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South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is a movie based on the hit TV show. And half the title is a penis joke. Most TV shows only get a movie after they’ve been cancelled or towards the end of their run, but they started developing this movie during the first season. This was my first introduction to South Park. I hadn’t even seen an episode before watching the movie. It was almost too much to grasp. It was howlingly funny, shockingly stupid, and a bona fide musical.

            I remember buying the soundtrack and making my mom listen to it as she shuttled me around. The songs are actually good. The lyrics are absurd, but this is one of the best musical comedies of the last thirty years. I can’t really think of that many musical comedies, but that’s beside the point.

To sum up the plot: The kids of South Park go crazy after seeing the Terrance and Phillip movie. Kyle’s mom is a bitch and declares war on Canada and Terrance and Phillip. Kenny dies and goes to Hell and finds out that Satan and Saddam Hussein plan on taking over the world when Terrance and Phillip’s blood is spilled on American soil. It’s up to Stan, Kyle, and Cartman to lead La Resistance and save the world.

Watching the movie is like revisiting old friends like Terrance and Phillip, Chef, Big Gay Al and Mr. Hat. They even introduce one-time memorable characters like The Mole. South Park has changed a lot from the early seasons. You can really see how much the show has evolved. The South Park movie is essential viewing for any South Park fan, even though it feels kind of dated now. It’s still hilarious, but it seems kind of tame when compared to the more recent seasons. It would be interesting to see how they would handle another South Park movie.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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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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