Book Review “The Three Stooges: Hollywood Filming Locations”

Author: Jim Pauley
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Santa Monica Press
Release Date: December 15, 2012

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When I think about The Three Stooges, I think about the classic days of Hollywood.  I think about real sets and classic film production.  If you are a fan of The Three Stooges, like myself and have the same questions, then “Hollywood Filming Locations” is for you. It exploring the original locations that were the sites of the Stooges’ most famous Columbia Pictures short films made in and around Hollywood between 1934 and 1958.  The book is really well done and beautifully delivered, thanks to Santa Monica Press.

The details of the book are jam-packed with numerous archival photographs, some of which are rare and never-been-seen before or published. They also range from some really neat candid shots to classically vintage publicity stills.  Then there are simple screen captures from films and other contemporary photographs.  This isn’t just photos of The Stooges though, there is a focus on the location themselves within aerial views and maps detailing this locations. This book isn’t just photos though, there are quotes throughout from the Three Stooges’ directors, supporting actors, and family members.

Jim Pauley is definitely the author for this book.  He is a noted expert on the Three Stooges filming locations.  He has written articles on this subject since 2001 published in “Three Stooges Journal”, which is released by the Three Stooges Fan Club. He really gets a chance to show his love for this trio of comedic legends.  There is also a very sharp foreword from film critic Leonard Maltin. If you are a Stooges fan , then this book is a must have to show Hollywood’s cinematic history and the legacy of these comedic geniuses.


Blu-ray Review “The Three Stooges in 3D”

Actors: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard, Shemp Howard
Directors: Various
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Legend Films
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Run Time: 78 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I don’t think I have ever laughed harder then the first time I saw “The Three Stooges”. There is something so simplistic about their comedy that never ceases to draw hilarity. Thanks to Legend Films, this is there first go with 3D conversions and it is definitely a success. They are also releasing “The Best of Little Rascals in 3D” as well on the same date. If you are looking for a flashback to TV days of the 40-50′s with a modern update in the third dimension, then look no further. The Stooges has never looks so good and the price cannot be any better either. These episodes are a no-brainer and I hope that Legend has plans to release more classic shows in 3D in the coming months.

The following episodes are included in 3D: Disorder In The Court (1936), Brideless Groom (1947), Sing A Song Of Six Pants (1947) and, Malice In The Palace (1949). They are restored and look very sharp on Blu-ray and the 3D conversion is quite impressive and work well with the show. The episodes are still over 60-70 years old, so there is so age but overall, it is a really nice restore on Blu-ray. These shorts are available in both a colorized & the original B&W restored versions. I like the idea of having both versions available but I still prefer the B&W but I feel that the colorized versions work better with the 3D.

Official Premise: This is The Three Stooges at their bumbling, eye-poking, hair-pulling best! Including a full, high-quality restoration and colorization, this feature offers something that none before it have: a stunning, stereoscopic 3D transfer. See the boys like you have never seen them before with antics that jump off the screen as every slap, fall and nose-tweak is brought to life within your home. This set is a must-have for every fan and is the perfect complement to your home video library!

Blu-ray Review “The Three Stooges: The Movie”

Directed by: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly
Starring: Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos, Will Sasso
MPAA Rating: PG
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: July 17, 2012
Running Time: 92 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

The Farrelly Brothers are believed to be directors that really known comedy, especially since they created the classic “There’s Something About Mary”. Though honestly their last three films haven’t really impressed me at all. “Stuck on You” was lame. “Hall Pass” was a one joke movie. “The Three Stooges” could have been amazing when Jim Care, Benecio del Toro and Sean Penn were attached but they went the cheap route with it and got a lesser cast attached just for the sake of getting it made. Overall it does get a few laughs and it gives props to the classic humor of the original Three Stooges.  It even used some of the sounds from the original shorts but then they had to throw in the “Jersey Shore” cast, which was the last straw for me. Let’s just saw the film is far from poifect!

“The Three Stooges” follow Moe, Larry and Curly as they head out on a mission to save an Orphanage. Their back story is that they were left on a doorstep of that same Orphanage and raised by the nuns.  When the trio find out that the Orphanage is being forced to close its doors, they find a way to save it.  Of course it’s not that simple and hilarity, mischief and mayhem ensues.

The Blu-ray presentation unlike the film is pretty good.  The 1080p transfer looks sharp. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track sounds good and works well with the Stooges’ finger-poking, nyuk-nyuking and woo-woo-wooing.  The release itself comes in a combo pack with a Blu-ray, a DVD disc and a digital copy of the film. Hardcore fans of the Stooges, should stay away from this film but new fans or causal fans of the comedy trio should get a laugh or two.

The special features on this release are decent but not amazing.  There are about ten minutes of deleted/extended scenes.  They seemed to fit well with the film and could have been really used.  “What’s the Big Idea? A History of The Three Stooges” feature the Farrelly Bros chatting about why they made the film. “Knuckleheads: Behind the Scenes of The Three Stooges” is a very short behind the scenes featurette on the production. “Did You Hear That? The Three Stooges Sound Effects” is a cool feature about how they used some original sounds from the early shorts. “Poifect! Casting The Three Stooges” talks with the three leads.  “The Three Stooges Mash-Up” is a montage of slapstick scenes, I enjoyed this a bit. “Original Screen Test” is the footage used to cast the films leads. Lastly there is a theatrical trailer included.


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DVD Review “The Three Stooges: The Ultimate Collection”

Starring: Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Curly Howard
Number of discs: 20
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Running Time: 635 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

I have been watching “The Three Stooges” from since before I could walk…or probably talk (thanks to my Grandfather).  There is something about that humor that really lasts through time and never looses its laughs.  When they released this under the title of “The Ultimate Collection”, they were not joking…this is really the ultimate collection of the Three Stooges.  They cover 25 years of the Three Stooges and really captures their unique brand of humor.  Included in this set is all 190 short films, plus 11 hours of movies and other never-before-released material…like I said really the ultimate collection.  Get ready to enjoy all the eye-pokes, face slaps, hollow head knocks and knuckle cracks that you can possibly handle.

These have been properly and beautifully remastered for the best quality picture and sound. For shorts that were filmed back as far back as the 30’s, they definitely do not show it.  Great job from Sony for a great digital restoration.  You’ll experience the Stoogers  like you’ve never heard or seen them before. This collection also not only includes all of the Three Stooges Columbia shorts but also three discs of bonus material as well featuring the solo work of the Stooges!  This never-before-released bonus content features included are films “Rockin’ In The Rockies” (1945) and “Have Rocket–Will Travel” (1958) . There are also 14 Shemp Howard solo shorts, 10 Joe Besser solo shorts and 4 Curly-Joe solo shorts.  Lastly, there is also three animated shorts from Columbia as well. This is worth the purchase of the collection alone.

Besides the three discs of rare and unreleased content, the rest of the collection is split up into eight individual volumes.  The first volume covers from 1934-1936, includes the first 10 Columbia shorts, including “Punch Drunks” which made them big. Vol. 2 focuses on 1937-1939 in chronological order including 24 shorts and such classics “Dizzy Doctors”, “Saved By The Belle”, and “Calling All Curs. Vol. 3 covers what some thought to be the Golden Age from 1940-1942. Included are 23 shorts among was also a historical first featuring Moe Howard as the first American to portray Hitler on film, in 1940’s “You Nazty Spy”, which was also Moe’s personal favorite. Vol. 4 covers 1943-1945 and include 21 shorts with some of their best work, including “Micro-Phonies” (1943). Also featured are “They Stooge to Conga” (1943) and “The Yoke’s On Me” (1944), both were very controversial shorts.

Next up we have Vol. 5 which covers 1946-1948 and features 25 shorts. This period also marks the end of Curly’s career with the Stooges and the return of Shemp. Vol. 6 covers from 1949-1951, which continues with Shemp as the third Stooge. These collection of 24 shorts contain classics like “Merry Mavericks” (1951) and a reworking of “Phony Express” (1943) featuring Red Morgan. Vol. 7 features 22 shorts from 1952-1954. It was a hard time for the Stooges with the passing of Curly in 1951. Though it did still includes such classics as the first 3-D short, “Spooks!” (1953) and “Shot In The Frontier” (1954), a parody of the film “High Noon”. Lastly Vol. 8 covers the last 32 short for Columbia from 1955-1959 and marks the end of comedy era. 1955 also came with the sudden death of Shemp Howard, which caused Moe and Larry to use a stand-in on some of the shorts. This concludes 24 years and 190 shorts with Columbia.

The Three Stooges are really a comedy team that to this day remains unparalleled in both their success and popularity. I have a feeling that it will stay that way as well. They are true Hollywood legends. Their slapstick humor and physical comedy have influenced numerous icons in today’s times like Robin Williams and Jim Carrey and will continue as time goes on. Luckily for studios like Sony, we get to enjoy this complete and ultimate collection of The Three Stooges work and if you are fan of theirs this release is extremely recommended and also very affordable. Do not miss out of this wonderful release!

Max Charles chats about playing Peter Parker in “The Amazing Spider-Man”

Max Charles is only 8-years old but is having on heck of busy year. He is co-starring in “The Three Stooges” and even playing the role of a young Peter Parker in this summer’s reboot “The Amazing Spider-Man”. He is also voicing Sherman in the upcoming animated film “My Peaboy & Sherman”. Max took our sometime to chat with Media Mikes about this busy year and what we can expect.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about experience on the film “The Three Stooges”, must have been a fun time?
Max Charles: “The Three Stooges” was so much fun to film. We were in Atlanta all summer and since my scenes are with Will (Sasso), Sean (Hayes) and Chris (Diamantopoulos), I got to hang out with them in the green room. They are so funny and we were always laughing even in between scenes.

MG: What did you enjoy most about playing the young orphan Peezer?
MC: Peezer is the Three Stooges little buddy so that was fun!! I really like the character because he seems like a nice and fun kid. He really cares about his friends especially his best friend Murph. Peezer also encourages the Stooges to do the right thing and try to save the orphanage.

MG: How was it working on the upcoming “The Amazing Spider-Man” and playing a young Peter Parker?
MC: Amazing!! I still can’t believe I am Peter Parker and got to work on this film! The Amazing Spider-Man was my first feature film so it will always be REALLY special to me. Whenever I saw Andrew on set he would come over and sit with me and we would talk about the movie and acting. I thought that was really cool. When we were in New York filming we saw him riding his bike when we were walking in our hotel and when he saw me he rode over to talk to me. Nice is cool!

MG: Was it exciting to play such a notable superhero?
MC: Spider-Man has ALWAYS been my favorite superhero! When I was like three years old I was even Spider-Man for Halloween! I think I wore that costume ALL YEAR! I had NO idea I would EVER get to be Spider-Man in a movie!

MG: You are set to voice Sherman in the upcoming animated film “My Peaboy & Sherman”, tell us about that?
MC: Sherman is a GREAT character and SO much fun. He has a big heart but he seems to accidentally get in a ton of trouble. Mr. Ty Burrell plays Mr Peabody who is a very smart Dog who is always getting Sherman out of the trouble he makes. It’s awesome because they get to travel in a time machine and go to fun places. Sherman would be a fun kid to be friends with!

MG: What do you like most about voice work?
MC: Voice work is great because you can get crazy with your voice and acting. I like getting into the character when we are recording a session instead of just standing there saying the words. They said they are getting some pretty funny behind the scenes footage too.

MG: What other projects do you have planned upcoming?
MC: I play Max Weaver in an ABC comedy pilot called “Down To Earth”, so we hope that gets picked up for Fall. It’s a really funny show. I’m working on “Peabody and Sherman” right now and doing several voices for other tv shows like “Family Guy”, “American Dad” and “Robot Chicken”. I have a movie called “Unstable” coming out soon that I am one of the leads in and I did a guest spot on “Scent of The Missing” for TNT and I got to play the missing. I’m also working on some music with my brothers.

Film Review “The Three Stooges”

Starring: Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantoupoulos and Will Sasso
Directed by: Bobby and Peter Farrelly
Running time: 1 hour 32 mins
20th Century Fox

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

In 1930, a film called “Soup to Nuts” was released. Though it didn’t break box office records it is best remembered for one great achievement: introducing the world to The Three Stooges. Consisting of brothers Moe and Shemp Howard (Shemp would be replaced by Curly shortly afterwards) and violinist Larry Fine, the trio poked, kicked and nyuk-nyuk-nyuked their way through almost 200 shorts and feature films. Their popularity was so great that their studio, Columbia, would refuse to rent them to theatre owners unless they promised to play a poorly performing Columbia feature. The Stooges continued on in various forms (after Curly died, Shemp returned – following Shemp’s death both Joe Besser and Joe DeRita followed). In the 1960s, as television took off, the Stooges were introduced to a new generation, including me. Parents began to complain that their children were poking each other in the eyes and I’ve heard of several cases of one sibling hitting another one in the head with a hammer just because it looked funny on TV. Now, almost four decades after the last Stooges, Moe and Larry, passed away, comes a film that tries to recapture the magic of good, old fashioned slapstick comedy.

Presented in a series of faux-shorts (the first one titled “More Orphan Then Not”), “The Three Stooges” begins with three boys being dropped off at an orphanage. As they grow up they seem to attract any mishap that might be in the area. Moe (Skyler Gisondo) is the bossy one of the bunch. Larry (Lance Chantiles-Wertz) is the quiet one. His silence, along with his very unusual head of hair, make prospective parents wonder if he is undergoing chemotherapy. Curly (Robert Capron) is the million-miles-a-minute hyper one. But they are a team. Years later, now adults, the boys learn the orphanage is in threat of being closed due to funding. Determined to save their home, the Stooges make their way out into the world.

Full of the classic timing and slapstick humor that have made the Stooges fan favorites for almost a century, “The Three Stooges” could have been a horrible disappointment. It would have been difficult to create a bio pic about the boys because their personalities are so engrained in our memories. But to actually emulate all that made the Stooges popular, and do it well, is a miracle. All three leads are superb comedians in their own right, with Emmy award winner Hayes (Larry) being the most recognizable. Sasso (Curly) is a comedy vet with a long stint on “Mad TV” while Diamantoupoulos (Moe) is known more for his serious work on shows like “24.” They all succeed in bringing the Stooges to life with Diamantoupoulos seeming to be channeling Moe Howard. To learn that Howard died less than a week before Diamantoupoulis was born makes that last sentence eerie!

The comedy is pretty toned down by Farrelly brother standards. The majority of the laughs come from the onscreen shenanigans. When the script calls for the inclusion of peeing babies and a testicle joke or two, these modern comedy attempts seem startlingly out of place. But old fans and new fans should rejoice as the Stooges are introduced to a new generation.