The Blues Brothers

Autobahn in The Big Lebowski

You wouldn’t be able to see them in concert. You couldn’t necessarily find an old favorite of theirs on vinyl or hear their new single on the radio, or download their latest EP as a new discovery. But for the fictional bands of cinema, their music still matters in a deep, powerful way. With the announcement that one of the most famous fictional bands of all time, Jem and the Holograms, is getting the movie adaptation treatment, it’s about time to look at the other fake bands that stepped onto the silver screen before them. Their existence may not be true, but their music is.

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Almost Famous - Stillwater

In the wake of the untimely passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman, we here at FSR were asked to think of our favorite Hoffman performance. I immediately thought of his portrayal of rock journalist Lester Bangs in Almost Famous which got me thinking about the band Stillwater which William (Patrick Fugit) ends up following on tour. Stillwater is a fictional band created for Almost Famous, but they feel like anything but fiction, instead coming across as a real band just starting to climb the charts, easily existing alongside The Who and Black Sabbath (the band they opened for in the film). So what was it about Stillwater that made them feel like a real life band and not one simply created to help drive the story?

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the-blues-brothers

Movies that are able to effectively blend action and comedy tend to be real crowd pleasers. Large segments of the moviegoing public go to the cinema specifically to escape, and, really, what’s more escapist than laughing and being thrilled at the same time? From The General to Big Trouble in Little China to Shaun of the Dead, the best action comedies tend to become cult favorites that stand the test of time and get re-watched constantly. There’s one action comedy that has a giant cult following I’ve never found an inroad to appreciate though—John Landis’ 1980 hit, The Blues Brothers. It’s not hard to see why many find it memorable. It’s set in an exaggerated version of lower class Chicago that’s easy to romanticize, it gets to ride the coattails of John Belushi’s gone-too-soon legacy, and it features so many legendary musicians that you almost feel like you have to respect it by proxy. Putting all that aside though, the movie is really long and slow, it doesn’t contain many big laughs, and quite frankly I have a hard time finishing it without falling asleep. One recent action comedy that doesn’t get any respect is 2011’s The Green Hornet, and seeing as its writers, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, released the impressive and seemingly well-liked This is the End over the weekend, it feels like an appropriate time to revisit it and ask why that is. The Green Hornet made a decent amount of coin, and was successful enough on […]

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Exactly one billion years ago today, a group of settlers had an early dinner with the Wampanoag Native American tribe before playing an unsettling game of touch football in their back yard. They then went to the local merchant to stand in line for many hours in hopes of purchasing an item for slightly less than what it will cost the following day, thus completely justifying the enormous emotional distress of doing so. Today we honor this tradition by having a dinner with friends and family to celebrate the unification of mankind before going to the mall and doing the exact opposite of that. But hey, it could be weirder. For example, the following:

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Drinking Games

Do you have your taxes done? The clock is ticking away to midnight on April 17th to file. If you don’t, you might end up owing $5,000 to the government, and unlike a certain Chicago orphanage, you can’t rely on “Joliet” Jake Blues and his brother Elwood to raise that money for you. Although released more than 30 years ago, The Blues Brothers still strikes a chord with audiences around the world. Revisit the classic SNL-spawned musical from the days when SNL films were actually good. Kick back and wash down your dry white toast and four fried chickens with blue-collar beer from a honky-tonk bar. Just make sure you fill out those tax forms before you’re done with the game, or you might not remember to mail them.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s nothing more than a nightly film news column that keeps fighting the good fight. The one that celebrates movies, good, bad and otherwise interesting, and is generally optimistic. It doesn’t attack other websites that smear its name. Though if /Film’s Page 2 keeps mean-mugging it, that bitch is gonna get smacked. That’s how we settle things in the streets. As you are about to see, this week’s final News After Dark edition comes on a very slow news night. So it’s all posters, future Blu-rays and articles I found interesting. Including this AV Club Q&A about first R-rated movies. Like AV’s Josh Modell, I’m fairly certain — almost completely certain — that my first R-rated film was The Blues Brothers, a film that has remained part of my beating, movie-loving heart ever since. What was your first R-rated movie? Feel free to let me know in the comment area below and we’ll have some fun discussing. Or not, whatever. I see how it is.

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This Week in Blu-ray

Back by popular demand, This Week in Blu-ray is here and ready to take on a big week of reviews in high definition. Sine we’ve been away for more than a few good releases, many of them have been included in this week’s entry. The highlights are many as we traverse through a world of major TV box set releases, great animated adventures, raunch comedy from the 70s and 80s, raunch comedy in the modern era, big action, big muscles, charming documentaries and at least one movie you should absolutely avoid at all costs. Torchwood: The Complete Original UK Series Seeing as this column has been away for a few weeks and I’m going to be catching up with some of the best and brightest releases we missed, I’m calling for a temporary rule change and allowing myself two — count ‘em — two picks of the week. First, because it would be near impossible for me to choose between the two. And (b), because they fit so well together. The first of these two must-have television sets is Torchwood, the Doctor Who spin-off about a secret British agency led by a mysterious American named Jack Harkness who has one advantage over the hordes of aliens he comes into contact with: he can’t die. Led by this immortal man, a team of gifted, otherwise ordinary humans work to protect humanity from any threat, be it alien, supernatural or otherwise strange and interesting. Now, you may be thinking to yourself “I […]

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It’s a seminal element of the human experience. We grab a few friends, hop into the car that has the least chance of breaking down (but will end up breaking down anyway), and go off in search of that bottle of Dom we buried/that porn tape we accidentally made/Brad Pitt and the nearest cliff. It’s the road! The appeal of the freedom promised by the very founders of this fine country themselves. Fresh air, endless pavement, and the anticipation of leaving yourself open to new experiences in towns large and small alike. Will you end up having a fireworks fight in a graveyard? Will you fall in love with the girl behind the counter at Dairy Queen? Will you go skinny dipping as the Summer sun sets in a blaze of oranges, purples and pinks? Not in these films. In these road trippers, the situations are all a bit different. Buckle up and reset the odometer for 12 Unconventional Road Trip Movies.

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macgruber

So you’re not all that excited about a one-off SNL sketch becoming a feature-length film? If it’s R-rated, maybe you should be.

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80sfilmheader

Rejoice! It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to remakes. There’s a ton of 80s movies that aren’t being remade, and here’s just a handful of the ones we’re most thankful for.

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