With so much versatility among films we all have traditions of watching certain films with our families. I want to talk about a particular film my family and I love to watch, 1980s The Blues Brothers. It’s a weird one, it doesn’t exactly have family feature written all over it.
The film follows brother Jake and Elwood blues (played by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd respectively) who are self proclaimed blues musicians. The characters actually having originated from a Saturday Night Live Skit the two were a part of. When Jake is released from prison the pair learn that the orphanage they grew up in is going to be closed down unless enough money can be raised. The two set out to try and earn the money no matter what it takes. Which involves making enemies with a country band, the police and Illinois Nazis. Like I said it's a weird one. It’s weirdness is one of the main reasons I love it so much though. There really isn’t another film like it. It’s got lots of great humor, an awesome soundtrack and the greatest car chase in cinematic history. If you disagree with that, go and watch it and I’ll promise you’ll change your mind.
As far as filmic techniques there isn’t anything too artsy about it. There aren’t any particularly stand out sequences from a filmic perspective. In fact there are a number of corny sequences that almost break any sense of realism the film tries to hold on too. But I think it all works, the film knows what it’s supposed to be and doesn't try to take on more than it can chew. Even the most unrealistic sequences don’t feel out of place because of the films distinct identity. An identity that includes musical numbers, a dream sequence (kinda) and the aforementioned car chase. Some of the jokes haven’t aged well which is relatively true for much older films, but I’d say the majority of jokes hit their marks.
Now I’m sure my feeling toward this film aren’t completely unclouded by the nostalgia goggles. I watched it for the first time almost ten years ago. Not sure why my parents let me watch it because it does include some lewd words, but I’m not complaining. Every time I got back to this film I still enjoy it, everything is about exactly how I remember it. I feel like with lots of films I watched long ago things don’t live up to my memory of them, so having consistency is a huge plus.
If you haven’t seen The Blues Brothers I’d highly recommend giving it a watch. Even if it doesn’t do much for you I guarantee you’ll get more than a few laughs from watching it. It’s one of the those films that could be a historical classic if more people have seen it. Besides all that there isn’t much more to say. If you like blues music, ridiculous humor, or car chases, this might be the film for you.