One of my all time favorite actors from the 80’s is John Cusack who starred in such great films as Say Anything…, Tapeheads, One Crazy Summer, and even High Fidelity. So, I was cruising through Netflix trying to decide on a film when I came across Grosse Pointe Blank and decided on it for today. Martin Blank (Cusack) is a professional hitman who has sort of lost his way and just needs to be found or at least realize what he wants out of life. Against his intuition, he goes back home to Detroit where he’ll attend his ten year high school reunion. While there, he runs into his old high school sweetheart Debbie Newberry (Minnie Driver) that he ran out on ten years before and he decides to try and fix that relationship while letting go of his lifestyle. The film also stars Joan Cusack (Working Girl) as Marcela, Alan Arkin (Argo) as Dr. Oatman, Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters) as Grocer, Jeremy Piven (Smokin’ Aces) as Paul Spericki, Hank Azaria (Mystery Men) as Steven Lardner, K. Todd Freeman (The Cider House Rules) as Kenneth McCullers, Michael Cudlitz (The Walking Dead) as Bob Destepello, Mitchell Ryan (Lethal Weapon) as Mr. Bart Newberry, and the film was directed by George Armitage (Miami Blues).
There are things you should know about getting into a John Cusack film that is starring him and one is that Joan Cusack is probably in the film. The second one that you can expect is that the soundtrack to the film is probably incredible so you should pay attention to that. The film featured cuts from amazing bands like Echo & The Bunnymen and The Cure for example. The other thing you should expect from a Cusack film is that Cusack is going to be stealing the show by commanding the screen with his underdog like qualities. No matter the role, you are rooting for him to succeed and that is what I love about his films. This one adds the element that he is a professional assassin which means we get some bad ass action sequences in the film as well. The film itself is absolutely awesome and definitely a film I wish I had seen a heck of a lot sooner than I did. I really loved the fact that Alan Arkin was in the film as the scared psychiatrist who has to continuously deal with Cusack’s character throughout the film. It adds to the overall comedy of the film and Dan Aykroyd definitely does that as the rival hitman. So you can definitely see all the crazy directions this film goes, but it’s enjoyable because the story is awesome. Everybody normal hates the idea of going back to a high school reunion, but hey that’s how it goes. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade because the acting was great and the soundtrack is amazing.
I was looking for something to watch and I typed in Matthew McConaughey’s (Killer Joe) name on Netflix and stumbled upon The Paperboy. I am a huge fan of Matthew’s independent films so it was a natural choice to check this one out. The film stars Zac Efron (Neighbors) as Jack Jensen, a paperboy for a local Florida newspaper that is owned and operated by his family. Jack’s brother Ward (McConaughey) is a writer for the Miami Times who comes home with a fellow writer named Yardly (David Oyelowo) to investigate a case where a man named Hillary (John Cusack) may or may not have been falsely accused of crime and sent to Death Row. They are doing it as a favor to a woman named Charlotte (Nicole Kidman) who has been writing love letters to the man. Things get complicated when Jack falls in love with Charlotte and things he didn’t know start to unravel. The film also stars Scott Glenn (Urban Cowboy) as W.W. Jansen, Ned Bellamy (The Shawshank Redemption) as Tyree, Nealla Gordon (Lee Daniels The Butler) as Ellen Guthrie, Macy Gray as Anita, John Fertitta (The Iceman) as Sam Ellison, and the film was directed by Lee Daniels.
I just noticed that I have reviewed a lot of films for this challenge that have featured actors that starred in the film The Shawshank Redemption. I don’t know, I just thought it was a nice little tidbit. Anyways, I have to say that I truly enjoyed the film and the fact that Macy Gray narrates the story. It’s a story that seems like bright story that will feature someone getting saved from execution, but it’s not the case as the film just gets dark. There are so many spots in the film that get dark real quick like the scene when Efron’s character discovers his brothers dark little secret. Zac Efron does an amazing job in the film as it mainly focuses on him and his love for Charlotte. Nicole Kidman still looks fantastic after all these years as she was 44 during the filming of this film. John Cusack plays an amazing hick in the film as he is essentially a swamp person and David Oyelowo does a terrific job playing a con man newspaper editor (You’ll see exactly what I mean when you watch the film). I have nothing but good things to say about the film that is gritty, intense at times, and innocent as well. Every actor in the film does one heck of a job and I really enjoyed the editing of the film which I think helped. There is a pretty intense prison visitation orgasm scene between Kidman and Cusack that you’ll have to check out that can get awkward. The film is currently on Netflix and it’s worth checking out. I am giving the film an A- for a final grade.
One of my all time favorite actors from the 1980’s is definitely John Cusack who starred in many classics like One Crazy Summer, The Sure Thing, Tapeheads, Say Anything, and so many more. In 2000, he starred in the Stephen Frears (Philomena) film High Fidelity. In the film, he plays record store owner, compulsive list maker Rob Gordon, a man that could use a little growing up emotionally. One day, his girlfriend Laura (Iben Hjejle) leaves him and Rob can’t figure out for the life of him why it happens to him. So, he develops a top five list of break ups in his life and he gets to the bottom of them while trying to recuperate his own life along with his crazy employees. The film also stars Jack Black (Orange County) as Barry Judd, Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption) as Roy, Todd Louiso (Thank You For Smoking) as Dick, Lisa Bonet (The Cosby Show) as Marie, Catherine Zeta-Jones (The Mask Of Zorro) as Charlie, Joan Cusack (Say Anything) as Liz, Lili Taylor (The Conjuring) as Sarah, Joelle Carter (American Pie 2) as Penny, Natasha Gregson Wagner (Urban Legend) as Caroline Fortus, and Sara Gilbert (Roseanne) as Anna.
While this can be filed as a new age romantic comedy film for John Cusack, who was used to starring in those back in the 80’s, also manages to do one thing as well. That is it combines a love for music and vinyl which is right up my alley. This was one of those films that I had only seen bits and pieces of, but I am glad I saw this. If you know John Cusack films, then this is a pretty particular film for him because he is constantly breaking the fourth wall and talking to you which he has done plenty of times in the past. It’s that touch of the 80’s that they can’t seem to get rid of, but i like it because I like being talked to. The film sort of has it all from drama, romance, a little comedy courtesy of Jack Black, kick ass music, and the amazing Catherine Zeta-Jones. The film did at times attack pop culture as to say that it wasn’t music with heart or a soul which can be true some of the time. One thing that I found pretty cool is that there is a list online of all the top five lists from the film which you can check out here. You should also be checking out the soundtrack which was as I mentioned before absolutely amazing. Meanwhile, I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.