Blank Check with Griffin and David Wiki

Bridge of Spies is episode 108 focusing on the movie of the same name, as part of the Pod Me If You Cast miniseries covering the filmography of Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks era. Posted 13 May 2017.


"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."[1]

Is this the last DreamWorks movie? Sort of! It's a lot of inside baseball on that so congrats if you can make it through the details. On to the movie itself! Watching this in January 2016, this movie about a decent man being good at his job and doing his selfless civic duty... let's just say it was a big contrast to the real world.

Curiously this movie didn't garner a lot of enthusiasm among critics or audiences. WHY NOT?!?? They mostly thought it was fine, and Mark Rylance got a Best Supporting Actor Oscar, but critics got suckered by The Revenant's nihilism and Leo DiCaprio's awards narrative. Meanwhile, say #TheTwoFriends, Bridge of Spies is a masterpiece and is upper-echelon Spielberg. It's great!

Apparently The Coen Brothers took a punch-up pass at the script. Which parts seem to showcase their sensibilities? Tom Hanks makes it look so effortless - which Hollywood Golden Age actor is Tom Hanks most like at this point in his career, and why in the world was his last acting Oscar nomination nearly two decades ago? Were Hanks and Rylance the original Two Friends?

Gotta wonder if Spielberg was listening in on the conclusion of this episode. "I wait breathlessly for him to make another movie like this. Because now more than ever we need movies like this. I need movies that don't take me away from the reality of the world and send me to another dimension; I need movies about how good people can be. Movies that aren't maudlin or saccharine but hopeful! With an earned hope. About hard work, and hard decisions." One year after this recording was laid down, tune in for The Post!

Milestones and Ephemera[]

  • Abandoned nickname for the Producer: Standing Ben
  • Spielberg: back in the rack!
  • Fact Points awarded: 5
  • This movie was a multiple nominee and winner at The First Annual Blank Check Awards including:
    • Griffin: #3 on his top 10 of the year
      • Best Supporting Actor - Mark Rylance
      • Best Actor - Tom Hanks
      • Best Director - Steven Spielberg
    • David: #7 on his top 10 of the year
      • Best Supporting Actor - Mark Rylance - Winner
      • Best Director - Steven Spielberg