Saturday, September 23, 2006

RE: Joe Scott's feeling like a Jackass for watching depraved sequel.

The Motion Picture Association of America needs to have itself checked out. Seriously.
This organization has the power to give movies an R rating, thus allowing children to see them so long as they are with a guardian or really cool uncle, or an NC-17 rating, which means no children are allowed regardless of how cool their uncles might be. The MPAA has used this power a lot - usually on indie fare which probes the more complex issues of human sexuality in a frank manner. But now that I have seen Paramount Pictures' big-budgeted comedy-porno Jackass Number Two, I seriously have to call shenanigans.
And lets make no mistake, folks, Jackass Number Two is a porno, albeit in the worst sort of way. Take a wrong turn on the internet or simply click on the link of a deceitful spam e-mail, and you will find pay-sites where people promise to engage in similar acts depicted in this film for sexual gratification. What does this say for America when the film decency board of our country castigates films which depict passionate acts between consenting adults while giving the okay to the depravity shown in Jackass Number Two?
Normally, this is the part of the review wherein I would find a creative way to segue into a bit of plot synopsis. Unfortunately, I am unable to do so not only because this film doesn't have a plot (it's a porno, remember?), but also because a description of what happens in this film would trigger the internet filters in most people's office or home computers. Let's just say that the only thing the Jackass crew loves more than hurting one another is hurting themselves. The most telling scene arrives when cast member Steve-O attempts to ram a fishing hook through his cheek in order to serve himself up as bait to a school of sharks. Try as he might, Steve-O is unable to complete the act simply because it hurts too much and nearly passes out. A strange thing happens next when partner in crime Chris Pontius puts his arm around Steve-O's neck. Pontius actually seems concerned for a moment. He says, "I got you buddy," in a comforting tone, only to finish jabbing the hook through Steve-O's cheek with his other hand and push him in the water with the deadly creatures of the sea.
There were moments in this film where I did laugh. For instance, there is a hilarious prank wherein acclaimed director Spike Jonze wears a lot of make up to disguise himself as an old lady who has no problem exposing herself in public. The mortified reactions of the people standing around Jonze would have been worth the price of admission if the bulk of the film wasn't so crude or vile.
When the first Jackass movie came out in 2002, I laughed until my face hurt. That intense laugher turned into mild chuckles interrupted with bouts of gagging and wincing for its sequel. I should have realized nearly four years ago, that those were the days. Those were the days when humans only had to launch bottle rockets from their rectums and drink pee-flavored snow cones for the laughter of the crowds.
Those days are obviously gone now, and the boys of Jackass now have to up the ante to life-threatening degrees for popularity. And sadly, they all seem a little more cynical, a little more worse for the wear because of it. I predict that by the time Jackass 3 is released in theaters, one of its founding cast members will be in prison. Or worse, dead.

Note: On last week's show, I reported that the real life jackasses who work for the MPAA decided to slap the trailer for 'Deliver Us From Evil' with a red band, preventing it from being shown in most theaters on TV. Below is the offending trailer. Check it out, and let me know if this is more offensive than a man drinking a male horse's sex fluids


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