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DVD Reviews

HTF DVD REVIEW: The Three Stooges Collection Volume Two: 1937-1939



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#1 of 46 OFFLINE   Richard Gallagher

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Posted May 26 2008 - 08:04 AM

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Studio: Sony/Columbia
Years: 1937-1939
Rated: Not Rated
Length: 415 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Languages: English
Subtitles: None


The Program

Last October, after years of releasing Three Stooges shorts on DVD in disappointing collections of four or six shorts per set, Sony finally showed that it was listening to Stooges fans when it released The Three Stooges Collection Volume One: 1934-1936. The shorts in that set were fully restored and nearly pristine, shown in chronological order and in black & white only. The only concern which fans had was whether it would be a one-shot deal or if Sony was truly committed to releasing every Stooges short in this manner.

Well, only seven months have passed and now we have The Three Stooges Collection Volume Two: 1937-1939, and it is every bit as good as Volume One. The new collection includes the following shorts:

1937

Grips, Grunts and Groans
Dizzy Doctors
Three Dumb Clucks
Back to the Woods
Goofs and Saddles
Cash and Carry
Playing the Ponies
The Sitter Downers

1938

Termites of 1938
Wee Wee Monsieur
Tassels in the Air
Healthy, Wealthy and Dumb
Violent is the Word for Curly
Three Missing Links
Mutts to You
Flat Foot Stooges

1939

Three Little Sew and Sews
We Want Our Mummy
A Ducking They Did Go
Yes, We have No Bonanza
Saved By the Belle
Calling All Curs
Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise
Three Sappy People

As far as I can determine, three of these shorts had never been released previously on DVD by Sony/Columbia: “Cash and Carry,” “Tassels in the Air,” and “Mutts to You.”

Volume One sold extremely well, and as I write this Volume Two is already #27 at Amazon. This of course bodes well for those of us who hope to see the entire collection of Three Stooges shorts released in this manner.

The Video

As was the case with Volume One, these shorts have been wonderfully restored and remastered.

A comparison of the short “Grips, Grunts and Groans” with the transfer which was used for the 2000 DVD All the World’s a Stooge demonstrates that dramatic improvements have been made. The speckles which appear during the opening credits have been eliminated. In the opening scene of the old transfer, the freight train which pulls into the train station appears to be a black blob. The contrasts on the new transfer have been greatly improved, and now every detail of the train can be seen.

There are a few minor blips here and there, but overall the shorts in this collection look superb, and certainly are much better than any previous prints that we have seen.

The Audio

The mono soundtracks are of course limited, but given their age they are in fine shape. The dialogue is always intelligible and the sound is pretty much free of distortion.

The Supplements

There are no supplements on this DVD set. Disc Two contains a promo for three Ray Harryhausen films which have recently been released on DVD and a promo for the DVD of Meatballs.

Other Features

Each DVD offers the option of playing all shorts or selecting individual shorts.

The Packaging

The 24 shorts in this collection are spread over two discs. Each disc comes in a slimcase and both discs come in a slipcase. The artwork on the covers of the slimcases is similar to the artwork on the slipcase, except that the slimcases has different thumbnail photographs.

The Final Analysis

I cannot recommend this set more highly. If, as seems to be the case, Stooges fans support this release with the same enthusiasm they showed for Volume One, there is no reason to believe that Sony will abandon this project. As I suggested in my review of Volume One, buy one for yourself and another for a friend -- For Duty and Humanity!

Equipment used for this review:

Toshiba HD-XA2 DVD player
Sharp LC-42D62U LCD display
Yamaha HTR-5890 THX Surround Receiver
BIC Acoustech speakers
Interconnects: Monster Cable

Release Date: May 27, 2008
Rich Gallagher

#2 of 46 OFFLINE   Xenia Stathakopoulou

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Posted May 26 2008 - 09:10 AM

Your review is spot on with what I have watched so far, the first 7 shorts on disc 1, nice review Richard !!
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#3 of 46 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted May 26 2008 - 10:02 AM

Yes, that was an excellent review. Posted Image

I just went over to Amazon.com to order vol. 2, but it's not available until tomorrow (May 27). It's great that some can get these really early! Posted Image

#4 of 46 OFFLINE   Mike*HTF

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Posted May 27 2008 - 03:19 AM

Thanks for your review - just to confirm - are there English subtitles?

#5 of 46 OFFLINE   Matthew H

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Posted May 27 2008 - 04:28 AM

I checked Fry's yesterday to see if they may have put their sole copy out a day early but no dice. I know where I'm going after work.

Can't wait!

Quote:
Thanks for your review - just to confirm - are there English subtitles?
The last set didn't have them, although they were Closed Captioned enabled (I prefer them to subs myself).
Matt

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#6 of 46 OFFLINE   Richard Gallagher

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Posted May 27 2008 - 09:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike*HTF
Thanks for your review - just to confirm - are there English subtitles?

No subtitles, but I'll take another look and see if there is closed captioning.
Rich Gallagher

#7 of 46 OFFLINE   mike kaminski

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Posted May 27 2008 - 12:16 PM

I'm watching this right now, and I have to say the set really is wonderful. The quality of picture and audio is amazing! The recording sound quality is par for the course from material from the 1930's but it sounds as clear as any of the best restoration projects from this time, and the image is equally high quality. I'm disappointed that theres still no extras though--theres so much to comment on how they made these shorts, re-using sets from other films, old techniques for the gags, etc, that I'm sure you could find a few Stooges experts to record a few insightful commentary tracks, and I remember seeing gems like old commercials that the Stooges did back in the day. However, the sheer quantity of material here kind of makes up for it--theres hours and hours of shorts, gotta be at least six hours worth. I'm looking forward to the next sets, which are my favorite years, but this is really when the Stooges hit their stride.

#8 of 46 OFFLINE   rdf8585

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Posted May 28 2008 - 05:07 AM

"As far as I can determine, three of these shorts had never been released previously on DVD by Sony/Columbia: “Cash and Carry,” “Tassels in the Air,” and “Mutts to You.”"

Actually, that's not right. Those three haven't been out on DVD prior, but neither has

We Want Our Mummy
Three Sappy People
Oily to Bed...
Saved by the Belle
Little Sew and Sews

#9 of 46 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted May 28 2008 - 05:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew H
The last set didn't have them, although they were Closed Captioned enabled (I prefer them to subs myself).

Closed Captions are worthless via a progressive video connection. Why don't DVD producers seem to understand this??? Would it kill them to use DVD subtitles instead of CC?
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#10 of 46 OFFLINE   Mike*HTF

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Posted May 28 2008 - 07:47 AM

Subtitles are just better than cc all the way around - you'd think with the aging boomer population that this would be a no-brainer...

#11 of 46 OFFLINE   David Deeb

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Posted May 28 2008 - 10:23 AM

Nice review. Now if I could only find a copy.

I work in the DVD authoring business. The costs to create and place captions or subtitles is the same for either. So subtitles is really the way to go if you are only going to do one.

#12 of 46 OFFLINE   Steve...O

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Posted May 28 2008 - 11:11 AM

Great review, thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Silverman
Closed Captions are worthless via a progressive video connection. Why don't DVD producers seem to understand this??? Would it kill them to use DVD subtitles instead of CC?

Amen. Captions do me no good because of the progressive scan connection plus (in my opinion) subs look cleaner and less obtrusive. This is an issue that is really starting to aggrevate me.

Quote:

I work in the DVD authoring business. The costs to create and place captions or subtitles is the same for either. So subtitles is really the way to go if you are only going to do one.

Thanks, David. I had asked this question in the TV forum trying to find out if there was an economic reason why studios went with captions rather than subtitles. From your response, the answer is no.
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#13 of 46 OFFLINE   Joe Lugoff

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Posted May 28 2008 - 04:25 PM

Quote:
Volume One sold extremely well

Now, that I like to read; however, on another thread, someone said Vol. 1 only sold 1,200 copies. I felt all along that had to be an error.

#14 of 46 OFFLINE   jhro

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Posted May 28 2008 - 05:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lugoff
Now, that I like to read; however, on another thread, someone said Vol. 1 only sold 1,200 copies. I felt all along that had to be an error.

No, trust me that figure is totally wrong.. A dvd set doesnt stay in the top 100 for a long time and then get back into the top 30 (#33 as of this writing), months after it was released, on a site like Amazon.com by only selling 1,200 copies.. And we shouldnt forget that is only one only store so i think only on Amazon it would've sold heaps more than 1,200 copies..

#15 of 46 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted May 29 2008 - 01:49 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lugoff
Now, that I like to read; however, on another thread, someone said Vol. 1 only sold 1,200 copies. I felt all along that had to be an error.
Wow. Oddly, I thought I read (on that other thread) that the figure was 12,000! I must have been out to lunch that day....

I am really looking forward to vol. 2. I've been tracking my package, and it will arrive today. I can't emphasize enough how much our children are looking forward to these. That says something for another generation of lovers of this great team, I hope! Posted Image

#16 of 46 OFFLINE   Xenia Stathakopoulou

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Posted May 29 2008 - 02:01 AM

Im going to check the other thread in a few minutes, it has to be at least 12,000 .If it was 1,200 , there is no way we would have our volume 2 right now.
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#17 of 46 ONLINE   TravisR

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Posted May 29 2008 - 02:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Zannikos
Im going to check the other thread in a few minutes, it has to be at least 12,000 .If it was 1,200 , there is no way we would have our volume 2 right now.
Yeah, it was 12,000.

#18 of 46 OFFLINE   Xenia Stathakopoulou

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Posted May 29 2008 - 02:10 AM

Yup, I just checked the big stooge thread, post #133 confirms 12,000.My opinion is they sold about 80 % of those 12,000 copies from online sales, they are simply not stocking the regular stores enough.Some people are complaining they cant even find it.My only option is online , since I live overseas.But when I used to live in the US , it would annoy me, when I had to go to 10 diffrent stores to get a catalog title.
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#19 of 46 OFFLINE   Eric Peterson

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Posted May 29 2008 - 03:44 AM

This seems to be completely unavailable in stores in the greater Chicago area. I thought it was a fluke the first time, but apparently they just are not promoting these releases at all.

According to Best Buy it's not available at any of the 10 different stores that I frequent. It's not mentioned in the fliers for any store that I can think of including BB, CC, Target, etc... I'm sure that I could probably find it at Borders or Barnes and Noble, but then it will be priced $34.95 or something else absurd.

Many of these titles seem to be a self-fulfilling prophecy for the studios. They don't sell, so they don't advertise them or put them in stores, so they don't sell.

I really wanted to watch some of these this weekend, but it looks like I'm off to Amazon again!!

#20 of 46 OFFLINE   Ockeghem

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Posted May 29 2008 - 04:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Peterson
This seems to be completely unavailable in stores in the greater Chicago area. I thought it was a fluke the first time, but apparently they just are not promoting these releases at all.

According to Best Buy it's not available at any of the 10 different stores that I frequent. It's not mentioned in the fliers for any store that I can think of including BB, CC, Target, etc... I'm sure that I could probably find it at Borders or Barnes and Noble, but then it will be priced $34.95 or something else absurd.

Many of these titles seem to be a self-fulfilling prophecy for the studios. They don't sell, so they don't advertise them or put them in stores, so they don't sell.

I really wanted to watch some of these this weekend, but it looks like I'm off to Amazon again!!
Eric,

I paid the extra $8.00 to have it shipped via two-day shipping. It will arrive today (Thursday) in time for the weekend. I'm guessing you could have it arrive tomorrow if you wish, and if you're willing to pay for it.





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