Tuesday, May 5, 2020

[Roll Your Own Life] The Movies That Made Me (Part 9)


I was doing this list chronologically as these movies had an impact on me, and despite this being a film released five years before the latest entry on the list, this is about the right time for the movie to have made an impact on me. After Ghostbusters, especially when it was released on VHS, I hunted down all the movies that featured the SNL actors who appeared in it, and branched out into others of the same ilk. I loved all the early Steve Martin movies (especially The Man With Two Brains) and those early Chevy Chase movies. Dan Aykroyd was a legend in my eyes, and I looked for any movie he was in - but one really didn't appeal to me. The Blues Brothers.

I don't know why - probably because it looked like it was a musical and I really hate musicals. There are a couple of exceptions (Rocky Horror, Once More With Feeling, Dr Horrible) but most of the time the moment someone bursts into song I turn off. But, I needed to see this one. I loved Dan Aykroyd, and John Belushi was awesome in Animal House and 1941. Hell, it even had Carrie Fisher in it who was in my favourite movie ever, so I relented and rented it from the video store.

Oh boy was I ever wrong. The Blues Brothers is one of my faves. It's funny, has a hell of a heart behind it, and loads of little details that just stick with you - "He broke my watch!" 

Their quest to raise enough money to save the orphanage where they grew up results in an epic concert con-job and one of the most destructive and longest car chases ever put on screen. Going by Wikipedia, 103 cars were trashed making the movie, only surpassed by the truly awful Blues Brothers 2000, and G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra.

They manage to piss off everyone from the police to the "Good Ol' Boys" and a bunch of Nazis, resulting in some crazy stunts that still blow my mind today.

Sure, it's a musical, but it's a great musical. The songs are classics, and I was stunned to see that The Blues Brothers had actual albums you could buy in the shops! I immediately purchased Made in America, and Briefcase Full of Blues, and scoured my dad's record collection for other Atlantic records classics like Sam & Dave, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and more. A record collection that would set me up nicely for when I became obsessed with Moonlighting and David Addison's music tastes in the coming years.

I was in the Sixth Form at school, and the moment we were no longer required to wear school uniform I wore nothing but black - like Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi... that was, until I saw the Blues Brothers.

After that, for many months, the black jacket came out again, the white shirt and black tie... And the raybans. Of course this was before I had to wear glasses. Five years too late I was walking around in the outfit (minus the hat)... Maybe I was trend setting ready for when Reservoir Dogs would come out.

Heck, I think I wore that for the interview for my first job (just not the sunglasses!)

No wonder no one would go out with me.

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