I loved the Blues Brothers skits when they burst upon the world with stunning energy and passion on the original SNL in the late ’70s. John Belushi was a maniacally committed performer with a good enough voice to pull off the jump blues/soul/R&B review frontman routine, and Dan Aykroyd was a formidable sidekick – they clearly loved and respected the music to a degree that sailed past parody into inspired homage.
And the band — among them Steve Cropper, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Donald “Duck” Dunn, and Lou Marini — was as real, tight, sharp and clean as it gets.
The movie grew to epic proportions and overdid the spectacle with a seemingly endless, escalating series of car crashes, but there were classic moments (“We’re on a mission from God”; “We’ve got both kinds of music: country AND western”) and the musical performances by the band and guests Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Cab Calloway, and James Brown are classic and priceless.
The Brothers will be back on the big screen on Monday, August 29th when Hollywood’s Master Storytellers, in association with Universal Studios Home Entertainment, will celebrate the release of The Blues Brothers: 25th Anniversary Edition DVD live from Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. Universal is releasing the DVD on August 30th.
The anniversary event will feature a live Q&A discussion with director/writer John Landis and the film’s star and co-writer, Dan Aykroyd (via satellite from Toronto), followed by a first time screening of the film in high definition and cinema surround sound. The entire program will be presented live via satellite beginning at 6:30 p.m. PT / 9:30 p.m. ET to 83 movie theatres from coast to coast.
Gordon Meyer, the creator and host of Hollywood’s Master Storytellers, said, “The Blues Brothers is one of the most popular musical comedies of all time. It is a tremendous movie that combines performances by many of the greatest musical acts of all time with incredible comedy and mayhem.”