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Friday, January 7, 2011

The Importance of Jackass 3D

So important, in fact, that I stopped what I was currently writing to share this with all of you - this is, without a doubt, the best awards moment of the year. Not since the "Not since [...]" campaign for Toy Story 3, nor the audacious "why the hell not" campaign for Zack Snyder's Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, has one advertisement taken me so far aback and made me think "You know what? Okay. Yes."

This, ladies and gentlemen, is my favorite thing of the season -

You read it right. 

In a year so completely stacked with heavy drama - lost fathers, dead fathers, dying fathers, kids in peril, king's at risk, worlds ending, God losing his faith in mankind, etc. - it takes a movie like Jackass (in eye-popping 3D, no less) to give us pause and force us to reevaluate our mood. Some of us vomited, some of us didn't even dare to watch it, and some of us camped out for three days before the first showing. And most of us were drunk. However, this For Your Consideration ad tells me a few things -

1. Anyone who doesn't get the joke by now, they never will.
2. Sure, it's okay to think this kind of stuff isn't funny. But, you might be hard pressed to argue its value.
3. Sometimes, even critics take their jobs way, way, way too seriously.

This is a trilogy, but it ain't Lord of the Rings. It's a documentary, but let's not pretend it's Bowling for Columbine. They've bowled before, but they usually use a midget. It's a lot like the Howard Stern show, but not completely beyond reproach. If a critic can sit in front of his or her computer and praise the film for its meditations on togetherness and manly friendship, then... maybe the creators were onto something.

And, I swear, it's the great equalizer in film last year - will it be in my line-ups for anything come February? I'd bet my next paycheck no. But, I have respect for everyone involved with the production, simply for this "middle finger" of a consideration ad. And part of me hopes it works, only because I'm dying to see the promo reel during the ceremony when they read the nominations. 

It came out in the beginning of the sluggish awards season last year, and made quite a splash. Its use of 3D was, rightfully so, heralded as groundbreaking for the technology, and if you listen to the cast interviews they talk about it like a gang of indie filmmakers - knowledgeable of their technology and how it effects their film. It's a bit enlightening, in a way. The most important thing about a film like Jackass, though, or the series as a whole from its conception as a television series, is that it bonds people - regardless of their taste - into common conversation. It's like a train wreck; it's like what Jerry Springer did, except a hell of a lot classier. Everyone has an opinion on it, and most everyone will give that opinion at the drop of a hat. And then the film will still make all the money. Like I said - it's an equalizer. A barometer, almost, to how balanced the general audience can be with the "awards circle" people. Both went, and from the numbers, both enjoyed themselves immensely. 

Maybe for this, the movie will be recognized for something? Probably not. But, Johnny Knoxville and crew should still get a high five for this ad. It seriously made this season worth it.