Sunday, April 15, 2012

The 3 Stooges

So, as you all know (or should know), Larry, Curly and Moe aka the Three Stooges were one of the first great comedy teams in film.  They're in the same class of The Marx Brothers, Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy and probably better than Martin & Lewis and Hope & Crosby.  They were iconic for the 'nyuk nyuk', the slapstick comedy and the unique look of the each of the characters.  Even though there were several different incarnations of the Stooges, the most popular depiction of the group was the original Colombia Pictures team, consisting of comedian Larry Fine and brothers Moe and Curly Howard.  It was this version of the Stooges depicted in this film. 

I have two different feelings about the film.  The first is, these are the Three Stooges.  They are perfect carbon copies of the original Stooges.  Not just in their look, but in their mannerisms and routines.  There is a lot of slapstick in this movie and if you're at all familiar with the Three Stooges, then you know what I'm talking about.  A lot of slapping, eye-poking, and the rest.  There's also a lot of stupidity on their part, because they are after all, the Stooges.  A lot of not understanding what's going on, word meaning misrepresentation, etc.  If you're a fan of the Stooges and especially if you know Curly's trademark moves, it's all here, using Curly's head of a battering ram, he drops to the ground and runs in a circle using his shoulder as a pivot, he barks at people like a dog.  If they were ever going to do the Three Stooges and they needed to emulate the other Stooges, there is no other choice they could have made.  All three guys are perfect and when they're allowed to just do stuff, it's great. 

However, there is also stuff about the film I didn't like.  Particularly, I'm not a big fan of putting recent stuff that I think of as "pop-culture fad" into a film.  There is a scene where they showed Moe being part of the Jersey Shore TV show.  I thought originally that they would be a one and done, but nope, it came back and showed more of Moe at Jersey Shore.  I actually started to get annoyed because I think the film should be concentrating on coming up with funny things for the Stooges to do (which they showed they could) instead of trying to add in as many pop-culture references as possible.  Instead, we get mention of I-Phones, Facebook, Twitter, the Kardashians, Orlando Magic player Dwight Howard and the Jersey Shore cast make appearances...I mean, yes, you can point out the stupidity in pop culture today and society in general, but the point I find most contradictory about this is the reason why this movie was being made the 3 Stooges and their humour has lasted generations, they're still popular enough that someone greenlit a movie with their characters in there and the Farrelly Bros. still can't resist throwing in there stuff that quite frankly just shows how far we've gone downhill in popular culture.  I mean, if that was their goal, mission accomplished, but it just made me yearn for more Stooge stuff. 

I also have to ask, at the end of the movie, what the hell was with the Public Service Announcement?  I mean, it was funny to see two jacked guys show up as the Farrelly Bros, but what the hell was that?  They come out and tell the audience that it was all fake and we shouldn't emulate the stuff we saw in the movie?  Really?  Because, I gotta be honest with you, after Jackass and Steve-O and all that garbage, I would be more worried about people emulating that crap than the Stooges.  Also, if a kid goes home and smashes his brother in the head with the hammer, my immediate question is: where are the parents?  Yeah, I didn't get that at all, it was right at the end of the movie and it was just awkward and bizarre. 

Anyhow, that's the Stooges for you.  It's faithful to the characters and I think if they avoided all the pop-culture references of today, I would have liked it a lot better.  As it is, I'll give it a decent rating, though it could have been higher. 

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

- Stephenstein

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