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In Jackass 1 and 2, the guys were balls-to-the-wall, willing to get wild on set and do anything to get a good shot or a good premise for the film. They could complete any foolish desire their imaginations could concoct, and they did, sometimes to their own detriment. In Jackass 3, it’s clear the guys are older, and while their senses of humor may not have matured, their bodies have, and the boys have a slightly healthier respect for their own lives.
Jackass 3 is a little less balls-to-the-wall. There are more sketches that rely on harmless fun, or worse, gross-out humor. I’m not arguing gross-out humor has no merit, it’s just when you have back-to-back moments of nastiness like “Batter Up,” a sketch where Chris Pontius hits ping pong balls with his dick into Bam Margera’s mouth, followed by “Poo Cocktail Supreme,” where Steve-O gets rocketed into the sky via a porta-potty full of poo, the premise gets a little old.
That being said, the guys are older and maybe wiser, but still play hard when it is their turn to perform. The opening sketch, “The High-Five,” is a great bit of comedy, and there is a stint of sketches at the beginning -- “Beehive Tetherball,” “Jet Stream,” and “Watch My Dog” -- that are fucking hilarious. I have railed on them for not pushing it with their stunts, and while it is true they have chilled out some, that doesn’t mean they are done attempting insane segments. It just means they’ve learned when to say, “enough is enough.” Just ask Margera what it felt like to be stunned multiple times, or Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O, and Ryan Dunn what it was like to play golf in an enclosed space with tin buckets on their heads.
Like a fine wine, Jackass has gotten better with time. If you saw Jackass 3 in theaters, you’ve witnessed it in full 3D glory. They’ve also begun using a Phantom Camera, which accounts for the super high-speed camera shots prevalent at the beginning of the movie and elsewhere throughout. The camera work is not the only thing the guys have finessed. They’ve improved at naming their segments, and including tidbits of discourse between shots. Jackass is a franchise, but unlike a shitty horror franchise, it is still willing to try new things and to see what works and what doesn’t, as “The Dildo Bazooka” shows. Part of this has to do with a larger audience and a better budget, but part of it is just everyone involved still giving a shit. That’s the common thread running throughout the Jackass franchise: if we as an audience show up, they will, too.
At the beginning of the film, we are treated to 3D information from Beavis and Butthead. The Blu-Ray isn’t technically a 3D version for a 3D TV, but the set does include flimsy 3D glasses from yester-yore that are totally an '80s gimmick. It makes the screen look a lot like the Muppet Vision that plays in the Hollywood Studios park at Disney World. The glasses are good for about five minutes, but watch the whole film with them on at your own peril.
The “Making of” documentary gives some good insight into the crafting of the film and the minds of those who were involved in the outside aspects of Jackass 3, like producing and directing. Producer Spike Jonze puts in an appearance, and that’s cool. The makers of the featurette also go out of the way to get everyone’s viewpoint on Steve-O’s sobriety, and everyone has really kind things to say. It’s definitely worth watching.
The next extra, a set of deleted scenes, is hit or miss. Most of the deleted scenes are leftovers from stuff that made it into the film: more portable toilets blowing up, extra bits from the golf, scene, extra moments from the ski scene, etc. I’m sure any full concepts that didn’t make it into Jackass 3 will show up in Jackass 3.5. After that, there is a trailer, and outtakes. The trailer is fine, but the outtakes are even more hit-or-miss than the deleted scenes. The outtakes are really long, and often seem to be a montage of crude jokes and faces in horrible pain. This is briefly funny, and then tedious.
It doesn’t seem like a ton of effort went into the special features. On the other hand, this is Jackass, and I don’t know if the team has the budget, or the capability, to offer anything more than what they offered. So, even though the disc isn’t incredible, it’s good for what it is.
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