Ultimate Stooges Set and More Due from Sony

Stooge-Mania: Just when you thought Sony picked the bones off the last Moe, Larry, Curly et al. properties, pop goes the weasel, and along comes The Three Stooges: The Ultimate Collection, an impressive 20-disc compendium chockfull of goodies and surprising elements.  We start with all of the team’s 190 shorts, along with the features Rockin in the Rockies and Have Rocket Will Travel. On top of these, Sony has included a batch of solo shorts headlined by the remaining ”third stooges”—Joe Besser, Joe DeRita and Shemp Howard—plus three Columbia cartoons from the 1930s and 1940s in which the comedy troupe cameoed. Overall, it’s “Stooge Heaven,” and just in time for that “heavily anticipated” feature film from the Farrelly Brothers.

Is this great for Stooges all over? Why soitainly!

Sunny Sony Cinema: Sony continues their pledge to bring out some of the more interesting titles from the Columbia Pictures vaults evidence by this latest group of digital debuts:

Who’s Minding the Mint? (1967): A Who’s Who of ‘60s actors star in this wacky heist escapade in which a group of oddballs try to rob the U.S. Mint. Jim Hutton, Dorothy Provine, Joey Bishop, Milton Berle lead the cast.

Bless the Beasts and Children (1972): Stanley Kramer’s coming-of-age saga focuses on a group of six boys (Billy Mumy among them) who try to save a herd of buffalo before they are slaughtered.

The Last Posse (1953): A western with shadowy film noir elements stars Charles Bickford as an ornery cattle baron who enlists ineffectual sheriff Broderick Crawford and a posse to find the creeps who ripped him off in a deal. When the party returns with a seriously injured Crawford, the real story of the search and Bickford are revealed. Wanda Hendrix and John Derek also star.

Yesterday’s Enemy (1959): Controversial anti-war film follows British troops led by Stanley Baker coming under attack by Japanese forces in Burma during WWII. When the Brits discover a map with plans of a larger attack by the enemy forces, the morals of the officers are put to the test. Guy Rolfe and Leo McKern co-star.

The Virgin Soldiers (1969): British troops in 1950’s Malaya get first-hand experience with war and romance with the opposite sex in this film starring Hywell Bennett, Nigel Davenport and Lynn Redgrave.

Docs That Rock: We highly recommend the following true-life sagas:

The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby: Filmmaker Carl Colby, the son of the former CIA director, delves in his father’s shadowy life which includes his days in Vietnam and other controversial topics.

One Lucky Elephant: An aging circus promoter struggles over the decision about where to put his star elephant when she gets older in this beautifully realized film.

Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story: A Las Vegas competition for Monopoly players opens the door for an examination of the game’s origins, its fanatical players and its international popularity.

No Subtitles Necessary: The focus is on the longstanding relationship between two of Hollywood’s top cinematographers: Vilmos Szigmund and Laszlo Kovacs, both of whom captured Russia’s 1956 invasion of their native Hungary with their cameras. Both fled for America, and both toiled in low-budget films, made their mark on the New Hollywood of the 1970s, and became legendary cinematographers with credits ranging from McCabe and Mrs. Miller and Deliverance (Szigmund) to Shampoo and Paper Moon.