Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Featured DVD: Three Stooges: "Hapless Half-Wits"

A rarity from YouTube: Moe and Curly Joe live in 1967. (This isn't on the reviewed disc.)

Three Stooges: "Hapless Half-Wits: Columbia continues their abysmal treatment of the Three Stooges on DVD with this new release, out Feb. 20. Four more Stooges shorts -- two with Curly: "Beer Barrel Polecats" and "I'll Never Heil Again" and two with Shemp "Dopey Dicks" and "Brideless Groom" -- are featured in black-and-white and newly colorized versions, all billed as remastered in high definition. None of the shorts are the Stooges' best stuff and one, "Brideless Groom," has been reissued endlessly because it's in the public domain.
If you're buying this for the color versions, you'll find they look very clean and sharp. For some reason, though, the black and white versions look a bit fuzzy.
The bigger issue, though, is why Columbia persists in this piecemeal release treatment. The obvious answer is to squeeze money from the fans. The best and most respectful solution would be to release the entire Stooges' catalog in chronological box sets (black-and-white only, omitting the colorized versions), beginning with the early Curly shorts through the last ones with Joe DeRita.
Maybe someday those knuckleheads at Columbia will get it right.

The upcoming release date update

Highlights of upcoming release schedules:
Feb. 20: "The Getaway: The Deluxe Editon (Warner Home Video)
Feb. 27: "Magnum, P.I.: The Complete Sixth Season" (Universal)
March 6: "Billy Budd" (Warner Home Video)
March 6: "Three Musketeers" (1948) (Warner Home Video)
March 6: "Northern Exposure: Season Six" (Universal)
March 13: "The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning" (Warner Home Video)
March 13: "Without a Trace: The Complete Second Season" (Warner Home Video)
March 20: "Navitity Story" (New Line)
March 20: "McHale's Navy: Season One" (Shout Factory)
March 27: "The Brady Bunch: The Complete Series" (new 21-disc set with shag carpet exterior featuring all episodes, plus "A Very Brady Christmas," "The Brady 500," episodes of "The Brady Kids" animated series, all new to DVD.) (Paramount)
March 27: "Charge of the Light Brigade" (Warner Home Video)
March 27: "The Dawn Patrol" (Warner Home Video)
March 27: "The Adventures of Don Juan" (Warner Home Video)
March 27: "Full House: The Complete Sixth Season" (Warner Home Video)
April 5: Three baseball movies, "Bang the Drum Slowly," "Fear Strikes Out," "Talent for the Game" (all individual releases, Paramount)
April 10: "The Streets of San Francisco: The Complete First Season, Volume 1" (Paramount)
April 10: "The Untouchables: Season One, Volume 1" (Paramount)
April 12: "Gunfight at the OK Corral"
April 12: "Love Story" (Paramount)
April 12: "Nevada Smith" (Paramount)
April 17: "Larry King Live: Great Interviews Collection" (Warner Bros.)
April 17: "Happy Days: The Second Season" (Paramount)
April 17: "Mork and Mindy: The Second Season" (Paramount)
April 17: "Laverne and Shirley: The Second Season" (Paramount)
April 24: "Parenthood" (Universal)
April 24: Several two-movie packages, including "48 HRS/Another 48 HRS," "First Wives' Club"/"Sliding Doors", "School of Rock"/"Orange County" and "Wayne's World"/"Wayne's World 2" (Paramount)
April 24: "The Drew Carey Show: The Complete First Season" (Warner Bros.)
April 24: "The Odd Couple: Season One" (Paramount)
May 1: "Beverly Hills, 90210: The Second Season" (Spelling Entertainment)
May 1: "Melrose Place: The Second Season" (Spelling Entertainment)
May 1: "Finding Oprah's Roots" (PBS Home Video)
May 8: "The 4400: The Second Season" (Viacin Productions)
May 8: "To Catch a Thief" (with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly) (Paramount)
May 29: "F Troop: The Complete Second Season" (Warner Bros.)
May 29: "The Closer: The Complete Second Season"
Aug. 29: "Old Grey Whistle Test 3" (featuring Roger Daltrey)