Okay, I can make a mistake every now and then.
What made me go see the new Three Stooges movie is beyond me? Hoping against hope perhaps that I'd get one or two solid laughs in the space of ninety minutes. I loved them as a kid. What eight-year-old didn't? Wouldn't this be a nifty way to revisit my third-grade youth?
Well, next time I have a thought like that, please hit me in the head with a mallet. And don't let one of these guys be the one to do the job.
When I first heard about a year ago that some misguided Hollywood types were attempting to revive the Three Stooges in a new film, I actually thought this was a good idea. You see, I was under the false impression that this was going to be a biography. How the Stooges got their start. Any in-fighting they had. The death of Curly. Replacing him with brother Shemp. Lots of rich possibilities.
Yeah, that movie is still waiting to be made.
Instead, we get essentially a 2012 updating of the Three Stooges. They even go through the needless trouble of duplicating the old 1940 short intros as if they are stitching three of them together. The only thing missing was an attempt to cast Will Ferrell as Officer Joe Bolton to welcome us all to the theater. Those incredibly incensed can line up at the box office to demand a refund.
Now, if you dig dead-on impersonations, you will be amazed for about thirty seconds. Will Sasso as Curly, Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, and Sean Hayes as Larry sure do sound right. But, any comparisons need to stop right there. After your initial impression, you will start craving for anything that is even remotely clever in this movie.
When I tuned into WPIX Channel 11 after school several decades ago, I was looking for some good-natured and violent fun. I wasn't searching for a story. The Farrelly Brothers, who are the assholes behind this mess, give you one. A grim, boring, and convoluted tale. And absolutely nothing else.
You meet the boys as children and there's one mild titter when you see two ten-year-olds with Larry and Moe haircuts. They show up at an orphanage run by some Catholic nuns led by Jane Lynch, Jennifer Hudson, and, yes, gang, Larry David. Horrors ensue when we learn that the orphanage might be closed down to fundings. And, oh, dear, one of the kids has perhaps a fatal disease. Is this a Three Stooges movie or one with Bing Crosby as Father O'Malley? Meanwhile, the setting provides the filmmakers with a golden opportunity to keep hitting nuns in the head with assorted metal objects. If you're a lapsed Catholic, this is your feel-good movie of 2012.
The Stooges go into adults but still are waiting to be adopted as foster children. But, then there's that pesky "we have to save the orphanage" plotline again, and our heroes are determined to raise the dough for the nuns. So, they get hired by "Modern Family's" Sofia Vergara to help her kill her husband.
Yes, folks, we are mixing the fun of the Three Stooges with a potential homocide. Officer Joe, how many times have you flipped over in your casket by now?
Of course, nothing goes right and that's with both the plot and the movie itself. After a while, the constant hitting and eye gouging wears thin. Back in the day, when you watched a Stooges short, it was over in twenty minutes. When extended over what seemed to be twenty years, you started to feel like you were in a Political Science class taught by Joe Biden. It was that awful.
Meanwhile, in a story development that dates the movie immediately, Moe winds up on as one of the new stars of the "Jersey Shore" TV show. As if this movie didn't give you a reason to hate it, it now has about two hundred more. The simple fact that I was personally exposed to Snooki for more than ten seconds was enough to send me to a Silkwood-like shower as soon as I got home from the theater.
But, there is good news. The orphanage gets saved, nobody really gets killed, and Larry runs out of hair to get pulled out. You realize that there wasn't an inspired moment in the entire movie and that you easily could have enjoyed that same box of Buncha Crunch in front of your television set with a DVD box set of the original Stooges.
Once again, Hollywood trades off its past for a horrific updating that was as needless as it was unfunny. Is there no limit to what these dumbbells will try to recreate?
When somebody attempts to do the 21st Century version of "I Love Lucy," please refer to my DNR. Immediately.
Dinner last night: Leftover sausage and peppers from Carlo's.