Nick’s Picks 04/18/12
FEATURE FILM REVIEW
THE THREE STOOGES
Left on the doorstep of an orphanage run by nuns, newborns Moe, Larry and Curly grow up finger-poking, nyuk-nyuk-nyuking and woo-woo-wooing their way to uncharted levels of knuckleheaded misadventure. Now, out to save their childhood home, only The Three Stooges could become embroiled in an oddball murder plot…while stumbling into starring roles in a phenomenally successful TV reality show. What is the greatest motion picture comedy team of all time? Some would award that title to The Marx Brothers, others would favor Abbott & Costello, or maybe Laurel & Hardy. But for legions of fans – including children, their parents, and their parents’ parents –The Three Stooges are the classic comedy act. Larry, Curly and Moe’s raucous physical antics –pure of heart, but dim of wit – are the last word in timeless fun. Even if that word is “Nyaaaaaahhhhhhh!” The all-new motion picture, The Three Stooges, is a contemporary take on a trio of time-honored boneheads. The film recreates the classic and iconic Stooge sound effects (including “boinks,” finger snaps, and palm claps), haircuts and other Stooge-isms all the while interweaving them with modern-day attitudes, situations and pop culture references.
In the film, we meet the Stooges as newborn “angels from heaven.” That’s how the nuns characterize the three toddlers left at their orphanage. Never mind that one infant is sporting a bowl-shaped haircut, the second has two shocks of bushy hair sprouting from a bald pate, and the third rocks a retro-crew-cut. But when one of the nuns, Sister Mary-Mengele, receives a fierce eye-poke from Moe, which catapults her into the next county, they suspect the new arrivals are anything but heavenly. Now, years later, their Three Stooges have left the nuns bruised, battered and bewildered. Even worse, it looks like the orphanage will be forced to close its doors due to financial difficulties. But Larry, Curly and Moe, employed as the foster home’s inept maintenance men, are determined to come to the rescue. Their quest: raise $830,000 in just 30 days, or risk losing the only home they’ve ever known. Out of the orphanage for the first time in their lives, and making their way through the Big City streets, the bumbling buffoons encounter a hot tamale named Lydia, who offers the Stooges a chance at some easy money; all they have to do is put her poor, suffering husband out of his misery to collect a payday hefty enough to save the orphanage. Despite their relentless cluelessness, the Stooges smell something fishy in Lydia’s scheme, especially when they find out who the mark is — their boyhood friend Teddy, a former orphan and now Lydia’s unsuspecting spouse. As they try and save the day, Larry, Curly and Moe engage in plenty of their trademark antics, including a saturating situation involving bundles of wet diapers in a hospital nursery; more hallmark hilarity at a private, black-tie party at a splashy mansion; and Moe’s newfound stardom on reality television.
Starring as the troika of knuckleheads are Emmy and Tony Award-winner Sean Hayes, who portrays the balding, sour-faced, bushy-haired Larry; Will Sasso as the rotund funnyman Curly, whose trademark “nyuk-nyuk-nyuk” usually invites a physical outburst from older brother Moe; and Chris Diamantopoulos as Moe, the dark-haired leader of the farcical trio known for his distinctive bowl-style haircut and intolerant ire. The filmmakers surround the Stooges with an impressive ensemble, including Jane Lynch, Sofía Vergara, Jennifer Hudson, Craig Bierko – and Larry David…as a nun…named Sister Mary-Mengele. “Sister Mary-Mengele. That name is what really attracted me to the role,” offers David. “For years I said to myself, ‘if only I could play a character whose last name was Mengele. Or Goebbels. Or Goering.’” The Three Stooges was made because the cast and filmmakers love the original trio’s work.
I must admit that I have always been a huge fan of the Stooges. I still watch them today and, when I heard this feature was in the works, I was a bit skeptical of how successful the film could be. The Three Stooges aren’t going to set the world on fire, but for all fans of the comedy trio, this film is sure to put a big smile on your face and a great many chuckles into the air. Slapstick comedy is a true art form and this film does more than just honor the classic trio. It is sure to re-energize the interest in the the Stooges and the art of slap stick comedy. The Stooges, says co-writer/director Peter Farrelly, “are three of the funniest guys who ever lived. We wanted to honor them by doing this movie.” “You can literally draw a parallel from The Three Stooges to everything that’s going on now in comedy,” adds Will Sasso. “I don’t know what physical comedy would be like without them. If The Stooges just happened to come along now, I think they’d do well.”
The Three Stooges
Starring: Chris Diamantopoulis, Sean Hayes & Will Sasso
Director: Bobby & Peter Farrelly
Now Showing: In Local Area Theatres
MPAA Rating: PG
FREE DVD GIVEAWAY
We are doing a Free DVD Giveaway! If you are interested in a chance at winning a free copy of IMAX: Born to be Wild, The Man on the Train, The Flaw, The Last Rites of Joe May, America Revealed or Sperm Whale, it is really easy! All you have to do is send me an email at HoustonMovieGuy@gmail.com. The subject line of the email should read DVD GIVEAWAY. In the body of the email, be sure to put your name, full mailing address and which DVD or Blu-ray you would like. Winners will be selected by random drawing. Best of luck!
ONLY IN AMERICA WITH LARRY THE CABLE GUY: Volume Two – A&E
Larry the Cable Guy is arguably one of the best comics in America. With Only in America, Larry takes off on a travelers journey across the country and takes a gander at gar fishing in Louisiana, checks out the TSA folks and even looks for Sarah Palin. Larry definitely “gits r done” while checking out the paranormal to historical sites.
BASEBALL’S GREATEST GAMES: 2011 World Series Game 6 – A&E
Simply put, America loves baseball, especially competitive comeback games. With the St. Louis Cardinals known as the cardiac kids for their remarkable comeback wins throughout the season, young hometown hero David Freese smashed the solo shot heard round the world that ended this remarkable game. On the bring of elimination, the Cardinals trailed numerous times until Freese and his teammates put together another thriller in Busch Stadium.
BLING RING – A&E
Based on a true story, Austin Butler stars as Zack, an awkward and shy boy who seeks acceptance from his high school classmates. He then meets Natalie, who isn’t all she seems, but the lure of popularity and friendship begin to make not so good decisions. As the other kids begin to emulate he and Natalie’s shopping sprees, the media and police get involved and attempt to work at solving the crimes at hand. Jennifer Grey stars in a wonderful performance as Zack’s mother.
THE PRESIDENTS – A&E
Narrated by the incomparable Edward Herrmann, The Presidents takes a colorful look into the lives of the leaders of our great nation. Beginning in 1789 and continuing through the present day, the personalities and idiosyncrasies of each of our Presidents are examined. Utilizing the book To the Best of My Ability by Pulitzer winner James McPherson, this program features both unseen and rare footage and photographs in the program. Extremely educational and compelling to all, The Presidents provides a human look into the most powerful leaders of the free world.
BORN TO BE WILD – Warner
Narrated by Academy-Awardr winner Morgan Freeman, Born to be Wild is an inspiring story of love, dedication and the remarkable bond between humans and animals. This film documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them – saving endangered species one life at a time. Stunningly captured in IMAX, Born to be Wild is a heartwarming adventure transporting moviegoers into the lush rainforests of Borneo with world-renowned primatologist Dr. Birut‚ Mary Galdikas, and across the rugged Kenyan savannah with celebrated elephant authority Dame Daphne M. Sheldrick, as they and their teams rescue, rehabilitate and return these incredible animals back to the wild.
THE MAN ON THE TRAIN – New Video
A mysterious criminal (Mullen Jr.) rolls into a small town planning to knock off the local bank, assuming it will go off without a hitch. But when he encounters a retired poetry professor (Sutherland), his plans take an unlikely turn. With no place to stay, the professor generously welcomes him into his home. As the two men talk, a bond forms between these two polar opposites, and surprising moments of humor and compassion emerge. As they begin to understand each other more, they each examine the choices they’ve made in their lives, secretly longing to live the type of lifestyle the other man has lived, based on the desire to escape their own.
THE FLAW – Docurama
People all over the world are still struggling with the aftermath of the greatest financial crisis since the Wall Street Crash of 1929. We all know what the effects have been but what exactly were the causes? The Flaw ranges widely across the history of American capitalism in the twentieth century, its rigor laced with sardonic humor and peopled with a cast of characters that spans Nobel-prize winning economists and distressed home owners to the New York Times financial correspondent on the brink of foreclosure and the Wall Street banker who feels the pain encoded in his spreadsheets. The film argues that the roots of the crisis lie in the changing relationship between the rich and the rest in American society.
THE LAST RITES OF JOE MAY – New Video
Dennis Farina gives a tour-de-force performance as aging small-time criminal Joe May. Having lost everything he owns during an extended stay in the hospital, May struggles to come to terms with a life spent sacrificing for a glamorous future that, much like the rest of the Chicago underworld, has passed him by. But in his last days in the life, Joe is presented with one last shot at greatness.
AMERICA REVEALED – PBS
Take to the skies for a bird’s-eye view of how this vast and complex country actually works. Stunning aerial footage, high-definition video and real-time satellite data reveal the American landscape as you’ve never seen it before, and host Yul Kwon climbs, leaps, and rides across the U.S. to find out what makes this nation tick. This is a celebration of a nation in the 21st century.
MONSTER PYTHON – PBS
Most wildlife documentaries focus on animal behavior, but Inside Nature’s Giants goes inside the largest animals on the planet to explore their anatomy, reveal their intricate inner workings and uncover their evolutionary secrets. In this episode, veterinary scientist Mark Evans and comparative anatomist Joy Reidenberg venture into the swamps of the Florida Everglades to join local “python hunters” on the front lines of the battle against the Burmese Python. How did snakes native to South East Asia end up in the Everglades? No one knows for sure, but the giant snakes are now thriving in the swamps of Southern Florida, driving some species to extinction. The team takes advantage of a population cull to explore the anatomy that allows pythons to sense, strike, squeeze, and swallow their prey. Plus, as they investigate the remains of the snake’s last meal, they make an amazing discovery!
PLANET EGYPT – History
In this masterfully produced four part series, the technology, culture, religion, peace and wars that both unified and plagued Egypt for 3,000 years will be examined. Interesting to note that the ancient Egyptian civilization lasted longer than any other in the history of our world. Looking back at the influential Pharaohs, including King Narmer, who united more than 40 independent regional tribes into the first true Egyptian civilization as well as Ramsses II, who was responsible for the creation of the most historic of the temples and tombs. Interweaving history to the modern day Egyptian life, this programs examines the engineering feats to the death and immortality of Egypt that still astounds us today.
THE DIVIDE – Anchor Bay
Prepare yourself for the unrated movie experience that critics are calling one of the most graphic and extreme end-of-the-world shockers of our time: As nuclear warheads rain down on Manhattan, nine strangers – including Lauren German, Milo Ventimiglia, Courtney B. Vance, Ashton Holmes and Rosanna Arquette – barricade themselves in their apartment building’s bunker-like basement controlled by the unhinged superintendent (Michael Biehn). But within days, supplies dwindle, tempers flare and the trapped survivors will be overcome by treachery, madness, sexual torment and savage violence. What follows is intense. It is raw. And it is all brutally, horrifyingly real.
TREME: Season Two – HBO
Fourteen months have passed since Hurricane Katrina, but residents of the Crescent City are finding it harder than ever to rebuild their lives, much less hold on to their unique cultural identity. Some have become expatriates in distant cities. The insurance checks that never arrived for homeowners were followed by the bureaucratic nightmare that was the Road Home program, and a land-grab is underway as developers and disaster capitalists press their advantage. Crime and drug use are up, and corruption and graft are endemic, with civic institutions unable to counter any of it. And yet the culture of New Orleans somehow endures.
TALK OF ANGELS – Echo Bridge
Talk of Angels — starring Polly Walker, Vincent Perez, and Academy Award winner Frances McDormand — tells the powerful story of passion and forbidden desire set in a country boiling at the brink of civil war! A beautiful young Irish governess, Mary (Walker), leaves home and travels to Spain to work in the residence of a wealthy family strained by conflicting political allegiances. Swept away by her new surroundings while being threatened by the turmoil of the times, Mary eventually finds a different kind of danger: the inescapable attraction she shares with the fiery, handsome … and married … son (Perez) of her employer! In an unforgettable motion picture acclaimed by critics for its vivid storytelling and superb cast, Mary must ultimately face a difficult choice where following her heart means betraying a family she has grown to love!
BEN 10 ULTIMATE ALIEN: The Ultimate Ending – Cartoon Network
The final DVD of the Ben 10 Ultimate Alien series is finally here in Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: The Ultimate Ending. This DVD is packed with 10 episodes on 2 discs and includes an Ultimate Alien Database special feature. Ben must face his biggest enemy, Vilgax, who re-emerges in his most powerful form ever. Can Ben stop him and avoid the ultimate end?
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