by Johnny Bray
For those of us who cared, the absence of volume one of Jackass
was a disappointing mystery. After having discovered CKY a few months
earlier, my friends and I decided to see how things fared when the
act went mainstream.
We had doubts, but ultimately discovered that Jackass was a healthy
mix of the CKY hijinx and other random, stupid ideas. It could be
as simple as people in shopping carts, or farting in people’s
faces. It didn’t really matter; they did it well. To have
volumes 2 & 3 of Jackass, but not volume 1, left a slight feeling
of emptiness (talk about embellishment!). Really, it was just weird
to have the later volumes, without having seen the initial trials,
and without having seen how they all came about their schticks.
But now, after finally seeing volume one, it’s seriously
a little underwhelming. There are plenty of great stunts and gags
here, no doubt, but when you’re going back in time, the earlier
stunts just seem a little tame by comparison. Much of it is pure
gross-out (which is fine), but gross-out plays second-fiddle to
the hilarious stunts the guys perform in later Jackasses and CKY.
In this volume, there are lengthy pieces devoted to egg-eating and
egg nog-drinking contests. Okay, okay, we get the picture: it’s
gross and these people are puking profusely. Now let’s move
On the other hand, it’s much more fun to
watch the guys early on. Some of them are still a bit unsure of
what they’re doing, and you can see the dismay on their faces
as they prepare for a stunt. And hey, people getting hurt doing
stupid things for our entertainment is always a good time.
Steve-O and Ryan Dunn have come a long way from their slightly
more humble beginnings. Their show today goes so far beyond Jackass
that even those of us who thoroughly enjoy Jackass can’t help
but think they cross the line on many occasions. Back in early Jackass
days, though, it was still innocent and fun.
It’s true that CKY is better, but Jackass is a reasonable
mainstream facsimile. You can’t help but laugh at the stupidity
of those involved, but when you factor in the paycheck they’re
getting, it seems more like Fear Factor for non-wussies. Recommended
for fans of the show who haven’t yet seen this previously
unavailable first volume. If you don’t get the appeal, there’s
nothing here to change your mind.
Video is presented in full frame with Dolby Digital Stereo. Quality
is completely inconsequential for such a disc, as Jackass is generally
something you watch after (or during) a night of drinking with the
boys. Picture, though, looks sharp and clean, while the audio makes
good use of the two speakers. Extras include an uncensored commentary
by Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dunn,
Dave England, Wee Man, Ehren McGhehey, Preston Lacy, Dimitry Elyashkevich
and Jeff Tremaine. With so many people, it’s hard to keep
track of who’s saying what and pay attention to it all, but
there’s plenty of fun to be had here. Not the kind of commentary
you’d want to listen to normally, but again, after or during
a night of drinking with the boys is another story. It’s more
than slightly vulgar.
All that can be said in the end, really, is that it’s nice
to have volume one of Jackass, finally.
Jackass: Volume One, from Paramount Home Entertainment
120 minutes, 1.33:1 full frame, Dolby Digital stereo
Starring Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius,
Ryan Dunn, Dave England, Wee Man, Ehren McGhehey, Preston Lacy
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