Movie of the Day – Blank Check

I had to come back to this movie after my recent string of early 90s movies that passed themselves off as kid/family entertainment.  I remember Blank Check as a wise-cracking kid film that shows how far a million dollars can go in 1994 and the sort of wish fulfillment that I dreamed of if I had the sort of cash that the kid had.  I mean, come on, a castle, a wall of tv’s and all the toys you could want!  Well this movie does offer up some terrible life lesson and glaring defects in the banking and enforcement industry.  Also, I guess a million dollars was a lot in 1994, but that wouldn’t even seem like a lot in 2012, that is if this movie were to be remade, which it might cause Hollywood loves to do remakes.

Brian Bonsall stars as the eleven-year-old Preston Waters, who is low-kid on the family totem pole — his father Fred (James Rebhorn) lectures him on saving his money, while his older brothers, Ralph (Michael Faustino) and Damian (Chris Demetral), are pushy bullies. The final insult arrives when Preston is invited to a friend’s birthday party — held at an amusement park — and Preston doesn’t have enough money to go on any of the good rides. Preston wishes to the gods in heaven that he had his own money. At that point, on-the-lam criminal Quigley (Miguel Ferrer) takes his cue and runs over Preston’s bike with his car. Eager to leave the scene before the cops arrive, Quigley hurriedly gives Preston a half-written check and vamooses. Preston looks down at the check and notices that the amount has not been filled in, so he obligingly completes the transaction by adding six zeroes and a one — for a million dollars in cold cash. This amount, by a strange coincidence, happens to be the exact amount that Quigley has deposited in a money-laundering bank run by his partner-in-crime Biderman (Michael Lerner). Preston goes to the bank, cashes the check, and purchases a neighborhood mansion with all the toys he has ever dreamed of owning. But Quigley and his gang want the money back, and they are on their way to Preston’s new home for a housewarming he will never forget.  (source)

God I remember seeing this movie in theaters and being jealous of the awesomeness that was the castle of Mr. Macintosh.  I mean, a million dollars bought a ton of shit back then, thanks to a strong economically prosperous time in our decade along with the strength of the dollar.  Again I am saying this as an adult now and can look back on this movie.  As a kid though, I wanted to definitely have this life.  Cool toys, all the electronics to keep Circuit City afloat (dated reference) and even the weird, slightly statutory relationship that Preston had with the bank teller played by Karen Duffy.  Sure, there is the risk of getting murdered by Miguel Ferrer and Tone Loc, but it’s the 90s and that sort of thing happens.  Also Tone Loc was getting mad movie roles in the early 90s, good for him.

When I look back at this movie, I am shocked by the clear negligence and imcompetence of the banking industry and parental guidance that is lacking.  How in the holy hell does a kid by all this high end electronic and castle, without a single person questioning what is happening.  I guess this could be metaphor about how money makes us all blind and thus the almighty dollar rules all.  Also the movie kind of takes a turn with the Ferrer and Tone going after the kid, almost on the cusp of murdering him in cold blood.  But through a series of water slides, elaborate and painful traps that could maim and kill someone, the kid comes out on top.

This is pretty much Home Alone, but with more money spending and threats of violence.  I am certain that kids begged their parents for a Macintosh computer so they could lamely attempt to counter fit their own checks to live out the American dream.  Sorry to be a buzz kill, but I couldn’t even figure out how to properly work a Macintosh at that age, so I am sure that no kids could do it either.  It was a total wish fulfillment movie, with all the cool things we want in a bachelor pad along with the affections of Karen Duffy, who was dynamite in this movie.  Man, Preston, you luck SOB.  Anyways, Blank Check is more so rooted in my love of growing up in the 90s and seeing these sort of Disney films that appealed to the young, male audience.  It was a good movie, that entertained and kept my attention, mainly cause it got me thinking about what I would do with a million dollars.  Dolla Dolla Bill Y’all.

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

2 Responses to Movie of the Day – Blank Check

  1. I saw this one in theaters when I was a kid but I wish I could say I remembered more about it. I’d probably watch it if I caught it on TV

    • Nick says:

      I got to say, it doesn’t hold up well to time, but then again I have more memories tied to this movie during my adolescence. Still, one million dollars doesn’t seem like a lot of money in this day and age. It was a simpler time in the 1990s to swindle money from banks and spend it on cool mansions.

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