South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season (2008) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Animation / Comedy
Paramount || NR - 308 minutes - $69.99 || March 10, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-03-03


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): Trey Park, Matt Stone (created by)
Cast: NA


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Mini Commentaries
  • 3 Featurettes


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Stereo)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

I've been watching "South Park" since day one. Every Wednesday, 10pm on Comedy Central, twice a year, a new 'half' of the season premieres and every time I make a point to be home to watch it live. I have yet to miss a single episode nor have I saved it on my DVR (or DVD before that or VCR before even that) to watch at a later date.

If you are reading this review you already likely know what the show is about. If you have not, I'll sum it up real quick for you - its an adult oriented cartoon that stars four foul-mouthed youngsters who each week do some bizarre and out of the ordinary thing that you have to sometimes question if you are actually watching a cartoon and not inside the head of someone on some serious drugs. Case in point - "Major Boobage". This episode, a slight spoof of the cult-hit movie Heavy Metal, has the kids (mainly Kenny) getting 'high' on cat urine. Yes, you read that right, cat urine.

Let's take another episode as an example. "Britney's New Look" has the paparazzi going nuts over Britney Spears until she eventually blows her head off...yet survives. The rest of the episode features Britney's body (with a partial jaw) wandering around and singing while the paparazzi are still bugging her. Eventually, the boys find out why everyone is bugging her - she needs to be sacrificed so they can have a successful crop that year (Nice reference to The Wickerman).

Other episodes are a bit more grounded in reality, like the "Elementary School Musical" where most of the kids randomly break out into song while the core group wonders what the hell is going on. "The Ungroundable", my favorite of the season, deals with Butters becoming a "vampire" while the goth kids simply try to prove being a "vampire" is just a fad (which is ironic since Twilight hit theaters two days later and made some serious cash). This episode slams Hot Topic (well, burns it down) which just recently carried a T-Shirt with a Vampire Butters on it. Synergy at its best.

Below is a mini-episode guide for Season Twelve along with my personal rating for each episode:

‘Tonsil Trouble’ - After Cartman and Kyle are infected with the AIDS virus, they turn to Magic Johnson for assistance in finding a cure. 3.5

‘Britney's New Look’ - Distraught over the media's nonstop coverage of her, Britney Spears attempts to commit suicide, but survives despite blowing the top half of her head off. Disgusted by this treatment of her, the boys attempt to help, only to learn the secret behind the media's cruel scrutiny of celebrities. 3.5

‘Major Boobage’ - South Park declares cats illegal after kids start getting high on cat urine. Cartman starts hiding neighborhood cats in his attic to protect them, and Kenny becomes an addict and starts having "Heavy Metal" hallucinations. 4.25

‘Canada on Strike’ - Canada goes on strike and demands more money, but nobody takes the strike seriously. However, the boys try to make money for Canada by turning Butters into an Internet video star. 4.5

‘Eek, a Penis!’ - Cartman is commended for his excellent substitute teaching, so he his brought to the inner city to help the high schoolers. Meanwhile, Ms. Garrison wants to be Mr. Garrison again. 4

‘Over Logging’ - A prolonged Internet service outage hits South Park and most of the rest of the country, and Randy moves the Marsh family to California hoping to find a connection (and Internet porn for himself). 4

‘Super Fun Time’ - A class field trip to a frontier park turns into a hostage situation when a group of robbers use the park to evade the police, but the park employees won't help resolve the situation because they won't get out of character. 4.5

‘The China Problem’ - Cartman and Butters go to P.F. Chang's to try to uncover the Chinese conspiracy to take over the U.S.. Stan and Kyle accuse Steven Spielberg and George Lucas of raping Indiana Jones. 4

‘Breast Cancer Show Ever’ - Cartman makes of fun of Wendy after she delivers a report on breast cancer. She challenges him to a fight, but he keeps finding ways to get out of it. But he also won't stop making fun of her. 4.25

‘Pandemic’ - With Craig's help, the boys start up a Peruvian pan flute band to make money. However, they are detained by Homeland Security and sent to Peru to end the "Pandemic." In the pan flute bands' absence, giant guinea pigs invade South Park. 4.25

‘Pandemic 2: The Startling’ - Craig and the boys are stranded in the Andes Mountains while giant guinea pigs wreak havoc all over the planet. Craig is the only person who can end the terror, but he doesn't care and won't do anything about it. 4.25

‘About Last Night...’ - While the rest of the nation is distracted by the results of the presidential election, Barack Obama and John McCain set out to complete their true combined objective: a daring "Ocean's Eleven" style jewel heist. 4

‘Elementary School Musical’ - The boys try to resist the "High School Musical" fad when it hits South Park Elementary, while also trying to convince the school's top singer that he should follow his dream and try out for the basketball team. 4

‘The Ungroundable’ - Butters starts hanging out with the Vampire kids, who are angering the Goth kids at South Park Elementary because everybody is confusing the Vampire kids with them. 5

- - Overall, Season Twelve may not be the best South Park has to offer but they really hit on some great pop culture in the past year. You've got literally episodes centered around President Obama, Twilight, High School Musical, Heavy Metal, Die Hard, Britney Spears, Cloverfield, Indiana Jones 4 and George Lucas. What more could you ask for?



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Paramount decided to mix things up for the Blu-ray release by including a total different packaging concept then one we might come to except on Blu-ray. Instead of just slapping all 3 discs into a normal Blu-ray case it appears Paramount tried to make it match the previous 11 Season on DVD (so it would flow better on someone shelves) - It really looks like a mini-version of the DVD set. A slipcase holds the cardboard book that folds out (just like the previous DVDs). The best comparison would be it resembles Heroes Season 1 and 2 on Blu-ray. Size wise, its height is the same as a normal Blu-ray case but obviously a little big thicker due to the cardboard. I like it.

Mini-Commentaries (Roughly 5 Minutes each per Episode)

A Day-by-Day Making of South Park (1 Hour and 20 Minutes) - Wow. A very long documentary that shows us how an idea gets turned into an episode. Fans will love this as it's probably one of the meatiest features every on the Season sets.

The Sixth Day (22 Minutes; HD) - Consider this a commentary on the entire episode ("About Last Night"). While its 90% complete you will still some some storyboards, audio blips and other fun things. If you want to know how fast they can get an episode ready to (24 hours from the time Obama won till the show aired), watch this.

The Making of "Major Boobage" (14 Minutes) - Storyboards of various scenes from the episode with some commentary on them.

And now we have what could have been a great bonus but now is utter crap. Included is a code to digitally download the entire Season Twelve of "South Park"! Bad News - it’s in .WMV and obviously not compatible with iTunes. And since I am reviewing a show with numerous curse words I'll include it here as well - What the FUCK Paramount? You'll happily take my $1.99 for each episode on iTunes but now provide was essentially useless for 95% of people who have a portable media player? Oh well, at least I can use my Digital Copy of The Love Guru which IS compatible with iTunes. Smart thinking.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

“South Park: The Complete Twelfth Season” is presented in 1.78:1 (AVC; 1080i) on 3, 25GB Discs. Yes, you read that right, the whole season on Blu-ray is in Widescreen. Apparently, Matt and Trey have been producing the show in HD for the past few seasons since Comedy Central HD channel has been planned for a few years now. What you see currently on TV is 4:3 - and being cropped. So how does it look? Pretty damn good. Comparing Season Twelve to Season Eleven (on DVD) right off the bat I can tell colors are incredibly vibrant and I really dig how much more is now visible.

Paramount has included lossless Dolby 5.1 TrueHD tracks for each episode. Given the various nature of each episode (some very dialog heavy, others use excessive music) I'm pretty happy here. A comparison to my DVD set of Season Eleven (DD5.1 Tracks) shows the TrueHD versions sound a bit richer. Other audio options include basic Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Stereo.



.::OVERALL::.

Season Twelve may not be the best season of the show available but it’s a pretty good start on Blu-ray. With fourteen episodes to provide hours of laughter, decent bonus materials and some superb Picture and Audio quality I strongly suggest a purchase.