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Blank Check with Griffin & David

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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.




The Loveless

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...

Duration: 01:19:26

The Devil Wears Prada with Romilly Newman

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,...

Duration: 02:12:10

Here Today Gone Trevorrow - An Emergency Minisode

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 Ryan Johnson continue to helm the wheel? Together they discuss TC-14, Griffin’s IMDB trivia, The Judge 2 and more.

Duration: 00:24:24

Dunkirk with Bilge Ebiri

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...

Duration: 02:08:47


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!

Duration: 02:16:29

Talking Maul Live @ DCM19 with Peter Serafinowicz

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...

Duration: 00:49:22

The Dark Knight Rises

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...

Duration: 01:57:55


Griffin and David present a very special episode on 2010’s dream heist, Inception.

Duration: 01:59:21

The Dark Knight

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.

Duration: 02:07:30

The Prestige with Alison Willmore

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.

Duration: 01:52:32

Batman Begins

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!

Duration: 01:57:29

Insomnia with Alex Ross Perry

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...

Duration: 01:53:33

Memento with Amy Nicholson

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...

Duration: 01:50:24


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...

Duration: 01:31:56

The First Blank Check Mailbag

#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.

Duration: 01:58:57

Wonder Woman

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.

Duration: 01:48:23


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.

Duration: 01:20:28


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!

Duration: 01:22:30

Bridge of Spies

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...

Duration: 01:39:41


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.

Duration: 01:54:34

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