THE BLUES BROTHERS
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
I was a bit too young to appreciate “The Blues Brothers” when it first came out, and even in high school I wasn’t enamored with it (which is different than a friend of mine who literally watched it ten times in a row one weekend). But now that I’m looking at the film with adult eyes, it’s a pretty amazing piece of work. The story of Jake and Elwood Blues going straight and raising money to save an orphanage seems like a thin premise that was used to revitalize the careers of several blues artists and make one of the early adaptations of “Saturday Night Live,” but it worked.
This is just a fun movie with plenty of silliness and irreverent humor, a hallmark of director John Landis. Considering the film’s scope, it’s pretty stunning by today’s standards. Lots of action in the streets of Chicago, along with some fantastic car chases, sell the movie as a big budget experience. It was lightning in a bottle created more than 30 years ago.
This Blu-ray includes both the theatrical and extended editions of the film. The extended edition includes some scenes that hit the cutting room flood, but they’re neat to experience in the flow of the film. The only problem with the longer version is there’s a scene in which Elwood quits his job, and while he’s wearing safety goggles, you can still see his eyes. This lessens the impact near the end of the film when Jake actually takes off his sunglasses.
Other bonus features include the feature-length “Making of The Blues Brothers” as well as the featurettes “Transposing the Music” and ‘Remembering John.” Additional features include BD-Live access, Pocket Blu compatibility and D-Box motion enabled content.