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Jackass The Movie (Widescreen)
Special Collector's Edition

review by Zach B.



MPAA Rating: R (For dangerous, sometimes extremely crude Stunts, Language and Nudity)

Running Time: 84 minutes

Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Chris Pointus, Steve-O, Dave England, Ryan Dunn, Jason "Wee Man" Acuña, Preston Lacy, Ehren McGhehey

Directed by: Jeff Tremaine


Studio: Paramount

Retail Price: $29.99

Features: Audio Commentary with Director Jeff Tremaine, Cinematographer Dimitry Elyashkevich and Johnny Knoxville, Audio Commentary with The Cast, MTV's "Making Of Jackass The Movie", Outtakes, Additional Footage, "If You're Gonna Be Dumb" by Roger Alan Wade Music Video, "We Want Fun" by Andrew W.K. Music Video, Promotional Spots, Cast and Crew Biographies, Galleries, Theatrical Trailer

Specs: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Surround, English Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Scene Selection (40 Scenes)

Released: March 25th, 2003



When you have a very successful television show, what's the next logical step for you to take with the show itself? Why, take it to the big screen of course! With a giant budget, you can raise the stakes and overemphasis and overproduce everything! Of course, some television shows that became films have bombed badly (on financial and critical levels), while others have become modest successes and proved that they can break the mold. Should any of that probably apply to the show "Jackass" when it makes this drastic leap? Probably not (even if it can be argued a few of those elements could apply), but you better believe that "Jackass" is definitely one of the better TV to film adaptions out there - most likely since it's a whole different kind of show.

For the four of you who don't follow the news or live under dirty rocks, "Jackass" was a series that ran (and sometimes still does) on cable's MTV. The idea of the show was that crazy guys, led by (now up and coming thespian) Johnny Knoxville, would basically go around doing ridiculous - and very dangerous - stunts. The result was a breakout hit that many didn't see coming, and of course, caused a lot of controversy. The show featured several warnings/disclaimers throughout each episode, but that wasn't enough as kids across America tried attempting their own "Jackass"-based stunts. There were many injuries, a few deaths and more parents and politicians complaining about how negative the media can be.

While I am not a die-hard fan of "Jackass" or anything like that, I have seen the show several times and it is definitely amusing as well as pretty inventive. The stunts are pretty crude and most people probably do think what these guys do is just plain idiotic and a terrible influence on the youth of the nation. For the rest of us though, it's hilarious stuff that shouldn't be taken seriously and excites the immature teenager in all of us, just craving ridiculous acts of stupidity that we can laugh at. I think that is a pretty ample way to describe the antics "Jackass" features.

I do believe Johnny Knoxville was pretty smart though. MTV wanted more episodes of the series itself, but he wanted to go out while the show was on top. That disappointed many, but maybe it is better that "Jackass" is remembered for what it did in its original run before quality declined. All hope was not lost however when it was announced that there was a "Jackass" movie in production. Something like this makes perfect sense, and why not give the fans a grand finale on the big screen?

Chances are if you hated the actual television show, then you'll despise the film even more. "Jackass The Movie" is more of the same thing, except it is like watching four episodes in a row (without commercials of course). Those craving a narrative will be disappointed too: basically, it feels almost as if you're watching a whole movie that consists of nothing but outtakes. Moving at a very brisk pace in its eighty-four minute running time, there are plenty of over-the-top stunts that thankfully don't overstay their welcome. And like any great big screen adaptation, everything is much bigger and grander here (and arguably more fun - the guys sure love to laugh at their own stunts and pranks) so fans should not be disappointed. Knoxville and some of his crew dress up like the elderly and wreak havoc, somebody crawls around on a floor filled with ready-to-pinch mouse traps, fireworks are set to annoy one particular hardworking man, the guys dress up as pandas and push each other around in Japan, golf carts are wrecked, shocks are given to private parts and you can't forget the now classic papercuts scene.

As the film goes on, the stunts tend to get crazier and more "oh-I-can't-look-but-I-must" (read: they get more painful). But with that said, I ended up laughing and enjoying myself more and more. It's amazing what these people put themselves through for a laugh and how crazy the stunts do get. I found a lot of the antics just hard to resist, and while it really isn't funny how much pain some of these guys inflict on themselves, it's almost impossible to not laugh along. You're either going to love and cherish every single moment of the movie and truly laugh at what it offers, or you're going to hate it and think American culture is going deeper into hell. If you're not familiar with "Jackass" but think that you might be the slightest bit curious, then I urge you to sit down and watch the film. Some of you might follow through until the end and like what you see while the rest of you will probably turn it off after ten minutes.

Some critics were kind enough to admit that "Jackass" is actually a fun movie (thank you Richard Roeper!), but most ended up just bashing the crap out of it when it was released in theaters. Still, "Jackass The Movie" is yet another critic-proof movie (thanks in part to the show's strong following) as it scored big business at the box office (even taking the number one spot during its opening weekend) and proved that many people do like being entertained at "moronic" gags. No, "Jackass The Movie" isn't cinematic art or a typical comedy. But that's not the point of the movie or what these guys set out to do. The idea is sit to down for nearly ninety minutes and just cringe as well as laugh at some really crazy, nutty stuff. And if you come out feeling refreshed, knowing you had a good time and with a big smile on your face, well then, don't you think that's the sign of a very entertaining movie?


This widescreen edition of "Jackass The Movie" (a full frame version is also out there in case you're so used to watching the television show) is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Overall, the image looks really damn good. But this big screen adaptation is filmed a bit differently. You see, the movie was filmed in a hodgepodge of ways. The opening and the film's "epilogue" (after the credits) was shot on traditional film. Those short scenes look quite nice with solid fleshtones, good detail and strong saturation of colors. The rest of the movie, basically, is shot on digital video. Though this looks much better than your average video-shot television show. Colors and fleshtones are very strong, bold and fitting once again. Detail is very nice, the image is quite sharp and the only complaints I have with this transfer as a whole is the shimmering and noise which pops up here and there, but is never distracting. It's not made to be such a masterful movie as far as visuals, but this transfer surely does it more justice than one would probably expect. Simply excellent.


The English Dolby Digital 5.1 track is good, but I also found it slightly disappointing. I wonder if this has more to do with the fact that most of the sound was captured in a variety of ways given the nature of some stunts and the equipment. Anyhow, the dialogue is clear and you'll hear everyone introducing the stunts, screaming, laughing and whatnot. The sound effects do have some punch to them, but I was hoping for a more surround-filled experience with those. There are some, but I think some of the noises could have been encompassed better. So while most of the movie is left to the front channels, it is up to the variety of songs to use the rear speakers. Yes, the music succeeds on that level and is well mixed through the speakers which helps add to the sound activity. Fidelity is strong on the track and so is dynamic range. Also included is an English Dolby Surround track, plus English subtitles and English closed captions.


Given the movie's big box office success and how much of a following "Jackass" has, it comes as no surprise to me that Paramount has packed the film with extras and slapped on the "Special Collector's Edition" tag. The DVD is pretty packed, and believe it or not, what's included here is rather substantial. The first Audio Commentary with Director Jeff Tremaine, Cinematographer Dimitry Elyashkevich and Johnny Knoxville is pretty enjoyable and offers a surprising bundle of tidbits and interesting information. Despite some laughs here and there, the trio pinpoint some hidden jokes and rather obscure details. They seem to remember quite a lot as far as who did what during stunts, where they filmed things and actually share a good amount of technical details (got to love where Tremaine felt like they were making a "real" movie during the muscle stimulator scene). Fans of the movie will surely want to listen to this, since a lot of the facts are actually really amusing and hold your interest. Surprisingly well done.

The Audio Commentary with The Cast is a bit different. No, you won't find a whole bunch of insights here, but it will probably have you laughing a good amount. There are some production tidbits now and then, but basically it is most of the cast sitting down to make fun of each other, laugh at their crazy antics and have a good time. It reminded me of a few friends looking at a high school yearbook of their past year, just remembering the good times and what the year was like and what they've done. Fans of the show and movie will definitely dig this, perhaps more than the other track, but both certainly warrant a listen if you like what "Jackass" is all about.

MTV's "Making Of Jackass The Movie" is a pretty solid, nearly twenty-five minute piece that was probably shown on the network to promote the movie (even if it's not really so promotional). Despite your usual clips from the film itself, there's some very amusing behind-the-scenes footage (especially at the production offices) and interviews with the cast as they discuss the advantages of taking their work to the big screen. The cast also talks about the usual craziness, while the crew talks about some more technical oriented issues. You get to see some camera tests (because they actually wanted the film to look decent on the big screen), and some cast reflections on doing the stunts. There's a lot of behind-the-scenes footage on the filming of the stunts and how some were designed as well as pulled off. This featurette is one of the absolute best I've seen in a long time and it's not just because it's very entertaining and unorthodox, but it documents the creation of the film really, really well. Truly a must watch.

There's a seven minute, eleven second worth of Outtakes (nicely presented in English Dolby Surround and anamorphic widescreen which looks just as good as the movie) which for the most part are really funny and are as enjoyable as the film itself. You also have two Music Videos: one for Roger Alan Wade's "If You're Gonna Be Dumb" (what a fitting song) and Andrew W.K.'s "We Want Fun." The first in full frame, the second non-anamorphic widescreen.

Though perhaps the prize pig of this DVD is the Additional Footage - a solid twenty-seven minutes worth. Presented in anamorphic widescreen (quality that's just as good as the film) and English Dolby Surround, it beats me why all these stunts were cut (did they really want a lean running time? did they not find them funny? was a shorter running time a ploy to get more showtimes at theaters during the day?). I thought some of these were funnier than the some of the stunts featured in the final film. There's a whole lot of variety here be it some ass spanking, a vagina made of sand or even an alternate ending. If you can't resist the film, then certainly you deserve to watch these once... or probably many, many more times.

The rest isn't too much. There are nine Promotional Spots, some pretty extensive Cast and Crew Biographies, two Galleries (ones for photos and one for posters - the photos actually have some nice captions) and the Theatrical Trailer in non-anamorphic widescreen and English Dolby Surround sound.


I could see myself watching "Jackass The Movie" several times over and still find some enjoyment within its crazy comedy, even if I know what is going to happen to Johnny Knoxville and his merry band of idiots. Like I said, you're either going to "get it" and love it, or just think that the stunts are the lowest way of getting a laugh. Nonetheless, fans of the movie won't be disappointed by this DVD release: you get a beautiful widescreen transfer, a pretty kickin' 5.1 Dolby Digital mix and plenty of entertaining extras. Fans of crude comedy, here's your chance to go nuts!