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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 11/30/99

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
1999 (1999) - Comedy Central/Warner Bros./Paramount (Paramount)

review by Bill Hunt, editor of The Digital Bits

Enhanced for 16x9 TVs

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut Film Rating: A

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): A/B/D

Specs and Features

81 mins, R, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced, single-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, teaser trailer and 2 theatrical trailers, film-themed menus, scene access (26 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1 & 2.0) and French (DD 2.0), subtitles: English & French (barely, see review), Close Captioned

Well… what can you say about South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut? I'm definitely a fan of the Comedy Central TV series, but when I saw this film in the theater, my mouth just dropped open in shock for the first 15 minutes. Then I laughed good, hard and often. This film is rude, crude and extremely funny. It's probably the most politically incorrect film you'll ever see. And it's refreshing as hell.

If you followed the smack-down, grudge match fought in the media between South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and MPAA president Jack Valenti last summer, you probably know what to expect from this film. The reality is that the more Valenti trashed this film, the more people wanted to see it. Parker and Stone did everything possible to crank up the show's already foul attitude for its big screen debut, and after a while, they just started throwing things into this movie that they knew would piss off the ratings board - in your face filmmaking at its finest. To quote Kyle's mom, "Just remember what the MPAA says - horrific, deplorable violence is okay, as long as people don't say any naughty words!" Point made. And the score is Cartman 1, MPAA 0.

Despite all that profanity, there's still a story here (silly though it may be). One afternoon, Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny sneak into a showing of the Canadian-import movie Asses of Fire, starring Terrance & Phillip. Soon after, their speech can be measured in Obscenities Per Minute, and their parents aren't too happy about it. When they discover that a movie from up north started the problem, the mothers of tiny South Park, Colorado declare war on Canada in retaliation (a standard theme on the TV show - parents never take responsibility for their kids if they can lay blame elsewhere). Meanwhile, Saddam Hussein and Satan are up to no good, with plans to bring on the end of the world. So naturally, it's up to Stan, Kyle, Cartman and the ghost of Kenny ("You bastards!") to save the day. And along the way, we're treated to tons of laughs, at least one good Jar Jar Binks joke, and a surprisingly entertaining soundtrack, featuring hilarious songs like What Would Brian Boitano Do?, Blame Canada!, It's Easy, M'Kay, and the dreaded Uncle Fucka (in which the F-word is used many, many times).

The video on this DVD is presented in anamorphic widescreen, and it's of excellent quality. South Park's cutout style animation isn't exactly high art, but it looks great here. There's good detail and contrast, vibrant color, and very little edge enhancement or digital artifacting visible. Heck - there are hardly even any flecks of dust visible on the print. I wish more films looked this good when transferred for home video. On the other hand, this soundtrack isn't exactly the most active Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mix you'll ever hear on DVD. It's very biased to the front hemisphere, and only occasionally will you get much action from the rear channels. That's not to say it's bad - this is exactly how I remember the film sounding in the theater. Just don't expect it to push your sound equipment much. Note that stereo sound is also provided in English and French.

Sadly, the extras on this DVD leave a lot to be desired. You get 2 theatrical trailers of excellent quality, along with one of the film's teaser trailers. Unfortunately, here we get shortchanged - the studio could easily have included all three versions of the teaser trailer. Each was identical until the end, when Cartman said something different to the audience. This is a disc that Paramount could (and should) have had a lot of fun with in terms of extras. As Cartman might say, "Dude, this is f**king weak!" One last note - the subtitles on this disc are rather odd. Whenever Kenny talks, you've got about a 50/50 chance of having his muffled words translated. It's almost like whoever did the transcription did the best they could to figure out what he was saying, and sometimes just gave up. And the disc includes a French subtitle track which only very rarely actually translates anything (as with the titles at the beginning of the film). Why it's there at all is tough to figure.

So is Paramount's DVD version of South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut worth buying? Lame extras aside, I'd have to say that the answer is yes. Get it on sale, but do get it. This flick is a blast. You'll laugh, you'll be shocked, and you'll learn once and for all that Cartman's mom is DEFINITELY a dirty slut. But do keep in mind that this film is NOT for the faint of heart, and it ain't for kids, m'kay? That much SHOULD be obvious. But I was at Target the other day, and watched as a little boy no older than ten pointed at this DVD on the shelf and shouted, "You killed Kenny!" His mother immediately grabbed the disc, put it in their shopping cart and headed for the checkout isle. Benjamin Spock must be spinning in his grave….

Bill Hunt
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