Besides my old CDs, I came back from the UK with a couple of new US Import DVDs from the extreme ends of the “family” spectrum. In the Nice corner, we have Spirited Away, the beautiful Anime masterpiece from Hayao Miyazaki, which I will surely write more about later. In the Nasty corner, we have Jackass: The Movie.
I’ve mentioned Jackass before, and the movie is essentially the same as the TV show, but the Jackasses go a lot further than before, having a serious budget to work with. They start it off with a huge opening sequence, with lots of explosions, just so you’ll think that they’ve gone all Hollywood on us, but then it’s down to business.
Despite all the warnings, there are still kids going out and doing some truly stupid things. They should watch the DVD, then, during which it becomes clear that there are many safety precautions taken in the planning and execution of these stunts. That doesn’t mean that things always go to plan, as the Golf Cart sequence shows. The other drawback is that people don’t always react the way they’re expected to, especially professionals such as police or medical personnel, who really have seen it all before. The DVD has a lot of extra footage which was cut out of the movie, some of which, such as the Sand Vagina, go a bit too far for either large or small screens.
It’s a good thing that Jackass didn’t outstay its welcome, and went out with a bang, such as it was. You only have to look at the masochistic Welsh imitation, Dirty Sanchez, to appreciate the good-natured humour that went into Jackass. Some of the best pieces in Jackass don’t involve stunts or obscenity at all, such as Steve-O getting his own face tattooed on his back, or the Whale Shark Gummer (OK, not much obscenity). The movie got a very limited release here in Ireland – maybe two cinemas, neither near me, showed it for a week. I can always sell it if I get tired of it.
ps: see also my later op-ed piece on Jackassism.