The hero of this film is an insomniac (Jeff Goldblum) who doesn’t really know where his life is headed. Watching Into the Night left me with a similar feeling, and I don’t necessarily mean that as a criticism. This whole movie seemed infused with that groggy, discombobulated feeling you get when you’ve been awake for thirty-six hours straight. Continue reading
Back when the Twilight Zone movie was made, the concept of turning TV shows into movies was still in its infancy. In 1983, you had two Star Trek movies and that Get Smart Nude Bomb monstrosity, so this attempt to bring Rod Serling’s classic anthology series to the big screen was something of a novelty.
Unfortunately, any novelty value became permanently irrelevant on July 23, 1982, when actor Vic Morrow and two Vietnamese children were killed as an ill-advised helicopter stunt went tragically wrong. Even if John Landis’ segment had been the Citizen Kane of television-to-film adaptations, it would not have been worth the cost in human lives.
Sadly, none of the four segments or the overlong, unfunny introduction even came close to that standard.
Regardless of whether or not I like the movie, The Blues Brothers has something serious to answer for. This is probably the film that convinced movie producers that sketch characters from Saturday Night Live could be successfully translated into movies. Therefore “Joliet” Jake and Elwood have to shoulder part of the blame for travesties like A Night at the Roxbury and It’s Pat.
The problem is that the Blues Brothers weren’t sketch characters. They didn’t have a catch phrase and their only “schtick” was a genuine respect for the music that they covered. This gave screenwriters Dan Aykroyd and John Landis the freedom to craft an actual story around the characters. If the story is a little too slight to support two hours and thirteen minutes of running time, that doesn’t matter too much. Like their Blues Brothers appearances on SNL, this movie is mostly about the music.