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PARAMOUNT

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Cast:
Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman, Jesse Howell, Franchesca Clifford, Eliza Schneider, Jennifer Howell, Mona Marshall
Writing Credits:
Various

Synopsis:
All fourteen episodes from South Park's notorious 14th Season are packed into this exclusive three-disc set. Join Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny as they dive into social networking, defend against annoying Jersey “muff cabbage” and finally reveal the secret identity of Mysterion in an epic three-part saga. Top that with some never-before-seen deleted scenes and a little crème fraiche, and you’ve got a collection that will leave you drooling. Shablagoo!!

MPAA:
Rated NR

DVD DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio:
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
English Dolby Stereo 2.0
Subtitles:
English
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English

Runtime: 313 min.
Price: $57.99
Release Date: 4/26/2011

Bonus:
• Mini-Commentaries for All 14 Episodes
• Bonus Episode
• Deleted Scenes
• Previews


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic 50" TH-50PZ77U 1080p Plasma Monitor; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.

RELATED REVIEWS


South Park: The Complete Fourteenth Season [Blu-Ray] (2010)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (July 30, 2012)

Time for another year of South Park on home video! Here we’ll check out 2010’s Season 14. I’ll examine all 14 programs in the way presented on the discs, which also is the order in which they were first broadcast. The synopses come from the show’s official website.

Disc One:

Sexual Healing (aired 3/17/10): “The latest in scientific testing reveals that some of the boys at South Park Elementary have a sex addiction problem.”

Like many South Park episodes, “Healing” beats its subject to death, but it still has some good moments. While it makes appropriate fun of the notion that men who want to bang a lot of women is an aberration, it gets a bit stale as it goes. Nonetheless, it boasts more than a few clever moments, so it’s generally a nice start to the season.

The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs (aired 3/24/10): “The boys are given a controversial book to read in school and it inspires them to write one of their own.”

Many of the first episode’s best moments came from Butters, and that continues here. His evolution into a “serious author” is a hoot, and that side of things works awfully well. Some of the social commentary seems heavy-handed – no surprise there – but the show works well most of the time.

Medicinal Fried Chicken (aired 3/31/10): “Cartman's favorite restaurant has been shut down and replaced by a store that sells medical marijuana. Randy is so desperate to get a prescription card to buy pot and Cartman will do anything to get his beloved fried chicken back.”

I find that when episodes revolve around Randy, they tend to be lackluster, and that holds true here. His giant balls are too gross to be funny, and his whole theme gets stale. Cartman's side of things has a few good moments, but overall, this is a mediocre program.

You Have 0 Friends (aired 4/7/10): “When Kyle begs Stan to ‘friend’ him, Stan gets sucked into Facebook.”

Facebook is a subject ripe for mockery, and this episode scores many good hits. It’s less obvious than usual, and it points out the site’s oppressive nature pretty well. (I’ve been there for the “single/in a relationship” thing – minefield, baby!) The show loses its way somewhat when it becomes a Tron spoof, unfortunately; it works better when it stays in the real world.

200 (aired 4/14/10): “The town of South Park faces a class action lawsuit as every celebrity they've ever ridiculed is out for revenge.”

This is the first of a two-part episode, so I’ll save my remarks for the next program.

201 (aired 4/21/10): “Angry celebrities, violent ginger kids, and Mecha Streisand are about to destroy South Park and all anyone wants to know is, ‘Who is Eric Cartman's father?’”

“200”/”201” almost act as greatest hits shows; they include plenty of long-lost characters/themes like Mecha Streisand, the conflict about Cartman’s father, Mr. Hat and many, many celebrities. “201” is also one of the series’ most controversial shows, as it gets into the whole issue about the depiction of Mohammed.

Oddly, Comedy Central censored “201” and deleted any use of the name “Mohammed” even though “200” features his name all over the place. “201” comes from a Matt/Trey disclaimer about the topic; unfortunately, the episode remains censored on home video.

“200”/”201” shoot at so many different topics that it hits inconsistently. Parts are hilarious – it’s great to see “Jennifer Lopez” and “Mitch Conner” again – but the religious bits occasionally feel like they’re provocative just to be provocative. Still, the shows include quite a few funny bits, and I admire their ambition, as they tie together so many prior elements in a clever way.

Crippled Summer (aired 4/28/10): “Timmy and Jimmy head off to summer camp with their handicapable friends.”

Season 14 takes a step back with the generally lousy “Summer”. Its mockery of the handicapped lacks the usual bite, and its attempt to spoof Intervention also doesn’t really go anywhere. I guess after the ambitious two-parter that preceded “Summer”, the guys didn’t have much left in the tank.

Disc Two:

Poor and Stupid (aired 10/6/10): “Cartman dreams of being a NASCAR driver and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen.”

This becomes a totally one-joke show, and it’s not even a particularly good joke: is the stereotypical notion that NASCAR is the province of dumb rednecks worth a whole episode? No, but despite the restrictions of the concept, the fact that it revolves around the ever-entertaining Cartman and Butters make it amusing. How can I dislike a program in which Cartman eagerly consumes Vagisil?

It’s a Jersey Thing (aired 10/13/10): “New Jersey is rapidly taking over the nation one state at a time and their next stop is South Park.”

I don’t know if “Thing” will go down as the year’s worst episode, but it’s the strongest contender so far. Yes, the proliferation of Jersey-related media has gotten silly, but the show tries to spoof something that’s already absurd; how do you actually mock Jersey Shore? It takes some more questionable than usual paths in other ways and just isn’t particularly funny.

Insheeption (aired 10/20/10): “When Stan is sent to the school counselor because he’s holding on to an obscene number of useless possessions, he realizes that Mr. Mackey has a hoarding disorder too.”

Better South Park episodes provide clever spoofs, and that’s what we get here. While “Jersey” was a feeble parody of its source material, this one takes Inception and has a lot of fun with it. That helps make it a good show.

Coon 2: Hindsight (aired 10/27/10): “’Coon and Friends’ set out to help the victims of BP's latest catastrophic drilling accident in the Gulf. Much to the Coon's dismay, another Super Hero gets there first.”

We first met Cartman’s “Coon” character in Season 13. He created a decent but unexceptional episode then, and the same holds true here. Captain Hindsight is a mediocre addition to the series, and the program’s attempts to mock BP are scattershot. Still, the show has its moments, especially when we find a wink at Clockwork Orange.

Mysterion Rises (aired 11/10/10): “Coon and Friends find themselves at the mercy of Cartman who now has the dark lord, Cthulhu, doing his bidding. Kenny wrestles with the curse of his super power through his alter ego, Mysterion.”

Seriously? We’re going multi-part with Coon and friends? Eep. I’ll hold more comments until the next program.

Coon Vs. Coon and Friends (aired 11/18/10): “Coon and Friends find themselves at the mercy of Cartman who now has the dark lord, Cthulhu, doing his bidding. Kenny wrestles with the curse of his super power through his alter ego, Mysterion.”

One Coon episode is okay, but three straight tax my patience. Some multipart Park shows satisfy, but these three just go on too long and lack the requisite punch. I like the attempt to address Kenny’s immortality, and some other elements amuse, but I think one superhero episode per year would be enough.

Crème Fraiche (aired 11/17/10): “Stan's life is a shambles both at home and in school. Randy's obsession with the Food Network is changing everything. It even forces Sharon to explore a new interest of her own.”

Remember when I mentioned earlier that Randy-based shows tend to be lackluster? That remains true here, as the “Food Network equals porn” theme gets old quickly. The choice to equate the Shake Weight with sex toys also fizzles pretty rapidly. This isn’t an awful episode – at least it doesn’t involve Coon and Friends – but it gives us a forgettable end to Season 14.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A/ Audio B+/ Bonus C+

South Park: The Complete Fourteenth Season appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on these Blu-ray Discs. The second hi-def set of South Park shows, S14 looked great.

At all times, sharpness excelled. Virtually every sequence boasted excellent clarity and definition, with no fuzziness or softness on display. Neither jagged edges nor shimmering materialized, and edge enhancement was absent. I also failed to see any signs of source flaws; the shows were always clean and fresh.

Colors were terrific. The series went with basic hues, and these appeared vivid and dynamic. Blacks were deep and dense, while shadows looked clear and visible. I felt totally pleased with the great-looking shows.

S14’s Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack wasn’t as good, but it seemed stronger than during any prior seasons. The soundscape opened things up a bit more, especially during occasional action scenes. We got involving, active sequences during shows with monsters, superheroes, racing and gunfire. The three “Coon and Friends” episodes had the most to do, but plenty of others used the five channels in an involving manner.

Audio quality always seemed positive. Speech was concise and distinctive, and music showed nice vivacity and life. Effects were also clear and accurate, with good definition and depth. I liked these quality soundtracks.

In terms of extras, the usual ”Mini-commentaries” accompany all 14 episodes as we hear from creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker. These begin after the credits for each show and last a total of 51 minutes and 27 seconds. The shortest runs two minutes, 10 seconds (“200”) while the longest (“Insheeption”) goes for five minutes, 17 seconds. These cover usual topics like inspirations, episode developments, and problems.

As always, these entertain, though at least one disappoints. “201” could’ve involved plenty of controversies, but it doesn’t go into them well; most of it becomes bleeped, and it’s unclear if that’s a gag or if actual content was deleted. In either case, that commentary isn’t very interesting. The others are fun and informative, though, so they’re worth a listen.

Six Deleted Scenes fill a total of six minutes, eight seconds. Four come as final animation, while two provide storyreels. None of them seem great, but they’re all worthwhile; they offer decent amusement.

We also find a bonus episode, as we get Season 13’s “The Coon”. I assume it appears here to give viewers a primer before they watch Season 14’s three Coon-based programs. Since I assume 99 percent of the Season 14 owners already have Season 13, it’s probably redundant, but it doesn’t hurt to have it here, I guess.

After a fairly mediocre Season 13, South Park bounces back with a more consistent Season 14. Sure, we still get some relative clunkers – especially during the weaker second half of the year – but I still think S14 works pretty well as a whole. The Blu-ray boasts excellent visuals and good audio but it skimps on supplements; other than the fun “mini-commentaries”, we don’t get much. Nonetheless, the package treats the shows themselves well, so it’s a good release.

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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main