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Karie's Blog

November 2005

Karie (site owner) Written by Karie (site owner)
Nov. 26, 2005 | 8:16 PM
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The Three Stooges Festival

Today I went to the beautiful Alex Theatre in Glendale for the yearly Thanksgiving Weekend THREE STOOGES FESTIVAL.  Believe it or not, I am one of the few females in the world who happens to LOVE the Three Stooges.  This year’s theme was “Curly and Shemp Go Nutz.”  The theme last year was “Stooge Coach” and featured all Stooge shorts set in the Wild West.  Each year they pick a different angle or theme, which I think is a really great programming idea.

The first short film they showed was called BEER AND PRETZELS from 1933.  This was one of the very first Stooge films and at the time they were still partnered with Ted Healy and were billed as “Ted Healy and His Stooges.”  It was really interesting to see the Stooges this early in their careers.  The short basically served to showcase several singing and dancing vaudville acts with the Stooges and Healy providing the comedy in between each act.  Personally I found Healy to be annoying and not very interesting to watch.  Even in the beginning, it is clear that the Stooges have an amazing knack for comedy and great chemistry as a team.  They eclipse Healy at every turn.

They showed a particularly hilarious Stooge short entitled GRIPS GRUNTS AND GROANS from 1937.  In this short, the Stooges duck into a gym (to hide out from the police of course) and they befriend a giant wrestler named “Bustoff.”  He is about to wrestle in a very high stakes match with serious money being bet on him to win.  Shortly before the match, he gets drunk and the Stooges try everything to sober him up.  Curly accidentally knocks over a ton of steel barbels that hit him on the head and then a locker which crushes his body.  Sufficed to say, “Bustoff” is not able to step into the ring.  Larry and Moe insist that Curly take his place.  At the start of the match, Curly is being clobbered by his opponent, but Larry and Moe remember that the scent of “Wild Hyacinth” perfumes sends Curly into a violent frenzy.  They get the perfume and pour it all over Curly who proceeds to win the match and to beat everyone else in the entire stadium up as well.  I like Shemp, but Curly has always been my favorite and this film really shows him at his best! 

According to an article in the LA Times last week, seeing movies in a theatre on the big screen could very soon be a thing of the past.  With all due respect, I strongly disagree.  In spite of changes in the industry, I don’t think that experience will ever go away.  There is something magic about sitting in a theatre filled with people and experiencing a movie on the big screen. 

When I was growing up, the only way I could see The Stooges was at 6am every day on channel 11.  I never got to experience them on the big screen until I was an adult.  Having been to the Stooges Festival the past 2 years at the Alex, I can tell you first hand that it is a great experience!  The people who attend are so filled with excitement and sheer enthusiasm.  Everyone laughs, cheers and claps along with the Stooges theme music.  There is a feeling in the air…a joy…that could never be captured on a home entertainment system, computer or PSP.  It isn’t just the movie, it is the shared experience.  There was a 5 year old little boy sitting next to me last year during the film.  His eyes were wide with awe.  I told him that he was very fortunate to discover these films for the first time on the big screen.  He smiled and agreed with me.

Today there were a TON of kid and families at theatre.  I like to think that these kids will grow up to love and appreciate film as much as I do.  You never know, they might be the film historians, preservationists or filmmakers of the future.  I’m sure I sound old fashioned, but today seeing the Stooges on the big screen with a room full of laughing people….THAT to me is what going to the movies is all about.

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Karie (site owner) Written by Karie (site owner)
Nov. 26, 2005 | 12:48 AM
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The Egyptian theatre has shown PLAYTIME on many occasions in the past, but each time I was always either out of town or unavailable for some reason.  I’ve heard so many people tell me how brilliant this film is and that I MUST see it.

Tonight I finally got my chance.  I saw PLAYTIME on 70mm at the Egyptian.  You may be shocked to hear me say this…..but I didn’t like it.  If you want to throw rotten cabbage at me, I will understand.  The film just didn’t work for me.  I loved the production design, the site gags and the costumes BUT there was NO STORY to tie it all together.  The mise en scene alone is not enough to hold my interest for 2 hours!  There was no story, no plot, no character development…NO NOTHING.  This movie was all dressed up with no place to go.

Perhaps this is just a matter of personal taste, but I tend to dislike films that have no story.  I hated 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY.  That film had no momentum and I thought watching it was pure torture.  I also hated UMBERTO D for the same reason.  Some people have argued with me that these films DID have stories, they were just told in a very visual and abstract sort of way.  I see their point, but regardless I just didn’t care for these films.

I love great dialogue, great characters and a solid story.  Maybe that’s why I love Billy Wilder films so much. 

Feel free to argue with me if you like.

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