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Blank Check with Griffin & David

Film & TV News

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.

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.

Location:

New York, NY

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.

Language:

English

Contact:

862-684-2408


Episodes

James and the Giant Peach with Emma Stefansky

12/4/2022
Bugs! So many bugs! And…Richard Dreyfuss?? The Bug Queen Emma Stefansky returns to the podcast to celebrate all the creepy crawlies in 1996’s JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH. We’re talking about stone fruit, Randy Newman, and cinema’s sexiest spider in this episode. Plus, we rank our favorite bugs AND our favorite Roald Dahl adaptations, and we learn about how Ben got his scar. This episode is sponsored by: Marlow Pillow (CODE: BLANK10 ) Stamps.com (CODE: CHECK) MasterClass...

Duration:02:39:02

The Nightmare Before Christmas with Michael Rianda

11/27/2022
We’re wearing our Hot Topic sweatshirts and enunciating every dramatic syllable to pay tribute to one of the greatest animated films of all time - Tim Burton’s (but really Henry Selick’s) THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. Academy Award-nominated animator and Blankie Michael Rianda (THE MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES) joins us to talk about this multi-holiday classic, which is basically just a movie about a creative weirdo trying to fit in at Disney. Is this the boniest movie we’ve covered on the...

Duration:02:43:54

The Fabelmans

11/20/2022
For the first time in years, both Griffin and David are in agreement on a new Steven Spielberg film - what a picture! We’re playing both film critics and armchair psychologists in this episode as we unpack THE FABELMANS, a movie that is less sentimental and more complex than one would assume based on the poster. What sets this film apart from the ever-growing stack of filmmaker origin stories? Is this the de-facto Best Picture frontrunner? Why the hell was Griffin shooting on super 8 in the...

Duration:02:37:17

Eyes Wide Shut with David Ehrlich

11/13/2022
Cruise. Kidman. Kubrick. Ehrlich. We’re concluding our Stanley Kubrick series with 1999’s EYES WIDE SHUT and a trip to cinema’s most famous masked orgy. Indiewire’s David Ehrlich joins us as we discuss liminal spaces, the late-90s ABC sitcom “Dharma & Greg,” Nick Nightingale’s skills as a piano player, and Sydney Pollack’s barrel chest. Are there “more Christmas lights in this movie than there are in an NYU student’s dormroom?” What is the platonic ideal of a Tom Cruise hairstyle? Did making...

Duration:03:11:36

Full Metal Jacket with Jon Gabrus

11/6/2022
Alright, maggots, listen up! We’ve got the Action Boy himself - Jon Gabrus - back on the podcast to talk about Kubrick’s bifurcated Vietnam War classic FULL METAL JACKET. We’re retiring the “retired bit” in order to talk about Matthew Modine as Private Joker. We’re getting into the etymology of “poontang.” We’re attempting to articulate what makes a movie feel like an “80s movie” and why this film absolutely doesn’t. And - we’re gonna end up on a very long tangent about the talking head...

Duration:02:32:47

The Shining with Timothy Simons

10/30/2022
Just in time for Halloween, we’re checking into the Overlook Hotel - a haunted place not unlike the Beachwood, Ohio, Homewood Suites that Griffin and guest Timothy Simons stayed in while they were filming DRAFT DAY! Is THE SHINING about Native American genocide, or is it about how Stanley Kubrick thought ghosts were kinda nice? Is Shelley Duvall the MVP of this movie? Would Ben absolutely thrive as the hotel’s caretaker - taking inspiration from the stocked kitchen pantry to whip up some...

Duration:02:54:50

Barry Lyndon with Karina Longworth

10/23/2022
NASA-quality lenses, a himbo canon-worthy performance from notoriously “chill and normal guy” Ryan O’Neal, and some flirty ribbon games all combine to make what we consider to be Kubrick’s warmest and most sumptuous film - 1975’s “Barry Lyndon.” Karina Longworth of “You Must Remember This” makes a long-awaited first appearance on the pod to wonder - did Barry actually end up sleeping with his cousin? What are the rules of dueling? Should children be allowed to ride horses? And more! This...

Duration:02:12:10

A Clockwork Orange with Alex Ross Perry

10/16/2022
Attention all droogs: grab your Nadsat dictionaries and your bowler hats, it’s time to drink some drug-milk! We’ve got our very own Alex - Ross Perry, that is - on the pod to go long on Kubrick’s controversial X-rated dystopian nightmare, 1971’s A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. We’re reminiscing about our rebellious teenage years, which for Alex included a trip to New York to see The Prodigy in concert, and for David included a “Pinter phase.” Did you all know that David grew up in England? Plus - Ben...

Duration:03:11:43

2001: A Space Odyssey with Jordan Hoffman

10/9/2022
Open the pod cast doors, HAL - it’s time for us to talk about one of the most important movies in cinema history. Jordan Hoffman - the friend of the pod who best represents both the “diamond-hard Sci Fi” and psychedelic head-trip factions of 2001 fandom - returns to Blank Check, and we’re doling out the knowledge *and* the giggles. When is the ideal moment to “partake” in order to get the trippiest experience from 2001? Is Griffin starting to change his mind about Kubrick not being funny? Do...

Duration:02:39:32

Dr. Strangelove... with Sean Fennessey

10/2/2022
Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here, Sean Fennessey is finally on our podcast! The Big Picture Pod host joins Griffin and David to talk about Kubrick’s razor-sharp satire, the Peter Sellers tour-de-force that is “Dr. Strangelove”. We’re asking all the questions - Could Sellers have played *every* character in this movie? Is the film paradoxically funnier because Kubrick isn’t really a comedy guy? Would George C. Scott hate this podcast? Would you give “Tom Jones” a middling three stars on...

The Woman King

9/25/2022
It certainly feels great to cover a good movie again! Our mini-run of new releases ends with Gina Prince-Bythewood’s crowd-pleaser - the African female warrior epic “The Woman King”. We’ve got David’s exclusive report on the film’s world premiere at TIFF (humblebrag), a deep dive on the career of Viola Davis (did you know her early industry champions were Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney?), and some thoughts on how this film taps into Prince-Bythewood’s ongoing exploration of chosen...

Pinocchio (2022) with Podcast: The Ride

9/18/2022
The King of the Uncanny Valley - our boy Bob Zemeckis - is back with his spin on perhaps the most iconic un-real boy in cinema…it’s Pinocchio, baby! Our friends from Podcast: The Ride - two Disney daddies and one small wooden boy - join us to chat about Disney’s latest live-action remake, and we’re mostly just confused. How many days did Tom Hanks spend on set? Why are so many people in Hollywood eager to make their own Pinocchio adaptations? Did Leslie Zemeckis do mo-cap work for the sexy...

Duration:02:30:59

Three Thousand Years of Longing

9/11/2022
George Miller returns with a sweeping romantic fantasy and if we had a djinn, we’d wish that more people went to see this movie in theaters! Plus - Ben wishes for infinite sandwiches, and the two friends go long on Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton. This episode is sponsored by: Backbone (playbackbone.com/check) DraftKings (CODE: BLANKCHECK) Join our Patreon at patreon.com/blankcheck Follow us @blankcheckpod on Twitter and Instagram! Buy some real nerdy merch at...

Duration:02:02:09

Lolita with Fran Hoepfner

9/4/2022
How did they ever make a podcast of LOLITA? Let’s just say that it wasn’t easy, but thankfully our guest Fran Hoepfner is in her “brave era” and was more than up for the task! If our SPARTACUS episode was full of Tony Curtis impressions, we’re classing up the joint this week with plenty of James Mason bits. In this episode, Ben learns about the Hays Code, Griffin learns how to pronounce “Nabokov,” Fran learns that it is very difficult to eat a giant lollipop, and David learns what everyone...

Duration:02:25:10

Spartacus with Richard Lawson

8/28/2022
I am Spartacus! I am Spartacus! Heck, we’re *all* Spartacus today as we talk about the “sword-and-sandals” epic that solidified Stanley Kubrick’s hit-making potential…and soured him on Hollywood forever. Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson returns to the pod and we’re covering all the major topics: How did a young Kubrick manage all the different stars on set - many of whom were accomplished directors in their own right? Was Kirk Douglas’ chin cleft real? Did Dalton Trumbo write the script for this...

Duration:02:32:30

Paths of Glory with Sarah Marshall

8/21/2022
Perhaps the most humanistic of Kubrick’s films, PATHS OF GLORY is a blistering study of injustice, middle-management, and anti-war sentiment. We’re down in the trenches this week with Sarah Marshall (“You’re Wrong About” and “You Are Good”), and we’re asking the big questions. Like - what crazy scheme did Timothy Carey pull during production that caused him to be fired as soon as all his closeups were filmed? Did Kirk Douglas take his hefty salary (a third of the total budget!) to pay for...

Duration:02:05:03

The Killing with Patton Oswalt

8/14/2022
If Stanley Kubrick’s previous two films were exercises in learning on the job, THE KILLING is where we start to see him put that knowledge into action. A thrilling noir, it allowed Kubrick to connect his passion for chess to a story about the best laid plans of a too ambitious crook. We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome dream guest Patton Oswalt as we swap insane Timothy Carey stories, debate whether or not Rodney Dangerfield appears in the background of a scene, and suggest that Sterling...

Duration:01:43:30

Fear & Desire / Killer's Kiss

8/7/2022
He dominated the field in this year’s 20th Century March Madness competition, and now we’re celebrating with a parade and a big brass band…it’s time for our series on the films of Stanley Kubrick - Pods Wide Cast! Join us as we fill in the background strokes of Kubrick’s early career - his childhood in the Bronx, his photography apprenticeship with Look Magazine - and as we discuss his first two features - 1953’s FEAR AND DESIRE and 1955’s KILLER’S KISS. Some burning questions we end up...

Duration:01:47:17

Star 80 with Julie Klausner

7/31/2022
Oof - this is a tough one. Incredibly divisive, is “STAR 80” a darkly cynical triumph about the perils of Hollywood and the failings of men? Or is it a too-sympathetic “Portrait of An Incel as a who cares?!” per our guest Julie Klausner? Join us for a very spirited discussion about Fosse’s difficult last film, where we touch upon the dangers of the true crime genre, the tendency for male creatives to prioritize the male perspective, and the ways in which this film complicates the fascinating...

Duration:02:11:59

All That Jazz with Lin-Manuel Miranda

7/24/2022
It’s SHOWTIME, folks - and boy, are we jazzed about this episode! Broadway icon and actual Blank Check listener Lin-Manuel Miranda joins us to talk about what many consider to be Bob Fosse’s masterpiece, 1979’s “All That Jazz.” LMM surprises Griffin and David by bringing along an original copy of the film’s script, which offers some fascinating insights into Fosse’s blurring of the lines between memoir and fiction. We discuss the parallels between “All That Jazz” and LMM’s recent screen...

Duration:02:00:40