To be honest, it's been a long time since I really appreciated THE BLUES BROTHERS. I mean, for me it's been just like wallpaper on the pop culture landscape -- just kind of there and accepted, playing in the background on cable while I'm doing something else and referenced just kind of randomly here and there. Which makes it kind of easy to forget how good it really is, even some 30 years on. Definitely one of the most successful jumps from SNL sketch/characters to the big screen (unlike say, A Night at the Roxbury or MacGruber).
I think mostly this has to do with the triumvirate of director John Landis and stars Dan Akroyd and John Belushi -- all three in the prime of their careers. It might also have to do with the fact that it has that great '70s griminess all over it, some bangin' musical numbers, and guest appearances by such legends as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and Cab Calloway.
Sadly, John Belushi passed away before his time. He would have been 64 this Jan 24. In honor of this fact we're screening BLUES BROTHERS as part of Music Monday this week, with two encore brunch screenings on Jan 29 and 30. Don't miss your chance to appreciate this classic all over again (sans distractions) on the big screen in 35mm! (Special thanks to Ritz projectionist Sean G. for the suggestion)
As great as BLUES BROTHERS is, there is something I don't understand: Jake and Elwood Blues statues. I'm not talking about figurines or action figures. I'm talking about life-sized (or near to it) statues. Sure, BB is like an American institution, but they just appear in the oddest places. Has anyone else noticed this?
For instance, in the small town in Maine where I'm from there's a dance studio located in an old factory that put the pair on their roof. Why? I don't know. Stranger still was the speech improvement office I used walk by in Boston that had the pair on permanent display in their front window. Apparently though putting these overgrown lawn ornaments in seemingly random places is more of a popular phenomenon than I thought, 'cause I just found a bunch of pictures like this on the internet.
I've also seen them near playgrounds and more than a few mini-golf courses. That almost makes sense, since mini-golf courses are always an odd gallery of junk like windmills, dinosaurs, and peter pans -- so why not the Blues Brothers, I guess? But why the rooftops and town squares? Did we run out of American historical figures all of sudden or something?
BLUES BROTHERS screens at Ritz as part of Music Monday Jan 24 at 10pm. Encore, regular price brunch screenings at Ritz Jan 29 & 30.