Tag Archives: satire

South Park

Matt Stone and Trey Parker are the creative minds behind Team America: World Police, Orgazmo, The Book of Mormon (the Broadway smash, not the foundation of the religion), and South Park. South Park is one of the best cartoon shows ever. It is funny on every level. It is crude, controversial, satirical, and always hilarious. The show follows Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman, four friends growing up in South Park, Colorado.

Stan Marsh is the everyman. He is the most normal of the friends, and he’s usually the voice of reason. Kyle Broflovski is also relatively normal, but he’s Jewish and Cartman won’t let him forget it. Kenny McCormick is the unlucky one of the group. Not only is he poor, he has an unfortunate habit of dying (especially in the first few seasons). Eric Cartman is the fat asshole of the group. He is racist, manipulative, a brat, and a terrible person in general… He’s also the fan favorite and a majority of the best episodes revolve around him.

There are a lot of great supporting characters, way to many to list them all. So I will just mention Butters, Jimmy, Timmy, Token, Towelie, Chef, and Mr. Hanky the Christmas Poo. And Kyle’s mom’s a bitch.

There have been 230 episodes over 16 seasons. That’s pretty fucking impressive. The show was a hit from the start, but it took a few seasons for the show to find its groove. The early seasons are kind of hard to watch now. The show gradually became more bold and distinctive. Scott Tenorman Must Die is the episode when South Park truly became South Park. That’s also the point where you learned that Cartman is capable of anything and you don’t want to be on his bad side.

The animation style looks intentionally shitty. The characters look like paper cut-outs (the pilot actually was filmed with paper), but it is all computer animated so they can churn out episodes in 6 days. An episode of the Simpsons can take 6 months to produce in comparison. The result is that South Park can be topical. And they have fun with that. They will mention sports scores and spoof news events just because they can. It’s pretty amazing to think that they are creative enough to write a script, animate it, record and add the dialog, add sound effects and music, do rewrites, and edit it within a week’s time. And then everyone will be quoting it around the water cooler that next day.

Trey Parker is a genius. And Matt Stone is lucky that he knows Trey Parker. And we are all lucky that Trey Parker gave us South Park and the South Park movie. When South Park first came out, my cable provider didn’t carry Comedy Central. I had never seen an episode of South Park before I saw Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. My head practically exploded.

South Park is a great TV show. It challenges everything and everyone. You can’t get too offended though. It’s South Park. That’s what they do. You never know that to expect with each new episode of South Park. They don’t even know what to expect. It’s guerrilla art.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed By Brendan H. Young.

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Team America: World Police

The world is in trouble, and only Team America: World Police can save it. Trey Parker and Matt Stone created South Park, and they are back on the big screen again, and this time they have puppets. Trey Parker is a genius. Matt Stone is lucky he works with a genius.  And we get to watch what they create.

Team America is a parody of Michael Bay movies and other action films, done with marionettes. The puppets are top of the line, the sets are impressive and detailed, and the script is very witty and clever. But they never let you forget the fact that the characters are puppets. They play around with it, showing the puppets looking at real life Washington D.C. monuments, using regular house cats as jaguars, and even knocking a puppet over with the camera. The fight choreography looks like as amateur as you can get, but is hysterical because of the intense music they use.

An actor by the name of Gary Johnston is recruited to join Team America, because they believe he has the acting ability to save the world. He’s reluctant to join at first, but decides that he must give up his dreams for freedom. Meanwhile Kim Jong Il is planning a peace ceremony hosted by Alec Baldwin as a diversion to launch a global terror attack. Can Gary’s acting ability help Team America save the world?

Not only is this a great comedy, but it’s a terrific musical. There are some memorable songs like “America, Fuck Yeah”, “Freedom Isn’t Free”, “I’m So Ronery”, and the “Montage” song. “Freedom Isn’t Free” is one of the best country songs of the last ten years.

It’s a very political movie obviously, but you’ll notice they don’t bash George W. Bush. He’s not even mentioned in the movie at all. The opening scene in Paris where the team saves the day but destroys the city sums up how the world views Americans and how Americans view themselves. And there are hardcore puppet sex scenes.

This is a funny movie. It is a smart movie. It pisses a lot of people off, but it makes a lot of people happy. A good piece of art will be controversial. That’s what this movie is, art. Trey Parker is an artist. Matt Stone is lucky he knows an artist.

Critically Rated at 14/17

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Scream

Wes Craven’s Scream was the best horror film of the ‘90s. It is also Neve Campbell’s best movie (her best scene is in Wild Things though). This is a scary movie that also spoofs the clichés of the horror genre. It’s very meta and self-referential, but it does it subtly and doesn’t throw it in your face. It has a lot of funny moments, but no gags or jokes. It’s a horror satire, not a horror parody.

It has a good cast with Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Rose McGowan, Matthew Lillard, Jaime Kennedy and Skeet Ulrich. Drew Barrymore has a brief cameo in the introduction. Spoiler alert: she dies. It was a surprise to see her bite the dust so quickly; you just assumed that she would be in the whole movie. It’s even more awesome because Drew Barrymore sucks and she should die in the first ten minutes of any movie she’s in (except E.T.).

David Arquette’s Deputy Dewey is goofy and provides some comic relief. But Jaime Kennedy’s character is the funniest in the show. He is a film buff and kind of a dork, but he knows the rules of scary movies. He knows what to do and not to do, what to say and not to say. He shares his knowledge with the other characters and the audience. If you ever get trapped in a horror movie and want to survive, you better remember Randy’s rules.

The movie is kind of dated now. The ‘90s hair and wardrobe are weird looking. If you have a cell phone you are a suspect. The plot still holds up though. The whole backstory with Sidney’s whorish mother and the wrongful incarceration of Cotton Weary was pretty cool. It comes up in the sequels too. The twist at the end where it is revealed that there are actually two killers was well written. But seriously look at how shady Billy Loomis is. Did you have any doubt that Skeet Ulrich was the killer? Matthew Lillard does a great job transitioning from being funny to being psychotic.

The Ghostface mask has reached iconic status. It is instantly recognizable, and it makes the Scream killer as identifiable as Michael Myers or Jason. The voice is what really makes it terrifying though. It could be anyone under the mask. The actors never met Roger L. Jackson, the voice of Ghostface, they had no idea what he looked like.

Scream is a cool movie. It’s funny, scary, and smart. It inspired a new wave of horror movies aimed at teenager and twenty-somethings. Urban Legend, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Jeepers Creepers… all of these are riding Scream’s coattails. Scream did it first and did it better. What’s your favorite scary movie? Probably this one.

Critically Rated at 14/17

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