"What garbage!" "Well, what do you expect? They're Canadian!"
1999's answer to the MPAA's reign of censorship enters American homes. It's bound to warp a few more fragile little minds.
For those of you living under rocks or in Kansas, "South Park" is a decidedly adult cartoon on the Comedy Central cable network. It centers around four third-grade boys living in South Park, Colorado. The show pulls no punches, making fun of everything and everyone, and certainly pushes the boundaries of what you can get away with on television. In the footsteps of "Beavis and Butt-Head," this summer it moved to the big screen. But unlike the MTV duo's movie, South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut actually took the show's shtick to a new and even more perverse level. The result is a movie that, under its potty-mouth exterior, satirizes America's penchant for taking blame away from the individual and putting it onto the most readily available media target. Or maybe I'm just trying to justify why I enjoy it so much. South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut follows Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny into the new foreign film from Canada: "Terrance and Phillip: Asses of Fire." It's a profanity-laced R-rated film, and indeed it warps their fragile little minds. When all the kids in town start swearing like Joe Pesci, their parents question the source and find that the Canadian film is to blame. They discover the most obvious solution to the problem: arrest Terrance and Phillip and declare war on Canada. The plan is to execute the Canadian comedians at a USO show.
However, the plot is thickened by a sinister subplot. Kenny dies (naturally) and descends to Hell. There he meets Satan and his partner, Saddam Hussein, and learns that if Terrance and Phillip die, it will mean that Satan can rise and rule the world. Kenny's ghost comes to warn his friends, and they attempt to rescue Terrance and Phillip. Mayhem ensues, war breaks out, and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. Oh, and did I mention that this is a musical? We are treated to songs along the way such as "What Would Brian Boitano Do?" and "Blame Canada." If South Park's creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, were ever to grow up, they would make fantastic Broadway shows starring Barbra Streisand. Hopefully that will never happen. But back to the movie. It ends with Kenny saving the day, and we finally get to see him without his trademark parka hood.
The DVD of South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut looks as good as I remember it looking in the theatre. The film is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. "South Park" began as animated construction paper, and though it is now produced on computers, the animation still has that unrefined look. It has none of the hand-drawn beauty of Disney animated films or The Iron Giant.
The DVD looks great, but it's not without problems. The colors here are rich and super-bright, though they do tend to bleed around the edges and there is some edge enhancement visible. I watched it with the Dolby 2.0 English track, because it most closely matched my Poor Man's System. It sounded fantastic.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
Paramount may be using anamorphic transfers for many of their recent titles, but they still lag far behind when it comes to including extras. The only extras present are three theatrical trailers. No commentary, no deleted scenes (and I'm sure they must be rich), no trivia, no production notes…nothing that could have made this disc the Holy Grail for South Park fans.
This movie is not for everyone. If you can withstand the first seven minutes…you are going to be assaulted by the remaining 74 minutes. The IMDb states that it contains 399 uses of profanity (that's around one every 12 seconds), and I would not question that figure at all. The ChildCare Action Project, a moral watchdog site, calls it "another movie straight from the smoking pits of Hell" and "[an] extraordinarily vulgar, vile, and repugnant movie." I think that was pretty much the point, mmmkay?
If you like South Park, and you have a low threshold for toilet humor, you'll love Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone are condemned to live for eternity in that fiery place. In the meantime, the court commends them for not compromising their, um, artistic vision. Paramount is given a stern reprimand for their failure to include any extras of note. The court recesses so the judge can go warp his mind again.
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