Wednesday, December 7, 2011

So, someone has made an all new Three Stooges movie

...I find this idea bizarre.

Yes, the Three Stooges were characters portrayed by actors.  I do not labor under any illusions that the three Stooges really went about poking one another in the eye, slap-sticking each other and pulling one another's nose, no matter how totally awesome that illusion might be.  But its also, for this human, impossible to separate the characters from the actors.  Hell, the Stooges didn't just hire some new guy to play Curly.  They replaced him with Shemp.

Which opens the door to the whole "Fake Shemp" discussion, which is sort of morbidly fascinating.

Now, according to my intensive Stooges research, the Stooges struggled for years with their third stooge, and it could be said that somehow that makes them all fungible.  Hell, after Curly and Larry died, Moe did continue on with Shemp, then Joe, then Curly Joe.  Then a replacement Larry.  Then, when Moe died, an "all new Stooges" formed from the replacements, but who the hell remembers those guys?

the classic formula

The point is - Moe, Larry and Curly are so tightly bound between actors and characters, bringing them back in 2012 with new faces and actors trying to emulate the original formula seems ill-conceived.

In all honestly, I originally thought when I heard there was a movie about the Three Stooges, it would be a biopic about the men behind the eye-poking.  It wasn't until I watched the new trailer that I learned otherwise.

I don't think you'd see a new Little Tramp movie.  Or a new Marx Bros. movie.  Laurel & Hardy.  Abbott & Costello.  A new Lucy TV show, etc...  And while, yeah, we'd all like to see some new Stooges movies*, if none suddenly surface, I think its okay to just live with the many, many shorts and features they released.

Also - these guys, all talented, just aren't the Stooges.  They're guys approximating what the Stooges refined every day of their lives for 30 years.  The timing looks off, and it looks like half-realized impersonations of well known characters more than, well, I guess just BEING Moe Howard

I guess its a kids' movie, but given current trends in parenting, I'm hard-pressed to believe that the eye-poking, face-slapping antics I enjoyed as a youth will go over well today.

All this said - I'm not a huge Stooges fan.  I don't dislike the Three Stooges, but it isn't something I watched all that often as a kid, and they just didn't air much anymore by the time I was an adult.  I appreciate that they have a cult following (you know who you are), and I am certain someone is thrilled to license the image of their dead relatives to get this movie made, but I'm not sure how this is going to work.

Prove me wrong, new Stooges movie directed by the ever-increasingly-dull Farrelly Brothers.

*your mileage will vary on that sentiment


Arts in the Family said...

It's a movie doomed to failure. It's like making a new Little Rascals movie (as was done a few years back)but rather than creating new characters they a new Alfalfa and Spanky. I've even read about a "Laurel and Hardy" movie starring Bronson Pinchot as Stan and Chuck McCann as Ollie. They might pull off a fairly decent impression but they don't have the comic mind that brought those characters to life by Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. They also wrote most of their material.

Actors these days just don't have the physical comedy background like so many did way back when music halls, vaudeville and circus was the training ground for many. If you were a physical comedian it meant you should also be able to do a decent pratfall. Back then doing a pratfall meant something other than running into a wall or glass door as so many comedies have done over and over again in recent years.

The original Stooges had their heydey and if a Hollywood producer wants to create a new set of Stooges for a new generation then start from scratch. Find some good physical comedians (There are still a few out there) with strong, comic improv skills, develop material and take it from there. But that's unlikely. That takes time and wouldn't pay off right away.

What the Three Stooges or the Marx Brothers or Keaton or any other physical comedian created didn't spring up overnight. It takes years to develop and fine tune comic skills and comic routines.

Hiring actors to play the part of any movie clown diminishes and trivializes their accomplishments.

Alberto Ramirez Jr.

Matt A. said...

To me, the Stooges died when they appeared on Scooby Doo. It was a fine farewell to them, but I'll always remember them from their shorts.

"You are now deputized." "Hooray! Free apples!" Or something like that.

The League said...

Yeah, somehow I forgot to bring up the animated Stooges either in Scooby Doo or as the Robonic Stooges or any other animated connection.

It was all part of a continuum to me as a kid, like seeing 60's era Superman cartoons, the 70's movies, Superfriends, etc...

Similarly, I guess I considered Stooges cartoons and the original shorts and movies all one thing then. I guess as an adult, I find it a little f'ed up to bring back deadmen as robots in a cartoon, but I liked it as a kid. because kids are kind of sociopaths at heart.

And I agree with pretty much everything Alberto has to say on the subject, so, Thanks, Alberto!

Arts in the Family said...

I did ramble a bit. It was early and I was jazzed up on coffee. Sorry about that. It's also a touchy subject for me. I think I'm slowly turning into that old guy who always starts his sentences with "Back in my day..." . God help me.

Alberto Ramirez Jr.