Tag Archives: Dan Aykroyd

Trading Places: Could Have Been A Family Christmas Tradition

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Trading Places (1983 R) is a funny Christmas movie with a heartwarming message.  But it is not for kids.

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Winthorpe (Dan Aykroyd) is a successful investor working for the brokerage firm of wealthy brothers Randolph and Mortimer Duke (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche).  Randolph and Mortimer have a “nature versus nurture” debate.  Is Winthorpe successful because he is naturally brilliant, or because he has always been given opportunities to nurture success?

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To test “nature versus nurture”, Randolph and Mortimer randomly choose panhandler Billie Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) to trade places with Winthorpe.  They manipulate to get Winthorpe accused of a crime, locked out of his home, fired from work, and abandoned by his snobby friends and fiancee.

Valentine grows successful.

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Winthorpe grows desperate.

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All this is handled in a very comedic way.  Very funny!  But still not for kids.

Why not?

Boobs.  Too many jiggling naked boobs.  And the f-word, unnecessary to the dialogue.

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Why did director John Landis add things to keep families from enjoying this Christmas movie together?

 

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Blues at the Park and in the Movies

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This weekend we hung out at a local park and enjoyed some good blues harmonica for Spring Harp Fest!  That’s Jake and Elwood from the Blues Brothers movie above, with our family below.

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After a day hearing great music, I thought we should watch The Blues Brothers (R 1980), especially since we had listened to the soundtrack a lot during a long trip when my girls were young.  The Blues Brothers follows Jake (John Belushi) and Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) as the travel around gathering musicians to “put the band back together.”  But what about that R rating?  Maybe it is an “old R”, and not really bad.

IMDb (Internet Movie Database) is a terrific resource.  From the Parent Guide page, I discover that profanity is the issue. “About 15 f-words. Many uses of s**t. Many hells and damns. This movie would probably be PG-13 or even PG were it not for the language.”

Too bad we couldn’t watch it, because I remember it has fun musical numbers for each band member they try to convince to re-join the band.  The styles range from country western to early jive, with famous musicians performing with Jake and Elwood.  These are my three favorite musical scenes:

    Ray Charles at the Music Store     Cab Calloway Saves the Show

Did you know that Disney made a Blues Brothers movie for the elementary school crowd?

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Watch The Country Bear (G 2020) version of the Blues Brothers diner scene, this time with pop singer Jennifer Paige:

None of these clips have harmonica playing in them, but both movies do.

We didn’t watch this movie either, because it is for younger kids.  But it was fun when we saw it years ago!

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