The Blues Brothers – 25th Anniversary Edition

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Rating: R

Starring:
John Belushi as ‘Joliet’ Jake Blues
Dan Aykroyd as Elwood Blues
James Brown as Reverend Cleophus James
Cab Calloway as Curtis
Ray Charles as Ray
Aretha Franklin as Mrs. Murphy
Steve Cropper as Steve ‘The Colonel’ Cropper
Donald Dunn as Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn
Murphy Dunne as Murph
Willie Hall as Willie ‘Too Big’ Hall
Tom Malone as Tom ‘Bones’ Malone
Lou Marini as ‘Blue Lou’ Marini
Matt Murphy as Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy
Alan Rubin as Mr. Fabulous
Carrie Fisher as Mystery Woman

Special Features:
Stories behind the making of The Blues Brothers: Go behind the scenes with John Landis, Dan Aykroyd, and the Blues Brothers band; Exclusive in-depth interviews with the cast and crew and never-before seen footage

Introduction to the film by Dan Aykroyd

Going Rounds: A Day on the Blues Brothers tour

Transposing the music

Remembering John

Musical Highlights

Production Notes

Theatrical Trailer

Other Info:
Widescreen – 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French and Spanish Language (Theatrical Version Only)
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: Extended Version – 2 Hrs 28 Minutes, Theatrical Version – 2 Hrs 13 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

“The Blues Brothers 25th Anniversary Edition includes: TWO Versions of the Film – Expanded Version and Original Theatrical Version (never before available on DVD) and all-new bonus material!

Comedy icons John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd star in the outrageously funny musical comedy about Jake and Elwood Blues, two brothers searching for redemption with no money but a briefcase full of soul. Hit the road with musical performances by blues legends Ray Charles, James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Cab Calloway in the action-packed spectacular from acclaimed director John Landis.”

The Blues Brothers – 25th Anniversary Edition is rated R.

The Movie:
The Blues Brothers celebrates their 25th anniversary with this special edition DVD. Most people have seen the movie at one point or another in the last 25 years, so there’s not much to say as far as critiquing it. You already know it’s worth adding to your collection. And as an added bonus for those who have seen it before, both the theatrical version and the extended version are included on the same disc. The extended version contains 15 minutes of extra footage.

But if you haven’t seen it, it’s very much worth checking out. It features a hilarious storyline, fantastic music, and arguably the best car chase ever filmed. There are also a ton of guest stars including John Candy, Frank Oz, Carrie Fisher, Steven Spielberg, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and many more. For the uninitiated, it’s required viewing.

The Extras:
One thing became immediately apparent when watching the bonus features on this DVD – this is not the definitive DVD edition of Blues Brothers. The featurettes that are included here are good, but they contain so many little scraps of behind the scenes footage that it’s easy to tell there’s a lot more out there. In fact, there’s not even a commentary like you’ll find on many DVDs today. Here are the highlights of what you will find:

Stories behind the making of The Blues Brothers – This is an almost hour long documentary on the Blues Brothers. It describes the origins of the characters on Saturday Night Live, forming the band, how the script was written, details on the filming, and more. There are interviews with all the cast and crew and even vintage interviews with John Belushi himself. The result is a great retrospective on the making of the movie.

Introduction to the film by Dan Aykroyd – This is an extremely brief introduction by Dan Aykroyd. Not much worth seeing here.

Going Rounds: A Day on the Blues Brothers tour – This is some footage from a performance by James Belushi and Dan Aykroyd at the San Diego House of Blues in May 2005. They perform “Hard to Handle” and “I’m Ready” and that’s the end of this 7 minute video. It looks like it would have been a lot more fun to see in person because the music doesn’t really compare to the original versions and James Belushi isn’t quite as good as his late brother. But it’s still fun to see the Blues Brothers alive and performing.

Transposing the music – This is another kind of “making of” video with more interviews with the cast and crew, vintage behind the scenes footage, and more. It also focuses more on the lasting influence of the Blues Brothers and the reception of them by fans.

Remembering John – John Belushi’s widow talks a bit about his early career and his filming of The Blues Brothers. Other friends also tell funny stories about the late actor.

Musical Highlights – This feature allows you to skip straight to the musical numbers in the movie.

The Bottom Line:
Blues Brothers is a true classic musical comedy. If you haven’t seen it, check it out. If you’ve already seen it, be sure to add it to your collection.

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