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BLUES BROS 2000

SYNOPSIS:
Elwood (Akroyd), the now lone Blues Brother finally released from prison, is once again enlisted by Sister Mary Stigmata (Freeman) in her latest crusade to raise funds for a children's hospital. She wants him to be the mentor for young and troubled Buster (Bonifant), who soon becomes his Ďassociateí. So much for mentoring. Elwood hits the road again, to re-unite the band and later to try and win the big prize at the New Orleans Battle of the Bands, but his unfailing ability to attract trouble has Elwood pursued cross-country by the cops, led by Cabel (Morton) the Curtis' son (and Elwood's step-brother), the Russian Mafia, and a militia group. Elwood is, of course, ably assisted by a strip-club bartender (Goodman).

"Monty Python meets blues music festival meets demolition derby meets Saturday Night Live as Akroyd and team plunder the US in an attempt to inflict yet another $24 million dollars worth of damage. But in the process, boy do we get to hear some great music! The best, of course, is the last, a battle of the bands that could convince blues music lovers that they have gone to heaven and are sitting in the great big cinema in the sky. The set pieces, like the sequence at the Love Exchange (a phone sex operation peopled by housewives in curlers and designed like a mail order company) and the jokey surreal treatment of Ghost Riders in the Sky are good value, too, while the characters are at once ridiculous yet endearingly human. Young Bonifant is a terrific Buster, enormously versatile for a child actor, and the leads are at their best: Goodman also displays his thumping great voice. The wickedly drawn Mother Stigmata by Freeman is deftly comic without poking fun. The film is just a hoot from start to finish, so donít resist the temptation to give yourself over to its juvenile sense of humour and its brilliant soundtrack. Be blown away by the blues."
Andrew L. Urban

"Wacky, wonderful and wildly entertaining, Blues Bros 2000 hits the screen with gusto, panache and lots of rhythm. Described as a comedy with rhythm and blues, frankly it doesnít matter one beat of the little olí drum whether youíve seen the original or not. And yes, the plot may be flimsy and drag a little at times, but who cares? Cause itís hip, itís droll and the music will keep you bopping along: toes on automatic tap, heart singing, smile beaming. The big star of the film without doubt is the music, which dazzles with a cast of whatís essentially a Whoís Who of the funky R & B scene. Dan Aykroyd, with his delightfully deadpan delivery is a blast, while John Goodman is tops as usual, showing off his considerable vocal talents, reminiscent of Tom Jones. And J. Evan Bonifant is terrific as Buster, his rubber-like flexibility in his song and dance routines well displayed. With the black Rayban look of Men In Black and the humour to match, Blues Bros 2000ís characters are engaging while being nonsensical and entertaining. Thereís plenty of action with the multi-car smashes set to music, and lots of asinine humour. The film really comes to life in the musical fantasy segments - the first being a real show stopper with the incomparable Aretha Franklin singing her extraordinary R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (re-recorded for the film, 30 years after the original) in a magical sequence full of nuance, while being totally straight faced. The gospel revival scenes with James Brown and Sam Moore is a rousing musical highlight, but of course nothing tops the finale, which takes a life of its own, when things are really cooking in a musical feast which includes the likes of B.B. King, Isaac Hayes, Billy Preston, Bo Diddley, Dr John Travis Tritt, Eric Clapton and Lou Rawls. Extravagantly absurd at times, Blues Bros 2000 is a fun and compulsive ride with lovable characters and a music soundtrack to die for."
Louise Keller

"Forget everything you might have read about this sequel to cult classic The Blues Brothers. OK, so great cinema this is not, and yes, it has moments of utter silliness, including a ridiculous Russian Mafia sub-plot. But taken for what it is, Blues Brothers 2000 is a hoot of a film, a grade A slice of cinematic escapism which is funny, slick and musically sublime. Under the always assured direction of maestro John Landis, who also co-wrote the script with Aykroyd, Blues Brothers 2000 moves ahead with a frenetic pace, and its truckload of manic characters who put on one great show. In between the farcical comedy, thereís the music, and oh, how sweet it is. The musical sequences, beautifully and imaginatively choreographed, are what makes this movie a joy to watch and listen to. The Aretha Franklin ĎRespectí sequence is quite stunning, as are all the musical sequences, including the filmís star-studded finale. But while the film is peopled with some extraordinary musical talent, the actors in this film hold their own, such as John Goodman, delightful as the newest band member, who sings up a storm, and incredible newcomer J. Evan Bonifant, all of 10 years old, an irrepressible bundle of musical energy. Gorgeous to look at, fast and furious, Blues Brothers 2000 is a joyful, toe-tapping piece of musical entertainment. Itís clear everyone on screen had a ball making this film - and it rubs off on the audience."
Paul Fischer

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CRITICAL COUNT:
Favourable: 3
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

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See Andrew L. Urban's SOUNDTRACK REVIEW

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BLUES BROTHERS 2000 ( )
(US)

CAST: Dan Akroyd, John Goodman, Joe Morton, J. Evan Bonifant, Kathleen Freeman, B.B. King, Lonnie Brooks, Willie Hall, Matt Murphy, Lou Marini, Aretha Franklin, Donald Dunn, Steve Cropper, Frank Oz, Murphy Dunne, Eddie Floyd, Wilson Pickett, James Brown, Erykah Badu, Steve Lawrence, Alan Rubin Ė and heaps more

DIRECTOR: John Landis

PRODUCER: John Landis, Dan Akroyd, Leslie Belzberg

SCRIPT: Dan Akroyd and John Landis

CINEMATOGRAPHER: David Herrington

EDITOR: Dale Beldin

MUSIC: Paul Shaffer

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bill Brodie

RUNNING TIME: 125 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 30, 1998

Aust Video Distrib: CIC
Video Release: Dec 18, 1998







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