John Landis Andrew Sarris - Essay

Andrew Sarris

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Like so many other contemporary movies, including the anticlimactic The Empire Strikes Back, the overproduced The Blues Brothers could have been better rendered as an animated cartoon. The uncomically surreal car smashes belong in a Roadrunner series, and Belushi and Aykroyd are infinitely more effective in motion than in conversation. As for the great black musical performers—Aretha Franklin, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, and James Brown—they might just as well be featured in vaudeville shorts for all the dramatic or narrative impact they have. For example, Aretha Franklin literally stops the show with her soulfully feminist rendition of "Think" when her man is tempted to leave the kitchen of...

(The entire section is 648 words.)