Grosse Pointe Blank

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Details At A Glance

Category Black Comedy Theatrical Trailer(s) None
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1997 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 103:01 minutes Other Extras None
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 2,4 Director George Armitage

Warner Home Video
Starring John Cusack
Minnie Driver
Alan Arkin
Dan Aykroyd
Case Amaray
RRP $34.95 Music Joe Strummer

Pan & Scan/Full Frame None MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Macrovision ?
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes

Plot Synopsis

    "The people are all the same as they were 10 years ago. Only expanded". Ahh, the high school reunion. A time to reminisce, lie about how successful you are, get drunk, and maybe get laid. Martin Q. Blank (John Cusack) has made something of himself, after he left Grosse Pointe 10 years ago, standing up Debi Newberry (Minnie Driver) on prom night in the process. Problem is, it's kind of hard to boast about the fact that you are a professional killer. And, to boot, you're kind of sick and tired of what you do for a living, anyhow. His somewhat reluctant analyst (Alan Arkin) has a suggestion - "Don't kill anybody" - which is kind of hard to comply with in his line of work.

    Martin's been given a job to do in his home town on the weekend of the reunion, but he just can't seem to get his act together and do the job, so he decides to go to the high school reunion instead. Who knows, maybe Debi will take up with him where they left off 10 years ago on prom night. And, he's being pursued by Dan Aykroyd to join in a professional killers' union.

    In short, I loved Grosse Pointe Blank. The comedy is deliciously black, the characters suitably believable, and the cameo by Joan Cusack as Marcella is hysterical.

Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer was very sharp and very clear. Shadow detail was generally pretty good, though at one point, a comment is made about Martin's tie, which is not at all clearly defined in the image at the time. This is either due to deliberately warped cinematography or more likely to a lack of shadow detail at this time. There was no low level noise.

    The colours were beautifully presented, with vivid greens and browns. Some very brief shots exhibited a trace of colour bleeding, but this was of no consequence.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of small amounts of aliasing at times on some of the motor vehicles. Film artefacts were present occasionally, but they were never intrusive.


    There are three audio tracks on this DVD; an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, an uncredited French Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack and an Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack. I listened to the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

    You cannot change audio selections on the fly, and must do this via the main menu.

    Dialogue was a little soft at times, and hence a little hard to hear over ambient noise at times.

    There were no audio sync problems with this disc.

    The musical score by Joe Strummer was infrequently present, with much of the score provided by 1980s and more contemporary music. The music was very well suited to the on-screen action at the time, and helped to create some excellent moments of irony.

    The surround channels were not heavily used, except during action sequences, when gunshots were spread nicely throughout the soundfield.

    The .1 channel was used lightly to support the action sequences and the music.


    There are no extras on this disc. Nada. Nil. Zip. The Amaray case has a small booklet which lists chapter stops, but this doesn't count as an extra. Neither does the little piece of paper stating that the disc is compatible with Region 4 players even though the disc label says Region 2.

What's Missing / What's Extra

    We miss out on;     The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;


    The main menu is plain and functional. It is 16x9 enhanced.


    Grosse Pointe Blank is a great movie presented on an excellent disc. The Region 4 version of this disc is superior to the Region 1 version of this disc.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is good.

    The extras are non-existent.

Ratings (out of 5)

Extras nil

© Michael Demtschyna
6th July 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer