National Lampoon's Animal House & The Blues Brothers
National Lampoon's Animal House
Celebrate "seven years of college down the drain" with the 2-Disc 30th Anniversary Edition of National Lampoon's Animal House. John Landis directs the legendary John Belushi as John "Bluto" Blutarsky in this outrageous spoof of 1960s campus life. Follow the uproarious adventures of the Delta House fraternity as they take on Dean Wormer (John Vernon), the sanctimonious Omegas, and the entire female student body. Loaded with all-new, wild bonus material and featuring Belushi in the role that rocketed him to fame, this hilarious escapade also stars Kevin Bacon, Donald Sutherland and Karen Allen, along with Otis Day and the Knights performing their unforgettable rendition of "Shout". Relive all the food fights, toga parties and racy good times in the 30th Anniversary Edition of National Lampoon's Animal House - the most popular college comedy of all time!Quick Specs:
Run Time: 109 mins, Video Format: 1080p, Audio Format: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1, Region: A, Release Date: Jul 26, 2011The Blues Brothers
The Blues Brothers 25th Anniversary Edition includes: TWO Versions of the Film - Expanded Version and Original Theatrical Version (never before available on DVD) and all-new bonus material!
Comedy icons John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd star in the outrageously funny musical comedy about Jake and Elwood Blues, two brothers searching for redemption with no money but a briefcaase full of soul. Hit the road with musical performances by blues legends Ray Charles, James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Cab Calloway in the action-packed spectacular from acclaimed director John Landis.Quick Specs:
Run Time: Theatrical 133 mins, Extended 148 mins, Video Format: 1080p, Audio Format: DTS 5.1, Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1, Region: A, Release Date: Jul 26, 2011My Take:
John Landis is one of my all time favorite directors. What? Wait?...what about Fellini, Hitchcock, Scorsese, Kurosawa...I am not putting him a category as a director of that status, but for me, a few of his films are entertainment/comedy gold. They happen to be the 1-2-3 punch of 1978s Animal House, 1980s The Blues Brothers and one of my all-time-favorites, 1981s An American Werewolf in London. Talk about range. A ruckus of a college party flick, a comedy-action-musical of the likes that has never been duplicated and a horror/comedy that is perfect in my book. Add John Belushi into the mix and we sure do have some comedy genius...and a surprisingly good musician. The man sure was talented.
American Werewolf in London was released by Universal on Blu-ray in 2009. It had a nice amount of special features but the video quality showed its age. Animal House is plagued by the same issues. The image is a bit noisy, and soft with some DNR filtering applied that just smooths out fine details. Thankfully The Blues Brothers is a different story. It's a Landis approved re-master and the results made re-watching this classic comedy a joy. Details were much more evident than the other Universal catalog titles, and the appearance was filmic, with a nice veil of grain. This is without a doubt the best The Blues Brothers has looked. The same goes for the sound...I love the music in The Blues Brothers, and it came across dynamic, with a nice stereo spread. This audio track also has a nice bit of LFE and rear channel activity...impressive for its 30 year age...and even more impressive is that it sounds so nice for a lossy codec. It is in DTS 5.1 not DTS HD Master Audio 5.1. Animal House sounds decent as well, but is not nearly as memorable. I really couldn't find a fault per-say, it just did its job.
Animal House still hits a cord with me. I remember it was as cool to grab a sneak viewing on cable as it was to peek through the shower hole in Porky's...this is when I was 10. Seeing it now, it really is not as risqué a I remembered, especially considering how desensitized we are with the rash of imitation college comedies with a plethora of boobs and f-bombs. What I found so surprising was the heart Animal House has under its surface. It also made me really miss the late great John Belushi, who really ruled as John "Bluto" Blutarsky. Its cast of Kevin Bacon, Donald Sutherland, Karen Allen, Tom Hulce and Tim Matheson still holds up as perfect, and Dean Wormer, played by John Vernon is still iconic to this day. If you have yet to see it, I really suggest a rental.
The Blues Brothers keeps getting better. This Blu-ray is a welcome addition to my collection and I do recommend a purchase to fans out there. It comes with the theatrical as well as the directors cut. I watched the latter and loved every minute of its 148 minutes runtime. The extra 15 minutes don't add much, some extended musical numbers and some footage that is obvious of lesser quality. The songs, cast and feel of The Blues Bothers is just super fun. We have John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Carrie Fisher James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, Steven Spielberg, John Landis, Frank Oz, Cab Calloway, Twiggy & Paul Reubens. That is just awesome! Based on the classic SNL skits of Jake and Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd & John Belushi), the plot is pretty basic. After getting released from prison, Jake Blues, puts together his old band to save the Catholic home where he and brother Elwood were raised. Of course along the way they run into lots of trouble, laughs and amazing jams with lots of blues greats. This comes highly recommended.
*note: these are 2 separate releases