BAD GRANDPA .5 gives you a whole new perspective on the world of Irving Zisman with unbelievable bonus scenes and hilarious pranks also featuring Academy Award-winner Spike Jonze (as “Gloria”) and Oscar®-nominee Catherine Keener (as Irving’s wife “Ellie”)…plus a look at the evolution of Johnny Knoxville’s naughty alter-ego, the Academy Award-nominated makeup effects, and an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek at the idiocy it takes to make a hidden camera movie in public.
Just like the previous 'Jackass' films, the filmmakers shoot enough footage for another film and always release a second "film", which always feels like a feature length bonus feature of extra footage, interviews, and behind-the-scenes information. And this one is no different. In line with the previous films, this one is called 'Bad Grandpa .5' and is an 86-minute bonus feature rather than an all-new movie like the case suggests. But hey, that's not all bad, because you get the behind-the-scenes information, plus some of the hilarious skits and pranks that didn't make it into the theatrical release, due to time constraints. And if you found 'Bad Grandpa' as funny as I did, you'll find this .5 version just as hilarious as we get to see the intense makeup process, which garnered the filmmaking team and Oscar nomination, new pranks and skits, and even how they placed some of the cameras so that people on the street wouldn't see them.
Thing start out by seeing Johnny Knoxville as the lovable bad grandpa Irving Zisman back in 2001, which was his first appearance as the old man. Knoxville and Tremaine discuss on camera how far the makeup effects have come over ten years, saying they couldn't make a movie like 'Bad Grandpa' back then because the makeup effects weren't up to par. So we see the transformation on Knoxville over the years, which was very cool. Not to mention, we get to see how other private prosthetics have been improved over the years.
There are also some extended scenes from the theatrical film that are shown including the angry guy yelling at Irving about the penguin statue, as well as the male strip club scene. Both were very funny and we learned that when people like the angry penguin guy go ballistic, it makes for better tv and that is what Knoxville always hopes for. Surprisingly enough, there were a few scenes that were completely cut from the film, where Irving's dead wife is alive and was played by the A-List actress Catherine Keener.
Keener is hilarious as Mrs. Zisman and the two try to get info on what to do when she dies. Then there comes Spike Jonze, who is known as playing Irving's very old mistress, who flashes everyone in public. Spike's character was basically completely cut from the theatrical film, but here, he shines, as his character and Knoxville's Zisman receive couples sex therapy, invite people from Cragislist to have a late dinner with them, to even raunchier public pranks including some lactation. One of my favorite deleted scenes was when Irving was getting into a public hot-tub with a fake colostomy bag that opened up and spilled out in the water with people in it. I laughed until I cried.
We also get a glimpse at how difficult the camera people had it, by having to hide in very cramped spots for hours on end to get footage, but they all seemed to be good sports about it. The young Jackson Nicoll makes a few appearances, but it's very sparse, which was strange, considering his major role in the feature film. This 86-minute bonus feature is very good and full of belly laughs throughout. Again, if you enjoyed the theatrical version of 'Bad Grandpa', you're going to love this .5 version.
'Bad Grandpa .5' comes with a great 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Much like the original film, 'Bad Grandpa', a variety of film equipment was used to capture the funny moments throughout, ranging from low-end home video equipment to very high-end movie cameras. And as usual, the better cameras produce the better images. So the behind-the-scenes stuff looks amazing that reveals very fine detail with the amazing Oscar nominated makeup, showing every wrinkle and age spot on Knoxville.
It simply looks magnificent. The colors pop off screen as well with bright natural colors and lighting. However, during some of the scenes where low-end cameras were used, the image is fuzzy, dark, and colors are a mess. But hey, it's a 'Jackass' movie, right? Skin tones are natural and black levels are deep and inky in the better looking scenes. In keeping in tradition with the other 'Jackass' films, this one is just as good.
This release comes with a decent lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix and does a great job for what kind of film it is. Since this is a more behind-the-scenes look at the original movie, you can't expect a fully dynamic range of sound throughout. But that being said, I was pleasantly surprised by how the soundtrack utilized the surround speakers with cars driving by in the background, people chattering, and general city and nature noises going on. It was very well done.
The dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to understand, and is perfectly situated on the center channel. Perhaps the biggest sound comes from the nightclub/male strip club scene, as you will hear the bass and music kick into high gear with a solid dynamic range and excellent LFE. There were no instances of any pops, cracks, or hissing either, leaving this release with solid audio marks.
Round Table Interview (HD, 13 mins.) - Johnny Knoxville, Jeff Tremaine, and Spike Jonze all sit around and discuss some hilarious stories on making 'Bad Grandpa'. Definitely worth a look.
Casting Billy (HD, 4 mins.) - Here are some interviews with actor Jackson Nicoll and the rest of the cast as they made sure he was the right young man for the part, by pulling a prank on him.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 13 mins.) - There are eight deleted scenes here, all of which are worth watching.
Outtakes (HD, 14 mins.) - Here is a long gag reel of people laughing, missed marks, equipment failures, and much more. I laughed throughout.
Again, 'Bad Grandpa .5' isn't necessarily a film, but rather all of the extra footage shot from the original movie and molded together with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. The 'Jackass' films have been doing this since the beginning, because they have tons upon tons of hours of footage, all of which is highly entertaining and funny, but was edited out due to time constraints. With this release, we get a look behind the camera and see some of the characters that were deleted from the theatrical version, new pranks, and make up tests. If you loved the original film, then you'll love this add-on. Highly Recommended!