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The Three Stooges—movie review

by Leonard Maltin
April 13, 2012 1:00 AM
  • |
20th Century Fox Film Corporation

First, the good news: this is a heartfelt homage to The Three Stooges of yore, and its leading actors do a remarkable job of channeling Moe, Larry and Curly. Kids who have never seen the Stooges, and adults who haven’t revisited them lately, may have a good time, as the audience did when I saw the film the other night, but ultimately, the movie is the comedy equivalent of a cubic zirconia: an imitation.

That may well satisfy moviegoers starved for slapstick and sight gags, which we don’t see very much anymore. Bobby and Peter Farrelly, who directed this feature (and wrote it with Mike Cerrone), serve up a heavy dose of straight-up silliness. But in the Age of Irony, the only way they can get away with that is through a re-creation, using the familiar characters of the Stooges and the brand of comedy they purveyed so successfully.

As befits a movie featuring these three, the storyline is simplicity itself: the orphanage where our heroes have been raised is going to be shut down, unless someone can raise $830,000 in a hurry. Moe, Larry and Curly have been sheltered from the outside world, and don’t have any skills except for causing mayhem, but they set out to find the necessary funds (on a bicycle built for three).

None of this would be possible without the inspired and fully-committed performances of Sean Hayes as Larry, Will Sasso as Curly, and Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe (not to mention the kids who play then as ten-year-olds). They never break character or wink at the audience, which is the only way to pull off a stunt like this. Most of the supporting cast gets in the spirit of the piece, as well.

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

The gags, and Stoogeian wordplay, come off well most of the time; there’s no point in nitpicking the ones that don’t, or complaining about matters of taste, since the real Stooges comedies were often crass and crude.

So why wasn’t I laughing?

Perhaps I’ve spent too many years absorbing the bona fide Stooges—and other slapstick comedies of the period—to accept a replica, however well-intended. I’m happy to see somebody reviving this neglected brand of comedy, but I wish it didn’t involve outright imitation of such indelible performers as Howard, Fine, and Howard.

Or, to put it another way, a really good cover band is still a cover band. I’m reminded of the original ads for the show Beatlemania: “Not the Beatles, but an amazing simulation!” In this case, we aren’t dealing with live performance; the real Stooges are alive and well, on film. Why not reissue some of their best comedies and put them back on the big screen instead of settling for a Xerox copy?

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  • RW | July 23, 2013 10:38 PMReply

    Sorry Steve from below, the movie was a flop, had it been good, the stooges would be in demand, making appearances all over the place, SNL, Jay Leno, at malls, in the newspaper, sporting events, etc, but no, there would be talking about another movie by now, perhaps even a shemp, you are truly a stooges simpleton fan, moe hits curly, curly goes woooooo and you think it is funny, it takes more than that to win over the younger generation fans, the stooges are done for good now thanks to the farleys, the idea of another movie would be a financial high risk for movie makers, too bad they did not know how to script this movie because if done right, there would be the potential of at least 2 more movies. RW

  • Steve Burns | January 24, 2013 11:46 PMReply

    For what it was, this movie is worthy of an academy award and I'm quite serious. For a re-make of the Three Stooges set in present day, I don't see how it could been done any better. And it was done in extremely good taste with reverence to the original, and showcased all their comedic routines perfectly. Hats off to the Farrelly brothers, they made a movie that no one else could. The main actors and supporting cast were truly superb and quite likeable. It was uncanny how the actors who played Moe, Larry and Curly had their mannerisms down pat. I actually thought I was watching the original stooges at some points. I laughed throughout the entire movie and was entertained more than I could have imagined going in. I have a feeling that the pie fight scenes were intentionally left out so they could be incorporated in the sequel. And there better be a sequel. Can't wait! Thank you Farrelly brothers for a successful rendetion of an impossible task, don't know how you pulled it off but you did. One final word to the critics who panned this movie: lighten up, you missed the whole point of the film. The original stooges were being honored and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. We are very fortunate that this film was made properly and will have it for years to cherish just as the original shorts.

  • Scott T. Rivers | November 14, 2012 12:54 AMReply

    Reissuing the classic Stooge two-reelers would be preferable to most of today's big-screen comedy.

  • Suldog | September 21, 2012 12:59 PMReply

    I've always enjoyed, and respected, your take on The Stooges. You know seriously good film, yet you have an obvious soft spot for some of the lesser efforts made in good spirit, which is where The Stooges usually land. Similarly, you've given this movie a fair take.

    Mine, if you have a free 20 minutes and feel like abusing yourself...

  • Byron | September 15, 2012 4:32 PMReply

    I have mixed feelings. It is rather like trying to improve upon Mozart; you can try, but there were only those "three of them". That said, I believe considerable credit is due for a long-overdue tribute to long-underappreciated (in their day) geniuses of comedy. I think that this production did about as well as can be done these days. Hooray!

  • Covtucker | July 17, 2012 2:25 PMReply

    I am a Stooge fan from birth. My Dad watched them and I have all of my life. I even watched them when they were on "Truth or Consequences" with Bob Barker showing Bob how to take a pie in the face. (I never realized how short the boys were until they were on that show).
    I loved the new movie. It was nice to see it brought into the new century. I loved the gags and I loved the storyline. I only hope the negative people don't stop a sequel being made. I think the Stooges (all six of them) would have liked the movie. That is except for the following...
    (1) The actor's did not seem like they were having fun doing the movie. The original Stooges (especially Moe, Lary and Curly) always seemed like they were having fun doing the "shorts". You could see almost a smirky smile, like they were trying not to laugh, when they were having fun and enjoying what they were doing. The new movie seems to be too serious and takes itself too serious.
    (2) When the little girl is sick and almost dying that would have been a good set up to show the softer side of the Stooges. (Like crying and boo-hoo-ing and wringing out a hanky with buckets of water.) The Stooges while trying to just barely survive always gave their feelings and their last dime to a good cause.
    (3) I would have liked to have seen more contrast between the urban culture of the city versus the rural culture of the orphanage. There was only one scene where Larry pulled up the jams of a black dude that showed much of a culture clash.
    (4) Where was the pie fight?

    All in all, I liked the movie (I just got it on DVD). I hope that they do make a sequel or a TV series or possibly bring back the shorts in the theaters with the new actors, but that they make it a little more light and have fun doing it.

  • JW | June 3, 2012 1:20 PMReply

    There is more to the Stooges than just Moe slapping Larry & Curley going Woooooooo, some of the simpleton stooges fans will get a big laugh out of this but chances are that an audience not too fimilar w/ the Stooges may not think of the movie as funny. The details in the chain of events or what is said that lead up to a slap or an eye poke are what makes the stooges funny, the directors missed theses kinds of details in the movie & it is a total shame they did because they had a chance to introduce the stooges to a new wave of people for years to come. If the movie had been truly funny to the general public, the Stooges would be in demand now making appearances all over the place.

  • Covtucker | July 17, 2012 2:30 PM

    It was evident that the actors were nervous doing the Stooges and did not act like they were having fun doing them. I think they took it too seriously. I think if they could have a chance to do several shorts or a sequel movie and relax and have fun doing it that it would come across better. I did like the updating of the movie.

  • Hiram | May 27, 2012 12:57 PMReply

    I thought the movie was fantastic! Im a huge 3 stooges fan and I enjoyed it from start to finish! Can people just LAUGH without finding issues to bring up to try to taint things. Its a MOVIE, lets just leave it like that. Cant wait to see part 2!!!!!!

  • RW | May 24, 2012 1:04 AMReply

    They failed to use the true funny details in the gags the stooges are noted for, sure they had the basic stuff but they missed w/ the true stooges details. This was a great opportunity to bring the stooges into the 21 century perhaps w/ sequils & even a Shemp for generations to come but they blew it as I expected. For one small example: Moe seemed to always be in mean mode in the movie, there was a soft side to him in most of the old episodes. It made it more humerous when he went from nice guy to hard guy in an instance. The Stooges always were the funniest when they were performing tasks, like painting a table & eating their lunch at the same time. Full length movies w/ a long term plot are not the Stooges as demonstrated in the early 1960s when they made all those full length super silly movies for kids under 10 years old. It semed like in the new movie, the director had them doing new gags, but the directors should have used much more of the old details from the old short episodes. If you think about it, the Stooges did everything possible on the planet in the original shorts from the 1930s, 40s & 5os. They began making 3 Stooges shorts in 1934 but it wasn't until the late 1930s that they began to learned to make them good w/ the right details. This is where the directors of the new movie should have pulled from for ideas, there were 1000s to choose from. I not a movie director & have no experience in making movies but I know I could have done a better job than these directors & wish I could have been a consultant for the movie as I consider myself to be the leading 3 Stooges gag detail expert on the planet. The directors of the new movie really blew it because now the 3 Stooges are done forever. They had no idea or clue of what was at stake here in making this movie!!!!

  • Hailee | May 21, 2012 10:59 AMReply

    OMg, im sorry. My friends and i hated this movie!!!. We didnt watch all the movie. We left through not even half of it..I guess its just not my kind of movie?..........

  • billxwilson | May 17, 2012 1:08 AMReply

    Yes, if this had been woven into documentary framework, that would have been really interesting. I would like to see their early days portrayed so believably.
    ... OR if they had done this with, say, 6 shorts at 15 mins each, THAT would have been funny with more opportunities to hit or miss. That is why they worked so well in the first place, vignettes!
    ... Still, this was a nice homage. I just don't see how the writers could have missed the obvious chance to do shorts.

  • MSB | May 5, 2012 6:18 PMReply

    "3 Stooges" the movie. Yes, it lived down to my expectations. Nearly five stars worth. Three episodes of unbridled slapsticky stupidity loosely tied to a schmaltzy plot. It was, indeed, a male experience that my wife tired of in 10 minutes -- when Curly used a cheese grater on a guy's foot. There was no slip on a banana peel and no instance of a 2x4 plank whacking someone in the head, but all other idiotic traditions were highly honored from hair pulls, to hammered heads, to horrid hackneys, to hot habits [for nuns]. Jersey Shore characters served as decent props for slapping and poking and stooge antics. If expecting "12 Angry Men", you will be disappointed. But if you want to retreat to mindless and tasteless and predictable nonsense, the Stooges should fill the bill. Proof that you [and I] can age without ever maturing.

  • steve | April 26, 2012 11:56 AMReply

    I begged my friend to come with me to see this movie yesterday. We thoroughly enjoyed it! There were more than several scenes where we bursted out laughing. The actors were outstanding as Moe (Dyna-Moe), Curly, and Larry. I would 'sointenly' recommend this movie to cheer ones spirits up. We left the theater laughing.

  • Rockin' Ed | April 25, 2012 11:26 AMReply

    ANTHING is better than Joe Besser !! 'nuff said

  • reenie | April 24, 2012 9:57 PMReply

    This movie was hysterical! Not a foul word to be heard and tons of side splitting laughter - I have to see it again for the jokes I missed from laughing so much

  • Jim | April 23, 2012 12:02 PMReply

    Why throw foster parents under the bus, my daughter and her husband are foster parents and like thousands of foster parents love and care for kids that no one else cares about. Doesn't make sense to me take a funny movie and ruin it with a few unnecessary lines.

  • MSB | May 5, 2012 6:23 PM

    Good point. Where the Stooges' plots are largely irrelevant -- serving as segues to pranks and antics -- there is no reason to take anything away from the good work foster parents do.

  • scott | April 20, 2012 7:50 PMReply

    I am a true stooge fan
    These are not the three stooges they are three fooges the originals are the best
    these are total fakes hollywood stop making remakes leave the originals alone
    the story is terrible its not right
    it is totally wrong
    the stooges were raised in a Jewish family

    they were not raised in a catholic orphanage
    though i am not catholic think it is wrong to show nuns like sleezy nuns
    if you want a new generation to like the stooges
    show them the originals which are the best the only stooges there will ever be
    you see Moe, Larry, Curly, Shemp. Joe Besser, and Curly Joe were the stooges
    The people were the characters
    No one could ever be them

    I have every three stooges episode including the movies with Curly Joe
    Those are the only ones worth watching
    I give the movie two thumbs down zero out of five stars

  • Sonny | April 19, 2012 11:27 AMReply

    The original 3 Stooges can never be keep this in mind. The acting and presence of these guys made the movie enjoyable. This was a bold move to put together something of this nature. If your not a fan, don't hammer the movie. You forget your not seeing the original 3 member cast. I left the theatre wanting to see more.

  • Kline | April 18, 2012 11:03 AMReply

    I liked the movie, it was better than I expected. No one will ever top the real Stooges, but this was a fun movie.

  • Asa Redish | April 18, 2012 9:34 AMReply

    I saw the movie and was thoroughly entertained by a great tribute to the stooges. The three actors did an above excellent job, I would see it again in a heartbeat.

  • anthony perone | May 8, 2012 7:55 PM

    Unless you're Catholic......

  • Teresa | April 18, 2012 3:51 AMReply

    I watched the old Stooges a lot and the new one if different but funny too - to a point.
    The biggest point of all the movie to me and I think thousands of foster children and foster parent would be the negative, very suggestive comments. To me, it felt as a slap on the face and an attack on foster parents - shame on whoever wrote it and shame on whoever sign their name under. FOSTER PARENT LOVE FOR MONEY????? - really? What a Shame!!!! - I was a foster parent for lots of years, raising lots of children, few of them call my home their own. I give up on my life and my business because of the last two children's family gave up on them and I wanted to do what in my heart felt right, and so we are adopting two special needs children, our plans for our future had to change, private schools and all the expenses to just meet their needs , financially we ares struggling and tonight I went to watch a funny movie with the boy I'm adopting - to hear that I'm loving for money! - WHAT A SHAME! No one thinks about thousands of foster parents taking the foster children to see this movie? I have no other words - What a shame! It looks almost as if someone writing the script maybe going through some hard times but to make statements like that in a movie ,which most likely be watched by lots of foster children and parents! It suppose to be a funny comedy but everything has its limits. WHAT A SHAME!

  • richie | April 17, 2012 8:38 PMReply

    Your Comment excellent film...I At Times forgot I was watching an imitation..they were so right on.

  • decam | April 18, 2012 9:09 PM

    Mother Teresa did you get poked in the eyes? This was one of the funniest movie ever and the plot was good enough and who cares if you think it suck it's the three stooges your'e not supposed to think and just laugh.. 5 stars out of 5 stars!

  • Jerry M | April 17, 2012 11:20 AMReply

    I notice that the New Stooges have made at least one cameo appearance on TV in character.
    For one who never saw the Original Stooges in person (and yes, they did appear in my little
    town in the early 1950s!), send the New Stooges on a personal appearance tour, and I'll be right there.
    Curly Howard was forced to retire, and we lost one of the Greatest Tour-de-Farce Masters ever
    known! So fans, consider this re-boot a great homage to Jerry Curly Howard...the new Curly
    has done a great job assuming the mantle! Just as Martin Landau made Bela Lugosi proud with his Oscar as Bela in Ed Wood...Jerry Howard was NEVER properly recognized as a great comic and Columbia wouldn't let the boys make features till 1958, long after we lost Curly and Shemp. The new movie is Curly's first color feature length appearance. Bring on sequels!

  • Bill Shipman | April 16, 2012 9:55 PMReply

    Seems that replacing deceased movie stars is as simple as making up an actor,and passing him off as the real thing. Present-day Hollywood apparently sees characterization as nothing more than a gimmick. Possibly,we will soon be treated to a guy with big ears and a pencil-mustache announcing that Clark Gable has returned to the screen. Has the dearth of originality in movies finally reach the point where they're now recycling dead actors as well as old tv shows,and "re-imagined homages" to films that were done right the first time? The Stooges honed their act thru years in vaudeville, and a long film career. Seems like they did the heavy lifting for people who are not ashamed to step in and capitalize on someone else hard work and talent. Maybe this movie is funny,but in a way of some character doing John Wayne and Bela Lugosi imitations at a party.

  • Decam | April 16, 2012 10:50 PM

    You're a fool. This movie is paying homage to the legend known as the Three Stooges. No one is making a short pretending to be them on a weekly television series. This was one of the funniest movie I've ever seen and the Three Stooges themselves would have appreciated this. Moe himself said in a late interview he hope they can find 3 guys that can replicate them for a movie so get over it all you serious old timer. Jesus Christ have fun and laugh.

  • JIM WILLIAMSON | April 16, 2012 8:54 PMReply

    I think your Beatlemania analogy is right on, Leonard, although I speak as one who quite likes the artistry (however derivative) involved in tribute bands and impersonators! You weren't laughing because it wasn't original. Personally I think a completely rebooted Three Stooges with completely new characterizations would have been more interesting (Imagine Kevin James doing a heightened version of himself, for example, and then pair him with two other guys gifted in slapstick); but, of course "interesting" doesn't mean "box office". This variant of the Three Stooges is Number 2 at the box office as of this writing, and as you well know, that in and of itself often impresses people to go in greater numbers, warranted or not! Movies are turning into Sports (in terms of competing box office numbers; who's "better" than whom) and it's all a little baffling!

  • Decam | April 16, 2012 8:52 PMReply

    This was one of the funniest movie I've ever seen. My friend and I couldn't stop laughing the whole audience laughed and clap when it was over. These guys did a great job as the stooges didn't even thought it's someone else acting. The ending was awesome couldn't believe they put that in the great escape on horses. lmao. Don't know why some of these critics are so serious about the storyline and so on. C'mon it's the Three Stooges you just watch and laugh at the stupid things they do. Hope they make a part 2 and can't wait for the dvd. Nyuck Nyuck Nyuck!

  • Bill Shipman | May 29, 2012 5:46 PM

    Thaks for your intelligent response to my post. I would have expected no less from you,than to begin with name calling and insults. Since I don't expect any thoughtful comment from a kid who has such little respect for anyone 5 years south of his age, I will dumb this down to your level of thought, you drug-addled,MTV-weaned,mindless punk!

    There,wasn't that fun? No wonder you enjoy pale imitations of the real thing.

  • Tom | April 16, 2012 8:32 PMReply

    Way too many people are expecting an "updated re-make". And so what about the comparisons to "Beatlemania" and not getting into that. That, as an example is exactly what the Beatlemania show was meant to be-NOT singers taking liberties and doing their own stylized versions-that would be self-defeating!! Let the STOOGES be the STOOGES, only next time-20 min. episodes, in B&W, with NO background music!!

  • Rhys | April 16, 2012 7:12 PMReply

    Thank you Maltin for giving a fair and even review of this film instead of blathering on for 4 pages about how the movie wasn't 'funny' or the fact that it wasn't the original Stooges.

    But I know why he most might not laugh at this, it's because they aren't 10 anymore. The Stooges were originally bit sketches, not 90 min films. They intended for KIDS and many were apart of the old Nickelodeons of very early Hollywood. So they aren't laughing at OLD LIGHT KIDS humor from the 1920s, at which this film, and the actors, really successfully portrayed. It's funny, but to many they might have seen it before or it's too light hearted or silly for them.

    Also Sean Hayes vocal impressions of Larry are spot on. Most people screw it up trying the sad clown routine (i.e. a grainy melancholy while trying to still be upbeat), but he really does sound a lot like him.

  • Jim | April 16, 2012 6:28 PMReply

    Leonard, I think you are just a bit too cynical on this one. A movie is ENTERTAINMENT, not rocket surgery (s). The Farrelly brothers GET it. They brought us a back story. And they picked a cast that did a wonderful job. I LOVE the old two-reelers, but you couldn't tell as much story. I realize there wasn't much story, but it was like visiting old friends. Infinitely better than what was tried a while back with The Further Adventures os Laurel and Hardy, The only good thing about it is that they were both already dead so they didn't have to suffer through it. Relax and enjoy.. THE BOYS ARE BACK!!!

  • Chris | April 16, 2012 5:41 PMReply

    It would have been better if it was done as more of a documentary.

  • Debbie King | April 16, 2012 5:11 PMReply

    I love the Stooges. LOVE them. My teachers and other adults of that time hated and condemned adults their violent slapstick comedy. I, and most of my friends of the late Boomer era, just liked them. I had the privilege of convincing the manager of the 1920s-era Tivoli Theater to host a Three Stooges Film Festival. I was given the privilege of choosing all seven Stooges short movies to be shown at the Tivoli Theater in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1984, for that very first Chattanooga Three Stooges Film Festival--something I'll never forget. (Special thanks to then-Tivoli manager, Clyde Hawkins.) The boys live on. Nearly thirty years later, I still love the Stooges. :>)

  • Sonny | April 19, 2012 11:41 AM

    Twice a year in the town I grew up, a movie theatre had a thing called 3 Stooges Follies. At midnite the theatre would play 6 shorts. The place was packed the theatre made money and all who attended left laughing. All had a great time. I can't believe the sour pusses that condemn this movie. Then I it yourself, if you can't come up with a better product...dummy up Bozo. I watched them everyday after school for years on WGN before they became a superstation. This movie was done in there honor, and if alive today, I think they would say it was the bomb.

  • Jerry M | April 16, 2012 1:38 PMReply

    Thought there was too much kid sub-plot interruptions, just as there were too many romantic
    subplot interruptions in movies of A&C, Marx Bros. The new Stooges should stick to the 16 minute shorts, or else come up with newer twists on a modernized 3-D Spooks, In Orbit, and
    release their next feature with a short in front that just turns the Boys loose to do their mayhem. The new Stooges are wonderful, why have Jerry Lewis style interruptions for pathos and kid face time when WE ALL KNOW WHAT WE CAME TO SEE!

  • Johnny | April 16, 2012 10:18 AMReply

    So many of the critics are slamming this movie. From Ebert to small timers. I know Maltin has written great books on the comedy teams (which I actually found and own), and since growing up befriending all these old comedians from yesteryear through my small black and white TV my parents served to me while I grew up, I was excited to not only see if they pulled it off (making a good movie with the characters, not about the characters), but Leonard's review. I guess I was disappointed he didn't laugh. I did. When I first heard they were making the film, I was outraged. Then, I stepped back and said, "why not, if it's funny.?" I think kids today need to see the Stooges, The Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Hope and Crosby, The Rascals, Martin and Lewis, W.C. Fields, etc.. Those people weren't just my comic heroes, but through the intimacy of tv, my friends growing up. Despite what anyone says, the movie is flat out funny, and made me start to re-watch all my old friends again. And I have laughed again, just like I did as a kid. Without thinking, but from the gut and heart.

  • Brian McP | April 15, 2012 11:39 PMReply

    Chris -- you don't have to worry about Laurel and Hardy -- they've already been done in by a movie produced by Larry Harmon: "For Love or Mummy" with F. Murray Abraham and Bronson Pinchot -- not a fine mess, just a mess: this new movie seems to be "Citizen Kane" compared to that picture.

    Kerr -- you may have mapped out the perfect sequel to this new movie -- being mistaken for somebody else seems to be plot of many of the original Stooges' shorts and your suggestions would certainly strike a chord with today's audiences.

  • chris | April 15, 2012 6:34 PMReply

    Based on the reviews, I was prepared for this movie to be awful. It was the exact opposite! I havent laughed out loud at a movie in a long time. The supporting cast was excellent, the plot was quite good, and it was very funny from beginning to end. Look, it's the 3 stooges and you have to forgive some stupid stuff, but i thought it was awesome for kids(my 12 and 8 year olds) , and they loved it. It also spoofed a lot of high brow people as did the original stooges which always brought the snooty down to earth. It had to overcome whether they were good or bad imitations of the orignal stooges and on that front, the acting was superb. Go see it and decide for yourself.

  • Ed | April 15, 2012 10:48 AMReply

    Mr. Maltin...don't over-analyze it! The original 3 Stooges would have loved this film! If you need a good laugh...this film will surely deliver. Even the ladies in the audience sitting around us were laughing out loud...which made me laugh even more knowing that they were enjoying this film as much as I was. I feel sorry for people that have no sense of humor.

  • jpm | April 15, 2012 1:06 AMReply

    The 3 stooges were beyond funny. I've read reviews and this movie just seems bizarre and a little pathetic.

    The problem also is that you dont have to act much in today's films. You have body doubles, stunt doubles, and computer generation and so much more. The stooges did their own stunts and they were just great.

    My friend saw it and said it was ok but when you see the stooges; which are still on in the morning; and then you see this you kind of say meh? I'll wait for video.

  • Bob | April 14, 2012 10:24 PMReply

    Don't be such an old Stooge...

  • dan | April 14, 2012 9:21 PMReply

    come on, you are all making to much out of this, seriously, it's the three stooges. it's not that complicated, if you like the stooges, you'll like the movie

  • Debbie king | April 16, 2012 5:13 PM

    Great, Dan! The Stooges rock on. Thanks for your comment. :>)

  • Chris | April 14, 2012 9:17 PMReply

    While this may be a funny film, I see a dangerous trend that could start. What's next? Today's actors doing films in which they portray Abbott & Costello, Laurel & Hardy, The Marx Bros? I shudder to think.

  • Michael Fruhling | April 14, 2012 7:29 PMReply

    Every bit as entertaining as I had hoped. I enjoyed it immensely, and refuse to over think it and try to compare contrast versus the originals. It was good old fashioned fun, done brilliantly. The Farrelly brothers did a terrific job as did the performers. Encore!

  • Julia | April 14, 2012 7:40 PM

    This movie was just a wanna be comedy they tried tooooooo hard to make it funny.. . well guess what it was just pathetic!

  • Jack M. | April 14, 2012 6:12 PMReply

    Why not reissue some of their best comedies and put them back on the big screen instead of settling for a Xerox copy? Probably because we have seen the original Stooge shorts over and over. I plan to see this new film on Sunday.

  • Jack M. | April 16, 2012 2:01 AM

    Well I saw “The Three Stooges” today. I enjoyed it very much. The Farrelly Bros. hommage to the original Columbia short subjects is very well done. Besides the actors very good physical resemblence, voices, mannerisms, etc., the structure of the film was very faithful to the originals. Those that didn’t like it — too bad, you’re in the minority. C’mon folks, it’s pure slapstick comedy after all…

    Oh, for today’s young kids, they have two actors at the end credits playing the Farrelly Bros., telling kids how the gags were done with rubber hammers and sound effects and the eye poke was a trick poking above the eyebrows. Very smart and educational.

    Recommended for parents with their kids — fans too!

  • StevenG. | April 13, 2012 9:29 PMReply

    I recently came back home from the movies, and the film was hilarious. Many of the skits that were depicted in the film were great reminders of original skits from the original three stooges.

    In addition, the actors who portray Moe, Larry, and Curly play their roles very well, especially the actor that portrays Moe. I have been a fanatic of the three stooges for a long time, and this movie made me roll on the floor. Had many laughs tonight (as I would when I'd watch an original three stooges episode), and I haven't felt this happy in a long time.

    I paid $11.00 for my ticket, and this film was worth every penny. I walked out of the movie still laughing. Once again, kudos to the three actors who portray Moe, Larry, and Curly.

  • Paul F. Etcheverry | April 13, 2012 8:47 PMReply

    Moe, Larry and Curly had one tremendous advantage back in the Columbia 2-reeler days: silent comedy masters Del Lord, Jack White and Charley Chase at the helm.

  • Abe | April 13, 2012 6:07 PMReply

    Didn't the Farrelly brothers realize the Stooges were Jews? Its bad enough that they lifted the plot from the Blues Brothers, but b making the Catholic shows that they missed much of the humor that made the gal Stooges great.
    It wasn't just the slapstick( there was plenty of that by others) , but much of their comedy was replete with Yiddishisms and the kulturkampf of three Jews in a stuffy WASP world of 30's and 40's America. I guess that went above the F. brothers head.

  • David DeMaria | April 15, 2012 1:58 AM

    Ummm the actors may have been jewish but the characters moe, larry and curly had no implied religious affiliation. Your point is completely irrelevant and makes no sense. Your saying jewish actors have to play jewish roles? Why do you think its called acting? That's the dumbest critique I've heard.

  • stevesf | April 13, 2012 5:27 PMReply

    If I wanted to watch a 3 Stooges movie I would watch the original(s) even Shemp and Curly Joe.
    Nice homage and tribute but honestly long do you think you can can keep re-hashing the classics or just plagiarize icons and think the public will not notice you are out of ideas? or just too greedy to capitalize on nostalgia and afraid to take risk on something new...

    Honestly ....if I wanted to watch reruns and nostalgic I would watch Nick @ Nite or TV land or
    for a good old movie AMC and watch the real deal...not some cheap or over produced imitation.

    Make new memories again Hollywood......

  • JWF | April 13, 2012 12:15 PMReply

    If classic movie fans are upset with the Stooges being played by impersonators, how are they going to feel when "The Thin Man" remake comes out with Johnny Depp in the the William Powell role?

    Johnny Depp!!!!

  • Kerr Lockhart | April 13, 2012 11:29 AMReply

    Why take all the years to revive the Stooges (and it was many years) and put them in such a pedestrian story? If you're going to resuscitate them, why not take cue from one of Moe's favorites, YOU NATZY SPY, and put them in a real story, say, they are mistaken for Carlos-the-Jackal-type assassins and are sent to kill off a dictator, or some other large-scale nonsense. Let's have some real stakes and real scope against which to measure their silliness.

  • Kevin S.Butler | April 13, 2012 9:14 AMReply

    As much as I loved slapstick and farce Lenny..I'm not too fond of The Farelly Brothers and The Benjamin Brothers and The Fine Grandkids' concept of an imitation of"The Three Stooges"done to the point of using mimics to try and recreate the boys' classic routines and characterizations.

    It would be great to see a real slapstick comedy created,produced and performed by more original and talented performers and craftspersons in the style of L&H,A&C,"The Three Stooges"etc.without trying to copy them and add contemporary humor to the mix.'s producers,writers,directors and would be performers are running out of
    original ideas and they're no real slapstick comics and clowns..who can perform such
    art as physical comedy,pantomime,sight gags or even pathos anymore.So..we're stuck
    with these bad imtations and they're attemps to add bad contemporary humor with the
    classic comedy of the past.

  • Geoff Gardner | April 13, 2012 8:30 AMReply

    I think it must also be said that even if the principals are good as "Moe, Larry & Curly," what about the Supporting Cast? The original Three Stooges had an EXCELLENT supporting cast that included Vernon Dent, Bud Jamison, Christine McIntyre, Symona Boniface and Emil Sitka just to name a few ... one look at the supporting cast of this movie, and there is no comparison. Anyone who does decide to take their kids to this movie I urge you to rent or buy one of the Three Stooges DVD sets ... preferably the 1937-1939 or 1940-1942 sets ... so that your kids can see the real deal. I hate like heck to think that there are kids out there having this movie as their first and only exposure to "The Three Stooges."

  • Cranson | April 15, 2012 10:39 AM

    Wow. Emil Sitka, Bud Jamison, Symona Boniface, et al. I hadn't thought of those names/actors in years and agree completely with both comments here. I'm off to Youtube to watch a few old clips before I take the kids to see the movie.

  • SharonH | April 14, 2012 5:43 PM

    Wow, your comment hit the nail on the head. Those wonderful people who were part and parcel of the Stooges shorts were also part of the fun. No matter how good a supporting cast this movie may have, it will never bring the true flavor of our boys back to life again without those wonderful folks. Thanks for mentioning them. They were all truly "stars" in their own way.

  • Ichabod Slipp | April 13, 2012 6:34 AMReply

    "but I wish it didn’t involve outright imitation of such indelible performers as Howard, Fine, and Howard".

    There are so many remakes of classic movies, super hero's etc that have been botched because of someone trying to be creative. Changing or adding something would kill / defile this nostalgic, comedy classic. It just wouldn't be the 3 stooges anymore. Ultimately, I view the movie as a great tribute to the 3 Stooges comic genius. And, although I haven't seen the movie yet, it appears to bring back the hilarious, insanity only the 3 stooges can produce. Going tonight!

  • Kristine | April 13, 2012 5:30 AMReply

    I haven't seen the movie,only the still photos. To me, there will be only one The Three Stooges. I am Catholic and found the scene of the nun in a bikini, disrespectful. Some say "lighten up". I have a sense of humor and to me, it's not hilarious. There should be respect of religions and clergy, even if some, in the clergy, have fallen from Grace. You respect the office. I know The Catholic League found it offensive. I don't care if it were a female rabbi in a bikini, I'm tired of the lack of respect shown today. The Hollywood of the past, always respected religions and the clergy, due, partly, because of The Hays Office, The Breen Office, The Legion of Decency(though sometimes, they could be extreme in views). To quote Aretha Franklin-R-E-S-P-E-C-T !

  • stevesf | April 13, 2012 6:05 PM

    Kristine...I agree with most of what you say....accept that Hollywood in the past did NOT respect all religions or race in the past...most stereotypes where only exploited and nurtured
    during the golden era of Hollywood. The 3 Stooges were never about respect and politically correct lol....they were broad comedy slap stick and nothing one was safe...every one got a pie in the face and slipped on a banana or a poke in the or poor...jew or christian or whatever...everyone got disrespected....

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