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MOVIE INFO

Director:
Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Cast:
Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopoulos, Jane Lynch, Sofía Vergara, Jennifer Hudson, Craig Bierko, Larry David, Kate Upton
Writing Credits:
Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Mike Cerrone

Tagline:
Just Say Moe.

Synopsis:
The Three Stooges (Moe, Larry, Curly) are on a mission. Left on a doorstep of an Orphanage run by nuns, the young Trio grows up finger-poking, nyuk-nyuking and woo-woo-wooing their way into trouble. Now years later, with the Orphanage forced to close its doors, the Three Stooges embark on a wacky mission to save the Orphanage. Hilarious Mischief and Mayhem ensues.

Box Office:
Opening Weekend
$17.010 million on 3477 screens.
Domestic Gross
$43.913 million.

MPAA:
Rated PG

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Audio 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
None

Runtime: 92 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 7/17/2012

Bonus:
• Eight Deleted/Extended Scenes
• “What’s the Big Idea? A History of The Three Stooges” Featurette
• “Knuckleheads: Behind the Scenes of The Three Stooges” Featurette
• “Did You Hear That? Sound Effects” Featurette
• “Poifect! Casting The Three Stooges” Featurette
• Mash-Up
• Original Screen Test
• Sneak Peeks and Trailer
• DVD Copy
• Digital Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


The Three Stooges [Blu-Ray] (2012)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 20, 2012)

When filmmakers Bobby and Peter Farrelly announced their plans to make a Three Stooges film many years ago, the common assumption seemed to be that they’d create a biography. Nope – as it turns out, they wanted to simply recast the Stooges and deliver a 21st Century update on the old characters and franchise.

Which is what we get from 2012’s The Three Stooges. In a prologue, three babies get tossed from a speeding car and land on the doorstep at the Sisters of Mercy Orphanage. A wild, virtually unadoptable trio, they get stuck there for years until we meet them as young adolescents.

Despite all of their flaws – and the presence of adorable urchin Teddy (Jake Peck) - the Harters (Stephen Collins and Carly Craig) decide to adopt Moe (Skyler Gisondo). However, when he asks for the Harters to take in his pals Larry (Lance Chantiles-Wertz) and Curly (Robert Capron) as well, they send him back to the orphanage and decide to take in Teddy instead.

From there we jump ahead 25 years and find Moe (Chris Diamantopoulos), Larry (Sean Hayes) and Curly (Will Sasso) as they push 40 – and they still live at the Sisters of Mercy. But maybe not for long: if the nuns can’t raise more than $800,000 in a month, the place will close. The Three Stooges make it their cause to dig up the funds – and they encounter a slew of wacky situations along the way.

This admission may cause me to need to hand in my “Man Card”, but here goes: I never liked the Three Stooges. Even as a kid, slapstick wasn’t my bag, and since the Stooges relied so heavily on physical humor, they just didn’t do it for me.

Nonetheless, I was curious to see how a 21st Century version of the Stooges would play. The answer is “about how I expected”, though the film does manage more amusement than I expected. When the flick focuses on the anachronisms of the Stooges in the modern world, it works the best. It’s funny to see their shtick transported to this setting, and the prologue probably works the best. I actually think actors who play the young Stooges seem strongest in their roles; it’s kooky to watch pre-teen versions of the characters, and the performers hold their own in the parts.

The adult Stooges do nicely as well, but I still like the early scenes more. Maybe it’s because the sight of young Stooges seems fresh to me. While the adult actors offer very nice performances, there’s still a “been there, done that” feeling. I don’t know if the original Stooges ever attempted visions of themselves as youngsters, but I do know it’s not expected here and it’s pretty delightful.

I also suspect the pre-teen scenes satisfy more because a little Stooges goes a long way. Maybe if I liked them better, I’d take more enjoyment from more than 90 minutes of Stooges action, but I think that the comedy gets stale after a while. The filmmakers do their best to spice up the action, but there’s only so many ways someone can get hit on the head, and the movie exhausts those options before long. A sense of redundancy tends to set in as the flick goes.

The film does go for some gags that wouldn’t have been acceptable back in the original Stooges heyday, by the way. The film never veers into graphic territory – it’s a true “PG” release – but I can’t imagine the scene in which babies urinate all over the Stooges would’ve worked 70 years ago. A few others – like a quick shot of a lion’s testicles – also would’ve been forbidden in that time frame.

In any case, when Stooges concentrates on meat and potatoes slapstick, it doesn’t do much for me, but when it throws in some twists, it becomes more enjoyable. Again, it’s the odd juxtapositions that fare the best. The notion of Moe as a Jersey Shore proves inspired, and a few other quirks like that add extra humor.

Are there enough of these to keep a non-fan like myself entertained? Yeah, but it’s a bit of a tough ride. Clearly The Three Stooges is a love letter from fans for fans, and I’d guess they’d like it; the film stays true to the spirit of the original while it adds some modern twists. It doesn’t convert me to the cause, though; it offers just enough amusement to keep me with it, but that’s about it. Still, given my lifelong lack of fondness for the Stooges, that’s a pretty good accomplishment.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B-/ Bonus C-

The Three Stooges appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. I felt the image was good but not great.

Sharpness was generally positive. At times, I noticed a bit of softness, especially in wider shots. Still, the majority of the flick looked pretty concise and distinctive. No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge enhancement was absent. I also failed to detect any source flaws.

In terms of colors, the movie featured a natural palette that favored a slight golden tone. Across the board, the hues looked positive. They showed nice clarity and breadth and came out well. Blacks were dark and deep, while shadows appeared clear and smooth. The occasional softness created some distractions, but the transfer usually seemed solid.

I thought that the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Stooges worked fine but it didn’t excel because of a lack of ambition. Like most comedies, the movie featured a limited soundfield that favored the forward channels. It showed nice stereo spread to the music as well as some general ambience from the sides. Panning was decent, and the surrounds usually kicked in basic reinforcement. Nothing memorable occurred, as most of the movie stayed with limited imaging.

Audio quality appeared good. Speech was intelligible and usually fairly natural, though some edginess occurred. Effects sounded clean and accurate, with good fidelity and no signs of distortion. Music was perfectly fine, as the score showed positive dimensionality. This track was good enough for a “B-“ but didn’t particularly impress.

With that, we shift to extras. Eight Deleted/Extended Scenes go for a total of nine minutes, 29 seconds. The “extended” side of things heavily dominates, as the vast majority of these just add a little more goofiness to existing sequences. This means we don’t get much fresh material in these, so don’t expect a lot from them.

Four featurettes follow. What’s the Big Idea? A History of The Three Stooges lasts 10 minutes, 39 seconds and offers notes from executive producer Earl Benjamin, writers/producers/directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly, writer Mike Cerrone, and Moe Howard’s great-granddaughter/actor Caroline Scott. We learn about the background for the original Stooges as well as some aspects of the film’s development. This is too brief to be a strong history of the original Stooges, but it’s a decent overview.

With the five-minute, 11-second Knuckleheads: Behind the Scenes of The Three Stooges, we hear from Peter and Bobby Farrelly. The show covers stunts and slapstick sequences, so we get basics about that side of things. “Knuckleheads” goes by too quickly, but it throws in a smattering of fun details.

Did You Hear That? Sound Effects fills four minutes, 11 seconds and includes notes from Peter and Bobby Farrelly and Cerrone. They chat about the cartoony audio used for the flick. It’s another short but useful piece.

Finally, Poifect! Casting The Three Stooges occupies nine minutes, 12 seconds with details from Peter and Bobby Farrelly, Scott, Cerrone, Benjamin, producer Charles D. Wessler, and actors Sofia Vergara, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Hudson, Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopoulos, Isaiah Mustafa, and Craig Bierko. We learn about how the three leads came into their roles and aspects of their work. Inevitably, “Poifect” delivers a lot of happy talk, but it also throws in some good behind the scenes bits, so it’s worth a look.

A Three Stooges Mash-Up runs three minutes, 10 seconds. Set to a few pieces of classical music, this takes a bunch of the movie’s slapstick bits and packages them together. For some fans, it might be more appealing than the film itself.

Under Original Screen Test, we locate a four-minute, five-second reel. This shows the three leads as they work out the scene in which the Stooges pace the streets in an attempt to raise money. It’s pretty similar to the final product, but it’s still interesting to check out as a curiosity.

The disc launches with ads for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. These also pop up under Sneak Peek, and we get the Stooges trailer as well.

A second disc provides a DVD Copy and a Digital Copy of Stooges. This gives you a movie-only version of the film, so don’t expect any extras.

Half homage, half update, The Three Stooges seems likely to delight the comedy trio’s many fans. Does it work for those of us without much fondness for the Stooges? Yeah, to a degree – I can’t say I loved the movie, but it kept me moderately entertained. The Blu-ray provided pretty good picture and audio along with a handful of decent supplements. The film didn’t convert me into one of the Stooges faithful, but it achieves its goals.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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