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Messages - Tony Bensley

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Weekly Episode Discussions / Re: Merry Mavericks (1951)
« on: December 11, 2017, 11:14:33 PM »
Regarding this short, I'm clearly in the minority, in that I rather enjoyed it. Yes, MERRY MAVERICKS (1951) does borrow quite a bit from PHONY EXPRESS, and most of the then usual supporting players are absent this time around.  Nevertheless, this short just worked for me, somehow, and I give it, 7 out of 10.

I also find it interesting that this western themed Three Stooges short was released by Columbia a mere two days prior to their feature length Monogram Pictures western, GOLD RAIDERS (1951), another pre Curly Joe feature that apparently many Stooge fans consider a bit blow par, but that I rather enjoyed!  Perhaps I was just in the right levitous mood earlier this evening? I'll also give that a 7 here, as for some unknown reason, I'm unable to find it in the Weekly Episode film listings, although I swear up and down I have seen it there, before!  The other pre 1959 Three Stooges featured Features have seemingly disappeared as well, or am I imagining things?

CHEERS!  [3stooges]

General Discussion / Re: Most underrated Curly short(s)?
« on: December 03, 2017, 09:31:56 PM »
Most of the last dozen or so Curly shorts probably fall into this 'underrated' category.

For me, THREE LOAN WOLVES, G.I. WANNA HOME, and THREE LITTLE PIRATES (All from 1946) are three very enjoyable late Curly era Three Stooges shorts!

CHEERS!  [3stooges]

General Discussion / Re: Favorite Three Stooges Theme
« on: November 27, 2017, 05:00:06 PM »
I have never liked the New Three Stooges Theme, but that is just my tastebuds. However, there is a significant difference between Three Blind Mice and Listen to the Mockingbird. First of all, Three Blind Mice segues into a rowdy swing tune at the end, whereas Listen to the Mockingbird drifts into the "bum-bum-bah bum, be-dum" ending. However However ... anytime I hear either tune, my ears and eyes begin scanning to see the boys somewhere on a nearby TV. Either tune is okay, but I can at least know that the Three Blind Mice theme was Curly only, at least up until when they made it the trumpet heralded "Hello, Hello, Hello" tune for the Besser episodes.
I think you meant that Listen To The Mockingbird was the Curly only theme!  Variations of Three Blind Mice were used in all of The Three Stooges lineups for the Columbia shorts.

CHEERS!  [3stooges]

Weekly Episode Discussions / Re: Dizzy Pilots (1943)
« on: November 20, 2017, 06:07:13 PM »

Another WWII short......kind of, sort of.  If you notice the letter the boys receive about their military deferment for one month to give them time to work on their plane, it is from The Republic of Canabeer, not the U.S. Government.  This I believe goes back to PresidentWardRobey's theory about the dream sequence in I CAN HARDLY WAIT and for what we know as fact concerning some naval scene in Abbott and Costello's IN THE NAVY.  If you're going to make the armed forces, war effort, or government look comical, make sure it's some way divorced from reality or in this case, blatantly stating it's not the United States.  Governments in general tend not to have a sense of humor about themselves, but enough of my political observations.

Anyway, for the most part this is a typical cartoonish Jules White short, and in this case I view it as a good thing.  The image of Moe in the gas inflated burning rubber floating in the air to me is one of the all time great Stooge visuals.  I don't have too much else to say about the actual comedy other than I find it to be well paced and satisfying. I'll give props to Larry's going steady line, a rare homosexual reference in a 1940's film.  Innocent by today's standards, of course.

I will show some disappointment with the use of stock footage from BOOBS IN ARMS.  The ending itself felt slapped together.  If you click on the link above to the page on this short, you will see a photo of Judy Malcolm and the never to be seen in a Stooge short Sethma Williams pictured with the boys and listed as being in a deleted scene.  I can't help but wonder if their scene was shot and deleted in place of the stock footage?  Who knows, I can come up with a million conspiracy theories, but I have no facts on the issue to back anything up.

I noticed that in the recycled footage from BOOBS IN ARMS (1940), Curly's "I won't do it, he don't pay my salary, it's a guy with a beard!" (A then very obvious Uncle Sam reference!) line comes perilously close to shattering the "Divorce from Reality" where any U.S. references are concerned!  Perhaps the only reason that it slipped by was due to the scene having already been previously approved by the Production Code?

CHEERS!  [3stooges]

Weekly Episode Discussions / Re: Phony Express (1943)
« on: November 20, 2017, 04:40:00 PM »
This was an OK stooge short but it was never really one of my favorites, I've always felt this Stooge short marks the decline of the Del Lord directed shorts, Moe seems to be a bit more calm than usual in this short and this was the last stooge short written by Monte Collins and co-produced by Del Lord, I wish he would've gotten to write more Stooge shorts after this, there is nothing really wrong with this short but there weren't really any standout scenes.

I find it strange that this short was filmed before "Dizzy Pilots" but released after because Curly seemed more energetic and animated in "Dizzy Pilots" as he did here, maybe it was because of the material they gave Curly to work with in that short.

Overall I give this short a 6/10
It might be worth reiterating that the last few minutes of DIZZY PILOTS (1943) was lifted from BOOBS IN ARMS (1940).  Perhaps a lesser amount of original footage shot may have also factored into Curly's apparent higher energy level for the former.

Online "Stooge Goofs" for PHONY EXPRESS (1943) also notes that a bandage is visible on the back of Curly's neck during the film.  Perhaps whatever neck injury he had sustained led to his somewhat lower energy level for this particular short?

CHEERS!  [3stooges]

General Discussion / Re: 2017 MLB Thread
« on: November 09, 2017, 01:12:59 AM »
Absolutely sucks to hear about Roy Halladay. These ball players and small plane crashes seem to happen too often.  As a Blue Jay, he was always a competitor Red Sox fans respected...and it was strange, he'd either kill Boston or Boston would light him up, rarely in between, it seems, and his career numbers bare this out.  As someone who lives in Philly territory, I can tell you Phillie fans love him.  On that note, extra baseball condolences to both Tony Bensley and Lefty.  Fuck!
I remember it was always a mixed bag whenever Roy pitched against Boston.  The Blue Jays could never seem to rise past the Red Sox or Yankees during those '00s seasons!

Yesterday's news of Roy Halladay's death at the all too young age of 40 was very shocking, to say the least!  That he was apparently a generous person who always gave so much of himself, makes it all the more painful!  My condolences to Roy's family, friends, and those whose lives he touched!  May he Rest in Peace.

General Discussion / Re: 2017 MLB Thread
« on: November 02, 2017, 06:45:54 PM »
In 1979, the Pittsburgh Bumblebees won Game 7 of the World Series in Baltimore.  It was the last time the visiting team would win Game 7 until S.F. in 2014; and now it's 3 of the last 4 World Series that this has occurred.  (It's a good thing it did not take place in 2015.)  It is also the first time that the American League won Game 7 in the National League park since the A's beat the Reds in 1972, the last DH-less season.

For some reason, baseball doesn't have the home advantage that other sports do (or in the case of the NHL, did before the teams' cookie-cutter home "centers" were built). 

I'm okay with the Astros winning, although it would have been interesting to hear Chase Utley make the comment again that he did at the Phillies' parade in 2008.   ;)
Of course, this World Series will go down as one in which the baseballs were alleged to be juiced (As opposed to the players! ;)), and/or at least slicker than usual, by a number of the pitchers.  Starting Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish said that it affected his slider, and I believe Justin Verlander commented about the slick balls, as well.  Be that as it may, a record 25 home runs were hit in the 2017 World Series, eclipsing the previous record of 21 hit in the 2002 World Series.

Were those "Juiced" balls leaving "Minute Maid" park?  ;D

CHEERS!  [pie]

General Discussion / Re: 2017 MLB Thread
« on: November 02, 2017, 12:17:24 PM »
Well, congratulations to the Houston Astros on getting their 1st ever World Series Championship, and also in being the 1st Texas based team to accomplish this! 

As it turned out, starting pitching was about as much of a non factor as conceivably possible, with Astros/Dodgers starters collectively winning only 2 of the 7 games played, which is apparently a new record for a 7 game series!  Additionally, Houston was able to pull it out, despite their unreliable closer Giles getting the hook after Game 4!  Of course, the Dodgers Darvish stinking up the mound in BOTH of his very short World Series starts (3 1/3 innings total!), somewhat neutralized that!

Houston's George Springer certainly more than earned his Willie Mays MVP Award honors, with 5 "Springer Dingers" (Home Runs), and generally great batting average in the Series!

CHEERS!  [pie]

General Discussion / Re: 2017 MLB Thread
« on: October 30, 2017, 08:47:01 AM »
The crazy thing is Houston have at the very least made it to game 7 without having one bullpen arm capable of closing out a game.  Very unusual, but yes, this has been an amazing series.
Yeah, that's normally a fatal blow, especially when your closer stinks up the mound, but in this case, BOTH bullpens have been coughing up massive hairballs, to put it mildly!  Perhaps Verlander can make the pen a non factor for the Astros in the next game?

CHEERS!  [pie]

General Discussion / Re: 2017 MLB Thread
« on: October 30, 2017, 12:45:14 AM »
WOW!!!! After more than 5 hours and over 400 pitches thrown, the Houston Astros beat the LA Dodgers 13-12 in Game 5!

WHAT A GAME!!!  WHAT A SERIES!!!! And I don't even have cable!!!! ;D

CHEERS!  [pie]

General Discussion / Re: 2017 MLB Thread
« on: October 30, 2017, 12:20:44 AM »
Game 5 has already out crazied Game 2, and it ain't even over!

It was 11-8 in favor of Houston after 7 innings, last time I checked, but with pitching largely absent on both teams, it's far from over!  At this point, I'm hoping that the Astros can pull this one out.

The 2017 World Series hasn't been short on excitement, to be sure!

CHEERS! [pie]
After 9 innings and almost 5 hours, Game 5 STILL isn't over, with the Astros and Dodgers knotted at 12 all! :o

General Discussion / Re: 2017 MLB Thread
« on: October 29, 2017, 11:16:09 PM »
There were five home runs in extra innings last night, which I believe is a major league record not just for post season, but any game!  Crazy stuff.

A lot of teams are announcing their managers are gone before the World Series, but most bizarre is the Red Sox.  It's basically admitted Alex Cora is the next he's the bench coach for a team in the World Series!
Game 5 has already out crazied Game 2, and it ain't even over!

It was 11-8 in favor of Houston after 7 innings, last time I checked, but with pitching largely absent on both teams, it's far from over!  At this point, I'm hoping that the Astros can pull this one out.

The 2017 World Series hasn't been short on excitement, to be sure!

CHEERS! [pie]

General Discussion / Re: 2017 MLB Thread
« on: October 26, 2017, 10:45:30 AM »
Well, the Dodgers drew first blood, which wasn't unexpected.  I believe an important key for the Astros is whether Verlander can continue his postseason pitching excellence in tonight's game. Of course, Houston also needs to find a way to score more than a single run in at least one of their road games.

CHEERS! [pie]
OK, Verlander wasn't exactly excellent last night, but hey, Houston and LA did end up scoring lots of runs in last night's "Home Run Derby," in which the Astros eventually prevailed over the Dodgers by a score of 7-6 in 11 innings, evening up the series at 1-1!

In other news, it appears that Joe Girardi and the Yankees have parted ways.  It seems to me this type of news used to be held back until the conclusion of the World Series. 

CHEERS!  [pie]

General Discussion / Re: 2017 MLB Thread
« on: October 25, 2017, 02:05:11 PM »
Well, the Dodgers drew first blood, which wasn't unexpected.  I believe an important key for the Astros is whether Verlander can continue his postseason pitching excellence in tonight's game. Of course, Houston also needs to find a way to score more than a single run in at least one of their road games.

CHEERS! [pie]

General Discussion / Re: 2017 MLB Thread
« on: October 24, 2017, 10:14:39 AM »
I don't know who to pull for in the series.
I'm pulling for Houston, since they've never won before, and it would be nice to see Verlander on a Championship team while still in his prime.

That said, I don't think the Dodgers winning would upset me much, either.  I'm happy that the Yankees got taken down, so I'm good!  ;D

CHEERS! [pie]

General Discussion / Re: 2017 MLB Thread
« on: October 22, 2017, 11:08:56 AM »
The bottom line was the Yankees near complete inability to score runs in Houston.  Perhaps, they just couldn't handle the Texas heat? ;)

I agree that the Astros winning the World Series would be a really nice thing for a city that has recently suffered such horrific devastation.

CHEERS!  [pie]

General Discussion / Re: 2017 MLB Thread
« on: October 21, 2017, 10:29:29 PM »
WOW!  Houston Astros pitching held the NY Yankees to 1 run in the last 2 games, while New York's bullpen caved! ;D

So the Astros are the first MLB Team to win Pennants in both the National and American Leagues!  It would have been real interesting if the Chicago Cubs could have repeated, as that would have also meant Houston having faced both NL and AL Chicago teams in the World Series!  Still, LA was definitely overdue for another World Series appearance.

It's Game 1 at Dodger Stadium Tuesday night!

CHEERS!  [pie]

General Discussion / Re: 2017 MLB Thread
« on: October 21, 2017, 08:59:50 PM »
In the Bottom of the 5th in Game 7, Houston is leading New York 2-0, with Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia out of the game!

There's still a lot of game left, but so far, the Astros have given me reason to hope for a Yankee elimination.  Should New York lose, I suspect a lot of the blame will be focused on their manager's shortcomings, along with Aaron Judge's penchant for striking out a ton, although he hasn't done as much of it in the ALCS.

CHEERS!  [pie]

General Discussion / Re: 2017 MLB Thread
« on: October 20, 2017, 09:26:37 PM »
Regarding the NLCS, I don't have much to say other than, unlike last year, the Cubs simply had nothing left against the Dodgers after just barely squeaking by the Nationals.  It's too bad that Vin Scully no longer calls the Dodger games.

I'm hoping that Houston can hang on tonight against New York, although I suspect the Yankees will win Game 7, as the remaining available Astros starters have had zero success against them in this series.  In my opinion, for Houston to have ANY chance in a Game 7 situation against New York, they'll have to score early and score often, something that has eluded them throughout this ALCS series!

Of course, Houston has to wrap up tonight's game first!  They were leading the Yankees 3-0 at the end of 6, the last time I checked.  It's too bad that Justin Verlander can't also pitch Game 7!

CHEERS!  [pie]

For me, the UNACCUSTOMED AS WE ARE (1929) silent version is a mixed bag.  While the gag involving Mrs. Hardy (Mae Busch) and the phonograph is all but ruined (An untimely inserted dialog card doesn't help, either!), in my opinion, some of the other gags work just as well, if not better in the silent.

For several decades, up until the late 1970s, no playable copies of the soundtrack were known to exist, which meant that UNACCUSTOMED AS WE ARE only appeared on early television as a silent.  Just ponder that fact for a moment!

I'm glad that both versions exist in some form!  It's too bad that the existing silent version of their followup, BERTH MARKS (1929) has never enjoyed home video release, as I've read that for some viewers, it plays better than the sound version, especially during the lengthy and tedious upper berth sequence (I'd suspect the inserted cards might actually break up some of the monotony, in that instance? ;)).

CHEERS!  [pie]

Where can you find the silent version of the film?
The silent version is on one of the out of print LOST FILMS OF LAUREL AND HARDY DVD volumes, although I don't recall which volume, at the moment.

It's also currently available for viewing on YouTube:

CHEERS!  [pie]

General Discussion / Re: 2017 MLB Thread
« on: October 13, 2017, 12:01:08 AM »
Well, the Cubs hung on to win 9-8, with a little help from a questionable overturning of an initially safe back at first call that went against Lodston of the Nats.  Both teams burned through most of their respective pitching staffs in a 9 inning game that lasted over 4.5 hours!

Chicago and LA are set to commence their NLCS rematch Saturday 8PM at Dodger Stadium, while NY and Houston are scheduled to play Game 1 of the ALCS tonight at 8PM, at Minute Maid Park.

CHEERS!  [pie]

General Discussion / Re: 2017 MLB Thread
« on: October 12, 2017, 09:11:45 PM »
The Cubs are currently leading the Nats 6-4 in the top of the 5th, but the game has been a see-saw battle, thus far!  Kyle Hendricks is obviously not at his best, having surrendered 4 runs.

Will try and post again after the game.

CHEERS!  [pie]

General Discussion / Re: 2017 MLB Thread
« on: October 12, 2017, 09:59:15 AM »
John Farrell getting fired, after the Sawx make the playoffs again? Maybe there's a story behind it...

Anyways, Astros/Yankees shouldn't be so bad, I guess...   :-\
Given that not that much was expected of the Red Sox this year, Farrell's firing strikes me as a bit of an overreaction on the part of management.

On the other hand, with the Indians latest choke job, who knows what the future for Terry Francona might hold?  His job might be safe for now, but who knows?

Now, can the Cubs win in Washington today?  I thought they would have made quick work of the Nats, but no!

CHEERS!  [pie]

General Discussion / Re: 2017 MLB Thread
« on: October 11, 2017, 11:01:32 PM »
Well, tonight's heartbreaking loss for Cleveland makes it 6 consecutive closing out games they failed to win, dating back to last year's World Series!

And the same pitcher on the mound that got the save for the first of these, also closed them out in the latest Cleveland clinching loss - Aroldis Chapman!

What gets me are the voices in Social Media saying the Houston Astros winning the ALCS just got a lot easier with the undeserving Yankees getting in instead of the heavily favored Indians!  In my opinion, they just DON'T get it....yet!

CHEERS!  [pie]

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