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Retro Movie Review: National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
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Dr. Zaius   |  @   |  
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Animal House Header

National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
Blu-ray | DVD
Directed by John Landis
Written by Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenney, Chris Miller
Starring John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Karen Allen, Tom Hulce, Mark Metcalf, James Daughton, Kevin Bacon, Stephen Furst
Universal Pictures
Rated R | 109 Minutes
Original Release Date: July 28th, 1978

If you are bored with the recent crop of 3D animation, superhero films, remakes, sequels, reboots, and reboot-quels, then perhaps you should step back in time and enjoy the classics. Turner Classics runs its TCM Big Screen Classics series where classic films head back to theaters for a few days at a time. This week, it’s the John Landis comedy National Lampoon’s Animal House starring John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Tom Hulce, Karen Allen, and more.

I went to the Sunday night showing of the film. Check out a retro review of this classic here below.

...continue reading »
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‘The Blues Brothers’ Animated Series May Not Be As Bad As You Think
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eelyajekiM   |  @   |  
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The Blues Brothers header

What started out as a sketch on Saturday Night Live, The Blues Brothers became one of the best comedies to feature rhythm and blues musical acts. Starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as “Joliet” Jake and Elwood Blues, respectively, the 1980 film had the two characters in a tale of redemption where they embark on “a mission from God” to save from foreclosure the Catholic orphanage in which they were raised.

Unfortunately, John Belushi died in 1982, but somehow a sequel was developed and released in 1998. Despite having the creative and performing core group return, the sequel never quite lived up to expectations and turned out to be a commercial and critical failure.

However, Aykroyd is going to develop an animated series based on the two films. But it is not as bad as it sounds thanks in part to the creative team that is involved. More on the story below.

...continue reading »
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‘The Blues Brothers’ Celebrates Its 35th Anniversary!
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Stoogeypedia   |  
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The Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers, an audacious, hilarious, over the top, high budget, quirky, zany R-Rated musical film, which showcased the exploits of one Jake and Elwood Blues, two caucasian blues musicians decked in black hats, sunglasses, and loosely fitting yet snazzy suit and tie combos, celebrates its 35th anniversary today.

The film, one of the earliest cinematic tie-ins to come from the long running comedy-variety program from Saturday Night Live (where the characters musically made their debut), remains a high octane cult favorite to legions of fans around the world to this day for many reasons: The crazy quilt plotting and pacing by director John Landis, off-the-wall characters that range from sinister country folk to Nazis that hail from Illinois (the film is set in Chicago), and the music, which is red hot blues and R&B standards sung by the likes of heavyweights of that genre like John Lee Hooker, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway and Ray Charles. Also of course, the performances of the lead characters, Dan Aykroyd (who co-wrote the script with Landis), and the late, great, cherubic, rough-around-the-edges king of the irreverent and brash comedy castle, John Belushi.

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‘Animal House’ Celebrates Its 35th Anniversary
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Stoogeypedia   |  
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Animal House

Animal House, the 1978 smash hit comedy which ushered in a new genre at the time in Hollywood known as the “gross-out picture,” was instrumental in making the magazine and brand name National Lampoon more prominent to the mainstream, and made a superstar out of last-of-the-rebels comedic kamikaze pilot, John Belushi, celebrated its 35th Anniversary late last month.

Produced on a small budget, shot up in Oregon for the most part, directed by John Landis, and written by Lampoon stalwarts as Chris Miller, Harold Ramis, and the late Douglas Kenney (who was the first editor of Lampoon and who has a role in the film as “Stork”), Animal House was originally released in the teeming summer of 1978 and surprised everybody by going on to make over $120 million and making a total and complete template of the juvenile delinquents taking on the school system which represents authority kind of comedic narrative that has been going on since The Marx Brothers’ Horsefeathers and probably even earlier.

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Remembering Comedian John Belushi On His Birthday
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John Belushi

Today would have been John Belushi’s 64th birthday. The comedian, who was part of the original era of the “Not Ready For Prime Time Players” on Saturday Night Live from 1975 – 1979 and represented one of the last of the renegade, reckless, revolutionary comedians that was a by-product of the radicalism of the late 1960s which saw comedy conventions being splintered by way of troupes and publications like The Firesign Theater, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and National Lampoon Magazine, died from an injection of heroin and cocaine on March 5th 1982 at the age of 33.

Belushi brought to SNL and to the comedy world in general a kind of madness not often seen on television, and not seen since his passing. Although he grew up as a child in the 1950s and early 1960s of a generation weaned on television that was safe and predictable, Belushi’s style became anything but. He manifested his comedic talents the way he lived, the lines between Belushi the public figure and Belushi the real man were blurred for the most part.

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