Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

The Blues Brothers

Elwood: "They're not gonna catch us. We're on a mission from God."
It's a well-loved movie. It's my friend Uncle Travelling Matt's favourite movie. 20 years ago I featured this movie's original soundtrack as the featured album on a radio show. So eventually, on 3rd January last year, I figured it was about time that I actually watched it.

I shouldn't have waited.

It all starts out gently enough, with Jake being released from prison and concocting a plan with his brother Elwood to reform their old band to make some money and save the local orphanage. (I think I have that correct) There are a few diegetic songs along the way, but after the first hour the narrative gives up on fitting them into their world, and starts to just drop into pop-video mode whenever it feels like it.

With the mysterious Carrie Fisher attempting to murder our heroes, things just keep on escalating, until the final ginormous car chase puts to shame anything The Dukes Of Hazzard ever attempted. This is, in my opinion, the best car chase in motion picture history, with chase being given by evil country'n'western singers, about a zillion Chicago cops, and the Nazis, and yet, just as I kept thinking that the film was about to end, even more factions kept on joining the fray.

I wrote most of this review about 15 minutes after it had finished, and in those notes I actually called it "one of my favourite movies of all time."

It being January 3rd 2012, I also referred to it as "the most insane film that I will see this year".

In the end I think it actually tied with The Muppets, so I guess well done common element Frank Oz!

Blues Brothers 2000

I watched the 2000quel this morning - a little over a year later - and discovered that, on the quiet, it is in fact a remake.

Well, I guess the best of us run out of ideas after the first 1,998 follow-ups…

Another release from prison, more Motown videos with big-name guest-stars, more movie-cops and other ne'erdowellers to stay on the run from…

Basically it's all tremendous fun again, start to finish, although with three key differences that combine to bring it in second:

1. A much, much higher element of impossible fantasy.

2. No enormous chase at the end. :(

3. The really obvious one. :((

Actually if I'm honest, it's only point two that made this underperform for me. After the first movie I couldn't imagine any film ever topping that amazing final act. The makers here seem to agree with me, and accordingly haven't even tried.

I dunno, but that sure seems to conflict with the movie's relentlessly optimistic message of 'you can do it'.

Elwood: "Stay away from drugs, gangs, and cyberporn on the internet and you can be President of the United States some day."
(available, probably minus the sign guy, here)

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2 comment(s):

At 12:18 am, Blogger KlownKrusty said...

Am I to assume you are reviewing The Big Lebowski next?

At 7:26 am, Blogger Steve Goble said...

Yes. Everything about digital is reliable.


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