DID YOU READ

“Jackass 3D,” Reviewed

“Jackass 3D,” Reviewed (photo)

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I love how I feel after a “Jackass” movie. My chest hurts from laughing too much, my throat is sore from screaming. It feels like you ran a marathon, albeit a marathon that involved a lot of exposed male genitalia. In a cinematic landscape littered with forgettable mediocrities, “Jackass 3D” is a reminder of what it is like to really feel something at the movies: happiness, or shock, or repulsion, or jubilation, or all of these things at once. Director Jeff Tremaine, producer Spike Jonze, star Johnny Knoxville, and the rest of the “Jackass” gang may be a lot of things: pranksters, morons, bad influences, debauchers, exhibitionists, geniuses. These are matters of opinion. But regardless of opinion, one fact remains inarguable: they are not boring.

As before, this latest “Jackass” is a collection of unconnected pranks, sketches, stunts, pratfalls, and weiner jokes. Unlike before, the decidedly low-tech “Jackass” aesthetic, born of ’90s skater videos and daredevil home movies, has been married to some extremely high-tech equipment, specifically the Phantom high-speed camera. It shoots 1,000 frames of film a second and turns images of dudes getting hit in the face with fish or shot in the gut with cannonballs into beautiful, slo-mo ballets of rippling flesh.

There is 3D, some of it refreshingly in-your-face — I, for one, will never look at a party noise maker the same way again — but the boys haven’t radically altered their approach to suit their newfangled equipment. There are still pranks on the unsuspecting public, most of them now done by Knoxville in old man makeup since he’s too recognizable otherwise. There are still impressive feat of daredevil stuntwork, like Ryan Dunn facing off against the exhaust pipe of a fighter jet. There are still quasi-scientific experiments on the pain threshold of the human body, as when “Danger Ehren” McGehey performs tooth extraction by speeding Lamborghini. And there are still enough exposed penises to send shivers down Carl Paladino’s spine. I think the first “Jackass” film is still the strongest, but all three are extremely well-assembled, and this latest collection of craziness is another worthy addition to the series’ canon. There’s never a dull moment.

Some hyperbolically compare the comedy of “Jackass” to the work of silent film comedians like Chaplin and Keaton and Lloyd. There are limits to the comparison: Knoxville and company lack their predecessor’s refinement, obviously, as well as their dexterity with narrative and character (the closest “Jackass 3D” comes to a story is Bam Margera’s ongoing quest to punch unsuspecting crew members in the face). But at its most basic, the pleasure of “Jackass” is the same pleasure of those silent greats: watching men put their lives on the line for the sake of their art and admiring the beauty of bodies in motion. A skit like “Duck Hunting,” where the cast line up in boats with paintball guns to shoot Steve-O and then Dunn as they plummet to the earth, epitomizes both. Watching Dunn cartwheel slowly through the sky 40-plus feet above the ground as his buds pelt him with paint filled capsules is a sight to behold.

Though every “Jackass” movie is guaranteed to receive an R-rating for language, nudity, and assorted other filth — you don’t see a lot of PG-13 rated movies with “poop volcanos” — there is a purity and even a bit of innocence to “Jackass.” In the age of irony, the Jackasses are the keepers of the flame of sincerity in comedy (their so-called “raunchy” comedy is also surprisingly sexless). Everything they do, they do with an earnestness and a purity of spirit. You think it’s easy to do a poop joke? Try to make one as good as that poop volcano. There is a reason these men have thrived for so long in a world where any moron with a Flip Video can hit their dad in the nuts and get on YouTube. They are simply the best at what they do. The most creative, the most innovative, the funniest, the most daringly stupid, and the most stupidly daring.

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar

via GIPHY

IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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