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A musical comedy action fantasy should not work, especially when one
considers that it is the first SNL skit-to-screen adventure (which,
has shown us, is a decidedly mixed bag). But this one does. Two of the
best car chases in cinematic history bookend the film, and in between
are show-stopping musical numbers, raw humor, Illinois Nazis, and a
seriously disgruntled ex-fiancee. And it all makes perfect sense in the
context of the universe created by Aykroyd (who co-wrote), Landis (who
directed), and Belushi (his barely contained zeal provides the battery
for this film).
Jake (Belushi) and Elwood (Aykroyd) are the former front men of a broken down blues band (actually a stunning collection of blues talent) which disbanded after Jake was arrested several years before. Upon his release, he discovers that his boyhood orphanage home is about to be foreclosed upon for non-payment of property taxes. Beaten up by a nun, sung to by James Brown, and touched by God, Jake sees the light and seeks to put the band together for one last show -- a charity benefit to save the orphanage.
Their journey takes them from James Brown to Aretha Franklin to Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker to Cab Calloway. The movie showcases the overwhelming talent of singers, musicians, and genres long out of vogue with popular musical tastes. Indeed, this movie is a vehicle for giving these performers a chance to shine -- to bring their music back to the masses and ultimately into pop-culture immortality (to go along with their more prestigious musical immortality).
This film is guaranteed to make you tap your feet, laugh out loud, gasp as both a mall and and entire fleet of Chicago police cars are destroyed, and believe in the magical powers of an old cop car. Like I said, it's a musical comedy action fantasy.
And it works.
1/ The music in this film is outstanding, with roles for Aretha
Franklin, Cab Calloway, John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles and more....
that's not really surprising.
2/ One of the finest car chases in cinematic history (The Italian Job and Smokey and the Bandit 2 are the only others that come close)
3/ John Belushi's own brand of comic genius throughout the movie
4/ Mulitiple memorable scenes and one liners
5/ Cameos from Steven Spielberg, Twiggy, Frank Oz, etc.
6/ Carrie Fisher as the psycho love interest intent on revenge.
Nuff said, watch it and love it 10/10
It started out as a bit on Saturday Night Live, and grew into probably THE
most successful movie ever to have had it's genesis in that particular
medium. And who would've thought that a couple of character actor/comedians
would emerge from an innovative four-or-five minute act as `legendary'
bluesmen of their era? Which is exactly what John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd
did after first taking their show on the road as an opening act for the
likes of Steve Martin, and then parlaying it into a feature length motion
picture, `The Blues Brothers,' directed by John Landis. When Joliet Jake
Blues (Belushi) is released from prison, his brother Elwood (Aykroyd) is
there to pick him up, in-- of all things-- a used police car. And it
doesn't bode well for this particular pair of out-of-work musicians, who on
a visit to the orphanage in which they grew up discover that it is about to
be shut down unless some taxes are paid on it, and soon. But what can Jake
and Elwood do to help? They're broke. Well, after a bit of pondering and a
couple of good production numbers later, Jake sees the light (literally),
and it all becomes perfectly clear: They have to put their band back
together and stage a concert, the proceeds of which should more than pay for
the taxes on the orphanage. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it,
and don't tell Jake and Elwood it's not possible, because they're on a
mission from God...
It's a fairly simple plot, told in a straightforward manner by Landis, who creates a visually stimulating and aurally satisfying movie that follows the adventures of the Brothers Blues as they travel around the good state of Illinois, seeking out the members of their former band and formulating their plan to save the orphanage. Along the way they run afoul of a country/western band, incite the ire of some Illinois Nazis, ingratiate themselves to the diners in a classy restaurant, wreck an entire mall and generally wreak havoc wherever they go. It's a total rush of excitement, backed with a blur of real blues, served up by some of the truly legendary performers of our time, like Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles, Cab Calloway (doing his trademark `Minnie the Moocher') and John Lee Hooker. Not to mention the `band' itself, comprised of Steve `The Colonel' Cropper, Donald `Duck' Dunn, Murphy Dunne, Willie Hall, Tom `Bones' Malone, Lou `Blue Lou' Marini, Matt `Guitar' Murphy and `Mr. Fabulous' himself, Alan Rubin, all there to back the incomparable vocal stylings of Joliet Jake and Elwood Blues, who are determined to save their old home, now under the auspices of `The Penguin,' Sister Mary Stigmata (Kathleen Freeman). But one question remains to be answered: Who is Camille Ztdetelik (Carrie Fisher), and just what is she trying to do to Jake?
Without question, this was a great gig for Belushi and Aykroyd, who to millions of people ARE, and will forever be, the `Blues Brothers.' And forevermore shall they be linked in the memories of anyone who has seen this movie, heard their records or caught their act on SNL. Dan Aykroyd has gone on to have a successful and varied career in movies, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor (for `Driving Miss Daisy' in 1989), while John Belushi, of course, left us quite suddenly and way too soon, just as his career was on the rise. Were they great singers? Of course not; but they were accomplished performers who sagely surrounded themselves with the best of the best, a `band's' band that really made this gig work, because the music worked. Add to that the energy, excitement and passion they themselves brought to it, and you have their formula for success, which can be measured by the strong following they still enjoy to this day. And what a pity that Belushi isn't around to realize it.
Memorable in supporting roles are John Candy as Burton Mercer (who uttered the unforgettable line, `Orange whip? Orange whip?--); Henry Gibson as the steel-eyed head Nazi; Steve Lawrence, as agent Maury Sline; Charles Napier as Tucker McElroy, `Lead singer and driver of the Winnebago'; and Jeff Morris, who will always be remembered as Bob, owner of `Bob's Country Bunker,' the place with `both' kinds of music, Country `and' Western.
The additional supporting cast includes Steven Williams (Trooper Mount), Armand Cerami (Trooper Daniel), Layne Britton (The `Cheese Whiz'), Ralph Foody (Police Dispatcher) and John Landis (Trooper La Fong). Also, watch for cameos by Paul Reubens (Waiter), Frank Oz (Corrections Officer), Twiggy Lawson (Chic Lady) and Steven Spielberg as the County Clerk. A thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable movie, filled with memorable scenes and lines you'll be quoting for years to come (Aykroyd, in that `clipped' Elwood Blues delivery, to Tucker McElroy: `We'll, ah-- we'll talk to Bob--'), `The Blues Brothers' is a great film-- not in the sense of a film that should have walked away with a bagful of Oscars, but great for what it is and for the special place it holds in the history of the cinema. And, yes, it does have a place all it's own. Because a movie doesn't have to be `Citizen Kane,' or `Gone With the Wind' to be `great.' It's the ones that make you feel something for whatever reason, or make you laugh; the ones you remember because they're unique or have left their imprint on our culture in some way. So, check `All of the above,' or add your own reasons. For all that it's worth, this is the magic of the movies. I rate this one 9/10.
Where to begin? I WISHED the adults in my life took me to see it when
it first came out! But alas, it would be years later when I'd first see
it, on TV, and on VHS, then many more times on TV. READ the list of
cast from start to end! You will be amazed who was in this movie!
Including Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia in Star Wars), and even Steven
Spielberg acted in this movie too!
Everyone should be required to see this movie, as kids, teens, and adults! Every age group will enjoy this movie. NICE family movie too! The kids and adults will 100% enjoy watching it. It is sooo sad that many of those music legends are forgotten, are not taught about in any school, and remain unknown! I never knew who Ray Charles was until I finally saw this movie! Possibly the first ever movie in which the soundtrack sold as well as the movie. There is even a tribute to Elvis at the very end. The re-watch factor is NICE - one never ever gets tired of re-watching this movie over and over! Which is unheard of with present day movies.
Forget the sequel... completely disregard it 100%... this film is the ultimate cult classic and the greatest musical ever made because it wasn't too corny! Fantastic Blues/Rock/Jazz/Swing... very nice stuff... John Belushi Rules... this is my all time favorite movie EVER! From the one-liners to the music to the performances to the dialog... everything about it was just so witty, original, unique, intelligent, superb, hilarious... if only more (or dare I say... less) SNL Spin-Off Film Characters were in TRULY ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC MOVIES LIKE THIS ONE... the world would be a much better place in my opinion! GET THE DVD AND DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT GOING ANYWHERE NEAR BLUES BROTHERS 2000! AT ALL!
Music is essential to the world of musicals. That's obvious. So, tell
me, why do some musicals have crappy music?
Anyway, i turned to 'The Blues Brothers' and first time in my life my musical ears have been cleaned. How can such a music genre be so... excellent. Blues music is influential, and so is this film. Since watching this movie, i have found myself engrossed to the world of Blues music. How can a movie be anymore influential?
This movie is not for the faint hearted, because it will grab you and shake you up real good.
The Blues Brothers is definitely in my book one of the best comedies of
all time. I couldn't believe my eyes that this film is not on the top
250, well, John Landis doesn't get enough credit in all. He brought us
the most memorable comedies of all time: An American Werewolf in
London, Trading Places, Animal House, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. He
brings us The Blues Brothers, two popular characters off of Saturday
Night Live who were at the height of their popularity. John puts them
in Chicago(this is the best Chicago movie to watch next to Ferris
Bueller by the way)and makes this into one of the greatest comedies
ever. The great thing about this film is it's not gross out, it's not
the obvious silly humor, it's just humor that keeps you laughing every
minute. Dan and John are such a great comedic duo, they are without a
doubt the most memorable duo off of SNL I would say.
Jake and Elwood go to the orphanage where they were raised and learn that it is being shut down due to insufficient funds, so they want to reunite their band and put on a show to help save the place. On a mission from God they claim, they gather up their old band members to put on the show of the decade! But along the way, Jake and Elwood get into quite a bit of trouble with the police, the Illinois Nazi party, a girlfriend of one of their band members, and a girl who just seems to keep going after them and wants them dead.
With great and endless cameos from great people like Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles, terrific Chicago landmarks, endless hilarious jokes, The Blues Brothers is the perfect comedy that is one of the best movies of all time. The concert scene is unforgettable and the scene that will always get me down on the floor in tears is where they go to the restaurant, John's line of "How much for your women?!" was just too priceless! You really have to see this movie, I guarantee you, you will die of laughter.
This definitive cult classic combines two of the pioneers of Saturday Night Live in a hilarious comedy, indulging into their characters from the show. John Belushi and Dan Akroyd are Jake and Elwood Blues, two eccentric brothers who are "On A Mission From God". They seem to inevitably find themselves in large amounts of trouble. The most fun is living vicariously through them as they stick it to the police and other authority figures and evade the consequences. Blues fans will rave over the fantastic soundtrack full of classic blues tunes from the biggest stars. This film is one that will have you quoting lines, singing along, and quite possibly dancing like Elwood. By the way, sunglasses can be worn at all times, black never goes out of style, and dry white toast is quite possibly the world's perfect food.
This is an excellent movie, rich with comedy and music. It's about 2 corrupt brothers, who wish to help a nun. The story starts with Jake (John Belushi) being released from prison, where Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) picks him up. The story proceeds with them trying to honestly earn 5,000 dollars. They start by getting a little "churching up" and then try to put "the band" back together. With them continuing, and playing shows for meager amounts of money, finally get a break, and make a huge gig in a fancy hotel! While avoiding hundreds (literally) of cops, and "They can't catch us--we're on a mission from God". While making friends (and enemies) along the way, providing a side-busting movie! A must have for all good DVD collections!
What an impressive following this large movie is recently having! It
would've been just another cult classic to begin with! THE BLUES BROTHERS
easily the best film collaboration with Dan ("Dry White Toast") Aykroyd,
John ("4 Fried Chickens & A Coke") Belushi. While it gets too overly
far-fetched with the action plot, there is reason to sit back and chow
on the comical hilarity and nonsense thrills that only John Landis can
master perfectly into a comedy.
This is such a big deal after all because it offers a walloping combination of soul tunes, car chases, special effects, and crazy characters like female assassin Carrie Fisher and Nazi leader Henry Gibson. Put everything else together and you have one of the wildest experiences ever. If you want to know why it's so wild, the supporting cast of dancers, prison inmates, and law enforcers really shows that the movie itself is very hard at work! The music was supposed to be the main attraction in the first place, with real-life singers James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and Cab Calloway. They add to the theme of this "bluesy" movie with their own style of performing familiar tunes. The real stars are Aykroyd and Belushi who can be both funny and talented on and off the stage. Probably the duo's all-time best performance is the singing numbers. But after the singing, we await the sudden amazement of car crashes and smashes that make up the excitement, with the largest impact ever since the 1974 cult classic GONE IN 60 SECONDS. It certainly has "Made In Chicago" stamped all over this picture! There are tons of entertaining moments that never go blind. Just sit back and watch it all go boom!
Aykroyd and Belushi would have fared well in GHOSTBUSTERS had there been more movies produced, but this remains to be THE comedy classic for the wild SNL pair. DVD owners must not miss this one as it makes a valuable addition to your library. It's not really the masterpiece of a genius, but it is a good-natured effort in using different film genres in one complete package. Definitely recommended for Landis lovers out there.
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