The Blues Brothers


Elwood: “It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses.”
Jake: “Hit it.”



release year: 1980
genre: musical comedy
viewing setting: home Bluray 11/27/15 and home DVD 12/26/98 and at least a dozen times before

synopsis: In order to save the orphanage where they grew up, musicians/criminals Jake and Elwood attempt to get their band back together so they can play a show and make some money.

impressions: This is absolutely hilarious, a highly entertaining movie of epic scope. It combines great music, funny lines, well-choreographed dance routines, amazing car chases, and numerous celebrity appearances. The Blues Brothers were born as a skit on Saturday Night Live and then actually started making albums - and they were good. So then they got a feature film in 1980, and it's a classic. This is one of those movies with lots of little details; here's one example: in the soul food restaurant, when the brothers are trying to convince their old guitarist to rejoin them and his wife is singing out the reasons he shouldn't...one moment, Jake and Elwood are sitting there watching, and the next moment, they've joined the other people dancing as she sings. It's very low-key, and that's just one example, but the movie is filled with these.

things to watch for: from 2:01-2:12 there occurs one of the greatest car chases in movie history

something this movie has that no other movie has: a car chase through an occupied mall

acting: John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd are in top form here, taking their SNL skit onto the big screen, complete with singing and dancing. There are a lot of supporting roles, ranging from the serious (Carrie Fisher as a mysterious would-be assassin, Charles Napier as a redneck musician) to the musical (Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles, Cab Calloway.)

final word: This is one of those movies that, like Die Hard and Tombstone, should be in the dictionary under the definition of its particular genre. If you don't enjoy this, it's not your destiny to watch comedies.

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