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April 13, 2012

Review: “The Three Stooges”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Roger @ 4:12 am

Publicity still for The Three Stooges movieBeing a hard-core fan of The Three Stooges and the director of a bicycle ride called the Tour de Stooges, I couldn’t help myself.

Yes, I went to the midnight showing of “The Three Stooges” movie, which made its nationwide debut today.

The Farrelly brothers worked for about a decade to get “The Three Stooges” to the big screen. At one time, they had considered actors such as Jim Carrey and Sean Penn, but they wound up with Chris Diamantopoulos (Moe), Sean Hayes (Larry) and Will Sasso (Curly).

They made the right choices. The modern trio did a fine job of resurrecting the slapstick comedy Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard mastered in the 1930s and 1940s. They revised some of the classic routines of the original Stooges, and in some cases, expanded upon them.

The basic plot goes like so: The young Stooges are dumped off at a Catholic orphanage, where they give the nuns — especially Sister Mary-Mengele (Larry David) a hard time. As they “grow up,” they work at the orphanage, only to learn that it will be closed unlees it comes up with $830,000 to pay the bills. From there, the Stooges get caught up in a murder plot and with the cast of “Jersey Shore.” It’s divided into three sections, each with a title, so it feels like you’re watching three episodes of the Stooges.

One truly funny scene was when Moe offers Snooki a gift — a poke in the eyes. “Jersey Shore” haters definitely will love that way Moe treats the reality show cast.

They also put nice twist on a scene inspired by the golfing scenes in “Three Little Beers.” In a hair-brained scheme to raise money for the orphanage, they start a fish farm — on a golf course. Much like the hundreds of golf balls and divots Moe left on the course, hundreds of fish are lying on the fairways.

And, yes, they attempt to ride a triplet bicycle!

The Farrellys, for the most part, avoid the gross-out humor they’re known for in previous movie. The closest thing thing to gross humor involves babies in a hospital nursery.

Now for the weaknesses: The Three Stooges weren’t always known for their plot development, but “The Three Stooges” may have suffered from too much plot development. Some scenes, particularly in the orphanage, seemed to drag.

I also disliked the background music in many of the scenes throughout the movie. The original Stooges shorts were so fast-paced that they generally didn’t need background music.

The original shorts used music as a part of the plot, such as “The Alphabet Song” in the movie “Violent Is the Word for Curly” or the march tune played in many of their shorts. There are a few songs like that in the movie, mostly performed with the help of Jennifer Hudson, who plays orphanage nun Sister Rosemary.

One group definitely doesn’t like the movie. The Catholic League isn’t fond of the “nun bikini” and rosary worn by Sister Bernice (Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Kate Upton), and it doesn’t care for Larry David or his character’s name, shared by Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele.

“It is a cultural marker of sociological significance, and what it says about the way we’ve changed is not encouraging,” the Catholic League wrote in its article.

All in all, the Farrellys produced a good-hearted homage to The Three Stooges. Despite the flaws — I didn’t laugh out loud too often — it’s worth seeing, especially if you’re a Stooge fan! And, yes, women should watch it, too!

Real movie critics generally are giving the film moderately positive reviews. Here’s a sampling:

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