Sunday, March 22, 2009

Day Fifty-Nine: The Blues Brothers (1980) - Rank 3.5/5


There are times in my life when I reflect back upon a movie favorably, not necessarily because it was a good film, but because there was a fun or unique experience attached to it. The night of my going away party from the Village Eight, whereupon all attendees recreated the race from "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" as they went from the theatre to the host's apartment on the deserted streets of St. Matthews, is marked with a fond memory of the group "MST3K-ing" "Equinox." I found "Polar Express" enjoyable, because I was recuperating from an injury and was doped up on hydrocodone. Plus, it was in 3-D. My first viewing experience for "Blues Brothers" was as a midnight film, sitting next to my friend whom I've gotten to know through the midnights, Kevin. Kevin had won the Halloween costume contest before "Dead Alive," earning him his personal film pick. His manic laughter throughout the film quickly became contagious, and his taunting of the Rocky Horror attendees across the hall was nothing short of hilarious. "You've chosen poorly..."Blues Brothers!"...don't make me douse you with Cheese Whiz!" Good times.

The movie itself wasn't bad, though I'm not a huge fan of John Belushi (and I guess studio execs aren't either since I haven't seen him in anything for a while...Boooooo!). However, the standard zaniness that accompanies John Landis films was present, which kept me entertained (especially the manic car chases which hailed back to the grindhouse racing films of a decade prior). The film was peppered with dozens of fantastic cameos, from musical guests like Cab Calloway and Ray Charles, to character actors like Charles Napier or John Candy. My personal favorite role was that of the head of the Nazi clan, played by the ever-brilliant Henry Gibson. There was one scene where he was show to be painting a model of an eagle with gold paint, while smoking a corncob pipe and listening to classical music while surrounded by Nazi paraphernalia. I damn near fell on the floor laughing from the amalgamation of silly imagery.


As for the Blues Brothers themselves, I'm not sure what's so funny about them. In the absence of their musical guests and guest stars, their role is minor and humor is pretty absent (though, once again, I'm not a Belushi fan). That, and the plot is fairly shaky. Thankfully though, the scenes with only the Blues Brothers on screen are few and far between, which kept the movie, and myself, rolling.

Watch the Trailer

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