Aussie soap in common areas twice daily); that one of the IMDB tags for this movie is “Rides A Man Like A Horse”; that Producer Ben has *definitely* known a few Sweetie-types in his life; and more! 

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Jan 16, 2022
Two Friends
5423
We’re kicking off our Jane Campion miniseries with her feature-length debut, auspiciously titled “Two Friends” - perhaps she has a competitive advantage? The backwards-structured script (the OG temporal pincer movement) leads the crew to reflect on their own adolescence…did you know David was already six feet tall at the age of twelve? And Ben was rocking size twelve shoes in middle school? Griffin may get a singular chest hair in 2022? Come for our Campion-filmography table setting, stay for a surprising amount of Simpsons discussion.

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Jan 09, 2022
The Matrix Resurrections
12016
Happy New Year! We’re going back to the Matrix - which we last covered in 2016 (!!) - and we’re feeling pretty good about it! Seraph was a login screen, sure…but is “Tiffany” a .TIFF? Is Agent Smith just a virus? Are we taking crazy pills for liking this movie so much? Jack in and let’s fly, Blankies.

Opening clip is from Howl's Moving Castle with David Ehrlich

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Jan 02, 2022
West Side Story (2021)
9146
They said it couldn’t be done. Remaking possibly the most revered movie musical of all time?! A fool’s errand! But folks, we’ve learned a very important lesson…NEVER DOUBT STEVEN SPIELBERG. Especially when he’s teaming up with Tony “Dank” Kushner! David pinpoints the exact moments he wept during his multiple viewings of this most recent iteration of “West Side Story”; Ben praises all the dust and hot people; Griffin thinks that he probably needs to see it again. Grab your dancing shoes and meet us at the gym - it’s our final episode of 2021, and it’s time to MAMBO, Blankies!
 
Plus, check out the Slow Xmas 2021 holiday music compilation now on Spotify and Bandcamp! Please support the bands/artists featured on this album.

Andrew Bryant

Ian Ferguson

Gymshorts

Jason Hawk Harris

Sad13

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Dec 19, 2021
Benedetta with Marie Bardi
8538
Alert the horny police, because we’re taking ourselves to a nunnery with the Dirty Dutch Daddy himself - Paul Verhoeven! The gang goes bonkers for “Benedetta'', and Producer Ben-edetta reveals that he has an almost-saint in his family - one more miracle, and Ben gets to go to the Vatican! We discuss the connections between “Benedetta” and Verhoeven’s previous films (Sister Benedetta is a bit of a Catherine Trammell, and not just because she likes the ladies), do a smelly deep dive into the history of Professional Flatulists, and say a few prayers asking God to let Verhoeven make a big Hollywood movie again.

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Dec 12, 2021
The Ward with Drew McWeeny
8083
We’ve spent four months in the Mouth of Madness with the Horror Master, and we’ve reached the end point of Carpenter’s directorial career...for now. A man who has *actually collaborated with John Carpenter* - Drew McWeeny (writer of Carpenter’s installments in the Masters of Horror series) - joins us to recontextualize our journey through Carpenter’s filmography with some exclusive behind-the-scenes tidbits. The Two Friends also discuss the strange career trajectory of Amber Heard (starting with the festival-smash-that-doesn’t-exist ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE), present their final Carpenter rankings, and reveal which Auteur they’ll cover on the podcast next. Plus - Ben learns the fun British term “video nasty” from David who grew up in England?

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Dec 05, 2021
Ghosts of Mars with Dave Schilling & Jonah Ray
5522
Contrary to popular belief (and Wikipedia), this film was NOT supposed to be another installment in the Snake Plissken series - John Carpenter just thought it would be cool to make a movie about Mars “because it’s red.” Galaxy Brain’s Dave Schilling and Jonah Ray join us to dissect Carpenter’s take on that dusty red planet, his obsession with crossfades, and his lackluster deployment of Pam Grier. Why *is* Mars a matriarchal society in this movie? We thought Mars needed moms…

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Nov 28, 2021
John Carpenter’s Vampires with David Ehrlich
7641
They’re not just Vampires, they’re John Carpenter’s Vampires!  “Closer in patina” to a classic Howard Hawks western than anything Carpenter’s ever done, this film is nasty, gruesome, and devoid of any of the “teenyboppers” and romanticism that had become hallmarks of the slasher and vampire genres, respectively. David Ehrlich (Indiewire) joins us as we go deep into the woods - James Woods, that is - and come out with the least memorable Baldwin brother. Strada Chocolata!

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Nov 21, 2021
Escape from L.A. with Matt Gourley & Paul Rust
9074
Less of a sequel and more of a “next gen video game re-skin,” Snake Plissken is back in “Escape from LA” and this time he’s got a surfboard! The “Gourley and Rust” guys join us to ponder whether or not a big budget is actually *bad* for John Carpenter. On the one hand, we get a Carp, Kurt, and Debra Hill reunion! On the other…those submarine sequences.

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Nov 14, 2021
Village of the Damned with Amy Nicholson
7749
It’s not “Children of the Damned” nor “Children of the Corn” nor “Corn of the Damned” - it’s John Carpenter’s “Village of the Damned,” goddamnit! Creepy blonde kids with laser eyes! Our guest Amy Nicholson’s (“Unspooled”) boyfriend thinks she looks like one of them. Griffin thinks David’s baby has “Village of the Damned” eyes, too. But is this movie actually scary enough? “Needs more menace!” per Ben. Topics covered include the Razzies, formative cinematic crushes, Christopher Reeve’s star persona, and a Chuck Norris movie that has him teaming up with a dog to take down an alliance of White Supremacist groups. 

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Nov 07, 2021
In the Mouth of Madness with Angelica Jade Bastién
7770
Just in time for Halloween - it’s the conclusion of Carpenter’s “Apocalypse Trilogy” and one of the best Lovecraftian horrors ever to grace the silver screen! Vulture’s Angelica Jade Bastién joins us to chat “In the Mouth of Madness,” and we wonder - is Sam Neill a “dang ass freak”? Should this movie take place in a more “airport paperback” environment, like a beach town? What would you do if you saw the head of production at New Line getting…uh… “serviced” in public at an Oscar party? Grab your Sutter Cane book and listen up!

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Oct 31, 2021
Memoirs of an Invisible Man with Alan Sepinwall
8182
In which we try to find the John Carpenter in what is overwhelmingly a Chevy Chase vanity project. The legendary Alan Sepinwall (Rolling Stone) joins us to make sense of this befuddling genre mishmash. What are the invisibility rules of this movie? Who is the silver-voiced British man named “Richard” and is that his real voice? Is Chevy Chase good at acting? Does it matter? In this movie…yeah, it kind of does! We’re sad to see the Carpenter hot streak end with this movie, but that’s what Blank Check is all about - the bounces, baby!

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Oct 24, 2021
They Live! with Mike Mitchell & Nick Wiger
8308
Don’t adjust your sunglasses - it’s another epic crossover podcast! The Doughboys join #TheTwoFriends to tackle Carpenter’s still-relevant anti-capitalist alien action classic. Is “Rowdy” Roddy Piper the greatest wrestler-turned-actor? Who actually wrote the iconic bubblegum line? Which hard seltzer is the best and why is it White Claw Surge? And yes, of course we have to talk about that iconic fight scene.

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Oct 17, 2021
Prince of Darkness with Keith Phipps
8222
Every filmmaker gets one “Satan in a jar in a basement” movie and this is John Carpenter’s! Keith Phipps (The Next Picture Podcast) joins us to chat “the anti-God,” fictional British scientist Bernard Quatermass, and young David Sims’ humble beginnings as an “It’s Always Sunny” recapper at the AVClub. The boys also establish that Ben loves “wet evil” and that the special effects makeup artist on PRINCE OF DARKNESS also worked with Griffin on DRAFT DAY! 

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Oct 10, 2021
Big Trouble in Little China with Jason Mantzoukas & Paul Scheer
10622
You know what ol’ Jack Burton would do on an episode like this? Bring back Jason Mantzoukas and Paul Scheer, of course! The HOW DID THIS GET MADE? guys make their triumphant return to Blank Check to discuss yet another Kurt Russell masterpiece, and lament the lack of Russell-esque stars in today’s Hollywood landscape. There’s some John Landis slander and a shout-out to Kit Fisto - this episode TRULY has everything!

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Oct 03, 2021
Starman with Katey Rich
8710
Voyager II may be approaching the “Termination Shock” (Ben’s new favorite phrase), but we’re on earth cherishing the otherworldly romance of John Carpenter’s STARMAN! Vanity Fair’s Katey Rich returns to discuss Jeff Bridges’ impressive performance, the illustrious career of Hollywood script doctor “Dinky” Dean Reisner, and the one sandwich that’s actually supposed to have paprika on it (whatever deviled egg thing Karen Allen orders at the diner in this movie).

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Sep 26, 2021
Christine with Scott Wampler & Eric Vespe
7408
It’s the Blank Check / Kingcast crossover event you’ve all been waiting for! Scott Wampler and Eric Vespe join us to discuss John Carpenter’s “Christine” - the first Stephen King adaptation we’ve covered. What is more terrifying - a sexy vintage car that kills people? Or Barbra Streisand’s basement mall? A difficult question, we know.

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Sep 19, 2021
The Thing with Emily VanDerWerff
9551
Here’s the thing about THE THING - it might be the best movie we’ve ever covered? Emily VanDerWerff joins us (and joins the five-timers club!) to discuss Carpenter’s Arctic paranoia classic, which was unfairly maligned upon release. Topics covered include the “Brimley COCOON Line,” the film as a trans allegory, and dogs getting their faces peeled back like bananas.

Checkout Emily’s podcast What to Watch on the Vox Quick Hits feed or the scripted series Arden!

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Sep 12, 2021
Escape from New York with Karen Han
7762
Grab your eyepatches - it’s Snake Plissken time! Karen Han joins the gang to chat Carpenter’s action classic ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK - which was actually filmed in St. Louis! Topics covered include NSFW tattoos, Lee Van Cleef’s badass gravestone, the 90s documentary where Ernest Borgnine just drives a bus, and John Carpenter’s rather pedestrian taste in video games. “Fallout 76”??? C’mon, John!

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Sep 05, 2021
The Fog with Nia DaCosta
5875
A film brave enough to ask the question - what if there was fog? Just kidding - this movie is ACTUALLY about vengeful pirate ghosts and a lady with a sexy radio voice. CANDYMAN’s Nia DaCosta returns to the pod to ask whether or not fog is scary if you aren’t driving through it. Producer Ben wonders if the titular fog should have had a voice. Plus, we explore the history of spooky lighthouse movies.

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Aug 29, 2021
Halloween with Alex Ross Perry
11067
It’s our biggest episode EVER as Alex Ross Perry brings his own dossier of talking points to tackle 1978’s iconic HALLOWEEN. We explore the history of American independent cinema as seen through the lens of the low-budget horror genre, and determine who’d be included in the slasher villain Mount Rushmore (Chucky isn’t carved into the rock; he’d be working at the gift shop).

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Aug 22, 2021
Assault on Precinct 13 with April Wolfe
6592
John Carpenter puts his own spin on Howard Hawks’ iconic western RIO BRAVO and Griffin learns about “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” - it’s our ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 episode! Screenwriter and film critic April Wolfe (2019’s BLACK CHRISTMAS) joins us as we discuss the most dramatic vanilla ice cream cone of all time. Is this one of Carpenter’s best musical scores? Gonna go ahead and say YES.

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Aug 15, 2021
Dark Star with Emily Yoshida
7320
Our long-awaited John Carpenter series kicks off with his ultra-low budget oddity debut DARK STAR. Ben goes Hollywood (actually, “Hosleywood”) to record with Emily Yoshida - the Mother of Blankies herself - *in person* in Los Angeles, and the gang debates possible names for the series. We landed on “They Podcast” - which is a departure from Griffin’s far sweatier suggestions. Join us as we set the table for Carpenter’s filmography, and go deep on this film, which could also just be called “Space Dirtbags,” per Emily.

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Aug 08, 2021
Old with Marie Bardi
7936
What if there was a beach that made you old? Only the mischievous mind of M. Night Shyamalan could conjure such a place! The gang (including Shyamalan Superfan and Blank Check social media manager Marie Bardi) dives into M. Night’s latest offering. Is it a “Glassterpiece”? Does Griffin even know what age he is anymore? Did Ben always have those wrinkles on his face?

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Aug 01, 2021
Space Jam: A New Legacy with James Newman
9332
Welcome to the slam, it’s time to jam - it’s our first in-person recording since the pandemic! Griffin’s brother James Newman returns to the pod to chat BASKETBALL, a topic that Griffin now knows slightly more about after watching The Last Dance. Is LeBron a bad actor? Does anyone really understand the complicated metaphysics of the Warner Bros Serververse? Join us as we discuss!

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Jul 25, 2021
Clifford 2: Hyper-Clifford with Tom Scharpling
5878
It’s the direct-to-Crackle sequel to our original Clifford episode from four years ago! Clifford superfan and comedy legend Tom Scharpling (“The Best Show,” his new memoir “It Never Ends”) joins us to wax poetic on Martin Short and eulogize the great Charles Grodin. The guys also give pitches for an actual Clifford sequel. Would it involve a prison break? Ben thinks so!

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Jul 18, 2021
Joe Dirt
7638
Dust off your mullets, because it’s the return of PORCH CINEMA with another Ben’s Choice Blank Check Spectacular! The boys talk David Spade, Kid Rock, and Direct-to-Crackle sequels, as they determine the secret ingredient to Ben-approved content - carry a mop on the poster.

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Jul 11, 2021
Abduction with Jason Concepcion
7202
John Singleton’s filmography comes to an inauspicious end with “Abduction,” a film that tests the viability of “Taylor Lautner as Action Star.” Longtime friend of the pod Jason Concepcion (Crooked Media’s Takeline and ALL CAPS NBA) joins us as we mourn the untimely passing of Singleton and try to parse why this movie fails so spectacularly.

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Jul 04, 2021
Four Brothers with Jonathan Braylock
7567
What if there were four brothers? Has anyone thought of this before? Jonathan Braylock (Black Men Can’t Jump in Hollywood) joins us to talk about the niche genre of “snow crime,” the “what ifs?” of Singleton’s career in the 2000s, and the four classic archetypes of brothers. 

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Jun 27, 2021
2 Fast 2 Furious with Jon Gabrus
8436
It’s happening - the Two Friends finally devote an entire episode to THE FAMILY. Special guest (and Fast Franchise Devotee) Jon Gabrus joins us to talk about the Singleton-directed second installment in the saga, just in time for the release of F9. No Vin? No problem! We’ve got a very hungry Tyrese!

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Jun 20, 2021
Baby Boy with Ayo Edebiri
7057
Who says you can’t go home again? John Singleton returns to South Central with BABY BOY and we imagine a trip to Tyrese’s backyard Benihana, a thing that actually exists. Special guest Ayo Edebiri (Big Mouth) returns to the pod with some crackling insights (and an inspired Shrek tangent) as we discuss the legacy of what some call Singleton’s stealth best film.

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Jun 13, 2021
Shaft with Demi Adejuyigbe
8592
He’s a bad mother...pod your cast! Demi Adejuyigbe (The Amber Ruffin Show) joins Griffin and David to discuss the cultural legacy of Detective John Shaft - most specifically, John Singleton’s 2000 interpretation. Is there enough sex in this version of Shaft? What does Shaft mean when he says, “Giuliani Time!” ? Does Jeffrey Wright put too much paprika on the sandwich? Listen here!

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Jun 06, 2021
Rosewood with Jamelle Bouie
8164
Blankie favorite Jamelle Bouie returns to the pod to discuss “Rosewood” - an ambitious historical epic whose failure at the box office (against not one, but TWO Star Wars re-releases) may have necessitated a shift for Singleton towards more commercial fare. The careers of Ving Rhames, Jon Voight, and Michael Rooker are spotlighted, as well as the surprising filmography of Rosewood’s screenwriter Greg Poirier.

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May 30, 2021
Higher Learning with Micah Peters
7400
We’re going back to school with John Singleton, Omar Epps, and...Zangief?! Micah Peters (The Ringer) joins the Two Friends as they discuss “Higher Learning” - an ambitious movie that wrestles with the Big Issues of the American experience: race, gender, sexuality, and the career of Tyra Banks.

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May 23, 2021
Poetic Justice with Jourdain Searles
8017
Jourdain Searles (Bad Romance Pod) joins The Two Friends to discuss “Poetic Justice” - a film that is NOT about Janet Jackson teaching a poetry class, contrary to Griffin’s assumption. The episode also features a delightful Billy Zane tangent and includes probably the most Maya Angelou poetry of any Blank Check installment yet.

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May 16, 2021
Boyz n the Hood with Aisha Harris
7363
Join us as we pour one out for John Singleton, the subject of our new miniseries - PODZ N THE CAST. Griffin and David welcome Aisha Harris (NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour) to chat about Singleton’s iconic debut feature, which saw him Oscar-nominated straight out of film school at the age of 24. Take that, Orson Welles. Griffin also lays out his “Cloverfield Monster” theory of movie-watching, and the boys discuss the reasons for Ice Cube’s success as a movie star (“great sneer!”)

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May 09, 2021
Don Jon with Hollywood Handbook
6458
He’s the kid from Third Rock. The Boy from Brick. The hitRECordjoe himself. Blank Check proudly presents a special one-film miniseries on the directorial career of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, so far consisting only of the baffling 2013 porn-addiction comedy DON JON. “The Boys” Sean Clements and Hayes Davenport of Hollywood Handbook join us as we ask the important questions, like, “Why does this movie not star Channing Tatum?” “How did he get ScarJo and Julianne Moore to do this?” “What is HitRecord?” 

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May 02, 2021
Ishtar with Clint McElroy
8930
Telling the truth is a dangerous business - but movies and podcasts can go hand-in-hand! We conclude our Elaine May series with one of the biggest bounces in Hollywood history - the unfairly maligned Ishtar. Clint McElroy (The Adventure Zone) joins us as we discuss blind camels and the “liberal feminist” Warren Beatty.

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Apr 25, 2021
Mikey and Nicky with Olivia Craighead
8240
Grab 15 cups of cream, brush up on your Meisner Technique, and listen in as The Two Friends (Griffin & David) discuss the Two Friends MIKEY & NICKY, with special guest Olivia Craighead (Iconography podcast). While we’re still discussing the films of Elaine May, this episode also serves as a celebration of “Short King With A Tall Face” John Cassavetes, and recognizes 1976 for what it was - a banner year for Ned Beatty.

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Apr 18, 2021
The Heartbreak Kid with Avery Edison
8724
Writer and comedian Avery Edison joins this week to discuss 1972’s The Heartbreak Kid! Topics include: how May’s directing elevated the Neil Simon screenplay, the performances from Cybill Shepherd, Jeannie Berlin, Charles Grodin, the delightful cringe of the comedy, and more!

Check out Avery's scripted podcast Swings And Roundabouts!

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Apr 11, 2021
A New Leaf
7286
Heavens! It’s technically April, but we’re talking MAY! The guys kick off our Elaine May mini series with her debut feature A New Leaf, while also diving deep into her history as an improv and sketch comedy trailblazer. This episode also marks the return of Ben’s nicknames, and includes a wild ride through the top box office hits of 1971. Billy Jack, anyone?

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Apr 04, 2021
The Sixth Annual Blank Check Awards with Joe Reid
9169
Griffin and David welcome back Joe Reid for the 6th annual Blankie Awards Ceremony for Excellence in Films. Together they present their own personal nominations and winners for the upcoming 93rd Academy Awards. This roundtable discussion looks at all the major categories, as well as, references deep cut cinema you may have missed.

Check out Joe Reid's podcast This Had Oscar Buzz!

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Mar 28, 2021
Moana with Lenika Cruz
7372
Griffin and David are finally doing it! They are CONSIDERING THE COCONUT! In addition to the coconut they also have an in-depth conversation about Musker and Clements’ final (and best?) film together, 2016's Moana. A departure from their typical 2D animation style, and a shift from Disney’s typical Princess / Prince structure, their first fully CG film delves into a Polynesian mythology AND makes everyone cry. 

They are joined this week by Lenika Cruz (The Atlantic) and discuss heavy topics like parental relationships and leaving home, as well as topics on the lighter side such as; what is the best use of The Rock, and will we be over Lin Manuel Miranda again this coming year. 

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Mar 21, 2021
The Princess and the Frog with James III
8004
Just when they thought they were out, Musker & Clements are called back in to helm 2009's The Princess and the Frog. After 7 years in directorial semi-retirement, John and Ron bring Disney animated films back to its musical roots in this historic fairytale starring Disney's first Black princess.

James III (Black Men Can’t Jump In Hollywood) joins this week to discuss the missteps, Keith David’s body of work, how cool Louis the jazz loving alligator is and more!

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Mar 14, 2021
Treasure Planet with Emma Stefansky
8509
This is the BOUNCE BABY!!! This week, the gang heads to 2002’s Treasure Planet. But what would the Phil Collins bump have done for this movie? Can a CGI character have a wig, when everyone’s hair is fake? Should this movie have been called “Poochie Planet”? 

They are joined by guest Emma “BOOKS” Stefansky (@stefabsky, entertainment staff writer @thrillist). Also, stick around until the end to hear what Ben thinks of all the Harry Potter movies, especially Dobby. 

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Mar 07, 2021
Hercules with Larry Owens
6553
BC welcomes multi-hyphenate Larry Owens (A Strange Loop) for a discussion on 1997's Hercules!

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Feb 28, 2021
Aladdin with Jerah Milligan
7529
#thetwofriends try and stay one jump ahead of the breadline and one swing ahead of the sword on this week's Aladdin episode as part of the mini series on the animated films of John Musker and Ron Clements. Jerah Milligan (Black Men Can’t Jump In Hollywood) joins to discuss the influence of Aladdin, adult humor in kid's movies, what if Aladdin had a hoodie and which songs are bangers and which aren’t. 

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Feb 21, 2021
The Little Mermaid with Esther Zuckerman
8430
Esther Zuckerman (Thrillist) returns to discuss 1989’s massive hit, The Little Mermaid! Topics include: the musical contributions of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, the upcoming live action remake, Ursula in human form as Vanessa, and more!



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Feb 14, 2021
The Great Mouse Detective with Fran Hoepfner
7832
All new, all fun! Blank Check launches a brand new mini series on the animated films of John Musker and Ron Clements. Writer and Ratigan stan, Fran Hoepfner (Bright Wall/Dark Room), joins to discuss the duo’s first project together as co-directors of The Great Mouse Detective. Topics include: the Disney renaissance, Sing-Along Songs VHS tapes, Sherlock Holmes, Steampunk, frozen rats and more!

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Feb 07, 2021
The Witches with Richard Lawson
7909
Over four months and 19 movies, we have finally reached the end of our mini series on the films of Robert Zemeckis! Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair) joins to discuss 2020's The Witches and #thetwofriends offer up their filmography rankings.

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Jan 31, 2021
Welcome to Marwen with Emily Yoshida
8855
Emily Yoshida is back to welcome you to Marwen!

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Jan 24, 2021
Allied with Chris Weitz
7430
Now in the final stretch of the Zemeckis mini series, Chris Weitz returns to discuss 2016's WWII spy thriller, Allied.

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Jan 17, 2021
teneT
8912
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Jan 10, 2021
Wonder Woman 1984
8865
On the week of its release in December of 2020, Griffin and David discussed Wonder Woman 1984. Together they examine the heated online discourse, Wiig's film career post-SNL, the state of the superhero movie and of course wish stones and how they work!

Special thanks to The Great American Novel for the new studio version of the theme song! Please check out their music on Bandcamp and Spotify.

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Jan 03, 2021
The Walk with J.D. Amato
9799
In 1974 Philippe Petit performed his infamous walk between the Twin Towers. Director Robert Zemeckis many years later after discovering the story in a children's novel would create a 3D film based on this event. But most importantly in 2018, J.D. Amato appeared on Blank Check to discuss the motion picture technology of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. Continuing in that tradition, J.D. returns for the third annual Talking the Walk. But this time instead of high frame rate, J.D. explores The Walk's cutting edge use of visual effects.


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Music selection: "Night Break" by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.
Dec 27, 2020
Flight with Olivia Craighead
8247
After twelve years since releasing a live action film, Zemeckis comes back to the living with 2012's addiction drama, Flight. Olivia Craighead (Iconography podcast) joins #thetwofriends to discuss the misleading trailer and marketing, consider Melissa Leo, and help answer technical questions like how to roll a plane.

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Dec 20, 2020
A Christmas Carol with Emily VanDerWerff
8677
What's today? Why its Christmas Carol day! Film critic Emily VanDerWerff (Vox) returns to discuss Disney's 2009 take on the classic holiday tale. The gang talks Jim Carrey's career, the best and worst Christmas movies, and Keeping up with the Clauses.


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Dec 13, 2020
Beowulf with Jordan Hoffman
7145
This is Beowulf! Yes, in 2007, Bobby Z took the Old English epic poem and, once again using cutting edge mo-cap technology, delivered a 3-D movie that this week's guest, Jordan Hoffman, aptly describes as "resembling a PlayStation 3 cut scene". Also discussed is Crispin Glover's performance as Grendel, Angelina Jolie's hatred for this film, the background behind the Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary screenplay, and the PG-13 rating despite all the violence and horniness.


Check out Jordan's new podcast, The Dune Conversations with John and Jordan, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your pods!

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Dec 06, 2020
The Polar Express with Joey Sims
7151
In the final days of 2020, Blank Check enters Zemeckis' motion capture technology period with The Polar Express. Joey Sims joins as we discuss the nuance of the Train Conductor character, North Pole logic and delve into everyone's personal relationship to the holiday season and Christmas.

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Nov 29, 2020
Cast Away with Nia DaCosta
7279
Zemeckis and Hanks reunited once again. Another box office and critical success. Filmed over two years, Cast Away captures both talents performing at the top of their respective games. Writer and director, Nia DaCosta (CANDYMAN) joins BC this week to discuss the movie's legacy after 20 years, the different elements that make a story about one guy stranded on island so compelling, Wilson the volleyball, and of course extensive talk about another classic American film: Sully.

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Nov 22, 2020
What Lies Beneath with Starlee Kine
7544
The central thesis to this week's episode on What Lies Beneath: folks, they just don't make them like they used to! Starlee Kine (Election Profit Makers) joins to discuss the "grown-up" movie, the performances from Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford, where the screenwriting falls short, and the paranormal.

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Follow us @blankcheckpod on Twitter and Instagram!
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Nov 15, 2020
Contact with Jamie Bell
6971
Actor, Jamie Bell joins this week to discuss 1997's Contact!

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Nov 08, 2020
Forrest Gump with Jamelle Bouie
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Jamelle Bouie (NY Times) returns to Blank Check to discuss Forrest Gump!

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Nov 01, 2020
Death Becomes Her with Katey Rich
8515
Now armed with an arsenal of wild special effects, Zemeckis takes it up a notch with 1992's Death Becomes Her – the first to include computer-generated skin on film. Katey Rich returns as we reminisce Bruce Willis putting effort in, irritating European monologues, the thrilling billing and why Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn make a perfect cult pair.

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Oct 25, 2020
Back to the Future Part III with Josh Gondelman
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In Back to the Future, Marty ends up in 1955, the same age as his parents. In the sequel he has to jump between that timeline and a bizarre 2015. The natural conclusion to this blockbuster trilogy? A wild western! It's a classic formula! For Back to the Future Part III, we're talking ninja turtles, the magic of Tom Wilson and Mary Steenburgen, and why ZZ Top should be in more movies. The bad boy of the internet himself, Josh Gondelman, (Desus and Mero, Make My Day) joins!

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Oct 18, 2020
Back to the Future Part II with Nicole Byer
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Man wouldn't it be weird to have a future controlled by a rich blond bully who hates women, steals things and is awful to everyone? Robert Zemeckis predicts a wild, kooky, and somewhat accurate 2015 with Back to the Future Part II. Comedian Nicole Byer (Nailed It, Newcomers, Why Won't You Date Me) helps us make sense of the different timelines, unpack the connection to Trump, analyze the film’s strategic approach to the sequel and the ultimate disappointment that hoverboards continue to not exist.

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Oct 11, 2020
Who Framed Roger Rabbit with Mike Mitchell & Nick Wiger
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A noir for kids. Disney and Warner Bros characters together for the first and last time. Live action drama with kooky Tex Avery-style animation. There's really no movie quite like Who Framed Roger Rabbit. How long did "bumping the lamp" take? What's a contemporary take on Jessica and Roger Rabbit's relationship dynamics? How does the film's story mirror Hollywood? We invited the Doughboys themselves, Mike Mitchell and Nick Wiger to help us find out!

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Oct 04, 2020
Back to the Future
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It was the #1 film of 1985. It’s a theme park ride. An animated series. It spawned video games. Comic books. Musicals. It’s in the goddamn Library of Congress! And key to this series, it guaranteed Robert Zemeckis big crazy budgets for decades. Has there ever been a bigger “blank check" than Back to the Future? Now make like a tree and start the episode already!

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Sep 27, 2020
Romancing the Stone with Adam Kempenaar & Josh Larsen
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How did Robert Zemeckis go from commercial flops to a career-defining time-travelling trilogy of blank checks? It’s all thanks to his “guarantor” from 1984 - Romancing The Stone, starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. We invited Filmspotting’s Adam Kempenaar and Josh Larsen to dive into Zemeckis’ first commercial success and how it set the tone for a decade of hits.

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Buy some real nerdy merch @ shopblankcheckpod.myshopify.com
Sep 20, 2020
Used Cars with Jason Mantzoukas & Paul Scheer
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How Did This Get Made’s Paul Scheer (Black Monday, The League) returns with Jason Mantzoukas (Big Mouth, Brooklyn Nine-Nine) for a rare-Rated R Zemeckis – Used Cars (1980). Topics in this episode include the unique star power of Kurt Russell throughout his career, unpacking the bad luck sequence, and a general look at the state of major studio comedies.

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Follow us @blankcheckpod on Twitter and Instagram!
Merch is available at shopblankcheckpod.myshopify.com
Sep 13, 2020
I Wanna Hold Your Hand with Patrick Willems
7483
Your March Madness winner series has arrived! Chosen by the listeners, our latest subject is Robert Zemeckis, a Hollywood hitmaker who gives us plenty to cover. But before we get to Forrest Gump and Back To The Future, we're starting with 1978's I Wanna Hold Your Hand, which centers on a group of girls sneaking into the Beatles games Ed Sullivan show performance.

Patrick Willems (@patrickhwillems) helps us kick it all off as we talk iconic dork performances, the best Beatles movies, and the confidence in this directorial debut.

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Merch is available at shopblankcheckpod.myshopify.com
Sep 06, 2020
The Old Guard
7026
In The Old Guard (2020), Charlize Theron, Kiki Layne, and a group of immortal warriors define why it's worth living to fight another day. Plus they look extremely cool doing it. This week, we wrap up Gina Prince-Bythewood's series with her most recent film, released on Netflix mid-pandemic. How has 2020 affected the release and how we watch it (preferably from a porch)? What do we want to see out of a sequel? What's the best Netflix movie formula? Join Griffin, David and Ben as we list our favorite Prince-Blythwood movies and what blank checks we're looking forward to in the future.

Our new store is officially live! Buy the latest Blank Check merch at shopblankcheckpod.myshopify.com
Aug 30, 2020
Beyond the Lights with Ayo Edebiri
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The pressures of fame as a young pop star navigating the music industry. An overbearing, success driven mother. A quote loving cop with a big heart. Beyond the Lights is an epic film packed with drama, comedy, music and romance. This week, comedian Ayo Edebiri (Iconography podcast) returns to discuss Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s career trajectory, viral realism, wearing the Larry Crowne and Ayo's work as the unofficial showrunner for The Kominsky Method.
Aug 23, 2020
The Secret Life of Bees with Jourdain Searles
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A coming-of age story. Racism in America. Complex connections to motherhood. The Secret Life of Bees adaptation had a lot of themes to tackle. This week we look back to 2008 and compare the strengths and weaknesses of Prince-Bythewood’s biggest commercial success.  Critic, comedian and co-host (Bad Romance Podcast) Jourdain Searles returns to talk meeting celebrities at the worst moments, Hollywood’s attempts to depict the south, and underrated Queen Latifah performances.
Aug 16, 2020
Love & Basketball with Carl Tart
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It’s rare we get to start a mini-series with a classic. 20 years after its release, Gina Prince-Bythewood’s directorial debut still stands the test of time as a top-tier cinematic love story. This week’s all about Love and Basketball (2000), which would set the tone for her career. But what’s the story that led her there? Carl Tart (The Good Place, Comedy Bang Bang) joins as we discuss how Sanaa Lathan fought for her big break, the impact of seeing a romance between two Black leads on the big screen (and VHS), and confuse Griffin with WNBA and NBA stats.
Aug 09, 2020
Julie & Julia with Romilly Newman
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Alas, our Nora Ephron series has come to an end! For our last ep, we’re happy we get to end on a high note and a touch of the Tucc… with 2009’s Julie & Julia. Returning to not only offer her chef expertise but share but how this movie molded her life is noted sister, Romilly Newman! We talk Meryl Streep’s Oscar nomination, why Amy Adams’ half works just as well, and why this film encapsulates Nora’s career so perfectly. Stay tuned ‘til the end for our rankings and announcement about our next series!
Aug 02, 2020
Bewitched with Dana Schwartz
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Years were spent trying to figure out the perfect way to bring back the 60s sitcom, Bewitched. The result was a confusing, critical bomb. How do you go wrong with a hot Oscar winner, SNL star, a handful of Daily Show correspondents, and the Ephron sisters? Blank Check attempts to find out. Dana Schwartz joins #thetwofriends to discuss 2005's Bewitched! Plus, a special bonus interview with Alex Ross Perry and Jason Schwartzman on his experience working with Nora Ephron.
Jul 26, 2020
Lucky Numbers with Alex Ross Perry
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It’s an extra-sized episode featuring director Alex Ross Perry for this strange film about lotteries or something. Which Seinfeld characters are the Two Friends, Ben, and Ang? What awesome tidbits did Alex pick up from the Lucky Numbers commentary? What are the merits of the films of all the other Friends (from Friends)?

The Seinfeld theme is composed by Jonathan Wolff
Jul 19, 2020
You've Got Mail with Bobby Finger & Lindsey Weber
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AOL may have aged out but has this classic rom-com? We invited Who? Weekly's very own Lindsey Weber and Bobby Finger to discuss another Nora Ephron box office hit–You've Got Mail (1998). We get into the all-star cast with Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Dave Chapelle, Greg Kinnear, Parker Posey, meet cutes, and Nora's New York City.
Jul 12, 2020
Michael with Kevin Porter
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This week, Blank Check tackles one of film’s greatest mysteries, John Travolta’s career in the 90s. In Michael (1996), he plays an angel who visits earth to bring people together, but get this…he’ a bad boy! With the cast rounded out with Andie MacDowell, William Hurt, Bob Hoskins and of course, Sparky the dog, it did well at the box office but where does it land in the scope of Nora’s career? Kevin Porter (Good Christian Fun, Gilmore Guys) joins!
Jul 05, 2020
Mixed Nuts with Charles Rogers
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The friends are joined by Search Party director Charles Rogers to discuss this mixed bag of mixed messages of a Christmas movie that shows maybe Norah Ephron can't do black comedies. Don't worry if you haven't seen it, because this is mostly an extensive discussion about Steve Martin's career, Liev Schreiber being great in drag, and the Sondheim musical Assassins.

Check out  Search Party Season 3 on HBO Max, RIGHT NOW!

For the month of June we will be spotlighting groups dedicated to and run by Black trans and non-binary people who need our help.

This week's organization is:
The Marsha P. Johnson Institute
Jun 28, 2020
Sleepless in Seattle with Katey Rich
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Only Nora Ephron could make a rom-com where the leads interact for 2 minutes an instant classic. The BC crew makes a Tom and Meg inspired long distance call to Katey Rich (Vanity Fair) for Ephron's sophomore hit, Sleepless in Seattle (1993). We get into how rom-coms have risen and fallen, the lure of cool boat houses, and the enigma that is Chet Hanks. 

For the month of June we will be spotlighting groups dedicated to and run by Black trans and non-binary people who need our help.

This week's organization is:

Jun 21, 2020
This Is My Life with Michelle Collins
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"Everything is copy." is the code Ephron lived by and no film fit that better than her directorial debut, This is My Life (1992). After the success of When Harry Met Sally, Nora and Delia Ephron teamed up for a comedy about two sisters and their mother's rise on the comedy scene in NYC. Comedian and host of Sirius' The Michelle Collins Show, Michelle Collins, joins to talk Julie Kavner's career, realistic movie standup, and weird child actors.

For the month of June we will be spotlighting groups dedicated to and run by Black trans and non-binary people who need our help.

This week's organization is:
The Emergency Release Fund
@release_fund
Jun 14, 2020
When Harry Met Sally... with Dana Stevens
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It laid the groundwork for her entire film career. It set the mold for every rom-com that followed. Though it wasn’t her directorial debut, you just don’t do Nora Ephron without covering When Harry Met Sally. We invited Slate critic and podcast host Dana Stevens (Culture Gabfest, Flashback) to discuss the 1989 classic and ask the big questions. How is Billy Crystal so damn charming? Which Meg Ryan hairstyle is best? And most importantly...can men and women be friends???
Jun 07, 2020
Stargate
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It's a Ben's Choice bay-bee! Dry, dusty tombs ✓ Crazy convoluted tech ✓ Vast intergalactic conspiracies? ✓✓✓ 1994's Stargate really does have it all. This week Ben gets to makes his case for this Egyptian/Sci-Fi Roland Emmerich cult favorite, and why it's best viewed from a porch.
May 31, 2020
Twilight Zone: Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
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You're entering a world of a b-b-b-bonus ep! We couldn't wrap up George Miller series without covering the totally bizarre Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983). We specifically dive into Miller's remake of the Serling/Shatner classic, his talent for chaotic action, and Lithgow's oddball career. Stay tuned as we announce the director for our next series!
May 28, 2020
Mad Max: Fury Road with Emily Yoshida
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Emily Yoshida (Night Call podcast) joins #thetwofriends to discuss George Miller's magnum opus Mad Max: Fury Road. Together they examine the masterful world building, the flawed leadership of Immortan Joe, lumps, the performances of Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult and so much more!

SFX: "VVZ-A#3-2.wav" by sorohanro; "Vuvuzela-04.wav" by theTone; "horror ambience 07.wav" by klankbeeld. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.
May 24, 2020
Happy Feet Two with Sara Rubin
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Visual artist Sara Rubin joins BC this week to discuss Miller’s second dancing penguin movie! Together with #thetwofriends they breakdown the billing order, question if krill are sea monkeys and try to guess the tagline to movie Surf’s Up.
May 17, 2020
Happy Feet with Caitlin Durante
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Caitlin Durante (The Bechdel Cast) joins #thetwofriends to discuss Miller's first foray into animation with 2006's Happy Feet.
May 10, 2020
Babe: Pig in the City with Travis McElroy
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Who is 1998's Babe: Pig in the City for? Is it for kids? Stoners? Four grown adults attempting to navigate a national pandemic? This is the question Travis McElroy (My Brother, My Brother and Me, Adventure Zone, Run: A Doctor Who Fancast) poses to the BC crew this week. We defend and analyze another George Miller death city, robot chimp babies, and why Siskel went out on a high note. That'll do.
May 03, 2020
Lorenzo's Oil with Bilge Ebiri
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Hard to believe we're already halfway through our George Miller series! This week Bilge Ebiri (Vulture) returns to talk about one of his favorite films, 1992's Lorenzo's Oil. Starring Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte...with an Italian accent that somehow works...Oil may have disappointed at the box office but still got a screenplay and best actress Oscar nomination. Turns out medical dramas really work when they're made by actual doctors...who happen to be as talented as George Miller.
Apr 26, 2020
The Witches of Eastwick with K. Austin Collins
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Film critic K. Austin Collins (Vanity Fair) returns to Blank Check for an episode covering 1987’s fantasy comedy, The Witches of Eastwick. Together with #thetwofriends they discuss author John Updike’s original novel, how producer Jon Peters tried shoehorning an alien into the film, assign themselves which witch they would be and Griffin defines what a ‘movie movie’ is.
Apr 19, 2020
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome with David Ehrlich
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Together, #thetwofriends and returning guest David Ehrlich (IndieWire) talk about not just the Thunderdome, but go beyond to examine Tina Turner’s filmography, why the children of the wasteland are 10x better than the Lost Boys of Hook, the Toy Story 3 song “We Belong Together” and more!
Apr 12, 2020
Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior with Jon Gabrus
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Comedian, Jon Gabrus (High and Mighty) returns to discuss 1981’s  sequel effort Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. Together with #thetwofriends they examine the similarities between the Evil Dead and Mad Max franchises, dystopian future fashion justification, the career of actor Bruce Spence and American Gladiators. Plus, Ben has a shocking revelation.
Apr 05, 2020
Mad Max
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Witness Blank Check because this week, Griffin and David ride towards Valhalla and into a new mini series on the films of George Miller! Together they examine Miller’s medical background, the early camera and stunt work of Mad Max that Miller would continue to develop and refine, and more.
Mar 29, 2020
5th Anniversary Special
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Griffin, David, Ben and Ang each from their own apartments celebrated Blank Check’s anniversary with a look back at some favorite moments and reflect upon these past five years. Plus, messages from past and future guests of the show!
Mar 22, 2020
Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids
4004
B-b-b-bonus Jonas, David and Griffin do a Jonathan Demme wrap-up with his last full-length music documentary. What is David's extensive background with Timberlake concerts? How much does Griffin dislike Timberlake? Is he actually funny or is that all Andy Samberg? And how do musicians keep from exhausting themselves on stage?
Mar 19, 2020
Ricki and the Flash with Bobby Finger & Lindsey Weber
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Who? Weekly hosts Bobby Finger and Lindsey Weber talk about Demme's last film, written by Diablo Cody. But they really just want to talk about Tully. It's a film about dead beat [get it? BEAT??] Moms with Meryl's real daughter, and Griffin is so laid back he has his microphone in his lap. What works for Wild Rose that doesn't work for this film? Can we talk about her INSANE TATTOO FOR A SECOND? And what's the best place to watch this movie?
Mar 15, 2020
A Master Builder with John Hodgman
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David, Griffin, and self-made man of letters John Hodgman have to deal with Ragnar in this weird weird weird adaptation of a Henrik Ibsen play - and by adaptation, we mean they just took the play and filmed it in a house in Nyack. But instead of talking about the not so great film, get ready for more rants about Cars 2 (WHAT IS MONEY HOW DOES THIS WORK?) and the explanation of how Playmobil the Movie happened without anyone noticing. Also, in no way was this episode accidentally deleted and hastily re-recorded at the last minute.

SFX: "Sizzling" by JasonElrod. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License.
Mar 08, 2020
Rachel Getting Married with Ayo Edibiri and Olivia Craighead
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From Iconography, Ayo Edibiri and Olivia Craighead join Griffin and special guest the crypt keeper that is gravelly-voiced David. Get ready for a movie surprisingly starring Sebastian Stan, and a 20-minute long story about the saga of Marc Summers. How many sitcoms were about dads that are also another thing? How much family trauma comes out at a wedding? How muddy is this film?
Mar 01, 2020
The Manchurian Candidate with the Flop House: Dan McCoy, Stuart Wellington, and Elliott Kalan
6867
The Flop House joins Blank Check to talk about this remake that was like okay, but definitely better than the last Demme remake. Is Meryl good or weird? Why is a pack of cards so sexy? How many films and TV shows are there about last men? How do you get rid of ants? What mysteries are still left unanswered? And what does the Flop House think about Trolls the Experience?

SFX: "Organ" by caquet; "movietheatreambience"  by NoiseCollector;  "curtain on rail" by Khanyi_190188; and "COUCH - falling on couch" by Jay6Waza. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License.
Feb 23, 2020
Birds of Prey with Ang Ferraguto, Emma Stefansky, Ashleigh Heaton, and Preeti Chhibber
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No boys allowed, although gender is a construct. It's an all-women special! Ang Ferraguto is joined by Emma Stefansky, Ashleigh Heaton, and Preeti Chhibber. This PodSkwad is NOT here to complain about Star Wars, but to talk about this women-powered DC movie full of hammers and hair ties, fun guns and fun outfits, and women helping women by kicking ass. How can you tell this was made by a woman? And which psychopaths are Griffin and David? #Let men have nipples.
Feb 16, 2020
The Truth About Charlie with David Lowery
7645
Director and filmmaker David Lowery joins the two friends to talk about a weird remake of an Audrey Hepburn movie, except bad, starring Mark Wahlberg in his self-described worst role. There are insane hat choices and a very long ballroom scene. What was the last video game that Lowery played? Why is Tom Cruise wearing Ugg boot? How does Ted Levine die?  And what film did Lowry review and later realize he hadn't actually seen? THIS MOVIE HONKS!
Feb 09, 2020
The Fifth Annual Blank Check Awards with Joe Reid
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Griffin and David welcome back Joe Reid for the 5th annual Blankie Awards where together they present their own personal nominations and winners for the upcoming 92nd Academy Awards. This roundtable discussion looks at all the major categories, as well as, references deep cut cinema from 2019 you may have missed.
Feb 02, 2020
Beloved with Jourdain Searles
7420
Co-host of the bad romance podcast , freelance writer for thrillist and bitch media Jourdain Searles joins the cast to talk about the team-up that no one saw coming, Oprah and Demme. The two friends and guest talk about the sexiness of the pepper beard and facial ombre, the Fifty Shades series, and thandie newton again (for the first time?) Plus, what might another Toni Morrison adaptation look like? Why was Ryan Gosling fired from The Lovely Bones? What are the 21 bridges in 21 Bridges? And why doesn't this movie have more ghost stuff?
Jan 26, 2020
Philadelphia with Richard Lawson
7913
Writer Richard Lawson joins the boys to talk about this WEIRD but poignant film that is actually streaming on Netflix. Why didn't they just make Tom Hanks whole family hate him? And who better to sing about the streets of Philadelphia than Bruce Springsteen? Plus a >>special<< merch spotlight. 
Jan 19, 2020
Silence of the Lambs with Emily Vanderwerff
9176
The two friends are joined by prolific writer Emily Vanderweff  to talk about the most influential movie that BC has covered  - except for Fletch of course. It's so influential there are TOO MANY BITS!  What's Emily's take on what all Demme movies are about? What could Hannibal lector have looked like if it was a different actor? And a special shoutout to all our cannibal psychologist listeners! 
Jan 12, 2020
Married to the Mob with Ang Ferraguto
8294
She's MARRIED to the MOB. Now that we have that out of the way, get ready for 25 minutes of discussion about the Kids Choice Awards. Which Marvel movie would work directed by Scorsese? Why in the world is everyone fighting over Ed Begley, Jr. when Michelle Pfeiffer is so much better? What was everyone's shit job in New York? And find out why Ang is so perfect to guest on this episode. 
Jan 05, 2020
The Rise of Skywalker
8744
On the week of its release in December of 2019, Griffin, David, and special guest Ang Ferraguto discussed Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.
Dec 22, 2019
Something Wild with Scott Aukerman
7973
From Comedy Bang Bang and the new film Between Two Ferns: The Movie, Scott Auckerman joins the two friends to talk about people who talk funny and that's their job now. What films did Ray Liotta think were stupid? Where did Sue Tissue, the original Manic Pixie Dream Girl, disappear to? Does Blue Velvet make sense if you miss the first few minutes? And how much did Jeff Daniels get paid to be in Dumb and Dumber? 
Dec 15, 2019
Stop Making Sense with Demi Adejuyigbe
8013
Everyone wants to get to the pod with guest Demi Adejuyigbe, where The Blank Check Boys talk about Demme's Concert Film with the Talking Heads. What shows should get gritty reboots? Why did concert films stop existing?  What is the song Heaven about (what isn't it about?) Have you seen DJ Khaled's Slack channel? And what would David Byrne sound like ordering a Bacon, Egg, and Cheese? One of the great things is that there's no talking heads about the Talking Heads, it's just a great show.
 
SFX: "Lock: Unlock" by cemagar. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License.
Dec 08, 2019
Swing Shift
6027
What in the world is going on with this film that has two versions - of which the good one is not available anywhere? What is the titular "Shift" actually referring to? What happens when two stars  - gasp - fall in love? And why are Griff and Dave so off their game in a strange new studio? Find out all this and more in this episode of DEMME CONFESSIONALS.

SFX: "SL50 Focus Lock" by sonoplastico; "Audio Cassette Tape Open Close Play Stop" by Bertrof; and "One Beep" by kwahmah_02. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License.
Dec 01, 2019
Melvin and Howard (and Jordan Hoffman)
7380
Finally, we get to the good Demme movies with film critic Jordan Hoffman. The partially true story of a guy who thinks Howard Hughes is gonna leave him money. What made Griffin almost cry (and not in frustration)? What is an animated movie actually and is it for children? What game shows attracted the weirdest contestants. Why isn't there a good movie where someone's telling someone to go get their shine box? And what's your favorite Airplane joke?

Music selection: "Night on the Docks" by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License.
Nov 24, 2019
Citizens Band/ Last Embrace with Justin McElroy
6939
Guest Justin McElroy is gonna be mad he volunteered to do any film when Griff and David talk about Demme's first two tries at "real" movies after his Roger Korman saga. The trio talk about CB, or "Citizen's Band," and Last Embrace, a surprisingly Judaic Thriller. The films contain oddly touching birthday party scenes, IMDB spoilers,  children named Blood, and the introduction of heavy concepts that are never dealt with. Did Ben Kingsley win an Oscar?  What's Justin's 30-second Tim Robbins story? Also what is Mandy Patinkin, the Patinkiest, doing in this movie? 
Nov 17, 2019
Caged Heat/ Crazy Mama/ Fighting Mad
7122
It’s the first episode of a new mini-series. You voted for him, you’ve only yourself to blame for JONATHAN DEMME. Probably one of the directors with the most range of films - from rom coms to serious dramas - Griffin and David start with the first three of his films, each a strange genre movie: Caged Heat about a prison break; Crazy Mama about women doing crimes; and Fighting Mad which pits farmers vs coal companies. What is the appeal of women’s prison movies? Literally what is Michael Richards doing all day? Can art be non-political nowadays? And what exactly makes Demme SO iconic that he’s such an influencer? 
Nov 10, 2019
The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness
3783
On a special b-b-b-b-bonus episode, Griffin and David review the 2013 documentary that offers a rare look into the behind-the-scenes of Studio Ghibli. They also discuss Dilbert, HBO Max acquiring the exclusive streaming rights of the Studio Ghibli library and offer up their rankings of Miyazaki's filmography.
Nov 07, 2019
The Wind Rises
6309
On the final episode of our mini series devoted to the filmography of Hayao Miyazaki, #thetwofriends discuss 2014's The Wind Rises. Together they examine Miyazaki's relationship to aviation, existential crises like the meaning of life, the controversy surrounding this film and more! 
Nov 03, 2019
Ponyo on the Cliff with Shirley Li
7359
Writer, Shirley Li (The Atlantic) joins Griffin & David to discuss 2008's better Little Mermaid, Ponyo on the Cliff! Together they examine Ponyo's love of ham/Sosuke, offer up fresh Men In Black International takes, present life hacks such as bringing a fish back to life with vodka and yes, the dog is off the leash. 
Oct 27, 2019
Gemini Man
5667
On the week of its release in October of 2019, Griffin and David discussed Gemini Man. Together they examine the performances of old and young Will Smith, Ang Lee's second attempt shooting at the high frame rate of 120 fps and in 3D and a young Benedict Wong. 
Oct 20, 2019
Joker
6584
HA HA HA! On the week of its release in October of 2019, Griffin and David discussed Joker. Together they examine all the unearned controversy surrounding the film, Todd Phillips' career, the performances of Joaquin Phoenix and Robert De Niro, the portrayal of a gritty 1970's New York City and more! 

Music Selection: "Entrance of the Gladiators" by Julius Fučík
Oct 13, 2019
Howl's Moving Castle with David Ehrlich
7883
David Ehrlich (IndieWire) returns for our mini-series' namesake episode on 2014's walking castle fantasy, Howl's Moving Castle! Together they examine analog versus digital animation effects, a talking fire, being a bird warrior and more! 

 
Oct 06, 2019
Spirited Away with David Rees
9056
Humorist, David Rees, returns to Blank Check discuss one of the greatest animated films of all time, Spirited Away. Together they examine dream logic, Shrek, David Rees presents an important review of Spirited Away from Nigel Andrews at the Financial Times and plenty more! 
Sep 29, 2019
Princess Mononoke with Griffin McElroy
6985
Griffin McElroy (My Brother, My Brother and Me, The Adventure Zone) joins #thetwofriends to discuss 1997's eco-friendly adventure, Princess Mononoke! Together they examine melting giant evil spaghetti boars, bones, tasty immortality heads, being raised by wolves and more! 

Plus, check out The Adventure Zone's new book, Murder on the Rockport Limited!

Music is "Cool Hard Facts" by Kevin MacLeod. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

Sep 22, 2019
Porco Rosso with Justin Charity
7979
Justin Charity (The Ringer) joins Griffin and David to discuss 1992's flying pig, Porco Rosso. Together they examine fascism, Space Camp, turning into a pig and more. 


Sep 15, 2019
Kiki's Delivery Service with Caroline Framke
6342
Caroline Framke (Variety) joins #thetwofriends to discuss 1989's coming-of-age witch tale, Kiki's Delivery Service. Together they examine fish in pies, being a delivery witch, the Jumanji: The Next Level trailer (spoilers!) and that time Griffin met Lorne Michaels. 
Sep 08, 2019
My Neighbor Totoro with J.D. Amato
8491
J.D. Amato returns to discuss the 1988's acclaimed childhood tale, My Neighbor Totoro. Together they examine subs vs dubs, collecting limited edition merchandise and J.D. calls David and Producer Ben to apologize! 
Sep 01, 2019
Castle in the Sky with Emily Yoshida
8162
Emily Yoshida returns to discuss 1986's Castle in the Sky! But what is the appeal of a Miyazaki film? Is 'chaotic good' a Miyazaki character type? A kind moss robot we stan? Together with the #thetwofriends they examine large adult sky pirate sons, going ham and eggs, Angus the movie, the Studio Ghibli theme park and more!

Music selection by: "Digital Mk. 2" by Tri-Tachyon. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License.
Aug 25, 2019
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind with Lulu Wang
7121
Writer/director Lulu Wang joins #thetwofriends to discuss Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, as well as, her recent film The Farewell
Aug 18, 2019
The Castle of Cagliostro
6661
This week marks the beginning of a new series on the films of director Hayao Miyazaki! Together they present a brief background of Miyazaki, explore the history of Lupin the 3rd franchise, debate what DJ Khaled actually does and more! 
Aug 11, 2019
Blackhat with Bilge Ebiri
7040
Film critic, Bilge Ebiri, joins #thetwofriends to discuss 2015's hacker flop Blackhat. 
Aug 04, 2019
Miami Vice - Pilot Episode
4756
Griffin and David review the 1984 Miami Vice television series pilot entitled "Brother's Keeper" in a special b-b-b-b-bonus episode, reference the term 'podfade' from a recent New York Times article and examine the careers of Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. 
Aug 01, 2019
Public Enemies with Fran Hoepfner
5462
Writer, Fran Hoepfner joins #thetwofriends to discuss 2009's gritty bank robber romance, Public Enemies. Together they examine the merits of the phrase dumb egg, a vaping incident, pulling a classic “Chewbacca” and was Christian Bale nominated for David’s ‘Hard to Make the 5’ list? 

[Editor's Note: Due to equipment failure the last 30 minutes of the episode were cut. Sorry for the disruption.]
Jul 28, 2019
The Lion King
6901
On the week of its release in July of 2019, Griffin and David discussed The Lion King. Together they examine the photorealism angle, Disney’s legacy, as well as, the recent Cats trailer and the dawn of digital fur technology.


Jul 21, 2019
Miami Vice
9191
Are you a fiend for mojitos? We are. Grab your shades and grease back your hair cause Blank Check is discussing 2006’s film remake of Miami Vice! Together they examine the storied history of this production, the performances of Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx, grenade rules, casting Russell Crowe as Donkey Kong and more!
Jul 14, 2019
Collateral with Katey Rich
6152
#thetwofriends welcome back Katey Rich (Vanity Fair) to discuss 2004's Cruise/Foxx thriller Collateral. Together they examine the initial casting of Adam Sandler as the cab driver, as well as, the entire cast's excellent performances, contemplate a coyote and more.
Jul 07, 2019
Ali with Jamelle Bouie
7548
This week, Jamelle Bouie (The New York Times) joins to discuss 2001’s unorthodox biopic, Ali. Together they examine the relationship between Ali and sports broadcaster Howard Cosell, the Peter Newman interview, Will Smith and the rest of the excellent cast's performances and so much more. Plus, Jamelle tries the Spies in Disguise challenge!
Jun 30, 2019
The Insider with Andy Levy
8577
This week, Andy Levy joins Griffin and David to discuss 1999's 60 Minutes biopic, The Insider. Together they examine the performances of Al Pacino, Russell Crowe, and Christopher Plummer, go off on a The Good Shepherd tangent, present some Joe Camel casting options and more! 
Jun 23, 2019
Heat with Jon Gabrus
9518
Comedian Jon Gabrus joins Griffin and David for an epic conversation on 1995's Cops and Robbers aren't so different movie, Heat. But what did director William Friedkin call Al Pacino in his biography? Is someone reading a metal making book at the bar mysterious? Who is the legendary Craig Castaldo AKA Radio Man? Together they examine the performances of Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro, Dad cinema, the diner scene and more! 
Jun 16, 2019
The Last of the Mohicans with Dana Stevens
6758
Dana Stevens (Slate) joins Griffin and David to discuss 1992's new world frontier adaptation, The Last of the Mohicans. Together they examine Mann and Daniel Day-Lewis spending a month in the forest of North Carolina learning the skills and tools needed to survive in the eighteenth-century wilderness, the legacy of character "Natty" Bumppo, the films of Buster Keaton and more! 
Jun 09, 2019
Manhunter with Chris Cabin and Eric Szyszka
7540
This week, Chris Cabin and Eric Szyszka of the We Hate Movies podcast joins Griffin and David to discuss the original Hannibal Lecter film: 1986's Manhunter. But what motivated producer Dino De Laurentiis to scrap the adapted title Red Dragon in favor of Manhunter? Did Michael Mann's research involve becoming pen pals with an incarcerated murderer? Is poet and painter William Blake's Great Red Dragon on fleek? Together they examine the performances of William Petersen and Brian Cox, the work of novelist Thomas Harris and the complete Lecter-verse (including Hannibal Rising), Walt Disney’s frozen head and serial killer home design aesthetics. 
Jun 02, 2019
The Keep with Alex Ross Perry
9541
Alex Ross Perry (Her Smell) returns to Blank Check to discuss 1983's The Keep. But is this technically a movie? Why is there an extended tangent about the TV show Bones? Is there a movie where anyone eats pizza before E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial? Together they discuss the Mount Rushmore of 1980s: Verhoeven, Schrader, De Palma and Friedkin, the creator of the Moviefone and also talk about The Keep.
May 26, 2019
Thief
6838
Five months ago Blank Check began the Tim Burton mini-series. This week, though, marks a new director and a NEW mini-series with the filmography of one Michael Mann! Starting us of is the 1981 jewel stealing neo-noir, Thief. But were there literal wanted criminals on the set of this movie? Is James Cann the best at Twitter? What is Mann's top 10 Sight & Sound and is there a strange contemporary outlier? Together Griffin and David examine Michael Mann's background, the performances of Cann, Robert Prosky and Willie Nelson and spend some time on Dennis Farina's mustache. 

Music: "ShortSwingwav." by Valentin Sosnitskiy. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

May 19, 2019
Pokémon: Detective Pikachu with Dan Hernandez & Benji Samit
7429
On the week of it's release in May of 2019, Blank Check invited screenwriters of Detective Pikachu, Dan Hernandez & Benji Samit, to offer a behind-the-scenes look into the development and writing process of this film! But what other media influenced elements of the story structure? What are Griffin and David's favorite Pokémon? How long did it take writer and director Steven E. de Souza to write Street Fighter? Together they examine fandom theory, world building, video game movies and explore the credit process and arbitration process. 
May 12, 2019
Assassin's Creed
6659
This week is a special Ben's Choice episode. He selected 2016's excellent video game adaptation, Assassin's Creed. But is it very good? Yes. Do they talk about apples? YES! Is there a lot of discussion about Marion Cotillard believing this project was a documentary? YEAH!!! Together they examine the huge role Michael Fassbender played in this production, Justin Kurzel's moody directing, this film's relationship to the video game franchise and parkour. Plus, #thetwofriends announce the next 2 directors Blank Check will be covering in upcoming mini series! 
May 05, 2019
Dumbo with Karen Han
7882
Karen Han (Polygon) returns to discuss 2019’s Dumbo! But what member of Blank Check likes a bossy girl? Was actor Brendan Hines insecure about the fact that he might be too conventionally handsome to be a Karen's Boy? What should happen to bad elephant boys? Together they examine Disney trailers and critical predictions, frozen heads, Sims gets very mad about his boy Colin and they offer up their Burton rankings. 

Apr 28, 2019
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children with Emma Stefansky
6194
Writer, Emma Stefansky (Thrillist), joins Griffin and David to talk about 2016's fantasy flop: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Together they examine the peculiarities of the children, the novel by Ransom Riggs, crossbows and famous people who are EVEN hotter in person. 

Apr 21, 2019
Big Eyes with Richard Lawson
6559
Richard Lawson returns to discuss the late-Burton effort: 2014's Big Eyes. But why are the eyes so big? Should Christoph Waltz be the star of his own network TV sitcom? How did Burton pull off making the focus of this movie about the main character's abuser? Together they examine the eyes (which are big), Margaret Keane's history and Alita: Battle Angel (which is also known as Big Eyes 2.) 

Plus, check out past (and future) guests Richard and Joanna Robinson's podcast Still Watching: Game of Thrones.

Get Richard's book All We Can Do Is Wait!

Apr 14, 2019
Dark Shadows with Jamie Loftus
6184
This week on Blank Check, comedian Jamie Loftus The Bechdel Cast discusses 2012's goth soap opera, Dark Shadows. But has Timmy "the boy from Burbank" Burton become the hill man in his later years? Where is Sullyville located in America? Why does the climatic fight scene only further reinforce ones disliking of Depp? Together they examine Jamie's history with the original series, Hot Topic's influence, the problem with Deadpool being someone's favorite comedian and Alfred Molina we stan. 
Apr 07, 2019
Alice in Wonderland with Todd VanDerWerff
6891
Griffin and David welcome back Todd VanDerWerff (Vox) to discuss 2010's CGI fantasy Alice in Wonderland! Together they examine Burton's greatest failure. 
Mar 31, 2019
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street with Michael Cerveris
6636
Tony award winning actor, Michael Cerveris, joins Griffin and David to discuss 2007's film adaption of the renowned Stephen Sondheim musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Why did Tim Burton cut The Ballad of Sweeney Todd? Does Michael have a take on National Treasure: Book of Secrets? Timothy Spall goes big? Together they examine how the film holds up against the live production, the trailer lacking singing, letter writing with Sondheim and Michael's experience portraying Sweeney Todd in the 2005 Broadway revival. 

And check out Michael Cerveris' band, Loose Cattle!

Mar 24, 2019
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Pilot Viruet
8081
Writer, Pilot Viruet returns to Blank Check to discuss 2005's remake, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But, at one point, were Al Pacino and Robert De Niro considering doing a Willy Wonka picture? What are the gang's Peter Farrelly rankings? What do you call a doctor’s jacket? Together they examine the four grandparents in bed, the trained squirrels and more! 
Mar 17, 2019
Big Fish with Chris Gethard
8518
Chris Gethard Beautiful/Anonymous podcast returns to Blank Check to discuss 2003's father and son fantasy, Big Fish. And also, to talk about Star Wars some more. But does Big Fish's ending pay out like a slot machine? Was 2003 the year Steven Spielberg and Tim Burton culturally flip-flopped? What are some of the nerd perks offered at the new Star Wars hotels? Together, they spend 2+ hours examining the performances of the cast including Albert Finney and Billy Crudup, motorcycle cages, which vignette to cut out of this movie, and of course Mr. Soggybottom. 

Plus, be sure to grab copy of Chris Gethard's new book, Lose Well!

Mar 10, 2019
Planet of the Apes with Matt Singer
6586
Film critic, Matt Singer (ScreenCrush.com), joins Griffin and David to discuss 2001's universally maligned franchise reboot, Planet of the Apes. Together they examine Burton's missteps, Wahlberg's distain for being in this movie, the legacy of the original series and the devastation of a young Griffin Newman. 
Mar 03, 2019
Sleepy Hollow with David Lowery
8824
Writer and director, David Lowery (The Old Man & the Gun, A Ghost Story) joins Griffin and David to discuss 1999's procedural horror, Sleepy Hollow. But when we die does the headless horseman come for us? Who are the cheek bone boys? Was Taylor Hicks a ten percenter? Together they examine the work of Emmanuel Lubezki, babies with mustaches, CGI deer and the crypt keeper. 

Feb 24, 2019
The Fourth Annual Blank Check Awards with Joe Reid
7445
Griffin and David welcome back Joe Reid for the 4th annual Blankie Awards where together they present their own personal nominations and winners for the upcoming 91st Academy Awards. This roundtable discussion looks at all the major categories, as well as, references deep cut cinema from 2018 you may have missed. 

Feb 17, 2019
Mars Attacks! with Paul F. Tompkins
6593
Blank Check continues its mini-series covering the films of director Tim Burton with the alien invasion comedy, Mars Attacks! But what are the origins of development for this 1960's trading card IP? How does this movie compare to Independence Day 20 years later? Does David have a half-sister, and if so, why has she never been mentioned before? Joined by comedian, Paul F. Tompkins (BoJack Horsman), they discuss the various performances of this stacked ensemble cast, the unusual billing, face goop, Entourage the movie and extreme Burton stereotypes such as happy suburban people and haunted ghost children. 

Feb 10, 2019
Ed Wood with John Hodgman
7519
John Hodgman [Judge John Hodgman podcast](https://www.maximumfun.org/shows/judge-john-hodgman) joins Griffin and David to discuss 1994's celebration of Hollywood's greatest outcast, Ed Wood. Was this Burton's finest film? What is the history of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff careers portraying monsters? Is 'octopus motor' the greatest two words put together? Together they examine the legacy of director Ed Wood, attending one of the Property Brother's weddings, crumb bums, and Space: 1999. [Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches](https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/557020/vacationland-by-john-hodgman/9780735224827/) is now available in paperback.
Feb 03, 2019
Batman Returns with Emily Yoshida
6792
Emily Yoshida Night Call podcast is back to discuss 1992's demented superhero sequel, Batman Returns. But was this the first movie to notice Christopher Walken talks kind of funny? Is The Penguin's black mouth ooze attractive? Who are your favorite cloud villains? Together they examine the iconic performances from Danny DeVito and Michelle Pfeiffer, Batman as the love interest, parental backlash, and chubby digits. 

Check out Emily Yoshida's recent articles for Vulture

Jan 27, 2019
Glass
7868
On the week of it’s release in January of 2019, Griffin and David discussed M. Night Shyamalan’s latest offering, Glass. But did the hosts find this film to be a “glassterpiece”? What is Papa executive privilege time? If you had to guess what would you say Samuel L. Jackson’s age would be? Together they try to make sense of why M. Night wanted to tell this particular story, recent Bruce Willis straight to Redbox movies and get retrospective on their two hundredth episode! Plus, a special supercut of Blankies reading Producer Ben’s many, many nicknames. 

And check out brand new Blank Check merch at TeePublic!

Jan 21, 2019
Edward Scissorhands with Julio Torres
6070
This week on Blank Check Julio Torres (Saturday Night Live) discusses 1990’s proto-Tumblr Frankenstein remake fantasy, Edward Scissorhands. But is Cole Sprouse the young Johnny Depp of 2019? Should one aspire to create an esoteric Halloween costume with their movie? Why won't they leave the clowns alone? Together they examine the career of legendary costume designer Colleen Atwood, Winnie the Pooh’s acting and joke writing in Christopher Robin, gorgeous improv and constructs. 

Jan 13, 2019
Batman with K. Austin Collins
7160
Blank Check continues it’s mini series covering the films of director Tim Burton with the genre defining 1989 superhero movie, Batman. What was this film's impact on the industry for years to come? What other actors were in the running to play the Joker? Should Bruce Wayne wear jeans and turtlenecks? Joined by K. Austin Collins (Vanity Fair) together they examine the performances of Jack Nicholson and Michael Keaton, the history of the iconic character's intellectual property in film and television, how Prince came to be involved in the project and so much more!
Jan 06, 2019
Aquaman
7683
On the week of its release in December of 2018, Griffin and David discussed the latest offering in the DCEU: Aquaman. But how many Oscars did David throw at the screening? is Orm a name? Did Ben’s brain break? Together they examine director James Wan’s career, sea crime and the legacy of Aquaman over the years. This episode is sponsored by [Robinhood](http://check.robinhood.com) and [The /Filmcast](http://slashfilmcast.com). And sign up for our [Patreon](https://www.patreon.com/blankcheck) to get access to exclusive monthly bonus content!
Dec 23, 2018
Beetlejuice with Rebecca Bulnes
7945
Friend and host of [Classroom Crush podcast](https://www.classroomcrush.com/), Rebecca Bulnes, joins Griffin and David to discuss 1988's masterpiece, Beetlejuice! But was this film nearly called Scared Sheetless? Is this Alec Baldwin at his most handsome? Does Rebecca want to date Beetlejuice? Together they examine the careers of Geena Davis, Catherine O'Hara and Michael Keaton, growing up as a goth snake girl and the greatness of pre-CGI Burton special effects and practical design. This episode is sponsored by [Brooklinen](https://brooklinen.com/) CODE: CHECK and [Bombfell](https://www.bombfell.com/check). Plus, big announcement for 2019: Blank Check is launching a [Patreon](https://www.patreon.com/blankcheck)! AND check out Producer Ben Hosley on a recent episode of [Classroom Crush](https://www.classroomcrush.com/episodes/2018/12/12/cant-quit-cray-with-ben-hosley-season-2-premiere)!
Dec 16, 2018
Pee-wee's Big Adventure
6586
This week Griffin and David begin a new mini-series on the films of Tim Burton! Together they discuss the origins of the character Pee-wee and Burton's background in animation and being a goth boy from Burbank, California. This episode is sponsored by: [Brooklinen](https://brooklinen.com) CODE: CHECK, [Talkspace](https://talkspace.com/check) and [We Hate Moves](http://www.whmpodcast.com/) podcast.
Dec 09, 2018
Ralph Breaks the Internet
8755
This week on Blank Check is a discussion of Wreck-it-Ralph and Ralph Breaks the Internet. Together, Griffin, David and Producer Ben examine the history of Disney Animation sequels, Chekhov’s Mentos, types of metals and the origins of Spies in Disguise. Plus, John Hodgman ([Vacationland](https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/557020/vacationland-by-john-hodgman/9780735224827/)) leaves a voicemail! This episode is sponsored by [Brooklinen](https://www.brooklinen.com) CODE: CHECK and [Legacybox](http://legacybox.com/check). And check out new official Blank Check merch available at [TeePublic](https://www.teepublic.com/stores/blank-check)!
Dec 02, 2018
Home Again with Richard Lawson
7124
In the final special bonus episode of our mini-series on the films of Nancy Meyers, Griffin and David invite Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair) to weigh in on her daughter Hallie Meyers-Shyer’s directorial debut: Home Again. But what if boys were nice? Was this movie filmed exclusively inside a bottle of white zinfandel? What is the future of the romantic comedy in the major studio system? Together they discuss alternate realities, finding the next Sam Smith, Nancy Meyers’ involvement in inventing rap rock and Reese Witherspoon for mayor. This episode is sponsored by [Robinhood](http://check.robinhood.com). Music selection: “Parting of the Ways - Part 1” by [Kevin MacLeod](https://incompetech.com/) Licensed under [Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
Nov 25, 2018
The Intern with Jamie Lee
6106
Comedian, writer and actor Jamie Lee (HBO's Crashing) joins Griffin and David to discuss Meyers’ most recent offering, 2015’s The Intern. But what was Griffin and Jamie’s experience auditioning for this movie? Why is the husband so lame and unlikable? Is there a bombshell in this edition of Romilly’s Kitchen Corner? Together they examine why Anne Hathaway rules, avoiding posterboard bits and what Nancy thinks of millennial men. This episode is sponsored by Threesome podcast on [Earwolf](https://www.earwolf.com/show/threedom/) and [Talkspace](https://www.talkspace.com/check) CODE: CHECK. Crashing Season 3 returns to HBO in January. [Official Trailer:](https://youtu.be/aM7UWB4dfYY) And check out Jamie’s book [Weddiculous](http://www.weddiculousbook.com/) and her stand-up comedy album [“I mean…”](https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/i-mean/1330549302) Music selection: “Morning Mandolin” by [Chris Haugen](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdlYOofYQOs) Licensed under [Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)
Nov 18, 2018
It's Complicated with Sarah-Violet Bliss
6829
Writer/director Sarah-Violet Bliss (Search Party) joins Griffin and David to discuss 2009’s masterpiece, It's Complicated. But what are the two things everyone knows about Alec Baldwin? Who has the name Agnes anymore? Is it really complicated tho? Together they examine Meryl Streep’s singing voice, web cam flim flams and what this new kitchen fortress is going to look like. This episode is sponsored by [Green Chef](http://greenchef.com/check). Music selection: “Bushwick Tarentella” by [Kevin MacLeod](https://incompetech.com/) Licensed under [Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
Nov 11, 2018
The Holiday with Fran Hoepfner
8752
Writer, Fran Hoepfner joins Griffin and David to discuss 2006’s house swap rom-com, The Holiday. But Is foreplay really overrated? Was John Krasinski in The Holiday the Adam Driver of Lincoln of 2006? Is Garden State the most iconic New Jersey movie because they go to Medieval Times and yell at a ditch? Together, they examine the careers of Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jack Black and Jude “Daddy” Law; Christmas in England; loving movie scores enough to make gibberish sounds in public places and Venom being SO rude. Plus, another Romilly’s Kitchen Corner, the classic segment ‘Checking in with Fran’ and ALOT of Eli Wallach talk. This episode is sponsored by [ZipRecruiter](http://www.ziprecruiter.com/blank), [eLiquid.com](http://www.eliquid.com/check30) (CODE: CHECK30) and [Legacy Box](http://www.legacybox.com/check)! Music selections: “Family Tree” by [Jahzzar](http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Jahzzar/) “Weather Scanning” by [Lindsheaven Virtual Plaza](http://ailanthusrecordings.bandcamp.com) Licensed under [Creative Commons: Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/).
Nov 04, 2018
Something's Gotta Give with Bobby Finger
8195
Bobby Finger ([Who? Weekly podcast](https://www.whoweekly.us/)) returns to Blank Check for a discussion of 2003’s aging romance, Something's Gotta Give. Together they examine Bobby’s passion for Meyers’ films, Crazy Town’s “Butterfly” and the careers of Diane Keaton and Keanu Reeves. This episode is sponsored by [Brooklinen](https://www.brooklinen.com/) (CODE: CHECK), [Robinhood](http://check.robinhood.com/) and [Hims](https://www.forhims.com/blank). Music Selection: “BossaBossa” by [Kevin MacLeod](https://incompetech.com/) Licensed under [Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
Oct 28, 2018
What Women Want with Lola Kirke
6090
Actress and singer-songwriter, Lola Kirke (Mozart in the Jungle) joins Griffin and David to discuss 2000’s high-concept rom-com, What Women Want. Together they examine the careers of Helen Hunt and Mel Gibson, the other benefits of electrocution and how this film holds up 18 years later after its release. This episode is sponsored by [Talkspace](https://talkspace.com/check) (CODE: CHECK) and [Amazon Prime Video](http://tryprimechannels.com/check). And check out Lola Kirke’s new album [Heart Head West](http://www.smarturl.it/heartheadwest) and her starring role in the feature film, [Gemini](https://www.hulu.com/movie/gemini-f993a2e8-4b6a-455a-9965-ce725018801e). Music selection: “Mr. Man” from [freesfx.co.uk](https://www.freesfx.co.uk/music/). Licensed under [Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
Oct 21, 2018
The Parent Trap with Elena Lazic and Mani Lazic
7379
This week Blank Check begins our first ever “fans choice” mini series reviewing the filmography of director Nancy Meyers. Film critics, models and _IDENTICAL TWINS_ Elena and Mani Lazic join Griffin and David to discuss the 1998 remake of The Parent Trap. Together they discuss prank wars, Randy rosé and flying on the Concorde. This episode is sponsored by [ZipRecruiter](https://www.ziprecruiter.com/blank) and [Storm of Spoilers](https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/a-storm-of-spoilers-a-pop-culture-podcast/id952917333?mt=2). Music Selection: “Swinging in the 7th” by [Dana Boulé](http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Dana_Boule/) Licensed under [Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License](https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
Oct 14, 2018
A Star Is Born
8135
On the week of it’s release in October of 2018, Griffin and David discussed A Star Is Born. This episode is sponsored by [Legacybox](https://legacybox.com/check), [RXBAR](https://www.rxbar.com/check) CODE: CHECK and [Dead Man Talking](https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/dead-man-talking/id1436700030?mt=2).
Oct 08, 2018
Space Jam with James Newman
8024
This week, James Newman joins Blank Check for another family edition episode to discuss the 1996 Michael Jordan and Looney Tunes crossover, Space Jam. This episode is sponsored by [Talkspace](https://talkspace.com/check) (CODE: CHECK), [Hims](https://www.forhims.com/blank) and [Robin Hood](https://check.robinhood.com/).
Sep 30, 2018
Chosen - The Hire
2816
Griffin and David review the Ang Lee directed short film, [Chosen](https://youtu.be/Z6azAviqGvs), created as part of the BMW film series "The Hire," rank Lee’s filmography and briefly examine Clive Owen’s career trajectory in 2001\. This episode is sponsored by [Storm of Spoilers](https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/a-storm-of-spoilers-a-pop-culture-podcast/id952917333?mt=2).
Sep 27, 2018
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk with J.D. Amato
9243
Blank it, thank it! J.D. Amato (The President Show) returns, in the last episode of our mini series devoted to the filmography of director Ang Lee, to discuss 2016’s high frame rate Iraq War drama, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. But what makes this movie so revolutionary? What is the evolution of frame rates in film? Who are the shortest and the tallest actors according to IMDB? Together they examine the history of cameras from film to digital, the BIG3 basketball league and never doing an episode on The Happytime Murders. This episode is sponsored by [Away](https://www.awaytravel.com/check) CODE: CHECK, [Brooklinen](https://www.brooklinen.com/) CODE: CHECK and HowStuffWorks’ [The Soundtrack Show](https://www.soundtrackpodcast.com/). For your very own “I Talked the Walk 2018” merch goto [TeePublic](https://www.teepublic.com/stores/blank-check)! On Thursday, look out for our bonus episode on the Ang Lee directed short film [“Chosen”](https://youtu.be/Z6azAviqGvs) part of the BMW film series The Hire and then next week will begin our new mini series on the films of Nancy Meyers! [David Sims’ Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk review on the Atlantic](https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2016/11/the-unreality-of-billy-lynns-long-halftime-walk/507449/)
Sep 23, 2018
Life of Pi with Ray Tintori
8396
Filmmaker Ray Tintori joins Griffin and David to discuss 2012’s Oscar award winning drama, Life of Pi. But was Tobey Maguire in an early cut of the movie wearing a terrible wig? Did Ray’s mother work as a script supervisor on this film? Does Ang Lee know about this podcast? Together, they examine the early stages of development for this project, working with VR technology and Griffin sets the record straight about his father. This episode is sponsored by [Casper](https://www.casper.com/check) CODE: CHECK, Vanity Fair’s [Little Gold Men](https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/little-gold-men/id1042433465?mt=2) podcast and Abrams Books’ new release [Typeset in the Future: Typography and Design in Science Fiction Movies](https://www.abramsbooks.com/product/typeset-in-the-future_9781419727146/) by Dave Addey. [Halon Entertainment - Life of Pi Previs Highlight Reel](https://vimeo.com/64898823) [Dennis Hopper reading “If” by Rudyard Kipling on the Johnny Cash Show](https://youtu.be/T2LUbk_7uKg)
Sep 16, 2018
Taking Woodstock with Alex Ross Perry
9286
Writer and director Alex Ross Perry (Christopher Robin) returns to Blank Check to discuss 2009’s Taking Woodstock. But is this a comedy tho? Did this film win AARP’s Movies for Grownups Award for Best Grownup Love Story? Is the portrayal of an LSD experience accurate? Together they examine the career of Demetri Martin, a mysterious bucket of glitter, Sha Na Na and straight trippin’ boo. Plus, Griffin shares a Martin Scorsese Woodstock story and Alex brings the chocolate milk! This episode is sponsored by [ZipRecruiter](https://www.ziprecruiter.com/blank) and Abrams Books’ new release [The Cohen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together](https://www.abramsbooks.com/product/coen-brothers_9781419727405/) by Adam Nayman and Produced by White Little Lies. And look our for an upcoming screening of Alex Ross Perry’s new film, [Her Smell](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7942742/), starring Elisabeth Moss, Cara Delevingne and Dan Stevens!
Sep 09, 2018
Lust, Caution with Chris Weitz
7140
Director, screenwriter and producer Chris Weitz (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Twilight Saga: New Moon) joins Griffin and David to discuss 2007’s extreme erotic espionage period thriller: Lust, Caution. But what makes this NC-17 rated film a blank check? How was Tang Wei’s career affected after the release of this movie? Did one of the hosts go through a Jessica Alba phase and can the listeners guess who? Together they examine green lights in Hollywood, scoring films, Wetflix and foregrounding the mahjong. This episode is sponsored by [Hims](https://www.forhims.com/blank) and [the Bechdel Cast](https://www.bechdelcast.com/) on [HowStuffWorks](https://www.stuffmedia.com/). And check out [Operation Finale](https://tickets.operationfinalefilm.com/) staring Ben Kingsley, Oscar Issac and directed by Chris Weitz!
Sep 02, 2018
Brokeback Mountain with Las Culturistas
6985
Comedians and the hosts of Las Culturistas podcast (foreverdogproductions.com) Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang join Griffin and David to discuss 2005’s western romance, Brokeback Mountain. Together they examine the careers of Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, Oscar winners over the years and, of course, erasure. This episode is sponsored by [Away](https://www.awaytravel.com/blank) CODE: BLANK. Go to [TeePublic](https://www.teepublic.com/stores/blank-check) for official Blank Check merch! Also help support Dresser Kittens at [dresser-kittens.myshopify.com/](https://dresser-kittens.myshopify.com/)
Aug 26, 2018
Hulk
8351
This week is all about 2003’s Hulk. The origins of this project. How Ang Lee played the Hulk on set. Our hosts favorite film genre: the bad dad Nick Nolte. The juxtaposition of serious and comic books in the filmmaking. How the hulk hands kid’s toy comes from a somber, meditative family drama about the way our fathers damage us. And the careers of Jennifer Connelly and Eric Bana. This episode is sponsored by [Brooklinen](https://www.brooklinen.com/) CODE: CHECK and WeTransfer. Music courtesy of "Night Court Theme" by Jack Elliott
Aug 19, 2018
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon with David Ehrlich
7744
David Ehrlich (IndieWire) joins Griffin and David for an in-depth conversation on 2000’s Wuxia epic, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Together they examine the sweaty nature of the Police inspector Tsai and his daughter, eye performance, cave life and share James Schamus stories. This episode is sponsored by WeTransfer.
Aug 12, 2018
Ride with the Devil with Peter Labuza
6654
Peter Labuza (The Cinephiliacs podcast, Village Voice) joins Griffin and David to discuss the 1999 Civil War epic, Ride with the Devil. But is Jim Caviezel a weirdo? Does Tobey get his nub back? What is a skuzzin? Together they examine the careers of Tobey Maguire, Jeffrey Wright and Jewel, the film theory of James Schamus and dumb people trying to one up each other. This episode is sponsored by [Hims](https://www.forhims.com/blank).
Aug 05, 2018
The Ice Storm with Emily Yoshida
6603
Emily Yoshida (Night Call podcast) returns to discuss 1997’s bleak drama, The Ice Storm. But what drew Ang Lee to this project? Is ‘HU’ a good shorthand for hook up? Is this one of the top films to portray the winter in the Northeast? Together they discuss key parties, being passed out in a bathroom, reminisce about the nineties and Griffin shares a Elliott Gould tale. This episode is sponsored by [RXBAR](https://www.rxbar.com/check) PROMO: CHECK and [Who? Weekly podcast](https://www.whoweekly.us/). And check out [Blank Check’s wiki!](http://blank-check.wikia.com/wiki/Blank_Check_with_Griffin_and_David_Wiki)
Jul 29, 2018
Hotel Transylvania Trilogy
7812
Griffin and David present a special episode covering the Hotel Transylvania films and tv series. But how do the monsters pay for staying at the hotel and do they ever leave? What is the recent history behind Sony Pictures Animation? Do the hosts open toys on mic and there is a bunch of dead air? Together they discuss Genndy Tartakovsky’s career, zinging, blah blah blah and more. Plus, a Burger Report: Masterpiece Theater edition! This episode is sponsored by WeTransfer and [Hims](https://www.forhims.com/blank). [Genndy Tartakovsky's POPEYE Animation Test](https://youtu.be/M1lzJuwJD9k)
Jul 22, 2018
Sense and Sensibility with Shirley Li
7042
This week Shirley Li (Entertainment Weekly) joins Griffin and David to discuss 1995’s period drama, Sense and Sensibility. But how accurate are the hosts impressions of Alan Rickman? What were the circumstances behind Emma Thompson adapting this script? What is a vicar? Together they examine Kate Winslet’s career trajectory, peak mannerism, the Book of Benry and more. This episode is sponsored by Brooklinen.
Jul 15, 2018
Eat Drink Man Woman with Alison Willmore
6013
Alison Willmore (BuzzFeed) joins Griffin and David to discuss 1994’s family and food dramedy, Eat Drink Man Woman. This episode is sponsored by Casper (casper.com/savings) and Hims (forhims.com/check).
Jul 08, 2018
Pushing Hands/The Wedding Banquet
4908
In the debut episode of our new mini series devoted to the films of director Ang Lee, Griffin and David start with his first 2 feature films: Pushing Hands and The Wedding Banquet. Join the hosts as they try to understand how these early attempts would affect Lee’s future films, what kind of dynamic they would have in a marriage together and play back-to-back Box offices games. This episode is sponsored by Dollar Shave Club (dollarshaveclub.com/check), Hims (forhims.com/check) and the Dumb People Town podcast.
Jul 01, 2018
Family Dog - Amazing Stories
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Griffin and David review an episode of the 1993 television series Amazing Stories directed by Brad Bird: Family Dog. This episode is sponsored by Never Seen It podcast.
Jun 28, 2018
Incredibles 2
8314
On the week of it’s release in June of 2018, Griffin and David discussed Incredibles 2\. In the final episode of our mini series on the films of director Brad Bird we examine the record breaking box office hit sequel, a new card system, the fourth new new joker movie and more. Sound effects from freesfx.uk.co. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Jun 24, 2018
Tomorrowland
6521
This week, Griffin and David discuss 2015's retrofuturist sci-fi flop, Tomorrowland. This episode is sponsored by Unspooled podcast, eLiquid.com (eliquid.com/check PROMO: CHECK) and SimpleContacts (simplecontacts.com/blank PROMO: BLANK). Music selection: "多くの巻き戻さVHSへ" by haircuts for men
Jun 17, 2018
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
7761
Griffin and David discuss the fourth installment of the popular franchise: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. But why was Tom Cruise’s whole career on the line? Did David Sims attend a red carpet event for this movie weirdly in Britain? Ofcourse we all know what a 'ghost protocol' is right? Together they discuss the stunts, Limp Bizkit, SNL pitches and more. This episode is sponsored by Hims (forhims.com/check), WeTransfer and Brooklinen (brooklinen.com PROMO: CHECK)
Jun 10, 2018
Ratatouille with Romilly Newman and Joey Sims
7975
In another family edition episode, this week, siblings Romilly Newman and Joey Sims help discuss 2007’s rat foodie journey, Ratatouille. But what were the circumstances behind Bird being brought onto this project? What was the cultural impact of this movie and children’s relationships with food? Is it a coincidence that ‘rat’ is in the title? Together they discuss food culture, Paris, picky eating and more! This episode is sponsored by WeTransfer, Dollar Shave Club and Covert Podcast. Music selection: “Anxiety” by Kai Engel (http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Kai_Engel/) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Jun 03, 2018
Solo: A Star Wars Story
8469
On the week of it’s release in May of 2018, Griffin and David discussed Solo: A Star Wars Story. This episode is sponsored by RXBAR (RXBAR.com/check PROMO: check) and WeTransfer.
May 27, 2018
The Incredibles with Rebecca Drysdale
9047
Writer and comedian Rebecca Drysdale (Key and Peele, High Maintenance) joins Griffin and David for a conversation on the animated superhero family adventure, The Incredibles. But what is Syndrome’s villainous motivations? Is Rebecca the Pixar of people? And, seriously, where is Frozone’s super suit? Together they discuss their favorite Pixar films, earning tears, turtlenecks and summer camp. This episode is sponsored by ZipRecruiter (ziprecruiter.com/blank), WeTransfer and the Starkey Hearing Foundation (listenincampaign.org). Music by Kevin MacLeod “Parisian” (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
May 20, 2018
The Iron Giant
7525
This week Blank Check begins a new mini series reviewing the filmography of director Brad Bird with a discussion of 1999’s critically acclaimed animated feature, The Iron Giant. But does the Iron Giant wear a shirt? Did the studio request this movie be set in present day and have a hip hop soundtrack? Should Griffin and David fight more? Together, in their worst episode ever, they examine Brad Bird’s origin story, the hotness of Harry Connick Jr. as beatnik industrial artist Dean McCoppin, the upcoming Blank Check Pictures slate and booger stores.
May 13, 2018
Josie and the Pussycats with Angela Ferraguto
8349
This week is with special guest, Angela Ferraguto, associate producer and social media manager for this very podcast! And for this episode she picked 2001’s satirical rock comedy, Josie and the Pussycats. But was Griffin a big Rachael Leigh Cook fan growing up? Did Beyoncé audition for this film? Who misses Last Call with Carson Daly? Together they discuss the careers of Rosario Dawson, Alan Cumming and Tara Reid, the Muppet Baby versions of themselves, and why this is a pitch perfect send up of the early aughts that only early aught kids would get. This episode is sponsored by Dollar Shave Club (dollarshaveclub.com/check). And to purchase tickets to Producer Ben's upcoming live sketch comedy show VAPOR 2099 on May 11th 9:30pm at the Brick Theater in Williamsburg, Brooklyn go to [https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe.c/10284577](https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe.c/10284577) or for more information [https://www.brooklyncc.com/show-schedule/2018/5/11](https://www.brooklyncc.com/show-schedule/2018/5/11)
May 06, 2018
How Do You Know
5853
In the final episode of our mini series devoted to the filmography of James L. Brooks, Griffin and David discuss the disastrous 2010 film How Do You Know. But why would Brooks at this moment in history sympathize with the business executives being held accountable for their corporate malfeasance? What does it mean when referring to a scene as a steam room? And also how do you know? Together they examine the careers of Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson, the Australian word for ‘grogan,’ and the 120 million dollar budget. This episode is sponsored by WeTransfer and Light Stream (lightstream.com/blank).
Apr 29, 2018
Spanglish with Richard Lawson
7708
Richard Lawson (author of All We Can Do Is Wait) returns to discuss 2004’s Spanglish. But is this movie really about James L. Brooks attempting to justify why he wants to sleep with his maid? Is it believable a character has never seen a man cry? Is this film available on blu-ray and will it’s value increase over time like bitcoins? Together they examine Adam Sandler’s career, Téa Leoni’s VERY big performance, using monologues from Spanglish for auditioning and birthdays at a themed restaurant called Mars 2112\. This episode is sponsored by Brooklinen (PROMO: CHECK) and WeTransfer. Music selection: “As I Figure” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Apr 22, 2018
As Good as It Gets with Chris Gethard
8348
Chris Gethard (the Chris Gethard Show on TruTV, Beautiful/Anonymous podcast) joins Griffin and David to discuss 1997’s OCD dramedy, As Good as It Gets. But is the dog the fourth lead of this film? Should the term ‘residuals’ be changed to ‘Ratzenbergers?’ Could a painter really afford to live in downtown Manhattan in the late 1990s? Together they examine the “but I like her” genre of movies, the careers of Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding Jr., Nien Nunb and more! This episode is sponsored by ZipRecruiter (ZipRecruiter.com/BLANK), Hims (forhims.com/BLANK) and eHarmony (PROMO: CHECK).
Apr 15, 2018
I’ll Do Anything: The Musical Cut with Esther Zuckerman
3500
James L. Brooks had originally shot I’ll Do Anything as a musical. But in the test screening it was so disastrous the studio insisted he cut all the musical sequences out and reshoot new scenes to fill it in. Having reviewed that theatrical cut, Griffin and David revisit this film with returning guest Esther Zuckerman and discuss the lost, coveted musical cut of I’ll Do Anything in a special bonus episode. But what would the child of Albert Brooks and Julie Kavner sound like? Why does Griffin insist on singing the horrid song “You Are The Best?” Is this episode haunted? Together they go through all the musical numbers and try to decide if this version of the movie makes it any less worse.
Apr 12, 2018
I'll Do Anything with Esther Zuckerman
6955
Writer and friend of the show Esther Zuckerman joins Griffin and David to discuss 1994’s I'll Do Anything. But was this film originally developed and shot as a musical only to be reedited into a mostly non-musical? Were prolific musicians Prince, Sinéad O'Connor and Carole King brought on to write the songs for this movie? Did Nick Nolte really win People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive in 1992? Together they examine the inside baseball dealings of Hollywood, the bad 90’s fashion, honest curses and comedic frontal nudity. This episode is sponsored by Dollar Shave Club (dollarshaveclub.com/check), Beach Body On Demand (Text CHECK to 303030) and Light Stream (lightstream.com/blank)
Apr 08, 2018
Ready Player One
6989
In March of 2018, Griffin and David discussed director Steven Spielberg’s new film Ready Player One. But did Griffin audition for a part? Was Gene Wilder rumored to have been considered for one of the roles? Will only 90’s and 2000’s kids understand the references? Together they examine Tye Sheridan’s career, Deadpool bits, author Ernest Cline’s novel and more! This episode is sponsored by Stamps.com (PROMO: CHECK) Blue Apron (blueapron.com/check) and WeTransfer.com.
Apr 01, 2018
March Madness 2018 Recap - Round 3
965
Another b-b-b-b-bonus episode recapping Blank Check’s March Madness bracket! Who were the winners and losers? Who will make into the final 4? Is this still a spot on drivetime sports talk radio parody? Tune in to find out and remember to get in on all the action over at https://twitter.com/blankcheckpod!
Mar 29, 2018
Broadcast News with Katey Rich
7018
Katey Rich (Vanity Fair) returns to discuss 1987’s dramedy masterpiece, Broadcast News. But what journalist and news producer helped inspire and advise Brooks? What actress was originally the female lead but backed out last minute? Who is Charlie? Together they examine the careers of Holly Hunter, Albert Brooks and William Hurt, the amazing screenwriting and more! This episode is sponsored by WeTransfer.com and Casper (casper.com/check PROMO: CHECK)
Mar 25, 2018
Terms of Endearment with Valorie Curry
7733
This week Blank Check starts a new mini series reviewing the filmography of director James L. Brooks. And joining Griffin and David on today’s episode is Valorie Curry (The Tick) to discuss the 1983 Academy Award winning debut drama, Terms of Endearment. But what 2 movies made over 100 million dollars that year? How has John Lithgow aged? Is it true that when little boys are impatient they don’t get dessert? Together they examine the career’s of Debra Winger and Shirley MacLaine, the invention of the bum astronaut character, the name Flap and Brooks’ background in television. Plus, reports from the Burger Report™ hotline (802-8-BURGER). This episode is sponsored by Hims (forhims.com/check) and Casper (casper.com/check PROMO: CHECK).
Mar 18, 2018
March Madness 2018 Recap - Round 1
1554
Griffin and David unleashed a March Madness bracket pitting directors against one another. The filmmaker deemed the champion will decide a future mini series coming in the fall. In a *spot on* drivetime sports talk radio style, the hosts walk through the recent match-ups and discuss all the drama! To get in on the daily action goto https://twitter.com/blankcheckpod and vote!
Mar 15, 2018
Running Scared with Paul Scheer
5931
This week is with special guest Paul Scheer (How Did This Get Made? podcast) who picked a favorite film from his youth: 1986’s underrated buddy cop movie Running Scared. But should more films have an extended middle act where the main characters just go on vacation? Where does this Joey Pants fall in the pantheon of Pants? How weirdly hot is Billy Crystal in this film? Together they discuss Dan Hedaya’s back and chest hair, Director Peter Hyams’ relationship with his actors and Paul’s passion for this film! This episode is sponsored by Beach Body, ZipRecruiter and Serial Box. “Cool Vibes” by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Mar 11, 2018
Elle with Emily Yoshida
7313
In the final installment of our ‘Paul Verhoeven in Hollywood’ mini series, Emily Yoshida (Night Call Podcast) returns for a special bonus episode on 2016’s pitch black French dramedy, Elle. But what other actresses were considered for the lead role even though Isabelle Huppert is clearly the perfect casting choice? Is this a successful satire of French erotic thrillers according to Griffin’s Mom? Can the video game being designed in the movie be at all entertaining? Together they discuss a connection to 90’s sitcom Friends, the goofy male characters, French sighing and present their Verhoeven filmography rankings. This episode is sponsored by Blue Apron, Stamps.com and HowStuffWorks’ Movie Crush.
Mar 04, 2018
Hollow Man with Alex Ross Perry
7598
Writer/director Alex Ross Perry (Nostalgia, Golden Exits) returns to Blank Check to discuss 2000’s invisible sci-fi slasher, Hollow Man. But why is this not your grandfather’s invisible man movie? What was the running Joey Slotnick bit on The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn? Does this film lack the satire and point of view of Verhoven’s past movies? Together they discuss the career trajectory of Kevin Bacon, poorly executed Tarantino-esque schoolyard jokes, the original Dark Universe of the 1990s and why this film’s poor reception caused Verhoeven to retreat back to the Netherlands. This episode is sponsored by Serial Box - False Idols and Audible.
Feb 25, 2018
Starship Troopers with J.D. Amato
8607
J.D. Amato (The Chris Gethard Show) joins Griffin and David to discuss 1997’s bug war sci-fi, Starship Troopers. This episode is sponsored by Serial Box - False Idols.
Feb 18, 2018
Showgirls with Caroline Framke
7920
Caroline Framke (Vox) joins Griffin and David to discuss 1995’s iconic erotic drama Showgirls. But was screenwriter Eszterhas’ original pitch scribbled on a cocktail napkin? Is this film a parable for Hollywood? Where is the character Nomi from? Together they examine Caroline’s experience seeing this movie for the first time at a screening in a Hollywood cemetery with Elizabeth Berkley, really aggressive dry humping and different places! This episode is sponsored by Blue Apron.
Feb 12, 2018
The Third Annual Blank Check Awards with Joe Reid
8281
Griffin and David welcome back Joe Reid (The Decider) for the 3rd annual Blankie Awards where together they present their own personal nominations and winners for the upcoming 90th Academy Awards. This roundtable discussion looks at all the major categories, as well as, references deep cut cinema from 2017 you may have missed. Also includes original categories and reports from the Burger Report™ hotline (802-8-BURGER). This episode is sponsored by Stamps.com.
Feb 04, 2018
Basic Instinct with Miriam Bale
5704
Film critic Miriam Bale joins Griffin and David to discuss 1992’s sexy thriller, Basic Instinct. But what about the dialogue gives away this is a Eszterhas script? Does Jeanne Tripplehorn always play herself? Where are there cowboy bars in San Francisco? Together they examine the careers of Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone, ice picking, the infamous leg crossing scene and poor Beth. This episode is sponsored by RXBAR and Audible.
Jan 28, 2018
Total Recall with Andrew Jupin and Stephen Sajdak
6975
Joining Griffin and David this week is Andrew Jupin and Stephen Sajdak, 2 of the 4 co-hosts of the We Hate Movies podcast. Together they discuss 1990’s twisted sci-fi thriller, Total Recall. But how much creative control did Arnold have over this film? What is Michael Ironside actual first name? Are all the Johnny cabs designed so that if a passenger skips on the fare the robot driver’s head explodes? Their conversation includes peak practical effects, Robert Costanzo playing himself in the film and if the story that unfolds is in fact all just a dream.

Jan 21, 2018
RoboCop
8365
Griffin and David discuss dystopian action satire, 1987’s RoboCop. But is old Detroit a cancer and the cancer is crime? Was this film a deconstruction of the American hero mythology? Is it true that Verhoeven initially read half a page of the script and threw in the trash only to have his wife retrieve it and encourage him to give it a second chance? Together they examine the construction and evolution of the RoboCop costume, breaking squib records, 1987’s Academy award winners and many other tangents. This episode is sponsored by ZipRecruiter and Sci-Fi.com’s Cerberus Rex.

Jan 14, 2018
Flesh+Blood
5705
This week’s episode begins a new mini series (Podship Casters) covering the Hollywood films of director Paul Verhoeven. Already an accomplished filmmaker in the Netherlands, 1985 marked his American debut with the unpleasantly realistic period piece, Flesh+Blood. But how gross was the medieval times? What was the influence of growing up under Nazi occupation on Verhoeven’s worldview? Is it intended for the viewer to root for the plague? Together, Griffin and David discuss his original Dutch movies, Bosch paintings, and how Flesh+Blood’s failure at the box office would inform his study of American culture and his future films.
Jan 07, 2018
The Post
5191
In November of 2017, Griffin and David attended the first screening of Nixon era political thriller, The Post. But did it really only take 9 months to make this film after Spielberg first read the script? Was there intention to make a movie about the freedom of the press in our current political climate? Is this an Oscar candidate for Best Picture? Together they discuss our two greatest living actors Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, Mr. Show’s Bob & David reuniting, broth and go on the record with their predictions for the 89th Academy Awards.
Dec 31, 2017
The Last Jedi
9558
On the day of it’s release in December of 2017, Griffin and David discussed Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi. This episode is sponsored by Dollar Shave Club and Sci-Fi.com’s Cerberus Rex.
Dec 18, 2017
Avatarland/The Second Blank Check Mailbag
7046
#thetwofriends once again answer listener submitted questions! Plus, Griffin discusses his recent trip to Pandora – The World of Avatar at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. But how would Griffin and David fix Men in Black II? Does Avatar work better as a theme park or movie? Will beloved actor Dan Lewis really quit acting, and if so, what will he do instead? Together the hosts discuss how they would rank The Muppets movies, potential future Blank Check live shows, poutine and a garbage plate of other topics. Also, the debut of the Burger Report™ hotline 802-8-BURGER. This episode is sponsored by Mack Weldon.
Dec 10, 2017
Lost in Space with Joey Sims
6896
This week is a special family edition episode with brother of David, Joey Sims, who picked a favorite film of the Sims’ boys youth: 1998’s failed sci-fi adaptation Lost in Space. When did the age of nostalgic reboots begin in American cinema? What is getting ‘blarped’ mean? How is this a movie for kids? Together they discuss the career’s of William Hurt, Akiva Goldsman and Joey Tribbiani, the restrictions of early CGI technology, Sony Discmans and more. This episode is sponsored by Mack Weldon and Dollar Shave Club.
Dec 03, 2017
Justice League
6764
On the week of it’s release in November of 2017, Griffin and David discussed the newest film in DC Extended Universe: Justice League. But is Superman still gone even though Henry Cavill is second billed? Just how many times was this movie reshot and is it very noticeable? Will the seven be united? Together they examine using CGI to remove a person’s mustache, Martha boxes and Batmansplaining. This episode is sponsored by Casper.
Nov 26, 2017
Detroit with Black Men Can’t Jump In Hollywood
6566
Jonathan Braylock, Jerah Milligan and James III, hosts of Black Men Can’t Jump In Hollywood podcast, join Griffin and David to discuss 2017’s period crime drama, Detroit. But was this a story that needed to be told? Is the racist white cop technically the lead? Were sections of this movie purposely shot like a horror movie? In the final installment of our mini series devoted to the filmography of Kathryn Bigelow, together, they discuss the many inconsistencies of this film, John Boyega, Blazing Saddles and more. This episode is sponsored by ProFlowers.
Nov 19, 2017
Zero Dark Thirty with Demi Adejuyigbe
7414
Demi Adejuyigbe (The Good Place, Gilmore Guys) joins Griffin and David to discuss 2012’s American revenge political thriller, Zero Dark Thirty. But is the CIA agent this movie is based on somewhat problematic? Can either host do a decent Gandolfini? Will Jason of Friday the 13th fame begin hosting a new season of Celebrity Apprentice? Together they examine watching this movie in the current political climate, the brutal portrayal of enhanced interrogation techniques, Will Smith in Netflix’s Orc cop movie Bright and more.
Nov 12, 2017
The Hurt Locker with Sonia Saraiya
8145
Sonia Saraiya (Variety) joins Griffin and David to discuss 2008’s bomb action-drama, The Hurt Locker. But will filming in 120 degree desert heat affect a production? How does this movie score with audiences and critics for its portrayal of the Iraq War? What about the cinematography helps to convey the feeling of being in combat? Together they discuss the significance of Bigelow winning for Best Picture, Jeremy Renner’s career and the difficulty of putting a straw into a Capri Sun.
Nov 05, 2017
K-19: The Widowmaker with Richard Lawson
6505
Co-host of the Little Gold Men podcast and friend of the show, Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair) joins Griffin and David to discuss 2002’s submarine disaster K-19: The Widowmaker. But how was National Geographic involved in this production? What was the impact of this film bombing at the box office? Are any of the Russian accents convincing? Together they examine Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson’s careers, too many drills and sad food delivery metaphors. Also, check out Richard’s debut novel ‘All We Can Do Is Wait’ due out on February 6th.
Oct 29, 2017
The Weight of Water with Karen Han and Emma Stefansky
6646
Karen Han (Slashfilm) and Emma Stefansky (ScreenCrush) join #thetwofriends to discuss 2001’s confused thriller, The Weight of Water. But what is the weight of water exactly? Was Elizabeth Hurley really ever a punk? Does Producer Ben get annoyed during the recording of this episode? Together they discuss Karen’s boys, love rhombuses, faking birthdays and their thoughts on Mother!
Oct 22, 2017
Strange Days with Emily Yoshida
7592
Emily Yoshida (Vulture) returns this week to discuss 1995’s neo-noir, Strange Days. But why is Kathryn Bigelow so hardcore? Was Bono a potential candidate for a role in this film? When was Emily’s mother on Wheel of Fortune? Together they discuss Ray Fiennes, Angela Bassett and Juliette Lewis careers, the future of reality television, cage raves and SQUID discs. This episode is sponsored by Mack Weldon.
Oct 15, 2017
Point Break with Lux Alptraum
6521
Writer/Performer Lux Alptraum joins Griffin and David to discuss 1991’s iconic surf heist, Point Break. But is this one of the sexiest boy films of all time? Is Bigelow a nihilist or a realist? Is Bodhi’s ultimate plan really just death by giant wave? Together they discuss the career trajectories of Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves and Lori Petty, the Fast and the Furious franchise basically being a carbon copy and how the directing of this movie makes everyone want to move to California, learn to surf and eat 2 meatball subs.
Oct 08, 2017
Blue Steel with Jordan Hoffman
6318
Jordan Hoffman (Engage: The Official Star Trek podcast) joins Griffin and David to discuss 1989’s crime thriller, Blue Steel. Would Jamie Lee Curtis and Bigelow’s careers been different if this film had been more successful? Does it pass the Bechdel test? Is Kevin Dunn one of our most frustrated actors? Together they examine Ron Silver’s performance, tongue shtooping and share Richard Jenkins stories. This episode is sponsored by Mack Weldon.
Oct 01, 2017
Near Dark with Mani Lazic
6350
Mani Lazic (Little White Lies) joins Griffin and David to discuss 1987’s western meets vampire thriller, Near Dark. But why is this film out of print? Can a normal blood transfusion heal a person of vampire? Is this movie very sexy? Together they examine Bigelow’s stylistic choices, James Le Gros’ career and honor Bill Paxton. Plus, United Kingdom shop talk and pitching Transylvania General Hospital.
Sep 24, 2017
The Loveless
4762
Introducing a new mini series on the complete filmography of director Kathryn Bigelow! This week Griffin and David begin with her 1982 debut feature, The Loveless, about a wild 1950’s motorcycle gang in small-town America. But who is co-director Monty “Old Timey” Montgomery? How did Bigelow’s background in the fine arts and academia influence her films to come? How does the evolution of actors portraying the Joker eventually lead to a Vine star? Together they examine Willem Dafoe getting fired from Heaven’s Gate, DC supervillian’s relationship with vats of toxic waste, Marc Maron’s favorite seas and under ball. Plus, they present their Nolan filmography rankings.​
Sep 17, 2017
The Devil Wears Prada with Romilly Newman
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This week’s special episode is our first ever family edition with sister of Griffin, Romilly Newman, who picked one of her favorite films: 2006’s fashionable dramedy, The Devil Wears Prada. But is Runway magazine an accurate interpretation of Vogue magazine? Whatever happened to movies debuting the newest cell phones? What were other films the brother and sister watched together? Together they discuss, Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep’s career trajectory, Halloween costumes, email hustling, and the montages oh the montages. And check out Romilly’s writing at http://www.romillynewman.com/
Sep 10, 2017
Here Today Gone Trevorrow - An Emergency Minisode
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In a special bonus emergency minisode, Griffin and David call in remotely to weigh in/celebrate the firing of director Colin Trevorrow from Star Wars: Episode IX. But are the reports true that Colin is a bit arrogant? Did Kathleen Kennedy see The Book of Henry and not like it? Should director Rian Johnson continue to helm the wheel? Together they discuss TC-14, Griffin’s IMDB trivia, The Judge 2 and more.
Sep 07, 2017
Dunkirk with Bilge Ebiri
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In the final episode of our mini series devoted to the filmography of Christopher Nolan, Bilge Ebiri (Village Voice) joins Griffin and David to discuss 2017’s war thriller, Dunkirk. But how do the movie’s different temporalities align? What are other ways to conceal Tom Hardy’s face and body? Will Nolan’s next genre pursuit be a musical or a comedy? Together they discuss Mark Rylance getting pegged by Hollywood as the gentlest man, the mastery of Nolan’s large scale action sequences, Kevin Costner’s oil machine and Tulip Fever. Plus, announcing the next mini series on the films of Kathryn Bigelow.
Sep 03, 2017
Interstellar
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This week, a tired Griffin and a rested David discuss 2014’s time traveling space odyssey, Interstellar. But how are gravity and love intertwined? Is spinning during space travel the new normal? How is Spielberg involved in this film? Together they examine Matthew McConaughey’s performance, the tesseract’s design, Griffin shares Ellen Burstyn stories and introducing a special segment ‘TARS talk’ with past and future guest David Rees!
Aug 27, 2017
Talking Maul Live @ DCM19 with Peter Serafinowicz
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Live from the 19th annual Del Close Marathon in New York City, Peter Serafinowicz (The Tick) joins Griffin and David for a serious conversation about Peter’s role as the voice of Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. This special episode marks a return to the podcast’s early days as exclusively a Star Wars prequels podcast. But what was Peter’s approach to prepare for 4 lines of voice over dialogue? Why weren’t there any songs in the Phantom Menace? Is it Producer Ben’s birthday? Together they discuss wrestling George Lucas, Peter’s upcoming autobiography Maul & Me, the film’s lack of ghosts and answer the Proust Questionnaire. Plus, be sure to watch the debut of the Tick August 25th on Amazon Prime Video!
Aug 20, 2017
The Dark Knight Rises
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Griffin and David complete Nolan’s Batman Trilogy with a discussion of 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises. But is it true the director’s brother and frequent collaborator, Jonathan Nolan, presented Christopher with a 400 page script? Were there any other rumors not about Killer Croc? Have we started the fire? Together they examine the different Catwoman performances, Nolan’s Howard Hughes script getting Scor-cheesed, the squints of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the Mooch and agree that crime should stay illegal.
Aug 13, 2017
Inception
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Griffin and David present a very special episode on 2010’s dream heist, Inception.
Aug 06, 2017
The Dark Knight
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Griffin and David this week discuss the second film in Nolan’s Batman Trilogy, The Dark Knight. How was Michael Mann’s Heat an influence on this movie? What does Commissioner Gordon mean by “playing it close to the vest?” Also, why so serious? Together they examine the electrifying performance of Heath Ledger, Nolan’s love for temporalities, Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes and why the Academy Award for Best Picture category changes after this movie comes out.
Jul 30, 2017
The Prestige with Alison Willmore
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Host of Filmspotting: SVU podcast, Alison Willmore (BuzzFeed), joins Griffin and David to discuss one of the three magician films of 2006, The Prestige. But is this movie a sequel to Twins? How does it fit into the Nolan canon? Piper Perabo tho? Together they examine Hugh Jackman’s ham, ScarJo’s career trajectory, Theseus's paradox and throwing playing cards into melons.
Jul 23, 2017
Batman Begins
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Griffin and David discuss the first film in Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, Batman Begins. What happened behind-the-scenes at Warner Bros. post-Batman & Robin? How did Nolan help contribute to the current trend of peak superhero cinema? Will Batman vape in Justice League? They examine the connection to the animated series, rope work, the lightning guy that Bale yelled at, custom studio logos and so much more!
Jul 16, 2017
Insomnia with Alex Ross Perry
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Writer and director, Alex Ross Perry (Golden Exits), joins Griffin and David to discuss 2002’s psychological thriller remake, Insomnia. But does this movie fit into the tradition of the auteur’s bizarre third feature? What has changed about Al Pacino’s acting post-Oscar win? How is this film another example of Nolan playing with noir conventions? Together, they discuss Robin Williams’ 2002, Hilary Swank’s career trajectory, how Darren Aronofsky came the closet to taking on Batman before Nolan did and why it’s implausible the Alaskan police chief played by Paul Dooley would also conveniently be a former LAPD detective.
Jul 09, 2017
Memento with Amy Nicholson
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Amy Nicholson (MTV News) joins Griffin and David this week to discuss 2000’s fractured crime drama, Memento. But how was Christopher’s brother, Jonathan Nolan, involved in this project? What is it about this strange art film that enabled it to crossover into the mainstream? Are there any tangents about Tom Cruise during the conversation? Together, they examine Guy Pearce’s career, the movie's brilliant storytelling devices, their mutual joy for some great Pants and share gym class stories from growing up. Also, be sure to listen to Amy’s podcast The Canon on Earwolf!
Jul 02, 2017
Following
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In the first episode of a new mini series focusing on the filmography of Christopher Nolan, Griffin and David discuss the 1998 debut feature, Following. But how have conmen or “confidence men” influenced the director’s later work? How was the burgeoning filmmaker received by festivals? Is the uncensored director’s cut of Nutty Professor II: The Klumps worth viewing? Together they examine the extended Nolan family, Kevin Bacon getting Bernie Madoff’d, Griffin’s auteur video rental store and David’s recent dance moves. Also, BRAAAMS.
Jun 25, 2017
The Book of Henry
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On the week of it’s release in June of 2017, Griffin and David discussed the new Colin Trevorrow film: The Book of Henry.
Jun 18, 2017
The First Blank Check Mailbag
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#thetwofriends use this episode to field questions from their listeners. Where do they get their bagels from? What did they think about Fate of the Furious? Does the voice actor who voices a Sith lord qualify as a full on Sith lord? What podcasts do they listen to? Is Griffin busy with filming The Tick? (Yes!) What nicknames would Ben give Griffin and David? Hear all the answers here and here alone.
Jun 12, 2017
Wonder Woman
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On the week of it’s release in May of 2017, Griffin and David discussed the newest release in DC Extended Universe: Wonder Woman. Recorded at the Sims’ residence in Brooklyn, NY.
Jun 05, 2017
Clifford
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Our special episode this week: a discussion of 1994’s miscreant child portrayed by a grown man comedy, Clifford. Together, Griffin, David and Producer Ben examine Dinosaur World, sketch comedy movies, Martin Short and Charles Grodin’s careers and Producer Ben’s animated series.
May 29, 2017
The BFG
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In the final episode of our mini series devoted to Spielberg’s DreamWorks years, Blank Check reviews 2016’s animated giant adventure, the BFG. But why is saying ‘BFG’ so satisfying? Does this film have a plot? What podcasts does the Queen listen to? Together hosts Griffin and David discuss Spielberg directing the farts, Melissa Mathison’s last screenplay, being ‘mum’ and announce their next mini series!
May 21, 2017
Bridge of Spies
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Griffin and David this week gush over 2015’s Cold War drama, Bridge of Spies. But how does this film fall into Tom Hanks’ beginning a new phase in his career? What is the standing man? What was the Coen Brothers’ involvement in the screenplay? Together they passionately discuss Mark Rylance’s Academy Award winning performance as Russian spy Rudolf Abel, Hanks’ mastering of being a good man and having the sniffles, and solidify a new shorthand for describing Spielberg’s filmmaking that involves a spice rack.
May 14, 2017
Lincoln
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Griffin and David look to Spielberg’s 2012 historical drama, Lincoln. But exactly how many Abraham Lincoln biographies did screenwriter Tony Kushner read? Does this movie remind one of a long winded story about an old mill? Was Liam Neeson really considered for the lead role? Together they examine the great facial hair, Hal Holbrook’s wet eyes, Dan Lewis’ process for getting into character and the many blankets used in this movie.
May 08, 2017
War Horse with Pilot Viruet
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Pilot Viruet (Vice) returns to Blank Check to talk about the WWI horse romance film, War Horse. But what is basically the main motivation for every character in this film? Is there a backstory behind naming the horse Joey? Will the word ‘horse’ be said thousands of times? Together, they examine the original stage production of War Horse, Jeremy Irvine’s audition process and apple face, Niels Arestrup career trajectory in 2011 including playing the part of ‘Jam Man’ and the Untitled Horse Mystery Project.
Apr 30, 2017
The Adventures of Tintin with Joe Garden
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Joe Garden (The Onion) joins Griffin and David this week to discuss the mo-cap animated action/mystery, The Adventures of Tintin. But what was Peter Jackson’s involvement in the project? How is the character Tintin like a fine sparkling wine? Is Will & Grace really coming back? Together, they compare the film to the original children book series by Hergé, examine the lessons children were taught in the 1930’s, again revisit Mystery Men and also suggest what actor would make a good Professor Calculus for any future sequels.
Apr 23, 2017
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with David Ehrlich
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David Ehrlich (IndieWire) returns to Blank Check to discuss 2008's polarized franchise reboot, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. But are the rumors true that there is a superior early version of this screenplay? Is George Lucas to blame for the most of the criticism? And is it clear that Mutt Williams is a greaser type character? Together they examine, the new old Harrison Ford movies slated for release, the culture around the death of celebrities, the many follies of Shia LaBeouf and also explore Ray Winstone impressions.
Apr 16, 2017
Munich with Todd VanDerWerff
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Todd VanDerWerff (Vox) joins Griffin and David this week to discuss 2005’s Israeli espionage thriller, Munich. But is this movie’s lasting legacy being a reference in Knocked Up? What does it mean when Jeffrey Wells leaves behind his hat? What was with those sex scenes? Together, they go on the record with Oscar picks, examine Eric Bana’s career trajectory, ponder when Spielberg lost his virginity and go off on a tangent about the film Crash.
Apr 10, 2017
War of the Worlds with J.D. Amato
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J.D. Amato (My Brother, My Brother and Me) makes his third appearance on Blank Check, this week discussing 2005’s sci-fi doomsday The War of the Worlds. Why would this film mark the conclusion of the Cruise and Spielberg partnership? How much of tangent does Griffin go off on while discussing McG? Are we to be convinced Tom Cruise is a blue collar guy? Together, Griffin, David and J.D. delve into Dakota Fannings’ preciousness, the movie Mystery Men, the history of the actress who jumped onto the villain and with their legs snaps his neck and more. Plus, J.D. reaches out from the future and Producer Ben records ADR.
Apr 03, 2017
The Terminal with Jerah Milligan
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This week’s guest, Jerah Milligan (Comedy Central), finally completes our trifecta of co-hosts from the excellent podcast Blank Men Can’t Jump In Hollywood joining Blank Check. The topic of discussion: 2004’s stranded at the airport dramedy The Terminal. But exactly how much Stanley Tucci does a movie need? What was behind the absurd Michael Douglas cancer story? Is it clear where exactly is Krakozhia? Together, Griffin, David and Jerah examine Catherine Zeta-Jones’ career trajectory, jazz photos, Shrek 3, saltine cracker sandwiches and more. Plus, Jerah shares a personal account of being trapped in the airport and Producer Ben is hungover AF.
Mar 26, 2017
Blank Check
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For their 100th episode Griffin and David decided to celebrate the occasion and finally deliver on the their listeners pleas to get meta and review their namesake movie, 1994's kid flick: Blank Check. Music selection: "東京 HAZE (extended tape version)" from SANDRAWAVE by 猫 シ Corp. (https://catsystemcorp.bandcamp.com/track/haze-extended-tape-version) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/)
Mar 18, 2017
Catch Me If You Can
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This week, Griffin and David discuss 2002's coming of age scammer drama based on a true story: Catch Me If You Can.
Mar 11, 2017
Minority Report with Joanna Robinson
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Joanna Robinson (Vanity Fair) joins Griffin and David to discuss 2002’s dystopian thriller: Minority Report.
Mar 06, 2017
A.I. Artificial Intelligence with David Rees
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David Rees (Going Deep with David Rees) joins Griffin and David to discuss 2001’s robot boy sci-fi: A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
Feb 26, 2017
The Second Annual Blank Check Awards with Joe Reid
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On this week's special episode, Griffin and David are once again joined by Joe Reid (The Decider) to present their personal nominations for the upcoming 89th Academy Awards. This roundtable discussion looks to all the major categories and offers engaging criticism, as well as, references deep cut cinema from 2016 you may have missed. With the “Blankies”, some winners are picked, Oscar snubs deservingly defended, but AGAIN as always most of the personal grudges continue.
Feb 17, 2017
Saving Private Ryan with Richard Lawson
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In our third episode of Spielberg: The DreamWorks Years mini series, Griffin and David are joined by Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair) to discuss 1998's war drama Saving Private Ryan.
Feb 12, 2017
Amistad
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Griffin and David look to Spielberg’s next film (also released in 1997) Amistad. But what are the glaringly problematic issues with this movie? Could a more suited director and screen writer have been brought onto the production? How long has Sir Anthony Hopkins been phoning it in exactly? Together they examine the career trajectory of Matthew McConaughey, Peter Firth receives comedy points and assess the cast in a performance review.
Feb 05, 2017
The Lost World: Jurassic Park
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The debut of our new mini series on the filmography of Steven Spielberg begins with 1997’s Lost World: Jurassic Park. Post-Oscar wins for Best Director and Best Picture, Steven took four years off before directing this sequel. In that time he founded his own studio DreamWorks. Griffin and David would argue this level of creative control is the biggest blank check that any filmmaker has ever had. Presenting Pod Me If You Cast. But seriously what IS chaos math? Why does this film unfold similarly to a video game? What does Isla Nublar roughly translate to? Together #thetwofriends discuss the careers of Laura Dern, Vince Vaughn, Jeff Goldblum, convenient islands, life finding a way and a epic Pete Postlethwaite monologue.
Jan 29, 2017
Split
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On the week of it’s release in January of 2017, Griffin and David discussed the new M. Night Shyamalan film: Split. Together they examine James McAvoy’s career, horror troupes, the outstanding cinematography and ruminate on the movie’s HUGE twist.
Jan 22, 2017
Best of the Revenge of the Podcast
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Presenting a best of episode with all the favorite moments from our mini series on Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.
Jan 16, 2017
Best of the Attack of the Podcast
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Presenting a best of episode with all the favorite moments from our mini series on Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.
Jan 09, 2017
Best of the Phantom Podcast
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Presenting a best of episode with all the favorite moments from our mini series on Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.
Jan 02, 2017
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
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On the day of it’s release in December of 2016, Griffin and David discussed the highly anticipated spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Together they examine the new planets, Darth Vader’s milk bath, Peter Cushing’s return and why Star Wars films require great jackets.
Dec 17, 2016
The Man Who Knew Too Little
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Our special episode this week: a discussion of 1997’s spy comedy The Man Who Knew Too Little. But how would you picture a Boris the Butcher to look? What are Producer Ben’s favorite bits? And why does Griffin know so much about box office stats? Together they examine the different phases of Bill Murray’s career, Peter Gallagher’s eyebrows, and Griffin’s access to the fabled Murray 1-800 number.
Dec 10, 2016
Toruk: The First Flight with Rachel Lang
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On September 11th, Blank Check & friends attended the Cirque du Soleil/Avatar crossover Toruk: First Flight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. But is this show more than just rope dancing? Was the Toruk app worth the download? Does this tie into the upcoming 4 sequels slated to be released? Join #thetwofriends, guest Rachel Lang and Producer Ben as they guide you through the live experience including reverse puppetry, how much they spent on their drinks, the condiment stands, election predictions and dangling.
Dec 04, 2016
Avatar
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This week the BC crew discusses 2009’s 3D sci-fi epic Avatar. But are trees nature’s internet? Is this the ultimate cultural appropriation movie? Does the public need four more Avatar movies? Together they examine the performances of the cast including Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Giovanni Ribisi, breaking box office records, review the winners of the Academy Award for Best Cinematography over the last few years and argue about Coraline. Plus, another merchandise spotlight and announce the next new mini-series!
Nov 27, 2016
Aliens of the Deep/Ghosts of the Abyss
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Griffin and David this week discussed two documentaries directed by James Cameron: 2003’s Ghost of the Abyss and 2006’s Aliens of the Deep. But what were the early days of IMAX like? What kind of very rich person loves risking their lives in a submarine? Does David or Producer Ben rep Jupiter's moon, Europa, harder? Together, they examine Bill Paxton’s Texas accent, water drones James & Elwood and play a double dose of the box office game.
Nov 19, 2016
Titanic with Emily Yoshida and Katey Rich - Part Two
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Griffin and David continue their discussion of Titanic with Emily Yoshida (Spin Magazine) and Katey Rich (Vanity Fair). But are Cameron’s drawings basic? Why is Neil deGrasse Tyson such a star bummer? Could a car really get THAT steamy? Together, they examine Paul Rudd as Jack, the STDs of 1912, CD-rom game Titanic: Adventure Out of Time and theorize why this is a mall movie.
Nov 12, 2016
Titanic with Emily Yoshida and Katey Rich - Part One
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Emily Yoshida (Spin Magazine) and Katey Rich (Vanity Fair) return to discuss 1997’s epic romance Titanic with special guest Charlie “the baby” Rich! Thats right, Blank Check has brought IN the women and children to our podboat to dive deep into some ice-cold analysis. But how important is water in Cameron’s life? What about Bill Paxton’s huge earring? Whats the artist’s name something Picasso? Together they examine Leo mania, the performances of Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Victor Garber and the panel’s first time seeing this film including a diary entry and private planetarium date.
Nov 04, 2016
True Lies
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Griffin and David this week discuss 1994’s action comedy remake, True Lies. But how does this film relate to Cameron’s marriages? Was the character Spencer Trilby, played by Charlton Heston, an intentional Nick Fury rip off? Just how gross is the interrogation scene? Join #thetwofriends examine Jamie Lee Curtis’ career, the BAFTA awards, the Flintstones movie and balloon metaphors. Plus, the return of Yarnel!
Oct 29, 2016
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back
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Days before its official release, Griffin and David discussed 2016's action thriller sequel Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.
Oct 23, 2016
Terminator 2: Judgement Day with Sam Rogal
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Sam Rogal (Magnet Theatre) joins Griffin and David to discuss the 1991 hit sequel Terminator 2: Judgement Day. But do the special effects still hold up over twenty years later? What influenced the decision to make Arnold Schwarzenegger a good robot? Did Planet Hollywood ever serve a dish called pasta la vista? Together they examine the performances of Robert Patrick and Linda Hamilton, the comical amount of people shot in the knees, Arnold’s post hits career and lava in the 90’s.
Oct 16, 2016
The Abyss with Josh Ruben
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Josh Ruben (CollegeHumor) joins Griffin and David to discuss the 1989 underwater alien thriller The Abyss. But why exactly is this movie impossible to find anywhere on the internet? Just how much of wet nightmare was this production for the cast and crew? What ARE some things to do in Denver when you’re dead? Together they draw parallels certain between the lead characters failing marriage, share Chris Elliott scoops, examine Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio ’s career and why Ed Harris refuses to talk about this film ever again (hint: he didn’t like being repeatedly drowned.)
Oct 07, 2016
Aliens with Fran Hoepfner
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Fran Hoepfner (ClickHole) joins Griffin and David to discuss the 1986 horror/sci-fi sequel Aliens. But how did James go about pitching this project to studio executives? What exactly is Paul Reiser mad about? Could Private Vasquez be anymore of a badass? Together they share their thoughts on Cameron’s masterful storytelling, Sigourney Weaver’s outstanding performance, milk blood, pleasant adult flirting and more!
Oct 01, 2016
The Terminator with Rachel Sanders
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Rachel Sanders (Buzzfeed) joins Griffin and David to discuss James Cameron’s 1984 game changing action sci-fi, The Terminator. But why did this movie become a model for major studios for the next 30+ years? How has the special effects aged? What happened to Pugsley the iguana and did he continue to work in Hollywood? Together they examine the outstanding performances of Hamilton, Schwarzenegger and Biehn, the weird sex scene, Cameron’s many marriages and O.J. Simpson rumored as a potential Terminator.
Sep 25, 2016
Piranha II: The Spawning
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In the debut episode of a new mini series examining the filmography of James Cameron, Griffin and David discuss 1981’s B horror, Piranha II: The Spawning. But what is the story behind Cameron’s first “unofficial” offering as a director? What was the main request from the italian financiers of this film? In it’s 84 minute runtime are there more fish or people spawning? Together #thetwofriends delve into Cameron’s early career, share their mutual appreciation for actor Lance Henriksen, and attempt to make sense of this bonkers plot.
Sep 18, 2016
Under Siege 2: Dark Territory
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Griffin, David and guest host Producer Ben present a special episode this week: a discussion of 1995’s action thriller Under Siege 2: Dark Territory. But is it true the co-founder of CAA and former Disney president, Michael Ovitz, bet he could make even a stocky Aikido teacher with zero acting experience a star? Does Hollywood make these b-list midsize action movies anymore? Is Steven Seagal our quietest action hero? Together the trio examines New Zealand director and journeyman Geoff Murphy’s career, Eric Bogosian’s performance as the scientist gone bad, earthquake inducing satellites sponsored by the U.S. government and the original song written AND performed by Steven Seagal “After the Train Has Gone.” Plus, share a Hamilton themed Burger Report, review Star Trek Beyond and what occupations Nic Cage said he would like to portray. Finally, remember dear listener that after this week’s palette cleanser Blank Check will return with our new mini series covering the films of James Cameron!
Sep 07, 2016
Roadies with Layne Montgomery
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Musician and Blank Check theme song creator Layne Montgomery (The Romantic Comedy) joins #thetwofriends to lock the gates in our final episode of the Cameron Crowe mini series and discuss Crowe’s most recent project, the Showtime series Roadies. But does Cameron’s return to his roots pay off? Is the portrayal of the music industry actually relevant? Will this show get another season? Together the gang examines the ten episodes (so you don’t have to) including Ron White’s performance as an embalmed corpse, Luke Wilson’s Verizon commercials and Carla Gugino's filmography.
Sep 04, 2016
Aloha with Esther Zuckerman
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Nearing the end of the Cameron Crowe mini series, Esther Zuckerman (The A.V. Club) joins Griffin and David to discuss the writer/director’s most recent theatrical release, 2015’s space militarization romantic comedy, Aloha. But doesn’t someone in Emma Stone’s camp look at this script and see at least a few red flags? Why is the movie set in Hawaii but features 99% white people? How do you make being a fighter pilot sound sexy if you’re a woman? Together, they examine Alec Baldwin’s yelling, defining gate blessings, why one can’t buy the sky and offer up their solutions to fix this film.
Aug 26, 2016
We Bought a Zoo
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Griffin and David this week discuss 2011’s zoo dramedy, We Bought a Zoo. But does the film live up to it’s title? Does someone actually buy a zoo? Together #thetwofriends examine the performances of Elle Fanning, ScarJo and John Michael Higgins as ‘Bad Zoo Boy’, propose better titles, the most embarrassing movie you’ve cried during and ghost Moms.
Aug 22, 2016
Elizabethtown
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Blank Check returns to Cameron Crowe’s filmography with an in-depth discussion of 2005’s tragic comedy, Elizabethtown. But how would one best describe the custom exercise bike Bloom’s character outfits with knives? Would Marc Maron have been better suited for the lead role? Wait, Paula Deen is in this movie? Together, Griffin and David examine the careers of Kirsten Dunst and Alec Baldwin, writer Nathan Rabin’s coining of the term “manic pixie dream girl,” Ashton Kutcher’s previous involvement in the project and the proper regional pronunciation of Louisville, Kentucky.
Aug 11, 2016
Suicide Squad
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On the day of it’s release in August of 2016, Griffin and David discussed DC Comic’s latest offering Suicide Squad. But did Jared Leto going so method for The Joker pay off? What’s up with Katana’s sword and does it by any chance capture souls? What’s this talk of Marvel paying off critics? Together the hosts examine Will Smith’s performance as Deadshot, Warner Bros. Pictures desperate strategy for the DC franchise and offer up their own ways to fix this mess of a movie. Plus, did Orlando Bloom stage his dick pics with Katy Perry and just how did the the lantern turn green for the Green Lantern?
Aug 06, 2016
Denim Invasion Live @ DCM18 with John Trowbridge
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Live from the 18th annual Del Close Marathon in New York City, John Trowbridge (Huffington Post) joins Griffin and David to discuss the Cameron Crowe directed, 2002 Gap commercial entitled “Denim Invasion.” What details can be drawn from this 40 second spot? How does it relate to Ashton Kutcher being fired from Elizabethtown? Where is the proto-flash mob running to? Also featuring surprise appearances from Murf Meyer and Diana Kolsky (Ménage à Trois Radio) for a Burger Report, as well as, director George Lucas (Star Wars) inserting his influence on all of popular culture.
Jul 26, 2016
Vanilla Sky with Richard Lawson
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Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair) returns to Blank Check this week to discuss 2001’s Vanilla Sky. But just how blue collar is actor Timothy Spall? Does Tom Cruise’s character, the media magnate, also know director Steven Spielberg? Does your body make a promise when you sleep with someone? Together, they examine Penelope Cruz’s crossover performance, Cruise’s acting while masked, living in a post-Shrek America, and bucket hats.
Jul 22, 2016
Almost Famous
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The BC crew sets their sights on the Academy Award winning, semi-autobiographical film, Almost Famous. But what are some of the differences between the theatrical release and Untitled: The Bootleg Cut? What are Griffin and David’s thoughts on Marc Maron and Jimmy Fallon’s cameos? How has Billy Crudup’s career trajectory drastically changed since 2000? Together, Griffin and David discuss Philip Seymour Hoffman’s stellar performance as legendary rock critic Lester Bangs, Kate Hudson’s boyfriends over the years, Led Zeppelin rumors and locking the gates.
Jul 15, 2016
Jerry Maguire
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Griffin and David this week “show you the money” with 1996’s decade defining film Jerry Maguire. What was the impact of this movie? How many memorable terms and phrases did Crowe invent that have gone on to become common place vernacular in our culture? How great is Renée Zellweger? Together they discuss the plot’s many layers, Jay Mohr as the perfect asshole, Oscar trivia and express a lot of appreciation for Jonathan Lipnicki’s stellar performance as the insanely cute kid.
Jul 07, 2016
Singles
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Griffin and David look to Crowe’s next film, 1992’s Grunge-tinged romcom Singles. But how realistically does this movie, set in Seattle, portray yuppie culture? Who the hell is actor Campbell Scott and why is he in a leading role? What’s with Producer Ben’s fascination with 90’s technology? Together, they examine making out with Paul Giamatti, various grunge musician cameos, “super” trains and terrible 90’s fashion. Also, a very special edition of Burger Report/Orange Twist Files.
Jun 30, 2016
Say Anything…
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In the debut episode of a new mini-series examining the filmography of Cameron Crowe, Griffin and David discuss the iconic 1989 romcom: Say Anything… What is Crowe’s origin story? How was he involved with Fast Times at Ridgemont High? Is this John Cusack’s career defining performance? Together, the BC crew talks romcom troupes, a young Fraiser’s Dad (John Mahoney) progressive father-daughter relationship, marrying the cast of Friends and singing Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” Plus, a merch spotlight, a terrible Humphrey Bogart impression and please tweet #playitagainsam to @GriffLightning, @davidlsims and @BarackObama.
Jun 23, 2016
Fletch
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In this week’s special episode, guest host Producer Ben has been given his own “Blank Check” for selecting a one-off film to review and he’s cashing it in with 1985’s cult comedy Fletch. Is this one of Chevy Chase’s strongest performances? What happened to actress Dana Wheeler-Nicholson? Out of all the movies ever made Ben picked Fletch? But why? Together, the trio discuss Chevy Chase’s tumultuous reputation and career, nostalgia for these types of comedies and character actors, Geena Davis’ impressive run of films in the late eighties to mid-nineties, and hating phonies. Plus, an in-depth hollywood history of the mythic Fletch reboot. And after this week’s palette cleanser episode Griffin and David will begin their next mini series with the films of Cameron Crowe!
Jun 17, 2016
The Animatrix
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In the final episode of the Podchowski Casters mini series, Griffin and David discuss 2003’s collection of animated short films detailing the Matrix expanded universe, The Animatrix. Are Part I and Part II of Second Renaissance a successful prequel to the first Matrix? Does the short “World Record” set it’s own record for the most on-screen knee sweat? What are #thetwofriends final thoughts on the Wachowskis? Together they examine the nine short films featuring several collaborators writers and directors including Peter Chung (Aeon Flux), reasons why Keanu Reeves might not sound like himself, the pointlessness of Alice Through the Looking Glass and why “Kid’s Story” never pays off as intended. Also, a merch spotlight, a Burger Report and why you should check out the original Animatrix website: http://www.intothematrix.com/
Jun 10, 2016
Sense8
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Nearing the end of the Wachowski mini series, this week Griffin and David discuss the most recent project by the prolific filmmakers, 2015’s Netflix series Sense8. But is it worth binging all twelve hour long episodes in a few days? What are the hosts thoughts on peak TV? Who doesn’t like a good Jean-Claude Van Damme pun? Together #thetwofriends examine season one’s major plot points, breakdown all the eight sensates different skills, appreciate the convenience of science bombs and try to make sense of the villain “Whispers.”
Jun 03, 2016
Jupiter Ascending
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This week Griffin and David discuss the Wachowski’s most recent theatrical release, 2015’s intergalactic sci-fi, Jupiter Ascending. What is the Wachowski’s latest innovation in this film? Why make the very attractive Channing Tatum look like a dog? Is the original universe in this story at all logical? Listen along as they discuss space rollerblades, the parallel with Alice in Wonderland, Terry Gilliam’s costuming and Eddie Redmayne’s outstanding performance as the whispering villain Balem Abrasax. Plus, Griffin talks the Tick, box office stats and a reading from a listener submitted book report covering M. Night Shyamalan’s novel on the American education system.
May 27, 2016
Cloud Atlas with Bobby Finger
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Bobby Finger (Jezebel) joins Griffin and David to discuss 2012’s Cloud Atlas. Why is one of the most expensive independent films of all time considered to be such a critical failure? Do we like the future talk? How long is this movie tho? Together they discuss the choice to have actors play multiple roles, Jim Broadbent’s childhood flashbacks and Mr. Holland's Opus.
May 20, 2016
Speed Racer with Emily Yoshida and J.D. Amato
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Guests Emily Yoshida (The Verge) and J.D. Amato (The Chris Gethard Show) make their return to Blank Check to examine 2008’s Speed Racer. But why does everyone on the panel love this movie and disagree with the criticism it received? How was this film ahead of its time? Should racing involve the financial world? Together, they discuss Spritle and Chim-Chim antics, watching sunday morning cartoons, irony, the amazing special effects and so much more!
May 16, 2016
The Matrix Revolutions
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Concluding the Matrix trilogy, Griffin and David examine The Matrix Revolutions. But why gruesomely blind our hero Neo? What is the franchise’s message about love? Was this ending the right choice? Together, they discuss the unnecessary storyline between Captain Mifune and the Kid, Jada Pinkett Smith’s career, Dennis Franz as a potential replacement for the Oracle, and the very extended final showdown between Neo and Agent Smith.
May 05, 2016
The Matrix Reloaded
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This week, Griffin and David examine the highly anticipated 2003 follow up, The Matrix Reloaded. Was it a misstep to build this release around a video game (Enter the Matrix) most viewers hadn’t played and an animated series (The Animatrix) most of the audience hadn’t seen? Was it worth bringing Agent Smith back? Does David convince Griffin to reevaluate his feeling towards this film? Listen along as they discuss how most of the characters in this movie represent computer programs, the tragic loss of actress Gloria Foster during the production, the grossness of the Merovingian and Producer Ben shares his thoughts on The Keymaker.
Apr 28, 2016
The Matrix
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This week, Griffin and David discuss the Wachowski's game changing 1999 film, the Matrix. Just how big of an influence was this movie on mainstream cinema? Other than the nu metal, has this film aged gracefully? How can this only be the siblings second film?! Together, they discuss the trajectory of Keanu Reeves’ career leading up to the Matrix, their shared love for Gloria Foster’s performance as the Oracle, the superb screenwriting, and the renowned martial arts choreographer Yuen Woo-ping. Plus, box office stats, Y2K and another edition of the Burger Report.
Apr 25, 2016
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - The Lost Episode
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March of 2016, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was released. All two hours and thirty-three minutes of it. The critics and fans agreed, Zach Snyder’s mess of a movie about Batman and Superman fighting was not well liked and made Ben sad. Also around this time, Griffin and David recorded a one-off episode about the film. Due to technical issues, the lost episode was scrapped—until now.
Apr 22, 2016
Bound
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Blank Check returns with another new mini series, this time examining the filmography of directors the Wachowskis. And like the past investigations (George Lucas, M. Night Shyamalan), Griffin and David aim to discover how did Hollywood go on to give these auteurs free reign and what were the consequences? Starting with 1996’s Bound, join the hosts as they discuss the greatness of Joey Pants, remembering the 90’s, Gina Gershon and the Sam Simon connection, plus why cell phones have ruined cinema.
Apr 18, 2016
The Buried Secret of M. Night Shyamalan
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In the final episode of the Pod Night Shyamacast mini series, Griffin and David discuss the SyFy Channel hoax documentary, 2004’s The Buried Secret of M. Night Shyamalan. Why is Academy Award nominated documentarian Nathaniel Kahn involved in this project? What are #thetwofriends final thoughts on Shyamalan? Together they analyze Javier the pizza guy’s impact on cinema, Johnny Depp’s appearance, hanging outside of your favorite director’s property gates and pretending to commune with the spirt world.
Apr 12, 2016
The Visit with Louis Peitzman
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Louis Peitzman (BuzzFeed) joins Griffin and David to discuss the old person horror, 2015’s The Visit. But is the found footage device used in a effective way? Can the great Kathryn Hahn do no wrong? Does this mean M. Night’s very bad movie streak has finally run out? Together they examine the Blumhouse model, the gross factor versus the gore factor, a dirty diaper in the face and how Shyamalan paying out of pocket for this production might just correlate with it being actually palatable. Also, the original Slenderman, lil Roman Polanski rapping, and a Burger Report with LeBron James.
Apr 01, 2016
After Earth with James III
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James III (Black Men Can’t Jump In Hollywood Podcast) joins Griffin and David to discuss the incredibly dull, thinly veiled Scientology sci-fi, 2013’s After Earth. Beyond starring along side his son Jaden and being credited as a producer and original story writer, how else did Will Smith play a role in the making of this film? Does the timing of After Earth’s release have anything to do with Jaden’s emancipation from his parents? Is it possible for M. Night to ever work again after 5 sequential critical and commercial failures? Together they examine Will’s illustrious career up to After Earth, the development of Jaden’s stardom, having emotion, giving your monsters the ability to see and the duality of what is happening in this movie is happening in real life.
Mar 25, 2016
The Last Airbender with Seaton Smith
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Seaton Smith (Mulaney, Late Night with Seth Meyers) joins Griffin and David to discuss 2010’s agonizing, unwatchable fantasy adventure, The Last Airbender. When adapting the the original animated series, why did M. Night try to incorporate ALL 20 episodes of the first season into one movie? How do the casting choices reflect negatively on the film? Was Last Airbender so terrible that the BC crew in this episode talks about basically anything else? Yes, yes it is. Together, they examine the artist’s quest and how to avoid making your ‘Last Airbender,’ this being the first film Griffin ever auditioned for, on set stories for Chris Rock’s Top Five and Seaton meeting Woody Allen.
Mar 18, 2016
The Happening
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This week, Griffin and David discuss M. Night’s first ever R rated film, 2008’s The Happening. But is wind scary? Are any of the actors convincing they haven’t completely checked out? Why am I talking to a plastic plant? Together, #TheTwoFriends examine 9/11 imagery, why Kung Fu Panda is a better movie, impressions of nerds, and why Shyamalan calling this the “best B-movie you will ever see” is preposterous. Plus, the Departed sequel scoops and not seeing Hamilton.
Mar 14, 2016
Lady in the Water with Richard Lawson
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Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair) joins Griffin and David to examine 2006’s egotistical bedtime martyr tale, Lady in the Water. Is M. Night trying to say something subtly about his film’s critics? Why is the lady never seen in the water? How is this a movie? Seriously. Together, the BC crew examines Giamatti’s stuttering, the cookbook misdirect payoff, the Disney controversy, and explore deep Lorax cuts. Plus, new segment the Burger Report, and the return of 'What If Al Pacino Was In This?'
Mar 07, 2016
The Village with David Ehrlich
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David Ehrlich (Rolling Stone) joins Griffin and David this week for an in-depth analysis of 2004’s isolationist thriller, The Village. Why was this film so universally panned by critics and audiences? What was Adrien Brody thinking to sign up for this role after winning an Academy Award? Was this the the twist that finally did Shyamalan in or was his reputation already tarnished? Together, the gang examines the color that will remained unnamed, going “simple jack”, a popular website in the early oughts called The Smoking Gun and why for the love of all that is holy does Night keep casting himself?!
Feb 29, 2016
The First Annual Blank Check Awards with Joe Reid
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On this week’s special episode, Griffin and David joined by guest, Joe Reid (The Decider), present their personal nominations for the upcoming 88th Academy Awards. This roundtable discussion looks to all the major categories and offers engaging criticism, as well as, references deep cut cinema from 2015 you may have missed. With the “Blankies”, some winners are picked, Oscar snubs deservingly defended, but as always most of the personal grudges continue. Also, Griffin reads a listener submitted Star Wars/Blank Check crossover fan fiction titled: “Fisto and the Hoz” and Producer Ben offers up some of his own original categories. And fear not, for the twists will continue next week on Pod Night Shyamacast with episode five: The Village! Music selection: “Love Wins” by Lee Rosevere licensed under Creative Commons: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Feb 22, 2016
Signs with Murf Meyer and Diana Kolsky
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This week’s guests on the Shyamacast are ‘real life lovers’ Murf Meyer (The Chris Gethard Show) and Diana Kolsky (Above Average), hosts in their own right of Ménage à Trois Radio, also on the UCB Comedy podcast network! And for Blank Check’s ongoing investigative mini-series of Shyamalan’s films, together with #thetwofriends they discuss 2002’s faith biased, alien invasion movie, Signs. Was it fate that it was poorly received? Was Shyamalan smart in casting himself for a role that required some real acting? How does Mel Gibson’s filmography hold up to the numerous terrible things he been quoted in public saying? Well, Blankies rejoice because this in-depth analysis leaves no glasses half empty nor half full! Also, Griffin professes his love for Chicken Run numerous times, Diana receives 7 comedy points and Murf recalls a summer of Austin Powers references.
Feb 15, 2016
Unbreakable with Matt Patches
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Matt Patches (Thrillist, Grantland) joins Griffin and David this week to discuss Shyamalan’s fourth feature, Unbreakable. This sad and muted superhero film where mostly nothing happens was seen by many critics and fans as a “sophomore slump” when released in 2000. But what are some of it’s redeeming qualities? How does it stand out among the Marvel superhero movie craze in the years that followed? Oh and is there a twist you ask? Well listen along as the gang unpacks the making and reception of Unbreakable, together examine the stylistic choices incorporating the visual language of comic books, begin to notice a pattern of recurring themes related to loveless marriages and disturbed children, and try to shake the dead eyes of Spencer Treat Clark.
Feb 08, 2016
The Sixth Sense with Katey Rich
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Joining Griffin and David on this week’s episode is special guest Katey Rich (Vanity Fair) to help examine Shyamalan’s 1999 breakout, career defining film: The Sixth Sense. How did this unknown writer/director convince Disney to pay him 3 million dollars for the script with the clause to direct? What is the significance of red in the movie? How did this same filmmaker go on to make Lady in the Water? Are there any SIGNS of what is to come!? Together, they discuss ghost logic, actor Toni Collette’s amazing performance, munchausen by proxy, the climate in cinema during 1999 and so much more! Plus, the gang nerds out on box office stats, Griffin revisits working with Trevor Moore on ‘Butt Whistle’ and Producer Ben presents his own original endings.
Feb 01, 2016
Praying with Anger/Wide Awake
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In the debut episode of the newly rebranded ‘Blank Check’, Griffin and David look to another director of supersized ego and skill: M. Night Shyamalan. Similar to their investigation of George Lucas’ Star Wars, the hosts aim to discover where exactly in Shyamalan’s filmography did this artist lose touch with his unique vision and become the “twist” guy? Starting with 1992’s Praying with Anger (set in India and filmed while he was still a student at NYU), as well as, his first major-motion picture Wide Awake, join the hosts as they try to understand how these early attempts would affect his future films and the recurring themes Shyamalan would continue to explore.
Jan 26, 2016
The Podcast Reawakens with Emily Yoshida
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Emily Yoshida (The Verge, A/V Club) joins Griffin and David to revisit Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Together, they discuss Emily’s childhood Star Wars fan fiction, an origin story based around a shared love of Beetlejuice, address the Mary Sue controversy and officially announce the podcast renaming! Also, Griffin’s merchandise corner looks at a newly issued Monopoly and presenting Producer Ben’s Sno-corner.
Jan 11, 2016
The Podcast Holiday Special with Pilot Viruet
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In 1978, CBS aired a two-hour Star Wars holiday special. Only a year prior, A New Hope had been released to critical success and with the Empire Strikes Back in production and to be released in a year and half, this was Lucasfilm’s opportunity to keep fans engaged with the franchise (and sell some merchandise of course) by developing a science fiction variety special using everyones favorite characters. But it was terrible! So much so, that it has never been re-aired or made available for purchase ever. Nor should it be. Even George hates it, famously saying “If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of the show and smash it.” Griffin and David, joined by Pilot Viruet (Flavorwire) discuss this truly insane piece of television history. Together, they examine a storyline involving Chewbacca and Han Solo trying to return to Kasyyyk to celebrate Life Day, a Wookie holiday, Chewbaca’s weird family and extended grunting, the first introduction to Boba Fett, bad french circus dancing, 1970’s cocaine use and so much more!
Dec 24, 2015
The Podcast Awakens
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One day after the release opening of Episode VII: The Force Awakens (SPOILER ALERT!), Griffin and David discussed their impressions on the first installment of the newly revamped franchise. Together, they examine the film’s similar story structure to A New Hope, who would take new characters Resistance pilot Poe Dameron and protagonist Rey out on a classy dinner date, Kylo Ren being an evil nerd and why director J.J. Abrams accomplished where George Lucas had failed with the prequels: making an actual Star Wars movie.
Dec 21, 2015
Return of the Podcast
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Griffin and David return with an episode examining the 1983 conclusion to the ‘second’ trilogy Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Together, they discuss George Lucas’ former marriage, Princess Leia’s golden bikini, those lovable Ewoks, telling a dying Yoda to just get on with it already and more!
Dec 17, 2015
The Podcast Strikes Back
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This week, Griffin and David move onto the 1980 film Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Together, they discuss the sexual tension between Han Solo and Princess Leia, Vadar as a dad, C-3PO’s charm, Billy Dee Williams’ portrayal of the very sleazy Lando Calrissian and so much more! Also, this is G & D fans last chance to submit your suggestions and receive your Griffmas cards! Email us at: griffinanddavidpresent@gmail.com
Dec 14, 2015
A New Podcast
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Griffin and David, having recently discovered Episode IV: A New Hope, discuss the 1977 film. Including, the rise of the rebel alliance, the children of Darth Vadar, the destruction of the Death Star and the biggest surprise of all: this film is amazing! Also, a big announcement, request fans to send in suggestions for a new name and present Griffmas cards with a special holiday prize! Email us at: griffinanddavidpresent@gmail.com
Dec 07, 2015
Watch With Us LIVE! - Revenge Of The Podcast
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Griffin and David, joined once again by director George Lucas, present a special live bonus episode where they watched the Revenge of the Sith and recorded their commentary. Includes amazing past guests, fan favorite segments, plenty of Georgie Porgie attempting to justify these terrible movies, and of course, Griffin and David trying to make sense of it all. So hit play and listen along in real time. Recorded at Union Hall in Brooklyn, NY.
Nov 30, 2015
A Conversation with George Lucas - Revenge Of The Podcast
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With Griffin and David nearing the end of their investigation into the Phantom Menace trilogy there were still a lot of unanswered questions. So they decided to invite a very special guest who played a central part in creating these three indie films to help them better understand: director George Lucas. Yes thats right Georgie Porgie himself in the flesh! Listen in as the hosts attempt to make sense of Jar Jar Binks, Jake Lloyd’s performance, Coruscant the city planet, and more with the architect behind it all. Also, a GIANT revelation is brought to light that completely changes everything Griffin and David thought they knew about the Star Wars universe!
Nov 23, 2015
More Deleted Scenes with Mike Ryan - Revenge Of The Podcast
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Mike Ryan (Uproxx) joins Griffin and David to discuss Revenge of the Sith’s deleted scenes and special featurettes: The Chosen One and Within a Minute - The Making of Episode III. Together, they examine George’s directing style, Producer Rick McCallum’s love of catering, elevator hijinks, and the American Film Institute’s ‘Funny Times for Funny People’ list. Also, please get tickets for a special LIVE recording next monday November 23 @ Union Hall in Brooklyn: https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1000755
Nov 16, 2015
The Clone Wars Animated Series with Jonathan Braylock - Revenge Of The Podcast
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Jonathan Braylock (Black Men Can’t Jump (In Hollywood) podcast) joins Griffin and David on this week’s episode to cover the entirety of the 2003-2005 animated television shorts Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Set during the three year gap between films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, the Genndy Tartakovsky directed series is a unanimous hit. Together they discuss all three seasons in extreme detail including: the numerous extended fight scenes, pre-cough General Grievous, C3PO’s comic relief, how-to make a lightsaber and very much more! Also, reading fan’s iTunes reviews, the recent Jar Jar theory scandal and Producer Ben’s character spotlight.
Nov 07, 2015
Our Performance Review 3.0 with Chris Gethard - Revenge Of The Podcast
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This week Griffin and David complete their performance reviews of the Phantom Menace trilogy with special guest Chris Gethard (The Chris Gethard Show, Iron Man 3). Together they examine Revenge of the Sith’s entire cast and rate all the *major players–actor by actor. From unanimous MVP Ben Cooke as Kit Fisto to Jimmy Smits' portrayal of Senator Bail Organa getting a soft pass for “taking the girl” to why Silas Caron as Ki-Adi-Mundi (in one of his duel roles) kills it before being murdered and SO MUCH MORE! SERIOUSLY IT’S ALOT! How does this exhaustive in-depth look compare to some of the actor’s rankings from the previous films? What line of dialogue is David Bowers best known for? What exactly is a salty ol’ space dog? Plus, Chris offers new (and controversial) perspectives on the trilogy/NBA comparisons, justification for background players being good or bad and the many reasons why everyone hates General Grievous. *Much of the cast discussed have seconds of total screen time!?
Oct 30, 2015
A Broken Heart with Sonia Saraiya - Revenge Of The Podcast
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Griffin and David welcome another amazing guest this week, Sonia Saraiya (Salon, AV Club). Together, they examine the life and death of Padmé, including her pregnancy with half a baby, losing the will to live medically speaking, insisting a child murderer still has some good in them and Jimmy Smits’ ship. Also, a tasty merchandise corner with snacks and the return of popular segment ‘What If’. And remember don’t listen to Griffin and please keep rating, reviewing and commenting dear listeners.
Oct 23, 2015
The Jedi Order with Mike Drucker - Revenge Of The Podcast
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Joining Griffin and David on today’s episode is special guest Mike Drucker (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon). Together, they discuss the MANY missteps of the Jedi council throughout the Phantom Menace saga, how these errors led to their ultimate demise, the final showdown between General Grievous and Obi-Wan Kenobi, the logistics of Order 66, and try to make sense of the significance of this Chewbacca character? Also, Griffin’s favorite character holy trinity, a grievous merchandise spotlight and of course REMEMBER NO BITS GUYS!
Oct 19, 2015
Emperor Darth Sidious - Revenge Of The Podcast
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A Naboo Senator. Then a Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic. But WHO is this Phantom Menace? Could it really be the uptight Palpatine pulling all the strings? YUP! And guess what he’s a Sith lord too! In this episode, Griffin and David examine the new Emperor’s rise to power, including: the origins of Darth Sidious, the “ancient” Darth Plagueis myth and their possible connection to Anakin’s birth, as well as, the death of Mace Windu, space opera, the George Bush connection and who are these damn Wookies? Plus, a new merch spotlight and reading your podcast reviews! Please feel free to rate/review and tell your friends to subscribe. DO IT!
Oct 02, 2015
The Downfall Of Anakin Skywalker - Revenge Of The Podcast
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This week Griffin and David, whilst yelling into microphones, dive right into the river of ham that is Anakin’s origin story and the main crux of the Phantom Menace series: turning to the dark side and becoming Darth Vader. Also, the MANY mistakes the Jedi council make, killing children, a space holocaust, and choking your wife because your trying to save her from your dreams where she dies. And of course, as always, fuck George Lucas.
Sep 28, 2015
The Beginning of The End - Revenge Of The Podcast
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The year was 2005. George Lucas returned with the third (and final) film in the Star Wars series: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. Again, taking in the criticism from the previous two productions, has the director finally found a focus? Is this a good conclusion to the Phantom Menace series? Griffin and David begin their investigation with the opening battle sequence. And as is tradition of stunning off screen action, the movie starts at the END of the Clone Wars. Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker are in space fighters, R2D2 is basically Inspector Gadget now and every 45 seconds a new droid is introduced with the intention of later being merchandised. Also, we meet new characters General Grievous (the limping, coughing leader of the droid army) and a surfer Gungan. Plus, discover Chancellor Palpatine has been kidnapped by Count Dooku (who may have lost his head.) Join your hosts in this week’s episode as they try to take it all in.
Sep 21, 2015
The Podcastic Two
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In 1992, the original Fantastic Four movie was produced by Constantin Film solely to retain the rights of the franchise. Shot in 22 days, the low budget film was never to be officially released (unbenounced to the crew and the mostly Canadian cast.) Fast forward to early aughts and superhero films are all the rage. 20th Century Fox having acquired the licensing, after years of numerous scripts being thrown around, finally begin production on the second Fantastic Four movie in 2004. Though considered a failure among critics and fans, box office sales proved enough for 2007’s sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer. Again, it was not good. But then in 2015 a reboot directed by Josh Trank was released among rumors of fighting and reshoots and guess what guys IT’S ALSO BAD! In this week’s special episode, join hosts Griffin and David as they discuss and rank all four films and why this may be the end for Mister Fantastic (Reed Richards), Invisible Woman (Susan Storm), The Human Torch (Johnny Storm) and The Thing (Ben Grimm). Music courtesy of John Ottman “Main Titles” & The Fantastic Four “The Whole World Is A Stage”
Sep 14, 2015
Watch With Us, Again - Attack Of The Podcast
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Once again, Griffin and David in a very special bonus episode watched Attack of the Clones (for probably the last time) and recorded their commentary. So cue up that blu-ray and listen along with the hosts as they offer up their thoughts in real time.