Monday, August 24, 2009

My trip was fun, and I'm on a mission from God.

Well, as for the trip, it was good; except for the 2(!) speeding tickets that were garnered in upstate NY and the veritable monsoon that ran us out of the Phish show a tad early due to waterloggedness. Duck = delicious; caves = cold, and diverting but not the most impressive display ever; Gourmet dinner = outstanding; Phish show = hotel check in was a pain in my ass and everyone else's, but the show was pretty good despite the weather; Animal Park = awesome, even though we switched it to a different animal park that was more directly available on our route.
Then, after a few days at home, I headed up to NOVA to go to my friend's wedding party on Saturday, which was great because we've known each other forever and all our buddies from far and wide came to attend, and much reminiscence regarding who met who when and in what dorm, coupled with much beer and wine, took place.
Now, I'm in school again (alas...) and balancing that with work and the recent advent of my extremely cute boyfriend as a resident of my apartment has me exceptionally busy. But not so busy I can't tell you a little about a movie.*
As a result of a conversation with said boyfriend last week, I realized that I hadn't posted regarding my Favorite Movie of All Time. So, in an attempt to rectify my negligence, I will now say a little about the magnum opus of dear departed John Belushi and still-living Dan Aykroyd's careers, The Blues Brothers. This 1980 film, written by Aykroyd and John Landis, is the most universally defining movie of my life. I watched it one hundred thousand times with my brother growing up. Every line from this movie is permanently engraved on my cerebral cortex, and if an eight year old girl could have turned herself into either Jake or Elwood Blues, she would have done it in a snap. I idolized those guys like nobody's business. My brother named his two puppies after their characters 17 years ago. I can't even begin to explain how every nuance of this movie is exquisite to my personal sensibilities. For a white kid like me, there were no cooler people on the planet, real or fictional.

To summarize the plot, Jake gets out of the Joint (Joliet Prison, hence his nickname "Joliet Jake") and brother Elwood picks him up. They go visit the Catholic school they attended as children and find out that it needs money to stay in business. They decide to reunite their old band and have a benefit concert. The rest of the movie involves the two of them rounding up the old members and attempting to stage a huge show, all while falling afoul of the law in numerous ways that involve many car chases and crashes, one of which takes place inside a shopping mall. There are musical numbers by Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Cab Calloway, James Brown, John Lee Hooker, and the brothers themselves, who had albums in their own right.

I love the blues, and I love sarcasm, and I have a fondness for outlaws, and my brother loves cars, and we both enjoyed the over-the-top car chases immensely. I will admit that my deep and abiding affection for this movie is probably entwined with my equal affection for my brother and our childhood together, but I will also attest to the fact that I have seen it plenty of times without him and it is still my top favorite movie ever. If I could be this movie, I would. I would be a black suit and sunglasses and a fedora, and I would be blues music as played and sung by the greatest purveyors of the sound, and I would be a Plymouth Bluesmobile, a performance of Rawhide in a honkey-tonk with chicken wire in front of the stage, Aretha singing "Think" in a soul-food dive, Elwood cooking toast in an apartment the size of my bathroom, and I'd be in that jail at the end when Jake and Elwood perform Jailhouse Rock for the inmates. And if I could live the scene in which this exchange takes place:

Jake: First you traded the Cadillac in for a microphone. Then you lied to me about the band. And now you're gonna put me right back in the joint!
Elwood: They're not gonna catch us. We're on a mission from God.

I would. I surely would.
And there you have it. Words cannot express properly, but if you get any of my meaning, get this: All movies I ever see are unable to hold much of a candle to this one. Watch and enjoy.

* I am trying to work up a Top 10 for the sidebar, just so's you know where I'm coming from. Stay tuned!

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