MTV // 2000 // 105 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Eric Profancik (Retired) // October 24th, 2009
"Hi, I'm Johnny Knoxville. Welcome to Jackass."
On February 26, 2004, I wrote a review for The Verdict on the title Steve-O Volume 3: Out on Bail. At that time I had not seen any Jackass on television nor had I seen Jackass: The Movie. In the ensuing years, I now own the "complete series" release of Jackass on DVD and also own all the Jackass movies. Funny how some things change. One thing hasn't changed: that Steve-O title is still horrible...and he's finally learned the errors of his ways and gone clean.
Jackass, the television series, has theoretically been released as a series in its entirety. However I know, as a casual fan of the show, that many bits have not been released. For example, where's the stuff with them jumping over moving cars that influenced dumb teenage boys to try it, get hurt, thus becoming media fodder for a few days? There's still stuff missing. This set, Jackass: The Lost Tapes, is likely a last gasp effort to milk just a bit more money from said dumb teenage boys. The packaging, tongue in cheek, says this stuff was once lost but now found. I doubt it was every truly lost, just chosen not to be released before now.
The Lost Tapes contains scenes, skits, and snippets of the series seeing the light of digital day for the first time. As this comes many years after the release of the series and the movies, what you have included is not exactly the best material they've done. (That statement could fuel an interesting discussion of whether anything they've done has been quality material, but I shall not digress any further.) These lost moments are often not all that funny. You can tell they're rejected ideas, trims, and bits that didn't pass muster for general release. They weren't worthy then and there not necessarily worthy now. That's not to say this release is a total loss, as some of the stuff is funny. There are moments where you will laugh, others where you'll cringe, and a few where you'll yawn. It's a decidedly mixed bag of material. Where the set falters is in the rejected bits and most of the snips. For example, one segment has Wee Man dressed as a baby. He's being coerced to go down a hill on a skateboard or something. He doesn't want to do it, but we have to watch this debate between him and the cameraman arguing pro and con to go down the hill. It's not funny, it's not a "stunt," it's just filler. That's why it wasn't shown before, and that's why it's included here. This same logic goes to those edited trims that are now included. There is a reason we have an editing process: to remove the dead weight and fluff. Yet tucked in the midst of all this excess filler are some moments where you'll laugh, where it's classic, stupid Jackass material.
What I still can't is the group's unhealthy fascination with poop and vomit. I won't watch those segments. I either put my hand up to block the offending footage, mute the puking, or I just skip to the next bit. For example, I have no interest in watching any part of the vomellete sketch. It's just sick and gross. (Perhaps that's what they do best.)
Despite being lost bits and edited trims, the transfers on The Lost Tapes are not a lost cause. Video is standard television full frame; and though quality does fluctuate (but not wildly) from segment to segment, colors are lifelike and accurate, blacks are inky (but not perfect), and contrast and detail is respectable. I noticed just some minor shimmer, aliasing, and artifacting but it's all very minor and insignificant. Audio is a simple Dolby Digital 2.0 mix that adequately conveys the dialogue and raucousness. I did come across a couple of instances where the dialogue was overwhelmed by background noise, but overall it's clean and free of noise.
The disc comes with some bonus features, which are "nice" but not substantial. They're all watch-once items. "Hi, I'm Johnny Knoxville" (7:47) is a montage of this opening line to each show. "Credit Montages" (26:25) is a collection of end credits from the show. "Jackassworld" (8:00) is a collection of four promo bits for that show/webcast. They are "One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer" (2:00), "Best of Eddie and Me" (2:32), "Jackassworld Tape Measure" (1:56), and "Office Montage" (1:30). Lastly are some trailers for other MTV material, "Nitro Circus: Season 1," "Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory," "Jackass Presents: Mat Hoffman's Tribute to Evel Knievel," and "The State: The Complete Series."
Can I tell you how much I truly despise all the vomit and poo stuff these guys do? I've never understood the fascination, and I'm a guy. I mean, I understand a good fart joke; but the next step with all the crap? Really, that's hideously disgusting. I just wish they had devoted more time to stupid bits and stunts and less to poo, pee, and vomit, and I'd be a happier man. Still, the series is very over so...
Jackass: The Lost Tapes comes with the aroma of an interesting idea: releasing lost footage from an oddly popular show. Give the true fans more of what they crave, and help them complete their collection. But the reality is that a lot of the material is pretty lame and not all that funny. (Think of a lot of the stuff in Jackass 2.5, another collection of trims and snippets.) Yet intermingled in there is a smattering of fun stuff, segments that remind you of the true fun of the series and the movies. It's a mixed bag and the result is that this disc gets just a rental recommendation from me. It's good for a quick viewing one night, but there's a lack of overall quality to need to add it to your collection. But if you insist on buying it, you're lucky and there are no flaws with the disc.
Guilty of reckless endangerment.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 105 Minutes
Release Year: 2000
MPAA Rating: Not Rated