|Year Released||1997||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||103:01 minutes||Other Extras||None|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||Amusing placement of Doom II. Otherwise, no.|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Grosse Pointe Blank works for me as a black comedy because of the attention to detail that was paid in the process of character development. I certainly can relate to Martin as a man caught in a profession which he would sorely like to escape in spite of how it pursues him. The cameos by such actors as Hank Azaria and Benny Urqiduez (a martial arts action star, he plays Felix La PuBelle, the man Martin stabs in the neck with a pen) do a good job of filling out the population of the film. Incidentally, the fight between Felix and Martin is ranked second out of the twenty best fight scenes listed by Ralph magazine (in an issue that came out long before audiences experienced the three-way saber duel in The Phantom Menace, but it's still a respectable list). The comedy element of this film is very subtle, and the unkind would say very weak, but overall the film works well as twisted entertainment. It's not the sort of film you can watch every day, but it's a good one to invite the friends or workmates over to view with you for a few laughs.
The colour saturation was mostly spot-on, with vivid greens and browns completing the picture of Grosse Pointe's moderately urban, relaxed environment, and relaxing atmosphere quite nicely. Sadly, a few brief shots exhibited some colour bleeding, but these passed by so quickly as to be of no effect on the overall rating of the transfer, in my mind at least. MPEG artefacts were completely absent from the film, which is certainly a credit to the authors when you consider the amount of stress having over a hundred minutes of action film on one layer would place on the compression. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some aliasing on some car chrome and grilles, but nothing you wouldn't normally expect from a Warner Brothers sub-studio release. Film artefacts consisted of some white flecks on the negative, but these were very very minor and very occasional, thus unobtrusive.
The English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles contain only the occasional reference to who is actually speaking at any one time, which makes them pretty damned useless in some sequences.
The score music is credited to Joe Strummer, but very little of the audible music is actually his work. Most of the music is provided by musicians from the 1980s, most of whom were probably doing so under contractual obligation. All of the music was very well-suited to the on-screen action, creating an appropriate feel of black irony. Strummer's score music failed the basic test of connection to the onscreen action, but the contemporary music passed it with flying colours. The use of Motörhead's Ace Of Spades during the convenience-store battle would have been a nicer touch if the song had been kept at a constant level and used continuously, as it is a great song which Triple M would do well to listen to and get an idea of what actual driving music sounds like.
The surround presence was almost non-existent except during action sequences, where gunshots and whizzing bullets were placed nicely within a wide field. The subwoofer was used lightly to support the action sequences and music. Fundamentally, this is one of those Dolby Digital 5.1 remixes that revert to mono when the action sequences end.
The video quality is quite good.
The audio quality is sporadic, but good enough overall.
Extras? From one of the smaller studios that Warners distribute?
|DVD||Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output|
|Display||Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm), 16:9 mode/4:3 mode, using composite and S-video inputs|
|Audio Decoder||Built In (Amplifier)|
|Speakers||Panasonic S-J1500D Front Speakers, Sharp CP-303A Back Speakers, Philips FB206WC Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Subwoofer|