South Park DVD

There’s something to offend just about everyone in “South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut.” It’s rude, crude, vulgar, racist and sick. The sad part is that I enjoyed the film. I laughed a lot, and if it weren’t for the excessive musical numbers, I would have given it my highest rating.


southparkI’m probably going to take a lot of crap for liking a film whose very intent is to piss people off. I don’t mind, and I really don’t care. I was there when “South Park” made its debut on Comedy Central, and I have been there through thick and thin.

Some of my friends think I’m nuts for liking “South Park” and the antics of the foul-mouthed characters who inhabit the small Colorado town. Those who don’t like “South Park” don’t get it. They can’t see beyond the shock value so they can appreciate the series’ sharp wit. All they see are crudely animated cartoon characters who say and do things that not only push the envelope, but who usually end up using the envelope to wipe their butts.

“South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are fearless. They’re not afraid to tackle cultural or religious icons in order to make their point. They’re also sophomoric, so some of their message gets lost in the fun and games.

“South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut” fulfills on the promise of the series by offering these characters without inhibition. “Comedy Central” makes a habit of bleeping out the most crude language, thus weakening the effect. The film makes no excuses, and on many levels, goes where no mainstream animated film has dared to go before.

If you’re not a fan of the “South Park” series, then by all means, skip the movie. There is nothing here for you but more of the same. Lots more. More vulgarity. More profanity. More dirty jokes. More songs. More songs. That is the film’s only drawback. In their quest to make a modern day musical, Parker and Stone have made the film top heavy with musical numbers. Most are funny and welcome, but one pops up every give minutes and it gets annoying.

At least the musical numbers are incorporated into the story and help move the plot along. Plot? You mean you get all this and plot too? Oh yeah, and it’s a very funny parable about current events.

When four of South Park’s most precocious youths sneak into an R-rated movie featuring foul-mouthed Canadians Terrance and Philip, their exposure laves them addicted to bad language. It’s not long before their parents and teachers become concerned, and blame Canada for corrupting their children.

Before you can say Anne Murray, Terrance and Philip have been arrested (during a taping of “Conan O’Brien,” no less), and are to be executed during a USO Show before America goes off to war against Canada.

Parker and Stone, who created the characters in “South Park” as an animated Christmas card, said they based the four leads on kids they knew growing up. There is indeed a sense of familiarity in all of the characters, even if everything has been pushed to the extreme.

I absolutely adore Eric Cartman, the rotund (he’s big boned, not fat) smart ass whose mother has a dubious past. In the series, when Cartman went on a quest to find his father, he learned that his mother had slept with almost everyone at a drunken barn dance. In the film, he learns even more about his mother when Cartman and his friends come across a German sex website.

Kenny is another favorite, even though his weekly demise on the series is one of the main complaints against the show. Kenny doesn’t seem to mind, and neither do I. It’s a cartoon, for goodness sakes. In the film, Kenny’s demise sends him to Hell, where he learns that Stan and his new squeeze Saddam Hussein plan to reign over Earth the moment Terrance and Philip’s blood is spilled on American soil. Hey, it’s their prophecy, not mine.

Writers Parker, Stone and Pam Brady have whipped up a hilarious scenario that actually makes fun of the very product their selling. No stone is left unturned and nothing is sacred as the writers take on everything from the motion picture ratings board to extreme hysteria over potty mouths. Most of the time they hit their targets, creating a nuclear explosion of laughter. There are a couple of iffy moments that left me a little cold, but everything in the film comes and goes so quick (except some of those damned songs) you don’t seem to mind.

I mean, how can you instantly dismiss a film that has the cajones to kill Bill Gates over the Windows 98 mess, or nuke both the Baldwin and Arquette clans as a prelude to war? It’s hard not to leave the theater with a bring grin on your face, and if you have a sharp ear, you’ll notice people like George Clooney playing a doctor and Minnie Driver playing Brooke Shields (who admits to passing gas on the set of “The Blue Lagoon”).

While children have become fans of the series, it is not a kiddie show. It’s for adults, and even though it looks like a third grade film project with it’s cut-out animation (now computer generated), everything in it is decidedly aimed at people who will appreciate the wit as well as the silliness.

Ironically, I had to show my ticket stub to the usher at the door (who maintained his post the entire length of the film), obviously part of Clinton’s new get tough policy to keep impressionable young minds from being exposed to dirty words and images. However, there was no guard at the door of “The Matrix” playing down the hall. Go figure….

COMPLETE CHECK-UP

VISION: 20/20

check.gif (406 bytes) 1.85:1 Widescreen

check.gif (406 bytes) 16×9 Enhanced

Eye candy to the extreme. The colorful characters come to life thanks to a beautiful digital transfer that is always easy on the eyes. The colors are bright and vivid, with perfect saturation points. No bleeding or soft edges here. No depth of field, but attention to detail is very specific. You can make out every little detail in the frame. Pristine master allows for clean whites, while the blacks are as solid as they come.

HEARING: Excellent

check.gif (406 bytes) English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround

check.gif (406 bytes) English 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround

check.gif (406 bytes) French 2.0 Dolby Digital Surround

Most expressive 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround soundtrack. All of the channels are alive with musical cues, playful ambient noise and a dialogue mix that is tops. Low, mid and high ends are all clean and pure, with no noticeable hiss or distortion. Stereo split is precise, while rear speakers have more to do than just pacify leftover data.

ORAL: Good

check.gif (406 bytes) Closed Captions in English for the Hard of Hearing

COORDINATION: Clumsy

check.gif (406 bytes) Colorful main and scene access menus.

check.gif (406 bytes) Three theatrical trailers for the film, two in widescreen, and one full-screen.

PROGNOSIS: Excellent

check.gif (406 bytes) Totally outrageous and to the point. Get your copy now!

VITALS: $29.98/Rated R/81m/Color/26 Chapter Stops/Keepcase

ATTENDING RESIDENT: John Larsen

PATIENT: SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT

BIRTH DATE: 1999

HMO: Paramount Home Video



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