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Blu-ray Review: Jackass 3

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The Jackass team reunited for a third feature film of their sadomasochist antics. Forget understanding why the fellows do what they do; I barely understand why I watch them. But there is something compelling about sitting around with your friends, especially after sipping a few grown-up beverages, testing the limits of what you can stand watching as the group tests the limits of what they can stand doing to themselves and each other.

Daredevil Evel Knievel is an obvious influence as a few of the guys are seen wearing a stars-and-stripes helmet at different times, including Ryan Dunn during the stunt called Snake River Redemption. Yet, they seem more interested in the levels of pain they can endure rather than in the success of the stunt. That may be why many of them don’t really have a point, such as the animal gags. When Dave England and Steve-O play Beehive Tetherball, it’s more about them getting stung repeatedly rather than playing the game. Johnny Knoxville gets in a pen with buffalos, while wearing roller skates in a nod to Roger Miller, and then a bull only to get knocked around. Why Chris Pontius thought it would be a good idea to take repeated pinches and stings to the lips from a scorpion is beyond me. A blindfolded Danger Ehren takes kicks to the crotch while trying to pin a tail on a donkey.

The Jackass guys play a lot of pranks. On each other, they set traps in the Porta-Johns and unleash a giant hand that knocks people over when they walk into a room. The public gets treated to a number of Candid Camera-type bits. Knoxville poses as an old man and goes through plate-glass window at a motorcycle shop, and later makes out with a young girl he tells a man is his granddaughter. Wee Man leads a scene in a bar filled with unsuspecting patrons as he gets into a fight with another of the same size over a woman.

There is also quite a bit of gross-out gags and that’s wear the movie bogs down a bit. Steve-O is at the center of the grossest ones. Sweatsuit Cocktail finds him drinking the sweat from Preston Lacy and throwing up soon after. Though I know what’s coming, the scene still makes me retch. The big individual stunt that closes the movie is Poo Cocktail Supreme, a reinterpretation of a bit from the TV show. Steve-O sits in a full Porta-John that is turned into a reverse bungee jump. I won’t describe what happens and for your sake hope you can’t imagine it.

Jackass 3 was shot in 3D, though it’s only available that way on the DVD, and some scenes were shot with Phantom high-speed cameras, which shoot 1,000 frames per second. The latter allows you to see the effects the face and body go through, such as when Bam Margera unleashes The Rocky, throwing a cup of water in someone’s face from behind and then punching them on the other side as the person turns away.

The Blu-ray offers the 94-minute theatrical cut and the 100-minute unrated cut. The video has been given a 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encoded transfer displayed at 1.78:1. The Phantom footage looks stunning. Colors are bright and the image is crystal clear. The key cameras in other sequences also deliver an impressive picture with good color, depth, and detail. Supplemental cameras used for coverage and the tiny one used for a POV of Bam’s penis as he pees on people don’t have the same quality. These lesser cameras contribute to the appearance of mild artifacts that pop up, but they don’t diminish the experience. The DVD offers the theatrical version in Anaglyph 3D and four pairs of glasses to watch it. The combo set also comes with a digital copy.

The audio comes in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and makes much better use of the surrounds than expected. The bees can be heard buzzing around. Speaking of buzzing, the stun gun and cattle prod effect are balanced well with Eddie Grant’s “Electric Avenue” as it rings out, but some of the shouts and cursing get slightly muffled. Imaging is evident as objects that fly across the scene can be heard moving across channels.

The extras include “The Making of Jackass 3D” (HD, 29 min), a good behind-the-scenes piece as the guys talk about reuniting for the film and play with the new equipment. The “Deleted Scenes” (HD, 16 min) and “Outtakes” (HD, 28 min) reveal bits that didn’t make the cut and failed attempts that had to be redone for various reasons. Both offer options to view individual segments or to watch them altogether with the latter being the better choice the first time through.

Jackass 3 should please fans looking for new antics from the crew. It is also as good a place as any to first witness their madness, if you dare.

Snake River Redemption:

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About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS