Blu-Ray Review: ‘National Lampoon’s Animal House,’ ‘Blues Brothers’

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CHICAGO – Two of the funniest movies ever made hit Blu-ray next week in the John Belushi flicks “The Blues Brothers” and “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” Both are rich with special features but they’re of material that has been available before. The fact is that these two films have been released and re-released a hundred times and most people probably own them by now. If you don’t, get to it.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0

What more could possibly be said about these two comedy classics? Most lists of the funniest movies ever made includes one if not both and every time I get a new version to review (which is pretty regularly over the decade I’ve been covering home entertainment), I wonder if THIS is the year where these two flicks will start to show their age. Nope. They’re still f-in hilarious.

In fact, my most recent viewing of “National Lampoon’s Animal House” produced even more laughter than I remembered. How many movies can you say that about? When’s the last time you saw a movie that you had seen a dozen times and it was even FUNNIER than you remembered? That just doesn’t happen. But here it is with this timeless comedy, a flick that’s funny every single time. I may need to revise my own personal top ten comedies.

National Lampoon's Animal House will be released on Blu-ray on July 26th, 2011
National Lampoon’s Animal House will be released on Blu-ray on July 26th, 2011
Photo credit: Universal

The Blu-ray release looks good and not overly polished, but this isn’t the kind of film for which HD video and audio are that big a deal. Much cooler is the U-Control function, which allows Scene Companion (interviews to play during key scenes) and The Music of Animal House to play picture-in-picture. I love U-Control and am honestly disappointed that more studios haven’t followed Universal’s lead with this excellent functionality.

Blues Brothers will be released on Blu-ray on July 26th, 2011
Blues Brothers will be released on Blu-ray on July 26th, 2011
Photo credit: Universal

The special features on “Animal House” are stellar, including a great reunion piece, an update on the cast and crew, and even a mini-game version of “Scene It?” based on the movie. It’s awesome.

And so is “Blues Brothers,” which includes the theatrical and extended versions of the film, the latter running a full fifteen minutes longer (and still not feeling anywhere near its 148-minute running time). Once again, “Blues” has held up remarkably well. It’s still as damn funny as the first time you saw it, and arguably even more so. Is it a statement on comedies of today? Do we love these movies more every year because there are so few good ones nowadays? Whatever the reason, pick ‘em both up if you don’t already have DVD versions with which you are satisfied. You won’t be disappointed.

Special Features:

“Blues Brothers”
o Stories Behind the Making of The Blues Brothers - Behind-the-scenes footage interviews with the cast and crew
o Transposing the Music - Catch a glimpse of the many spin-offs inspired by the film
o Remembering John - An ultimate portrait of John Belushi by those who knew him best
o BD Live Enabled
o D-Box Motion Enabled
o Pocket Blu

“National Lampoon’s Animal House”
o U-Control: Scene Companion & The Music of Animal House
o The Yearbook: An Animal House Reunion - An original documentary featuring interviews and behind-the-scenes footage with the cast
o Where Are They Now? A Delta Alumni Update - A hilarious documentary featuring the original cast
o Scene It? Animal House - Relive your favorite moments with this mini-game experience, including movie clips, trivia and more
o BD Live Enabled
o Pocket Blu

“Blues Brothers” and “National Lampoon’s Animal House” will be released on Blu-ray on July 26th, 2011. Both are rated R.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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