Blues Brothers 2000
Dan Aykroyd and John Landis teamed to script this sequel to The Blues Brothers (1980), which they also co-scripted. With Landis once again at the helm as director, Aykroyd re-creates his role of rhythm-and-blues man Elwood Blues, and the film's numerous R&B performances and production numbers include Aretha Franklin singing her classic "Respect." Released from prison after serving 18 years for the havoc depicted in the first film, Elwood learns that while he was serving time, his pal Jake Blues (John Belushi) has died, as did their hi-de-ho music mentor Curtis (Cab Calloway). Times have changed, but the blues beat goes on. Elwood visits Mother Mary Stigmata (Kathleen Freeman), who runs the orphanage where Elwood and Jake were raised, and she puts 10-year-old Buster (J. Evan Bonifant) in Elwood's care. Seeking a loan, Elwood visits Curtis' son, Cabel Chamberlain (Joe Morton), and Buster picks Cabel's pocket. Now, 18 years after the original "mission from God," Elwood attempts to reorganize the Blues Brothers Band, beginning with bartender Mighty Mack McTeer (John Goodman) as a replacement for Jake. With the Russian Mafia in hot pursuit, Elwood, Mack, and Buster head cross-country, locating band members as they travel pell-mell toward a scheduled battle of the bands in Louisiana where the Blues Brothers Band competes with the Lousiana Gator Boys Band (Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Bo Diddley, Dr. John, Travis Tritt, Steve Winwood, Clarence Clemmons, Isaac Hayes). Filmed in Toronto and Chicago, this movie reunited Aykroyd and Goodman, who were seen previously in the 1996 video, The Return of the Blues Brothers, a performance taped January 24, 1995 at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. Elsewhere, the Blues Brothers are kept alive in a half-dozen or so websites, such as the House of Blues, and live stage productions. In England, the stage show A Tribute to the Blues Brothers began in 1991. At the request of Aykroyd and Judy Belushi, the title of that production was changed to The Official Tribute to the Blues Brothers. With various cast members in the roles of Jake and Elwood (Con O'Neill, Warwick Evans, Brad Henshaw, Simon Foster), the show toured Britain throughout the 1990s. The "original Blues Brother" (who coached John Belushi and originated some of the blues raps used by Belushi) is Curtis Salgado (of the Robert Cray Band). One cast member of Blues Brothers 2000, bluesman Junior Wells, the last of the great Chicago harmonica players, died in January 1998, only days before the film was released.