Digitally remastered and colorized using the latest technology. Includes both the colorized version as well as the restored black and white original, which ChromaChoice? allows you to toggle between versions while you watc... more »h. Includes these hilarious shorts: Men in Black (1934) Calling Doctor Howard, Doctor Fine, Doctor Howard. Three nitwits take medical malpractice to a whole new level in this Oscar® nominated Short Subject. The Sitter Downers(1937) A sit-down strike not only wins three imbeciles the girls of their dreams, but a prefabricated cottage complete with wifely ultimatum: no house, no honeymoon! Punch Drunks (1934) Whenever Curly hears "Pop Goes the Weasel," he turns into a fighting madman, so Moe promotes him as the next heavyweight champion of the world. Playing the Ponies (1937) You can lead a horse to water and make him drink if you feed him chili pepperinos, as the Stooges do to a broken-down nag, turning him into the thirstiest - and fastest - racehorse on the planet.« less
"The Stooges are great, but the core of their achievement -- the approximately two hundred comedy shorts they did for Columbia -- has never gotten anything remotely approaching the respect it or its fans deserve. This latest piece of junk adds yet more insult to injury.
A one-sided DVD will hold at least thirteen Stooges shorts, but Columbia, when it sporadically decides to knock out a new one, only includes five to eight shorts. Until now, that is.
This latest disgrace only has four shorts. You read that right -- less than a third of what it could hold, out of some 200 shorts in the Columbia vaults. And at least one of the four -- "Men in Black" -- is already out on an earlier-released Stooges DVD collection (*Curly Classics*).
The nyuk-nyuks are on us consumers, apparently.
Naturally, given Columbia's bent, it's charging more than ever. Pay more for less value, in other words. That should be Columbia's motto.
Oh, that's right: These are colorized. Like the Stooges really need that.
New and improved colorization, supposedly. There's even a little "featurette" trying to sell us on the colorization (when what consumers really want are a lot more Stooges shorts released, with far more shorts per disc and more reasonable prices). Colorization, we're assured, has made great technical strides since the old controversy about it in the '80s.
Let *me* assure you: *This* colorization job looks as bad as ever. Nothing looks real, and everybody's skin has that ghastly orangey washed-over look.
Fortunately, the colorization effect can be turned off. But not the distracting icon that's on the lower right corner of every frame of the Stooges shorts. Presumably this is to discourage piracy: But, if so, how do thousands of new movie and television DVDs get released without them? Why are Stooges fans singled out to suffer them?
The bottom line is that this is yet another example of Columbia's gross disrespect for both its products and its customers.
I'd gladly pay hundreds of dollars for thoughtfully released DVDs of the complete Stooges Columbia shorts: circa 13 shorts to a disc, lost scenes restored (another notorious failure so far by Columbia), no repetitions of shorts from disc to disc (the greed of these cheaters is illimitable), and, hopefully, some meaningful chronological order (by release dates or, better still, production sequence).
Not that I'm holding my breath.
For now, I'm just renting these Stooges DVDs on a one-time-only basis for myself and my children. I wouldn't dream of buying any of them given Columbia's greedy and insulting marketing schemes. Columbia won't get my money, and I hope it doesn't get yours.
And it shouldn't get any of our money until it finally decides to do right by the work and the fans of the Stooges -- and market those 200 classic shorts with some shred of decency."
COLORIZATION BEFORE RESTORATION?
kevin | 08/28/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I guess that it can all start with the wonderful line "Oh what is our world coming to?"...or at least the entertainment world?...at a time of bad music, tasteless and pointless big budget hollywood films, and lame reality tv shows, you would think the entertainment industry would would at least spare one of the perfect creations of entertainment history...that is, "The Three Stooges"...it is just utterly amazing that while so many wonderful classic films still wait to make their debut onto dvd, here is Columbia/Tri-Star colorizing the Three Stooges!? When I first read about this in the newspaper dvd review I thought it was a joke...well, it isn't...however, the fact that a bunch of people got together and decided to waste a bunch of time and money colorizing the Stooges is not what has got me angry...what does have me quite frustrated is a bit of a story that starts back about 12 or 13 years ago when I was a young kid watching Stooges shorts constantly on WPWR-UPN 50 (a local channel here in Chicago that used to play Stooges shorts all the time). I'll never forget watching and I'll never forget the first time I saw my all time favorite Stooges short, 1934's "PUNCH DRUNKS"...an episode in which Curly is recruited by promoter Moe to be a fighter because of his ability to become violently crazy whenever he hears the tune "pop goes the weasel", played by violinist Larry...Anyway, for you Stooges fans, you all know that at the end of the championship fight, after knocking out the champion, Curly then goes on in his rampage to knock out the referee, the Champ's corner men as well as his own, and then a bunch of other people (including Moe & Larry)...this of course happens because Curly got knocked onto and broke Larry's violin early in the fight, at which point Larry ended up having to drive a truck into the stadium that played "pop goes the weasel" continuously...what Larry forgot to notice was that unlike his violin (which he could control), the tune kept playing out of the truck speaker on and on after the fight was over and Curly continued in his hilarious & goofy madness...Anyway, I saw this footage when I was a kid so I know it exists or at least existed up until 12 years ago, and it is in my opinion arguably some of the best Stooges footage ever...but the big question is...Where is this footage on the "NEWLY REMASTERED AND RESTORED DVD?"...it's not there...and let me tell you why I'm not a bit surprised either...The reason the footage is gone is because Columbia so carelessly omitted it from it's early 1990's VHS release titled "A Plumbing We Will Go" as well as it's 1998 VHS & DVD releases of "The Curly Classics"... and I guess that Columbia either figured that footage unimportant or just too hard to track down...so, in turn, they decided to try and thrill a possible new generation of young fans with a mediocre-at-best colorized version from the so called "remastered and restored original negatives:..where then is that original footage from "Punch Drunks" in which Curly goes crazy after knocking out the Champ and knocks out everyone else? If you think I'm joking here go and watch any recent Columbia release of Punch Drunks...you'll notice that right after Curly knocks out the champ the scene then cuts immediately to a shot of Curly standing in the corner with Moe, Larry, and a bunch of bodies strewn about the ring...it's such a blatantly obvious cut that you would have to be blind to not see it...by the way, this is not to be confused with the footage from the much later Stooges short titled "Grips, Grunts, & Groans" in which Curly plays a similar goofy character (a wrestler) who goes crazy whenever he smells a certain women's perfume (I think was called "jiyacinth") and knocks everyone out in the wrestling arena at the end with a bell...I guess what this all comes down to is whether the people at Columbia have ever heard the terms "some things are better left undone" and "if it's not broken, don't fix it"...at the same time I wonder if they understand that when something is broken, you do have to fix it...basically meaning, the Stooges do not need to be seen in color, but they do need to be seen in their entirety, without scenes missing! Something Columbia has really overlooked...Anyway, I guess I would have been satisfied before I bought this dvd if Columbia had put a label inside the dvd case saying something like this "HELLO FAITHFUL THREE STOOGES FAN. THANK YOU FOR BUYING THIS PRODUCT AND LETTING US STEAL YOUR MONEY FOR A BUNCH OF STOOGES SHORTS YOU HAVE ALREADY BOUGHT ON DVD. WE HOPE YOU ENJOY THE MEASLEY 4 SHORTS WE HAVE PROVIDED YOU WITH ON THIS $24.00 DVD... WE COULD HAVE EASILY RESTORED AND PLACED ON THIS DISC SEVERAL OF THE DOZENS OF STOOGES SHORTS THAT HAVE YET TO APPEAR IN DVD FORMAT, BUT WE FIGURED WE'D GIVE YOU JUST THE BARE MINIMUM...AND WE HOPE YOU ENJOY THEM IN THE COLOR VERSIONS WE HAVE PROVIDED EVEN THOUGH YOU WONT EVEN BOTHER WATCHING THEM, OUR HOPE IS TO TRY TO APPEAL TO NEW GENERATIONS OF POSSIBLE FANS WHOSE ONE-TRACK MINDS JUST WONT UNDERSTAND THE COMEDY OF THE 3 STOOGES UNLESS IT IS IN COLOR...SORRY THAT WE WEREN'T THINKING OF YOU, THE TRUE STOOGES FAN...WE ALSO HOPE YOU DONT MIND THAT THE VERSION OF "PUNCH DRUNKS" ON OUR DVD IS NOT COMPLETE AND IS MISSING ONE OF THE FUNNIEST SCENES IN STOOGE HISTORY DUE TO THE FOOTAGE BEING LOST OR DESTROYED...WE WE FELT IT WAS MORE IMPORTANT TO SPEND OUR TIME AND MONEY "COLORIZING" THE STOOGES, RATHER THAN RESTORE LOST FOOTAGE, OR ADD MORE SHORTS OR SPECIAL FEATURES SO YOU COULD GET MORE ENJOYMENT OUT OF THIS PRODUCT YOU JUST PAYED SO MUCH FOR...HOPE YOU ENJOYED OUR POOR SERVICE...HAVE A NICE DAY"....Anyway, in closing, I will simply say that I think the Stooges themselves would darn near roll over in their graves to find that priority had been placed on "colorizing" them instead of finding lost & misplaced footage...I only hope that Columbia/Tri-Star gets this message and others too before some other film company goes and does something insane like de-colorizing STAR WARS to appeal to people who don't like color tv...As for my fellow Stooge fans...thank you for reading...if any of you know where I can obtain a "truly uncut" version of 1934's punch drunks I would greatly appreciate it if you would let me know...God Bless!"
I have never seen these shorts look better than this...
John M Spangler | Bryan, OH United States | 04/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I may be a numbskull, but I love these collections!!! I notice some people really don't like the idea of color for the stooges. But being a true fan of stooge-mania, there is really a lot to like. These 4 amazing shorts look spectacular and I've never seen any stooges short look better, either on DVD or the old VHS tapes that I own. The picture is crisp and there is little if any distortions between the four twenty minute shorts. Even more amazing, all have also been colorized with the power of computer technology and it looks quite amazing, was this filmed in 05?? Wow! The 4 shorts, all from the 30's druing the prime time of the stooges era (All Curly), are of unmatched quality. Columbia painstakingly removed the scratches and blemishes that have progressed throughout the years and they got a hold of the original prints and touched them up to boot.
The color factor of the collection is the main selling point, and although Columbia got a bit lazy as 4 shorts may seems pretty skimpy (about 60 minutes),but seeing them in color and the remastered original prints look is worth your hard earned dough. Some feel the color seems fake or washed out, but I personally love the color addition. It really makes you feel like the short was filmed in color. It doesn't look too synthetic or fake, the realistic color with skin tones, color backdrops and every thread of clothing is a site to behold. Some shorts look better than others, the indoor scenes seem to suffer the most, but when they're outside, it seems to look more natural. When you view the shorts, take a close look at the trees, it's amazing how a computer can bring the color to life. At times I thought the skin tones of the stooges was a bit off at parts, they sometimes have a sunkist orangy tint, but considering the age of these shorts, what is not to like? Don't want to bother with the color? No problem. With the press of the "angle" button on your remote, you can instantly go back to the remastered black and white originals.
The shorts are all during the prime years of the stooges when they are all at their best. Playing the Ponies was never released on DVD before and was a nice inclusion. Curly has more time on the short and is well deserved for sure. Men in Black, one of their first shorts which was nominated for an Oscar, is one of Curly's best performances. The Sitter Downers contains enough slapping and bashing of Larry and Curly to do most stooges fans in, Moe really lays into them and the smacking and eye-poking and is as funny as ever. Pop Goes The Weasel, a bit of a take off of the other future (boxing/wrestling) short called Grips, Grunts and Groans (1937), is a short that was never released on VHS and a rare find for stooge fans. One mentioned the fact that this short was censored or edited out, I 100% guarantee it is uncut and very uncouth, you won't be disappointed. The ending sequence he was referring to that was left out was regarding "Grips Grunts and Groans" which was released later in the 30's.
I seriously like what Columbia is doing. They want to give us the best possible Stooge collection and this is a good start. The shorts really are remastered and being a fan of the stooges for 20 years, I can honestly say I've never seen a single short look better than these four. One can say Columbia is just out for a quick buck to re-release the shorts and claim they look better, but believe me when I say, they seriously do look better. The colorized versions are very well done and they were painstakingly conceived by some real savvy people and computers. I hope the two DVD's offered are not the last, as I would love to have every stooge short ever made (remastered) and in color on DVD. If it takes years to have this accomoplished, I would be willing to wait. Well worth your dough if you're a fan especially if you want the absolute best. Moe, Larry and Curly would be proud."
EXCITING AND AMAZING.
VINCENT P TARSITANO | PORT ORANGE, FL USA | 04/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a treat to be able to see something "new" after so many, many years and so many, many viewings of these classic episodes in black and white. The "new" color is absolutely dazzling---quite an incredible technical accomplishment.
These four episodes contain some of the most classic Stooge gags ever. "Punch Drinks" was actually written by the Stooges, and all three are prominently featured, including Larry with his actual violin playing, and then his scrambling through town to locate music to help Curly defeat his boxing opponent ["that weasel tune"], as the music gives him unbeatable strength. "Playing The Ponies" is one of the all-time cleverest Stooge features: Curly cooking up hilarious fun in the restaurant kitchen, Larry constantly getting frustrated (by Moe, of course) when he tries to pilfer a few cents from the till, and that entire, hilarious horse race-- hot pepper, speed-induced, water-chasing sequence. In their Academy Award nominated "Men In Black," the Stooges play medical interns at Los Arms Hospital, and we learn that they graduated med school with the highest temperatures in their class! [Some class!] "For duty and humanity!" "The Sitter Downers," the weakest of these episodes, still has some very clever gags and funny moments, as the guys play newlyweds who get a free house (which they have to put together, with hilarious and disastrous results).
If you think you would enjoy the Stooges in color (again, very effectively done), and remember these episodes fondly (all with Curly at his very best, along with great contributions from Moe AND Larry), or are just curious, grab this collection QUICK! As a side note, I would like to add that, in my opinion, the treatment of the legacy and the product has been reverent in creating these exciting color episodes. Thanks to the producers and technicians!"
Fantastic, incredible technology !
Andres Chapero Macaya | Santiago,Chile. | 08/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just received and watched these colorized shorts and can only congratulate the people that were brave enough to go ahead and provide us with this wonderful option.The results are magnificent, outstanding, mind blowing. AND... including the original B&W versions in the same disc just way too smart...! If you hate color just click away from it. Fantastic, I can imagine this technology applied by historians, by scholars, to bring us all the restored film stock and video tape stock that could not be shot in color at the time because of cost, whatever. One happy film fanatic. "