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Capone says THE THREE STOOGES isn't the nightmare you'd expect, but he'd still prefer a poke in the eye!!!

Published at: April 14, 2012, 12:57 p.m. CST by Capone

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.

I suppose the good news here is that the new Farrelly brothers movie isn't the worst thing they've ever done (that honor still belongs to THE HEARTBREAK KID). In fact, their version of THE THREE STOOGES (which is actually treated like three episodes of the old serial) actually did make me laugh more than a few times thanks in part to the three utterly committed performances by the lead actors. The movie is a prime example of just throwing jokes, pratfalls, sight gags, prop comedy and probably the kitchen sink at the audience and seeing what sticks. And believe it or not, some of it sticks. Naturally, some of it is so broad that they best you can hope for is a pained eye roll, but Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, Sean Hayes as Larry and Will Sasso as Curly all have their moments.

What we also have to endure is Jane Lynch as the Mother Superior at an orphanage where the boys arrive as babies and are never adopted, Larry David as the mean nun that the boys are always taunting, and Jennifer Hudson and Kate Upton as fellow nuns. Craig Bierko and Sofia Vergara (with her never-gets-old strong accent) play as an adulterous couple that mean the Stooges harm, and almost nothing about any of the supplemental characters is especially humorous. No, what made me laugh occasionally were the same things that used to make me laugh at the Stooges shorts—their anti-authority stance and complete disregard for well-mannered behavior. I could have done with all of the modern references (most of which will not age well); the idea of Moe becoming a part of the cast of "Jersey Shore" is an example of anti-humor and the cheapest of cheap stunts.

Some of the Farrelly's love of the Stooges is on display here, and clearly they weren't looking to do a biopic or hard-hitting character study of the team. But simply thrusting the boys into modern times feels too square peg/round hole for my tastes. The idea that the don't know about cell phones because they've lived in an orphanage their entire lives seems like an utterly pointless stretch.

But truth be told, there were times watch THE THREE STOOGES where I laughed. The random, insensitive nicknames Moe gives people he comes across are almost always hilarious. And on a strictly impersonation level, all three of the actors floored me with how perfectly they captured the on-screen personae and movements of the Stooges. Nothing else really works as well, and it's hard for me to imagine that die-hard Three Stooges fans will really want any part of this movie, but I've misjudged audiences before. I can't even imagine kids getting into the movie behind reacting to the physical comedy. Make no mistake, THE THREE STOOGES is a bad movie, but it's nowhere near the catastrophe I'd expected it to be. Keeping it short helps it tremendously.

-- Steve Prokopy
"Capone"
capone@aintitcool.com
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Readers Talkback

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  • I might see it

  • April 14, 2012, 1:06 p.m. CST

    My dad wanted to see this, being a Three Stooges fan growing up

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    but unfortunately I think I'm going to have to talk him down from this.

  • It's totally up their alley as a joke

  • It's by no means great. But these off the wall slapstick movies rarely get passable reviews. Only Airplane & Naked Gun ever garnered critical success. And while I know that isn't the exact same style of comedy, it's fairly close in rhythm. Throw everything at the audience and see what sticks. I stand by my assessment that if this film had the original actors, was in black/white, and being billed as a lost-but-now-found Stooge feature, people would be calling it a rediscovered Stooges classic. It's all silly politics and peoples hypocritical disdain for remakes & sequels. Funny how fast people forget the Curly Joe years...

  • April 14, 2012, 1:55 p.m. CST

    I also grew up with the stooges

    by KingDingaLing

    I have no intention to see this "film" in theaters. I've learned that lesson after seeing Speed Racer. I don't have any problem waiting for Redbox. Find the first stooge short "Punch Drunks" and you'll instantly bond with all three characters. "From now on, we're a corporation", Moe says. The best part is when Larry takes off to find a solution to stop Curly from getting knocked around. He didn't give one fuck and saved the day.

  • April 14, 2012, 2:20 p.m. CST

    wrong

    by Pipple

    Saw this shit and it was hilarious, dont know what movie u wanted, but this was exactly like the old stooges, most impressive being moe. His voice matched the original perfectly. Sasso wasnt going to dare beat the original so he plays him in a reverant fashion more than trying to outdo him. Larry is cool. Reminded me of classic comedies from jim carrey. Duh right since the directors made one of his movies, but no i mean smart juvenile humor which we dont get anymore. Highly recommend fuck aicn up its pooper.

  • April 14, 2012, 3:30 p.m. CST

    for christ sake its tthe stooges not citizen kane

    by danny rose

  • April 14, 2012, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Love The Heartbreak Kid!

    by thot

    Don't get the hate. Stop and watch it every time it's on TV. Probably will rent the Stooges.

  • April 14, 2012, 3:39 p.m. CST

    I liked it better than I thought I would

    by BoyNamedSue

    The inclusion of the Jersey Shore cast may seem like cheap pandering to youth, but Moe's treatment of them is a RIOT (no different than when Beavis and Butthead ridicule them). Best of all, the Jersey Shore cast think they are in this to promote their dumb show...they don't seem to realize that it is THEY who are being made fun of!

  • April 14, 2012, 3:40 p.m. CST

    The original Stooges weren't Citizen Kane either, but

    by Tom Fremgen

    they still managed ten times better than this film and well worth your time.

  • April 14, 2012, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Must respect the Moe!

    by DickBallsworth

    Moe issuing his aggravated "spread out" = me losing it without fail! And his physical attacks on Larry are always sort of shocking while still being amazingly hilarious, probably because Curly gets the lion's share of the slapstick. Every time Moe slaps Larry across the forehead (sending Larry stumbling backward across the room) or gets a fistful of his hair ("get outta heeeeeere") it's always a winner. I suspect an original shorts celebration will be forthcoming.

  • April 14, 2012, 4:47 p.m. CST

    I laughed a lot

    by No time for Haters

    Loved the original shorts, and enjoyed the movie quite a bit. I didn't go in expecting it to be the original, just wanted it to be enough like it to believe it and the actors give you that. Anytime they are onscreen, you're absorbed in their performance, everything else going on is a distraction, but a necessary one.

  • April 14, 2012, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Reviews by Latka

    by RustyBedsprings

    there were times watch THE THREE STOOGES where I laughed

  • April 14, 2012, 5:07 p.m. CST

    My three nyuks...

    by Greg McCambley

    Just saw it this morning and I have to say, all in all, I had a great time. The leads hit their roles spot on, and I laughed pretty much everytime they were on. There were only two scenes which I didn't particularly care for: 1) The nursery scene. That was a poor replacement for a good Stooge water fight. 2) Jersey Shore. It was a means to an end for the movie, but they surely could have come up with a less annoying scenario. As for everything else, some worked, some didn't. But I did detect a certain love for the Stooges from the Farrellys, and that makes a huge difference for me. I enjoyed it, and would even enjoy it if the Farrellys decided to try their hand at Stooge shorts. Just shorts, mind you: nothing longer.

  • April 14, 2012, 5:31 p.m. CST

    isn't the nightmare you'd expect

    by MapMan

    WTF does that mean Capone? Why would I expect it to be a nightmare? What exactly is your problem with the Farelly's anyway? So they made a few bad movies - something many directors do - does that mean they are to be totally dismissed? I welcome this 3 Stooges movie with open arms. I believe this movie was a labour of love for the brothers. Despite what you think and having moved on to Apatow comedies, the Farrely's do have hearts put that into their movies. Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin and There's Something About Mary are great comedy classics and I'm sure more will be added to the list. Leave your bias at home if you want to be taken seriously as a film critic.

  • April 14, 2012, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Most underrateted....

    by Henry_Jones

    comedians/entertainers of Hollywood's Golden Age.....try sitting through Laurel and Hardy or Buster Keaton.....Why is it film historians try so hard to remind us what great geniuses they were but refuse to acknowledge the Three Stooges beyond being a successful novelty act? Not The Stooges fault Columbia made them do the same formulaic shorts over and over.

  • April 14, 2012, 6:15 p.m. CST

    "Heartbreak Kid" wasnt their worse

    by professorjack

    "Fever Pitch", "Stuck On You" & "Osmosis Jones" were all worse

  • April 14, 2012, 6:21 p.m. CST

    They should have gone with Shemp.

    by KonkBob

  • April 14, 2012, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Loved it.

    by yubnubrocks

    Just saw it today, and I think what many people are forgetting is that the original Stooges was aimed at 10-yr old boys. As is this movie. It's a kids movie, people. Just go and laugh and enjoy. And - no bad CGI to critique! woo hoo!

  • April 14, 2012, 7:55 p.m. CST

    Pardon me. It is spelled 'Farrelly'.

    by MapMan

    How terrible of me to not check the proper spelling first.

  • April 14, 2012, 8:22 p.m. CST

    Should have gone with Raimi.

    by davidwebb

    Sure, he's a horror/action guy, but he's the obvious choice, surely?

  • April 14, 2012, 9:31 p.m. CST

    I remember being five years old, and thinking....

    by Raptor Jesus

    'Hitting people in the head with hammers? Jesus, that's not funny. What is wrong with these people'. I still don't get it.

  • It's the right thing to do. It's okay to watch a possibly bad movie with someone you love if it means something special to that person.

  • April 14, 2012, 10:50 p.m. CST

    Watched and had a good time...

    by Fletch Gannon

    I wasn't expecting Citizen Kane but what I got was a fun movie to watch.

  • April 14, 2012, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Would be cool to film actual shorts and show them in front of features

    by Crimson Dynamo

    not sure how they would make money on them nowadays tho

  • April 14, 2012, 11:30 p.m. CST

    No

    by smudgewhat

    "Jersey Shore"? C'mon really?

  • April 14, 2012, 11:59 p.m. CST

    TTSINO

    by Ye Not Guilty

    The Three Stooges In Name Only. No more need be said, nor even thought.

  • April 15, 2012, 12:32 a.m. CST

    Critics = "not awful"; normal people = "laughed my ass off"

    by starbuck2907

    This appears to be a film where critics are too worried about whether or not the film "lived up to" the legacy of its originators. They go in expecting a disaster, then wind up laughing their asses off at a few scenes, and then go home and grudging write "it wasn't a nightmare" in order to keep the cool "movie critic" credibility. Meanwhile, everyone that I know who has seen the movie laughed there asses off and said it was pretty good to great, so long as you like slapstick and what the original Stooges were about. Like The Naked Gun, and Airplane, why not just admit that it's a shallow comedy with some great moments here and there. I can pick out moments from those films, too, where the lead actors acted ignorant about things that they should know about for the sake of the joke. The stooges not knowing about cell phones is no different. I don't get the criticism about the film trying too hard or the Stooges not knowing about cell phones, etc. I love the old Stooges. Playing dumb was part of their bit, and they recycled the same jokes over and over a lot of the time. It wasn't rocket science. I think there is some romanticized notion of that the Stooges actually did. The Kidd and now Capone write reviews of this film, and both seem to stretch a bit in their effort to find something to criticize. I just don't get it. The Kidd basically criticized it for not living up to his nostalgia for the stooges, and Capone says it's got a few great moments and says it isn't "awful". The things that you guys describe as bad, well,...they don't really sound that bad. Is the film listless? Dullness was one thing that the stooges were not, and that would be a valid criticism, but you guys never mention anything like that. I'll be going to see this soon. I don't expect a great film. I just expect to laugh my ass off a few times, and if it delivers that, I'm good. No normal person that I know who has seen this, and who liked the stooges to begin with, has said it was "not bad". They've all said it was funny or very funny.

  • ROFL.Are you fucking serious? this is exact kind of joke that you would expect from them Stooges. Sorry but since you dont get the Stooges that means that your review is completely worthless.

  • support and praise it would have gained from the critics and fans.

  • April 15, 2012, 2:06 p.m. CST

    Saw it last night...

    by Superponte

    Been a stooge fan since birth, literally. My dad got me hooked right from the start. The simple truth is: If you like The Three Stooges, you are going to like/love this movie. Are there a few problems with the secondary characters? Yes, they were a little boring, but this is not a film about them. With the exception of Emil Sitka, the majority of the Stooges "foils" were pretty normal comedy "straights". People are here to see Moe Larry and Curly, and it delivers on that. The casting was about as perfect as you can get. The slapstick was up to par and many of the other jokes were great. This is a fine effort, and worth checking out. Having seen ALL the Stooges shorts, I can verify this as being better than anything with Joe Besser and many of the later Fake Shemp retread films. Give it a chance.

  • April 15, 2012, 5:13 p.m. CST

    Hitting people with a hammer isn't funny?

    by WarrenSmooth

    Weak/absent father + overbearing mother = feminine, over sensitive boy child.

  • April 15, 2012, 9:46 p.m. CST

    The TV show FRIDAYS did the best 3 Stooges update!

    by DrunkenBusboy

    They were drug addicted baffoons! Funny as hell! BONUS: Larry David played, who else, Larry! The movie should have been like this! Edgy and funny as hell! Check it out: http://tinyurl.com/d58hqh4

  • April 15, 2012, 10:19 p.m. CST

    It's really...

    by Ender's Jeesh

    ... pretty darn good. Not sure what some might be expecting from a Stooges movie (Plot? Pathos?) but I laughed my ass off. And my 10-9-6-year-old sons fucking LOVED it. LURVED it. To worry about jokes falling flat completely misses the point. In vaudeville, a groan's as good as a laugh. The lead cast was absolutely fucking spot-on. When Sean Hayes opened his mouth and fucking NAILED Larry's nasally drone I literally laughed for 45 seconds. 3 Stooges is a perfectly acceptable way to burn 90 minutes in the dark. And the crowd I saw it was was about 40-50& kids. And there's really nothing beyond the cartoon violence that's too objectionable. They even did a PSA at the end telling kids not to whack their brothers with hammer or poke their eyes.

  • April 16, 2012, 12:13 a.m. CST

    aw gawd not another shitty remake!!!

    by Norman Colson

    Why lord?!?! Why has thou cursed us!? Hollywood needs to let it go. think of new shit and move on!

  • April 16, 2012, 7:36 a.m. CST

    Saw it - had a great time

    by 2for2true

    The guys playing the stooges knocked it out of the park. Larry David was pretty much wasted, as was Lynch. Vergara was what you'd expect. Hope to see a sequel soon, or have them doing 15-20 minute shorts before their next films.

  • April 16, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CST

    I loved it

    by Peter David

    Part of that might come from the fact that I was never that much of a Stooges fan in my youth. I didn't see the humor in it. To me, Moe was a bully, and the other two were the guys he bullied. Bullies were a very real thing that I had to deal with in school, and what I saw as a relentless barrage of nastiness simply didn't appeal to me. But the trailers for the film looked entertaining, and my 9 year old daughter wanted to see it, so I figured, What the hell. As bizarre as it sounds, I found it charming. A film with real heart to it. The Stooges presented as a family that, as the old gag goes, put the "fun" in "dysfunctional." I got the absurdist nature of the Stooges in a way that I didn't as a child (including Curly's skull being so invulnerable that it destroyed a chain saw.) The plot, such as it was, even had a nice twist or two to it. And I don't give the slightest damn how much it dates the film: Moe bitch slapping the Jersey Shore crew up one side and down the other was absolutely cathartic. The very few times I've seen any portion of that series, I could feel myself losing IQ points. Seeing the resurrection of the patron saint of taking-no-shit impatiently smacking around the Situation and Sookie or Snookie or whatever the hell her name is was just glorious. And my nine year old loved it, too. I'm sorry, Capone, but this was NOT a bad movie. Indeed, the comments of some reviewers in general on this and other recent films--and I mean in general, not just here--simply reinforces some of my recent thoughts on reviewers, namely that there should be term limits on them. Like with politicians. People should review films regularly for eight years or so and then they need to be forced to take a multi-year break. Because at some point, with just about every reviewer, they reach a point where--like ships acquiring barnacles--they've simply got too much detritus sticking to them. They are no longer capable of providing useful reviews because they're so obsessed with what they've come to believe that films SHOULD be, that they've lost the ability to judge them for what they are. Just my opinion. PAD

  • April 16, 2012, 4:30 p.m. CST

    Would have been great if they started with a Time Machine gag.

    by Adrian Fernandez

    Start out in b &w. Make a Stooge Time Machine contraption. Zing! Modern times. Enuff said.