Jackass presents Bad Grandpa Uncut Blu-Ray Review
|AVC MPEG-4||DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1||MA15+||Johnny Knoxville|
|That's Johnny Knoxville as Bad Grandpa!|
Before I get into the review of Bad Grandpa it's necessary that I tell you about my history with regards to Jackass. Years ago, when the TV series and movies came out, I was not a fan. The concept was amusing but society today is at such a tipping point that youngsters just think they are invincible, and too many of them were performing copycat stunts and getting injured. As a teacher in a high school I could see the injuries in classrooms - as well as a student doing a backflip off the roof of a school building one day!
Years later and my appreciation of the franchise has changed a little - it definitely is funny with some amusing, often dangerous stunts - and while I still have issues with the amount of copycat injuries the series creates, it is entertaining. Jackass presents Bad Grandpa is a little different however as the film eschews dangerous stunts for the most part for more comedic setups similar to those seen in Borat.
86 year-old Irving Zisman is on a journey across America with the most unlikely companion, his 8 year- old Grandson Billy. Along the way Irving will introduce the young and impressionable Billy to people, places and situations that give new meaning to the term childrearing. The duo will encounter male strippers, disgruntled child beauty pageant contestants (and their equally disgruntled mothers), funeral home mourners, biker bar patrons and a whole lot of unsuspecting citizens.
So this is a hidden camera styled film in the same vein as Borat or Candid Camera however there is a thread of a storyline through the film which provides some, very light, depth and emotion towards the end of the runtime. Speaking of which this Blu-Ray includes both the original Theatrical cut of the film which runs for 101 minutes as well as the extended cut which runs for an additional 11 minutes. The extended version adds a few more moments and extends some sequences but doesn't dramatically alter the film in any meaningful way - tagging the film with "Uncut" may be true, but it doesn't really amp up the vulgarity or stunt work.
|Jackson Nicoll is pretty awesome as Billy.|
For me, the problem with this film was that it just lacked gut-busting laughs. In fact, besides a few chuckles the first real laugh didn't come until a strip club scene around the 45 minute mark. After that the film picks up a bit with a hilarious segment in a beauty pageant before a somewhat, slightly heartwarming finale in a bikie bar (even if only to realise there are people in the world that truly do care!).
Some of the best scenes in the film are actually shown during the end credits when people find out they were set up, but also some of the behind the scenes footage. It's a blast, but there is much more contained in the Extras section on the disc too. We should also point out too that, believe it or not (and you might as well as it's true), this film was nominated for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling at the Academy Awards.
Fans of the Jackass may actually find, as we did, Bad Grandpa to be somewhat underwhelming. It certainly isn't as funny as one would expect and lacks the crazy stunts of their TV series or earlier films. Funnily enough the film becomes somewhat heartwarming in the closing scenes and as a result actually redeems the film somewhat.
|The Beauty Pageant is a highlight of the film.|
Bad Grandpa is presented on Blu-Ray in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio with an AVC MPEG-4 transfer. As expected from a film that contains hidden cameras the video quality is somewhat variable with some remarkably sharp scenes with colour reproduction equal to that in any Hollywood production, however there are other times when the image is quite poor with some compression and lack of clarity. Overall this is a decent presentation and as good as could be expected from such a film.
As with most major Blu-Ray releases the audio on this disc is encoded using the lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (16- bit/48Khz) however it's hardly a film that will stress your audio equipment. Being hidden footage there isn't much scope to make this a great sounding audio experience, but what is there is clear and easy to understand. At times the LFE channel really kicks in, and this is certainly evident during a strip club scene that starts at 42:10 in the Theatrical version. The bass levels here are pretty extreme, but even with this loud club music the dialogue remains crystal clear and we didn't even need the occasional subtitles.
Besides the lossless English track this Blu-Ray contains German, Spanish, French, Italian and an English Audio Description track each of which is encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1 at 640kbps.
|Stunts and pranks in the film are very restrained compared to the Jackass films.|
Subtitles are provided in Danish, German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and English for the Hearing Impaired. We sampled the
The Bad Grandpa Blu-Ray comes with a few extras, with the "Behind The Scenes" featurette offering more laughs and entertainment then the film itself.
Behind The Scenes (34:44/HD): This is a pretty entertaining look at how the filmmakers created many of the best scenes in the film. The best part of these is seeing the reactions of the participants who were unaware it was a part of a film - with the postal service ladies being a classic. Definitely worth a watch after seeing the film - in fact we'll go so far as to say this was probably more entertaining than the film itself!
Alternate Marks (19:51/HD): A series of alternate dialogue for six different scenes throughout the film.
|Bad Grandpa starts at his wife's funeral.|
Deleted Scenes (6:09/HD): Three deleted scenes which area also pretty entertaining and worth a look.
Jackass presents Bad Grandpa is a moderately entertaining hidden camera film that picks up in the second half and makes it worth a viewing. The disc also comes with a few extras worth checking out so fans of Johnny Knoxville will get a few laughs out of this although for many a rental will suffice.
Review By: Dave Warner
Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Paramount. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.