"Blues Brothers." It came out 25 years ago, and guess what? I had never seen it. I had never seen one of the classic comedies of the modern age until Monday night. In a rare and extreme marketing effort, "Blues Brothers" somehow made its way back to theaters for one night, accompanied by a live interview with Dan Akroyd, director John Landis, James Brown and many others. The purpose? To promote the 25th Anniversary DVD, which comes out today.
"Blues Brothers," about the escapades of two almost God-fearing men who set out to make $5,000 for their old Catholic school and end up with all kinds of enemies from the police to a country band to the Illinois Nazi Party. Dan Akroyd and John Belushi star as the irresistible duo.
The movie is funny and entertaining from beginning to end, though I have to admit it was rather long. Over two hours, some parts drag a little bit, but maybe it's the fact that I've grown up in an MTV world where everything has fast editing and even faster jokes. Still, I love the slow offbeat comedy that's found in a movie like this. The problem was the 45-minute interview ahead of the movie, and the 12-minute intermission of repeating music. After a long day's work, I really had little interest in sitting through a live interview with Akroyd and others; sure, it would have been cool to be there with him in the room, but instead I watched the interview through a choppy and consistently buggy satellite feed from Redmond, WA. Even the poor people in Hollywood got denied of the film's star; Akroyd was talking to them from Toronto. Needless to say, the interviews sapped me of energy.
The movie itself is probably worth owning, but then again most of you have already seen it and can decide for yourself. This review, in and of itself, is basically a shameless promotion of the DVD; after all, in exchange for getting to go to a free press screening (which was hardly a press screening since only one other guy there got in for free) I have to post this review. It's worth it, however, for the simple fact that that is how critics review movies. And "The Blues Brothers" is one of the better movies I have gotten to review professionally.
It remains to be seen whether the 2-disc anniversary edition is worth a complimentary purchase to your existing copies of the film, but if you haven't seen "The Blues Brothers" in a while or never at all, it's definitely worth watching. Filled with great cameos, hilarious performances and an action-packed story of laughs (does that make any sense?), "The Blues Brothers" still works fine in the present day.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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