Arriving today on Blu-Ray is “Bad Grandpa .5”, an extended version of last year’s hit comedy “Bad Grandpa,” which featured Johnny Knoxville as foul-mouthed elderly crank Irving Zisman, who takes his grandson on a cross-country adventure, showcasing hidden camera pranks along the way. “Bad Grandpa .5” ditches the narrative spine, and features interviews, outtakes and deleted scenes.
“Bad Grandpa” was one of the pleasant surprises of last year, featuring some of Jackass’ best, most elaborate pranks yet, while also weaving a story through each prank. The inventive hybrid led to Jackass’ best reviews yet.
The lack of narrative begs the question: Is “Bad Grandpa .5” even a movie? It feels like an 80-minute feature for a DVD release, showing failed takes, pranks too weak for the original release and deleted scenes that didn’t make the cut. It’s a mixed bag.
There are some funny moments, including deleted scenes and pranks featuring acclaimed actress Catherine Keener as Irving’s wife Ellie. Another extended scene featuring Spike Jonez as an old lady meeting guys off of Craiglist is stunning as Jonez meets various pervs and lunatics through the site. Many of the sketches are strong, but it’s clear why these weren’t in the original “Bad Grandpa.” Even the funnier ideas just sort of meander, and rarely end in a satisfying way.
Both “Jackass 2” and “Jackass 3” received later “.5” releases after them much like this, with deleted scenes, outtakes, etc, with enough new footage to almost justify the double dip. This new disc comes in a Blu-Ray edition, although aside from the Oscar-nominated makeup, the footage doesn’t really beg for a high-def release.
“Bad Grandpa .5” has several laughs, but selling a glorified DVD extra as an individual Blu-Ray release may be Jackass’ best prank of all. You can view some archived photos of the "Bad Grandpa" gang in the slideshow above. For the latest Blu-Ray news and reviews, subscribe to the Blu-Ray Examiner today.