Author Topic: The Blues Brothers (1980)  (Read 6556 times)

Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #120 on: January 16, 2019, 02:39:19 AM »
Take the music away and it's fucking dreadful isn't it.
Not a laugh to be had.


I re-watched it a few months ago for this first time in nearly 20 years, came to this forum immediately afterwards and drafted several paragraphs, but you've summed up my thoughts in two, succinct sentences.

It's Belushi, mostly. He's fucking awful. A totally dis-likable performer, he's one of those guys who doesn't seem to mind if nobody else is enjoying themselves, just as long as he is. He was rubbish in the SNL clips I've seen him in and I bet he was even more dreadful in person. I have vague fond memories of Neighbors,  the other film he did with Aykroyd shortly after, but that probably wouldn't be any good if I was to revisit it.

But, yeah, there's no denying the fantastic music in The Blues Brothers.






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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #121 on: January 16, 2019, 10:31:14 AM »
Blues Brothers 2000, go on.  I bet you’re all gagging to talk about that, and now I have opened up permission.

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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #122 on: January 16, 2019, 11:00:28 AM »

I re-watched it a few months ago for this first time in nearly 20 years, came to this forum immediately afterwards and drafted several paragraphs, but you've summed up my thoughts in two, succinct sentences.

It's Belushi, mostly. He's fucking awful. A totally dis-likable performer, he's one of those guys who doesn't seem to mind if nobody else is enjoying themselves, just as long as he is. He was rubbish in the SNL clips I've seen him in and I bet he was even more dreadful in person. I have vague fond memories of Neighbors,  the other film he did with Aykroyd shortly after, but that probably wouldn't be any good if I was to revisit it.

But, yeah, there's no denying the fantastic music in The Blues Brothers.

That's a bit harsh. I've always felt that Belushi was overrated, but not because he looked like he was enjoying himself at the expense of anyone else's fun. On the contrary, for a supposedly wild and crazy performer, he always came across as rather stiff, distant and uncertain. People go on about his expressive face, but apart from an undeniable ability to waggle his eyebrows he never seemed fully engaged with whatever he was doing. A nervous performer? The drugs probably didn't help.

However, his impassivity is absolutely perfect for the role he plays in The Blues Brothers. Also, there's a certain grace to his physicality: a squat little man with the untrained soul of a dancer. He really does come to life during the musical numbers.

Mind you, Akyroyd shows him up by ostensibly doing exactly the same thing in the film. He's deadpan, inexpressive, but times his delivery with so much more precision and subtlety. He really taps into the absurdity of his character, so much so that Elwood comes across as rather endearing. He was/is a better actor than Belushi.

Anyway, I think it's a very funny and hugely entertaining film. I may have mentioned that already in this thread.

Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #123 on: January 16, 2019, 11:10:46 AM »
Blues Brothers 2000

Never seen it.
Remember the trailer for it making it look so shit that it made me angry.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #124 on: January 16, 2019, 11:34:02 AM »
Blues Brothers 2000 is an atrocity, but it's only related to the first film in the sense that Jaws: The Revenge exists within the same universe as Jaws.

I've read arguments from presumably rational people that BB 2000, for all its terrible faults, contains some decent musical numbers. It doesn't. Even this scene starring Wilson Pickett and Eddie Floyd, which was presumably intended as a highlight, is flatly directed and utterly bereft of the original film's crowd-pleasing kinetic energy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2pYV7LtKT4

The difference between The Blues Brothers and Blues Brothers 2000 is that the first film was made by irreverent young rhythm and blues enthusiasts with one foot in the grungy aesthetic of '70s American cinema and another in early SNL/National Lampoon anarchy, whereas the sequel was written by a fat middle-aged man who owns a chain of 'heritage' blues bars.


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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #125 on: January 16, 2019, 12:11:51 PM »
Blues Brothers 2000, go on.  I bet you’re all gagging to talk about that, and now I have opened up permission.

It's a strange one alright... the studio obviously wanted it to be a kid's movie, so we have Elwood smiling, a kid Blues Bro, "magic" going on, but then we also have a lengthy and gratuitous strip club scene? And a long long song of bluesdad heaven at the end featuring BB King, Clappo, Dr John and Lou Rawls et al, any kid would be snoozing their way through that one. A sad moment is Elwood waiting outside the jail for Jake who never arrives, but even sadder is seeing how the Health and Safety crew have damped down the car crashes so they can only happen in an open field under supervision. Good to see the old faces back again though and good to see Paul Shaffer finally get a look in, but it's mostly cheese.

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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #126 on: January 16, 2019, 12:50:13 PM »
I do think that the Blues Brothers was ruined a bit in the 90s by dickheads dressing up as them a lot and there were stage shows of it that were terminally unable to fuck off for about five years.

That whole culture of making it fashionable for pricks and show-offs took away the sense of the film as a fun, standalone romp.
This was going on in the mid 80’s according to this. Exhibit A:
https://youtu.be/TfbHSLjqpQA

Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #127 on: January 16, 2019, 12:52:07 PM »
The difference between The Blues Brothers and Blues Brothers 2000 is that the first film was made by irreverent young rhythm and blues enthusiasts with one foot in the grungy aesthetic of '70s American cinema and another in early SNL/National Lampoon anarchy, whereas the sequel was written by a fat middle-aged man who owns a chain of 'heritage' blues bars.

The scenes where giant skeletal ghost cowboys ride through the sky and where the whole Blues Bros band are turned into voodoo zombies are at once completely out of tune with the original movie and yet still unmistakably pure Dan Aykroyd.  Just like Nothing But Trouble, it's a terrible movie but somehow oddly interesting due to the inherent weirdness of Aykroyd's writing.

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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #128 on: January 16, 2019, 01:35:40 PM »
Blues Brothers 2000, go on.  I bet you’re all gagging to talk about that, and now I have opened up permission.

I already did that on page 1...

kalowski

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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #129 on: January 16, 2019, 08:56:52 PM »
Blues Brothers 2000 is an atrocity, but it's only related to the first film in the sense that Jaws: The Revenge exists within the same universe as Jaws.

I've read arguments from presumably rational people that BB 2000, for all its terrible faults, contains some decent musical numbers. It doesn't. Even this scene starring Wilson Pickett and Eddie Floyd, which was presumably intended as a highlight, is flatly directed and utterly bereft of the original film's crowd-pleasing kinetic energy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2pYV7LtKT4

The difference between The Blues Brothers and Blues Brothers 2000 is that the first film was made by irreverent young rhythm and blues enthusiasts with one foot in the grungy aesthetic of '70s American cinema and another in early SNL/National Lampoon anarchy, whereas the sequel was written by a fat middle-aged man who owns a chain of 'heritage' blues bars.
Fucking hell that's miserable. I love the song, love Pickett and Floyd and Goodman and Aykroyd. And I hated every second of that.

Twed

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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #130 on: January 16, 2019, 09:25:30 PM »
If you think (2000) the movie is bad, check out the game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2tMpVTin1A

BOING BOING BOING

Jockice

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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #131 on: January 17, 2019, 03:42:23 AM »
I do think that the Blues Brothers was ruined a bit in the 90s by dickheads dressing up as them a lot and there were stage shows of it that were terminally unable to fuck off for about five years.

That whole culture of making it fashionable for pricks and show-offs took away the sense of the film as a fun, standalone romp.

Can't be as bad as those dickheads who dress up for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. A film/production which like The Blues Brothers I've never seen and probably never will.

thecuriousorange

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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #132 on: January 17, 2019, 06:18:54 AM »
Blues Brothers 2000 (1998) was the only time I rented out a video and switched it off before the end.

Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #133 on: January 17, 2019, 08:15:41 AM »
If you think (2000) the movie is bad, check out the game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2tMpVTin1A

BOING BOING BOING

This game is alright.

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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #134 on: January 17, 2019, 11:01:37 AM »
The game for the first film was a bit of a surprise, as it was a platformer and was good.

Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #135 on: January 17, 2019, 11:28:13 AM »
The game for the first film was a bit of a surprise, as it was a platformer and was good.

The SNES game is great. Rock rock rock rock n' roll!

Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #136 on: January 18, 2019, 01:11:49 PM »
…Aykroyd's first draft was apparently the size of a phone book. He'd never written a screenplay before, so by all accounts it read more like a novel. He's on the autism spectrum, which may explain - and I hope this doesn't sound glib or insensitive - why his self-penned work is so packed with very specific detail. He doesn't have a distinct comic persona as such, he's a character actor, but broadly speaking his work can be defined by a sort of absurd, OTT obsession with linguistic and technical precision…

Reportedly, Aykroyd had never read a movie screenplay, let alone written one and from various accounts, it sounds he had no guidance about format etc., so it’s not overly surprising that he turned out something like the first draft. My feeling is that people often have an idea of what a script looks like, which bears little resemblance to what they do. There’s an episode of Colin’s Sandwich, where Mel Smith’s character agrees to write a film script but is too embarrassed to admit that he doesn’t know how and turns out a wordy tome, which I feel had more than kernel of truth to it.

Then again, when he first wrote Ghostbusters, he knew what the format was like.

My gut feeling is Aykroyd is – or, least was – a writer with an incredibly fertile mind, sometimes in the mould of someone like Marty Feldman. In a book about Round the Horne, Barry Took said that Feldman flowed with ideas and could write streams of material, but which worked best when someone like Took, who could refine that writing into something workable. However, Aykroyd was clearly able to write sketches for SNL that didn’t need editing by others – so maybe when it came a film script, he just let loose creatively.

It’s well documented about so many contemporaries looked at Aykroyd in awe for his ability to write material effortlessly; IIRC,there’s some good stuff about this in the Belushi biography, Wired. Going form memory, but Aykroyd joked about being a writing machine and on some material, used a machine/robotic name rather than his own.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 01:23:48 PM by Ignatius_S »

MojoJojo

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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #137 on: January 18, 2019, 03:34:13 PM »
I'm just posting to clear the edit bug, but I'll mention in passing that if you buy the Blues Brothers sound track off google play music or amazon streaming it only has 6 tracks. Which is a bit crap.

Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #138 on: January 18, 2019, 05:43:58 PM »
I'm just posting to clear the edit bug, but I'll mention in passing that if you buy the Blues Brothers sound track off google play music or amazon streaming it only has 6 tracks. Which is a bit crap.

You're better off getting The Definitive Blues Brothers Collection which is only £6 on Amazon. It's a 2-disc, 35 song set that includes all of the original soundtrack album plus most of their best-selling live album 'Briefcase Full of Blues' which came out a couple of years before the movie.

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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #139 on: January 18, 2019, 09:59:39 PM »
Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)

What the fuck?!! Mind blown.

Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #140 on: January 18, 2019, 10:03:59 PM »
I remember the VHS copy of the Blues Brothers I must have gotten for Christmas 1998 or so had a trailer and "behind the scenes" footage for BB 2000 at the end of it. I'm pretty sure my reaction was "I'm not sure about this".

I did end up watching it a few years later, when I was an unemployed bum and loaned it from the library. It didn't do much to raise my spirits. I recall Lee and Herring did a skit on the lines of "Real Film Endings" that had John Goodman and Dan Aykroyd pissing on the grave of John Belushi.

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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #141 on: January 18, 2019, 10:06:52 PM »
What the fuck?!! Mind blown.

2000 was only ever bunged at the end of stuff for a brief spell in the late 90s when everyone realised there was only a short span of time left when it could be used and still feel futuristic.

There was a curry place in Bath that renamed itself CURRY 2OOO for a few years (beyond the point it was futuristic, I think, so it only somehow evoked a sense of mouldiness in the end); can’t say it made their food any less painful to eat than it was before.

Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #142 on: January 18, 2019, 10:19:26 PM »
South Park parodied this by having 2000 at the end of their episode titles until they got bored and stopped.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #143 on: January 18, 2019, 10:57:54 PM »
Reportedly, Aykroyd had never read a movie screenplay, let alone written one and from various accounts, it sounds he had no guidance about format etc., so it’s not overly surprising that he turned out something like the first draft.


That's what I meant to say earlier, yes. Not only had he never written a feature-length screenplay before, he'd never actually read one. You're right, though, he'd surely been in the business long enough to know that screenplays aren't generally breeze-block sized epics packed with detailed stage directions and character backstories? Not that I've read his original script, of course, but that's what it was like according to Landis

My gut feeling is Aykroyd is – or, least was – a writer with an incredibly fertile mind, sometimes in the mould of someone like Marty Feldman. In a book about Round the Horne, Barry Took said that Feldman flowed with ideas and could write streams of material, but which worked best when someone like Took, who could refine that writing into something workable. However, Aykroyd was clearly able to write sketches for SNL that didn’t need editing by others – so maybe when it came a film script, he just let loose creatively.

He certainly did have an incredibly fertile mind, but I agree that he evidently needed someone to edit and hone his ideas into a filmable piece of work. I've only seen the first 30 minutes of Aykroyd's sole auteur effort Nothing But Trouble - I had to switch it off, as it was such a depressingly unfunny, nausea-inducing mess - but I think it's probably fair to cite it as proof that, when left to his own devices, he lacked the discipline to make a coherent film. An imaginative writer, no doubt about that, but some of his film ideas were over-ambitious and poorly thought out.

It’s well documented about so many contemporaries looked at Aykroyd in awe for his ability to write material effortlessly; IIRC,there’s some good stuff about this in the Belushi biography, Wired. Going form memory, but Aykroyd joked about being a writing machine and on some material, used a machine/robotic name rather than his own.

Which might explain the verbose, stream-of-consciousness nature of some of his writing? That can work within the context of a relatively short, offbeat comedy sketch - establish zany premise, milk it for laughs, then exit sharpish - but it's difficult to sustain that over the length of a film. The Pythons managed it, but they benefited from having each other as sharply critical sounding boards and editors.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #144 on: January 18, 2019, 11:10:59 PM »
The scenes where giant skeletal ghost cowboys ride through the sky and where the whole Blues Bros band are turned into voodoo zombies are at once completely out of tune with the original movie and yet still unmistakably pure Dan Aykroyd.  Just like Nothing But Trouble, it's a terrible movie but somehow oddly interesting due to the inherent weirdness of Aykroyd's writing.

Absolutely. It's a scene that could only have emerged from the idiosyncratic mind of Dan Aykroyd. It's sort of brilliantly terrible, the only bit in an otherwise pointless film where you think, "Well fuck me, I wasn't expecting that." 

Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #145 on: January 20, 2019, 01:08:30 PM »
I just find 2000 a waste of good musicians. Had the opportunity and fucked it.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #146 on: January 20, 2019, 02:37:49 PM »
I just find 2000 a waste of good musicians. Had the opportunity and fucked it.

BB 2000 is a waste of everything, it has no reason to exist.

Twed

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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #147 on: January 20, 2019, 05:49:02 PM »
When I first saw it (received it as a stocking filler around 1999) I didn't know who Paul Shaffer was and found him absolutely petrifying to behold. It made the voodoo witch stuff a bit confusing and scary to me, because of his weird head.

Twed

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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #148 on: January 20, 2019, 05:52:26 PM »
Also rewatching that scene now, I hate how close-minded Elwood is at the idea of playing Caribbean music. Ignorance about culturally-significant music genres is the exact opposite of the Blues Brothers ethos, isn't it?

kalowski

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Re: The Blues Brothers (1980)
« Reply #149 on: January 20, 2019, 06:45:53 PM »
Also rewatching that scene now, I hate how close-minded Elwood is at the idea of playing Caribbean music. Ignorance about culturally-significant music genres is the exact opposite of the Blues Brothers ethos, isn't it?