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Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) - DVD Review

By Widge - posted 11.28.01 @ 11:57 pm
Grosse Pointe Blank DVD cover art


Written by: John Cusack, D.V. DeVincentis, Tom Jankiewicz & Steve Pink
Directed by: George Armitage
Starring: John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, Joan Cusack


  • Theatrical trailer

Released by: Walt Disney Video
Region: 1
Rating: R
Anamorphic: No.

My Advice: Rent it.

Martin Blank (Cusack) has received the dread call. You know the one I'm talking about. The ten year high school reunion call. But Martin is not your average prodigal son. You see, he's a professional killer and he's good at his job. He disappeared into the military after high school and well, here he is. But he feels he's losing his edge, and to make matters worse: not only is he face to face with the girl (Driver) he ditched at senior Prom, but an enterprising fellow hitman (Aykroyd) wants Blank to join his new professional killer's union--or else.

Ah, it's fun to revisit this film. Back when I first reviewed it in its theatrical run, I was hoping for a sequel. But that and a TV show both have stalled somewhere in development hell, so oh well. But hey, it is loads of fun. Not only do you have all of the neurosis that you've come to expect from a Cusack performance, but he's actually a very effective action protagonist. It's a shame he hasn't developed this further, since he's been kickboxing ever since Say Anything and actually looks convincing dealing with firearms.

But sharing in the fun is Minnie Driver, who I first ran across in this flick, and of course, Dan Aykroyd--having way too much fun with the aforementioned firearms. Alan Arkin's extended cameo as Cusack's character's shrink is most amusing as well. The film itself is enough to be pleased that it's out on DVD.

However, if you're going to put out a disc with no features on it, then don't label the theatrical trailer and some recommendations for other films as "Bonus Materials". First of all, the trailer is terrible and gives away the entire film. Second of all, the "recommendations" are for four films: The Rock, Phenomenon, Supercop and Sling Blade. I have no idea what the relationship is between Blank and Blade. Who knows? Also, you'd think there would be theatrical trailers at least for those films to convince us we should buy/rent them.

Fans of the film or of Cusack or going to want this on DVD regardless of its featurelessness. But for the rest of us, we should hold out until a better version comes along and just rent as necessary.

Dan Aykroyd and John Cusack from Grosse Pointe Blank

Dan Aykroyd and John Cusack from Grosse Pointe Blank

Grosse Pointe Blank DVD menu

Grosse Pointe Blank DVD menu

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Widgett Walls is Need Coffee's Chief Cook and Bottle Washer. He is the author of the novel Mystics on the Road to Vanishing Point, and two collections of short stories, Magnificent Desolation and Something Else: The Complete First Season. He is also co-author of the children's book There's a Zombie in My Treehouse! All of those books are available in paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon. He is also the narrator and publisher of the first unabridged recording of Seneca's letters, available here. He is active on both Twitter and Facebook. (If you befriend him on Facebook, do say you came via Need Coffee.) He lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. He hardly ever sleeps.

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