Jackass Number Two | A-

Jackass Number 2Clearly, there’s not a lot that needs to be “reviewed” for this kind of movie. You either like seeing people get punched in the nuts or you don’t. There’s a bit more to Jackass Number Two than just nut-shots, mainly involving yaks, medicine balls and rockets, all used to tremendous effect. If you’ve been entertained by any of the above, you’ll love this flick. A strong stomach may also be required.

The fact that none of the Jackass crew are dead by now speaks to the vast amounts of pure, dumb luck they each possess. The potential for a broken neck or catching a disease from a wild animal is off the charts here, but they somehow emerge unscathed each and every time. Well, not unscathed, but certainly alive. Most of the cast members end up with some sort of permanent scar (both physically and mentally) during the course of the movie, perhaps the worst being Bam Margera’s ass-branding-gone-wrong at the hands of Ryan Dunn. If that makes you cringe, just wait ’til you see it onscreen.


I think my favorite stunt was also one of the simplest; involving a hand-written sign covering a hole in a hotel hallway wall, hiding what lay waiting for an unsuspecting reader. Really, it’s amazing that seeing someone get punched in the face by a mechanical boxing glove could be so hilarious, but this is the essence of Jackass. It’s essentially the real-world version of Wile E. Coyote and Tom & Jerry (though it may be closer to Itchy & Scratchy at this point). If you liked the first flick, you’ll love Number Two, leaving the theater sore from having laughed so hard. But, if you have an aversion to the aforementioned nut-punches, feces and other bodily fluids being flung about, then I must recommend that you refrain from attending the theater to see Jackass Number Two.

A traveshamockery

Took a trip down to HSBC Arena this morning to watch the opening practice of the Buffalo Sabres training camp, an intrasquad scrimmage and the unveiling of the new blue-and-gold uniforms featuring the much-reviled Buffalo Banana Slug. The nearly 10,000 fans in attendance were certainly excited to see their team, engaging in “Let’s Go Buf-fa-lo!” chants while the team changed into their new jerseys in the locker room.


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The Wire

Having lost faith in the creative powers behind most of the dreck on television long ago, I’m wary of getting into any new series’ churned out each year by the networks. On rare occasions, I’ve heard from others (rather than through the endless charade of “the all-new hit show!” advertising) about a select few shows that are worth my incredibly valuable time and viewing commitment. One such show is HBO’s The Wire.

The Wire

The show, the fourth season of which just started, centers around the urban and moral decay of the city of Baltimore viewed through the lens of its police, lawyers, crime lords, drug addicts, union workers, and politicians. It’s a simple enough concept that’s been approached with varying degrees of success in the past. But never has any show succeeded so brilliantly in painting such a complete and dynamic picture of life on the streets as this show. And furthermore, in the show business sense, the crew behind The Wire seems to “get it.”

The creative staff, with links to the old NBC show Homicide, have created one of the most riveting, thought-provoking and intelligently written episodic series ever on television. I’m not sure I’ve ever watched a more well-written and acted show. There have been shows with great runs and episodes in their times, but The Wire is consistently fantastic in nearly every aspect of its production, the writing chief among them. I can’t fathom writing this consistently good being on television in this day and age. It’s writing that doesn’t treat you like an idiot couch potato that requires every plot point spoon-fed to you or every aspect of a storyline explained with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. It’s an adult story acted by adults, written by adults and–crazily enough–treats its viewer like an adult! Who knew this was possible?

I hate to use the term “novel” to describe a TV show, but watching this show is akin to reading an Homerian epic, chapter by chapter. Layers covering Baltimore’s ruthless drug lords, its corrupt politicians, its dirty cops are all unflinchingly peeled back by the writers, who then heap that reality upon the show’s protagonists, who aren’t exactly angels themselves. It’s a detail of Baltimore city cops, some of the few honest and decent souls in a department rife with corruption. They’re not perfect, but their aims are pure in trying to clean up a hopelessly decaying city. It’s a Herculean task, but they trudge ever onward, led by department pariah Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West).


Regardless of all this babbling on my part, my main goal here is to get you to watch the show–to thereby reward creativity instead of continuing to support the Crap Factory that churns out stuff like Will & Grace and Justice and Grey’s Anatomy (melodramatic garbage, folks). Go rent the first three seasons of The Wire and enjoy yourself. If you’re not addicted to it by the 4th or 5th episode of season one, you’re probably better suited to watching shows like Two and a Half Men. I take no pleasure in insulting potential readers, but thas’ how I roll! And if you don’t think my saying you’re better suited to that show isn’t an insult, then God help you.