Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels and the Farrelly Brothers are officially back for "Dumb and Dumber To," which Daniels is calling "painfully funny."
Catherine Reitman reviews "The Three Stooges."
A fiercely independent actress who refuses to be pressed into a conventional mode or typecast, Eva Mendes was studying marketing in the late '90s when an agent stumbled across her photo while perusing Mendes's neighbor's portfolio. Soon appearing in an Aerosmith video and making her film debut in Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror, Mendes worked her way through the gamut of aspiring actors to appear in such high-profile films as Urban Legends: Final Cut and Once Upon a Time in Mexico.
Dropping out of school soon after being randomly discovered by an agent, Mendes appeared in a few made-for-television productions and hammed it up with Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan in A Night at the Roxbury before being cast in a prominent role in Urban Legends: Final Cut. Working against typecasting despite her teen horror resumé, Mendes next took roles in Exit Wounds, Training Day, and All About the Benjamins. Mendes next began work on a children's book titled Crazy Leggs Beshee in which she wanted to introduce art, history, vocabulary, and values to children in a fun and easily comprehendable medium.
In 2003, Mendes' career took off, with the actress taking on large roles in an ecclectic quartet of high-profile films. In 2 Fast 2 Furious she played a customs agent working with Paul Walker to bring down a Miami drug cartel. Out of Time found her reteaming with Training Day costar Denzel Washington. Flexing her comedic chops, Mendes was the love interest of half a pair of conjoined twins in the Farrelly brothers' Stuck on You. And in Once Upon a Time in Mexico she played another government agent, this time opposite Johnny Depp.
The year 2004 saw no signs of Mendes slowing down, with the Cuban-American beauty starring as the ex-girlfriend of Luke Wilson in The Wendell Baker Story, a film Wilson co-wrote with brother Owen Wilson and co-directed with sibling Andrew Wilson. - Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
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This buddy comedy from the Farrelly brothers stars Jason Sudakis and Owen Wilson as a couple of married guys who persuade their wives to give them the ultimate get-out-of-jail-free-card: a marriage Hall Pass. The agreement gives them free reign to behave like bachelors, free from the rules and confines of fidelity, responsibility, and married life, for one week. But soon the guys find the small town where everybody knows them - and their wives -- isn't very conducive to chasing tail. And making matters worse, it turns out to be harder than they thought to take the idea of their wives (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate) taking off for vacation on a Hall Pass of their own.
*******www.innovativecommunications.tv The Three Stooges have been resurrected for the 21st Century. Is that a good or bad idea? My thoughts coming up right now.
The slapstick characters Moe, Larry and Curly are back on the big screen, together again for the first time since their last appearance in the 1940’s. That’s a long stretch of time for a comeback! Only this time, they are not played by the originators-Moe and Curly Howard and Larry Fine, but instead are reincarnated by 3 remarkably similar looking and sounding actors who do a pretty fine job (pun intended) of bringing their characters back to life.
The Stooges have always had a polarizing effect on audiences, starting with their early appearances in the 1930’s. Most guys loved them, and most women thought they were stupid. Their highly physical gags involved pokes to the eyes, sledgehammers to the heads, crowbars stretching mouths, and other assorted mayhem. They were masters of their craft and delighted generations of kids–to the horror their moms.
So why bring them back? They are discovered daily by new audiences, and are fondly remembered and still watched by old fans-thanks to reruns on local TV shows like Chicago’s Stoogapalooza. The audience I viewed the film with was a mixture of young families, and old farts like myself. Lots of belly laughs from all.
Other movies bring in new people for established roles-James Bond, Batman and Superman are just a few-so why not the Stooges? And who better than the writing/directing team of the Farrelly Brothers-the guys most famous for the slapstick filled “Something About Mary”.
I know the idea is sacrilegious to some, but the Farrelly Brothers mostly succeed. All the actors, including the pre-teen versions of our knuckleheads, are spot-on in their characterizations. It’s especially fun to watch the younger lame brains. From the cadence of their voices, to their stances, to their distinctive facial expressions and actions, they all bring back strong memories of the original Stooges. Even the sound effects are right on the money. The plot is lifted right from some old episodes-so don’t go in expecting a deep story. Larry, Moe and Curly need to raise money to save an orphanage, and along the way get pulled involuntarily into a plot to knock off the husband of a money hungry wife. The main update to the familiar scenario is that the Stooges we know and love exist not in the 1930’s or 40’s-but in 2012. Other than part of the last act, and a couple of earlier bits, the filmmakers don’t play enough with the absurdity of the Stooges being around in today’s society. Nobody seems to notice that they look, sound and act like they stepped right out of the 1930’s.
But that’s o.k. This film is a living, breathing homage to the original Stooges, and includes all the types of bits we grew to love-the play on words, the wacky sight gags, the physical humor, the “nyuk, nyuck nyuks” the woobwoobwoobwoobs, Curly spinning on his belly-they’re all here. Even other chestnuts are onscreen like the funny names of firms-remember the law firm of Dewey, Cheatem and Howe from the original shorts? There’s more of the same in this film.
The biggest weakness is the supporting cast-especially the nuns. They are not allowed to be outrageous enough-especially Larry David, (yup, you heard me-Larry David is a nun), and Jane Lynch. They are not nearly as funny in this movie as they have been in other performances, and are mostly used to forward the plot. But, the supporting cast were never the standouts in the originals either.
The Stooge style of humor is not as fresh or funny as in the initial shorts, but, all in all, this nostalgic yet modern take on one of comedies most enduring teams almost has you believing that the Three Stooges are back in town. Hurray for the Farrelly Brothers having the guts to take on this challenge.
I give the new Stooges an “A” for effort, and the film an overall grade of “B-“. I’m Keith Kelly.
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