Sat. Oct 31st, 2020

Film Takes: Can’t Stop the Music; The Blues Brothers; Snips and Snaps |1980-8-4

Review: CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC – EMI Productions — Allan Carr, producer – Nancy Walker, director.


I’d rather call this one “please stop the music!) This film, supposedly offering us the sounds of the 80s, actually reeks of the same old disco bed of the decade we just left behind. And I don’t think they’re fooling anyone, either. The formula is too simple: Boy, Ron white, meets girl, Samantha Simpson (played by Bruce Jenner and Valerie Perrine respectively). Then boy meets girl’s friends – an aspiring writer/producer (Steve Guttenburg), a snappy girlfriend (Altovise Davis, who turns in a first-rate screen debut), a record mogul (Paul Sand, who offers the only other inspiring performance), and an assorted group of village urchins who have a thirst for fame and fortune, coupled with varying degrees of talent.


Toss these characters into a we’ll make-it-to-the-top plot; add a pinch of costume drag; a jigger of meaningless, bubblegum disco with flashy choreography; take a dash of cheesecake and a splash of beefcake, and presto! The village people and friends say they can’t stop the music.


That’s not to say the film does it have its moments. The farcical bedroom scenes with Jenna and Green are hilarious. The Y.M.C.A. production number is a sight to behold and his rivaled only by the heat wave production from “There’S No Business Like Show Business,” with Marilyn Monroe.

The other garlic production numbers are too slick and too long. The nut so climatic parts of the flick, which attempt to form a storyline of sorts, suffer from clumsy editing, overreacting (or under acting) and too much zest. It looks like everybody is on their way to a fire again.


Review: The Blues Brothers — Universal Pictures — Robert K. Weiss, Producer — John Landis Dash Director.

The blues Brothers, John Belushi and Dan accurate, have taken their successful double platinum album and put it on the silver screen. The result is a tribute to some of the great musicians, who, over the past four decades, have shaped the blues and rhythm and blues idiom.


Cameo appearances by James Brown, Aretha Franklin, ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, James Cleveland choir, Chaka Khan and a supporting role by Cab Calloway, highlight this preposterous, slightly humorous film. The songs of Sam and Dave and Wilson Pickett, augment this original collection of find musicians with their own brands of music.


Ellwood and Jake (John and Dan), have woven themselves into a thin plot, as they proceed on a mission of mercy to raise money for a worthy cause. And that means getting gigs, which takes them on a trip through Chicago in the quest to re-assemble their old band. This search leads to many nooks and crannies of Chicago’s blues traditions and also offers us the cameo appearances of aforementioned musical giants. But that’s about it.


Some $30 million were supposedly spent on this film, which appears wasted on endless car crashes and crack ups, blown-up buildings, the obvious dubbing and out of place dance routines. It would’ve been much nicer to simply offer us some tapes of the live performances of Brother Ray, Aretha and the others.


… Former Harlem Globetrotter, Meadowlark Lemon, is working on a Columbia motion picture release with George Kennedy, Albert Brooks, Kathryn Harrold, entitled, “Modern Romance”… Gregory Hines of Broadway dancing fame, will replace Richard Pryor in Mel Brooks’s new film, “THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART II.” Pryor will be recuperating from his accident for quite some time… .

—Dwight Brown

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