CTHE Press Release: The Three Stooges in COLOR?!

Ronald Epstein

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COLUMBIA TRISTAR HOME ENTERTAINEMENT
INTRODUCES INNOVATIVE *"COLOR + B&W PRODUCTION PROCESS"

************************************************** **************************************
"ChromaChoice" Feature Allows Viewers to Seamlessly Move
>From Original B&W to Color Version of Films on DVD
************************************************** ***************************************
Two Classic Three Stooges DVDS to Launch New
Technology on August 10, 2004

* * * Culver City, Ca (6/9/04) - Heralding a new era of accurately restored
and hi-
def remastered classic films, Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment (CTHE)
unveiled today an innovative "Color+B&W" production process designed to
broaden the appeal of classic black and white films and to introduce them
to a
new generation of viewers.

These DVDs will also feature CTHE's "ChromaChoice" feature which allows
viewers to toggle between the original black and white version of a film
and its
colorized version in a seamless manner using the DVD remote.

The new technologies will debut with the August 10 release of two Three
Stooges DVDs - The Three Stooges: Goofs on the Loose and The Three
Stooges: Stooged and Confoosed.

Beyond Colorization

Unlike previous attempts at colorization, the new "Color+B&W" production
process avoids the many pitfalls that have plagued other such projects in
the
past. *Each film is extensively researched in advance and exhaustive
efforts
are made to utilize as many original source elements as possible. The
original
black and white masters for these titles are faithfully restored, then
subsequently remastered in full 1080i hi-definition video for the highest
picture quality.

In addition, thanks to film elements and production items saved in the
Columbia
Pictures archives, many of the original production elements (i.e. props,
cloth
swatches, etc.) were available for reference. Finally, through
collaboration
with West Wing Studios whose talented artists have years of experience in
color designing, the highest level of historical accuracy is achieved in
the
images.

"This highly refined coloring process brings incredible new life to black
and
white classics and has the potential to win over a more contemporary
audience
for these films," noted Lexine Wong, CTHE's Executive Vice President of
Worldwide Marketing. *"Additionally, for the first time, DVD allows us to
include both versions on one DVD by giving viewers the choice to view these
films in either their original black and white format or their new color
state.
Our new ChromaChoice feature allows you to toggle instantaneously between
the B &*W and color versions while viewing. *These "Color and B&W" releases
insure the integrity of the film's original presentation. It all adds up to
a truly
unique DVD experience - one that provides classic film enthusiasts with
more
options and enjoyment than ever before."

Synopses

Goofs on the Loose

MEN IN BLACK (1934) Calling Doctor Howard, Doctor Fine, Doctor Howard.
Three nitwits take medical malpractice to a whole new level in this Oscar?
nominated short subject.
THE SITTER DOWNERS (1937) A sit-down strike not only wins three
imbeciles the girls of their dreams, but a prefabricated cottage complete
with
wifely ultimatum: no house, no honeymoon!
PUNCH DRUNKS (1934) Whenever Curly hears "Pop Goes the Weasel," he
turns into a fighting madman, so Moe promotes him into the next heavyweight
champion of the world.
PLAYING THE PONIES (1937) You can lead a horse to water and make him
drink if you feed him chili pepperinos, as the Stooges do to a broken-down
nag, turning him into the thirstiest - and fastest - racehorse on the
planet.

Stooged and Confoosed

VIOLENT IS THE WORD FOR CURLY (1938) Class is in session at the
exclusive Mildew College for women, where Professors Howard, Fine and
Howard teach the shapely student body their famous nonsense song, "Swinging
the Alphabet."
YOU NAZTY SPY! (1940) The King of Moronica is overthrown, and three
paperhangers are chosen to take his place: Dictator Hailstone, Field
Marshal
Gallstone and Minister of Propaganda Pebble.
NO CENSUS, NO FEELING (1940) Three gung-ho census-takers let nothing
stand in their way of an accurate count, whether it be crashing a fancy
bridge
party, spiking drinks with Alum or invoking a riot at a professional
football
game.
AN ACHE IN EVERY STAKE (1941) When three icemen agree to help Mrs.
Lawrence prepare a fancy birthday party, their particular specialty ? an
exploding, gas-filled cake-goes off with a bang.




TECHNICAL INFORMATION
DVD
Street Date: * * * * * *August 10, 2004
Order Date: * * * July 8, 2004
Rating: * * * * * * * * NOT RATED
Audio: * * * * * * * * *English Dolby Digital 5.1

Three Stooges: Goofs on the Loose
Catalog Number: * 05101
UPC: * * * * * * *0-43396-05101-0
Program Length: * 68 minutes
Suggested List Price: * $24.95

Three Stooges: Stooges and Confoosed
Catalog Number: * 05119
UPC: * * * * * * *0-43396-05119-5
Program Length: * 70 minutes
Suggest List Price: * * $24.95

Three Stooges (2 pack)
Catalog Number: * 05925
UPC: * * * * * * *0-43396-05925-2
Suggest List Price: * * $44.95
 

Eric Peterson

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I'm not sure what to think of this. I hate colorization more than I hate P&S and many other atrocities that are applied to films.

That said, as long as they are providing the original B&W I don't have a lot to complain about. I just wish that they would spend the money to remaster the shorts instead of inventing new ways to bastardize them.

I've known a lot of Stooge fans over the years, but I've never run into a single person that said - "I would have enjoyed them more if they were in color". I've run into people that refuse to watch B&W movies, but never anyone that refuses to watch shorts.
 

Steve Phillips

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Legend Films is also releasing the 4 public domain Stooges shorts in color versions on DVD this fall.

I hope the B/W versions on the discs are the real thing. If they just drain the color off the colorized master, that isn't the same thing. People used to say you could just turn the color off on your set if you didn't like colorization, but that isn't true. The result is a muddy gray mess that doesn't look the original B/W version.
 

Mark Cappelletty

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Even worse, a bunch of these shorts have already been on other Stooge compilations. I would buy these if they were all shorts that were exclusive to these sets. $20 for four shorts -- colorized or not -- is bad enough. $20 for four shorts, some of which I already have, is tantamount to rape.
 

MatthewA

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Columbia has hit a new low. Whoever decided this needs a couple of fingers to the eye.
 

Bob Furmanek

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"In addition, thanks to film elements and production items saved in the Columbia Pictures archives, many of the original production elements (i.e. props, cloth
swatches, etc.) were available for reference."

LOL - you've got to be kidding! With the poor way that Columbia handled their library over the years, they're fortunate to even have decent 35mm film elements.

It's only been in the last decade or so (thanks to Sony, Grover Crisp and Mike Schlesinger) that they've been pro-active with film preservation. They've been doing a magnificent job.

But to suggest that original props or cloth swatches from 70 year old 3 Stooges shorts survive (and were used as reference for colorization) is absolutely ludicrous!
 

MatthewA

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It's a publicity gimmick, probably.

I was going to post on how I think Columbia needs to update their Three Stooges video release practices. They've basically not been updated since the 80s when they were originally released on tape. $25 for a six-short disc is questionable. I've bought whole TV show seasons for less than that. They should consider using the restored and remastered B&W masters and releasing them in multi-disc box sets. The LD box set was a good idea, but it apparently did not do well.

But remember, these are the people who consider a P&S version of a 2.40:1 Panavision picture with marginal extras a "Special Edition."
 

Jeff Adkins

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I'm 100% opposed to this. These films were meant to be seen in B&W only.
 

JohnS

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Don't think I saw it mentioned, but the Legend films version of the Stooges Color will have Mike Nelson(MST3K) commentary on them
 

Bill McCamy

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Let me add my voice to this chorus.

The Stooges releases have previously gone from 6 shorts to 5 shorts. Now Columbia is reducing the count to 4 shorts, and indicating there could be eight shorts, if only the public [the marketing staff?] were content with black and white (there are eight shorts now, with 4 shorts each in two versions). Each short is about 20 minutes, so there can easily be seven or eight without compression issues.

And how many people buy just one Three Stooges disc? Most are bought by nostalgia collectors, I would bet. As mentioned earlier, three of the shorts have been previously released (Violent is the Word for Curly, Punch Drunks, and Men in Black).

What a rip-off.
 

Ed St. Clair

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Color Columbia GREEN!
 

Christian Preischl

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Does anybody know hey they'll do this? The only thing that comes to my mind is multiple angles. And that would mean that the overall bitrate suffers as a result because of the simultaneous streams.

Sounds like one hell of a crappy idea any way you put it.

Chris
 

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I will not be buying this.

 

Ted Kontos

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I have never seen a studio screw up such a potentially lucrative franchise like Columbia has with the Stooges films. From edited, sub-par prints (my VHS tapes look better than the DVDs; I still have them all. I got rid of the few DVDs I bought.) to low bang for the buck value, they've really gone out of their way to make these items "non-buys". I don't even think the films need that much restoration; as I indicated, the last VHS transfers are for the most part pristine, as were the AMC versions that were run a few years ago. The Stooge collection is just screaming for a series of box sets! After seeing things like this and their foolscreen "special editions", no wonder Columbia has joined Universal at the bottom of DVD quality barrel....

Ted K.
 

MatthewA

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Even Universal has their moments, though.
 

Mark Zimmer

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It has to be an angle change. That means essentially they're sticking each short on twice, when they could be putting 8 shorts on and actually giving decent value. The cheapskate spirit of Harry Cohn still lingers over Columbia, especially where the Stooges are concerned.
 

Rob Gardiner

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I am 100% in favor of this.

I guess no one read my comments in the last colorization thread. The first step to colorizing a B&W film is to restore the black & white print. The B&W copy of Reefer Madness that appears on the new DVD is the best this film has looked.

Let me rephrase that: a restored black & white print is a natural by-product of the colorization process.

As long as the restored B&W print is avaiable, it would be beneficial for every B&W film ever made to be colorized.
 

Bob Furmanek

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The Stooges shorts at Columbia have already been restored by Sony and Grover Crisp. This is just a marketing tool.

I've always wished they would release the shorts in box sets in chronological order. But, I'm not holding my breath for that one!

Bob
 

Peter Apruzzese

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Me too, Bob. I've bought a few random discs of the Stooges, but only from the discount or used bin. I want them all and several nice boxes should do it. They should also make a compilation of all the shorts that Dudley Dickerson appears in, I'd buy that in a minute!
 

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