innocent_man: (noir)
[personal profile] innocent_man
I got a bunch of new movies, so I have a few to watch before I'm even caught up to where I was before Oscar season.

The Blues Brothers is a weird comedy starring Dan Ackroyd and John Belushi as the title characters, Elwood and "Joilet" Jake Blues. The film opens with Jake being let out of prison, getting his stuff back (including, apparently, the only set of clothing he owns - a black suit) and hooking up with his brother to go visit "the Penguin," the nun that raised them. Turns out their orphanage is going to be sold off unless someone comes up with five grand in a few days, and the boys, after having their initial idea (steal it) beaten out of them, decide to get their band back together. It is, as Elwood repeatedly points out, a mission from God.

The movie's best point is the music. Cameos and musical performances from Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, James Brown and a whole bunch of other musicians as the rest of the Blues Brothers' band happen in pretty much every major scene.

The humor is otherwise pretty absurd; buildings explode, cars crash, police chase the brothers through a mall (still driving!) and Carrie Fischer shows up with a flamethrower, a machine gun and a host of other high ordinance to kill Jake (who left her at the altar). But the Blues Brothers just shake it off and don't ever get flapped. They're on a mission from God.

Having now seen the movie twice, I don't think it improves much on repeated viewings. The acting from the non-actors (read: the musicians) is stilted and forced in places, and the movie feels long. It picks up towards the end, but the middle of the film (which includes the scene where the band takes the place of a country band and winds up drinking more in beer money than they're getting paid) drags.

Belushi and Ackroyd are fun to watch, though, and as I've mentioned, I like watching movies about stand-up people. And when they're called upon to help, the Blues Brothers stand up, and to me that's a point in the movie's favor. Also I love "Minnie the Moocher," and Calloway performs it to buy the brothers time to sneak past the police, the good ole' boys with bats, and the Illinois Nazis.

What? Like I said, weird movie.

My grade: B+
Rewatch Value: Low-medium

Next up: Cash

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January 2013

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