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by Jay Bobbin

(NOTICE: Ratings for each film begin with a ‘star’ rating — one star meaning ‘poor,’ four meaning ‘excellent’ — followed by the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and then by a family-viewing guide, the key for which appears below.)

STARTING THIS WEEK: “THE THREE STOOGES”: Any actors who tackle playing the comedic trio of Moe, Larry and Curly automatically have the image of the originals to work against - and given that, Chris Diamantopoulos, Sean Hayes (“Will & Grace”) and Will Sasso (“MADtv”) fare pretty well in the filmmaking Farrelly brothers’ (“There’s Something About Mary”) homage. The fellows meet in an orphanage where they form the union that will take them through many misadventures and much “nyuknyuk”- ing. Jane Lynch, Jennifer Hudson, Sofia Vergara and Larry David also are in the cast. DVD extras: four “making-of” documentaries; deleted and extended scenes; “mash-up”; screen test. *** (PG: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and Movies on Demand)

“SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN”: Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt make an appealing couple in this comedy-drama, directed by Lasse Hallstrom (“The Cider House Rules”) and adapted by Oscar winner Simon Beaufoy (“Slumdog Millionaire”) from Paul Torday’s novel. The stars play two people who get romantically involved while caught up in an Arab sheik’s scheme to make fishing a possibility in the desert. Kristin Scott Thomas also appears. DVD extras: two “makingof” documentaries. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

“CASA DE MI PADRE”: Will Ferrell is such a droll master of satire, it’s sometimes hard to tell where he’s playing it straight or spoofing. This send-up of foreign Westerns makes that line extremely thin, with Ferrell as a Mexican who teams with his brother (Diego Luna) to save their father’s ranch from a drug lord (Gael Garcia Bernal). Underscoring how far Ferrell takes the parody, all the dialogue is in Spanish. Nick Offerman (“Parks and Recreation”) and the late Pedro Armendariz Jr. co-star. DVD extras: “making-of” documentary; audio commentary by Ferrell, director Matt Piedmont and writerproducer Andrew Steele; deleted scenes; Armendariz interview; music video; fake commercials. *** (R: AS, P, GV) (Also on Blu-ray)

“FRIENDS WITH KIDS”: Jennifer Westfeldt reprises her acting and writing skills from “Kissing Jessica Stein,” adding directing this time, in this enjoyable comedy. She and Adam Scott play two friends who decide to see if they can handle parenthood without an emotional commitment to each other. The plan works, until each falls for someone else. Also in the cast are “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm (Westfeldt’s real-life significant other), “Bridesmaids” stars Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, Edward Burns, and Megan Fox. DVD extras: “making-of” documentary; audio commentary by Westfeldt, Hamm and director of photography Will Rexer II; deleted scenes; outtakes. *** (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and Movies on Demand)

“LOCKOUT”: Sort of an “Escape From New York” in outer space, this action tale stars Guy Pearce (“Prometheus”) as a government agent offered absolution from a conviction if he agrees to a dangerous assignment ... rescuing the president’s daughter (Maggie Grace), who’s caught in the midst of a riot aboard an orbiting maximum security prison. Co-written and co-produced by genre staple Luc Besson, who worked with Grace on “Taken” as well, the saga also features Peter Stormare (“Fargo”). DVD extras: two “making- of” documentaries. ** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and Movies on Demand)

“AMERICAN MASTERS: JOHNNY CARSON — KING OF LATE NIGHT”: Filmmaker Peter Jones’ superb PBS documentary profiles the late-nighttelevision icon who rose from Midwestern roots to become one of the most powerful and popular entertainers on the home screen. Surprisingly, much of the late, famously private Carson’s story is told in his own words, thanks to a bounty of archival clips. “Tonight Show” comrades Doc Severinsen and (also in earlier clips) Ed McMahon also comment, as do talk-show descendants David Letterman, Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien ... plus a number of comics whose careers Carson helped launch, including Steve Martin, Drew Carey, Garry Shandling and Ellen DeGeneres. **** (Not rated: P) (Also on Blu-ray)

COMING SOON: “SILENT HOUSE” (July 24): A young woman (Elizabeth Olsen) tries to escape from her family’s vacation home in a thriller told in real time. (R: AS, V)

“DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX” (Aug. 7): Danny DeVito voices the title character, whose legendary protection of plant life informs a young man’s romantic pursuit. (PG: P)

“THE HUNGER GAMES” (Aug. 18): Teens face off in a lethal, futuristic survival contest in the blockbuster movie version of the best-seller; Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson star. (PG-13: AS, P, V)

“BOARDWALK EMPIRE: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON” (Aug. 28): The awardwinning HBO drama’s sophomore round begins with Nucky (Steve Buscemi) coming under suspicion of election tampering. (Not rated: AS, P, V)

“TITANIC 3-D” (Sept. 10): Director James Cameron’s reconfiguring of his 1997 Oscar winner stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. (PG-13: AS, N, P, V)

“GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS” (Sept. 11): Filmmaker James Cameron and actor Bill Paxton again submerge themselves in the history of the Titanic in a survey of the wreckage. (G)

FAMILY-VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.