“The Blues Brothers” – Nathan’s Movie Challenge, Week 9
“We’re on a mission from God.”
This film can be summarized as follows:
Humor. Music. Car chases. Explosions. More music. More car chases. More humor. More explosions. More music. More humor. Even bigger car chases and explosions. More music.
The signature style of director John Landis is readily apparent – walking the tightrope of black comedy, adventure, slapstick, and insanity in a single picture.
Carrie Fisher is a force to be reckoned with as the lady of vengeance out to murder her ex (Belushi).
I had fleeting moments of “this is dragging” thoughts, but generally, the pace keeps moving and Belushi and Ackroyd keep the cocaine-fueled picture barreling towards its conclusion. You can almost sense how terribly hopped-up the cast and crew were making this movie. It comes through on-screen.
It’s also entertaining to see such big musical heavyweights like Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and James Brown as integrated into the plot as they are.
It’s charming, it’s bonkers, and it’s a whole lot of fun. It looks like they had a blast making it. There’s so much destruction, you can’t help but be amazed.
The Blues Brothers was at the time of this review at #90 on my Flickchart list of shame (ranked #196 among the best movies of all time). Here’s how it entered my chart:
The Blues Brothers vs. Lost in Translation
I like Lost in Translation, but I don’t love it. The Blues Brothers won me over by the end.
The Blues Brothers vs. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Brothers vs Brother! O Brother is also a movie I like, but don’t necessarily love, so The Blues Brothers will take it.
The Blues Brothers vs. Scrooged
Scrooged is just always a hard one to beat. It’s one of the quirkiest Christmas movies ever. Blues Brothers, take a back seat.
The Blues Brothers vs. Miller’s Crossing
I came to Miller’s Crossing probably later than most Coen Brothers film fans, but I quite enjoyed it. It’s smart, impactful, and compelling storytelling. It’ll win over Blues Brothers.
The Blues Brothers vs. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
The Naked Gun is my kind of comedy. It’s so densely packed with visual sight gags, the incredible deadpan of Leslie Nielsen, and just lots of fun. I wish someone could do visual comedy like this as well anymore, but it’s rare. The Naked Gun will win the match.
The Blues Brothers vs. The Grey
The Grey is gripping, but loses weight as its runtime wanes. I’m giving it to The Blues Brothers.
The Blues Brothers vs. Night Watch
Talking about visual style – it’s hard to forget this Russian sci-fi supernatural tour-de-force. Super-creative in every way – right down to the subtitles’ interplay with the frame. Definitely winning this battle.
The Blues Brothers vs. Drive
The Gosling film to beat, and overflowing with style points. Drive takes the win.
The Blues Brothers vs. Ghost World
The incomparable Ghost World hardly ever loses a matchup for me, and this one is no exception.
The Blues Brothers vs. Die Hard 2
If it was Die Hard, no one would question it. Because it’s Die Hard 2, perhaps you’re questioning my sanity, but I think it’s still a fantastic action film in its own right. Blues Brothers certainly gives it a very strong run for its money though! I may have to do an explosion count tally…
The Blues Brothers vs. Finding Nemo
It’s just so damn gorgeous. Sorry, boys. The fish are winning out again.
The Blues Brothers is now ranked #323 out of 1379 movies on my Best Movies of All-Time chart.
Last for the week I have The Vanishing (1988). Be sure to review the other films I’ve ranked during the challenge in the meantime.