Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Top 5 Movie Guide: John Cusack

This week, with the upcoming release of "The Raven", we decided to jump at the chance to do our Top 5 favorite films for John Cusack. Cusack has been a great actor since he was a teen star in the 80's (fringe member of the Brat Pack). Since then, he's acted in a variety of roles, but generally tried to stay out of the spotlight. He's said that the majority of the roles he's turned down have been due to the mass attention and commercialization they'd receive (i.e. Bill Paxton's role in "Apollo 13", Batman/Bruce Wayne in "Batman Begins", Ricahrd Gere's character in "Chicago").


But Cusack, born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, has still managed to put together a wonderful filmography, full of a broad array of movies, now spanning four different decades. So check out our picks below, featuring some of our favorite films from this unconventional actor's career.



Alex Schopp -

     1. High Fidelity (2000)

In the classic chicken or the egg dilemma: did I love this movie and it inspired my wanting to make lists for everything, or did I love making lists and thus loved this movie because of that? Either way, it's a fantastic movie and easily my number one selection here. And fitting that it sits atop this list.
     2. Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
Quirky, dark comedy. Funny succession of events surrounding hitmen in a small town at a high school reunion. Great supporting cast in this one as well!
     3. Eight Men Out (1988)
Really good look into the events surrounding the 1919 World Series in which the Chicago White Sox players deliberately threw the games in order to make some extra money. Cusack is ultimately one of the good guys though, as Buck Weaver, who, along with 'Shoeless Joe' Jackson, try to single-handedly win the series by themselves.
     4. Being John Malkovich (1999)
What a unique film. If you're looking for the most abstract film on this list, this is easily the winner. A very interesting concept, and pretty humorous throughout.
     5. Better Off Dead...(1985)
A fun look at an extremely dramatic teenager who's world has ended after his girlfriend breaks up with him. Just one of those classic 80's teen dramadies that most of us grew up on.

Ben Foutch -
John Cusack is one of my favorite actors. This is a mix of watchability and performance.

     1. High Fidelity (2000)


     2. Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)


     3. Being John Malkovich (1999)


     4 1408 (2007)


     5. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)


Derek Clem -
It feels so wrong not having any of his 80's movies on my list.

     1. High Fidelity (2000)
I assure you that I'm not putting this at number one just because Cusack's character is a top 5 list maker. Regardless of that fact, this is a great movie.
     2. Being John Malkovich (1999)
For my money, this is the most interesting work Cusack has done.
     3. Con-Air (1997)
All around rockin' movie with, from the good guys to the bad guys, rockin' characters.
     4. America's Sweethearts (2001)
Here they are, Cusack and Zeta-Jones, together again. (Zeta-Jones is also in "High Fidelity")
     5. Pushing Tin (1999)
He speaks so fast in this movie! Such a pro actor. I could never talk that fast.

Nathan Hinds -

      1. Con Air (1997)

I actually didn't even feel like it was overkill putting this movie on another list since I legitimately love Cusack's role in this film.
     2. Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)
One of the best comedies to come out in the last couple years.
     3. Stand By Me (1986)
A great adventure movie that I feel like I haven't watched enough.
     4. Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
The premise is ridiculous, and one of the reasons this film is so fun.
     5. 1408 (2007)
Really solid thriller.

Andy Schopp -
This is an extraordinary example of an actor who can do anything you need in a movie, and do it well. He has fun and is always enjoyable, even if the movie isn't.

     1. High Fidelity (2000)


     2. Sixteen Candles (1984)


     3. Con Air (1997)


     4. Stand By Me (1986)


     5. Hot Tub Time Machine (2010)


And there we have it. Our Top 5 favorite John Cusack films! There's a nice mixture of staples that were prominently displayed, with lesser-known Cusack films/roles sprinkled throughout. The big winner, and to no surprise from anyone at this blog, was "High Fidelity". It hit on four of the five lists, but was featured in the #1 spot on all four of those lists. As many of us eluded to, it seems extremely fitting that a film about a top 5 list maker took the top spot on these top 5 lists. The movie is great though and almost definitely the apex of this actor's career. Other top choices featured above were "Grosse Pointe Blank", "Con Air" and "Being John Malkovich", which all showed up on three lists, and "1408", "Hot Tub Time Machine", and "Stand By Me", which appeared on two apiece. But as always, we hope that you check out all of the films on these lists, and they offer a broad look into this actor's illustrious career.

So hopefully these film selections help you to expand your knowledge of John Cusack's filmography - or at the very least inspire you to go back to some of the classics - and guide you to better and more enjoyable viewing experiences all-around.

Happy watching!