FILM FANS: 'The Three Stooges' causes belly laughs, smiles

EDITOR'S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the movie of the week: "The Three Stooges." Want to be a film fan? Email features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

2 and a half stars

"The Three Stooges" movie was a hoot, but only if you're a fan. I had to go by myself to the movies since my wife was traumatized as a kid who had to go watch a "Three Stooges" movie with her dad. I went with no expectations and came out happy. I enjoyed a few good belly laughs and survived unscathed.

The movie was comprised of three sketches similar to the half-hour shows from the original series and updated in contemporary Atlanta. I recognized Stone Mountain, Gwinnett Medical Center and a few takes in downtown Atlanta. Watch out when the lion gets his eyes red and check out Kate Upton as Sister Bernice in the last scene (nyuck, nyuck, nyuck). I was somewhat surprised with the end of the movie because the directors had to show how they made the movie so they are not blamed when kids get hurt. This is a movie to just watch and leave the thinking cap at home.

-- Alfred Richner, Duluth

4 stars

What goes "nyuck, nyuck, nyuck" and makes people laugh out loud? Why, it's "The Three Stooges," the big screen adaptation of the classic screwball comedy movie reels from long ago.

Directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly really hit the nail on the thumb with this one, and boy, does it smart. I usually despair when I see a famous TV show or movie being "reimagined" for today's audiences (anybody remember such duds as "Bewitched" or "Lost in Space" in recent years? Didn't think so.). However, the Farrellys get it right in so many ways, down to each comic skit with its cringe-inducing sound effects of fingers poking eyes and hammers boinking heads.

The casting of relatively unknown Canadian actors Chris Diamantopoulous as Moe and Will Sasso as Curly, along with Sean Hayes (TV's "Will and Grace") as Larry, is pure brilliance. Each perfectly captures the expressions and zany personality of his respective role. The icing on the cake is Larry David (HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm") as Sister Mary-Mengele at the orphanage where we first discover the Stooges as tots in a duffel bag.

The rest of the film follows the boys as they embark on a quest to save the orphanage from foreclosure, while they (mal)adapt to modern times. Along the way they encounter such cultural icons as the Kardashian sisters and the Jersey Shore bunch -- which begs the question of exactly how many Stooges are actually in this movie. You'll also see many familiar landmarks in the film, which was shot in Atlanta last year.

-- Tim Weekley, Suwanee

2 and a half stars

Well, the goofball antics continue in the newest installment of this fabled comedic series. And while this movie will never be accused of excessive entertainment value, the trip down nostalgia lane is not so bad as the movie holds your attention long enough to span the very reasonable 90 minutes. So you can really be thankful that an over-the-top, egotistic producer didn't fall in love with his product and stretch it to an unbearable length, as so often is the case.

Here we see the three menaces thrown from a car as mere babes onto the steps of an orphanage run by nuns. Before you know it, they have zipped through puberty and they are ready to take on the world. Nevertheless, the economy has hit the orphanage business, and rats, they must raise $830K or it's curtains for the kiddies. How they arrived at the $830K smackers is a mystery without a clue. Nonetheless, the movie ambles on its merry way until the 90 minutes are consumed. Then out of nowhere, the producers appear on screen to issue their stern warning not to try these antics at home, as these are trained professionals.

Actually, they are neither trained nor professional but they have fun.

-- Rick Wright, Auburn