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K-19: The Widowmaker is episode 133 focusing on the movie of the same name, as part of the Pod-19: The Widowcaster miniseries covering the filmography of Kathryn Bigelow. Posted October 29, 2017.

Summary

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. [1]

Richard Lawson makes his way back to "Blank Check with Griffin and David" to talk about another military movie! Last time was army, this time it's navy; just needs an air force movie next time. Or possibly Coast Guard.

This was a blockbuster, or at least it was supposed to be. But what an odd story to put in front of American summer-time audiences. And Bigelow has done fun movies before, but woof, this one is the polar opposite of fun.

Harrison Ford - what happened to his sense of humor in this movie, and was this a turning point in his career? National Geographic provided a lot of financing for this project - should this have been one of their TV channel specials instead? Right in front of our eyes, Bigelow is shifting to a detail-oriented, austere impartial approach to hyper-realistic stories - should this script have gotten the River of Ham treatment instead? The plot has no twists, and everyone knows the ship is doomed but we just watch them keep re-committing to the boat - why didn't the characters understand the concept of sunk costs? (Get it? Sunk??? Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week.)

This was the first $100 million budget for a woman director, a fact that the studio really pushed hard in promotion. Bouncing this high-profile blank-check nearly killed Bigelow's career. Could she rebuild by doubling down on the serious? It'd be a short Blank Check miniseries otherwise... tune in next time to see what happens!

Milestones and Ephemera

  • Road To Perdition: a summer movie
  • The midpoint between John Goodman and Tom Hanks: Jim Belushi
  • Featured in this movie: #TheTwoKinseys
  • Something Shailene Woodley eats: clay

References

  1. K-19: The Widowmaker on Audioboom. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
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