This one must've been the craziest thing I've seen yet. Just when you thought it was going to be serious, the next scene completely takes you off guard. Just how crazy can it get? Well fine I'll tell you...
K, where do I start?...I'm serious where do I start? I'm not even sure what went on half the time. Not that it was a bad thing I just am having difficulty on what is appropriate to start with first. Ok let's try this, I have to make this different, the only way to write about this is to go through the movie and maybe I'll come up with a subject.
Alright so first we start off with the beginning which looks like a completely different film. It takes place in a prison where John Belushi is locked up for what looks like a serious reason because of how he is treated by the guards. They carefully lead him through the prison for he is being released today. This movie is a comedy, don't worry just be patient it's getting there. So he is lead to the area for the Corrections Officer to retrieve his belongings and, oh you've got to be kidding me Frank Oz? The man who brought you the voice of Yoda, Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear?! What are you doing here? Actually there are a countless amount of cameos in this film. I was surprised at how many there were, sad to say I didn't recognise all of them. Anyways moving forward, he's lead out to see good ol' Dan Aykroyd waiting for him. Elwood (Aykroyd) reminds Jake (Belushi) that he has to visit "The Penguin" because he promised. This is where the movie is starting to get weird... So they visit Penguin at the church, which is illuminated by the colour red and the doors shut by themselves for some reason. And oh my God it's Burgess Meredith!...Haaa no it isn't, but it is Kathleen Freeman who played, every maid and nurse in the 60's films but most recognised for her role in the original The Nutty Professor as Millie Lemon. She wants the boys to earn $5000 to save the boarding school for tax purposes and it has to be paid within 11 days. She gives her final warning about the circumstances if they don't retrieve the money, then literally floats away never to be seen again. It looks more bizarre than reading about it, I assure you.
Jobless, the two brothers try to figure out a plan to get $5000 in 11 days. They get an encouraging idea from their long time friend played by, oh gee another cameo, Cab Colloway, best known for his song "Minnie the Moocher". Curtis (Colloway) says they should attend a sunday afternoon service at the local gospel church. Hesitant, they finally agree and witness one of the happiest and musically talented services hosted by (cameo alert) James Brown. The music in this film I will say is spectacular, you'd love it especially if you're a Jazz and Blues fan, but I'll get to that afterwards. Jake finally sees the light and comes up with the smartest idea which is to reform the band they once were the stars of. So the rest of the movie is about gathering the previous band members and trying to work out a plan to get them the biggest gig of their career to save the boarding school. Sounds simple enough, although this is a John Landis film so this will have a few obstacles to over come. Hey! Look Carrie Fisher is going to save them from all of their troubles as she did as Princess Leia. * Carries Fisher pulls out a detonator and blows up the apartment building the brothers were in *
What-? Did just happen?! The brothers are fine? And they didn't really notice that wasn't a big deal, yeah this movie does not have authentic reactions. Part of it's charm? Well I like it actually, I mean why be serious in a comedy right? Either way you'd have to be comfortable with it because she does try to murder them quite often and never expect an actual amount of sense from these scenes.
There's not much else that is essential to the plot, but I will notify a few things that go on, very briefly, but I'll try to make as much sense as I can. The brothers pretty much piss off a lot of people in this film from the dumbest ways possible. What they do could have just been avoided in the first place but they are extremely nonchalant about everything so they deserve it all. Even the psycho Carrie Fisher has a reason to kill them but I'll let you find out for yourself. Just be aware that they end up being wanted men by what seems to be from every police in the states, even the swat team, army, yeah did I mention this movie is way over the top ridiculous? Oh and I almost forgot, a Nazi clan is after them. Comedy!
I don't want to give everything away but I do have to mention some of the best cameos, so I'll just list them to make this shorter:
- Aretha Franklin (if for some stupid reason you don't know her, she was most notable for her song "Respect")
- Ray Charles
- Twiggy (famous British fashion model)
-John Lee Hooker ("Boom Boom")
-Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman!)
-John Candy (not really much of a cameo since he's the chief of police I believe, but I have to mention him anyways)
-John Landis (yes even the director himself made a cameo)
There are certainly more than that, but I think you get the idea.
Since you've seen the list of cameos, you could guess how awesome crazy the music was. If you are a serious Rhythm and Blues fan you're really going to love this movie. I mean I'm not a massive fan of the genre myself but I was sure as hell enjoying every song. This movie is just packed with energy and yet so fun even though nothing really makes much sense to why those kind of wild situations actually occur, or even go together but it somehow works out.
Yes! This was a complicated one to spell out. And now something completely different, my verdict. I'm going to try to think of the 2 main reactions people might have of this film. You either enjoy the music and the over-the-top comedy that makes the least sense possible (yeah physics don't apply here really). Or you don't because of what I just mentioned. It won't be for everyone but nothing ever will be. I personally enjoyed it's charm, so I think it deserves a 7/10. Ok I think I'm realising my own pattern here. I haven't really gone more or less than the 7 range have I? Well hear me out. I am a huge movie lover, I went to school for it, even earned a degree, but I am picky when it comes to a movie that I find spectacular. Cult classic films seem to only make me think they are really good films. Are you curious to know what I do find unbelievably-fantastic-crazy good- super-awesome films? Well I can't really name one or two, so maybe I'll make a top 10 list or something. But not for a while, that will take a lot of focus and courage to come up with one. But maybe some day...
Why do I only give it a 7? Well I do admit it does get to be too much sometimes. The Nazis...I don't see why they had to have a part in the movie. I thought the thousands of cops, army and swat were enough. The first 3rd of the movie also seemed a bit long but I was thankful that it got to speed up a bit, although it still seemed like a 2 ½ hour long film. I still really enjoyed the music don't get me wrong about that, but it was just those little things that kind of made me turned off at some points. I still thought the brothers were great, brilliantly written, very fun and awesome performers. And I do also give this movie credit for being creative and really out there.
Alright then, another great movie to do another painless review on. What's that? Why am I always complaining about movies that are so terrible yet I haven't even mentioned a title for an example of just how bad movies can get? Well this is your lucky day! Just to show you how much balls I have to watch something so putrid even the Devil himself says that's fucking awful...You asked for it
NEXT REVIEW: BEN & ARTHUR