The Blues Brothers (Review)

“It’s 106 miles to Chicago…” You know the rest.

By now there’s a diminishing chance that you’ve seen the film, given that it’s 30 odd years old and good music doesn’t seem to be cool any more, judging by the charts.

Rather than a review: If you haven’t seen The Blues Brothers stop EVERYTHING and go see it.

Public service announcement out of the way I thought a running diary would be more interesting than “2 guys in black suits and sunnies try to reform a band for 2 ½ hours” stuff.

1st minute to 6th minute – The looong intro sequence that sets the tone as one Jake Blues gets outta tha joint. Complete with:

3rd minute – “Aaayyyy”

5th minute – “One soiled…”

7th minute – Jake and Elwood. Onscreen at last.

8th minute – Our verbal intro to the Bluesmobile, the third most important character in the film, leading to:

9th minute – The first demo of the Bluesmobile.

12th minute – The Penguin. Magic doors. Creaking floorboard. Bad language and corporal punishment.

15th minute – Curtis (Cab Calloway) sets out the Mission. “Slide on down to…”

17th minute – The Triple Rock. A sermon by Rev Cleophus (James Brown) where everything is said twice minimum, impromptu dancing, trampoline assisted spiritual elation and…

19th minute – “Do you see the light?” (“What light?”) “THE BAND!!!”

25th minute – “Shit!” “What?” “Rollers.” “Nah.” “Yep.” “Shit!” First car chase (of a great many.)

27th minute – “We’re on a mission from God”. That clears that up then.

28th minute – “Do you have Miss Piggy?” Carrr-assshhhh. Let’s hit the mall!

30th minute – Meet Carrie Fisher & her bazooka. (Notice I didn’t go with the innuendo laced “bazookas”? Classy.)

35th minute – “Did you get me my cheese-whiz boy?” (one of the more inexplicably placed cameos in cinematic history.)

40th minute – Meet Carrie Fisher & her dynamite.

43rd minute – The search for the band begins. “Are you the police?” “No Ma’am, we’re musicians.”

45th minute – Murph& the Magic-Tones are on board. 5 down. We’re over haklf way there, that was easy!

47th minute – Donald “Duck” Dunn offers his first slurred ramble. (Aaahhh non-actors.)

48th minute – Mr Fabulous. “Sell me your children.” He’s in.

53rd minute – The arrival of the Illinois Nazis.

55th minute – John Lee Hooker on Maxwell St. Not a big “moment”, I just like JLH.

58th minute – “Toasted white bread, 4 fried chickens… and a coke.”

60th minute – THINK! Matt “Guitar” Murphy (thoughtful nickname!) and Blue Lou are in (another cracking nickname. It rhymes!)

65th minute – Ray’s Music Exchange. Well shake a tailfeather we’ve got instruments!

71st minute – Meet Carrie Fisher & her flamethrower.

74th minute – Bob’s Country Bunker. “Chicken Wire?” The band runs pretty hot for not having practised three years.

83rd minute – Donald “Duck” Dunn squeezes in another incoherent line. The “Real” Good Old Boys show up.

85th minute – Chase #2. “Boyyys, you in biiig trouble.”

88th minute – Maurice Slein. The Palace Hotel. Tomorrow.

90th minute – Promoting the gig. “It’s ladies night.”

92nd minute – “We’re outta gas.” Temptation for Elwood.

95th minute – The Show. (Pre show anyway.) Minnie the Moocher.

96th minute – “Orange Whip? Orange Whip? Three Orange Whips.”

105th minute – The REAL gig. Best 2 song gig in cinematic history, the crowd got their two buck’s worth.

112th minute – The escape.

113th minute – No wait. Meet Carrie Fisher & her automatic machine gun.

115th minute – “LOCUSTS!”

116th minute – The T Shirt slogan “It’s 106 miles to Chicago. We’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes. It’s dark. And we’re wearing sunglasses.”

117th minute – “HIT IT!”

120th minute – First big pile up. “This is car number 55… we’re in a truck.”

124th minute – The BIGGGG pile up.

124th & ½ minute – Enter the Illinois Nazis once more…

126th minute – Exit the Illinois Nazis for good.

130th minute – Everyone (and his tank) are on the case.

132nd minute – A Stevie Spielberg cameo. “Your receipt.” CLICK!

133rd minute – Jailhouse Rock and closing credits. The only film where the credits are played loud and uninterrupted EVERY TIME.

Final Rating – 10 / 10. The Blues Brothers is one of the precious few films out of the thousands I have seen that I feel achieved perfection. I have seen it over a dozen times and it never gets old. Nothing Dan Ackroyd has done is remotely as interesting or as brilliant, most of what has come since isn’t even good.

And let’s all agree that Blues Brothers 2000 doesn’t exist. I have never seen it, and never will.

You don’t need to if you own this DVD.

About OGR

While I try to throw a joke or two into proceedings when I can all of the opinions presented in my reviews are genuine. I don't expect that all will agree with my thoughts at all times nor would it be any fun if you did, so don't be shy in telling me where you think I went wrong... and hopefully if you think I got it right for once. Don't be shy, half the fun is in the conversation after the movie.
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