Episode #181

Taking Woodstock is an episode focusing on the movie of the same name, as part of the Podback Mountcast miniseries covering the films of Ang Lee. Posted 9 September 2018.


Alex Ross Perry is in to talk about the Ang Lee movie that seems to be more or less universally considered his worst movie. As a Blank Check guest, he's realized that his specialty now seems to be the weird movie in the director's filmography that is forgotten or overlooked or just plain doesn't exist.

Alex has become a very good friend of the show, to the point where he was actually professionally inspired by the miniseries that was playing as he worked on planning an upcoming project! Try and spot the Verhoeven influences in a future movie he directs!

So, Taking Woodstock. What was Demetri Martin doing in this movie - was he good, was he bad, was he funny? And speaking of funny, was this supposed to be a comedy even though it had, like, four funny lines in the whole film? How many name-actors appeared in this thing, even though seemingly none of their characters got any resolution? Why does Ang Lee insist on setting some of his movies against huge historical events, and then not showing anything about those events - this is starting to feel like he's trolling viewers sometimes. There's no Woodstock shown in this movie? Is there even a needledrop of any period music??? (Although, it sounds like classic-rock-hater Alex is okay with that - he's a metal guy.)

How many AARP Awards did Ang Lee win for this?

This episode set a new record time for a single episode with a featured guest, clocking in at 2:35. Yes, for Taking Woodstock. Why not?

Milestones and Ephemera

  • Alex offers his hot takes on which of the March Madness 2018 options float his boat - sorry Hal Ashby and Sam Raimi, but congrats Martin Brest and Elaine May.... and congrats to Michael Mann, because David may just require that miniseries to happen. Stay tuned.
  • Buckle up for Griffin's epic Martin Scorcese anecdote from the set of Vinyl
  • Ben's review of the movie's acid-trip depiction: realistic and pretty accurate
  • Young Griffin's standup act: high-concept, involved props and glitter
  • Alex Ross Perry has a new film screening right now, he thinks, Her Smell starring Elisabeth Moss, Cara Delevingne and Dan Stevens... IMDB page


  • A giant sandwich rings the doorbell. What? Um... Griffin says that that he knew he would need something to eat, so he reached out on ZipRecruiter to... hire a sandwich? To be eaten? Alright, well, okay. ZipRecruiter - look for the best candidates for your open job positions, and get a free trial period with the promo code blank. www.ziprecruiter.com/blank
  • For the first time, a post-credits scene with an ad read! It's for Abrams Books’ new release The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together by Adam Nayman. David says it's not only a beautiful looking book, the author did a lot of good critical writing in looking at the Coen Brothers' career progression. It's even kind of Blank Check-y in that way. Find out more at the publishers' page, Abrams Books.

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