South Park [1998]

OK, let's get all the disclaimers out of the way first. Despite its colorful (if crude) animation, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is in no way meant for kids. It is chock full of profanity that might even make Quentin Tarantino blanch and has blasphemous references to God, Satan, Saddam Hussein (who's sleeping with Satan, literally), and Canada. It's rife with scatological humor, suggestive sexual situations, political incorrectness, and gleeful, rampant vulgarity. And it's probably one of the most brilliant satires ever made. The plot: flatulent Canadian gross meisters Terrance and Philip hit the big screen, and the South Park quartet of third graders--Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman--begin repeating their profane one-liners ad infinitum. The parents of South Park, led by Kyle's overbearing mom, form "Mothers Against Canada," blaming their neighbors to the north for their children's corruption and taking Terrance and Philip as war prisoners. It's up to the kids then to rescue their heroes from execution, not mention a brooding Satan, who's planning to take over the world. To give away any more of the plot would destroy the fun, but this feature-length version of Trey Parker and Matt Stone's Comedy Central hit is a dead-on and hilarious send-up of pop culture. And did we mention it's a musical? From the opening production number "Mountain Town" to the cheerful antiprofanity sing-along "It's Easy, MMMKay" to Satan's faux-Disney ballad "Up There," Parker (who wrote or cowrote all the songs) brilliantly shoots down every earnest musical from Beauty and the Beast to Les Misérables. And in advocating free speech and satirizing well-meaning but misguided parental censorship groups (with a special nod to the MPAA), Bigger, Longer & Uncut hits home against adult paranoia and hypocrisy with a vengeance. And the jokes, while indeed vulgar and gross, are hysterical; we can't repeat them here, especially the lyrics to Terrance and Philip's hit song, but you'll be rolling on the floor. Don't worry, though--to paraphrase Cartman, this movie won't warp your fragile little mind. Unless you have something against the First Amendment. --Mark Englehart

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