Tags: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, BD-Live, Bobby Farrelly, Brian Doyle-Murray, Chris Diamantopoulos, Craig Bierko, Digital Copy, Farrelly brothers, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Hudson, Kirby Heyborne, Larry David, Marianne Leone, Peter Farrelly, Sean Hayes, Sofía Vergara, Stephen Collins, The Three Stooges, Will Sasso
has an average rating of 5.3 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
are worthwhile with DVD & Digital Copy
– 84 minutes
This uses 20.9GB for the movie out of 29.7GB total.
Overall Verdict – Recommended Slapstick
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Movie Itself is based on the original shorts from the legendary slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges which originally included Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard. Their shorts mostly done at Columbia Pictures, 220 total, ran from 1934 through 1959. During those years the line-up would change with Curly being replaced twice after he suffered a stroke. The legacy The Three Stooges left went on to inspire many of today’s comedy. One set of filmmakers that were heavily inspired by the Stooges are the Farrelly brothers (Bobby Farrelly & Peter Farrelly) who directed, co-wrote and produced this film adaptation. The Farrelly’s are best known for their films “Dumb & Dumber” (1994), “Kingpin” (1996), “There’s Something About Mary” (1998), “Me, Myself & Irene” (2000), “Shallow Hal” (2001) and “Hall Pass” (2011).
This film serves as a modern adaptation of “The Three Stooges” and plays as three “episodes” (parts). In the first episode of the film we’re first shown that the Stooges arrived thrown out in a duffle bag at a Catholic orphanage. They’re just babies but they already have the iconic haircuts and already are dishing out eye pokes; namely to the nun “Sister Mary-Mengele” (played by Larry David) that finds them. We flash forward to 10 years later and the boys are looking more recognizable and running amuck at the orphanage, still giving Sister Mary-Mengele a very hard time. They’re already their goofy selves and young “Moe” has established himself as the leader of “Larry” and “Curly.” The orphanage is ran by “Mother Superior” (played by Jane Lynch) where she’s joined by other nuns such as “Sister Rosemary” (played by Jennifer Hudson), “Sister Bernice” (played by Kate Upton) and “Sister Ricarda” (played by Marianne Leone) as well as Sister Mary-Mengele. All of the nuns at the orphanage over the years have developed a low tolerance for the Stooges and suggest one day when a rich couple is arriving and looking to adopt to hide all the other orphans and try to get the Stooges adopted to essentially be rid of them. The rich couple arrives and they present them with Moe, Larry and Curly to which the couple is at first it seems not to likely to consider adopting. They almost end up adopting one of the Stooges but things don’t go as planned with adopting the one Stooge. The Stooges don’t manage to get adopted and are sadly left the young victims of circumstance.
25 years pass, we’re flashed forward, and the Stooges are still living at the orphanage and still causing trouble. By this point they’re grown up and totally the recognizable characters we remember the Stooges being. “Moe” is played by Chris Diamantopoulos, “Larry” is played by Sean Hayes and last but far from least “Curly” is played by Will Sasso. The Stooges are told by Sister Mary-Mengele that they need to fix the orphanage’s bell. In true Stooges fashion they hop right to the job and as expected manage to make one horrible attempt at fixing the bell causing lots of damage in the process as well as dishing out their iconic slapstick blows at one another. Let’s just say they don’t manage to get the bell fixed. On this very same day a priest “Monsignor Ratliffe” (played by Brian Doyle-Murray) arrives and informs Mother Superior that if they don’t come up with $830,000 in the next month they’re going to have to shut down the orphanage. Mother Superior calls for Moe, Larry and Curly to be brought to her to be told of this situation. The boys are very upset by this and promise that they’ll go out and earn the money themselves to save the orphanage that they’ve learned over the past 35 years or so to call home. Mother Superior and the rest of the nuns are very hesitant to allow them to do this since they know the fellas haven’t ever been out into the real world and aren’t exactly the smartest tools in the shed. Still though, they decide to let the Stooges venture out into the world and try to earn the money to save the orphanage. This is where the first episode of the film ends.
In the second episode things starts off with the Stooges out on a street corner banging on a loud drum, wearing a sign and trying to find someone to hire them to do work for the $830,000 they need to save the orphanage. This is ridiculous to think anyone will hire three bumbling idiots standing on a street corner to do anything let alone for that large of an amount of money but luckily for them they manage to get the attention of two people who would like to hire them. It’s a woman named “Lydia” (played by Sofía Vergara) and her lover that she’s having an affair with named “Mac” (played by Craig Bierko) that want to hire the Stooges. Lydia walks up to them and tells them that they can earn the money they’re wanting by doing a job for her that will take less than 10 minutes. The job she wants them to do is to kill her husband. Her lover gets out of her car claiming to be her husband. He tells the Stooges that he’s dreadfully ill and it could take up to a year of him suffering in pain before he dies. He also tells them he’s wanting to be surprised by being smothered with a pillow in his sleep and whatever they do not to turn the light on when they sneak in to do it. Moe informs the couple that they’re just trying to do honest work and not a bunch of criminals. Yet, they consider the fact this man is claiming to be dying and that they would be doing him a favor by saving him a year of painful suffering. Little do they know he’s not actually Lydia’s husband, that they’re trying to be hired to kill a man who doesn’t want to die. Let’s just say things don’t go as planned, they don’t manage to get the job and the husband isn’t killed. Karma however does manage to work though as it leaves Mac suffering and Lydia leaving to go back home. The Stooges actually think they’ve done their job and manage to follow Lydia home asking for their $830,000 for the work. She storms off and refuses to pay them as they’ve not killed her husband.
I’ll leave what happens in the rest of this episode and the third and final episode for you to experience as to not dish out any “spoilers” or such. Let’s just say things manage to remain funny and the boys try their best to earn the money to save the orphanage in every way they know possible.
The Farrelly brothers’ modern adaptation of “The Three Stooges” proves to be funny and definitely does its best job paying homage to the original Stooges’ shorts. All of the lingo that you remember from the original Stooges shorts is found here in the shorts as well as the slapstick gags. The casting choices here are great for the Stooges, especially that of Will Sasso as Curly. Sasso almost steals the show as Curly but he’s got some decent competition from Chris Diamantopoulos in a good portrayal of Moe. It’s not to be said that Sean Hayes doesn’t do a good job as Larry, in fact he’s great, it’s just his performance isn’t as strong. The supporting cast here is great, especially Larry David playing a female nun. I laughed a whole lot watching this film two times before I ended up reviewing it to make sure I was certain with how I’d rate it. This is because I’m a huge fan of the original Three Stooges shorts and I was very, very skeptical about this film being good. I was surprised to find myself laughing as much as I did and how well the three actors did in bringing these character I loved so much back to life in a new way. If you’re looking for a good laugh and appreciate goofy slapstick comedy I’d suggest this film. If you’re a huge fan of the original Stooges shorts like myself, you’re right to be skeptical but give it a chance as chances are you will end up enjoying it more than you expected — like I did.
Sure, this film is in no way as funny as the original shorts were and there was obviously no way I expected it to be. If you want amazing slapstick comedy and to be able to laugh so hard it hurts you’ll have to go back to the original shorts. Nothing will ever top those. This is just paying tribute and trying to introduce a new audience to the humor of The Three Stooges. It’s aim is obviously to get you to want to watch the original shorts either again or for the first time. Lastly, I’d like to add that it’s only a bit fitting that over the almost 20 years this film took to get made and times it switched studios that it finally ended up being made at 20th Century Fox. That’s because the first film that The Three Stooges ever appeared in was a 1930 film called “Soup to Nuts” made at the very same studio (Fox).
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. According to the technical specifications on IMDb this was shot on Super 35MM film using the Arricam LT and Arricam ST cameras. This comes with an abundance of detail in every single shot via its digital transfer from film to Hi-Def. The black level is perfectly solid, the color palette is very, very vibrant and the fleshtones are accurate. There’s a pretty decent amount of visible film grain here which tells me that DNR (digital noise reduction) has not been used. The visual presentation here is very impressive and earns itself a “4.5 Star Rating” for overall video quality. I can’t find anything visually to complain about and I almost ended up giving it a perfect rating but it didn’t scream out “poifect” to me; just impressive. Let’s just say that it certainly does the film as well as the cinematography by DP (director of photography) Matthew F. Leonetti justice.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. First and foremost dialogue is delivered very distinctly through the center channel speaker and never once will be overpowered by any other sounds. No need at all here for volume adjustments. By far the real highlights here of the mix are the “cleaned up” versions of the original Three Stooges sound effects. These are used mainly for the punches, eye pokes, hits and such to make the slapstick elements come across even funnier. This also makes things in terms of sound feel much like those original Three Stooges shorts. These sound effects come with a decent amount of rear channel and LFE (bass) presence but nothing to “over the top” so-to-speak. There’s some good music used here on the soundtrack by artists such as Grouplove, Foster the People, Bob Dylan and The Allman Brothers which all sound somewhat impressive with a good amount of rear channel and LFE presence. There’s also a good amount of rear channel and LFE presence in the film’s original music that makes up the Score done by John Debney. One other highlight in the mix in terms of showcasing the 5.1 lossless involves a lion in a zoo and its roar. This comes with a great amount of LFE and has some rear channel presence to it as well. All and all this has a solid presentation in terms of sound and is well worthy of a “4 Star Rating” for overall audio quality.
Bonus Materials on this release are ALL presented in full 1080p Hi-Def (HD) video quality with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo @224kbps sound — unless otherwise noted below.
- BD-Live is included on this 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Blu-ray Disc release. This allows you to access online content such as trailers and video clips from theatrical and home video releases. You’ll need to have a “Profile 2.0” capable Blu-ray Disc player and an Internet connection to access this feature. No additional content that pertains to this film is included here.
- Deleted / Extended Scenes (9:29 – HD) prove to be funny and are certainly worth watching if you enjoyed the film.
- “What’s the Big Idea? The History of The Three Stooges” (10:39 – HD) starts by giving us an interview with Earl Benjamin who is the President & CEO of C3 Entertainment Inc, the original company started to handle the merchandising and licensing of The Three Stooges. Benjamin also served as an executive producer on the film and gives us a brief history of The Three Stooges. You’ll get other interviews here from the Farrelly brothers (Bobby Farrelly & Peter Farrelly) who served as co-writers, producers and directors as well as Mike Cerrone who served as co-writer and Caroline Scott, the great grand daughter of Moe Howard who makes a short appearance early on in the film as one of the nuns. This featurette proves to be both informative and entertaining. There’s even some footage from the original Three Stooges shorts thrown in between the interviews and history of.
- “Knuckleheads: Behind the Scenes of The Three Stooges” (5:11 – HD) includes interviews with the Farrelly brothers discussing scenes that involved stunts and how this was the hardest movie they ever made. There’s also lots of on set footage here.
- “Did You Hear That? The Three Stooges Sound Effects” (4:11 – HD) has the Farrelly brothers along with co-writer Mike Cerrone discussing their choice to “clean up” the sound effects used in the original shorts. At one point the Farrelly brothers show you a clip from the film with and without the sound effects to prove how much funnier they make the slapstick.
- “Poifect! Casting The Three Stooges” (9:12 – HD) has the Farrelly brothers discussing the casting choices for the Stooges and how amazingly perfect they felt their choices were. This is all backed up by interviews with the supporting cast like Sofia Vegara, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Hudson and even Caroline Scott — great grand daughter of Moe Howard. You’ll also get interviews with the stars themselves Sean Hayes, Will Sasso and Chris Diamantopoulos discussing how they got the part and what made them want to be part of the film. This proves to be very enjoyable and even includes some of the original iPhone footage that Chris Diamantopoulos had done of himself in character as Moe.
- “The Three Stooges Mash-Up” (3:10 – HD) has some of the funniest scenes in the film and deleted scenes all cut together.
- “Original Screen Test” (4:06 – HD) is of the scene where the guys are on the street corner trying to find work. Stand-in actors of sorts are playing the roles of “Lydia” and “Mac” here and are the only real weak point to this. The three guys give a great performance here that obviously imposed the higher ups at the studio into letting them play the Stooges and get the film made.
- Theatrical Trailer (1:40 – HD) features Dolby Digital 5.1 @448kbps sound.
- A DVD of the film in standard definition with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is included.
- A Digital Copy of the film is included on the DVD disc mentioned above. This is compatible with both iTunes and Windows Media portable devices as well as both Mac and PC.
Overall the bonus materials here prove to be worthwhile, are ALL presented in Hi-Def video and total up to roughly 50 minutes or so. You also get some nice physical and digital bonus material in the form of the DVD and Digital Copy of the film. Not too shabby. Gotta say I enjoyed the bonus material here, even though it did feel like there was something missing. The “history of” featurette was nice to see included but in all honesty just seemed a bit too short and didn’t include enough info about Moe Howard, Curly Howard and Larry Fine. Still though this works for a set of supplemental material and is enough to leave consumers pleased for the most part.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Please be patient with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.