Friday, December 27, 2013

Short reviews - December 2013

Raging Bull - ...just in case you missed the comparison, the film helps you out.

Okay, I've got a good gimmick to end the year on!  There's a theme to it, but I forget what it is.  Alas, it's a hastily put together list with huge gaps, so perhaps some smart person out there can fill in those gaps later on down the road.  Also alas, I've included ordinal numbers like a common tramp, so perhaps better minds in the future will come up with a cleaner, more pure list that excludes those.  Injoy!

The Power of One - Even though it's about boxing and it's directed by the guy who directed Rocky (1) ... IT'S NOT ROCKY!!!!!!

Two Much - Indeed

Three of Hearts - Ah, if cinema in the '90s will be remembered for one thing, it's their great treatment of lesbians.

Four Christmases - Historians, film or otherwise, will look back on Vince Vaughn and say "Oh, it was so nice that Hollywood made the homeless into movie stars.  Not all of them took to the lifestyle, of course, but this Vinnie Vincent enjoyed it quite a bit!"

The Five-Year Engagement - Jason Segel continues his quiet, passive-agressive march into our hearts.

The Sixth Sense - Has M. Night's terrible terrible body of work dragged this one down yet?

Seven - If there's a movie more gruesome, I just don't wanna know about it.  Take this one, for example.  Is there a way I can un-watch it, by any chance?

Eight Days a Week - Love that Beatles song

Nine - How Bill Condon didn't get involved in this, I'll never understand.

The Ten Commandments - The non-Lionel Chetwynd one

The Eleventh Hour - Either that or Ocean's Eleven, I just couldn't decide.

12 Monkeys - Worst Christmas gift ever!

Friday the 13th - Well, it was either that or Thirteen Ghosts... I mean, Thir13en Ghosts... damn!  Just gave my password away!

Saturday the 14th - Well, if you're going to have Friday the 13th on the list...

Fifteen and Pregnant - ...NOT a new MTV show?

Sixteen Candles - Hey!  Got John Hughes on the list!  I mean, Edmond Dantes.

17 Again - Another one of those body switching-type movies.  Here's my problem with it, however... Matthew Perry did not look like Zac Efron as a youth.  He so did not!

18 Again! - Oh, the things that languish in obscurity.  What?  People don't like George Burns all of a sudden?  Is he just reprising Oh, God! over and over again?  Is that what you're telling me?

Vehicle 19 - ...nope, better not badmouth this one.  Not for a while, anyway.

Twenty Bucks - Ah, the old days when money alone could drive a whole movie.  Nowadays there has to be someone in a movie who has money.  Take Batman, for example.

21 - Or I could've gone with 21 Grams.  Why did I pick something with Kate Bosworth anyway?  She won't be my Facebook friend!  Wotta bitch.

Catch-22 - Alas, it's probably the only movie Joseph Heller will be remembered for.

The Number 23 (Jim Carrey) - ...that's right.  For some reason, I had to remind myself that Jim Carrey's in it.  Alas, the collaborations of Carrey and Joel Schumacher aren't up there with, say, Carrey and Shadyac or Depp and Burton or Donner and Gibson.

24 Hour Party People - Sigh.  Steve Coogan's an old fogey now doing stuff like Philomena.  Was it so long ago?

(The) 25th Hour - I can never remember if there's a "the" in the title or not!

27 Dresses - Gimme 27 dresses, gimme 27 dresses babe, and you'll never see Heigl no more.  Seriously, though, no one's made a movie about the Atari 2600 yet?

28 Days, 28 Days Later... - Similar themes, actually, except that Sandra Bullock starts out as a zombie and slowly becomes human.

29th Street - For those of you out there who thought that It's a Wonderful Life just wasn't Italian enough.

Zero Dark Thirty - I KNEW that title would come in handy someday!

31 North 62 East - I REALLY have to do all these?

Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult

Miracle on 34th St. - Sheesh.  Some of John Hughes' least good works.  No wonder he changed his name to Edmond Dantes.

36 Hours - Here's my problem... only 36?

To Gillian on her 37th Birthday - Kinda puts Meg Ryan's crying about turning 40 in When Harry Met Sally into perspective, for one.  I tell ya, Lord, people sure hate getting old!  Intelligent design, my ass.

The 39 Steps - Here's my problem... only 39?

The 40 Year Old Virgin - Because not being a virgin is all too commonplace these days.

Summer of '42 - It's basically a porno, but with classy historical context.  A bit of a stretch, you say?  The same writer also worked on a porno called Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?  I rest my case.

Movie 43 - And people wonder why sketch movies aren't made anymore.

Ms. 45 - Well, it's no Bad Lieutenant, that's for sure.

Code 46 - What happened to Tim Robbins, anyway?  Didn't he used to mean something?

47 Ronin - As with any list put out by Time or Newsweek, there always has to be a latest and greatest, hot off the presses entry, and this is definitely it.

Another 48 Hrs. - Not too late to make a trilogy out of it!

Ladder 49 - Well, something had to be number 49!  Why not a Backdraft remake?

50 First Dates - No list of film would be complete without Adam Sandler, would it?

Formula 51 - It's not even about NASCAR!  Wotta ripoff.

52 Pick-Up - No cards in it!  Wotta ripoff.

54 - Studio 54, where are you?

55 Days at Peking - I don't think anyone's ever seen this one, either!

56 Up - I wonder how high up the series will go?

Passenger 57 - Still betting on black after 20 years!

Gone in 60 Seconds - Actually, the original and the remake are about equally as good, no?

61* - Billy Crystal decided to end his directing career on a high note.

Transylvania 6-5000 - Too much of a stretch?  I thought so.

Buffalo '66 - Narcissism, thy name is Vincent Gallo.  Better go with Sixty Six instead.

The Fighting 69th - Boy!  I never knew World War I was so filthy.

The Spirit of '76 - I'm a disco dancer, baby, but I think that something's wrong...

"77 Sunset Strip" - ...damn, it's a TV series.  Better go with Airport '77, the cinema equivalent of a TV series.

Around the World in 80 Days - The original, not the one affiliated with Adam Sandler.

Where the Boys Are '84 - See what I mean?  Perhaps this list isn't a good idea after all.

This is England '86 - Meh

88 Minutes - Hoo-hah!

96 Minutes - It's practically a sketch movie!

99 and 44/100% Dead - Great title, but apparently it's another bad movie from John Frankenheimer.  He must've been great to get along with as a human being, because his classic to dreck ratio's kinda low!

100 Girls - A delightful take on that old Cinderella story.  Here's my usual problem with these kinds of things... only 100 girls?  Why put such gay limits on things?
Ben Blue's Brothers - I'm confused...

100 Women - Saw this at the pawn shop.  I think 100 Girls and 100 Women should face off in the Thunderdome... you know, two bad movies enter, one bad movie leave.  Who's with me?

Alligator - ...Pentangeli?

Presumed Innocent - Ain't it always the way?  Your wife will only have sex with you after she kills your ex-lover!  Sheesh...

Frank McCluskey, C.I. - Franklyn got better?  I don't think so.

I Love You, I Love You Not - Jude Law and Claire Danes play two roles in this film: as young would-be lovers in the present, and on opposite sides of the fence during the Holocaust, so to speak.  This conceit sounds almost as tasteless as my last sentence!

That Awkward Moment - A slightly less spectacular next movie that hopefully's a better paycheck.

"True Detective" - Woody Harrelson, P. I. P. I. (politically incorrect private investigator) in miniseries form!

The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Why can't I live like that?

The Naked Gun - Now we're talking!  If only they had a poll for Jack.

Blue Velvet - Why film in Wilmington, North Carolina if Dino De Laurentiis isn't producing?  Why?

The Memory of a Killer - ROOFTHOOFT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not knutzy e-knough (14 films remain)

Well, it's hard not to like a Stooge short wherein Shempeth proclaims "Unhand my lass, you brazen ass!"  Also featuring Larry with long blonde braids.  Lol!  But Knutzy Knights is another remake, replete with that old standby "Oh Elaine, won't you come out tonight, Cedric's here..."  It is a rousing number, arguably, and the Lady McIntyre helps it out.  The Black Prince is played by pre-Jerry Stiller Philip van Zandt, and is such a potent force that he doesn't even appear until about seven minutes into the thing!
After some spirited running around in the hall, Moe learns about the Black Prince's evil scheme to overthrow the king.  Alas, we'll probably have to wait for J.J. Abrams to do a Medieval tale in which the White Prince is the evil schemer.  Meanwhile, Cedric has to free himself from the dungeon.  He's either really strong, or the dungeon gate's really weak, and probably built by Leon Moisseiff.  Before long, it's the Third Act, and the Stooges have to fill those trumpets up with fruit again.  The bad guys get the first volley, but in the second, the Stooges get hoisted on their own... fruit-tards, so to speak?  Anyway, in the original Squareheads of the Round Table, the day is saved by the King's daughter when she says that the Black Prince and his minions are the real bad guys.  In this instant case, Cedric knocks some bad guys' heads together, Moe-style!  Cold-blooded.  Worth the price of admission right there.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

The Wild Parrots of Popeye Hill

This one must've put me in a good mood!  Time for another image mosaic. ¶ And so, having found his match in the animal kingdom in the bird branch of the tree, so to speak, Popeye heads over to Olive's place with a parrot, highly trained in the low-brow arts of blowing corncob pipes and singing Popeye anthems.  The bird is so good at mimicing Popeye, in fact, that Bluto mistakes it for the actual Popeye as he approaches Olive's suburban bungalow with a tiny fistful of flowers.  Meanwhile, the actual Popeye is waiting in the shadows as the bird does all the work... at least, until Bluto looses the bird from its cage and it heads for the high ground in a nearby tree.
Popeye is thrust onto the scene out of hiding as Olive begins to totally freak out.  As usual, he makes the mistake of waiting to go to the spinach when dealing with Bluto.  Taking a page somewhere from scripture, Popeye decides to make the remedy fit the crime by having Bluto get the bird out of the tree.  With axe visibly in hand, Bluto heartily takes to his task literally, and goes Axe Me Another on the tree's ass.  Now, for those of you who contend that Olive has no part in this pic, you'd be right, as her shtick this go-round is to constantly faint at everything.  Clearly, life in the suburbs has made her soft.  I could've sworn she's seen a million of these Fist Tornadoes already!  Lord knows I have.
When the Moment of Spinach arrives, Bluto's jumping up and down on Popeye like a bug, much like in the very first Popeye short, except Popeye's on his back this time and not on his stomach.  Instead of reaching into his inner shirt pocket for the spinach, Popeye prestidigitates and seemingly makes the can of spinach appear out of thin air.  Meanwhile, despite her new-found habit of fainting all the time, Olive goes after the parrot on the roof of her house, and surprise surprise, Popeye has to catch her once again in between fighting with Bluto.  Typical chauvinist Popeye short.  But Popeye does believe in poetic justice and, after beating the crap out of Bluto for the usual short burst, Bluto ends up wrapped in a bit of wire fence and hanging from a tree... I think it's supposed to be ironic, but I forget why.

good double with: what else?  Leave Well Enough Alone.  That parrot's gonna be a star, I tells ya!

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Auteur Watch - Kim Bass

...inger?  No, it's a dude, actually.  And this is probably a stretch, but the '90s must've been his favorite decade.  It's always a swinging time in Hollywood, but the reasons just shift and change.  And being a part of epic icons like In Living Color, Kenan and Kel and Sister, Sister must've been non-stop fun, right?  Or does doing comedy for a living make you sick of comedians?  I think it did something to Kim.  Look at these titles he worked on in the 2000s!  Kill Speed?  Junkyard Dog?  SUCCUBUS?  Quite the 180 degree shift, I must say!  Well, life during the Dubya Administration brought out the worst in a lot of people, no doubt about that.

Still Smaug-y!

I thought for sure it'd be gone by now!  No, people still need their Hobbit fix.  Meanwhile, the debuts are struggling; even Oscar darlings like The Wolf of Wall Street.  And despite the TV ad bombardment, The Secret Life of Walter $#!tty... I mean Mitty... opened at #7.  I think it's because, well, I'll give two reasons.  1) People are tired of Ben Stiller, and 2) they saw Kristen Wiig as the love interest and said "Really?  Kristen Wiig as the love interest?  She's this generation's female Peter Sellers, and she's wasted on a romantic lead role?  Where's Bridesmaids 2?  Where's the SNL movie of the Laurence Welk show where she's the singer with tiny hands?  Where's... whatever else she's known for?"  I know that's what I thought.  But that's not even the saddest box office story out there.  Keanu Reeves debuts even lower with his latest called 47 Ronin.  I blame the public for that one.  What, suddenly everyone's tired of historical dramas with awesome ass-kicking action in it?  Society has clearly failed.  No wonder suicide rates go up during the holidays... I'm sorry, apparently that's a long perpetuated myth.  It's probably just that suicides during the holidays are statistically and emotionally more significant.  On to more positive topics!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Of Pals and Gals (15 films remain)

I apologize.  I believe the full quotation is "The best laid schemes of pals and gals gang aft agley."  God bless those stingy Scottish poets!  Anyway, here's a Western twist for ya: it's yet another remake of Out West.  The twist?  They cut out Jock Mahoney!  That's right, the Arizona Kid!  I guess the Stooges got tired of sharing the spotlight with some guy younger, taller and handsomer who's able to take falls as good as they could.  Probably better because he's younger!  Anyway, so he's out, and two sisters for Nell are in.  You know, so the two trios can get married at the end.  Long story short: they end up in each other's arms, but a monkey ends up emptying a makeshift machine gun into the Stooges' asses.  They groan from the pain, but are soothed because they're in the arms of their respective betrotheds.  An extreme marital aid to be sure, but can't argue with results, right?

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

At Play in the Fields of the Legends of Old

The Fleischers did three two-reel color Popeye shorts, and I'm pretty confident that any fan of the Fleischer shorts will tell you that their favorite is the one called Popeye the Sailor meets Ali Baba's 40 Thieves.  Gotta make sure I get that title right.  In terms of pure showmanship, Ali Baba can still stand toe to toe with any modern cartoon, even at 76 years old.
...oh right!  A review.  Well, I've once again run out of time, so I'll just stick to the highlights.  Also, I should probably discuss the racial aspects of the cartoon, but here's a blog that gives the proper racial perspective.  Spoiler Alert: even though it's so racist, they still find it entertaining and actually recommend it!  Gasp... Here's a Wikipedia link to The Forty Thieves.  I mean, sure, I could go into the other room and get our Encyclopedia of Literature, but... well, you know.  It's the other room!  Might as well be on the other side of the moon.  Besides, the quote unquote "Encyclopedia of Literature" is probably just as biased and racist as everything else.  But if Wikipedia is to be believed, then the legend of the Forty Thieves wasn't even cribbed from 1001 Arabian Nights... again, a biased and culturally insensitive collection, probably filtered through racist employees of the Dutch East India Company.  Personally, I think it's Popeye just trying to hitch his wagon to as many established coattails as possible.  I mean, what's next?  Aladdin's Lamp?... oh, for Goodness zake...
Okay, so a few of my favourite moments.  First of all, Bluto's... I mean Abu Hassan's theme song.  It's hard not to like the villain's theme song, especially with the phrase "I'm a terrible guy" right there in it.  God bless Gus Wickie.  And besides, I take the sequence of Popeye and company crashing their plane-boat in the desert as a slap in the face to American Imperialism.  I mean, Popeye just keeps flying until the plane breaks down?  And he doesn't even know where to look for the Forty Thieves, second of all.  I'm getting more sentimental about this short as the years drag on.  For me, the waterworks flow when they're in the desert and they fade to the giant crescent moon.  Admittedly, some of Popeye's muttering at this point is not very clever: specifically, where he says "You know, I could go for a sandwich if I had a "which"."  Puh-leeeeeze.
Maybe it's just a sexual metaphor, but I also really dig the part where the Forty Thieves first breach the wall of the town Popeye and company arrived at.  Also, the noises the good guys make when they chug their first water in days are worth the price of admission by themselves.  From these, and Bluto wolfing down his lunch, Homer Simpson was surely born.
There's extensive use of large 3D backgrounds, and I think it also features the only use of a 3D model with moving parts: specifically, the giant wagon at the end, pulled by Bluto and the Forty Thieves.  Some people, like Steven Spielberg, have referred to the movies of the '30s, '40s and '50s as some of the greatest ever made, and for me, Popeye the Sailor meets Ali Baba's 40 Thieves belongs right up there.  Forget Disney, this Popeye short is the one.  The editing is as modern as it gets, the animation's top notch, and it represents the finest work of the Fleischer Studios.  Arguably, not as zany as some of their truly zany stuff, but they did what they could.  And 76 years from now, if society still exists, this Popeye short will still be as good as when it was first made.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Auteur Watch - Qasim Basir

Hoh boy... seriously, though, Qasim's still a director on the make, as you can see from their IMDb entry.  But he or she's got their sights on the big time!  Tackling the big subjects like Barack Obama and the struggles of Muslims in... I'm assuming America... well, it's what auteurs are supposed to do!  That's their job!  Take Shekhar Kapur, for example, cozying up to icons older and more British.  They're his turf, bitch!  Hands off.  He'll complete that Cate Blanchett / Queen Elizabeth trilogy for the Costco market yet.

Lawrence vs. Lawrence

Inside Llewyn Davis!  INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS!!!!!  ...alas, it's out of the loop, and must've debuted lower than #11.  Well, this isn't, say, True Grit we're talking about here.  It's a limited release, so it's taking in limited dollars.  I gotta keep it short this week, but needles to say there are five, count 'em, five debuts this week!  Anchorman 2: Anchor Harder, That '70s Movie, Saving Private Ryan... I mean, Saving Mr. Banks, Jurassic Park 3.5 without People in 3D, and something called Doom 3... I mean Dhoom: 3.  Better make a hyperlink to that one, because I'm sure to forget it.  Looks like Luc Besson's expanding his base operations to India!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

When conspiracies attack

Well, I've only read a couple reviews of Jack Reacher 1, but they helped me through those nagging feelings I had.  Sure, it's entertaining, with fine action scenes and all that, and Chris McQuarrie gets to do another fast car chase with a slow part to vindicate the strange car chase from his previous and ominously-titled The Way of the Gun.  And Tom Cruise has got the tightest inguinal ligaments I've ever seen in a 50 year old.
But like with the nagging problem of paying for parking when you're about to shoot some random people, I had a few nitpicks.  But I'll set those aside and continue anew my rant for a rating between PG-13 and R.  Like a guy said in Videodrome, the world's getting tougher!  And America may still be soft, but our harmless entertainments have edges.  The World Socialist Web Site didn't review Reacher, but did anyone else notice how sleazy and efficient the bad guys were?  Let's leave aside Werner Herzog for now.  After all, Roman Polanski got punk'd by Brett Ratner, and hey!  They could've gone with Christopher Lambert as the uber bad guy and gotten a similar voice, but it just wouldn't be the same somehow.  Herzog's body of work trumps the Highlander where I come from.  And sure, they could've gone with Kelly Rutherford or Deborah Kara Unger as the DA's daughter, but Rosamund Pike's a sweetie pie and she's not afraid to show off a little skin.
Anyway, I don't know how big the evil corporation is here, but they seem like awful small potatoes to have such committed hit men.  They've got one mine in Pittsburgh!  That's it?  Maybe it's all a setup for the sequel.  After all, there's, like, 300 books in this Reacher series.  They are working on a sequel as we speak and I blog, which is one more than the Cirque du Freak guy can boast.  So if you're a veteran who's returned state-side and have been framed, Jack Reacher just might be the guy you call... unless you didn't serve with him, of course.  Call the closest Reacher-type you can find.  Hopefully one who's a better shot on the range, tee hee hee.  And kudos to Emerson for the one car chase where he misses a turn or something, and makes a disappointed face.  You don't usually see that in a car chase!  At least, not that I recall.  A different flavor from Freebie and the Bean, for one.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Taming of the Stooges

Well, if it's using old footage, then the title's certainly justified.  But seeing as how this is a refactoring of Fiddlers Three, and how much I raved about that particular Stooge short, there's just no turning back now.  In this remake, they de-emphasize the fact that Vernon Dent is supposed to be Old King Cole, and just focus on the marital dilemmas of the Stooges.  The king decrees that they can get married, but in the spring.  You know, when the flowers bloom, and all that poetic crap that the chicks like.  Maybe it also serves as a Daniel Goleman-esque lesson in emotional intelligence: delaying gratification and what not.  For even though flowers only bloom in the spring, people can get it on year round.
Where was I?  Oh right.  The king wants his daughter married first before the Stooges.  It's Cuckoo on a Choo Choo all over again for this extended family.  Not all is happy about the impending marriage of King Cole's daughter, however.  More specifically, the sorcerer played by pre-Jerry Stiller actor Philip van Zandt.  There's intrigue, there's mayhem in the magician's box, but more importantly... there's a very satisfying ending for those of us Stooge fans who have trouble with the Stooges, the ultimate bachelors, getting married  to girls old enough to be their daughters and raising families.  The ending here?  After the Stooges reign triumphant over the knuckle-headed bad guys, they run towards the loving arms of their brides-to-be... but a little too eagerly, as it turns out, for the three couples end up hitting each other in the heads, and they all pass out in a heap on the floor.  Finally!  The precise moment when modern men and women achieved equality of the sexes!  Now if America could just stop producing so many synthetic endocrine disrupting chemicals...

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

The Spinach Whisperer

...did I use that phrase already?  Seems like it.  Anyway, it's hard work being an icon.  There's constant maintenance involved, even for an animated character like Popeye.  Case in point: his latest chore for Olive.  See, Olive's got a pet dog that's just too feminine for Popeye.  Why, he even says so out loud!  "A he-man like I am can't take a sissy dorg like that for a walk!", complains Popeye.  No dice.  The things a guy does for love.
Alas, Popeye's worst fears are realized when Bluto comes walking down with the street with his dog: a roided-up bulldog, of course.  Sheesh!  Now if only they made cigars for dogs.  Needles to say, Bluto starts fighting with Popeye, and Bluto's dog starts fighting with Olive's... I mean, Popeye's dog.  Well, if spinach works on ducks, why not on dogs?  You'll never guess how it all ends.  Why, it's got an ending that even Guy Ritchie would love.  Reminds me of the emotional climax of his Rocknrolla, an ode to the user of recreational drugs.  I mean, what's the point of Heaven if you can't sit there, head swirling with endorphins, and snot drooling out of your nose?
Now, I will hold the Fleischers' feet to the fire on this one a little bit.  I mean, how many times does Popeye do the walk of shame past that Sweets Shop?  Also, Popeye seems to have a fetish for kicking Bluto in the back of the head in this one.  Just saying.  Still, not bad for the short just before the ultimate Popeye masterpiece: Popeye the Sailor meets Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.  What's not to like?  Four stars.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Auteur Watch - John Barry, not this one.  Might be this one!  I'm gonna go for this one.  So far he's just got Classical Steel on the old réz.  If it goes real well, it's a short hop, skip and jump from classical steel to maybe Real Steel 3!  The second one's probably taken.

Love is in the air... as well as a few arrows

I hate to sound... Smaug... (drum roll)... but I think this picture oughta cover it just fine!  Also, being able to see my blog statistics hasn't been healthy for me, but thankfully I'm finally above the 100-hits per post average that I've been waiting to hit.  Kinda sad in a way.  Half of them must be mine.  Oh well.  I'm well past my "Hello?  Is anybody out there?" blogging phase.  Now I'm just waiting for the retirement home, basically.
Oh, and Tyler Perry's got a new movie out as well.  Big surprise.  Dang!  He's been busy!  How does he find time to direct all that bad television?  Eat your liberal heart out, Norman Lear!

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Next Stooge: Hot Dogs 'n Stuff

Another one I don't need to review.  I think I know it by heart, but there's probably some nuance to it that I don't remember.
Now, for some reason, the high-brow types in Stooge films are always trying to figure out if it's heredity or environment that makes the Stooges the way they are.  For some reason, they prudently never used the phrase "eugenics."  Lesser comedy duos or trios of the time used it at their peril.  Like those Wheeler and Woolsey douchebags, I betcha.  In the instant case, we narrow our study to the influence of money on behaviour as it's happening in real time.  Having to deal with income taxes just throws gasoline on the fire.  Larry is pushed to his absolute limits in dealing with Moe.  Not only does Larry not accept Moe's half-assed apology, he fires off a round of instant glue at Moe.  Moe catches it with the palm of his hand.  A perfect opportunity to do the arm 360 and smash some heads.  But with Moe's gluey hand, he chooses not to make a fist.  Larry slaps Moe's hand, and you can tell by the look in Moe's eyes that, by the time his arm does the 360, or 270 give or take, his hand will definitely hit the target: Larry's head.  See, sometimes they miss their target and hit themselves in the head instead.  But Moe can't miss this time, for he has to stick his glue hand in Larry's hair, so he can rip some of Larry's hair out.
In lieu of the usual three act structure, Income Tax Sappy is more like a two-act play.  The first act deals with the impoverished times before the Stooges learn to manipulate their income taxes to become rich.  Well, can't argue with results, because by the Second Act, they're sipping champagne and tossing away fifty dollar bills in a giant house!  Those must've been the days when $15 here and there led to serious wealth.  Alas, the Stooges are new money and they didn't vet their party guests properly... well, I hate to spoil the surprise.  Needles to say, the classic Income Tax Sappy ends much like Goof on the Roof does, with the three knuckleheads nursing their simultaneously injured asses.  This was one of those ones we used to watch on old VCR tapes, so I'm clearly the wrong person to properly review this one.  Another Shemp classic.  Of course, what's his face steals the show as Mr. Cash.
p.s. These aren't actually letterboxed, they just have the top and bottom truncated.  It's what the old films have to do to survive in the HDTV age.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

North Spinach 40

...another one?  Didn't they just do a football one?  Anyway, spreading the gospel according to Spinach is surprisingly difficult, especially amongst the young and infinks.  And even though Swee'pea's already eaten his supergreens, somehow being spoon fed a steaming serving of them by Popeye just puts Swee'pea out of the mood.  Perhaps a demonstration will do the trick?  Popeye eats it himself then flexes his arm muscle.  His arm muscle morphs into a tiny buff (faceless) bodybuilder who flexes its muscles!  I mean, his!  I hope it's a he.  And then, back to work... nope, Swee'pea's still not convinced.  Well, I guess it's storytime, then.
Popeye morphs into a younger, smaller version of himself, harkening back to a time when he played pee-wee football with his fellow Campbells Soup kids.  A young Olive cheers Popeye on in the crowd.  (Creepy!!!)  Enter Bluto and his hunks of beef for teammates.  Popeye's team is clearly outmatched.  But it hasn't gotten too bad yet.  At least Popeye doesn't get trampled when Bluto's team "intercepts" the ball!  We see a young (and thin!!!) Wimpy keeping score in a typical Fleischer way, and he doesn't even have a hamburger within reach!  How does a person turn into a glutton, anyway?  I mean, a "foodie"?
Usually Popeye displays the better creativity in these celluloid outings, but once Bluto's team gets the ball, there's no stopping them.  Only in a cartoon could a football team score as such.  Here's your favourite method they use... am I being presumptuous?  Well, I gotta live up to my name sometimes!  This one's just silly... none of Popeye's teammates could tackle any of Bluto's men as it is!  ...also, why does it make me think of Lode Runner?
And so, at this point the score is: Bluto 49, Popeye 0.  Will a pancake-shaped Popeye eat his spinach?  Of course!  Apparently spinach power is not to be distributed to the masses!  How elitist.  Will he win the game all by himself?  Probably.  I hate to sound cynical, but I'm kinduva stickler for playing by the rules.  But hey!  The Waterboy didn't exactly have good refereeing either, did it?  Anyway, for those of you out there who don't care for Popeye too much, this one's got the ending for you.  SPOILER ALERT: Swee'pea is won over by Popeye's heartwarming tale and engulfs the entire bowl of spinach in front of him in one fell swoop.  He grows strong, and kicks the crap out of Popeye!  Careful what you wish for... Classic cartoon, great animation.  Probably the best of the football-themed Popeyes, somehow.


p.s. ...not this Graham Place, I'm assuming?

Auteur Watch - Neema Barnette

Damn.  Another long résumé.  Well, this is a chance for me to take a swipe at all the critics out there who do nothing but nitpick all day.  Nitpick, nitpick, nitpick!  I exclude myself, of course, for I have my own brand of picking of the nits.  But one critique that I heard was about 12 Years a Slave, that African Americans are boxed into a corner, forced to do movies like this, and by "this" I mean the big dramatic fare to help resolve the omnipresent white guilt.  Where's the ordinary stuff like The Preacher's Wife and what not?  Well, all you have to do is look at an impressive long résumé like ol' Neema's here.  Seek and ye shall find!  Sure, there's no Hav Plentys or Jason's Lyric or anything fun like that.  But there is lots of TV work; that's harder to find, maybe even on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
So the big question: which decade is Neema's favourite?  Was it the 80s when she had a more unique place in the biz?  Sure, there were stints on a bunch of TV shows, but there is 1985's Sky Captain, whatever that is.  Two more decades for the world of tomorrow to show up.  Or maybe it was the 90s when she started working with Bill Cosby, first the sitcom and then the Cosby Mysteries.  A little more stability, but the silver screen was still elusive... save for Spirit Lost, whatever that is.  That's what's so great about the IMDb: they tell you which are the movies and which is the TV stuff.  Very convenient.
Or maybe it's the 2000s that are her favorite!  The rise of George W. Bush coincided with the rise in Neema's more frequent silver screen entries... well, at least they're not sitcoms or TV movies!  Working less, making more.  That's the dream, ain't it?  A prison movie for the sistas!  Bring it On for the sistas!  Oh, Neema's an auteur now, there's no turning back.
But if talking to Albert Pyun's any indication, it's the current decade that's always a director's favorite.  But with titles like Heaven Ain't Hard to Find and T.D. Jakes adaptations, I guess Neema's trying to get right with the Lord before her big final check out.  Like George Carlin said, "I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older; then it dawned on me - they're cramming for their final exam."

There Is Much Joy in Disney-Ville..............

...for Frozen just kicked Hunger Games 2's ass, albeit not by all that much.  Giving indie sequel to The Company Men called Out of the Furnace the chance to debut at a paltry #3 with 5.3 million total.  Minus union dues, of course.  Meanwhile, no love for Black Nativity?  Don't make me put it on the list of One-Week Wonders!!!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Short Reviews - November 2013

A Month By The Lake - What do you expect from the director of "Next of Kin" and "Raw Deal"?

The Chinese Connection - For those of you expecting The French Connection, but with Bruce Lee, you'll be disappointed.  For those of you wanting to see an Adam Sandler movie, but with Bruce Lee... you'll find many similarities indeed!

Cops and Robbersons - Damn, but Hollywood is cruel.  You're telling me that screenwriter Bernie Somers doesn't get a second chance?  I mean, he worked with Chevy Chase, for God's sake!

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? - On YouTube?  FOR FREE?!!!!!!!

Groundhog Day - On YouTube?  FOR FREE?!!!!!!!

Bicentennial Man - 460,000 hits?  Wow!  I thought it'd have a lot less.

The Talented Mr. Ripley - Kinduva depressing Italian vacation, but it does feature the following song... Hmm!  That's odd.  How can that have more hits than this?

Action Jackson - Time to see if THAT has made it to YouTube... well!  For this, you gotta PAY for the privilege!  And yet, I can't help but wonder why this was never sequel-ized.  Some might say because there wasn't enough action in Action Jackson... or maybe too much.  The filmmakers were burned out from the first one, and a second would positively kill them.  But it was probably racism.  The Man just couldn't handle a black man in a movie, let alone an action black man.

Lone Wolf McQuade - Close enough.  Woe be to he who buries a man alive in his own truck.

The Hitman - You know, when Chuck Norris watches YouTube, YouTube always flinches just a little bit.

The Evil that Men Do - This should not be on YouTube for anyone to just watch.  I mean, first of all, the Tri-Star logo without the music?  Sacrilege!

Borderline - Feels like I'm going to lose my mind

What Dreams May Come - Oil paintings as a means to communicate with the dead!  Great premise!  Someday a film will come along that does the idea justice...

Nowhere to Run - I laugh at your trivia page.  I want the real dirt here!  How much did Joe Eszterhas get for this?  ...nothing on Wikipedia?

Cabaret - So who do you think will be Sally Bowles in the remake?  Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift?  I think the smart money's on Miley for the time being.  Fosse's all about the twerk!

Nymphomaniac - Movie SATs: Udo Kier is to Lars von Trier what Dick Miller is to Joe Dante.

"Goof Troop" - His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.

Fight Club - How can a movie have not one single memorable line?  Sheesh!

Flight - Well, Zemeckis sure used that R rating, all right!!  Good Lourdes.

Saving Mr. Banks - I thought I saw that right.  So now it's... Walter Hill - Wild Bill.  Richard Gere - Primal Fear.  And this just in: Tom Hanks - Saving Mr. Banks.

Rick's Canoe - No, it's Ricky's paddle from The Seven Year Itch.  Get it right!!

....oh, this is bad.  IMDb's down?  Time for them to hold a Wikipedia-esque and Firefox-ish fundraiser, I guess!  I in particular, me gots to have my IMDb RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Going Berserk - With Kurtwood Smith as Clarence

RoboCop (1987) - With Kurtwood Smith as Clarence

Philomena - Do doooooo da do do.....

The Lone Ranger (2013) - The spirits don't see a sequel, kemosabe!

Step Up: All In - For those of you out of the loop... like I was two minutes ago... this is the fifth movie in the Step Up series.  Well, they're not as labor intensive or time intensive as, say, the 7 Up series.

Melvin and Howard - Mary Steenburgen naked!!!  Who needs Mr. Skin?

Man on the Moon - It's probably the late hour in my mom's basement talking, but I'm suddenly reminded of David Letterman's reluctance to reprise his part in the story of Andy Kaufman where, after Kaufman swore up a blue streak on late night in the early 80s, Letterman quipped "Well, I guess you can say SOME of those words on the air!  Hee hee hee..."  I then remembered this one time on his CBS show when he took over a Taco Bell for a day.  Dave pissed off a customer so badly that she drove away.  Dave was still talking when the next customer drove up: a "big guy", as Letterman might describe him, who said "She's gone already, Chief!"  Ever the showman, Letterman raised the curtain on the Ed Sullivan stage, and on the stage was the car of the guy who said "She's gone already, Chief!", with the same guy in the car.  He reprised his line on stage for all to enjoy.  Now you know how it feels, Dave!
p.s. Of course, Dave's probably thinking, "Well, I was directed by Milos Forman.  You owe me a damn Oscar and a million damn dollars, Hollywood!"  After all, that is how it works, isn't it?

Send Me No Flowers - GREAT double bill with: what else?  Lover Come Back.

Messenger of Death - With Bert Williams as Old Jon Voight

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Next Stooge: Head in a Bucket

Well, as any hardcore Stooge fan will tell you, Goof on the Roof is of course the perfect Stooge film.  No fancy plot!  No Charley Chase-ish pretentious attempts at greatness!  Just the fundamentals.  Just three idiots perfecting their union... of idiocy.  And just as Laurel and Hardy often battled against imperfect cars, the Stooges find themselves in a regular, modern day domestic situation, doing battle with a television and the job of cleaning house before their master gets back.  No Western.  No space adventure with Joe Besser.  Just fundamentals.  Which I think is why I'm giving this one the full treatment this time, just like I used to.  Also because it's Thanksgiving weekend and I've got a little extra time to indulge.  So let's carve this turkey of a Stooge short up!


Speaking of Stooge fundamentals, we fade in on... what else?  The three of them snoring away!  Will there be an optical illusion involved?  Of course!  With Shemp's snoring, he seems to be prepping us for the Fake Shemp to come... or maybe I'm reading too much into it.  Suddenly... Pavlov's Bells disturb the scene, and Moe practically leaps out of bed to answer the phone.  A double tap to their bellies and Moe has woken up the other two lunkheads... oh, Darius69789, I'm slightly disappointed.  Sure, we get to watch Goof for free, but the sound's not perfectly synced to the action!  This isn't a video game being played on a PC, after all!  This is a god damned Stooge short, for Gawd'z zake!  There are standards!  Anyway, back to the action.  Spoiler alert: it was the doorbell, not the phone.  For some reason, the Stooges are wearing Playboy-inspired jammies.  Their white jammies have a black rabbit on them.  What's the deal?  Moe crawls out of bed past the other two to go and answer the door.  We stay on Larry and Shemp, probably for expediency's sake.  This was a short with no old footage spliced in, but it's not like they're going to do a whole 'nuther camera setup!  Puh-leeze.  Larry strikes a match off of Shemp's neck, and he ends up burning his face rather than lighting his cigar.  Wotta (non-roof based) goof.  Moe comes back with a telegram from "Bill."  The Bill in question is played by an actor named Frank Mitchell.  Kind of a big deal in his own right, but this is the only Stooge film he ever did.  And so, as decreed by the ancient Stooge formula handed down to us from the Immortals on high, even if it is just in the clouds, Bill is the master to the Stooge's proverbial 47 Ronin.  Unfortunately, it is also a Time of Transition in this relationship.  Bill has sent the Stooges a telegram with two vital bullet points: 1) Bill has just gotten married, and he wants the Stooges to move.  They have to go, and they can't stay there.  Somehow I sense a reverse version of Laurel and Hardy's Helpmates in the offing.  The other bit of news is that a new TV set is coming, and the Stooges are to pay the men who will install the antenna, on the promise that Bill will reimburse them later.  Somehow I sense a variation on Laurel and Hardy's Hog Wild in the offing.  Larry helps kick that plot thread off by suggesting that the Stooges put up the antenna themselves, thereby saving some money in the process.  Ah, celluloid comedians and their DIY economic incentives.  Will they ever learn?  Larry's motives are golden, however.  The money left over will be used for a wedding present!  And so, off to work they go.  Are they wearing regular clothes under their jammies?  Check!  Will they hit themselves in the face in the process?  ...un-check!  What's going on here, anyway?
Next scene: cross-fade to Shemp mopping the floor.  This is probably where Act Two starts for all in tents on porpoises, but I'll still wait for the usual five minute mark.  And so, the Stooges begin their epic battle royale with another killer house.  The half door is always a good sign that things aren't going to go smoothly.  I don't know which comedian first glommed on to this evolution of the inside door... probably Buster Keaton... but it's been a gold mine ever since.  Why, didn't they have that in Funny Farm?  Anyway, I think it's time to keep another score now: Door vs. Stooges.  Who will win?  Place bets now, place bets...
And they're off.  Moe opens the lower door, hitting Shemp in the ass.  Shemp lurches forward and gets his head dunked into the bucket of water.  Door: 1, Stooges: 0.  Hang on... better make that Lower Door: 1, Stooges: 0.  Shemp's hair is a little more stylish now, but he's still a little pissed off.  Shemp politely asks Moe if Moe wouldn't mind being just a bit more careful.  Moe gruffly states that he'll pitch in with the domestic duties once he finishes his jelly sandwich... now, why do I get the feeling that the jelly sandwich is doomed?  Just a thought.  Reminds me of Jim Carrey's big scene in Pink Cadillac, where Bernadette Peters says "The Elvis impersonator's giving me the creeps"... something like that.  Please don't make me go hunt that down.  The point is, it was so not improvised.  It was an integral part of the script!  Much like Moe's jelly sandwich is here... okay, bad example.  I must be stalling for time.... well, that was quick!  And so, Moe's jelly sandwich has been obliterated, and Moe's head is now in the bucket.  See, Shemp?  Now that's how you stick your head in the bucket!  You keep it in there and you blow bubbles until the cavalry arrives.  That's how a pro like Moe does it, not a rank Bucket Head amateur like Shemp.  And furthermore, you don't extract your own head from the bucket like Shemp.  You have the other two try to take it off, thereby getting your chin caught on the bucket's handle... okay, maybe Moe had first dibs on it, kinda like Moe Syzlak had dibs on getting a face full of soot when he was in the Little Rascals.  Larry the non-scientist, in his semi-panic, in trying to find a reason the bucket won't come off Moe's head, posits the theory that the bucket water swelled Moe's head.  Another double tap to the stomachs and the other two stop trying to help Moe.  Moe's about to give Shemp another dose of the proverbial what-for, when he looks down at what's left of his jelly sandwich.  He stoops down, carefully scoops up his jelly sandwich and wrings it out.  Lol.  Well, sandwiches were never meant to be sponges.  Now, Moe's not much of an actor, but if you look closely enough, you might spot the precise moment when a fiendish new idea pops into his head.  I think it's right about here when it happens.  Everything eventually ends up where it belongs, and Moe's obliterated jelly sandwich ends up in Shemp's face.  Philosopher Shemp looks to the Immortals on high and asks "Why?"  He's almost as big of a wuss as Joe Besser!  Almost. 
(note to self... I don't think any of my readers will mind, but let's find out, what say?... Moe's answer to Shemp's "Why?" involves him saying "Do such and such, or you'll find out why and how!"  Tried searching for that today but couldn't find it, mostly because it wasn't in the post.  One of those things stuck in the craw of the mind that makes its way forward.  And what's the point of having a blog if not to make a note of such things?  Now let's see if the search feature can find it.......)
And, as decreed by God's divine plan, some of Moe's obliterated jelly sandwich makes its way from Shemp's face back to Moe's face.  Moe must've really loved that jelly sandwich, but when he set it free the way he did, I bet he didn't expect it would come back to him.  Shemp heads to the kitchen with renewed fervor, but the lower door slows him down a bit.  Lower Door: 2, Stooges: 0.
Moe finds Shemp on the floor.  Shemp tries to explain about the door, but Moe's not having any of it.  "What a nitwit!" says Moe.  Ooh!  Good line reading.  And so, Moe has to find out about the door the hard way.  Upper Door: 1, Stooges: 0.  Upper Door: 2, Stooges: 0.  Once Moe gathers his wits, Larry gets a taste of the door himself.  Upper Door: 3, Stooges: 0.
Meanwhile, Shemp's got a fresh bucket of water.  Moe tells Shemp to get to work, and that Moe has to get a new sandwich.  Shemp says "I hope you choke," but they had to re-dub it in later.  It was too soft for the microphones to pick up at first.  And then, just like Roger Rabbit, Shemp trips on the bar of soap... didn't Moe just do that?  Gee whiz!  Now, some of you might think that it's sloppy camera work, that we just see a guy's feet slip on a bar of soap, and then we hear a giant splash somewhere off camera.  And you'd be right, of course.  In showbiz, however, they call it a "stylistic choice."  Mostly among the directors.  Of course, we should just be thankful they were using a tripod for the camera at all.  Seems like everything's hand-held and jittery these days.  And so, as decreed by the Immortals above, Shemp ends up head first into the bucket again.  I still think Goof on the Roof is the wrong title for this, but cooler heads prevailed on that one.  Now, unlike Moe, Shemp's able to get the bucket off his head a little easier, but not without spilling the entire bucket onto himself, and then onto the floor.  Lol.  Bill's not going to like this footage!
Now, screenwriters take note.  This is what we call "optimistic concurrency"... no, wait, that's a database thing.  Never mind.  Nevertheless, concurrency is taking place.  Moe is now making Sahndwich #2, but the jelly's run out.  He has to switch to cheese.  Fortunately, he's already got a block of cheese right there, as it's the kind that doesn't need refrigeration, apparently.  Must be some kind of European cheese.  Hmm!  That block of cheese looks like... yup, you guessed it.  Shemp carelessly tosses the bar of soap he tripped on into the air.  Where it lands, he obviously does not care... but the screenwriters and special effects technicians do!  As decreed by the Immortals, the "cheese" is quickly replaced by the bar of soap.  More than a bit ironic that Shemp called the soap a "trouble maker"!  Well, as Bill Maher might say, soap is a lot like fire or cars.  They can be harmful, and be used for good.  With the Stooges, even the most benign thing is usually harmful.  And soon enough, chef Moe Fieri is at the cutting board, slicing up some soap to make himself a nice gourmet soap sangwich.


Now, if you like Larry at all, you might be asking yourself at this point, "Hey, where's Larry?"  Well, your prayers have been answered, because we see him doing some dusting, and he picks up a vase to dust behind it.  Meanwhile, Shemp heads back into the kitchen for another bucket of water.  He runs into the lower part of the door and injures himself.  Lower Door: 2, Stooges: 0.  In his anger, Shemp throws the bucket into the air, and where it lands he knows not where... but Lawrence does!  Right smack dab into the vase he was holding.  "Valuable antique," says Larry.  Oh, dude.  He's pissed.  I was going to say that the Keno brothers would probably point out that the vase is a worthless piece of sh... oe leather, but now is clearly not the time.  "You muttonhead!" says Larry as he hurls the duster at Shemp's head in anger.  Larry is the beta-Moe, no question about it.  In moments like this, Lawrence obviously doesn't know his own strength, and the results are... well, I'm reminded of that scene from Sons of the Desert when Ollie gets a bucket over his head.  I'll bet YouTube doesn't have that!........................ close enough.  Now, I hate to ruin the magic of the movies, but it looks like Larry's moving the feather part of the duster, and not actually pulling it out of Shemp's ear, I'm sorry.
Back to Moseph, hard at work on what he thinks is a cheese sandwich.  Slather on the mustard, and... dude!  He must've been hungry!  Look at those bites he's taking!  All I knows is he'd better be spewing bubbles in a couple minutes, or I'll be very bitterly disappointed.  "Heavenly," says Moe as he takes a swig of vinegar.  Lol.  Lord help us, I hope it's not actually gasoline, or he'll be spewing bubbles of fire.
Meanwhile, Larry's reprimanding Shemp, Moe-style.  Shemp gets so en-fluster-cated that... floop!  Over the Dutch door he goes.  Lower Door: 3, Stooges: 0.  Unfortunately, there's a lull in the plot, so Shemp takes it upon himself to... GASP!  Take care of the door?  Say it isn't so!  Shemp brings the two halves of the door together and shuts the lock, so now the door is whole once again.  I never thought I'd say this, but... final score: Upper Door: 3, Lower Door: 3, Stooges: 1?  Game changing.  Epic.  Iconic, even.
After Shemp has done what he sees as his duty, it's back into the kitchen for a new bucket of water to spill on the floor.  Meanwhile, Larry intercepts an important phone call.  The TV is on its way.  Larry is so excited by this news, that he crunches his finger with the phone when he hangs up.  Sometimes you just have to make your own fun.  The cat knows that.  Larry calls for Moe and Shemp and heads for the kitchen door.  He gives the door the gentlest of pushes and... yup.  Shemp's on the kitchen floor with a bucketful of water over his head.  Upper Door: 4, Lower Door: 4, Stooges: 1.  All is right with the universe.
Cross-fade to next scene: now, this is where Act Two really begins... probably.  The TV set has arrived, and the Stooges are putting it into place.  Now, the more intellectual amongst you out there will probably find this to be the perfect opportunity to reflect upon the ever-changing nature of technology, that the Stooges are grappling with this TV set as a last stand against progress, that it's really the cinema that's where it's at!  Vaudeville and the cinema, that's where the Stooges belong.  As it happens... while they're fighting with the TV at this juncture, they'll eventually conquer it once the technology and art of Kinescope replaying is perfected, and the Stooges will find their place as America's babysitter.  What better babysitter for America's kids than the eye-gouging, stomach-hitting, extremity-obliterating fun that is the Three Stooges?
But back to the instant case.  With the TV in place, Moe and Larry observe Shemp fiddling with the antenna, and join him in the fun.  Over to Reel Two!  And so, as the Immortals have decreed, Shemp hurts his extremity on what the mortals call a "tool", giving Shemp the perfect opportunity to explain about the ring he's wearing.  He takes the ring off for the sake of plot devices everywhere... I mean, for "safety."  Shemp pulls off his ring and it goes flying through the air... and where it lands, he will eventually care, for it lands inside the TV set.  You know, I think this gag was cribbed from Buster Keaton.  Well, the script is credited to Keaton collaborator and psychic character on The X-Files Clyde Bruckman.
And so, as decreed by the Gods and Monsters, Shemp's quest to dismantle the TV begins.  Meanwhile, what can Moe and Larry be destroying simult'ne-a-tously?  Larry heads off to the kitchen as decreed by Moe, but he steps on a knob for the television set and bends it.  How it got on the floor I'll never know.  Shemp apparently didn't do that.  I should point out here that ... well, chances are pretty damn good that Moe and Larry can see Shemp hard at work obliterating the television set.  I mean, a blind man could tell you that!  But first things first, as decreed by the plot.  I have a feeling Moe will bring the beat-down on Shemp's head soon enough.
Anyway, Larry tries to straighten out the knob by hitting it with a hammer... against the wall.  Another gag cribbed from Keaton, except that Larry didn't start out in silent pictures, so he gets to verbalize his angst.  Soon enough, as decreed by Keaton and Bruckman, the wall ends up with a giant hole, and the knob ends up inside the wall.  Larry tries to reach for it in vain.  Using logic, Lawrence deduces the following: "I either need a longer arm or a shorter wall."  Now, sure, he could go for some kind of grabbing tool that could allow him to reach for the knob inside the wall, but that would take time.  Time and money, of which the Stooges spent neither on their films.  The "shorter wall" idea prevails, and Larry gleefully takes up the task of making more holes in the wall.  Who wouldn't?  After all, it's Columbia's mess to clean up, not theirs!
Speaking of a mess to clean up, Shemp's nearly gutted the whole TV.  But first, a shot of Moe fiddling with the antenna.  Lol.  Now back to Shemp, who's finally got the cathode ray tube out of the TV.  Hey, this is kinda educational!  Not a lot of videos on YouTube of people dismantling old timey TV sets!... CURSES!  Proven wrong again.
Anyway, the moment of truth... Moe does a massive single take, then heads over to survey the damage.  I can't tell from this YouTube video with unsynced sound if it's Moe going "Why...." but I think it just might be.  Shemp's too engrossed in getting his Cracker Jack box ring back... that his goil won for him.  TV be damned!  They can always buy a new one, right?  RIGHT?...  Uninterested in Shemp's troubles, Moe starts to hit Shemp about the head, neck and shoulders with the cathode ray tube, but Shemp protests.  That's an actual cathode ray tube, not a foam rubber one!  Besides, as Shemp tells Moe, "That thing cost a hundred bucks!"  Moe sets down the cathode ray tube and says "Here's somethin' for free!" just before he hits Shemp about the head, neck and shoulders.  Oh, that Moe.  Never at a loss for words.  Alas, Shemp's high-larious noises are interrupted by Larry.  I'll just have to make a loop of that for myself, I guess!  Moe walks over to Larry and the giant hole in the wall, and gives Larry a good, swift kick right in the middle of his daily duties.  However... and this is a big however... Moe's wrath is focused NOT on the giant, jagged, head-sized hole in the wall, but that Larry was using a match as a source of light to look within it.  Moe promptly throws the lit match into the hole in the wall, then proceeds to give Larry the full Smokey the Bear Riot Act.  Larry tries to explain, but Ranger Moe is undeterred.  Larry smells smoke, and asks Moe if he's chewing tobacco.  That shuts Moe up!  At least, until he confirms Larry's suspicions.  "You DID set the joint on fire!" says Moe, then orders Larry to... yup, you guessed it, get a bucket of water.  And off Larry goes.
Shemp's attitude towards the fire's a little less serious.  "Oh, if we only had some marshmallows!  Go out and get some marshmallows," Shemp tells his brother Moe.  Gee, I wonder how that's going to go over?  Larry returns with the shallow bucket of water.  Gee, I wonder where the water's going to go?  Guess I should be a little less cynical... wow!  I think they did all that in one take!  They seem to do a frame blow-up when Larry's speaking, but kudos to the camerawork, especially the swiveling.  They swivel once, following Larry from the kitchen over to the fire, then swivel again as he goes back into the kitchen.  Moe's too stunned to retaliate, apparently.
Now, there's gotta be some way to make this situation more chaotic.  But how?  Will the filmmakers find a way?  Have faith, my friends, have faith... and stay thirsty.  Go tell it to the Spartans!  Time for some divine intervention, either from our father in heaven, or Mother Earth down here on... earth.  As Larry's busy refilling the bucket at the American indoor watering hole, the fire gets worse.  Moe dispatches Shemp to get the fire extinguisher in the kitchen.  Ever the ad-libber, Shemp gently points out that he's practically wearing a smoke blanket, saying "Wait til I find my way," then he works his way out of the billowing smoke.  Lol.  Shemp makes a mad dash for that Dutch door separating the kitchen from the living area and... yup, you guessed it.  WHAM-O!!!!  BORT!!!  NEWT!!!!!  Where did I leave off on the score again?  I gotta scroll up to do it?  Oh, man... there must be an easier way.  Mashable?  Pinterest?  Why am I insisting on staying stuck in the Blogger ghetto, anyway?  The score is now: Upper Door: 5, Lower Door: 5, Stooges: 1.  And then... Shemp has an existential moment... and for those of you who are heading for a dictionary and think only in films, a Being John Malkovich moment.  Shemp stumbles a bit, and eventually gets that kitchen door open, and sees a figure on the floor WITH A BUCKET ON HIS HEAD.  "Wait a minute!  Is that me?" asks Shemp.  Well, it was before mumblecore and all.  Larry removes the bucket from his head and yells "NO!  IT'S ME!!!!!"  Shemp takes the opportunity to boss Larry around, ordering him to get the garden hose.  Wait a minute... no more bucket?  This was the score I really should've been keeping track of.  Talk about a game changer!  I wrote it down someplace, but I don't have it in front of me, so it might as well not exist at all.  That's the short attention span of the Internet Age, folks.  Final score: Bucket: 5, Stooges: 0.  Moe and Shemp are tied, neck and neck so to speak, with two buckets on the head between them, making Larry the odds-off un-favourite, so to speak.  Kudos to the special FX technicians: how do they keep water in the bucket when it's upside down?  When people remove the buckets, there's a big splash!
Anyway, back to the action.  Larry busies himself with the garden hose, while Shemp gets the "fire extinguisher," a little hand-held number the size of a thermos with a little pump on it.  I guess the fire's not bad enough to call the Fire Department yet, so we should be thankful for that at least.  And now, it's time to waste some time as Moe does battle with the disagreeable fire extinguisher.  SPOILER ALERT: See, Moe can't get the fire extinguisher to squirt water on the fire.  It'll squirt water into his mouth, though!  After a couple iterations of that, Moe eventually decides to go with the flow... as in, the water flows into his mouth, then he spits it out on the fire... hmm!  I can't help but notice that the pump handle's always off camera whenever the water goes into Moe's mouth.  Movie magic!  Where would we be without it?  Off in the fields picking organic produce, no doubt!
Meanwhile, back to Larry, who's finally ready to debut the garden hose in the fight against the fire.  However, as you might notice, he's a little too eager, and not thinking safety, and you might notice where the problem is, even if you're not a professional fire fighter.  He's been running a lot in this one, and he's still running as he leaves the kitchen holding the end of the hose.  Can you guess what's going to happen?  That's right!  The hose is all tangled up!  Always make sure you properly unspool your garden hose, especially when fighting a fire.  Otherwise, this might happen to your stunt double... I mean, you.  Also, you might spray yourself in the face with water.  But if you're on camera, make sure to spray yourself for at least one to two seconds so the camera catches it.
Ah!  The hose unspools itself.  I guess the force of Larry's body falling to the floor untangled any knots in it.  Neat trick, but it's the exception rather than the rule.  Always practice hose unspooling safety, even if you have one of those weird hoses that uses penis tissue technology to magically grow and shrink.  Next scene: Larry's finally made it to the danger zone with the hose, and he's poised to be the hero.  But wait a second!  Shemp wants to be a hero, too!  Larry and Shemp fight over the hose.  Shemp gets sprayed in the face.  A lot.  Larry and Shemp keep fighting over control of the hose.  During this epic, semi-iconic, non-game-changing struggle, Moe gets sprayed in the face.  A lot more.  "HEYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" says Moe.  Hmm!  Is that maximum Moe rage?  Close enough.  Shemp ultimately gets the glory and puts out the fire with the hose, lucky guy.  All thanks to Moe's rage and Larry hooking up the hose and nearly killing himself getting it from the kitchen to the fire.  And what thanks does Shemp get?  Well, I hate to ruin it by describing it so verbosely, but needles to say, it ain't a Macy's Day parade, like for the WWII veterans.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  Clearly, Moe's not worried about what Bill's going to think about all the water damage to the floor.  Worse yet, Larry and not Moe gives Shemp the orders to go up onto the proverbial roof with the TV antenna!  It is indeed Shemp who's the titular goof going up onto the roof.  That's really the best title they could come up with?  If it were a Jerry Lewis pic, it'd probably have a better title like The Fella with the TV Antenna.


And so, with Shemp gone, and with him all the excitement, it's back to the previous chores.  Larry gets his hair pulled Ratatouille-style and gets back to work finding the TV knob, while Moe tries to put this television set back together again.  Shouldn't be too hard!  It's a lot like a radio, but with slightly different parts.  But it is a Stooge film, so someone's got to get slapped.  Moe ends up slapping himself while messing with a tangle of TV wires, but I prefer to think that the TV's literally slapping Moe around.  That's what Moe gets for showing the TV innards about as much respect putting them back in as Shemp did taking them out.  Concurrently, Larry's still going about finding the knob in the laziest manner possible, but credit where credit's due!  He does have to make an unprecedented second hole in the wall, so there's that.
Sorry, I skipped around a bit in my description.  After Moe fiddles with the TV innards, we're back to Larry, already at work on an unprecedented fifth hole in the wall.  He ends up also losing the head of the hammer inside the wall!  Lol.  I'm assuming that was an "ad lib," so to speak.  Larry ends up wailing on the wall with just the hammer's wooden handle.  Another ad lib, I'm assumpting.  Back to Moe, who puts the "champagne glass" back into the TV.  Back to Larry, who's finished making three giant holes in the wall at head's height.  Larry then reaches down into the hole at waist height to get the knob.  Lol.  Well, the three giant holes let enough light in to the inside of the wall... or air.  Or both.  So Moe, having finished his half-assed job of putting the TV back together, goes over to a triumphant Larry, who finally got the knob back.  Moe then notices the damage to the wall.  Larry looks like he was actually hurt by this particular reprimand.
At this point, Moe decides to switch places with Larry, so Larry goes over to clean up near the TV set, and Moe tries in vain to clean up the wall.  They don't have enough furniture to move in front of the holes, so it's time for Plan B.  And what is Plan B, you might ask?  Well, getting that electrical outlet back into sorta place, that's what!  Larry's got the right idea here: sing while you work if you can't whistle.  Do Curly proud, Larry!
And so... we see Moe screwing in the electrical outlet.  No.... He's not going to... yup, he is.  The driver of screws is not properly insulated, and in Moseph's haste and misuse of rotational energy, the screwdriver finds its way from the screw to be screwed in... right into the holes of the outlet, which are not to be screwed with.  And so, it's time for the proverbial electrical shock scene.  Thankfully, the kids don't emulate this one as much as the eye poking and Curly's noises.  It's slightly more funny than the power tools of that one, but not by much.
Larry's not much help, of course.  Well, Larry seems to know half of what to do.  Larry's obviously concerned, and he seems to know not to touch Moe, but he thinks that a regular fire is erupting, so he takes the nearest potted plant that hasn't fallen from the ceiling onto someone's head and throws the water onto the fire.  It neither helps nor hurts the fire, and Moe's still sizzling.  Time for Larry's Plan B: he gets a rope from the curtains, throws it around Moe's neck, and pulls Moe to safety... at least, until they hit their heads next to each other... I mean, together.  Sleight of head, let's call it.  Moe's in too much of a daze to retaliate.  Kinda sweet!
Time to switch over to the goof on the roof.  Shemp's busy installing the TV antenna... just, not in the way it's done professionally at all.  I'll bet the electrical engineers in the audience at the time got a chuckle out of that.  The Stooges' humor usually caters to a wider audience than that.  And so, like they say in everyone's favorite prison movie, The Shawshank Redemption, "Get busy living, get busy dying ... or get busy destroying your chimney."  Which one do you think Shemp picks?  And for those of you taking Philosophy 101, here's the next riddle: if you had to pick a Stooge to drop bricks on, which one would you pick?  I think James Lipton asked this one recently on Facebook.  Without missing a beat, it's gotta be Larry.  Something about that bald head, frizzy hair and wide eyes that provides the best contrast.  But Larry's no fool.  Sure, four bricks to the head is painful, but it's whacking the back of your head on that windowsill that's the most embarrassing of all.  I mean, how can you go out in public after that?  How can you show your face at the lodge meeting?  How?  It's a long road back, that's all I'm saying.
Now, Shemp's the insane one of the group, but even he knows you can't attach a TV antenna to a broken chimney!  "I better nail it to the roof," says Shemp, and off he goes to damage the roof... Geez!  What's wrong with me?  I haven't even badmouthed the bad painted background of trees and houses!  Anyway, Shemp "nails" the antenna to the Stooges' flat roof by treating the antenna itself as a giant nail.  A cloudburst of foam plaster rains down upon the heads of Lawrence and Moseph within.  "You imbecile!  Leave that alone and come down here!" yells Moe without missing a beat between sentences.  Moe gets what he wants... just in the worst possible way.


And so, with the TV finally destroyed beyond repair, we finally meet Bill and his plus-sized wife, if I may be descriptive about such things.  Alas, the sanctity of marriage gets its harshest test at this point: they'll have to change the vows to "In sickness and in health, til Stooges do you part."  For no sooner does the new bride get an eyeful of the wreck the Stooges made of their new home than she drops Bill from her burly arms and storms out.  "Ah, let her go, Bill!" says Larry.  "Then the four of us can live in peace and harmony!" offers Moe.  Alas, Bill's not too keen on the idea of this alternative lifestyle at the moment.  Who would be, frankly?  To quell his rage, Bill ends up shooting the Stooges in their asses with a single-barrel shotgun.  To make it more of a comedy injury, the Stooges each grab a pillow and duck behind a big couch, which is conveniently moved away from the wall!  Lol.  The pillows act as a proxy, losing their feathers in lieu of the Stooges losing flesh and blood.  Bill looks on in a mixture of anger and disbelief as the Stooges limp away on the floor, into the sunset, each with a patch of feathers on their ass.  The ending's a little weak, but apparently it was the best they could do.  A classic otherwise.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan