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DVD Review: Jackass Volume 2

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Studio: MTV


Distributor: MTV






So, it’s a few years ago, and there’s a bunch of… well, Jackasses.











There’s CKY Camp Kill Yourself comprised of Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, Brandon DiMacillo, Chris Raab, Rake Yohn and co. (including Tony Hawk on a part-time basis). There was the Big Brother camp, which was Johnny Knoxville, Jeff Tremaine, Rick Kosick and others. And there was Steve-O’s clique, that included Steve-O himself, Chris Pontius, Wee-Man, Preston Lacy and maybe Ehren McGehey. Each group had been producing their own stuff for some time (the CKY trilogy and the AWESOME albums put out by the CKY band where Bam’s brother Jess is drummer, Big Brother's Boob, Crap and Poop, as well as numerous skate videos), but now they were ready for the big time.






Johnny rules.





Now, Johnny and Bam were already pals, and together with Spike Jonze (wacky filmmaker who played the cracker in Three Kings) they merged with and Steve-O’s camp to form what we now know as the Jackass collective. They cut a deal with MTV to produce a weekly half-hour show featuring stunts, pranks, grossout bits, and generally make Jackasses of themselves pretty simple concept. They didn’t make a fortune off the show (about $1,500 per episode for the name guys), but thanks to their mainstream exposure, they did develop a cult following far greater than their individual projects which allowed them to produce a further two series before the show got cancelled due to lawsuits, as well as a feature film. The exposure also publicised each group’s solo projects, nameless skater bands, and helped promote Knoxville’s movie career.






Something tells me this isn't the first thing Steve-O has snorted.





Oh, and it might also land Steve-O in jail for eight years, depending on how things go with his latest law suit.












Okay, here’s the problem: as soon as the show got cancelled, Johnny announced that the series would NEVER be released on DVD thanks to the lawsuits that got the show axed. However, late last year, MTV made the announcement that the show would indeed see a home release on our beloved format, in the cryptically entitled Jackass Volume 2 and Jackass Volume 3. Rightly or not, fans took “Volume” to mean “The Complete Series”, and reasoned that what Johnny must have meant was that the FIRST series would never be released on DVD, but at least they would have all of series two and three.






"Professionals"? Yeah right...








... These are the kind of "professionals" that we're talking about.





Unfortunately, Johnny was right the SERIES has not been released on DVD, but HIGHLIGHTS of them have, and that’s what we’ve got here; a glorified best-of. As if this didn’t piss the fans off enough, MTV also went ahead and censored the episodes in just about every way possible: bad language is bleeped out, asscracks, logos and bird flipping have been blanked out, and even a number of pranks themselves have been edited. What’s the point of having a grossout stunt show where all the gross stuff and stunts are edited out? Additionally, there were apparently problems with the music rights, as tunes that were present in the original run have been replaced in the home release fans over at Bam’s message board were particularly pissed at the replacement tune in Plunger Wake Up.




So, without even looking at which skits have made it to the DVD, it’s already pretty much a let-down. And when you look at what’s on the disc? Well, it’s STILL pretty much a let down.






Steve-O: stupid and awesome all at once.






Jackass Volume 2 is comprised of 35 skits from series two, running 1 hour 16 minutes. Series two in its entirety contained 104 skits, running a total of 2 hours 56 minutes. That means we’re missing almost an hour and three quarters of GOOD SHIT. So they’ve included less than half the show what’s actually made it on the disc?




Obviously, they’ve picked some absolutely classic bits and moments. The Cup Test, The Worm Trick, Jai Alai, Snake River BMX, Lawn Trap, The Loop, BUTT Piercing, Bikini Wax, Human Bullseye, Rolling Stone Cover Shoot, Bobbing For Jellyfish, High Dive 2… holy crap, there’s some SHEER ENTERTAINMENT right there. I can’t think of anything that made me collapse on the floor in agonising, hysterical pain like seeing Ehren get hit by baseball slugs and flying kicks, except maybe for seeing Steve-O getting his eyebrows RIPPED off his head, or Bam running off the top diving board and keep running… and running…






April's reaction would be more poignant if Bam didn't own the damn house.







There are still some pretty questionable choices, though. I mean, American Werewolf? That’s just some plain, unfunny shit. They included High Dive 2, but not High Dive. Yes, it’s nitty shit to pick, but come on it’s just fucking logical if you’re going to include a sequel to a skit, you may as well include the original as well (particularly since it’s only a couple of minutes long). Daddy & Baby, Human Raft, Phil’s Chair, Phil’s Pies… there’s a lot of other good stuff they could have included. In fact, when you think about it, since there are NO FUCKING EXTRAS worth mentioning, there’s no reason they couldn’t have the entire three hours of the second series in its original shitty video quality. And that’s really what it comes down to.






Johnny hates kids, so he's ensuring he won't have any more.







If you’re happy with watching what’s essentially a best-of show, this has certainly got most of the second series’ funniest bits. However, it’s been edited, censored, and subtly altered, so diehard fans are probably best to stick with the taped episodes of the show they no doubt already have.




Rating: **












This is SUCH a fucking disappointment. In theory, there is so much they could have included a commentary track is the most obvious thing. I mean, it’s not like most of the guys are doing a hell of a lot at the moment anyway. Shit, you could even have separate audio tracks from the West Chester crew (Bam, Dunn, Raab and co.) and the West Coast crew (Knoxville, Steve-O, Pontius and co.). On Johnny's official site, they even stated that a commentary was intended to be on there, so whether they’ve recorded one or not remains unknown. But since it was obviously at least discussed, and Knoxville himself was open to it, Jeez…












How about a text-commentary that lists the music accompanying each scene? Since “what band is [such and such]?” is the MOST FUCKING ASKED QUESTION on any Jackass board, it would seem like a pretty good idea. Christ, they’ve already got a 90% complete list of every piece of music right on Knoxville’s own website, so what's the problem? In fairness, they do list all the tracks at the end of the DVD, but shit, am I supposed to go to Amazon and listen to a million samples just to work out which track I want?






It's Sherrie Bobbins!






And don’t tell me there aren’t any deleted scenes, aborted skits, or hell even some footage of the crew just messing around. How about some pre-prank footage of the guys psyching themselves up? It’s all so obvious, but none of it is here. I just don’t get it there are some GOLDEN deleted scenes on the Jackass: The Movie DVD so why not do the same here? Hell, they could even have leeched some outtakes from the CKY DVDs, but no.




The Bios are utterly worthless, and are actually pretty illustrative of the DVD as a whole. Here, check out this “bio” of Wee-Man:









Pathetic. JUST FUCKING PATHETIC. I mean, what the hell kind of bio is THAT? Fuck me, it doesn’t even say how short he is. Jackasses? Yeah, the idiots at MTV who put this disc together.



The Photo Gallery is rolling slideshow of maybe five photos per Jackass, some taken from all three series, some just captured from the scenes on this DVD. And the grabs themselves are LAZILY done there’s one of Bam and DiMacillo that still has the “WARNING Do Not Try This At Home” half-faded out at the bottom of the screen, like they couldn’t be bothered to wait for it to disappear before taking a still. I mean, it’s not bad enough that it’s short and pointless, but when it’s just shoddily done as well… ugh. To be honest, I don’t see the point of having photo galleries that are just grabs taken from the footage you’ve already got on the disc, because you can just take those yourself. Galleries are only useful if they’ve got production photos or behind-the-scenes shots of some description, and there's none of that here.






Ladies and gentlemen, Mister Tony Hawk.







And as for the Quiz??? Holy fucking crap. I’m all for trying to do innovative things with the DVD format, but shit, this is just the lamest thing I’ve ever seen. You get a bunch of still screens with questions like “What is tattooed on Steve-O’s ass?” and a bunch of answers to choose from. If you select the right one, you move on to the next question; if you don’t, the word Jackass! comes up in big fucking letters and you hear some laughter, then you’re returned right back to the main menu. Now, this is a problem because the main menu is animated with footage from Jai Alai, and you have to wait for the footage to finish running before you can go back to the extras menu, then back to the quiz. So if you get an answer wrong, or accidentally pick the wrong answer, it takes fucking ages to play the thing again. Now, if answering all the questions correctly led to some awesome Easter Egg like Johnny killing Steve-O or something, that’d all be okay. But the problem is there's a fucking glitch in the quiz that makes it UNCOMPLETEABLE. I played the fucking thing about a million times on a bunch of different players to try and see what happened at the end, and EVERY TIME at (I think) question 17 (about the Human Bullseye), EVERY ANSWER is incorrect no matter what you do, the disc calls you a Jackass and throws you all the way back to the main menu. I’m a Jackass? FOR TRYING TO PLAY YOUR STUPID FUCKING QUIZ AND PLUG YOUR DISC TO MY READERS? Fuck you.






"Now manipulate the cervix." Fair enough...





The extras are a complete piece of shit and there is nothing here to warrant venturing into the features menu more than once. Shitty extras get shitty marks, but such a sheer fucking waste of such enormous potential earns minus points. Eat it and die, MTV.




Rating: -**












An hour and a quarter of pure fucking hysteria… but they could have fit the WHOLE fucking series on one disc just as easily. Since I’ve already got that hour and a quarter as well as the other 1:40 of the series the on tape, UNEDITED, in the same video quality, with the same amount of supplemental features, I can’t see any reason in hell why I should recommend this.






"Yet the eyes are all affixed on you not me..."






On Knoxville’s website, they tried to pitch that this was a “test-the-waters” type deal for MTV to gauge fan interest, and that maybe full seasons would be forthcoming if sales for these DVDs are high. Well, since they laid down the cash for A WHOLE FUCKING MOVIE mere months ago, and grossed nealry $100 million off that, I’d say they know full fucking well there’s an audience demand, and this is nothing more than an attempt to double-dip the consumer. Wait for the fucking complete series sets they ARE coming.




Rating: *








Jay Spree

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