Category Archives: three stooges

Quickies 12-21-2012

God Bless Ozzy Osbourne ~ This documentary produced by his son Jack explores the life, career, and addiction of the prince of darkness of the rock and roll world, Ozzy Osbourne. His early years, his time with Black Sabbath, his solo career, his reality television show, and of course, his addictions. Family, friends, bandmates and other musicians are interviewed in the in-depth, incisive, and surprising bio. Recommended.

Cedar Rapids ~ This overlooked film is a screwball slob comedy about an insurance sales convention in, where else? Cedar Rapids. While I prefer both John C. Reilly and Anne Heche in more serious roles, they shine here. Ed Helms stars as a naïve salesman whose job is in jeopardy as he attends the convention. Circumstances convince him to take chances and live life. Fun and mostly harmless, worth watching.

6 Days to Air: The Making of South Park ~ This intriguing documentary takes a look at the frantic rush to put together a new “South Park” episode each week, make it timely, make it funny, and make sure it gets on the air. It also explores the working relationship of creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and their recent success with “The Book of Mormon.” Fascinating viewing for fans of the show and even those who are not.

Alex in Wonderland ~ I saw this madcap 1940 one-reeler recently on TCM. Part of the “Broadway Brevities” series that seems to take a lot of its technique from the Three Stooges shorts, this one stars Walter Catlett and Eddie Foy Jr. as feuding brothers-in-law who end up at a upper class masquerade party where mistaken identity and pie-throwing ensue. Fun.

Ted

Ted ~ The Bride and I watch Seth McFarlane’s “Family Guy” every week, and enjoy it quite a bit. That said, about every two to three weeks we have a discussion about how maybe we’re not going to watch it any more. I’m a fan of ‘cringe humor,’ which McFarlane excels at, heck, I listen to Opie and Anthony every day, but The Bride isn’t, and doesn’t. Sometimes “Family Guy” just goes too far for her.

When I first heard of Ted, McFarlane’s jump to big screens, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but I knew The Bride wouldn’t be coming with me to see it. All that said, I laughed out loud at this movie. I don’t do that all that often. I did it at The Three Stooges, but before that? We’re talking maybe years.

The concept is one of a little boy with no friends who wishes his teddy bear was real, and lo and behold, the wish comes true. This is the tale of what happens when said boy, and bear, grow up. Mark Wahlberg makes a fine comedic turn as the boy, grown to drug and alcohol induced irresponsibility with his bear Ted, voiced by writer/director McFarlane. “Family Guy” alumnus Mila Kunis plays Wahlberg’s long suffering and patient girlfriend of four years. All involved are quite good.

Ted is funny, dirty, cringe worthy, and yes, believe it or not, even heartwarming. Speaking of laughing out loud, in a semi-full theater, it was only me and two women up front who were doing so. I felt a little dirty about it, but maybe everyone else was from the PTA or they just couldn’t get into the latest chick flick.

If you’re a “Family Guy” fan or if you liked movies like The Hangover or Bridesmaids, you will love Ted, recommended. And if you liked Airplane, or especially 1980’s Flash Gordon, this is must see. No ifs, ands or buts, must see.

The Three Stooges 2012

The Three Stooges ~ I love the Three Stooges. I grew up on the Three Stooges. Everybody loved the Stooges when I was a kid. We would all race home from school to see the shorts on local channel 29. We all loved them, and being a guy (it does seem to be a gender thing), I loved them a lot. And unfortunately I was also a casualty when parents groups shut them down in the early 1970s.

Like most kids, I was aware of the difference between fantasy and reality, and knew you didn’t try any of that stuff the Stooges do on TV. Unfortunately those nosy parents who always seem to have too much time on their hands first had the wonderful shorts of the Stooges edited down to almost nothing by taking out the perceived violence (and essentially the humor too), and then by removing them from the air completely. You bastards, you took my Stooges away.

Let’s face it, the 1970s was a very bad time for kids television. Parents had a lot of time apparently to ruin it for kids. They took our superheroes away, our Warner Bros. cartoons, our Little Rascals, and our Three Stooges. These were all too ‘violent.’ Heck, we knew the difference. And from then on, children’s television had to watered down, have a message at the end, be educational, and conflict had to be solved through thoughtful discussion rather than Batman punching the Joker, or Moe poking Larry. I’m still not sure about Larry, but trust me, the Joker needed a punch.

Fortunately the video age saved us all, or at least the Three Stooges from this terrible time. On video, we could see the shorts in their original form, uncut and unedited, and we could see what geniuses the Stooges truly were. Today, several cable networks show the shorts on a regular basis, and the Stooges are enjoying somewhat of a renaissance. And perhaps that is what has spawned this new movie, The Three Stooges.

When I first heard of the Farrelly brothers making a new Three Stooges movie I have to admit I cringed. These are the guys responsible for such masterpieces as Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary among others. Not that their work is bad, but even when it’s good, there is always some quantity of potty humor and slob comedy. Humor for ten year olds is what it is, and although I don’t want to think it – it’s the perfect team to return the Stooges to the big screen.

When I first saw the trailer, I was iffy, and as a Stooge fan, I was extremely wary. I am here today to say I have seen the film, and wow, I had no reason to worry, as a matter of fact, it was one of the funniest movies I have seen in a long time. I laughed until there were tears in my eyes. Yeah, baby, it’s that good.

The movie follows the boys from childhood into a Blues Brothers like plot of trying to raise money for their orphanage, and it’s done in three episodic segments stylized like the shorts of old. The new Stooges do wonderful jobs of imitation and homage. Many of the stunts, the effects, and even the gags are directly from the old shorts and done with respect and humor. The first two segments are flawless Stooges extended shorts. The third segment does move into French farce as well as slapstick, but that’s okay, I still dug it.

The nearly unrecognizable Sean Hayes as Larry, television veteran Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe (I’ll never be able to watch “24” with a straight face again, and Will Sasso from “Mad TV” as Curly are all stellar morons in the best sense possible. Jane Lynch, Jennifer Hudson and the cast of “Jersey Shore” are all terrific but for me, the movie is stolen by Larry David every time he appears on screen as Sister Mary-Mengele.

Yeah, I loved this, more than I should have, and more than I ever would have believed either. The only thing that brought it done was during the end credits when the Farrelly brothers appear on screen to show how stunts were done and to tell kids not to try this at home. It may have been done tongue in cheek, but it brought that original 1970s bad taste back into my mouth. Stupid parents groups. Leave the Stooges, any Stooges alone. Still, this newest edition of the Three Stooges is highly recommended, bring the kids, be prepared for a little potty humor, but mostly Stooges goodness.

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The New Three Stooges Trailer

As a big Three Stooges fan, I’m still not sure what to think of this. The release date is April 13th 2012. I’ll probably be there, but I’m not sure how I’ll feel about it.

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Quickies 7-12-2008

The Ruins ~ Adapted by Scott B. Smith from his own novel, for a change, at this is supposedly a horror flick that might have some of the same bite as its book. The previews for The Ruins gave me the willies just seeing less than a minute of it, and as I watched the DVD I hoped I hadn’t seen it all. Well, I hadn’t seen it all, but I did guess most of it. And my original thoughts on the writing proved wrong as for whatever reason the author chose to change around a few characters and their names and fates. It has a few good scares, not counting Shawn Ashmore with a perm, and is quite graphic and gory, genuinely hard to watch in a few places – but just an average horror outing, nothing special.

Camp Rock ~ I have nothing against Disney trying to bottle lightning again in the High School Musical vein, except when it seems packaged and formulaic. Other than being an average Disney Channel movie, and an obvious vehicle for the Jonas Brothers, the biggest sin of this flick is its painful similarity to HSM in plot, characters and tone. Sometimes lightning just doesn’t strike twice. Harmless and entertaining, but it’s no High School Musical. Nice to see Julie Brown again though.

Don’t Worry We’ll Think of a Title ~ Written and produced by Morey Amsterdam and starring the lesser half of the old “Dick Van Dyke Show” suffers from a feeling that it would have been a bad 1940s soundstage comedy when in reality it was made in 1966. An early scene features Moe Howard staring January Jones right in the breasts. That’s about as funny as it gets, and that wasn’t in the script. I think, if I had been fourteen when I first saw this, I would have been in stitches. A case of mistaken identity, lots of classic cameos and one liner set-up after one liner set-up make this mediocre flick sometimes painful to watch. It would have been a great sketch but not a whole movie.


The Devil’s Rain ~ If you’re not a horror fan, most folks when they think of this flick will remember it’s John Travolta’s first film, but then gain, it’s nothing to get excited about because he’s barely in it. As far as acting goes, this is a great flick for seeing William Shatner and Ernest Borgnine overact, and to see some of Keenan Wynn and Tom Skerritt’s more embarrassing performances. Also look for Ida Lupino in one of her last roles. Eddie Albert is there, as is real father of the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey. Other than the above The Devil’s Rain is actually an above average devil worship B-movie for the time. Sone of the things that kick it up a level are things like the credit sequence featuring art by Hieronymus Bosch and the aforementioned LaVey as a ‘technical advisor.’ Good and scary popcorn movie for a Friday night with the lights out.

More Quickies


King Kong (2005)

Peter Jackson has made a film about the movies with a love and respect for not only the movies but one in particular, the one he’s remaking, which is rare in Hollywood these last few decades. It’s an understatement to say I loved this film, the best I’ve seen in years. Peter Jackson’s Kong is as near to perfect as it gets.

Soup to Nuts (1930)

A great peek at the Three Stooges before they were on their own. In this film, before getting contracts of their own with Columbia Pictures, they were the underling sidekicks of supposed funnyman Ted Healy. The stooges are the only shining moment in this unfortunately Rube Goldberg-penned dreck. No wonder today most folks will say “Ted who?”

Vulgar (2002)

Despite Kevin Smith’s sideline involvement in this, this appropriately titled crap is unwatchable. It tries very hard to be artsy in an insultingly Richard Linklater-type vibe but fails miserably. Clown rape is not funny, no matter how it’s portrayed.