The Three Stooges got a rave from Howard Stern (who loves the original shorts as well as Albert Brooks films, so he has comedic taste) and Larry David is in it as a nun, the film looks hilarious. My only regret is that Mel Gibson (a huge stooge fan) was not cast as a foil, would be great to see Gibson humiliated on screen. I admire the last attempts at reviving a comedy team
those were sort of cheap knock offs but this looks like a quality attempt to make something lasting for this generation. Here is an interview with the directors, cannot wait for this:
DEADLINE: Every time we run a Three Stooges trailer on Deadline, our commenters beat on it like it owes them money. Why?
PETE FARRELLY: There are hardcore Stooges fans out there who believe it is sacrilege to make this movie. But we think it is sacrilege that so many kids today do not even know about The Three Stooges. We grew up loving them, and consider them the all-time funniest guys. Nobody made us laugh harder. They never got the grade A first class treatment they deserved during their lives. Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello and The Marx Brothers made features and were considered a notch up. The Stooges made shorts that played before B movies, and never had the status. Taking nothing away from those others, The Stooges were the top dogs in our minds. And we don’t want them to go away.
DEADLINE: Knowing hardcore fans might cry blasphemy and young audiences might not know The Stooges at all, how hard was it to sell Fox?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Fox’s hesitation was, those guys started out in the 30s, ran through the 50s and there was something old fashioned about what they did. Their concern was, how would that play into today’s world? Pete and I didn’t have that reservation. We don’t think what they did has ever been duplicated. The physical humor, hitting each other at the slightest provocation, it keeps us laughing no matter how many times we watch it. The key for the studio was updating the movie to give you the feeling it could happen in this world, so today’s kids who don’t know The Three Stooges can relate to these guys. And we had Tom Rothman behind us.
PETE FARRELLY: A few years ago, there was a takeoff on The Marx Brothers’ Night At The Opera called Brain Donors. It didn’t do any business at all. We didn’t want to remake anything the Stooges did because we would not be able to duplicate it. So we wrote all new material. They look, act, talk and dress the same, the sound effects are the same, but they’re placed in the present. You might have noticed there is no pie fight. When the Stooges did pie fights, it was during the Depression. People were poor, they didn’t have enough food on the table. And here came the Stooges, crashing these highfalutin bashes, throwing pies. It was unbelievably crazy and wasteful and that was part of the humor.
DEADLINE: Movies that do slapstick well, from Dumb and Dumber to early Steve Martin comedies, never lose money. Why does slapstick feel like a lost art?
BOBBY FARRELLY: Maybe because it’s considered lowbrow, though we’ve never felt that way. Physical comedy ages the best of all comedy, and it travels well. If you look at The Three Stooges or any physical gag stuff from W.C. Fields to Charlie Chaplin, they are still hilarious to watch. Movies based on verbal repartee, good movies by the likes of Preston Sturges, don’t hold up as well because wordplay changes over generations. Of all our movies, the one that has held up best is Dumb and Dumber, because of the physicality.
PETE FARRELLY: Cheers was my favorite TV show of the 80s. When it came on reruns, I loved those, to a point. The Three Stooges never wore out their welcome with us, so we consider them the all-time best. Maybe the exception would be Larry David.
DEADLINE: Who wears a nun’s habit in your movie, goes by the name Sister Mary-Mengele, and is the butt of every joke…
PETE FARRELLY: Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm? I’d put Larry up there with The Stooges. The other is The Andy Griffith Show, because of Don Knotts’ Barney Fife. He had a facial expression for every line, he was clumsy, he was an idiot, and because of his physical comedy skills, it still holds up.
DEADLINE: In Dumb and Dumber, I always felt Jeff Daniels was channeling Larry Fine and that there was a bit of Curly’s childlike demeanor in Jim Carrey. You see the Stooges influence in some of your other early movies as well. Were you channeling the Stooges until you could finally get this movie made?
BOBBY FARRELLY: I’m not sure we realized it at the time, but after we made Dumb and Dumber, Pete mentioned it was a whole lot like what the Stooges did. You had these dumb guys, it’s physical, funny and at that point we thought, geez, maybe it’s time. Dumb and Dumber is pretty Stooge-esque.
PETE FARRELLY: Dumber and Dumber had this in common with the Stooges. When you watch the shorts and hopefully this movie, there are three movies going on. Sometimes you look at Curly, sometimes you look at Larry, and sometimes Moe, because they’re all doing different things at the same time. When I was a kid, I first gravitated to Curly. As I got a little older, I thought Moe was the catalyst, but over time, Larry became my favorite. He’s the reactor. If you look at his reaction to everything that’s going on, it’s funnier than what is actually going on. That’s what Jeff Daniels did for Jim Carrey, he took a very simple movie and gave it a whole other dimension by his reactions.
DEADLINE: So many people were rumored to play the trio over the years. You got very close to landing Benicio Del Toro for Moe, Sean Penn for Larry and Jim Carrey for Curly, until it fell apart when Sean took an acting sabbatical for personal reasons. You’ve cast relative unknowns. Are you better off not having the expectations big stars bring?
PETE FARRELLY: This movie couldn’t have been made any better with anyone else, the three we got are incredible. We’ve always been blessed to have people pass on us. We could sit here and say, it was a choice, but we couldn’t get anybody! People were scared to death to do this movie because of the criticism you see all over the internet and also because we were clear on one thing. We said, you’re not doing a version of Moe, Larry or Curly. You’re doing Moe, Larry and Curly, on the nose. This isn’t Batman, where different actors come in and do their thing. Nobody liked that. So we decided to cast the best Moe, Larry and Curly out there and these are the guys we came up with. We’ve always taken a Zen view of casting. If we had gotten the cast we originally wanted for Dumb and Dumber, you would never have heard of the movie. Jim Carrey was about the 150th guy offered it. Guys who had never done a movie, only commercials, passed. Every standup comedian passed. Jim said, I’ll do it. We fought to get Jeff in there after that, and it taught us. We’ve never really gotten who we wanted over the years, and we’ve always loved everybody we’ve gotten.
DEADLINE: The most recognizable participants in The Three Stooges might well be the gang from Jersey Shore. Vinny, Pauly and Deena are missing. Did you only have cash to get enough of them to make the point?
BOBBY FARRELLY: We didn’t have a huge budget. I think Pauly wanted too much money which was too bad because he’s also from Rhode Island. There were budgetary issues, but we did get enough of them to make our point. The Jersey Shore cast is one of the things that puts The Three Stooges in the modern world. The movie’s an hour and a half long and we split the Stooges up, because we didn’t want them hitting each other the whole time. Moe gets a part on a reality show, and that changed over the years. Originally, it was Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, then The Hills. When it came time to make the movie, Jersey Shore was the biggest thing going and so we put him on that.
DEADLINE: Big budgets make sequels difficult, but it seems this has been shrewdly constructed to make that possible. Explain how this was put together financially.
PETE FARRELLY: Our goal is never to hatch a franchise, but if there was ever a movie that could…We could have done There’s Something Else About Mary and didn’t. Dumb and Dumber will be our first sequel. We were having a hard time getting this made and loved it so much that we took a page out of Todd Phillips’ playbook for The Hangover. We said, we’ll do it for free, just give us a bigger back end. That got their attention.
BOBBY FARRELLY: We brought this in at $36 million. That included rights payments and the cost of moving from one studio to another over the years. The making of the movie was pretty low by today’s standards.
DEADLINE: I don’t think censors and even parents were watching back in the 60s when we discovered the Stooges shorts on TV. They dished out brutal beatings, treated women badly, and used dialogue that would be considered racist today, particularly in the WWII propaganda shorts done at the expense of Germans and Japanese. How did you get a PG rating?
BOBBY FARRELLY: We went to the MPAA, showed them the script and told them this would be in keeping with Three Stooges stuff. They came back and told us, do it with no swearing, no sex, drugs, and no blood, and it will be PG.
Cabin in the Woods has a good pedigree, mentioned in trailer. It looks like a horror scenerio/reality program mishmash. I hear it is a masterwork, and may see it on a Friday night (sneaking in after Stooges). from craveonline:
We’ve been waiting two years to see Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard’s horror film, The Cabin in the Woods. First it got delayed a year for a 3D conversion. Then MGM went broke so it took another year. Luckily, Lionsgate is screening the old 2D version and it is every bit the awesome genre bending horror movie you’d expect from Whedon.
Three lab techs (Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford and Amy Acker) are monitoring five college students on a camping trip. You can tell by the way they talk that they are orchestrating all the clichés of horror movies, so when the kids start encountering slashers and monsters, you know it’s not going to be the typical cliché.
The script sets up the adults first, with some banter about child proofing a house that’s typical of establishing dialogue, but clever in Whedonspeak. Then they introduce the college kids, with some short panties and a little camel toe. (Alas, the lovely Kristen Connolly never gets all the way naked. She’s the pure one.) It’s all done with a sincere wink, but the characters fill their types. Curt (Chris Hemsworth) is the jock, Jules (Anna Hutchison) the, ahem, wild girl, Marty (Fran Kranz) the pothead, Dana (Connolly) we discussed and Holden (Jesse Williams), the token.
Obviously we’re piecing together the iconography of all kinds of movies and Whedon and Goddard know that. There must be a mindf*** coming, but we trust them either way. A traditional Joss Whedon horror movie would be fun too. Don’t worry about that though, they didn’t make a cabin in the woods horror movie just to make another cabin in the woods horror movie.
All the dialogue sounds like Whedonspeak. Maybe it feels a tad less familiar in some of the newcomers to his fold, but it always flows no matter who’s speaking. Of course there are laughs. They wouldn’t just do a straight cliché. The way the film addresses stereotypes is uniquely Whedon, able to comment without breaking the fourth wall. They even allow us some gratuitous boobies, in the most respectful female empowering way.
So the film starts with the base of genre bending. I don’t want to spoil it but I love the way it covers every type of horror, whether thinly veiled non-copyright versions or classic monsters. International genres too. The payoff is awesome. It’s just awesome.
I wish I had seen this movie two years ago when it was supposed to come out. It would have totally rocked my world then. Now I’ve seen Detention,which will come out this year, which goes to the next level on meta movies. But Cabin isn’t trying to be meta; it’s focused on genre. Those are different types of satire so I can appreciate Cabin taking genre further than ever before. And if you’re in the mood for meta, there’s something coming out soon that you’re gonna love.
Luc Besson had another doodle so he hired a few up and coming directors to make Lockout, looks like something Christopher Lambert made in the 90s, and that is not necessarily a bad thing, I want to see this too, goofy odd sci fi.
I’m curious to see The Cabin in the Woods as Whedon is basically dependable entertainment (funny story about the post-production and distribution issues, as it’s commonly joked that Whedon is cursed with poor release schedules… cannot see things going too poorly with The Avengers though…), but I’m only going to keep an eye out for a cheap showing, I’m not really enthusiastic enough for a full ticket price.
Lockout is pulp I don’t really crave right now and The Three Stooges is just not my thing. I never cared for the original stooges, don’t really care about people’s concerns for the new stooges, and don’t care about introducing any of the stooges to ‘a new generation.’
Heh, I realize saying “I don’t care” three or four times makes it sound like I really do. Oops!
I’m actually excited about Cabin in the Woods. This looks like it might be the first great popcorn flick of 2012 (and I’m not usually a fan of these types of films). Maybe I’m just getting caught up in the critical praise and marketing hype but I always get excited when a horror film gets positive notice.
The Three Stooges? Talk about Razzie-bait.
I saw Lockout a couple months ago. Not good. Not good at all. Not even fun. It’s a movie the stooges might like.
All of it, every frame, truly beyond depressing. More money than you can count poured into these
LCD productions; it’s just mystifying. Hideous.
“This looks like it might be the first great popcorn flick of 2012 "
big fat NO.
Getting wrestlers or stuntpeople to play them might have been a way to update the three stooges to modern audience expectations-people who really know how to take severe physical punishment. Just getting actors to imitate their mannerisms isnt that interesting. As someone who likes broad comedy I suppose I am “ideologically” rooting for it to succeed but I have no specific interest in seeing it.
I always find myself both amused and irritated by the recurring line about how “thus and so generation has never seen” whatever is being discussed. And what is to prevent them from seeing the original Stooges, in this case? Absolutely nothing except the usual reason: lack of interest, as if the only things in existence were the things made “when they grew up.”
I have never been able to comprehend that world view. The world did not start the year someone was born. All it takes is a brain and some curiousity to go back and enjoy the riches of (at least) a century of music, film, writing and any other art form.
I feel happy for the Farrellys – I think they really enjoy what they’re doing and that’s nice. I don’t really have any interest in seeing Three Stooges though…
I’m pretty excited about Cabin in the Woods. Buffy is pretty fun (although I haven’t seen all that much of it), and hopefully he’ll bring the same mix of jokes and cheesy fun to this movie, and it sounds like he did! I’ll probably see that with my fiancee cause she’s a huge Buffy fan.
The Stooges movie is no less revolting
I don’t object to a Stooges film being made on any religious grounds or anything, but the original stooges had a very specific chemistry that made it work and the movie looks like it’s only interested in reproducing the schtick.
It makes me think of the 90’s Brady Bunch movie. A parody of a parody, a hat on a hat.
^^regardless of whether the film is any good or not, i can’t see it making any real money. The style of humour just won’t fly anymore.
if it’s lucky, it could get by on novelty appeal perhaps. maybe.
I think it will make in the 60-80 mil range US
more than American Reunion or other more recent nostalgia pieces
I know I’ve been effusing about Hunger Games a lot around here but it’s just nice to see a well-made movie based on a good property getting attention and making money. Wednesday box office numbers indicate it did better on its, like, 11th day than Titanic 3D did on its first, which makes me happy. I’ll be interested to see if any of this weekend’s releases significantly detract from HG’s box office. It fell 70% domestically last weekend but still did better than the other new releases, I think Cabin in the Woods and Stooges are just enough to wind HG down completely, but only Cabin in the Woods has to potential to actually take the lead. On the other hand, Titanic, Cabin, and Stooges might all take money away from HG but vampirize each others’ box office, leading to tepid returns this opening weekend.
*next opening weekend.
I’d be surprised if Hunger Games wasn’t number one this weekend.
well, this weeks competition for Hunger is also nostalgia dollars: Titanic and American Reunion, none of which we pose a threat really
by next week, stooges should take it
A mass breakout at an outer-space Alcatraz yields a few cheap thrills and an amusing leading-man showcase for Guy Pearce in “Lockout.” Tossing off cynical one-liners like a spacewalking Sam Spade, Pearce sets the pace and tone for this quick-and-dirty offering from Luc Besson’s Europacorp factory, which tackles a nifty futuristic premise with bargain-basement efficiency and a deadpan, devil-may-care attitude. It’s an initially invigorating tactic that proves slapdash and unsatisfying over the long haul, reducing a potentially rich sci-fier to the level of a halfway decent time-killer that should enjoy a brief but profitable B.O. voyage.
Working from a script they wrote with Besson, debuting helmers Stephen Saint Leger and James Mather establish a darkly playful mood from their opening shot of hard-boiled ex-CIA operative Snow (Pearce) getting punched in the face by a government heavy. It’s the year 2079, and Snow, framed for the murder of his old partner, is sentenced to 30 years on MS One, a maximum-security prison hovering in orbit.
But Snow’s sentence turns into a rescue mission when Emilie Warnock (Maggie Grace), a humanitarian worker investigating reports of inmate abuse aboard MS One, inadvertently triggers a prisoner uprising and is taken hostage. Complicating matters further, Emilie’s father happens to be the president of the United States, a development that calls for a reluctant Snow to infiltrate the spacecraft, beat up a bunch of uglies in orange jumpsuits, and get the first daughter out of harm’s way before the government blows the prison higher than sky-high.
In short, the setup is basically “Escape From New York” in space, and in its swift, mechanical execution, “Lockout” lives up to that intriguing but derivative logline. There’s a pleasing single-mindedness to the way the script gets down to brass tacks initially; the exposition is minimal, the key details lightly tossed off as the story maneuvers from twisty neo-noir to cut-rate space opera. Absent the lavish spectacle or weighty subtext typical of much speculative fiction, the pic compensates for its lack of heft or texture with a few inventively nasty setpieces, as well as a pair of memorable lead villains among the inmates played by Vincent Regan and a particularly skin-crawling Joseph Gilgun.
Yet the film’s chief asset and sustaining force is the relentless stream of quips and putdowns that constitutes the bulk of Pearce’s performance. Rattling off his one-liners with quick-witted panache, Pearce not only projects an amusingly world-weary resignation but also signals the viewer that nothing here is meant be taken too seriously.
Indeed, the performance feels more like a verbal feat than a physical one; refreshing as it is to see this versatile actor caked with grime, sweat and blood, he isn’t allowed to give the sort of satisfying, butt-kicking demo that would herald the birth of an action star. Snow spends less time fending off attackers than he does arguing with the headstrong Emilie, and while Grace more or less holds her own opposite Pearce, their combative, tough-guy-meets-tough-girl banter isn’t exactly the second coming of Bogart and Bacall.
At a certain point, the pic’s unpretentious B-movie style, like its generic and uninformative title, seems to indicate a simple lack of ambition. Suspense is short-circuited before it can begin to develop; even a cleverly conceived anti-gravity battle sequence is over too quickly to really register, a casualty of an editing scheme that tends to abbreviate the moment of impact. The tension goes slack even as the pacing remains relentless, and the climactic unraveling of story threads is the result of fairly desultory detective work.
The Serbia-shot production reinforces its no-nonsense approach with appropriately grubby visuals; spaceship interiors seem to have been influenced by abandoned warehouses, sewer tunnels and gas-station restrooms, with windows that offer screensaver-like views of a computer-generated Earth hovering in the background. Longtime d.p. Mather handles lensing duties in functional fashion, and the f/x avoid overkill.
Camera (widescreen), Mather; editors, Camille Delamarre, Eamonn Power; music, Alexandre Azaria; music supervisor, Alexandre Mahout; production designer, Romek Delimata; supervising art director, Frank Walsh; art directors, Oliver Hodge, Nenad Pecur; set decorator, Malcolm Stone; costume designer, Olivier Beriot; sound, Stephane Bucher, Paul Davies; sound designer, Vincent Hazard; special effects coordinator, Muhamed M’Barek-Toske; special effects supervisor, Mike Crowley; visual effects supervisor, Richard Bain; visual effects, Windmill Lane Visual Effects; stunt coordinator, Slavisa Ivanovic; line producer, Andjelka Vlaisavljevic; assistant director, David Lemaire. Reviewed at Aidikoff screening room, Beverly Hills, April 5, 2012. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 95 MIN.
“I’d be surprised if Hunger Games wasn’t number one this weekend.”
Gotta admit, I’m actually having a little horserace fun watching this movie’s success by box office numbers. It may not remain number 1 this coming weekend (Dennis predicts Three Stooges, I actually think Cabin in the Woods has the niche audience and compelling viral campaign to manage it) but I don’t think it’ll be substantially displaced until May 1st, when The Avengers comes out.
I was looking to place this in the “Wide Release _____” thread for this last weekend, but I couldn’t find it.
Perhaps same as Dennis follows up with Variety reviews, I’ll follow up with BoxOfficeMojo articles week by week.
I’m gonna see Cabin in the Woods on opening weekend, and I never do that! So I’m pretty excited!
I think a movie with humor like the stooges could be very successfully, even good in a way. But you’re not going to make one by mimicking the original.
You know the films, Dumb and Dumberer and Son of Mask? Two Jim Carreyless sequels to Jim Carrey vehicles that were completely dependent on Jim Carrey’s specialized schtick. This is just like those films. Attempted mimicry of something that was very specific in its chemistry.
Seeing Cabin in the Woods this weekend too!
I think Cabin in the Woods, even though it’s rated R, could topple Hunger Games this weekend. Hunger Games made 30 million this weekend so next weekend it’ll make approx half that? 20 million at the most? I can certainly see Cabin in the Woods doing at least that.
Fair enough. Better to play the numbers than the hype, when engaging in these guessing games.
He’s on first, we’re not talking about him.
Cabin will make 14
from slant magazine:
Luc Besson’s producing career has been so geared toward lean, tough genre films that it’s somewhat apt that he’d ape—or, if we’re being kind, pay homage to—John Carpenter’s preeminent sci-fi actioner Escape from New York with his latest, Lockout. Introduced being walloped in the face during an interrogation for making mom jokes, his cigarette getting comically bent out of shape in the process, Snow (Guy Pearce) is a latter-day Snake Plissken, framed for a national security crime he didn’t commit. On the cusp of being sent to maximum security space prison MS-1 for a thirty-year stint in cryogenic stasis, Snow is instead offered a get-out-of-jail card when MS-1 is overrun by the inmates and the president’s visiting daughter, Emilie (Emily Grace), proves in need of rescue. A bicep-bulging, chain-smoking, wiseass remark-spouting antihero, Snow takes this gig—offered to him by Secret Service agent Shaw (Lennie James), against the wishes of Shaw’s ruthless colleague Langral (a typically over-the-top Peter Stormare)—not out of nobility, but because his partner is on MS-1 and knows the whereabouts of a briefcase that’ll exonerate him. So away Snow goes, though not before a flashback to his initial incarceration, which involves a bike chase and shootout awash in insanely blurry, second-rate special effects that, while exhibiting the whiplash frenzy of a racing video game, are indicative of the film’s overarching CG deficiencies.
Who cares about subpar computer-generated work, however, when Pearce is a one-man cartoon badass spectacle all to himself? Never has the actor seemed this unchained, rolling his eyes with amusing insouciance, slumping his shoulders in a sign of you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me aggravation at his task, and firing off sarcastic bon mots with pinpoint precision. Pearce’s Snow may not be as uniquely iconic, but in terms of sheer go-to-hell attitude, he’s a relatively worthy successor to Kurt Russell’s Plissken, and contributes a great deal toward elevating the rest of these otherwise routine proceedings. Directors James Mather and Stephen St. Leger (working from their script penned with Besson) are incapable of making Grace more than a blandly feisty romantic foil for Pearce, and their fundamental good-versus-bad dynamics are so heavily weighted in Snow’s favor—his adversaries are a dull scumbag (Vincent Regan) and his unintelligible, milky-eyed psycho brother (Joseph Gilgun)—that it’s hard to believe the protagonist has a real fight on his hands. Then again, a sense of inevitable triumph is also fostered by the fact that, though MS-1 supposedly houses 497 inmates, Lockout reduces its few-against-many scale by focusing only on Regan’s villain and his handful of henchmen, making Snow’s mission feel like an eminently manageable one.
Mixed into the mayhem—which takes place in a variety of generic metal corridors, air ducts, and zero-gravity shafts—are some lame political jabs at Democrats’ penchant for raising taxes and disdain for firearms, but Lockout’s anti-establishment ethos is of a more basic don’t-trust-The-Man sort, with Snow as a paragon of DIY heroism. Far more engaging is the gleeful idiocy of the plotting, which is highlighted by Emilie’s bodyguard committing suicide to provide her with one extra minute of oxygen (an absolutely ridiculous sacrifice), Snow bringing Emilie back to life via stabbing her in the eye with a needle that produces spasms he dubs “the Lambada,” and a climactic stratospheric freefall of such ludicrousness that it could only be viewed as a tongue-in-cheek joke. Throughout, Mather and Leger seem to know that they’re playing fast and loose with logic in order to generate some action-comedy electricity, and yet their refusal to come out and overtly make fun of their material helps Lockout manage to be knowingly stupid without ever succumbing to actual wink-wink self-consciousness. Bogged down by a third act of more straightforward guns-and-explosions nonsense, it’s nothing more than a sporadically efficient, energetic genre retread, but one that, courtesy of Pearce’s devil-may-care bravado, still proves to be moderately satisfying B-movie cheese.
I think I’m doing a Lockout/Cabin in the Woods double feature. Probably will wait until Monday or Tuesday.