Longer & Uncut
- Rated R
- Buy the BD
Reviewed by David Medsker
e expected "South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut" to share the TV show's frenetic blend of lowbrow humor and biting, take-no-prisoners wit. What we didn't expect was for Trey Parker and Matt Stone to make the best musical in 20 years. But that's exactly what they did; "South Park: BLU" is everything you could possibly ask for in an adaptation. It's savagely funny, it's true to the core essence of the show, and it expands on the show in ways that television, due to content restrictions and time limitations, simply couldn't allow. And the tunes rock.
The movie begins with South Park Elementary students Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny going to see a movie featuring the stars of their favorite TV show, Terrance and Phillip. The movie has corrosively foul language -- Cartman stares in awe while slowly mimicking his heroes by saying, "shit-faced cockmaster" -- but the other children are so awestruck by the boys' new vocabulary that they all see the movie, too. This leads to a catastrophic series of events that involves war with Canada, the rise of Satan (with Saddam Hussein as his bed buddy) and killing the Baldwin brothers.
The truly funny thing about the "South Park" series is that its values are very Republican in nature, if for no other reason than to allow Parker and Stone to thumb their noses at their liberal Hollywood brethren. They have lampooned environmentalists, anti-smoking groups, hate crime legislation and big corporation busters, to name but a few. They take this contrarian tendency to great heights in "South Park: BLU." They made Satan a homosexual (hey, the church has been saying for years that homosexuality is evil, so of course the devil is gay), they demonize Sheila Broflovski's Tipper Gore character, and the most foul-mouthed person in the movie becomes the hero. They show Adolf Hitler in hell, but George Burns and Gandhi are there, too.
And everybody sings. Borrowing from anyone and everyone, Parker and composer Marc Shaiman have assembled a viciously funny and whip smart book of songs. From the Disney-esque opener, and closer, "Mountain Town" ("You can see your breath hanging in the air / You see homeless people, but you just don't care - It's Sunday morning in our white bread, redneck mountain town") to the "Grease"-inspired "What Would Brian Boitano Do?" ("So what would Brian Boitano do, if he were here right now / I'm sure he'd kick an ass or two, that's what Brian Boitano'd do"), these are songs that are funny but are not jokes. Parker clearly took these songs seriously, and nothing shows that off better than the spot-on "Les Miserables" tribute of "La Resistance (Medley)," which blends five songs together - two new ones, three songs from Acts I and II - seamlessly and flawlessly. Pretty heady stuff for a guy who made a character out of a talking piece of poo. The only missed opportunity was that Chef (voiced by Isaac Hayes) didn't have a chance to sing one of his patented innuendo-laden booty call funk tracks.
"South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut" will stand as one of the rare moments where a TV show made a timely jump to the big screen (no matter how many times their marketing department says it, there is no need whatsoever for a "Bewitched" movie in 2005) without sacrificing an ounce of what made the show work on the small screen. Its box office take was meager ($52 million, which is still $30 million more than it cost), but the movie should be weighed by a different standard; Parker and Stone took their cute but crass animated TV show and turned it into the filthiest movie in Paramount's history. As Cartman would say: sweeeeet.
Single-Disc Blu-Ray Review:
It’s a little strange for Paramount to be releasing a movie like “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut” on Blu-ray, but it’s even stranger that they haven’t acknowledged the film’s ten-year anniversary. Nevertheless, the single-disc effort is a major improvement from the original DVD release, featuring a 1080p hi-def video transfer and 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack, as well as a brand new commentary with Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Though they run out of things to talk about midway through the movie (to the point that they shuffle crew members in and out of the recording booth to help spark discussion), it’s still a fairly entertaining commentary. Rounding out the set is a trio of theatrical trailers and the rarely seen music video for “What Would Brian Boitano Do?”