Slate.com has a good article about John Cusack’s most recent film, War Inc. It didn’t have a big run at theaters and I missed it there but am looking fwd to watching it on DVD, as I do with most of Cusacks’ movies. The suggestion in the article that War Inc is essentiall a remake of Grosse Pointe Blank set in a foreign country (it even includes John’s sister, Joan, as his secretary again) does not put me off a bit. Grosse Point Blank is not just one of Cusack’s best movies it is one of my favs. The wierd, off-beat humor is terriffic and signature to Cusack’s performances going way back.
I’m a big fan of 80s teen angst films, of which John Hughes is the recognized guru, but the non-Hughes films that Cusack did are among my very favorite. They include, Better Off Dead, a great dark comedy about teen suicide, Say Anything, one of the best teen angst movies of all time, and One Crazy Summer, which features a young Demi Moorer, pre-Bruce Willis and pre-boob job.
The article also mentions another recent film by Cusack, Grace is Gone, which I’ve also yet to see but currently have on hold hear at the libary where I work. Along with War Inc., the piece marks this as a sort of political activist phase for Cusack, but it points out that his kind of activism is different from those Tim Robbins ilk.
The article also compares Cusack, as an actor, to Tom Hanks but with interesting differences. Check it:
Writing about Grace Is Gone in the New York Times, Stephen Holden called Cusack “Hollywood’s second most reliable nice guy, after Tom Hanks,” and while it’s indisputable that sheer likeability is essential to both actors’ personae, there’s something about the comparison that seems off. Maybe it’s that Hanks seems so solid, a bastion of family values and Hollywood bona fides, while the never-married, Chicago-based Cusack has a mercurial, off-kilter quality; fast-talking and fidgety, he always appears to be halfway out the door but eager to get in one last point before he goes.
The article concludes with the author speculating that Cusack would likely begin writing more of his own scripts, offering links to couple examples of the actor’s writing abilities. Such a move on Cusack’s part would be all to the good, as far as I am concerned.
For you consideration, John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler, reciting his career aspiration, a very GenX moment in movies:
I used to know this little speech verbatim and would recite it when asked about career aspirations.
And, Cusack as Lane Meyer, in Better Off Dead. the burger scene:
Great animation, eh.
For those of you who don’t reconginze the fat fuck boss, he’s from the Porky’s movies.