Chicago, crime and comedy unite in ‘Blues Brothers’

By Michaela Ard

Rife with memorable one-liners, clever slapstick and a riot
of visual gags, the 1980 John Landis classic comedy is still a hit
with students 30 years after its releaseSimply put, they were
on a mission from God.

On Thursday the music department featured the movie “The Blues
Brothers” free of charge in the Music Recital Hall.

Before the film even began, the rows of red theater seats became
filled with students eager to watch the movie.

Laughter and toe-tapping echoed within the auditorium.

Roderic Concepcion, a third-year computer information systems
student, felt the music, comedy and the cast made the movie

Some audience participants were watching the movie for the first
time, while others like Arthur Winer, assistant professor of music
industry studies, viewed the film for the 12th time.

Winer chose “The Blue Brothers” as the free feature film because
the music best represents the 20th century.

“It is part of my Music on Films series, which I started last
year, and I feel that music is a key component [in movies],” said

While many students had already viewed the motion picture, and
came to see it again, others walked into the theater because they
had heard parents or friends talking about the film, and wanted to
make an opinion for themselves.

Sean Gurganian, a first-year student, said family considered the
movie a must see.

“[My uncles said it was] a classic movie [and I] had to see it
before graduating,” said Gurganian.

No matter the motive, students came and saw a high energy movie
about a nagging nun, wise cracking brothers, cars leaping over
draw-bridges and driving through malls, and the soulful sounds of
rhythm and blues.

What seemed to make the audience laugh the most was the extreme
car chase scenes, where vehicles and debris flew through the air
like party streamers.

In the 1980s movie, criminal brothers, Jake, played by the late
comedian John Belushi, and Elwood Blues, played by Dan Aykroyd, are
lead members of the quickstep dancing, rhythm and soul singing band
the “Blues Brothers.”

After his release from prison, the brothers feel an obligation
to ethically raise $5,000 to save a childhood church.

Their mission is to get the old band back together, and on their
way of reuniting the members and stealing gigs, they somehow anger
every police officer, bar owner and an Illinois Nazi group.

What stood out was the incredibly calm demeanor Elwood and Jake
had while buildings crumbling beneath them or telephone booths
shooting up in the sky with them inside.

The musical comedy featured an amazing array of performers,
including James Brown, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and 1930s icon
Cab Calloway.

Other supporting appearances included Twiggy, Carrie Fisher,
John Candy, Paul Reubens, also known as Pee Wee Herman, and a man
named Frank Oz who was the voice of Yoda from the “Star Wars” saga
and Grover from “The Muppets.”

While the motion picture premiered in 1980, Aykroyd and Belushi
started warming up the crowds of “Saturday Night Live” with their
musical alter egos in 1976.

Director John Landis, known for Michael Jackson’s video
“Thriller,” was also a man of excess having spent a whopping $30
million on the film, making it one of the most expensive movies of
the year.

Other free movie productions hosted by the Music Recital Hall
include “The Clockwork Orange” this Thursday, and “Some Like it
Hot” on Jan. 21, both at 8 p.m.

Reach Micheala Ard at:

Chicago, crime and comedy unite in

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Chicago, crime and comedy unite in ‘Blues Brothers’

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