‘Grosse Pointe Blank’ 15th Anniversary Blu-ray Review

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'Grosse Pointe Blank' 15th Anniversary Blu-ray Review 1

I can’t believe it’s already been fifteen years since ‘Grosse Pointe Blank‘ first arrived in theaters. This has been one of my favorite John Cusack films for years, and one of my favorite comedies of the nineties altogether. So I can’t tell you how excited I was to find out that ‘Grosse Pointe Blank‘ was finally coming to blu-ray this year for it’s fifteenth anniversary. The movie is the perfect blend of off beat comedy, action, and romance, all rolled together with an excellent cast including Cusack, Minnie Drive, Dan Aykroyd, and Alan Arkin. Disney has given us a pretty solid disc, and I for one am happy to finally have it on blu-ray.

Martin Blank (Cusack) is a hit man with a serious problem. He’s seeing a therapist (Arkin) for his personal issues, his best friend is his secretary, and he finds out that his high school reunion is just around the corner.  The one thing he wants to avoid is going back to his hometown, but unfortunately for Martin, his last hit will be there, on the weekend of the reunion. Begrudgingly, Martin heads home to Grosse Pointe, Michigan, only to rediscover his feelings for his old high school flame Debi (Driver). But as his high school reunion begins to unfold, and with rival a rival hit man (Aykroyd) hot on his heels, Martin’s life begins to unravel into insane hilarity, making sure Grosse Pointe will never be quite the same.

‘Grosse Pointe Blank’ is one of those great little films that only comes out once in a great while. It’s a very funny movie, that is also  full of action, romance, and heart, even if it’s a bit dark and twisted along the way. It’s a hard balance to strike, but director George Armitage and the writers found a way, and it works perfectly. One thing I was worried about was if the movie would hold up fifteen years later. It’s been quite a while since I had seen the movie, and I was worried that the way I remembered the movie was more through the eyes of nostalgia and less of how good the movie actually was. I’m very happy to see that not only does the movie hold up as well today as it did when I first saw it, but it’s actually better than it was the first time I saw it. The comedy seems sharper, the action more over the top and hilarious, and the cast just clicks so well. This movie fires on all cylinders at all times, making it a perfect storm of entertainment.

I think that John Cusack’s character, Martin Blank, may be one of the best roles he’s ever done. I’d go as far to say he’s almost as iconic as Llyod Dobbler from ‘Say Anything…’ , who many recognize as. Cusack plays the depressed, semi-unhinged assassin who isn’t sure where his life has gone. He’s so funny in the film, and for an assassin, he’s incredibly likable. He’s also a bit of a hopeless romantic, something he himself doesn’t expect, when he goes back home and falls for his first love, Debi, all over again. That’s what makes the character so great, is there isn’t just one side to him. We see the serious, the romantic, the comedic, and the personal, and Cusack is just great at it. That’s why I love his character so much in it. But Cusack isn’t the only one who shines. Minnie Drive is very good as Debi, the girl who Martin left behind. She’s a great with Cusack, and the two have amazing chemistry, it’s almost palpable. I like her loveless DJ who isn’t sure about the world around here, which is rocked when Martin comes back into it. And of course, one can’t forget Dan Aykroyd as Grocer, Martin’s rival hitman, and one who wants Martin to join his League of Assassins. It’s a hilarious, and different, turn for Aykroyd that we don’t normally see. The opening moments with his character are hilarious, and almost a bit scary, when we see him come out guns blazing as a bellhop at a hotel. It’s not something we normally associate Akyroyd with, but his wit is still there, and he steals many, many scenes from Cusack. But my favorite side character may be Alan Arkin’s Dr. Oatman, who wants nothing to do with Martin since he found out he’s an assassin. It leads so much comedic tension and banter, the scenes that he and Cusack are together are some of my favorites from the film.

Not surprisingly, Disney has once again given us a top notch blu-ray release, from a purely technical stand point. While ‘Grosse Pointe Blank’ may not be the best looking blu-ray, it’s hardly a slouch. This is the best I’ve ever seen this movie, I was used to the VHS and DVD copies, so I couldn’t believe how great the movie looked on blu-ray. The transfer is solid, but it does have some minor issues. There’s a bit of banding in the background in a few scenes, and some is a bit soft, but it’s still a solid 3.5/5 for me on the picture scale. The audio on the other hand is top notch. This movie bolsters an incredible soundtrack, one that really gets to flourish with this 5.1 DTS HD track. This is the best the movie has ever, and probably will ever, sound. I’m very impressed. And it’s not just the music that gets a boost from this 5.1 track, but the dialogue as well. It’s crisp, it’s clear, doesn’t sound muffled at all. The action scenes get a nice kick as well from the upgrade. It’s just a very impressive upgrade from the way I remember watching the movie. Sadly, the movie doesn’t come with any special features, but just to get the movie on blu-ray is enough for me to not get too upset over that.

‘Grosse Pointe Blank’ is not only one of the finest comedies of the nineties, it’s what I consider one of the most perfect movies that’s been made. It’s a perfect storm of comedy, drama, romance, action, and adventure with an incredible cast and great direction by George Armitage. Disney has given us a great a top notch blu-ray release that gives fans a chance to really enjoy this movie like never before. I’m glad to see that the movie was treated so well with picture and sound, and while I’m sad there’s not special features, I’m just glad to have this movie on blu-ray, something I didn’t think would happen for a very long time. This is definitely one that fans should add to their collection, and if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend checking it out. Now is as good as time as any, especially with this nice new high def transfer. ‘Grosse Pointe Blank’ comes highly recommended.

Score: B

  • ‘Grosse Point Blank’ Comes to Blu-ray August 7, 2012 (chipandco.com)
  • ‘High Fidelity’ Comes to Blu-ray August 7, 2012 (chipandco.com)
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5 thoughts on “‘Grosse Pointe Blank’ 15th Anniversary Blu-ray Review

  1. What a great movie. I can’t believe it has been that long. Fun to share with a new generation.

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