Before we get started today, I have a personal rant…and this is probably just because I’m getting old and cranky, but since when did The Violent Femmes become so mainstream that their music is hawking freakin’ burgers at Wendy’s?  I shit you not, I was watching TV with August last night, and as the commercial is touting it’s new something-or-other burger, Blister in the Sun is playing in the background!  I have to tell you, it TOTALLY offends my not-so-delicate sensibilities to hear one of the best alternative/punk riffs from the eighties on a commercial.  Sigh.  Okay, rant officially over.  But along those lines, today’s movie post ties in nicely *g*.

MusicViolent Femmes (1982)…  The Femmes are one of those iconic bands that it does my heart good to hear.  Keep in mind that I was in high school when their debut album came out, and even though I was a good country girl *g*, I immediately fell in love with their sound and lyrics (as I’m sure many a disaffected teen did).  Never mind that the power of this album is still evident…Blister in the Sun was one of the primary songs for the movie Grosse Pointe Blank (see below), and was recently used as the theme song for the A&E show Psych (which I totally approve of, BTW, because it actually fits).  While Blister in the Sun and Kiss Off are the most recognizable songs, us old fogies remember Gone Daddy Gone (yeah, the Gnarles Barkley cover).  My fave on this album (besides Blister) has got to be Ugly.  The Femmes undeniably influenced a bunch of bands, most notably Weezer (whom I also adore), when it comes to infectious riffs, and just plain fun music.  Maybe it’s because when this album came out, the artists themselves were still in high school (and damn, wouldn’t you like THAT kind of track record?), but their lyrics ring true, and the beat just can’t be missed!

MovieGrosse Pointe Blank… How can you possibly go wrong with a movie that features John Cusak as a hit man, his sister Joan as his able assistant, Dan Akroyd as his maniacal competition, Jeremy Piven as his old high school chum and Minnie Driver as the long-lost flame?  I mean, c’mon folks…how many “romantic” movies have an unrepentant hit man as their main character?  Just the thought of it makes me smile.  So the premise is this…Martin Blank (John Cusak) heads home to his hometown of
Grosse Pointe, Michigan for his ten-year high school reunion.  He’s getting out of the biz (after becoming quite wealthy), and this is his way of reconnecting with the “real” world.  He’s agreed to take one last job (and I won’t spoil who the hit is…it’s too delicious), and attend the reunion as an extra bennie.  While he begins to romance the girl he left standing in her living room for the prom (he disappeared to join the Army), he has to contend with Akroyd’s character, who wants to unionize the world of contract killers, and at the same time foil a hit on himself, for a job gone sour in the recent past.  This is a freakin’ hysterical movie, only made more amusing, and somehow more poignant, by the balance of high school remembrances and out-and-out violence.  There are so many “wow” moments in this movie, but the two that strike me the most are the moment when, after helping Martin dispose of a body, Piven’s character takes a deep swing of his drink, extends his hand to Martin and says, “Hi, I’m Paul, and you are?” AND when Martin explains the moment of his revelation that this isn’t want he wants to do with his life any more.  This isn’t one of those movies where you sit back at the end and say “well, that was a 90-minute time waster.”  I’ll bet, if you watch this, you’ll buy the DVD, just like I did.

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