The Blues Brothers: John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd--as "legendary" Chicago brothers Jake and Elwood Blues--brought their "Saturday Night Live" act to the big screen in this action-packed hit from 1980. As Jake and Elwood struggle to reunite their old band and save the Chicago orphanage where they were raised, they wreak enough good-natured havoc to attract the entire Cook County police force. The result is a big-budget stunt-fest on a scale rarely attempted before or since, including extended car chases that result in the wanton destruction of shopping malls and more... police cars than you can count. Along the way there's plenty of music to punctuate the action, including performances by Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway and James Brown that are guaranteed to knock you out. Keep an eye out for Steven Spielberg as the city clerk who stamps some crucial paperwork near the end of the film. The Blues Brothers 2000: It's hard to ignore the sad and conspicuous absence of the late John Belushi, but this long-delayed sequel still has Dan Aykroyd to keep the music alive. Once again, Elwood's trying to reunite the original Blues Brothers Band, and this time he's got a strip-joint bartender (John Goodman) and a 10-year-old orphan named Buster (J Evan Bonifant) joining him at centre stage. It's a shameless clone of the first film, and nobody--especially not Aykroyd or director John Landis--seems to care that the story's not nearly as fun as the music. Of course there's a seemingly endless parade of stunts, including a non-stop pileup of police cars that's hilariously absurd, but what really matters here--indeed, the movie's only saving grace--is the great line-up of legendary blues musicians. Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Junior Wells, Eric Clapton, BB King, Jonny Lang, Eddie Floyd and Blues Traveler are among the many special guests assembled for the film, and their stellar presence makes you wonder if the revived Blues Brothers shouldn't remain an obscure opening act. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com [show more]
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