One could make an attempt at witty prose by comparing Jackass to the works of Kubrick, Cassavettes, Scorsese, or what have you. But look, it’s a bunch of guys, some of whom have reputations in other circles, such as skateboarder Bam Margera and acclaimed director Spike Jonze, doing stunts that you may not have thought, dared or remotely considered doing, and keeping parts of the general public off guard. The gang made a huge splash on MTV, and scores of crazed teens wanted to try what these guys we…e doing, and maybe appear on the show. I think the quote from Millhouse on the Simpsons says it best: “All those warnings on TV make me want to do it more”. The kids would get burned, broken, what have you, and parents who couldn’t crack the whip hard enough at home decided to sue anyone under the sun, despite the profuse warnings on each show, as well as a timeslot shift early on in the series’ life. So Johnny Knoxville became this decade’s Beavis, which I guess makes Steve-O Butthead. So, after judging (perhaps correctly) there wasn’t anything really left to do on TV, they decided to step things up and do a movie, and a $5 million budget led to a gross of over $60 million. Do they have enough for a sequel with those kinds of numbers behind them? I shudder to think what a sequel could bring.
As far as reviewing the actual movie goes, come on. You didn’t read the first paragraph? Let me pull a quote from the back of the Paramount case: “all the jackasses you love from the mtv series are back performing stunts no one would let them pull on television.” If you’re still unsure, the insert, featuring the X-ray of Ryan Dunn’s lower half, should tell you what kind of ride you’re in for. And golf course air horn, hardware store crap and off road tattoo are among the many buckets of fun.
The audio is English 2.0 and 5.1, and you’re not misreading this, I said it’s 5.1. There are some effects that do get to the rear speakers, surprisingly enough. Overall, it doubles as a pretty good excuse to hear the Ramones, Slayer and K.C. and the Sunshine Band in 5.1.
Surprisingly, the disc is in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, but if you’re looking for a reference quality disc, you should get slapped for thinking of the possibility. You’ve seen the show; a lot of it is DV camcorders, and that kind of quality is going to translate over here. Besides, if I’m thinking that the black in Steve-O’s hair is a bit off while he’s snorting wasabi, I’m not putting things into their proper perspective. Kudos for this disclaimer on the back of the Paramount case, which I’ve never noticed before; “This film is presented in “widescreen” format. The black bars on the top and bottom of the screen are normal.” Nice to see that the effort is made to idiot proof widescreen discs as much as possible for those who complain about dem black bars.
What first surprised me when I first put the disc in were the trailers for The Core, Extreme Ops and Jackass Seasons 2 & 3 that appeared. At first, I thought the drinks I had at dinner were playing with my brain; maybe this was a Buena Vista disc that I’d picked up by accident. But yes, it is, in fact, a Paramount disc. And after seeing what is currently out, and what is coming out soon, I’m hoping that Paramount doesn’t decide to make this a recurring pattern. Looking past that minor trauma, the disc has got its respectable amount of features. There are 27 minutes of additional footage, some of which is pretty funny, and other material was extended from the brief 20 or 30 second cuts you may have seen in the film. There are also 7 minutes of outtakes that primarily consist of flubbed lines. An MTV making of featurette is included with it, and it’s basically the same EPK that was shown before, with some minor changes.
There are two commentaries on the disc, the first is with the director, cinematographer, and Johnny Knoxville. This was taped during the 2nd week of box office release, as everyone is still marveling at the box office take from week one. This sticks pretty close to the film, not really straying far, and Knoxville talks about some of the experiences with his stunts. There’s a lot of “look at this!” in the commentary, which was nice, considering they aren’t Scorsese and DeNiro, I wouldn’t expect too much information here. The second commentary is from the Jackass crew, consisting of just about everyone involved in the stunts. The main participants seem to be Bam Margera, Steve-O and Ryan Dunn. A lot of times several people are talking at once, and a lot of people are making fun of each other, and those who didn’t show for the commentary. This was taped the day after the premiere, just before the theatrical release. You’re not going to get a lot of information out of these tracks, but you can tell the amount of fun that everyone had in the filming of it, and may be worth a couple chuckles to the hard core fan. Rounding out the smaller extras are a series of cast and crew biographies, and since there aren’t any IMDB filmographies of note, everything is written, providing some good trivia. Since there are about 25 in all, it makes for some good reading. 9 promotional spots are included with it, and those who’ve seen MTV are familiar with them. There are photo and poster galleries totaling 35 images, along with music videos by Andrew W.K. and Roger Alan Wade. And finally, the 1 minute, 10 second theatrical trailer is included.
I saw this in the theater, which should let you known where my bias is on it. As I was watching it, two things that struck me while I was watching it: the ushers who periodically roamed the aisles looking for underage kids who snuck in, so they could get rid of them, and perhaps avoid any potential lawsuits from careless parents down the road. Also, near the end of it, one of the Exit signs had ignited, and was filling the room with smoke. We started pointing it out, and the staff didn’t seem to take to it, as if we were playing with their heads or something, considering the movie we were watching. To sum up, 7 employees and 2 or 3 county sheriffs decided to not do anything while the last 15 minutes of the movie played. In trying to get the review done, my power went out sometime while I was at work, and didn’t come on until after we went to bed. Despite these little karmic plots to stop me from seeing and reviewing this, the movie is pretty funny in parts, a bit gruesome in others, and should be taken as the silly fun that it is. The decent features included with it make it easy to recommend to fans of the show, and a rental to curious observers.
Special Features List
- Director Commentary
- Cast Commentary
- Making Of Featurette
- Deleted Scenes
- Still Galleries