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The Blues Brothers (DVD)

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      04.05.2011 15:32

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      To anyone who wants a good laugh, then this is the film for you!

      The film is about Jake Blues (John Belushi) is paroled from prison after being inside for three years for armed robbery. His brother Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) then picks him up outside of the joint. After visiting their childhood home (a Roman Catholic orphanage) which is run by Sister Mary Stigmata (Kathleen Freeman) who tells them that the place will be closed down unless they get $5,000 within eleven days. Jake later suggests reforming their old band The Blues Brothers to try and help raise the money to save the orphanage. Their "mission from God" is easier said than done, as after finding out that Elwood's license was suspended they have the police after them! Also later in the film, the two have a mystery woman after them. Throughout the film, there are loads of comedy scenes to keep you laughing such as Jake doing flips in the middle of a church. Songs to keep you singing throughout and even after the film is over. The film also has special appearances from performers such as Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles, Cab Calloway, and John Lee Hooker!

      Definitely a film I would watch over and over again, as it is that entertaining. I highly recommend this film as the comedy in this film is priceless in my opinion. It gets me laughing every time. After watching the film, I cannot get the comedy lines or the songs out of my head. One of the songs that I sometimes find myself singing well miming haha, to the song "Sweet Home Chicago" which is one of many good songs that is sung in this film.

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      11.04.2010 13:35
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      Watch it

      This review might also appear on theentertainmentking.blogspot.com and other websites under the names ns1209 and mariofan123.

      The Blues Brothers is based on the Saturday night live sketches. The film is directed by John Landis. The film follows Jake and Elwood Blues. At the start of the film we see Jake being released from prison. They then go to the old church where they were brought up as orphans and see the nun who looked after them. They discover that the church is going to get shut down as funding has been cut unless it can raise $5000 within 11 days! Jake and Elwood decide to try and get their old band back together again and do a big concert to raise the money! Along the way they make many enemies, get shot at and have a couple of pretty cool car chases.

      The cast is as follows:

      John Belushi ... 'Joliet' Jake Blues (as Jake)
      Dan Aykroyd ... Elwood Blues (as Elwood)
      James Brown ... Reverend Cleophus James
      Cab Calloway ... Curtis
      Ray Charles ... Ray
      Aretha Franklin Mrs. Murphy
      Steve Cropper ... Steve 'The Colonel' Cropper
      Donald Dunn ... Donald 'Duck' Dunn
      Murphy Dunne ... Murphy 'Murph' Dunne
      Willie Hall ... Willie 'Too Big' Hall
      Tom Malone ... Tom 'Bones' Malone
      Lou Marini ... 'Blue Lou' Marini
      Matt Murphy ... Matt 'Guitar' Murphy
      Alan Rubin ... Alan 'Mr. Fabulous' Rubin
      Carrie Fisher ... Mystery Woman

      The film is very funny, entertaining and has some good musical qualities. I think it is classed as a musical comedy but I think it could appeal to nearly anyone and must be one of the only "musicals" I like. It features some classic songs whether Shake a Tail Feather, Think, Gimme Some Lovin or Sweet Home Chicago. All the songs are good and you can even buy the soundtrack which is one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard.

      The acting is pretty good but not the best you will ever see. The dancing and singing though is really good and the main characters do very well! The number of side plots is fantastic and it involves Nazi's, romances and another band. The film even held the record for the most cars ruined when it was made and is now considered somewhat as a cult classic.

      Overall this is a fantastic film with a great plot, great music, good acting, some funny moments and is definitely worth watching even if you are not a musical fan. I suggest you pick up from Amazon as it is only £3.36 and would also recommend the soundtrack!

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      06.04.2010 19:56
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      recommended

      When John Belushi died in 1983, the comedy world lost one of it's true greats. However, we can certainly be glad that he did leave us with this comedy masterpieces.
      Jake (Belushi) and Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) are reunited in the first scene as Jake is released from jail. They then have to go "visit the penguin." The penguin of course being the nun that raised the two boys as Orphans.
      They find out that the orphanage is in desparate need of money, and she sends them off to get it.
      Wondering how they could possibly get it, they visit a church, where the minister is none other than the Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown. It is here that Jake "sees the light" and he realizes they have to put their old band back together.
      Comic hijinks ensue as they try to find and coerce each former member to rejoin. The restaurant scene alone is worth the price of the rental!
      Now naturally, the cops are on their tail for an incident that happened the same night Jake got out of jail, with John Candy playing the lead detective in search of the boys.
      Can the boys raise the money to save the orphanage before the cops catch up to them? Will Jake survive a meeting with his ex wife? (brilliantly played by Carrie Fisher) Can they escape from the various other groups who want their hides?
      Rent it and find out
      More than enough guest appearances, Brown as previously mentioned, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin put all they can into musical numbers that just want to make you sing along. And Belushi and Aykroyd are in top form on their own musical numbers.
      Just a great great movie.

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        01.04.2010 22:07
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        Two brothers look to regroup their blues band for one last time

        In the late 1970s, comedians Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi brought a new sketch to the Saturday Night Live show that has been producing comedian actors by the bucketload for a number of years. The sketch was two men who dressed in black suits, with black ties, white shirts, black hats and sunglassess. They liked blues music and called themselves the Blues Brothers.

        A few years later, the sketch became a film, released to rapturous reception, and has become the second highest grossing film to come from a Saturday Night Live sketch, losing out only to Wayne's World. Aykroyd and Belushi took the leading roles as Elwood and Jake Blues, and the bevy of characters used in the band on stage also took the big screen themselves.

        The plot takes up with Jake emerging from Joliet Correctional Facility (earning him the nickname Joliet Jake) to an awaiting Elwood, picking him up in an old police car. The two of them then decide that, due to the money they owe, they need to gather their blues band back together again for one last tour to raise the money. This follows them taking a trip to their local church (James Brown playing the preacher) and Jake seeing the light. The film then progresses as they set off on a musical adventure to regroup the band and play their last gig.

        The magic of Aykroyd and Belushi shows throughout as they rarely bat an eyelid at anything that happens (not that we'd see because of the sunglasses, which never come off!). Mini adventures along the way make things interesting, and I liked the way that various stars were given the chance to get a cameo. Twiggy, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, James Brown, Frank Oz, and Cab Calloway (brilliant Minny The Moocher from him) all get the chance, and I liked the way the balance of the magic of a promised huge end gig teeters with the fact that the brothers actually start getting chased by the law right from earlier on.

        By the end of the film, the band have a whole host of people after them, but it's the way they are undeterred in delivering this one special gig that makes the film worth it. The scenes that get you there feature some great music, such as Aretha Franklin singing 'Freedom' and Ray Charles giving us a roaring rendition of 'Shake A Tail Feather'. But it's the music at the gig that is the best, with 'Everybody Needs Somebody', and the well quoted intro, where Elwood thanks everyone for turning up, including the aforementioned police, that makes it magic, and I found myself singing along and remembering most of the dialogue, let alone the songs.

        The acting is good throughout, and the direction from John Landis is made to look like the easiest job in the world, due to the musical love throughout the film. No doubt Landis worked his usual magic to make this film flow as easily as it does, and the brilliant car chase scenes must have needed a good deal of control and practice before perfecting, and it's this apparent ease that Landis is good at portraying. The fact that Belushi and Aykroyd are on hand to provide undeterred cool from start to finish is a huge plus point, and the whole film is just really enjoyable.

        The comedy element is present throughout, not just with the presence of some funny acting or some situational comedy, but with the slapstick comedy that Aykroyd seemed to be so good at, with films like Dragnet not a million miles away in difference. You find yourself laughing at points, and even when there's a lot of chasing and guns firing, it never seems to be tense or too serious - there's always that comedy edge. Not surprising seeing as the film is based on a sketch from one of the most famous comedy shows in the world.

        I urge you to watch this. The soundtrack is awesome, and the film doesn't require a huge deal of concentration, as it has a basic plot that isn't made complicated by any unnecessary extra additions. A bevy of stars, some great music and a couple of hours of fun. Great stuff, and highly recommended.

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          30.03.2010 20:33
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          Six Stars.

          I'll come out and say it right up front...You're not going to hear a bad word about the Blues Brothers in this review. Sorry. It's not that I'm not being impartial, it's not that I'm a lazy reviewer - it's just that there's nothing bad to say.

          I must have been too young to remember the first time I saw the Blues Brothers (which probably reflects poorly on my parents..oh well). It's just always been a part of my world and...well, for most of my life, a big part of me.

          I've seen the movie more times than I'd care to think about, I've spent *weeks* listening to the soundtrack, I've seen the live show about 5 times, everytime it comes through town - I met the Blues Brothers at Universal Studios in Florida - and I've even got a fair amount of their Saturday Night Live stuff on tape...when you put it like that, I seem like quite a fan.

          Trying to concentrate on the film, though, I think it's fantastic. I'm sure other reviewer's will describe it as "dated", but I prefer to think about it more as "authentic" - it was made at a moment in time and everything about the movie feeds back into that time.

          The cast both is and are fantastic - obviously there's Aykroyd and Belushi, but beyond that - to have Ray Charles, Cab Calloway, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, John Candy, Carrie Fisher and John Lee Hooker all in the same movie is just fantastic - and all of them absolutely knock their performances out of the park. The rest of the Blues Brothers' band also do great jobs both acting and performing.

          As well as the AWESOME soundtrack, the movie has plenty of other things going for it - it's a true social commentary, it's funny - and it's got some of the best car-chasing ever seen on film. (I believe it's only recently that their record for destroying the most cars in a chase was beaten...)

          From start to finish, no matter how many times I watch the movie, I have a huge smile on my face - and that, honestly, is the hallmark of an absolute classic.

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            16.03.2010 10:01
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            A comedy you will love

            I'm sure some of us have been to Blues Brothers acts over the years and I've seen them acted out at weddings etc. The movie The Blues Brothers is a classic that was released in 1980. I watched it years ago and also again recently and it remains timeless and great fun. The movie itself is based on two Saturday Night Live characters by the names of Jake and Elwood Blues and are just a couple of singers who love to sing the Blues. They are famous and remain so to this day for walking about in black suits, hats and sunglasses. In addition to that they seem to have an amazing capacity for getting themselves into trouble.

            The pair they got to play their roles in the movie are fantastic. John Belushi plays Jake who is short and chubby and is the brother who is just out of prison when we catch up with him at the start of the movie. Dan Akroyd plays Elwood and he is the tall, more serious brother of the two. The pair of them are getting ready to start a new life when they stop into their old orphanage they used to be in and find that is has been closed due to lack of funds. They will need to raise about $5000 in the next few days in order to save their childhood home.

            The movie includes some great cameo performances by Arethra Franklin, Ray Charles and other famous musicians. The music for me really made this movie as you might imagine and was fantastic. Add to that the dialogue and action and it's great.

            As they travel up and down the country looking for band members they attract attention and their fair share of enemies along the way. The movie builds up and builds up to culminate in a funny chase scene. Will they succeed in their mission to save the orphanage?

            The Blues Brothers for me is a very entertaining, fun movie and can be enjoyed over and over again. It is a very wacky comedy that you will really love whether or not you like Blues music, but more so if you do.

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            17.01.2010 20:58
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            If you haven't seen it, watch it now. Like, this second. You won't regret it

            The Blues Brothers was a comedy act put together by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi in the late 70s for a musical sketch on Saturday Night Live. They were instantly popular and released an album in 1978. Then in 1980 they released a film, simply titled The Blues Brothers.

            The story is simple enough: returning to their Christian orphanage after Jake Blues is released from prison, the brothers find out that it will be shut down if the orphanage doesn't pay its taxes. So the brothers embark on a "Mission From God" to bring the Blues Band back together again, and make enough money for the charity.

            What's funny about this film is how much carnage these two seem to make. In between meeting legendary singers (Ray Charles, James Brown and Aretha Franklin), and run-ins with insane Carrie Fisher, they manage to avoid the cops, create much chaos as well as one of the biggest car pileups in movie history - on top of that, not a single bit CGI. The way the brothers play off each other is incredibly funny and as the madness escalates until its final epic chase (see hundreds of cops and army men storming into the IRA offices), you know it's going to be constant laughs throughout.

            This film, I'm going to agree with everyone, is a comedy classic and one of my favourites. It's got great music, comedy and a hell of a lot of style. Watch this one if you haven't already.

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            16.08.2009 06:14
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            One of the best in this genre...ever !

            The Blues Brothers is a 1980 Musical Comedy directed by John Landis and based on the Blues Brothers musical sketch from Saturday Night Live, starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, it also features performances from such artists as Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker and Ray Charles.
            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
            The Plot :

            "Joliet" Jake Blues ( John Belushi ) is released from Joliet prison after serving 3 years for Armed Robbery, Jake is picked up by his brother Elwood ( Dan Aykroyd ) in the "Bluesmobile" which is a battered former police car that at first irritates Jake as he has just been in prison, however after a demonstration of the vehicles capabilities Jake accepts the vehicle.

            The Brothers visit their childhood home, a Catholic Orphanage, there they learn that the orphanage will be closed down unless they manage to raise $5,000 to pay property taxes, Jake mentions it won't be a problem getting the money but the Orphanage director refuses to accept dirty money, after Jake and Elwood visit an evangelical church ( where the minister is James Brown ) Jake is hit by a light and believes he is given a message from God telling them they can raise the money by reforming their band.

            And so the Blues Brothers begin their quest to reform their band and alog the way manage to gain the attention of a group of Neo-Nazi's, the local police and a mystery woman who it seems is determined to kill the brothers.
            ---------------------------------------------------------------

            The Blues Brothers is arguably one of the most famous Musical movies in history, the Blues Brothers concept came about after a sketch on Saturday Night Live where Belushi and Aykroyd played, after that it was popular for SNL cast members and weekly hosts to attend a local blues bar owned by Aykroyd, it didn't take long for the Blues Brothers to evolve into a phenomenon and eventually the concept of a movie came about penned by Dan Aykroyd.

            Arguably the biggest highlight of the movie is the many musical performances, including my own personal favourite performance by Ray Charles , who plays a music store owner called Ray, but there are many others that are equally as good, however the movie isn't just musically strong, there is a strong script and strong comic acting by Belushi and Aykroyd, along with some good performances by the supporting cast, and of course who can forget the famous car chase which is memorable for the sheer amount of vehicles that were destroyed during filming.

            There is some shaky acting, mainly on behalf of the Blues Brothers backing band who clearly aren't professional actors, but thats ok as thats excusable as they're essential to the musical strength of the movie, if you're a fan of comedies, and a fan of music then this is a no-brainer, if you're a fan of only one of those genre's then this will still fulfill your needs, there really hasn't been a movie that has done what the Blues Brothers did so well since, this is essential viewing for any movie buff

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            30.07.2009 15:16
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            A truly fantastic and fun movie.

            Is there is modern classic musical then The Blues Brothers is it.

            Unless you have been living under a rock then you know that this movie is the story of jailbird Jake "Joliet" Blues (John Belushi) and his brother Elwood (Dan Ackroyd). Jake gets out of prison and his brother picks him up in an police car, dubbed the new "Bluesmobile". They set out to reunited their rhythm and blues band after being sent by the head nun of the orphanage where they grew up on a "mission from god" to earn enough cash to pay for the orphanage's upkeep. What follows is not only hilarious comedy, but also fantastic music.

            One would think that the stellar array of musical talent on display was enough to keep this film entertaining, but aside from some very great tracks, the film also shines through its supporting cast, with great performances from Carrie Fisher, John Candy, Frank Oz and even a cameo from Steven Spielberg! Also the comedy is top notch. Who cannot guffaw when Carrie Fisher blows up the hotel Elwood lives in and the brother and policeman walk away unharmed or when after a stunning mamouth car chase the Bluesmobile arrives in Daley Plaza, only to completely fall apart the minutes the brothers get out.

            If there is one movie that should stand as a true tribute to John Belushi's life then it is this the one.

            Anyone who has yet to see this film, you quite simply don't know what you're missing.

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            29.07.2009 12:34
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            A must see film

            'Use of unnecessary violence in the apprehension of the Blues Brothers has been approved.'

            Jake Blues (John Belushi) is released from Joliet prison after a three year stretch. He is picked up by his brother Elwood (Dan Ayckroyd) and they go and see The Penguin; a nun who's orphanage a place where Jake and Elwood were brought up is going to closed down. Jake and Elwood believe they are on a mission from God and decide to put their old band back together and raise the money needed to save the orphanage from closure by putting on a gig. However, wanted by the law, The Good O' Boys and The Illinois Nazis they are going to have a hard time doing it!

            Originally based on a Saturday Night Live skit, the band proved so popular that a film was planned. It has now become a bit of a cult film and has spawned many albums shows and a sequel. It is basically a comedy musical that easily blends action and blues music together.

            Ayckroyd certainly plays second fiddle in this film to Belushi's Jake Blues. Ayckroyd really doesn't have a huge amount to say in the film, but his deadpan delivery would later become a trademark of his later performances. Belushi is excellent, just showing what a tragic loss his subsequent death was on American comedy.

            The Blues Brothers also manages to cram in quite a number of high profile cameos from the likes of Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway and James Brown. Brown's appearance as the evangelist preacher is very memorable as is Calloway's performance of 'Minnie the Moocher' towards the end of the film.
            I would have liked John Candy's character to have been a little longer as I'm a big fan of Candy's comedy roles. I also got a little annoyed with Carrie Fisher's estranged and demented performance as Jake jilted lover who is out to kill him.

            The music is fantastic, mainly down to the Blues Brothers Band who were cleverly chosen for their musical backgrounds in Booker T and The MG's, Sam and Dave and Blood Sweat and Tears. Donald 'Duck' Dunn and Steve Cropper in particular stand out as really talented musicians.
            There are many classic moments in the film that stand out for me. The part where the band step in for The Good Ol' Boys at Bob's Country Bunker and play nothing but 'Stand By Your Man' and 'Rawhide'. The part where the Illinois Nazis' car falls off the end of the freeway (bizarre, but hilarious) and the ludicrous car chase that tops the film off.

            The Blues Brothers is a film everyone should see at least once. Me, I have seen it many, many times and there is still things I'm seeing for the first time in it. It is such a clever and epic film I urge everyone to go and watch it immediately.

            John Belushi ... 'Joliet' Jake Blues (as Jake)

            Dan Aykroyd ... Elwood Blues (as Elwood)

            James Brown ... Reverend Cleophus James

            Cab Calloway ... Curtis

            Ray Charles ... Ray

            Aretha Franklin ... Mrs. Murphy

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              02.07.2009 19:34
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              A brilliant film that I can watch over and over again

              The Blues Brothers is just one of those films that the whole of my family enjoy watching and if I'm honest that is really rare, as normally at least one of us isn't content with the film the others have chosen. The Blues Brothers however is a film that has something for everyone from music to car chases, humour to seriousness.

              == The Plot ==

              The films premise is rather simple and focuses around the two main characters Jake and Elwood Blues aka The Blues Brothers. The film begins with Jake's release from prison where he is collected by his brother in a recently purchased slightly antique police car and taken to visit the orphanage where nuns raised the pair.

              It is at the orphanage that they learn that the church has stopped its support of the nuns work and that unless the tax that is owed on the property is paid within 11 days it will be sold. On a 'mission from God' the pair decide to raise the money needed in the only way they know how - by singing for it. The brothers set out to put back together their blues band and stage a gig big enough to pay that tax. The road however is very long and definitely winding as they make a great deal of enemies everywhere they go.

              Jake: First you traded the Cadillac in for a microphone. Then you lied to me about the band. And now you're gonna put me right back in the joint!
              Elwood: They're not gonna catch us. We're on a mission from God.

              == The Cast ==

              The films main characters are Jake and Elwood Blues and therefore John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd who play them are the lead actors throughout. Other well-known names such as Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles and Cab Calloway play roles within the film and often take on the parts of characters with the same names.

              The acting throughout is brilliant and each cast member seems to be exceptionally suited to the character role allocated to them and therefore give tremendous performances throughout. The guest stars are brilliant and in many ways add an element if not more of humour to the storyline. I must say however that I can see how this appeal has and probably will dwindle as time progresses and the big names seem less big to the audience.

              == The Music ==

              The music throughout this film is brilliant and really makes the film the gem it is to watch. Without the music of course the film would have no point but it is the class of performance given for all the musical numbers that makes the film so endearing. Aretha Franklin's number is just marvellous, extremely comic and wonderfully theatrical. Belushi and Aykroyd also do brilliant jobs with all the songs sung by the Blues Brothers band and bring the spirit of the blues to life with each bar they sing.

              == Action and Humour ==

              The action within the film isn't full on and in your face like in some films of the same period. The action instead compliments the storyline and makes the film appeal to a much wider audience. The car chase late on in the film is a cinematic masterpiece in my opinion and brings the emotion of the chase to the forefront.

              It is however the humour of the film that takes the lead at most points throughout the storyline, as it the comic elements that help keep up the films pace and ensure that the simple storyline doesn't drag. Some of the humour falls within the slapstick area whilst other elements are based more on irony and sarcasm. This blend of humour mixed with the opportune appearances of big names makes The Blues Brothers a real pleasure to watch.

              == Closing Comment ==

              I must say that I really enjoy watching this film and am more than happy to watch it with my parents whenever they suggest it. It is different because it mixes so many film genres together in a clever yet still easy to follow and enjoyable way. A superb film in my opinion and one that everyone should be able to say they've seen.

              == Facts ==

              Release Date - 1980
              Certificate - 15
              Running Time - 2hrs 8 mins

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                21.06.2009 15:30
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                On a Mission from God!

                This film is based on the Saturday night live sketches which were created by John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd. Directed by John Landis, the film follows Jake and Elwood Blues, who following Jake's release from prison go to visit the old church in which they were brought up by nun's. Finding out that funding has been cut and that the home will be sold to the local authority unless $5000 in back taxes is paid in 11 days, the guys set out to raise the money and keep home their old school. The guys stumble upon the idea of getting their old band back together and having a big concert to raise the funds, the story then follows them attempting to find the old gang and have the gig.

                Cast:

                John Belushi ... 'Joliet' Jake Blues (as Jake)
                Dan Aykroyd ... Elwood Blues (as Elwood)
                James Brown ... Reverend Cleophus James
                Cab Calloway ... Curtis
                Ray Charles ... Ray
                Aretha Franklin Mrs. Murphy
                Steve Cropper ... Steve 'The Colonel' Cropper
                Donald Dunn ... Donald 'Duck' Dunn
                Murphy Dunne ... Murphy 'Murph' Dunne
                Willie Hall ... Willie 'Too Big' Hall
                Tom Malone ... Tom 'Bones' Malone
                Lou Marini ... 'Blue Lou' Marini
                Matt Murphy ... Matt 'Guitar' Murphy
                Alan Rubin ... Alan 'Mr. Fabulous' Rubin
                Carrie Fisher ... Mystery Woman

                As you can see from the cast, this film has got some musical quality, all the singers on display are chosen for their singing rather than acting, James Brown is on bone shaking form as a Reverend who makes a breakdancing Jake see the light, Aretha Franklin is a waitress with the most soulful voice in the world, John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles and Cab Calloway are in the film too and are brilliant, songs range from Think to Shake your moneymaker, Ackroyd is good as Elwood, all cool and quietly spoken, Belushi is manic as Jake in his greatest screen role, his pent up energy is incredible to watch.

                The film has a number of back stories involving nazi's, romances and the like, they all come together and the story is great fun, the cast do a great job, matching the energy of the music to great dancing and acting, this is a cult classic and brilliant for Saturday nights with beer and mates, I love Belushi in this film, he is the epitome of manic silliness and while the film thinks its cooler than it is, it is still very, very cool.

                The DVD is available on Amazon for £3.98, if your buying it for the music, definitely look out for the CD soundtrack too which is one of the greatest movie soundtracks of all time.

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                  11.08.2008 00:35
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                  I have looked at the many reviews for this film and read great eulogies to this film. Alas I cannot agree. What makes people rave about this inconsequential twaddle I just cannot fathom. Seemingly granted additional mythical status by one of the stars untimely death a few years later The Blues Brothers has become a cult. Like many cults the understanding of the cult is known to only those who subscribe to its status.
                  I have read those who consider John Belushi to be a brilliant comic talent cruell taken from us in his prime. Hogwash, Belushi (God rest his soul) was a limited comedy actor at best who played basically the same drunken, womanising role in all his films. Apart from his later ones where he added drug addled to his repertoire. One cannot help but feel Belushi made a career being Belushi.

                  Belushi played Jake Blues with Dan Ackroyd as his brother Elwood. The basic premise of this film is that on Jakes release from prison he is met by his brother and off they go to seek out the mother superior who raised them. The comic depth is immediately signposted by them referring to her as the penguin. Why do they go is never really explained but it soon becomes apparent that the orphanage needs money and the brothers are enlisted to earn it. The brothers dress in identical black garb including sunglasses and drive an ex-Police car. Total sum of cool characterisation equals fat zero.
                  Jake subsequently sees the light after meeting James Brown who like many other top rhythm and blues stars seems to be in there to give credibility. Sadly they fail. The reformed band goes through a predictable romp of epically dull proportions straining visibly to get a funny line. A country and western show goes awry due to musical differences and ends in a fight. Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles are patronised to an obscene degree. Cab Calloway does Minnie The Moocher which I suppose is some recompense. Frankly I would rather just have watched a concert given by the cameo performers.

                  A rare highlight is John Candy as the policeman who chases them. Now with Candy we are talking of a talent lost to the movies. Candy can act where Belushi and Ackroyd just pose. There are also cameos from Twiggy and Carrie Fisher but this is clearly not a film for women to feature in.
                  The film cost a lot of money and John Landis as director seems to have wasted most of it. The potential themes of white boys in a black mans rhythm and blues world are just not explored. The comedy rarely rises above the obvious and farcical. The performances of Ackroyd and Belushi are too dull and wooden. Many other reviews point to the chemistry which exists between the 2 brothers. Well there may have been chemistry on the set but it does not make it to the screen.

                  The Blues Brothers looks like an end-of-pier variety show with a mish-mash of disconnected appearances and walk on parts. Many people love this film, I can actually say I loathe it.

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                  23.01.2008 17:32
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                  Blues based musical comedy.

                  Apparently when this film came out and was released at the cnema it was not a success however over time it has become a classic. Now I may be wrong but I also remember reading that at the time it also set the record for most cars destroyed in a car chase which happens towards the end of the film.

                  For fans of blues music this is a great musical comedy film, now much of the acting is rather wooden after all musicians don't always make the cross over (think Madonna or Sting) but the two lead characters are the late great John Belushi and Dan Akroyd who both turn in great comic performances as the brothers Jake and Elwood Blues, Jake is just out of jail after serving a stretch for holding up a store in an attempt to get money for their band, when they hear that the orphanage they both grew up in is faced with closure as it owes $5,000 in taxes they pledge the rather cruel nun that runs it to raise the money.

                  Hence they go on a journey to reform their band even though they have all moved on, at the same time they must avoid the police as Jake has broken the terms of his parole, a woman intent on killing Jake (Carrie Fisher), a redneck country and western band and the Illinois Nazi Party.

                  There are a whole host of top blues stars who make an appearence and often break into song, Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles and John Lee Hooker to name but a few. Naturally the soundtrack is top quality and there are also some great lines in the movie and some funny scenes, my personal favourite is when they get a gig in a country and western bar and they perform a rendition of Rawhide however Belushi and Akroyd in a top class restaurant is also hilarious.

                  If you can see past the rather mediocre acting then this is a fun film to watch and is very enjoyable, being a fan of blues music helps as well but there are some good comedy moments and a couple of superb car chases. Definately worth checking out on DVD.

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                    28.03.2007 20:46
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                    Another classic, cult film

                    What’s in about?
                    ---------------------
                    Sleazy musicians, Jake and Elwood Blues, are charged by a nun with raising £5,000 to save the orphanage they grew up in. They decide to do this the only way they know how – through music!

                    Who’s in it?
                    ----------------
                    It’s virtually impossible to talk about the cast in this film, as it’s a star-studded one full of faces from the music and acting world.

                    On the acting side, Dan Aykroyd is Elwood Blues. Ghostbusters aside, this is arguably Aykroyd’s greatest role. The deadly earnestness with which he delivers his lines is superb (“Are you gentlemen police?” “No ma’am. We’re musicians”) and the perfect counterpoint to the chaos and lunacy that is going on around him.

                    John Belushi is also on great form as the anarchic Jake Blues, fresh out of prison, and seemingly in a rush to get back there as soon as possible. Crude, vulgar, selfish and egotistical, you should hate Jake, yet can’t help but enjoy the chaos he causes wherever he goes!

                    What really carries the film, however is the fact that there is real chemistry between Jake and Elwood – you can really believe they are brothers who have only been able to depend on each other all their lives. Their relationship is both funny and touching. Moreover, you do feel real sympathy for them, as their hearts are in the right place, even if the methods they use are somewhat misguided!

                    Carrie Fisher also has some great moments as “mystery woman” intent on bringing about Jake’s demise by increasingly ludicrous and over the top means, whilst John Candy walks away with every scene he is in (“Orange whip?”)

                    Then, of course, there is the support cast to die for… Ray Charles, James Brown, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Cab Callaway and John Lee Hooker (amongst others) all put in appearances. Some of these are not so hot on the acting front, but more than make up for it with their musical contributions and the sheer energy and sense of fun they bring to the film.

                    Is it any good?
                    -------------------
                    It’s difficult to know what makes this film so great. As a comedy-musical, it succeeds on both fronts (unlike the lacklustre Blues Brothers 2000 sequel): the musical sequences are great and the comedy is, at times, laugh out loud funny. Better still, both elements mix together perfectly. It’s not a case of a nice song, followed by a few gags, followed by another song. The two are combined, even within the same scenes and the blend between them is just right.

                    If someone put a gun against my head, I would still find it very difficult to pick out my favourite scene – there are just so many. Possibly it might be the early scene, in which the brothers visit the Mother Superior. There’s some great visual gags here as, squeezed into the kind of chair you used to use in primary school, they feel the full force of her wrath as they inadvertently keep swearing. Or maybe it’s the scene in the mall where, in the mist of all the chaos, the boys spot some bargains (“This mall has got everything!”)Then again, how about the scene where they are trying to blackmail “Mr Fabulous” into rejoining the band. This scene features some fantastic comedy from Belushi in particular. In truth, there’s barely a scene goes by when you won’t laugh at something. The film also offers ridiculously quotable dialogue too that many people will recognise even if they’ve never seen the film (“It’s 106 miles to Chicago. We’ve got a full tank of gas, half a packet of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.)

                    Then, there’s the musical side. As mentioned above, the music is integral to the whole film, and gives the various cameo performers a chance to show off their talent. The music is actually quite varied and there’s scarcely a weak song in the whole film. You’ll already be familiar with many of the songs, which helps you enjoy them even more. Surprisingly, the Blues Brothers themselves prove to be quite adept musically – particularly John Belushi, whose rendition of “Everybody needs somebody to love” will get you going, along with the rest of the crowd. Basically, if you don’t spend half the film tapping your feet in time to the music, you’re probably dead!

                    As if music and comedy weren’t enough, the film also has some very impressive action sequences – in particular some spectacular car chases (or should that be car wrecks?) How no-one was killed making this film is, frankly a miracle. Particularly during the final extended chase to Chicago, cars crash and smash into each other in increasingly over the top and spectacular ways, sending goodness knows how many cars to automobile heaven. It’s impressive and inventive stuff – with not a hint of CGI anywhere in sight! True, there’s only so many times you can watch a car crash (well, there is for me anyway!) and towards the end, in an effort to top what has gone before, the crashes do get increasingly silly and unlikely. Even so, taken within the context of the whole film, the sequences aren’t too OTT (or more precisely, they are so ridiculously OTT, that somehow they manage to appear normal!)

                    If you were looking for a stick to beat the film with, then your best ammunition would come from the plot, which is a bit of a mess and sprawls all over the place. It also doesn’t really make a whole heap of sense. It takes in disgruntled Country n Western singers, incompetent police, mad nuns and, best of all, Illinois Nazis - all of whom seem to be in the way of the boys and their “Mission from God.” But frankly that’s missing the point. The plot is really only there to provide something on which the songs and the comedy elements can be hung. Criticising this film for having an incoherent plot is a bit like criticising a kitten for being cute. The fun is in the comedy, the music and the mayhem. It’s such fun that it doesn’t have to make sense and the chances are, you either won’t notice, or won’t care!

                    And that’s really the key to the whole film. It should be a sprawling, horrible mess, yet somehow it works. Possibly this is because the sheer sense of fun and exuberance that is spread throughout the whole film is infectious. You can tell that everyone – professional actors and musicians alike – are having a whale of a time. It COULD have been annoying and self-indulgent if the mix had been wrong, but it never feels like that because we, as viewers, feel part of the fun as well. The other reason it is so successful is because it starts off in a ridiculous over the top fashion and just never lets up. The set-pieces get more and more elaborate, the songs more and more catchy and the jokes more and more stupid. It simply takes the whole idea of a “musical” and turns it upside down.

                    Conclusion
                    ---------------
                    Even for someone (like me) who doesn’t like musicals, this is a gloriously entertaining film. Full of star cameos, catchy songs and great humour, it’s a film that stands up to repeated viewing. If you’ve never seen it, you’re missing out on a treat. This is a magical one-off film, that simply would never be made today and it’s success is unlikely to be repeated (as shown by the critical and cult failing of the very inferior Blues Brothers 2000 sequel). Catch it as soon as you can!

                    Basic Information
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                    The Blues Brothers
                    1980
                    Directed by John Landis
                    Running time: 133 minutes
                    Certificate: 15

                    Trivia
                    --------
                    Watch out for the false advertising sign when the Blues Brothers are being chased (for the first time) by the Good Ole Boys. The sign reads “See you next Wednesday”. When John Landis was a struggling director, he directed a porn film of the same name. Ever since, all his films contain a reference to “see you next Wednesday” somewhere!

                    © Copyright SWSt 2007

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                  • Product Details

                    After building up the duo's popularity through recordings and several performances on Saturday Night Live, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd--as "legendary" Chicago blues brothers Jake and Elwood Blues--took their act to the big screen in this action-packed hit from 1980. As Jake and Elwood struggle to reunite their old band and save the Chicago orphanage where they were raised, they wreak enough good-natured havoc to attract the entire Cook County police force. The result is a big-budget stunt-fest on a scale rarely attempted before or since, including extended car chases that result in the wanton destruction of shopping malls and more police cars than you can count. Along the way there's plenty of music to punctuate the action, including performances by Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway, and James Brown that are guaranteed to knock you out. As played with deadpan wit by Belushi and Aykroyd, the Blues Brothers are "on a mission from God," and that gives them a kind of reckless glee that keeps the movie from losing its comedic appeal. Otherwise this might have been just a bloated marathon of mayhem that quickly wears out its welcome (which is how some critics described this film and its 1998 sequel). Keep an eye out for Steven Spielberg as the city clerk who stamps some crucial paperwork near the end of the film.-- Jeff Shannon