Hi, my name is Jamie Rich, and these are "Some Observations Upon Watching Jackass 3: Unrated on Blu-Ray:"
* It's not a Jackass movie unless you physically retch while watching it in numbers at least equal to the sequel designation. I think I hit four near-vomits this time around, so mission accomplished.
* The Jackass 3 Blu-Ray has a wicked loud 5.1 audio mix, and I had it cranked to some pretty high digits. Yet, I still had to keep turning up the volume in hopes it would cover up my howling and cackling. You have to choose which way you annoy your neighbors, and I'd rather they just think I'm inconsiderate rather than the drunken madman I am. Translation: Jackass 3 was absolutely hysterical. My cat tried to sit on my lap while I watched it, and she kept getting pissed and leaving because I was bouncing around and slapping my knee like a mental case.
* The joy of Jackass, and why it works so well, is two-fold. It's not so much the stunts as it is the glee the guys get from doing the stunts, and the glee the ones not doing a particular feat of daring get from watching it. That's not just glee, either, but a weird kind of respect. For the rotten things these guys do to each other, they take the pranks in stride and give credit to their comrades who pull them off, and thus they avoid any mean-spiritedness. Even Bam Margera will fist bump the snake wrangler after being dropped in a pit of reptiles--and having them dropped on him--despite being deathly afraid of the nasty things. That's dedication to the brotherhood.
* On that note, Ryan Dunn is a champ for always being the first guy in to pull his friends out of the shit...literally, sometimes.
* Also on that note, part of the thrill of the Jackass franchise is the secret desire that I could be a part of the crew. I wish I was doing that stuff. I wish I had the guts. I know some of it is extremely painful and all extremely stupid, but man, it looks like it's a fun way to live.
* That said, these dudes are getting old and you can see it starting to take its toll. The boys are scruffier and more weathered, and it takes them longer to recover from the hits and explosions and tumbles than it did once upon a time. Sometimes the pain here is really real, you can see how much it hobbles them. I hope they have all invested their money wisely so they can call it quits after this because I don't want Jackass to morph into Faces of Death. You guys have made me laugh too hard, I want you to retire before you're completely destroyed.
* If you're a hipster, you should wear pants that fit, because if you are going to get hit in the face--which is a bruising most hipsters are cruising for, let's be honest--you don't want your ass hanging out while you try to recover. It happens in Jackass 3 and that dude looks like a total douche.
* Notice how much more all the Jackass guys instinctively protect their nuts now. When they are just standing around, they naturally adopt a stance where their hands are over their privates. Hell, Bam flinches from his own mom in one scene.
* Jackass 3 was shot in 3D and that was a big reason it had so much success at the box office. Despite the 3D version here (see the tech review below), most are going to watch it in the non-3D Blu-Ray. For the most part, it doesn't matter. You can tell the opening and closing sequences were shot with a third dimension in mind, but they still work in 2D. The only thing in the movie proper that seems designed specifically for 3D is the dildo being launched through the air, and that bit of comedy so short, it doesn't matter that it's a bit flaccid without the added effects.
* Dave England has the best volcano science-fair project of all time.
* My mom once superglued her mouth closed. She was trying to take the cap off with her teeth and she succeeded. She also managed to squirt glue in her mouth and seal it shut. Her screw-up still ranks as the dumbest thing ever done with superglue even after the way they use it in Jackass 3.
* I know as a confirmed bachelor I shouldn't rag on my mom in public because women hate it, but honestly, having no love for Jackass is a dealbreaker for me. Any lady in my life must be able to laugh at dudes taking it in the shorts, so I'd assume her sense of humor can handle the above. I also assume that I just destroyed any appeal Jackass 3 had for women, because if I saw a high horse that would allow me to avoid myself, I'd climb it, too. You're welcome...?
* Reviewing Jackass 3 is a weird thing. Either you like it by now or you don't, I am not sure I can come up with some convoluted justification for it. Nor does it need any. It drives me batty when people knock Jackass because it's lowbrow. Who cares? Is it really such a horrible thing if, for an hour and a half, you just laugh and you don't have to care about anything and you just enjoy yourself freely? I prefer this over some bad comedy that has a pretense of being something more, that fakes having heart or a message or acts like it is making clever jokes. I've seen Grown-Ups, and it made me feel rotten about myself because it was clear that the people making it thought I was a moron. Johnny Knoxville and the others don't think we are morons any more than they are morons themselves. They just want to drop their worries at the door and have a laugh, and they film it so we can go with then. If I didn't think it would pulverize what bones and organs they had left, I'd cheer on a Jackass 4. I'd give money to a Kickstarter campaign to make Jackass 4. But hey, three is enough. It's a trilogy! Have some drinks, fellas, and relax. You did good.
Jackass 3 hits home video as a two-disc set. The main disc is the Blu-Ray, and it has a 100-minute director's cut and a 94-minute theatrical cut. The image transfer is put on disc at 1080p and it looks uniformly fantastic, even as the source material widely varies. Shot in many different ways by many different cameras, not all segments should necessarily be equal, but the color and digital resolution throughout maintains an even standard that is very good and what one should expect for a new film such as this. There is a big difference, sure, between the stuff shot in a studio for the credits sequences and stuff shot out in the field, yet all of it looks bright and colorful and the detail is amazing. You will see more ass hair in high-definition than you ever bargained for, truth be told.
There is not a huge difference between the two cuts, as the running time might suggest. It must be mostly small additions and maybe some uncensoring--in other words, material that isn't really noticeable, because I didn't really notice. Then again, I watched the uncensored version first and then theatrical cut and consumed a lot of bourbon, so I wasn't exactly on point.
The bonus disc is a standard DVD and it contains a digital copy for use on other devices and a 3D version of the film. This is not 3D as in you need a 3D TV to view it, it's the regular 3D separation and four pairs of red/blue glasses come with your purchase. I was actually surprised by how many they multi-dimensional tricks they still pulled off in this low-grade format. I remember getting 3D glasses from 7-11 as a kid and watching Black Lagoon movies or somesuch on the local networks and being terribly disappointed by how much 3D there wasn't. This one manages to achieve the old-school effects fairly well--though, it did end up hurting my head and eyes not too long into the running time when watching it this way.
Additionally, the DVD had something called "D-Box Motion Code," which apparently is some kind of device that, if you have it, creates William Castle Tingler-style motion or something? I don't know, if you have it, congratulations to you. Children are starving, but you apparently have a high-priced massage chair.
The main soundtrack is mixed in 5.1 DTS Master Audio and is pretty booming. Music hits hard, and the big sound effects have a lot of presence. Rushing water, for instance, really moves through the speakers, but so do minibike engines and other crashes and clangs.
There are dubs in French, Spanish, and Portuguese, all in Dolby 5.1 Digital. Honestly, I'd have thought Jackass transcended language, but there you go. Subtitles are in English, English SDH, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, as well.
The set comes in a standard-sized BD case with a spindle on each side of the cover to fit both discs, and the four 3D glasses nestle inside fine. There is also an outer slipcover for the case, and the cover has a sticker on it that is supposed to activate some sneak preview content if you have the right app on your smart phone and scan it. This damn thing has Easter eggs everywhere!
The nearly half-hour "The Making of Jackass 3D" is a surprisingly fun look at the planning and the horsing around that goes into putting these movies together. I thought it might be a case where seeing where this stuff comes from would ruin it a little, but it's actually funny and kind of neat. The choice to make the film in 3D is discussed, as is Steve-O's sobriety and Knoxville's dedication, the involvement of Spike Jonze, and the lasting "legacy" of Jackass. The film is directed by Lance Bangs, and there is a lot of outtakes and raw footage.
Sixteen minutes of Deleted Scenes is mostly bits taken out of what we saw in the movie, whereas over twenty-seven minutes of Outtakes are essentially more of the same, but with more of an emphasis on different angles and screw-ups.
The theatrical trailer is also included.
All extras are in high definition, 1080p.
Highly Recommended. Listen, you probably know which side you fall on at this point. If you're not a Jackass aficionado, I am not even sure why you clicked on this review. (Your own metaphorical self-inflicted knock to the nards?) Jackass 3: Unrated is funny stuff. Outlandish stunts, clever pranks, grimy male camaraderie--it's what has turned the unlikely TV show into a full movie franchise. The packaging here is pretty great, and I got tons of laughs out of watching these old bastards take it to the head over and over again. Get over yourself, get on with it, get whatever you need to get--but get Jackass 3, too.
Jamie S. Rich is a novelist and comic book writer. He is best known for his collaborations with Joelle Jones, including the hardboiled crime comic book You Have Killed Me, the challenging romance 12 Reasons Why I Love Her, and the 2007 prose novel Have You Seen the Horizon Lately?, for which Jones did the cover. All three were published by Oni Press. His most recent projects include the futuristic romance A Boy and a Girl with Natalie Nourigat; Archer Coe and the Thousand Natural Shocks, a loopy crime tale drawn by Dan Christensen; and the horror miniseries Madame Frankenstein, a collaboration with Megan Levens. Follow Rich's blog at Confessions123.com.