Out of all the films inspired from characters originated on "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE", "THE BLUES BROTHERS" is probably the most beloved. This reviewer remembers the semi-hysteria in junior high school around the time "THE BLUES BROTHERS" movie was opening up in theaters. LORD, I FEEL OLD!!! It would be hard for any film to live up to the hype, but "THE BLUES BROTHERS" managed to do just that! Director John Landis was given a big enough budget to do anything he wanted and his desire to throw in every thing including the kitchen sink, actually worked in his favor. Unlike "1941", excess works to make a film with a simple plot like "THE BLUES BROTHERS", better!
When Jake is released from jail, he is joined by his brother Elwood on a quest to put his old band together in order to earn enough money to prevent their childhood orphanage from being sold in foreclosure.
Of course, along the way they manage to get American Nazi party and a whole lot law enforcement after them. But, that's about it as far as storyline. What makes the film work, on top of a whole lot of car crashes and destroyed property, are the dozens of extras that we meet up with and become dazzled by along the way.
These supporting actors include none other than Ray Charles, James Brown, John Candy, Steven Spielberg and many, many more! It can't get much better than that!
UNIVERSAL has included options for viewing either the extended version of the film or the theatrical version, on opposite sides of the same disc. The extended version does have a few more worthwhile scenes and even clears up some minor confusion. But, then again, the theatrical version is great on its own and even that version feels a bit long at times!
UNIVERSAL has preserved the film's 1.85:1 aspect ratio with 16:9 enhancement. Colors are solid, but never vibrant on either version. The previously available DTS version actually looks slightly better in terms of sharpness. The contrast is also solid, although there's a great deal of grain in darker scenes.
UNIVERSAL has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for the extended version and only a Dolby Digital 2.0 mix for the theatrical version. Both versions offer plenty of surround effects, especially during the frequent musical interludes. However, the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix has better overall clarity. It's disappointing to find that a DTS version hasn't been included, but even more so that the theatrical version didn't even get a Dolby Digital 5.1 version.