Saturday, May 2, 2015

Blues Brothers 2000/The Blues Brothers Part 4

Elwood Blues: The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Part 1 Of A Series Of 4
The Blues Brothers:

The Movie
The 1990's ended with a slew of revival films bringing back and rebooting classic TV shows. John Landis hopped on the bandwagon. He wrote a script for an updated Blues Brothers movie.

Dan Aykroyd was still available to act in the character of Elwood Blues. There was no way to bring back Jake Blues, John Belushi was a hard act to follow!

Landis wrote three characters to replace one Blues Brother: a ten year old kid, a bartender and the first black Blues Brother.

From Wikipedia we have a plot summary:
The story picks up 18 years later with Elwood being released from prison, and learning that his brother, Jake Blues, has died. He is once again prevailed upon to save some orphans, and with a 10-year-old boy named Buster Blues (J. Evan Bonifant) in tow, Elwood again sets about the task of reuniting his band. He recruits some new singers, Mighty Mack (John Goodman) and Cab (Joe Morton), a policeman who was Curtis' son. All the original band members are found, as well as some performers from the first film, including Aretha Franklin and James Brown. There are dozens of other guest performers, including Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Junior Wells, Lonnie Brooks, Macaulay Culkin, Eddie Floyd, Wilson Pickett, Isaac Hayes, Sam Moore, Taj Mahal and Jonny Lang, Blues Traveler, as well as an all-star supergroup led by B. B. King called the Louisiana Gator Boys. On the run from the police, Russian mafia and a racist militia, the band eventually ends up in Louisiana, where they enter a battle of the bands overseen by a voodoo practitioner named Queen Moussette (Erykah Badu). During a song by the Blues Brothers (a Caribbean number called "Funky Nassau"), a character played by Paul Shaffer asks to cut in on keyboards, which Murph allows. This marks the first time in a film that the Blues Brothers play with their original keyboardist.
Like the original Blues Brothers film, this is a hard film to categorize. Not because of the genre busting combination of being a musical, an action film, and a comedy, rather because it was billed as a sequel but it was more of a remake.

The whole movie was filled with excess. It took what worked from the original film and tried to raise the stakes.In stead of two Blues Brothers, there were now four. Instead of a chase across Illinois It was a chase all the way to New Orleans. Instead of Illinois Nazis, We get Russian Mafia oh and the KKK too, because why not?

If a joke was funny once in the original movie, it was basically remade in this movie. Only usually on a larger scale. Because the jokes weren't fresh, they weren't funny. And some things like, Aykroyd's famous skidding parking job were repeated as a running joke. The problem was, it just wasn't funny.

They introduced a cute kid into the mix, apparently to make the film appeal to a family market (?), yet the subplot of the Russian Mafia involved the long scenes inside a strip club. Kind of strange. Overall the movie is a bit of a wreck.

The Music
Still, the film is watchable, and that is mostly due to the excess that continued into the number of musical greats that were recruited to appear in the movie. This list from Wikipedia shows the amazing number of legendary blues performers showcased in the film:
The Blues Brothers Band
  • Dan Aykroyd as Elwood J. Blues – harmonica and vocals
  • John Goodman as "Mighty" Mack McTeer – lead vocals
  • Joe Morton as Cabel "Cab" Chamberlain – vocals
  • J. Evan Bonifant as Buster Blues – vocals and harmonica (harmonica recorded by John Popper)
  • Steve Cropper as Steve "the Colonel" Cropper – rhythm guitar and vocals
  • Donald "Duck" Dunn as Donald "Duck" Dunn – bass guitar
  • Murphy Dunne as Murphy "Murph" Dunne – keyboards
  • Willie Hall as Willie "Too Big" Hall – drums and percussion
  • Tom Malone as Tom "Bones" Malone – trombone, tenor saxophone and vocals
  • Lou Marini as "Blue Lou" Marini – alto saxophone and tenor saxophone and vocals
  • Matt Murphy as Matt "Guitar" Murphy – lead guitar
  • Alan Rubin as Alan "Mr. Fabulous" Rubin – trumpet, percussion and vocals

Musical guests
  • Junior Wells as Himself
  • Lonnie Brooks as Himself
  • Blues Traveler as Themselves
  • Jonny Lang as Janitor
  • Eddie Floyd as Ed
  • Wilson Pickett as Mr. Pickett
  • Aretha Franklin as Mrs. Murphy
  • Esther Ridgeway as Mrs. Murphy's Friend
  • Gloria Ridgeway as Mrs. Murphy's Friend
  • Gracie Ridgeway as Mrs. Murphy's Friend
  • Sam Moore as Reverend Morris
  • James Brown as Reverend Cleophus James
  • Erykah Badu as Queen Mousette
The Louisiana Gator Boys
The Louisiana Gator Boys is a blues supergroup created for Blues Brothers 2000. They face The Blues Brothers in a battle of the bands. The band comprises:
  • B. B. King as Malvern Gasperone – Vocals and guitar
  • Jeff "Skunk" Baxter – guitar
  • Gary U.S. Bonds – vocals
  • Eric Clapton – vocals and guitar
  • Clarence Clemons – vocals, tenor saxophone and tambourine
  • Jack DeJohnette – drums
  • Bo Diddley – vocals and guitar
  • Jon Faddis – trumpet
  • Isaac Hayes – vocals
  • Dr. John – vocals and piano
  • Tommy "Pipes" McDonnell – vocals
  • Charlie Musselwhite – vocals and harmonica
  • Billy Preston – vocals and synthesizer
  • Lou Rawls – vocals
  • Joshua Redman – tenor saxophone
  • Koko Taylor – vocals
  • Travis Tritt – vocals and guitar
  • Jimmie Vaughan – vocals and guitar
  • Grover Washington, Jr. – baritone saxophone
  • Willie Weeks – bass guitar
  • Steve Winwood – vocals and organ
  • Paul Shaffer as Marco/Himself – keyboards
The music in movie saves some heavy handed production decisions and frankly lazy script writing. IMDB gives it 4.8 stars and generally it was panned by critics and fans, the Rotten Tomatoes audience score only being 38% thumbs up at the time of this Old Highway Note,

The Video Game


A Nintendo 64 game was released in conjunction with the movie. It wasn't very popular either as the title of this YouTube Video attests, "Worst Game Ever".

Playlist Additions
Amazon Store

It's a crying shame, but the truth is I have not gotten around to adding the Blues Brothers 2000 Soundtrack to my music collection, so officially it can't be added to the playlist. Regardless of that technicality a look at the movie requires a listen to it's music. So here is as complete a playlist as possible using YouTube videos.

I do have a legitimate addition to the playlist to make though. When the movie was released a live album was also released and that DID make its way into my collection. It is a strong set of the Blues Brothers from that era.

Album: Blues Brothers & Friends: Live From Chicago' House Of Blues Blues Brothers & Friends

  • Intro 3:18
  • Green Onions 2:49
  • Chicken Shack 0:52
  • Sweet Home Chicago 2:42
  • I Wish You Would 4:23
  • Messin' With The Kid 4:17
  • All My Money Back 3:22
  • Born In Chicago 2:09
  • Blues, Why You Worry Me? 4:47
  • Groove With Me Tonight 4:14
  • 634-5789 5:38
  • All She Wants To Do Is Rock 2:34
  • Flip, Flop And Fly 3:15
  • Money (That's What I Want) 3:29
  • Viva Las Vegas 3:58

Signing Off And Coming Attractions

Have you have seen Blues Brothers 2000? I would love to hear your opinion of the film. Just leave a comment at the bottom of the post where you are given that option. Also I would love it if you subscribed and told your friends about Old Highway Notes. Your positive feedback is what keeps me going. I am not making any money of this project, you know.

Next On Highway 101: San DiegoCalifornia: Leaving Sea World, we continue North through San Diego to Torrey Pines State Beach.
Next On Interstate 95Vero BeachFlorida: Returning to the Interstate, we continue North heading towards our next Spring Training baseball stadium.
Next On Route 66ChicagoIllinois: We continue to dig into music related to Chicago.

Mileage Stats

Route 66: 0 Miles/1 State/1071 Tracks/268 Videos/41 Posts
Highway 101: 26 Miles/2 Countries/1 State/641 Tracks/407 Videos/31 Posts
Interstate 95: 143 Miles/1 State/96 Tracks/156 Videos/16 Posts
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