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Jackass 3.5 DVD Review

Jackass 3.5 DVD cover art - click to buy DVD from Amazon.com Jackass 3.5

Running Time: 84 Minutes / Rating: Unrated / Video Debut: June 14, 2011

Director: Jeff Tremaine

Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Preston Lacy, "Danger" Ehren McGhehey, Jason "Wee Man" Acuna, Ryan Dunn, Chris Pontius, Dave England, Loomis Fall, Jeff Tremaine, Dimitry Elyashkevich, Rick Kosick, Spike Jonze, Manny Puig, David Weathers

1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Subtitles: English for Hearing Impaired, French, Spanish
Closed Captioned; Extras Subtitled and Captioned
Single-sided, dual-layered disc (DVD-9) / Black Eco-Friendly Keepcase
Suggested Retail Price: $22.99
Also available on Blu-ray ($26.98 SRP) exclusively from Best Buy

Buy Jackass 3.5 on DVD from Amazon.com • Buy Jackass 3.5 on Blu-ray from BestBuy.com

By Aaron Wallace

3.5 isn't a welcome number for any film series, but it's even less appealing when it follows a title like Jackass. The name alone tells us this is only half a sequel at best,
and therefore worse than the franchise's full-fledged films. That's probably true, but I'm about as eager to rank Jackasses as I am roadkill.

In case you were wondering, Jackass 3.5 is called that because it's a direct-to-video affair, culled together from sketches that didn't make number three's final cut. There's nothing else different about it, and if you've seen even five minutes of the series, you know what to expect.

Grown men take turns punching, burning, humiliating, and even injuring one another for sport. Among them are Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Jason "Wee Man" Acuña, and the late Ryan Dunn -- men whose apparent willingness to do absolutely anything has made them household names.

Ever the rebels, Steve-O and the "Jackass" guys shake up soda bottles, puncture them, and watch them zoom around the room. EXTREME!!! If you think this fish-to-face encounter is disgusting, you have no business watching "Jackass 3.5."

There is no plot. Aptly shoot footage of one painful stunt follows another, an endless parade of jackassery that never fails to disgust. Narration and a behind-the-scenes perspective give it the vague feeling of a documentary, like a game of Truth or Dare caught on tape. They always take the dare. The only truth is that these guys are all idiots.

Part of the film critic's job is to diagnose an audience's attraction toward a movie. With Jackass, that's better left to a psychologist. I experience the same guttural feeling of schadenfreude that all people do, but I also feel an instinctive revulsion to seeing others in pain. The fact that Knoxville and his crew eagerly indulge in the self-abuse makes it no less abhorrent.

Whatever attracts the masses to this boorish pageant of mindless mischief, it surely isn't a healthy enticement to indulge in. I can neither find nor fathom a single redeeming thing about the whole 84-minute affair. Not only does the movie require less critical thought than your run-of-the-mill blockbuster, its potentially debasing effect on the culture's sense of humanity is actually disturbing.

A "Jackass" cast member, or just a sketch of its typical fan? For a raging daredevil, Johnny Knoxville's hair somehow stays perfectly coiffed.

Jackass 3.5 came to DVD on June 14, just six days before Dunn's untimely and most tragic death. It may therefore serve as a kind of tribute for his fans, who know him not only from his daredevil work in this franchise, but also from a small body of music and film.
While the movie remains as crass as ever, I can't help but feel some homage for the final appearance of a personality who lost his life all too soon. It is with that nod to him and the unfortunate timing of his passing that I move on to the rest of this release.


Jackass 3.5 was mostly shot outdoors on a relatively low budget and with internet distribution in mind. Maybe it should be no surprise, then, that the DVD's audio/video quality is extremely unimpressive. Presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, the picture is noticeably lacking in detail, marked by a near-constant softness and occasional edge enhancement. Some scenes and locales fare better than others, but none stand out.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 surround soundtrack concentrates almost exclusively on the front-center channel. Background music calls on the other front channels. Bass is mild and only in the noisiest scenes do the rear channels make themselves known.

Note: Jackass 3.5 is available on Blu-ray, but presently only as an exclusive at Best Buy. If you go anywhere else, the DVD is your only option.

Sitting next to Academy Award-winning director Spike Jonze is the closest "Jackass" frontmen Jeff Tremaine and Johnny Knoxville will ever get to an Oscar. Self-Inflicted Injury, He Wrote.


The bonus features begin with "Jackass: The Beginning" (40:44), a 10th anniversary tribute to the franchise that originally aired on October 9, 2010 on MTV. By far the most entertaining thing on this disc, this special does a decent job chronicling the series' unlikely origins and success. Fans who've been looking for repeats of this on the network will no doubt welcome the chance to own it. Made for television, there's far less profanity, nudity, and violence in this feature than in the movie, but curiously, only some of the R-rated dialogue gets edited.

Then come eleven Deleted Scenes (16:30 in all). Since Jackass 3.5 feels like an excerpts reel to begin with, these play just like a continuation of the movie. Some are new sketches, like one where Knoxville and Steve-O try to mate with a donkey, and others are extensions of scenes that made the film.

The Jackass 3.5 outtakes reel shows how this attempt at the movie's opening credits scene didn't go so well for one bloody-skulled Johnny Knoxville. Knoxville, "Wee Man" and the gang get wild in an Irish pub during the "Jackass European Tour."

The gag reel concept doesn't really make sense for Jackass 3.5, where it's already hard to tell whether something went wrong by accident or on purpose.
Nevertheless, the DVD provides an overlong "Outtakes" sequence (19:51), which contains some material even more explicit and disgusting than anything found on the disc so far.

"Jackass European Tour" (6:29) has more to do with Jackass 3 than 3.5. A camera crew follows the cast across Europe during the third movie's string of premieres. Naturally, they create mayhem wherever they go.

Finally, there's a reel of previews (6:15), which also plays automatically at start-up. It advertises Jackass 3, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and "Jersey Shore": Season 3 - Uncensored. Classy entertainment all around!

The disc design is very simple. The 16x9 main menu plays a window-boxed highlights reel, while the sub-menus are silently static. The disc is packaged in a standard, eco-friendly keepcase with ugly cover art.

I admit, this looks pretty painful, but I still think I had it worse sitting through "Jackass 3.5."


Jackass 3.5 is about as pleasurable as a surveillance reel from Abu Ghraib. Paramount and MTV have added a handful of bonus features to this quasi-sequel, but that neither improves the subpar picture quality nor changes the fact that this is the most revolting thing I've ever had to review.

Buy Jackass 3.5 on DVD from Amazon.com / Buy Jackass 3.5 on Blu-ray from BestBuy.com

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Related Reviews:
New: Glory Daze • Wild Cherry • Hall Pass • Four Rooms • Cedar Rapids
Johnny Knoxville: Daltry Calhoun | Spike Jonze: Where the Wild Things Are
Superbad • Step Brothers • Grown Ups • Year One • The Comebacks • Dinner for Schmucks

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Reviewed July 6, 2011.

Text copyright 2011 DVDizzy.com. Images copyright 2011 MTV Films, Dickhouse Productions, and Paramount Pictures. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.