The bottom line is, The Blues Brothers may be formulaic, and it may lack direction most of the time, but it's a nonstop collection of fun scenes, witty dialogue, and pure comedic talent. Few films this day and age can really match the laughs this classic brings to the table, and it's a movie that's worthy of being in any collection. The Blues Brothers is a must own for fans of comedy and lovers of classic Saturday Night Live.
Universal Studios has released The Blues Brothers on a single 50GB Blu-ray Disc that includes both the theatrical and extended editions of the film. The differences between the two are minimal and ultimately you're looking at an extra of 15 minutes in the extended version. Personally I'm a theatrical kind of guy, so I prefer the film as it was originally released.
If you're coming to this review then chances are good you're here about the picture quality, and how it compares to the previously released standard definition copies. The Blues Brothers comes with a full 1080p high definition 1.85:1 image with AVC encoding. Right off the bat The Blues Brothers impresses with clean lines, rich black levels, and natural colors and tones. Contrast is great all around and there's no edge enhancement to complain about, which is often symptomatic of older films getting a rushed high definition remake. The remaster in this case has been attended to quite nicely as to retain the films original look and characteristics. There's till a fine layer of grain, some softness, and speckle, but these are elements one would expect from a film that's over thirty years old.
With all that being said, it's worth noting that if you're watching the extended version of the film, you're going to be able to spot quite clearly which scenes were added in. The additional clips were not touched up really, and it can be kind of jarring when going from theatrical scene to extended one. It's not a killer by any means, but it does highlight the quality job done on reviving this classic.
For audio options The Blues Brothers comes with English DTS Surround 5.1. That's right; Universal hasn't included a lossless audio track for its Blu-ray release. How does it sound in the end? Well, to be perfectly honest The Blues Brothers still has never sounded this good. Dialogue is crisp and clean, with a nice presence on the soundstage with plenty of directionality. Ambient noise and sound effects are crystal clear in the background and balanced nicely as well. The real kicker is most assuredly the musical score, which absolutely catapults the already vibrant soundstage to life. Fans of the film will most definitely be pleased. There is also a French DTS 2.0 track included for the theatrical version only.