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The Blues Brothers  (Widescreen 25th Anniversary Edition)
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134 of 141 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-ray
Let's get this straight -- this blu-ray contains both the theatrical AND the extended cuts, for the misguided soul here (obviously NOT on a mission from God) who says stick with the 25th Anniversary edition.

And let's get this clear as well -- the quality of the picture is superb, much MUCH better than the DVD. Older films have issues when you transfer them to blu-ray, no question about it, but this image is as good as it can possibly get (don't believe me? Check out Blu-ray.com for a review of it).

On the extended version the extended scenes aren't as good a quality -- the source material there wasn't available and they probably transferred it from the DVD master. But it's not WORSE than the DVD, only not improved.

And on that note, IMHO the theatrical version is the one you want anyway. This is a film that does not get better when the timing gets slower -- and at nearly 2 1/2 hours the extended version just drags. Watch the theatrical version first and if you are still jonesing for some more Brothers you can pop on the extended version (my guess is you will have gotten full -- satiated and satisfied. And if times were different you'd kick back, light one up, pull down your shades down over your eyes and watch the cool, blue smoke drift hazily towards the ceiling and dream about getting the band back together).

Just buy it. If you say no, Elwood and Jake will come to your house for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of the week.
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48 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
I've read the reviews on Amazon but wanted the blu-ray upgrade. Amazon's details may not be complete. The blu-ray I purchased has theatrical and extended versions on a single disc. There is a banner at the top front on my cover with says "Includes Theatrical and Extended Versions" and it is also mentioned again on the back cover. The DTS sound is outstanding on my Polk 360 home system and I don't think I am missing anything by not having lossless DTS sound. This movie looks and sounds great on blu-ray and the price is affordable. I found myself enjoying the movie and singing along with the sub-titled songs. I saw it in the theater when it first came out and here it is over 30 years later looking and sounding just as good if not better.
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108 of 133 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2003
Format: DVD
The Blues Brothers is a true classic movie, one of the few SNL movies that is actually a good story. Joliet Jake is recently released from prison and picked up by his brother Elwood. The two discover that the orphanage they grew up in is going to be sold to the Board of Education unless they can raise $5,000 to give to the State Assesors office. The Blues Brothers try to get the money by putting their band back together and doing a few gigs. Along the way, they anger the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Nazi Party, the owner of Bob's Country Bunker, and a band from Nashville, the Good Ole Boys. This movie is great from beginning to end. The musical numbers are all great including Jake's revelation in the church, Ray Charles singing Shake Your Tail Feather, Aretha Franklin singing in her soul food diner, the peformance in Bob's Country Bunker, and finally the concert at the end including two of their best songs. As well, there is action galore from Elwood jumping a bridge with their 1974 Dodge Sedan to their chaotic ride through a crowded mall to the police chase at the end through the streets of Chicago( especially Lower Wacker Drive) and the chase up the staircase to the Assessor's office. The Blues Brothers has something for everybody and should not be missed.
The Blues Brothers are played to perfection by John Belushi as Jake and Dan Aykroyd as Elwood. The two actors are hysterical together throughout as they anger just about everybody in the city of Chicago. There are far too many lines to mention, but it is obvious that they had fun making this movie. There are plenty of musical cameos also including Cab Calloway, James Brown as a preacher, Aretha Franklin as the owner of a Soul Food diner, Ray Charles as the owner of music store, and John Lee Hooker as a street peformer on Maxwell Street. The film also stars Carrie Fisher, John Candy, Kathleen Freeman, Henry Gibson, and many more. Also look out for a very funny cameo by Frank Oz and a short appearance by Steven Spielberg. Also worth mentioning is the Blues Brothers band including Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Murphy Dunne, "Blue Lou" Marini, Tom "Bones" Malone, Steve "The Colonel" Cropper, Alan Rubin, and Willy "Two Bits" Hall. The Collector's Edition DVD offers widescreen presentation, the original theatrical trailer, a making of documentary with interviews with the cast and crew, and footage not seen since the original release in 1980. This is a great movie that all viewers will find something to like in it. Do not miss this classic!
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226 of 287 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2005
Format: DVD
What a let down! The promise of "never before seen footage" turns out to be the same "never before seen footage" from the last DVD. The bonus materials on this disc are a joke (and not in a funny "ha ha" way). The special "Introduction to the film by Dan Aykroyd" is 23 seconds long. The "Day on the Blues Brothers Tour" is nothing more than a lame performance by the current Blues Brothers at the House of Blues. But the real insult is the featurette called "Remembering John: An ultimate portrait of John Belushi." It clocks in at 9 minutes long (including credits). Ultimate?? This is John Belushi, not Garrett Morris!

You might be reading this wondering, "So what was this guy expecting?" Well, how about an audio commentary? Perhaps some outtakes? Bloopers? Maybe concert footage of the REAL Blues Brothers on tour with Steve Martin? Why not include Blues Brothers performance footage from SNL? How about revisiting the locations made famous in the movie (the abandoned mall is still standing and still abandoned)? Instead, they chose to include John performing as the Killer Bee on SNL. Instead of a track listing booklet inside the case, they'd rather you have an ad for other "great" DVD titles available from Universal. Instead of never before seen footage, you get the same documentary, the same production notes/pictures, and the same interviews that were included in the previous release.

It's obvious that this was thrown together with little thought or effort. The Chicago Sun Times did a better tribute piece to the anniversary of the Blues Brothers than Aykroyd did for his own film.

Oh well...only five more years until the 30th Anniversary Edition comes out.
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60 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2003
Format: DVD
I love The Blues Brothers. This is one of the all-time great comedies; a truly epic comedy. In it's original form, it is flawless from beginning to end. Five Stars easily.
Unfortunately, this "Special Edition" dvd includes 15+ minutes of scenes. Not under a "deleted scenes" section, which would have been appropriate and very welcome, but inserted into the movie itself. To be fair, the extra footage doesn't really hurt the music scenes. But did we really need to see Elwood at his place of employment? Did we really need to see where the Blues-mobile is stored when not being driven? None of the extra footage adds anything to the movie. In fact, it really ruins the perfect pacing of the regular cut.
I truly hope Universal sees the error of their ways and reissues this film on DVD with the original cut. They could even make the added footage viewable within the movie, through seamless branching, but for the love of Pete, give us the option!!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Why watch a 1980 movie?

* Great music
* Great car chases and crashes
* John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Steve Cropper, Carrie Fisher, John Candy, Twiggy, Frank Oz, Chaka Khan, John Lee Hooker, Steven Spielberg, and many more
* A funny plot as strong as the characters

You've heard about the car chases and pileups? Besides the massive crunching and flying of vehicles, they show you the real Chicago as well as the landmarks. As chases go, I have never seen a better one. It is like "Starsky and Hutch" times 250.

Seeing Cab Calloway is a high point. He was 73 when the movie came out, and told a younger generation that "Minnie the Moocher" was a red hot hoochie-coocher. His fame was mostly in the 1940s but his swagger still remained.

Many of the actors with bit parts are surprising. Steven Spielberg and Chaka Khan sneak in there, as does Frank Oz. Calloway, Belushi, Candy, Hooker are gone from this life, and James Brown's career is stymied by personal troubles. The movie has all of them together.

Everything is about Jake and Elwood's mission from God. That's how they see their goal of raising money for an orphanage. They only know one way of making legit cash, and that's through music. Jake has been incarcerated and so the Blues Brothers band broke up. Jake and Elwood gather up the old member one by one, and finally talk their way into a gig. There are enough police who would see it another way, and other bands, old girlfriends, Nazis and wives getting in the way, and into some of the most fun that ever hit Lower Wacker.

The extras on the DVD are interesting. The documentary is the only real value, considering John Belushi's untimely death. The sound lacks in depth and stereo quality. You can make up for this by buying the soundtrack.

I fully recommend "The Blues Brothers."

Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 9, 2005
Format: DVD
The extended version of "The Blues Brothers" (147 minutes) has long been available on DVD, but the theatrical (132 minutes) has never been out there. (Universal, in an odd retro move, put the films on flip sides of the same disc.)

Viewers who are in it just for the comedy probably could do without the extra 15 minutes, whose add-ons include a dubious scene of Elwood Blues quitting his day job and a drawn-out ending. But music lovers strike it rich -- a good chunk of the added time goes to expanding killer performances by James Brown, John Lee Hooker and Cab Calloway.

It gets better: The Dolby Digital 5.1 remix is a monster, about as good as it gets with pre-digital-era movies. Clear and strong vocals, fun surround action and big-bottom bass. (The theatrical version is in stereo.)

Brown's turn as a soul-stirring preacher goes from high to higher, the action stretched out a minute and a half. It's an astonishing sequence, probably the best in the film, as dance and gospel fuse in a spiritual frenzy. Brown's scorching vocals were recorded live. Turn it up and behold.

At full length, John Lee Hooker's street performance of "Boom Boom" will knock you right down. Originally slashed to 1:15, the number gets its due over full 3 minutes. Hooker is joined by Walter Horon and Pinetop Perkins in the film's only authentic blues.

The new version of Cab Calloway's onstage fantasy "Minnie the Moocher" preserves one of the century's best song-and-dance bits, all class and sass. The performance jumps from 2 minutes to 5. Director John Landis recalls that Calloway was "very unhappy" when told he couldn't perform his new disco version of the classic, but finally got into the spirit.

Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles' numbers are the same, with the lip-synching on the sloppy side, but with plenty of soul power. The performances are delightfully juiced by the new audio. Landis says these artists never perform songs the same way, making dubbing a nightmare.

Most of the brand-new extras on the 25th year set aren't much. There's a lousy concert clip of Jim Belushi fronting the band in 2005. Get a load of Dan Aykroyd's 23-second intro to the movie, in which he says exactly nothing. Or the hasty tribute to John Belushi's career, crammed into 10 minutes.

The best DVD extra by far dates back to 1998: the hourlong documentary "Stories Behind the Making of the Blues Brothers." About as definitive as a history of the movie and band is going to get, the docu was ported over from the previous DVD.

The video comes cloaked in muted colors and grain, but the murk fits with the grit of late-century Chicago.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2005
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
If you have the Blue Brothers, Collectors Edition that came out in 2000, then you already have the extended edition of the movie that is on this title. The difference being that the extras are different.

If you are a true Blue Brothers fan, then you won't mind getting this edition to add to your collection but if you have the other copy then you might be able to save yourself some $$.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2005
Format: DVD
Ok, something's totally crappy about the copy I got so I'm posting this as a warning to anyone else who's thinking of buying this title or already has but hasn't watched it yet. Side A MAY NOT play on your DVD player, so if you've got 2 or more then try it out on each one if any of them won't play it at all. I've tried mine in two: one for the TV which wouldn't play it at all, other than the requisite opinions disclaimer and then I'd get a blue screen saying to check the disc, and the other player which is on my computer, on which I couldn't get it to work at first but then finally somehow managed to.

It played just fine for awhile and I thought that maybe the problem was solved, but then at an hour and half in it started messing up again. The problem starts where the guys race away from Bob's Country Buffet and the other band, The Good Ole Boys, go racing after them and then hit the cop car and flip over. Then it carries over into the steamroom scene with Steve Lawrence and freezes there. Then it'll start playing the movie all over again from the opening showing the Universal logo and whenever I use the chapters menu to find the bad spot it of course just starts up again!

Now I dunno if this is a problem with just my two players but I also don't believe it to just be coincidence, either, and has to be a manufacturer's defect. I've never seen this film before and really wanted to, but to have this happen is just totally unacceptable. I won't be able to get a refund for this since it's opened so I might have to either take a replacement or store credit. Universal has really got to be much, much more careful in the future and triple check discs before they're shipped out to avoid anymore of this kinda crap.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
I'll start off by saying in the entire history of American cinema, this is my run-away favorite of all time. There is NO movie like the original Blues Brothers. This is the only movie that makes me laugh with every viewing. It makes me want to jump up and dance, grab my guitar, drink a beer, and bring on the happy tears.
Belushi steals this movie in my opinion and that's hard to do with the equally great Elwood. From the opening notes of 'She Caught the Katy' to the finale 'Jailhouse Rock' this movie brings a clever one-liner, a great song, or fast cars every second. This movie has no lull anywhere.
Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Ray Charles, Cab Callowy, and the great John Lee Hooker all sing in this one along with 'The Blues Brother's Band'. Jake and Elwood's singing performances are superb. How anyone can dismiss this movie is beyond me. I look at it as a lesson in life. The good will win (no matter how bad they may be).
The session musicians are also excellent. Even the 'geek' of the band Merv is great and they all fit into the motley crew band. Steve 'The Colonal' Cropper, Donald 'Duck' Dunn, Willie 'two bit' Hall, Tom 'Bones' Malone, Matt 'Guitar' Murphey, Alan 'Mr. Fabulous' Rubin, and Lou 'Blue Lou' Marini can all be proud of their involvement with this film.
The wrecking of a public mall is classic (You got us into this parking lot Motorhead, now you get us out!) If that ain't enough, then wait for the finale. Jake and Elwood race to the tax center with Chicago police (cars, horses, helicopters, and boats), Nazis, the US Army (complete with every weapon to include tanks), a swat team, firemen, and a really mad country band in a winnebago in chase. The chase scene is so over the top it must be seen to be believed.
Also watch for Carrie Fisher, John Candy, and a brief cameo by Paul Rubins (Pee Wee Herman).
We miss you Joilet Jake, without you the Blues Brothers just ain't right.
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