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John Cusack Double Header – GROSSE POINTE BLANK and HIGH FIDELITY Blu-ray reviews

Two awesome John Cusack movies arrived on Blu-ray for the first time from Disney, High Fidelity and Grosse Pointe Blank. I normally prefer to do separate reviews, but decided to go ahead and do this one as a double header. Cusack may play the same character that he has since Better Off Dead, but at least he always seems to have some memorable characters. Many of you may still be pissed at him from the lackluster 2012, but spin either of these discs and you will be reminded of how awesomely neurotic he can be.

I will start off with a review of Stephen FrearsHigh Fidelity. The movie follows Rob Gordon (Cusack), a floundering record store owner as he navigates through life after a recent break up. He begins to examine his past relationships with the help of his employees played by Jack Black and Todd Louiso. The supporting cast is strong on this cool character piece, and includes Lisa Bonet, Tim Robbins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joan Cusack, and Lili Taylor.

Cusack continues his trend of breaking-the-fourth-wall, and talks directly at the camera on a number of occasions. If you are a fan of Say Anything, and I am, then you will feel right at home with this movie. Gordon is basically an older version of Lloyd Dobler. Black and Louiso are fantastic because they are completely different from one another. Every scene that Black appears in, he steals the show. If you saw Jerry Maquire, you will remember Louiso played a similar character in that film as well.
High Fidelity has very few special features on the Blu-ray that make it worth while to many collectors. The picture quality is the best part of the disc, and evens out the worse-than-expected sound quality. The other bright point is the conversations with Writer/Co-Producer Cusack and director Stephen Frears. There are also the obligatory deleted scenes segment, but as always they were deleted for a reason.
Next up is Grosse Pointe Blank. Directed by George Armitage, the film stars Cusack, Minnie Driver, and Dan Aykyroyd. The supporting cast is great with this one as well, and includes Alan Arkin, Joan Cusack, Jeremy Piven, Hank Azaria, and Jenna Elfman.

Cusack plays Martin Blank a contract killer in this dark comedy. After getting a reminder for his10-year high school reunion he begins to question his career and decides to return home to take one final contract after vanishing before graduation. While in town he is able to rekindle his high school romance with Driver’s character.

I love how Blank tells all of his old high school friends the truth, that he is a contract killer, and they react as if he is joking. Aykroyd and Cusack have a comedic relationship as two competing killers. One of the most humorous parts of the story is Aykroyd’s interaction with Cusack to get him to join the killers union. Each of the scenes that they are involved in, especially the breakfast scene, is awkwardly hilarious.
The Blu-ray for Grosse Pointe Blank has zero special features, and the picture and sound quality is not on par with other Blu-rays.  It frankly pisses me off that the disc is labeled an “Anniversary Edition”, because there is absolutely nothing special about it. Studios need to stop slapping labels onto discs unless they are willing to load the disc up with awesome special features.
In conclusion, I would definitely pick up High Fidelity on Blu-ray, but stay away from Grosse Point Blank. It is a shame too, because the latter has an epic soundtrack of retro songs. I would love to see some making of documentaries, cast interviews, and a commentary. Hopefully someday Disney will decide to do that. I guess it will have to be the 30th Anniversary!
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Jim Napier

Jim Napier

Jim has been a self-proclaimed super geek ever since he got his first computer all the way back in 1992– and he has been ‘plugged in’ ever since. Fed by a steady diet of movies as a kid, he has expanded to new platforms to fuel his inner geek! Movies continue to feed Jim’s creative side, while technology is constantly changing and creating new toys that woo and draw him in!