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A group of lads joking about and generally causing mayhem doesn’t seem like a particularly exciting idea for a movie, but anything is possible these days. The rise to stardom for a group of lads began when they received their own spot on MTV, and within a matter of months the gang were household names, not only in their own country but also worldwide. The aforementioned TV show is of course Jackass, and last year Johnny Knoxville and his skateboard loving crew took the next step to stardom. That step was of course the big screen. With a healthy box office taking behind them, it is now time for the gang to strut their stuff on DVD.    

Jackass : The Movie
As mentioned above the Jackass formula was transferred to the big screen with relative success, the movie only cost a paltry $5 million dollars but went onto to earn over $65 million, which is a healthy profit in anyone’s book.  There maybe some of you reading this who have never heard of the TV series and are wondering what all the fuss is about. Well let me try and explain, Jackass stars Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Chris Pontius, Steve-o, Dave England, Ryan Dunn, Jason "Wee Man" Acuna, Preston Lacy and Ehren McGhehey.  The most accurate way to describe these lads is by calling them school kids, now that’s not meant to be an insult to them, but their antics are what you would expect adolescents to perform. You name it these guys are not afraid to try it, and that’s not an exaggeration!. I was first introduced to the TV show a year or so ago, and was quite amazed by the stunts and the extreme measures the guys would go to just for laughs. Some of their pranks boarder on gross, but I suppose that’s what makes the film so popular, combined with some clever marketing which has meant that the programme has seized on a untapped area of entertainment.

The nature of Jackass means that it is bound to offend people, but I have to admit that I found the majority of the movie very funny. The funniest scenes include 'Fireworks Wakeup' where one of the cast sets fireworks off in his parents’ bedroom while they are sleeping,  'Tidal Wave' where Johnny Knoxville gets knocked over by a huge gush of water and 'Golf Course Airhorn' which involves some of gang firing off airhorns while people are playing golf.  At this point you maybe thinking that this movie sounds dull and tacky, but believe me these scenes are amusing to watch. The whole Jackass concept is taking thing a little too far and unfortunately some of the stunts the gang perform are a little tacky and without trying to sound prudish, they are distasteful. For example, what is comical about a guy eating yellow snow? I won't mentioned other scenes, but lets just say they are as equally bad!

Jackass : The Movie
I have no hesitation in recommending this to people who really like the TV show, as the movie is essentially a full length version of the series. My main hesitation before watching this movie was how well it would translate to the big screen, but the eighty minute running time means that the movie never drags. Sure there are some silly moments and also cringe worthy scenes, but that’s Jackass in a nutshell! For people who have never seen the show, then your  enjoyment of this movie is going to come down to a few points. If you like people doing silly things and also have a wacky sense of humour then you will find enough laughs in Jackass, however if you prefer subtle comedies then it might be worth checking out the TV series on MTV first to make sure that it is to your taste. Overall, Jackass exceeded my expectations and brought a smile to my face. It is my no means a classic, but should keep you amused for over an hour.

Paramount have presented Jackass in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen. Taking into account the film’s budget and the media the film was shot on, this movie has been transferred to DVD in impressive fashion. Having seen the TV series I wasn’t expecting a stunning transfer, but I was surprised to find that the image was sharper and clearer than I could have imagined. The true test for this transfer would be in the colour reproduction, as the movie is shot in various surroundings, at different times of the day. While the evening scenes contained a higher than normal amount of grain, the colour reproduction was accurate and black levels were also solid. Compression artifacts were present throughout the movie, but didn’t reach unbearable levels, while edge enhancements were also noticeable, but once again not distracting. It’s hard to be too critical with this transfer as it exceeded all expectations, and the defects mentioned above are only minimal, so overall this is a high-quality transfer. Just as an aside, it is good to see that Paramount have scrapped the full-screen edition which was released on region one.

Jackass: The Movie is supplied with two soundtracks. Both tracks are in English, with the Dolby Digital 5.1 being the highlight and the other track being a 2.0 surround track. Unlike the visual aspect of this disc, my expectations were not surpassed with what was on offer. Although it is nice to see a 5.1 track on this disc, the rear speakers were used sparingly throughout. This is not a criticism of the disc as the subject matter doesn’t lend itself to a 5.1 setup. On the odd occasion (mostly the outdoor scenes) that the rears were used, the extra speakers did enhance the overall viewing experience. Dialogue levels were clear throughout, which considering the nature of the movie is a big bonus. Subtitles are also provided in English subtitles and Closed Captions. Overall the soundtracks provided do their job averagely, but competently.

Jackass : The Movie
The first thing that struck me about the extras on this disc was how expertly put together they were. The movie itself may have an amateurish feel to it, but the extras section is certainly impressive. The menus are static, but include a wide array of stills from the movie. The first extras that you will come across are the commentaries. There are two commentaries on this disc and the first is with the director, cinematographer and Johnny Knoxville. The commentary starts off with Johnny K introducing the movie by saying that “this movie is brought to you by the same studio that did the Godfather”. This sentence sets the scene for both commentaries! This is actually the more serious of the two commentaries, but even so compared to other commentaries that I have listened too, this is full of so much more fun!. Probably the most interesting section of this commentary concerns how the intro was shot. Even though a lot of this commentary is tongue in cheek, there is also a lot of informative stuff which fans of the movie will lap up.

The second commentary is called  the Jackass cast group commentary, and as the title suggests it features all of the cast. This commentary contains very little information about the movie, but is more like a general chat between the Jackass cast. There is the occasional reference to what is happening on the screen, but it is more the exception rather than the rule. Still this commentary is worth listening to, and I am sure fans of the movie will find it very funny.

Jackass : The Movie
The next big extra is the ‘Making of’ documentary. This documentary starts off with several interviews and involves members of the cast and also the director. Each person talks about how filming the movie meant that they had greater control over the content, and could do more bizarre stunts.  Also of particular interest was the section about how shooting the movie was different to that of the TV show, with things like using different cameras proving to be a huge obstacle.  The documentary also focuses on the camera work involved and a particularly funny section shows how the camera men got injured during the filming.  Other highlights include the section where the crew are filming in Japan. This documentary lasts for just under twenty fives minutes and it is safe to say that it is the funniest, and most unconventional documentary you are ever likely to see on DVD.

Additional scenes are next up on the disc and the ones on offer are of a high standard. You can choose to view each scene separately or all at once. The total running time for the combined scenes is well over twenty eight minutes. Most of the scenes are completely new, but there are also some rehashed sketches which were included in the movie in some form.  Outtakes are also included on the disc and show the times when the crew messed up their lines, but also some of the scenes involving stunts that went wrong. Some of these scenes could have easily been included in the finished movie. The outtakes last for just over seven minutes and have to be played as one long scene.

The rest of the extras on this disc are stocking fillers really. You get the usual things like cast and crew biographies, which actually are probably the most detailed example that I have seen on DVD. Galleries are also included, of which there are two, a photo gallery (images from the set which also include a funny description about each photo) and a poster gallery.

Jackass : The Movie
You will also find a theatrical trailer on the disc. The trailer lasts for just over a minute and looks identical to any advert that you would find on MTV for the show. Nine TV promos are also included. The final section on this disc houses the music videos. There are two videos in total.  The first is called "If you're gonna be dumb" by Roger Alan Wade. This video shows footage from the TV shows and lasts for  just over three minutes.. The second video is called  "We want fun" and is performed by Andrew w.k. This video is a rockier track and lasts for around four minutes.

Jackass the Movie is daft, controversial, amateurish and cringe worthy, but at the same time it is very funny. Audiences will be split down the middle, some will adore it while other will probably find it silly and offensive. Taken for what it is (a bunch of guys messing about!), Jackass is a prime example of  a TV show that has successfully transferred to the big screen without changing its principles. Paramount have also produced a disc which exceeded all expectations. The soundtracks may only be functional, but the transfer is good and the extras leave no stone unturned. Overall this is a disc which I would have no hesitations recommending.