[Screen It]


(1999) (voices of Trey Parker, Matt Stone) (R)

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Animated/Comedy: After constantly repeating the profanity they just heard in an R rated film, a group of young boys must fix the ever increasing problems created by their parents' reaction to the source of their new behavior. Based on the Cable TV cartoon series.
In the small Colorado town of South Park, a quartet of precocious and potty-mouthed third graders faces a dilemma. It seems that their favorite Canadian actors, Terrence and Philip, have released a new movie, "Asses of Fire," but since it's rated R, they'll have to sneak in to see it.

After paying a homeless man to get them tickets, Eric Cartman, an obnoxious loudmouth, Stan Marsh who always vomits whenever he's around the girl of his dreams, Kyle Broflovski, the Jewish kid, and Kenny McCormick, the parka-clad kid with a chronically muffled voice, leave the movie repeating the newly learned curse words from it.

While not much is made about the fact that Kenny is accidently killed (as happens in every episode of the TV show), the surviving boys' parents are outraged at their foul language, especially when all of the town's kids repeatedly see the film. As such, Kyle's mom sets out not only to ban the film, but all things Canadian. Eventually one thing lead to another and after Terrence and Philip are captured and jailed for corrupting young minds, the two nations declare war on each other.

Meanwhile, Kenny, who's been rejected from Heaven, instead goes to Hell where he meets Satan and his new gay and dominant lover, Saddam Hussein. When Kenny learns that a plan to execute Terrence and Philip will be the Seventh Sign of the Apocalypse for Satan to go topside and rule the Earth, he frantically gets the message back to his pals.

As such, they form a resistance group, and the boys, including Cartman who now has a V-chip implanted in his head that shocks him whenever he cusses, set out to free their beloved Canadian performers and thus prevent their parents and the U.S. military from allowing Satan and Saddam to take over the world.

If they're fans of the original show they probably will and may try to sneak in if they're underage (the film is rated R).
For pervasive vulgar language and crude sexual humor, and for some violent images.
While it's debatable whether kids see cartoon characters as role models, here's a quick look at how they behave. After sneaking into an R rated film, they come out imitating their heros' profanity-laden dialogue and other behavior. They also belittle others and defy their parents, particularly regarding the fact that they've been grounded. All in all, it's doubtful many parents would want their kids looking at these cartoon characters as role models.


OUR TAKE: 3.5 out of 10
In college and later at a job populated with many creative and opinionated minds, the topic that often stirred up the most heated debate was the definition of art. Although some agreed that modern art -- the type that's often so abstract that it only makes sense to its creator -- was indeed, by definition, real art, the more traditionally minded debaters couldn't agree to that.

While some might not consider movies as true art -- as compared to say, a Rembrandt -- there's usually some form of artistic expression within them. Of course, since many are for more commercially minded nowadays, one might have to do a little digging to find the art. In any event, the degree of a particular title's artistic value clearly lies in the eye of the beholder.

All of which leads to "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut." The latest in a trend of TV-based cartoons to receive the big screen treatment (including the recent "Doug's 1st Movie" and "The Rugrats Movie"), this film will undoubtably raise the question of whether it needed and/or deserved to play on the silver screen. And that's not even considering whether a film containing a group of animated, profanity spewing third grade characters is art, especially after the filmmakers apparently stated that their main purpose was to offend as many people as possible with it.

Before I render my verdict on those points, I must preface my views by saying that I've never seen the original cable TV show (that airs on the Comedy Central channel with an animation standard equivalent to filming colorful construction paper cutouts), nor have I had much of a desire to do so. As such, I can't compare the film version to the two-year-old show, although it's doubtful the program's apparently dwindling number of viewers will care what any critics have to say about it.

That said, the film certainly needed another outlet than free cable since its language and other racy content clearly dictated it couldn't play on child-accessible TV. Now with this version added to its assemblage, the animated show and its characters are about as far removed from the beloved Peanuts gang who've graced the small screen for decades as one can get, and easily make the once controversial Bart Simpson (from "The Simpsons") now seem like Bamm-Bamm ("The Flintstones") or Elroy ("The Jetsons") in comparison.

As such, and considering the cinema's considerably larger leeway, the film lands with an R rating, although it initially received an NC-17. That obviously pleased writer/director Trey Parker and co-writer Matt Stone who also supply most of the vocal talent and were gunning for such a rating, but apparently after Paramount reminded them of some financial matters -- specifically, that NC- 17 rated films make little or no money -- some necessary edits were made.

Of course those not familiar with the show and/or people who are easily offended will certainly think that not enough scissors and/or razor blades were utilized for that job. Filled with copious amounts of adult humor, along with stinging jabs at just about every thing, person, race and religion possible, the film succeeds at its goal of being a thorn in the side of anyone with even the tiniest conservative streak in them.

All of which brings us back around to the point of whether the film has any artistic merit, or is simply a vehicle designed to offend as many people as possible. The answer is both. While the objectionable content will clearly draw the most attention, many might be quite surprised to find some creativity and moderately funny, profane free moments in it.

While few, if any, could convincingly argue that this show is anywhere near the brilliant "The Simpsons" in regards of sheer creativity and intelligent writing, Parker and Stone do show some signs of that, all of which is quite surprising since they're the team also responsible for the horrible "BASEketball" and "Orgazmo."

Their smartest move was turning this film into a full-fledged musical, albeit something of a parody version of one. Several actually halfway decent songs play throughout the film -- along with a few, near nothing but profanity-laden ones -- and while the Broadway musical approach may shock the show's hardcore fans, they clearly makes the proceedings a bit more accessible and acceptable to the uninitiated.

Some decent jokes are present, along with a machine-gun like approach to dispensing the many barbs and satirical riffs at any number of people, beliefs or topics. Some are funny (the characters cracking on the animation being "crappy" -- which it is), while others are not (the whole Saddam Hussein bit). Of course, many will only appeal to the film's target audience of teen and twenty- something viewers who think the show -- and now the movie -- are the end all, be all of scathing humor.

Little do most of them know that long before they were the age of this film's characters, comedians such as Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor and a young Eddie Murphy were ripping into everyone and everything with their profanity ridden and often quite obscene material. The difference was -- and still is -- that they incorporated such risque elements into their already humorous stories, often hilariously accentuating the punch line.

Here, the profanity is mainly used just for the shock value -- of seeing it spewing forth from young (albeit animated) kids' mouths -- and little more. While the target audience will eat it up, older viewers will see right through it.

It's too bad that Parker, Stone and fellow co-writer Pam Brady thought such juvenile profanity would be so funny by itself. While it does generate a few laughs among non-followers of the show (particularly the bit with the implanted V-chip shocking one of the foulmouthed tykes), their other material shows that some clever qualities are lurking about underneath the rest. Unfortunately, they're seemingly intent on being as sophomoric and shocking as impossible just for the sake of being that way.

As it stands, the picture does fly along through its relatively short eighty-some minute duration, and often at a quite frenetic pace. Unfortunately, like many big screen adaptions of TV shows that try to overextend their normal runtime, this one runs out of gas long before it reaches the finish line and the jokes -- and thus the audience's reaction -- noticeably weaken toward the end.

Simply put, if you're a fan of the show, you probably won't be disappointed with this film and its more adult take on the characters. Otherwise, if you're not familiar with Cartman and the boys or are easily offended, you'll probably want to skip this one.

While we found some moments to be funny along with some surprising cleverness hidden amongst the shock material, the profanity for profanity's sake approach shows a lack of imagination when many in the past have used similar vulgarities with far more amusing and creatively pleasant results. As such, we give "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" a 3.5 out of 10.

The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated adaption of the TV show that airs on cable's Comedy Central channel. Profanity is extreme due to at least 130+ uses of the "f" word along with many other profanities and strong, "colorful" phrases.

They're mostly said by third graders, and since they're used to elicit laughs, young kids -- if allowed to see this film -- may want to imitate the language or other questionable behavior that occurs in the film. As such and for other reasons, the kids here have extreme cases of bad attitudes and many may consider the film that way as well due to it making fun/belittling various peoples, religions, etc...

While no sexual acts are seen, some related topics are discussed, cartoon as well as real pictures of a penis are seen, and Satan and Saddam Hussein are depicted as homosexual lovers (and talk about having sex). Lethal violence occurs (particularly in war-related scenes) and many people are killed by various means with often bloody results (although in a crudely drawn and certainly not realistic fashion).

Some brief drinking (and possible momentary drug use) is present, as is some smoking (including that done by a young boy) and several instances of scatological humor occur (vomit and flatulence related). Since many kids may want to see this film (especially if they're fans of the original show on Comedy Central), we strongly suggest that you take a closer look at the listed content to determine if it's appropriate for anyone in your home.

  • Paying a homeless man to buy them tickets into an R rated film, the boys comment on him using that money to buy a bottle of liquor.
  • A counselor briefly sings about getting addicted to alcohol and drugs and "giving hand jobs for crack..."
  • We see a brief glimpse of some men drinking during a musical number.
  • Saddam has what's presumably a bong next to him and exhales some smoke. Later, he carries a martini.
  • While a great deal of carnage and blood letting is present, the way in which it's presented (crudely drawn animation that's anything but realistic-looking) keeps the category from receiving a higher rating.
  • We see many instances of Stan vomiting (in a cartoon, blob way) when he gets nervous around a girl he likes.
  • Scatological humor is present, including many fart jokes and related sounds from the Canadian duo, as well as the boys imitating them, and a winged creature in Hell drops a fiery piece of excrement as it flies by, etc...
  • We see crudely drawn cartoon blood covering some surgeons as well as Kenny on whom they operate (and even see them pull out his heart and other organs). Moments later, his chest, containing a microwaved potato, explodes and we briefly see the bloody hole.
  • Some blood is on a car after a character has landed there after committing suicide.
  • We see some people strung up in Hell who have bloody cuts/marks on them.
  • Another boy who helps Cartman and his pals has a bloody lip and some blood on his head.
  • During a war battle, many victims and the areas surrounding them are quite bloody.
  • More people who are killed are bloody (and we see the entrails of one, along with blood, atop a body that's been impaled on a sharp rock formation).
  • The boys have both toward others including their parents (by defying them), they cuss a lot and pay a homeless man to buy them tickets to get into an R rated film. One of the boys breaks into a song about another boy's mother being a "bitch" (a lyric that he sings repeatedly).
  • Jokes and/or jabs are made at the following topics/groups of people (and plenty more): Canadians (for being the source of everything that's bad, The United Nations members laugh at their accents, etc...), Christians/Christianity (many bare-breasted women are at Heaven's gate where the population is stated as less than two thousand, while Hell has a count of millions if not billions, Satan is portrayed as a gay man who just wants to be loved and held and breaks into a musical number, another boy constantly and repeatedly badmouths God using profane language, etc...), Jews (about no Jewish candy being available at the theater, etc...), Gays (a character is stereotypically flamboyant, Satan and Saddam Hussein are gay lovers), African Americans and/or the way they're treated (they're sent as the front line in a battle or strapped to tanks, etc... as shields and are called "darkies"), women (a male teacher says "I don't trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn't die"), Asians and other races/ethnic groups (stereotypically drawn and sounding in a song), as well as jabs at Gandhi, the Baldwin brothers (the actors), Brooke Shields, Bill Gates and many others.
  • A male school teacher blames the boys' mothers' reactions to them being "all on their period" and then adds that he doesn't trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn't die.
  • An abortion joke is made by a kid who sarcastically remarks that his mother must have really loved him when she stabbed him in heart with a clothes hanger while still in her womb.
  • Younger kids -- and those with strong convictions about Hell and the devil -- may be scared or unsettled by visions of Hell (that are computer-created graphics instead of the rest of the film's construction paper-like cutouts) or Satan's ascent to the surface of the world.
  • Handguns/Rifles: Carried by cops and soldiers.
  • Military weaponry: Planes, tanks, flamethrowers, bombs, chainsaws, etc... Used in a war between Canada and the U.S. where many people are killed.
  • Due to crowd noise and occasionally mumbled lines, the following list of phrases should be considered a minimum.
  • Phrases: "Pig f*cker," "Butt f*cking S.O.B., "Shut your f*cking face, uncle f*cka," "Fat f*ck," "F*ck face," "Shut your f*cking mouth," "Horse f*cker," "Butt f*cker," "Sh*t faced," "Holy sh*t," "Chicken sh*t," "Dipsh*t," "C*cks*cking asshole," "C*ckmaster," "Big floppy donkey d*ck," "Bitch" (said many times), "Screwups," "Crappy," "Retard," "Shut up fat boy," "Fat ass," "Lick your ass," "Suck my ass," "Piss off," "Faggot," "Bastard," "Sucks," "Idiots," "Scum," "Pissed off," "Sucks ass," "Butthole," "Chicks" and "Screwy."
  • Some kids may want to imitate all of the swearing (especially since it elicits laughter from the audience) or sing some of the catchy tunes that are also profanity-laden.
  • The boys pay someone to get them into an R rated film.
  • The kids make a bet about whether one can actually light a fart. Kenny tries, and then catches on fire.
  • The boys do a search for "clitoris" on the Internet and visit a German website where they see porno pictures on the screen (but we don't).
  • None.
  • A mild amount of suspenseful music plays in several scenes.
  • Several musical numbers are composed of nearly nothing but repeated profanity, including many uses of the "f" word, many others and a song devoted to calling a boy's mother a "bitch." As such, the category rates as an extreme.
  • Due to crowd noise, the often rapid-fire delivery of profanities and similarly paced songs that contain almost nothing but profanity, the following count should be considered a bare minimum. In addition, some of the following words or phrases are also seen in written form during the film and most are said by third graders.
  • At least 133 "f" words (with at least 3 used sexually), 36 "s" words, 9 slang terms for male genitals ("d*ck," "c*ck" and "pr*ck"), 3 slang terms for female genitals ("p*ssy" and "poontang"), 17 asses (one used with "hole"), 5 damns, 3 S.O.B.s, 2 hells, 1 crap and 4 uses each of "G-damn" and "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "Dear God" and "For God's sakes" as exclamations.
  • Due to crowd noise and occasionally mumbled lines, the following should be considered a minimum.
  • When asked why he was called a "pig f*cker," another character tells him, "because you f*ck pigs."
  • When Stan asks Chef (a cafeteria worker) "How do you make a woman like you..." the adult says "You just have to find the clitoris." When Stan asks what that means, Chef realizes he said this to a kid and tries to make him forget about it.
  • A counselor briefly sings about getting addicted to sex with women and "giving hand jobs for crack..."
  • As Kenny ascends to Heaven's gate, he sees many bare-breasted women waiting there.
  • Stan asks a female babysitter "Where's the clitoris?" and she then takes a chair and hits him with it.
  • Satan and Saddam Hussein are presented as homosexual lovers in Hell. As such, we see them in bed watching TV. Saddam tells him, "You know how to turn my crank...I'm getting so hot." We then see Saddam rhythmically moving his hand at his crotch under the covers. Satan then asks him if sex is the only thing that matters to him. Saddam then replies that they should shut off the lights and get close. As the lights go off, we hear some brief sexually related sounds and Saddam saying, "You like that, don't you bitch?"
  • A cue card with the phrase "horse f*ckers" on it shows a cartoon picture of a man with his crotch up against a horse's butt.
  • The boys do a search for "clitoris" on the Internet and visit a German website where they see porno pictures on the screen (but we don't).
  • We see a real picture (not a cartoon) of a male model sitting in his underwear in Satan's bathroom.
  • Saddam tells Satan, "Let's f*ck. Let's get busy." Satan then complains that they never talk anymore and that Saddam always wants to have sex with him from behind.
  • A soldier/school teacher comments that he can't wait for shore leave to get some "f*cking poontang."
  • Saddam tells Satan, "I don't know if I can sleep, if you know what I mean" and then adds "Let's f*ck." He then reaches under the covers and pulls out a detached penis (actually a picture of a real one, not a cartoon drawing). He then pulls out another one and throws it over at Satan.
  • A character at a USO show is "Big Gay Al," a flamboyantly gay man who does a number with men dressed in skimpy shorts/underwear that show some of their pubic hair. At the end, we see Al's (cartoon) penis.
  • One of the Canadian duo mentions the other taking their picture with a d*ck in their mouth after having fallen asleep.
  • A visual joke is made to suggest that a woman is shooting ping-pong balls from her vagina (we see her viewpoint of looking through her spread legs), but a few moments later it's shown that she's hitting them with a paddle instead.
  • Stan finally "finds the clitoris" that turns out to be a huge, pinkish "bulb" that talks to him.
  • We see the bare-breasted women in heaven again.
  • Various characters hold/smoke cigars including a military general and a man in Hell, while a kid who helps Cartman and his pals smokes several times.
  • The boy's mothers get mad at them and ground them for their language and behavior.
  • The way the boys behave (cussing all of the time, being disrespectful of others, etc...).
  • The film's use of profanity spewing kids and jabs at various people, religion, etc... for humor.
  • A character hits another with a club.
  • One of the kids kicks a younger one through a window.
  • Kenny tries to light his fart with a match and catches on fire. He's then rushed to the hospital where the surgeons rip open his body and he dies.
  • Stan asks a female babysitter "Where's the clitoris?" and she then takes a chair and hits him with it.
  • One of the Canadian duo smacks Brooke Shields.
  • A character commits suicide by jumping from a window and crashing into a car many stories below.
  • The Canadian Air Force bombs the Baldwin house (of the acting brothers) destroying it and killing everyone.
  • Cartman is repeatedly shocked by the V-chip implanted in his head (whenever he curses).
  • A general shoots Bill Gates dead.
  • Saddam takes a woman and smashes her over his knee.
  • Terrence and Philip are partially electrocuted in the electric chairs in which they're strapped.
  • A military battle breaks out where many people are killed by various means (explosions, shooting, flamethrowers, bayonets, being attacked by chain saws, etc...).
  • A woman shoots the two Canadians in the head and chest.
  • Saddam falls and is impaled on a pointy rock formation.

  • Reviewed June 29, 1999 / Posted June 30, 1999

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