Saturday, August 27, 2005

"No, ma'am, we're musicians."

Happy Silver Anniversary to The Blues Brothers!!!!
Twenty-five years ago, the cult hit movie The Blues Brothers was released. We watched Jake and Elwood on their "mission from god," rampaging their way through Chicago. They cleverly outwitted cops, got beaten by a nun with a stick, took out a group of Nazis ("I hate Illinois Nazis."), and caused an obscene amount of damage. Most importantly, they exhibited great music, not just playing it themselves, but getting legends such as James Brown ("Do you see the light?"), Aretha Franklin ("You better think about the consequences of your actions."), John Lee Hooker, Cab Calloway ("Boys, you gotta learn not to talk to nuns that way."), and Ray Charles ("Ah, excuse me, but I don't think there's anything wrong with the action on this piano.") in on the act. Singing, dancing, destruction, and stupid, off-the-wall humor; ah, life is good.
My dad's a big fan, so The Blues Brothers was an essential part of my upbringing. Whether or not this was healthy is debatable.
[Nerd note: Trooper Mount is played by Steven Williams, who later plays the mysterious Mr. X on The X-Files.]
The sequel, Blues Brothers 2000, was released in 1998. Again, it displayed some truly excellent music and talented artists (Johnny Lang, BB King, Wilson Pickett, Blues Traveler, Erykah Badu, and returnees James Brown and Aretha), but toned down the insanity and made it a bit more family-friendly. Try as they might, though, it didn't quite measure up (for example, hick white supremasist conspiracy theorists are simply not as funny antagonists as Illinois Nazis driving Pintos). It was a good movie, just not as hilarious as the first one.
Let's leave the last words to the gang:
-"This place has got everything." (Jake, whilst traveling through the mall. Literally.)
-"I'll have some dry white toast."
"And I'll have four fried chickens and a coke." (Elwood and Jake, ordering at the Soul Food Cafe).
-"The Blues Brothers?! Shit. They still owe you money, fool!" (Aretha)
-"Three orange whips." (Mr. Mercer, ordering drinks at the concert.)
-"We're putting the band back together." (Jake)
-"No pharmaceutical product could ever equal the rush you get when the band hits that groove..." (Elwood J. Blues, Blues Brothers 2000)

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