Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Capsize Matters

Cheap pun aside, it's time to drink a toast to the final Stooge short of the Fake Shemp era, and of Real and Fake Shemp combined.  It's called Commotion on the Ocean and I think we can all agree that it's not the size of the remake that matters, but what's in its heart... something like that.
...yup, it's a Fake Shemp short, all right.  A part where Fake Shemp covers his face?  Check.  One of the living Stooges asks "Hey, what became of Shemp?"?  Check.  And then, right after that, I was reminded of the moment just before Tommy DeVito shot Samuel L. Jackson in GoodFellas for some reason.
And so, almost as timely as it was in 1949's Dunked in the Deep, the Stooges find themselves on the front lines of the Cold War, looking for microfilm in oversized seasonal edibles, to use as broad and bland a phrase as possible to cover pumpkins and watermelons.  But there seems to be new footage here... please don't make me go back and watch Dunked in the Deep!!!  Anyway, how fortuitous that they find someone eating fish under a fake fish hanging off the wall.  The "real" fish on the dinner plate must be some kind of rare delicacy, long before the modern times where the landscape is positively littered with bacon-wrapped tilapia, deep fried.  How the fake fish gets onto that plate... priceless.  For everything else there's MasterCard... they're still around?  I think Visa's winning the war, and they don't even advertise anymore!  How unfair is that?  Anyway, there will be belabored chewing, then coughing and spitting.  The Stooges are nothing if not creatures of habit.  Here, filling in for Shemp is Gene Roth, the secret star of this and Dunked in the Deep.  Every so often the Stooges find themselves working with above average actors able to get work outside of Stooge shorts.
On to part 2.  God bless you, Darius69789!  You know, this segue reminds me of something Martin Short once said about following Tony Bennett on some Canadian TV show: "You can't follow a singer with a singer!"  And so, we follow the scene of eating a fake fish with the Stooges eating an all-too-real bit of summer sausage... getting hungry, Billy?  Anyway, Shemp is at last overcome by sea sickness, and this part they preserve in all its gross glory!  Where's the Hays Code when you need it?  From there, we get the buckets of water from Back from the Front which the IMDb seems incapable of giving a reference to.  Wotta day!
Now, I haven't made reference to it in a while, but make no mistake kids... even Fake Shemp shorts have to be padded out to the length of two reels.  Before the Stooges find the microfilm hidden in the melons, it's time to get some sleep.  Shemp runs afoul of what can only be called Angry Hammock.  And then, the question becomes: which will burn first?  Shemp's ass or the hammock ropes?  The answer may surprise you... or maybe not.  Cross-fade to next scene.  Shemp sets the stage after being rudely awoken, saying that they should've left him asleep so he wouldn't know how hungry he is.  Down to the last of the foodstuffs, it's time to eat some watermelon.  But hunger quickly gives way to the higher patriotic duty once the microfilm is discovered.  The bad guy eventually gets defeated, Stooge style, new footage of Moe is added to tie it in to the amalgamated plot of the instant case, and Shemp gets hit in the face with mud instead of water.  All is right with the universe.


Whew!  Glad that's over.  All the Stooge shorts reviewed and....... oh, right.  Now I'm getting seasick!  Excuse me whilst I spill a couple drops of water upon Moe's head.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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