Sunday, April 15, 2012

Movies Again!

And why not?

The Mau-Mau has been taking an increasing interest in Blues music lately. I think the reason is the nifty bass-lines that Genghis is acquiring on his double bass. He loves him some walkin' blues, and the Mau-Mau is even more musical than he -- so she wanted to know if people ever sang blues.

Oh, my. What a fine, leading question.

Well, I poked through the collection. Unearthed some Robert Johnson, a bit of John Lee Hooker, some Howlin' Wolf, and some T-Bone Walker. For shits and giggles, I played her some George Thoroughgood too. And then I found the soundtrack to The Blues Brothers movie, and we put that on, and yeah, that was okay.

The day turned into one of those astonishingly warm and perfect autumn days, with the long golden light, like the longest, laziest afternoon you could imagine. Gorgeous. We decided we'd light up the firepit and scorch some sausages, and then finish up with a movie in the Loft. And of course, it made sense to dig out that old copy of The Blues Brothers.

The boys saw it with me when they were much younger, but it's been a while for all of us, and for the Mau-Mau, it was a first. She was entranced and delighted. And you know... that really is a hell of a good film. Watching it again with a critical eye, while appreciating the music -- sheeeit. That is a hot piece of work.

I suppose the underlying dynamic of the two well-practiced characters played by Aykroyd and Belushi probably made the film a bit of a no-brainer when it came to writing and performing. But still, there's a lot to love in that movie. The music is amazing, of course. And all those performers -- all those absolute legends, brought back to the screen for one more fling! Cab Calloway, John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, James Brown... the Mau-Mau got a very fast education there.

The humour is pretty special, too. That random storyline with Carrie Fisher trying to annihilate Jake and Elwood with guns, rocket launchers, flame-throwers... beautiful stuff, and of course Aykroyd and Belushi just dead-pan their way through the whole thing. The encounter with the Illinois Nazis... the Good Ole Boys band... the infamous Chez Paul restaurant sequence... the movie is stuffed with gems.

Great, memorable, quotable lines all over the place:

"How much for the weemin? Your weeemin! Sell them to me!"

"We're on a mission from God."

"Oh, we got both kinds. Country and Western!"

Then there's that lunatic car chase. All of them, actually. The one in the shopping mall near the beginning - that's a beauty. And the grand finale... hell, how many cars did they wipe out in that shot?

The whole thing is done with such gleeful overkill, such fine appreciation of the music and the characters; and all of it so beautifully carried off, from the first to the last. Absolutely a classic.

The kids loved it, yep. Genghis is now working on the bass-line to the Peter Gunn theme, and the Mau-Mau keeps singing "She Caught The Katy".

Gotta love that.


  1. I LOVE that film. How many times since then have they tried to take popular characters from Saturday Night Live and make a movie and failed horribly?

    For an American movie, the car chases are done really, really well. I love their subtleties, which is odd seeing as it held the record for most cars destroys.

    Obviously the music and deadpan comedy are brilliant, but I also really like how it was shot. An example is the way they shot Elwood's apartment, but my favourite is the opening sequence in Joliet.

    Finally, the penguin scene is a classic. Can't wait until my daughter is old enough to watch that one.


  2. Yeah... we bent the rules a little for the Mau-Mau, seeing as how she's such a music bunny. She was given very strict instructions as to language!

  3. Ah the Blues Brothers - so much fabulous in that film! I must introduce my sons to that one (if the teenagers haven't seen it mind).

    On music and kids: I had my three teenage sons visit last week. Now they are all big Metal fans, and one of their faves was in Sydney on Saturday night, Amon Amarth who play 'Viking Metal'. So I took them off to see the band, their first Big Rock Concert. Good show it was too, the band put plenty of effort in, all the cliches about how awesome Sydney is, how the crowd was the best etc. They all bought the obligatory tour tshirts too. I enjoyed it too it has to be said, but the cherry on top was three buzzing teens pronouncing 'That was AWESOME Dad!'. I'll tot that one up as a Parenting Win.

  4. I'd say that there is a step above memorable quotes,and that is starting a movie mid stream. Blues Brothers is one and Rocky Horror another. Sadly the days of turning on the TV and being surprised are gone.

  5. It's been a while since we put 'Rocky Horror' on. Have to think about doing that again, next time holidays roll around.