Remember in Idiocracy when the movie parodied modern TV shows with Ow! My Balls? It was a satirical look at what we watch where a guy was continually bounced on his crotch, screaming, “Ow! My balls!” every time. Well, Jackass was the inspiration.
No one can praise the show/movies for its massive contribution to human kind, film as an art, or general decency, but damn it, there’s something viscerally funny about watching someone have a teeball batted into their crotch. You have to admire the crew’s unyielding stupidity with a hint of nonsensical bravery. It takes more balls to swat a bee’s nest than you’ll lose in the process of filming one of these things.
There is some level of ingenuity involved too, strapping a portable toilet up to a couple of bungee cords, sending Steve-O barreling into the sky… with, um… well, “stuff” inside the contraption with him. It’s important to have a physical record of humanity’s lowest moments right?
Jackass is littered with increasingly hilarious stunts, the stuff that makes you wonder why none of these guys have been committed for mental instability. The crew runs through an obstacle course of tasers and cattle prods, irritate a ram with trumpets, slingshot themselves into a swimming pool, give each other the greatest high five ever, and strap a model helicopter to… “there.”
They even grab hold of some super glue leading to a series of stunts that looks so outrageously painful, you can feel the skin peeling away. Jackass may be one of entertainment’s most divided pieces of work between those that get it, and those that simply see a bunch of people dumb enough to pull their teeth out with a Lamborghini. Regardless, rest assured that the opening text assures the audience that all of these stunts were done by professionals. Apparently, the latter term is given its loosest application to date. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Movie]
Jackass 3 was captured on a variety of cameras, from the Red One to the Phantom HD. There are definitely some SD shots sprinkled in too, the Red One thankfully not capable of capturing first-person urination… yet. Oddly, despite being released into theaters with the 3D moniker, there is no home video release of the 3D edition in HD, only on DVD.
The movie has a glossy exterior, normal for any digital effort. Detail is meager, replaced with that smooth-looking layer that makes everyone look like they’re glowing. Generally speaking in regards to the good stuff, it’s pleasing to the eye since the material doesn’t exactly need (and not many people want) extravagant detail.
Colors are brightly saturated and pure. Stunts that offer up cheaply constructed costumes are the best of the lot, brilliantly rich yet still within the realm of being natural. The opening credits hold candy-coated clothing and props, definitely a cut above what’s to come. A plethora of bouncing balls and confetti tear through the camera lens too, the AVC encode keeping up despite the chaos. Contrast is vivid as most of the stunts are done in brightly lit areas.
There are numerous times where the camera is obviously not HD though, such as those inside the bar during the brawl or any secret camera stunt. Noise can dominate here and aliasing is basically a disaster. The whole thing is slightly soft, but these brief scenes take it to the extreme. The opening moments of the movie come from Beavis and Butthead, the animation easily the stand-out moment of the movie. Lines are crisp and color is bold. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Video]
This isn’t the height of Hollywood sound design, and it’s doubtful anyone with home theater experience will fall for what this DTS-HD mix is doing. While everything seems in place during the opening narration (3D glasses zip through the soundfield), the rest of it is unbelievably fake. Generic sound effects are blatantly added to create some type of surround use, from bees buzzing to water (and other liquid) splashing, or tasers crackling. If all you’re looking for is something to put audio behind you, then this gets the job done. If you’re more accustomed to natural audio, this is the last thing you should be listening to.
Dialogue was obviously recorded under a variety of conditions, sometimes given an indoor echo, other times recorded when no mic was in position. Some of the music is actually great, the Rocky theme kicking in a couple of times, presented with outstanding fidelity.
Low-end support is only required twice, once for music at 36:35 where it’s more than effective, and then during the finale as some explosions begin rattling off with some spectacular clarity. [xrr rating=4/5 label=Audio]
A nearly 30-minute making-of is well worth a watch, amusing in its own right. Eleven deleted scenes are also priceless, followed by 27-minutes of impossibly stupid outtakes. Yes, things do go wrong on a set like this. A trailer remains. [xrr rating=3/5 label=Extras]