In Short: One of the year's funniest and most wonderfully witty films gets a fine anamorphic transfer, but unfortunately no extras.
Where to begin? Whatever you're expecting from this film before viewing it, throw your notions of what to expect out. Completely. Nothing(and I mean nothing) can prepare you for the sort of stream of agressive profanity that is packed into the 80 minute length of "South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut". IN 1995, Kevin Smith fought the MPAA to get "Clerks", the story of a day in the life of two very vulgar convience store clerks, to be released as an "R" instead of NC-17. "Clerks" was very profane, but at the same time, there was a very witty undercurrent to the proceedings.
Sitting through "South Park", I can honestly say that the language here makes "Clerks" look positively tame by comparison. Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone gleefully push the limits here, packing in what seems like hundreds(possibly thousands, I simply lost count) of the most absolutely raunchy language ever heard on film.
The film tries it's hardest to pack in a whole lot in its short length: the famed SP four(Kenny, Cartman, Kyle and Stan) are off to see the new movie by Canadian stars Terrence and Phillip, "Asses Of Fire"(which contains one of the most profane song numbers ever in film). The adults in the audience walk out, but the kids love it(Cartman states, "it warped my fragile little mind"). Soon enough, the kids are spewing four-letter words throughout their school and shocking not only their teachers but their parents. The parents are angered and seek the source of their kids decent into vulgarity: Terrence and Phillip are from Canada so it's decided that the US will not only go to war against Canada, but execute Terrence and Phillip.Meanwhile, poor Kenny has been killed once again, and finds himself in hell. While there, he not only finds Satan and Saddam Hussein having a relationship, but a secret that could cause the end of not only South Park, but the World.
No target is safe from the film; not the MPAA, not the V-Chip, not anything. The show continually has moments of great satire, but given free and raunchy reign on the events and dialogue of the film, the creators have taken it all to the limit and although sometimes it doesn't always work, the film tries something new at such a rapid rate that if you didn't laugh at one joke, there's another one any second now. There are hilarious recalls of some of the shows more popular moments, such as Cartman's famed song about Kyle's mom, and one of his more popular phrases, "Respect My Authority!" is used in a very funny moment near the film's end.
There are moments that are simply beyond belief. Winona Ryder makes an appearance and the trick she performs is beyond any kind of vulgar humor we, as audiences, have ever been exposed to. A certain body part gives advice to one of the kids. "South Park" never feels like it's too long, but there are moments where it simply becomes too much; curse upon curse upon curse. The film certainly can't be accused of not trying: there are even some brilliantly written song and dance numbers that had me laughing hysterically.
"South Park" was very, very funny for the majority of it's running length. I almost want to congratulate Parker and Stone for making a film that is so mind-blowingly profane that it should start a round of questions about the fact that the MPAA seems to have absolutely no set standards for the way it rates movies. There's a joyfulness about this film and the way that it makes fun of the MPAA that is incredibly sharp and always funny. It's so gleefully naughty that we can't help but laugh. Sometimes we laugh in shock, sometimes we genuinely laugh- but there is a suprising amount of wit and an incredible amount of laughs tightly packed into 80 minutes.
Parker and Stone may have failed with "Baseketball", but here, on their own and free to do what they please, they've come up with a film that absolutely pushes the boundaries of the kind of language we've ever heard, ever. It makes any sort of R-rated comedy that's come before look tame in comparison. It may be foul. It may be immature. It may have somewhere around 1,000 various curse words, but I've rarely found myself laughing this hard. Parker and Stone have taken the show's possibilities in a no limits situation and what they've come up with is a very funny laugh in the face of authority.
Although "South Park" is done in a rather basic form of animation, the image quality here looks about as good as it possibly could, given the source materials. The colors of the various clothes that the kids wear as well as colors in the backgrounds or in scenes like the ones in hell are quite vibrant and nicely saturated. The picture, for the majority of the presentation, looks not terribly sharp, but certainly clear and crisp. This seems like more of a flaw coming from the original material itself.
The anamorphic transfer is otherwise quite pleasing. As I mentioned before, the colors do pop nicely on this transfer and it's an accurate representation of what I saw in the theaters last Summer. There's none of the usual flaws; no shimmering, etc. and the print is without any marks or similar problems. Solid stuff throughout and although the animation is somewhat crude, this transfer looks smooth and solid throughout. Good work by Paramount.
Suprisingly good work in the audio department as well. Although a lot of the movie is simply dialogue, there are quite a few songs (this is a musical, after all) that sound crystal clear and a few scenes that provide a pretty solid amount of action. The battle scenes towards the end and the scenes in hell are some of the highlights. "Bigger, Longer and Uncut" occasionally does provide some effective uses of the surrounds and some strong bass. Dialogue is crystal clear throughout.
MENUS:: An opportunity lost; Parker and Stone could have done some special animated menus for the DVD, but unfortunately, the menus are basic and non-animated.
Trailers: Trailers in all different aspect ratios: the hilarious teaser trailer in 1.85:1, a theatrical trailer in 2.35:1 and another theatrical trailer that's full frame.
Final ThoughtsThe movie definitely isn't for everyone, but for those who aren't easily offended, you'll find it absolutely hilarious. I know I did.
The Film 90/A- = (450/500 possible points)
Video 90/A- = (360/400 possible points)
Audio: 88/B = (352/400 possible points)
Extras: 75/C = (225/300 possible points)
Menus: 70/C = (140/200 possible points)
Value: 84/B = (252/300 possible points)
Very Highly Recommended.