WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Blues Brothers, The

Reviewed In Issue 30 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 2.5
Sound Rating: 3.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
Internet Links

Both LaserDisc and DVD include a documentary titled The Stories Behind The Making Of The Blues Brothers, and the theatrical trailer, while the DVD also includes production photographs, web links and biographies.

DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Universal Studios Home Video
(Catalog Number): 43475
(MPAA Rating): Not Rated
(Retail Price): $39.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 148
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1980
(LD Release Date):
(THX® Digitally Mastered): Yes

Credits Information
(Director): John Landis
(Screenplay/Written By): Dan Aykroyd & John Landis
(Story): NA
(Music): Ira Newborn
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): NA
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): George Folsey, Jr.
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Bernie Brillstein
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Robert K. Weiss

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Academy Standard Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Digital Surround
(Theatrical Sound): Mag Stereo
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital): No
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround): No
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
The Blues Brothers is an off-the-wall musical comedy that tells the story of Jake and Elwood Blues (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd), two hoodlum brothers searching for redemption, who set out to locate and re-enlist the members of their defunct rhythm and blues band in order to raise some honest money to save the orphanage where they grew up.

LaserDisc Picture:

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): Yes
(Aggressive System Surround): Yes
(Intense 25Hz Bass): No
(Deep Bass Challenging): No
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield): No
(Aggressive Split Surround): No
(Center Back Surround Imaging): No
(Directionalized Dialogue): No
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition:
DVD To LaserDisc Comparison:
The picture quality, on both the LaserDisc and dual layer anamorphic DVD, is often dark and dull, with colors that generally lack clarity and definition. The LaserDisc carries the THX® logo , but there is no such credit on either the LaserDisc or DVD jacketing. While the Laser Disc colors are slightly yellow, the DVD is subtly more natural, but still suffers from weak, undefined blacks. Lighted exterior scenes appear more natural than interiors. Images are generally wanting in sharpness and detail, but the LaserDisc is much softer in appearance. Minor noise and artifacts are apparent, appearing slightly digitized in some scenes on the DVD. The DVD’s anamorphic and letterbox, as well as LaserDisc aspect ratios are matted at 1.85:1. The DVD and LaserDisc feature a remastered Dolby® Digital 5.1 discrete soundtrack but the re-mix sounds “manufactured” compared to the original matrix version on the PCM LaserDisc soundtrack. The discrete spreads the monaural dialogue and other signal elements across the three front channels. The music score, on the other hand, rocks the discrete soundtrack with heightened soundstage definition, with enhanced split surrounds and added .1 LFE for slightly deeper dynamic impact.