Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Three Stooges - Hapless Half-Wits|
Actors: Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Curly Howard
Genres: Comedy, Television
The Three Stooges: Hapless Half-Wits includes three classic Stooges DVDs, I?ll Never Heil Again, Beer Barrel Polecats, Dopey Dicks and Brideless Grooms.
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What an appropriate title
Anyechka | Rensselaer, NY United States | 01/17/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is an absolutely ridiculous waste of a disc. Besides the obvious issue of colorising black and white classics that generations have been enjoying without feeling they're missing much because they're not in color, there are only 4 shorts on this disc, and two of them have already been released (one of them many many times over). If one counts the black and white and colorised versions as separate entities, there are actually 8 shorts on here. I guess it makes too much sense to Columbia to have released a disc with 8 all new-to-DVD shorts, and then, if they had to, including optional colorised versions, as was done on the British Laurel and Hardy boxed set. People who prefer the films the way they were originally released and the way they've been enjoyed for decades can watch them in the black and white, and the small minority of people who are heartily cheering on this artificial colorisation can choose to watch them in that incarnation. Yes, you can choose which versions to watch, but there are still only 4 shorts on here, with only two new to DVD (and only one of those two worthwhile), and for a higher price than is merited for such a small amount of material! (Who are these people who are gushing about how great color is anyway? One would think that classic comedy is just about the only thing immune to modern-day whining about how it's inferior just because it's not in color. It makes no sense for someone who was introduced to the shorts in their original black and white and who has loved and enjoyed them that way for years to now be singing the praises of watching them in this fake-looking Chroma Color. It may look better than the colorisation of the Eighties, but it still doesn't look entirely natural, and actually seems jarring and even wrong for the Stooges to be in color, since they just exist in black and white for all time.) And of course, as with the other three colorised discs, since there are only 4 shorts apiece, it's asking the consumer to pay a lot more for a lot less, and all while we're still waiting on the nice boxed sets that are supposed to be coming in the foreseeable future.
It seems as though the people putting this disc together just randomly drew titles from a hat. 'Brideless Groom' (1947) is a classic and seems to be most people's favorite Shemp short, but since it's one of the 4 public domain shorts, it's been released over and over again. Sometimes overexposure can make even a great thing seem boring. This also isn't the first time it's been colorised. The other Shemp short included here, 'Dopey Dicks' (1950), was previously released on the (rather awful) 'Merry Mavericks' DVD. This is a really good short, but again, why is it being released again when it's already available on another disc? God forbid they select some Shemp shorts that are languishing away on out of print videos, like 'Goof on the Roof' and 'Fuelin' Around' instead of double-dipping with ones that are already available elsewhere.
'Beer Barrel Polecats' (1946) is easily one of the worst shorts of the Curly era, right down there with the likes of 'Back to the Woods' and 'Restless Knights.' I just about went into shock the first time I saw it, since he looks, talks, and acts like a ghoul, a far cry from the way he had been just a few years previously. It's so obvious he's a very sick man and was being worked practically to death during this period. Harry Cohn was truly a scummy slavedriver. To add insult to injury, most of the short is cobbled together from footage from the far superior 'So Long, Mr. Chumps' and 'In the Sweet Pie and Pie,' though it looks like these three shorts were edited together with a rusty axe. There's no continuity or explanation of important plot points that suddenly make no sense when edited into the new short, like why they're looking for prisoner 41144 or why they're being sentenced to die for smuggling beer into prison. Even the A/V quality in this one is atrocious. The ending also makes no sense. I can't believe this terrible offering is being released on DVD. Probably the only reason I can see for anyone to be buying this DVD is because the classic 'I'll Never Heil Again' (1941) is *finally* making its debut on DVD. It's too bad such a classic is making its debut on this of all things, instead of on a disc with a normal amount of shorts or a proper boxed set.
Once again Columbia/Sony is NOT giving the fans what they've been asking for for years. Who thought this marketing strategy would be a good idea? This really is an appropriate title, since this disc was created by hapless half-wits and is going to be bought by hapless half-wits. The only reason I'm not giving it a one-star rating is because three of the four shorts included are great, even if two of them are repeats and all of them are included on a joke of a disc like this."
"Hapless Half-Wits", eh?
Laughing Gravy | Sacramento, CA United States | 12/11/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
""Hapless Half-Wits" is clearly what Sony thinks of the people who would be interested in buying this atrocity... only four shorts, two of them on DVD already, and -- yes -- they're colorized. (I know you can "turn off the color", but that's a small consolation for being asked to pay $25 for only 2 shorts you don't already own on DVD.)
Sony is coming close to getting a "Worst DVD Producer EVER" award for these Stooges monstrosities."
"Another Fine Mess!!!!!"
Mark Cruickshank | MI, USA | 01/14/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I'm beside myself that after so many years, Sony has yet to give Stooges fans what they deserve. A fairly priced set, or sets, of "ALL" stooge shorts. Completey remastered, completely uncut and in chronological order. As the years go by, and we keep getting these horrible releases, I'm starting to think that it may never happen. This will be the fourth colorized set, and once again, some of the included shorts have already been released. And how in the world do they justify the $24.99 list price for 4 17 minute shorts? Now I know they were originally theatrical shorts, but since the late 50's, they have been mainly TV programs. The upcoming "All In The Family, Season 6" by Sony has a list price of $29.95. 24 episodes, 24 minutes each. Why won't they price Stooge discs acordingly? As a very large lifelong Stooge fan, I'm downright sick of this. Look at what Universal has done for Abbott And Costello fans with thier franchise sets. Sony needs to wisen up and and give Stooge fans what they deserve."
Keep on suckin' til you do succeed
stooged and confused | 05/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As one of the biggest Three Stooges fans around, I'm puzzled as to why so many of the reviews for these "colored" series are so harsh.
When VHS tapes came out, we paid $30 for three shorts. Then the price dropped to $15 for three titles.
With these current DVD's, there are four titles with impecible restored quality for the same price as the latter VHS format. Each short on the new DVD comes to $5 per episode. No more low contrast, dust, lines, muffled sound. While I will always prefer the original black and white format to the color (which looks good with the exception of the skin tones), if all we had to choose from was the color version, I could see what all the fuss is about. These prints look like they were filmed this morning. The quality is amazing!
As most Three Stooges fans would want a comprehensive set that chronicles the shorts in order (and I'll include myself in this desire), I'd rather have four shorts that look and sound beautiful to earlier releases. Compare these restored shorts to the quality of the prints on earlier DVD releases like "Curly Classics". It's like night and day.
As for another "Brideless Groom" entry, it's really like seeing it for the first time. In all past releases (including its previous DVD premiere), the scene with Shemp shaving always had an abrupt blackout which has been corrected here.
It seems to me that people are reviewing these discs without actually viewing them ( or as Curly might say, "I've got my eyes closed".) You have the choice to view these episodes in restored black and white or with the computerized color.
Until there is a proper chronilogical ordered release, the current series should be getting higher praise. The care that has gone into restoring these 70+ year old shorts is nothing less than breathtaking."