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Blu-Ray Review: ‘South Park’ Rocks in HD With 12th Season Blu-Ray Box Set

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HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – I honestly never though Trey Parker and Matt Stone would still be pumping out “South Park” episodes in the era of HD Blu-Ray. It’s not that I’m not a fan. I’ve seen the brilliant movie, “South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut” a dozen or so times, but I thought that would be near the end of the phenomenon of Stan, Kyle, Kenny, & Cartman. Years later, it looks like it was just the beginning.

Watching the first episode of “South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season” on Blu-Ray, “Tonsil Trouble,” and laughing as hard as I have at anything on television in a long time, I became convinced that not only was I wrong but that “South Park” could still be pumping out brilliant episodes for another twelve seasons. It’s going to be around as long as Matt & Trey want to do it.

South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season was released on Blu-Ray on March 10th, 2009.
South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season was released on Blu-Ray on March 10th, 2009.
Photo credit: Paramount Home Video

And there’s no better way to watch it than on Blu-Ray. Animation always looks great in HD and, honestly, Fox is going to have to follow suit with upcoming seasons of “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” if they hope to compete.

South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season was released on Blu-Ray on March 10th, 2009.
South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season was released on Blu-Ray on March 10th, 2009.
Photo credit: Paramount Home Video

The season/volume sets for those Fox shows are always among the best of the year because of their impressive collection of special features but they should really follow the model of “South Park” when it comes to picture and sound.

The fourteen uncensored episodes of “South Park“‘s twelfth season are now available in a three-disc set with 1080i High Definition picture and a Dolby TrueHD English 5.1 track. The episodes look beautiful and “uncensored” is not just a cheap label to sell DVDs with a show like “South Park”. This is the way “South Park” should be seen.

And what you’ll see is another strong season of the show. In the last few years, “South Park” has gotten a little more hit-and-miss but that’s because the writing team goes so far with their insane concepts. If it works, like when Cartman gives Kyle AIDS in the season premiere (don’t ask how), then it can still be laugh-out-loud hilarious.

Of course, the commitment to insanity creates some episodes that don’t work. The controversial mid-season premiere, “The China Problem,” in which George Lucas and Steven Spielberg rape Indiana Jones, was ballsy and creative but just didn’t work. Still, I’d much rather have a show that takes risks and sometimes fails than one that walks the line down the middle.

South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season was released on Blu-Ray on March 10th, 2009.
South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season was released on Blu-Ray on March 10th, 2009.
Photo credit: Paramount Home Video

Highlights of season twelve of “South Park” include “Tonsil Trouble,” “Major Boobage” (with a great “Heavy Metal” spoof) and “Elementary School Musical”.

The episodes of “South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season” are accompanied by Trey Parker and Matt Stone mini-commentaries and each disc includes a bonus feature - “Six Days to South Park: A Day-by-Day Making of South Park,” “Making Boobage: Behind the Scenes of “Major Boobage”,” and “Behind the Scenes: “About Last Night” HD”.

The one problem with TV on Blu-Ray is still the price point. I clearly think the twelfth season of “South Park” is worth owning, but unless Paramount and other studios start offering more features or Blu-Ray-only functionality, an MSRP of $69.99 is going to be a little steep for a lot of buyers. That’s $5 an episode. Yikes.

You’ll find it on sale for less most places, but the rating at the top of this review takes the cost into account. With only 308 minutes of show and three special features, seventy bucks is too much.

When the price comes down on Blu-Ray discs - and it will as the technology gets more popular - TV in HD Blu-Ray will take off. Once again, four foul-mouthed boys will have led the way.

‘South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season’ is released by Paramount Home Video and stars Trey Parker and Matt Stone. It was created by Parker & Stone. It was released on March 10th, 2009.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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