"It's 2078 Miles To Chicago..."
"We've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark...and we're wearing sunglasses.
It's hard to believe that 25 years have passed since the Blues Brothers first appeared on the silver screen, but they have. Harder still to believe that this movie holds up so well, and packs a powerhouse assembly of Blues and Soul music that have never been seen since in a film other than a documentary. Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Cab Calloway...it's just astounding. Which is why it's good for you that a two-disc 25th Anniversary Edition DVD is out now.
LAist attended a special premiere event for the release of the dvd which inlucded attendees Dan Akroyd, John Landis, Henry Gibson, Steve "The Colonel" Cropper, and James Brown. Yes, the James Brown. The guy still looks the same as he did in 1979. His hair and teeth are perfect (and probably bulletproof), and he's still got the moves as he showed off last night. His phrase for the evening was "funk". This guy is the walking definition of the word, people. Sometimes it was a bit hard to understand what he was saying as he rambled off on tangents and his words became unintelligible, but the man could have been reading the back of his driver's license out loud and you would still be able to feel that funky soul rhythm. Amen.
Black hats, sunglasses and ties (they were itchy) were handed out to everyone so we could all look the part, but if you're not John Belushi or Dan Akroyd, you sort of look stupid in that outfit. Trust us. And on a James Brown-ish tangent about Dan Akroyd, have you ever noticed that there are two Dan Akroyds? One is the nerdy, goofy, conspiracy loving Dan Akroyd that you've seen in "Sneakers", "The Coneheads Movie", and other films, and then there's the rocking, House of Blues owning, harmonica-playing, soul brother Dan Akroyd. It's like he cloned himself and split his personality up between the two. The one we saw last night was wearing a Patron tequila shirt, black shades, and was smiling all night long.
The movie looks amazing, sports a new Dolby Digital 5.1 remixed soundtrack, deleted scenes, documentaries, and all that jazz. Of course, seeing as how the studios love to force you to buy multiple copies of thing, a Special Platinum Ultra Limited Collector's Edition Blues Brothers DVD will probably be out by Christmas, featuring an interview with the gaffer. However, we recommend picking this one up today and enjoying it now. Look for cameos by Steve Spielberg and Frank Oz (and John Landis as well), and goggle in disbelief as a 23-year old (23!!!) Carrie Fisher tracks Jake Blues down after his release from prison. It's out today. Do you see the light?