Belushi Review: Showtime’s Look at John Belushi Is Almost Definitive


The world got to know John Belushi’s eyebrows earlier than we got to know the person. They projected his innermost confusion, telegraphed his thought processes, and misdirected his most honest intentions. Showtime’s heartfelt and intimate documentary, Belushi, opens with clips from the comedian icon’s display check for Saturday Night Live. Armed with simply his face, he lets these eyebrows steal the scene. They cajole, caress, and careen throughout the underside of his forehead, culminating in a sequence of cardio stretches with a gymnast’s aptitude. Belushi didn’t need to crack a joke, he barely needed to say a phrase, and but confirmed a world of prospects inside just a few inches of cranial area. Belushi actually was quite a bit like his decathlon character within the Little Chocolate Donuts skit. All he wanted was some sugar to maintain him going. The documentary reveals Belushi actually was born that manner, and didn’t want the additional sweetening.

Too unhealthy he couldn’t stick with it. But we all know this from the start. The first actual scene takes place on the peak of Belushi’s fame and adulation. He stole the film he was simply in, Animal House, which was probably the most profitable comedy movie of all time on the time. He was on the primary TV present in America. His file The Blues Brothers’ Briefcase of Blues, not even a comedy album, however a labor of love with musician associates he revered and adored, was on the prime of the charts, with hit singles doing the identical. Director R.J. Cutler (The War Room, The September Issue, Listen to Me Marlon) instantly declares this documentary isn’t about one of America’s favourite performers, it’s in regards to the cannibalistic hungers of fame.

“John always had appetites that were completely out of control, for everything, but I didn’t start to worry about him until he was at the Universal Amphitheatre, playing for 7,000 people,” Harold Ramis, who had identified Belushi since their improvisational comedy beginnings, says over the soundtrack and applause. “I looked at John on the stage and I thought, ‘He’s on the most popular comedy show of our generation, he was in the most successful comedy film ever, and now he’s onstage fronting an amazing band.’ My first thought was, ‘How great for him.’ My second thought was, ‘Knowing his appetites, I don’t think he’ll survive this.’”

With that, Ramis throws a darkish shadow over the remainder of the movie. Every success the documentary reveals from right here on has a cloud of doom hanging over it. Belushi was a wild man, bouncing round on the very edge of probably the most seen stage, each increased than anybody presumably imagined. SNL made in a single day stars out of most of its forged. Chevy Chase was plucked out early as a result of, properly, he was Chevy Chase they usually weren’t. But whereas former drummer Chase went on to be a matinee draw, Belushi turned a rock star.

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