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SOUTH PARK: THE COMPLETE TWELFTH SEASON (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

March 5, 2009 by  



South Park Season 12 is raw and absolutely hardcore!  If you thought the first eleven seasons were heavy hitting, hilarious and offensive, season 12 definitely dares to go farther and push that button.  And what better than to enjoy all episodes via HD on Blu-ray!”

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TITLE: SOUTH PARK: THE COMPLETE TWELFTH SEASON

DURATION: 308 minutes (14 episodes)

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080i High Definition, Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1,, Dolby Digital English 5.1, English Stereo

RATED: NOTE RATED

COMPANY: Comedy Central/Paramount

RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2009

Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone

Cast:

Trey Parker (voice of Eric Cartman, Stan Marsh)

Matt Stone (voice of Kyle Broflovski, Leopold ‘Butters’ Stotch, Kenny McCormick)

Mona Marshall (voice of Sheila Broflovski, Linda Stotch)

April Stewart (voice of Liane Cartman, Sharon Marsh, Britney Spears, Wendy Testaburger, Principal Victoria, Michelle Obama)

Kyle McCulloch (voice of Gary)

Adrien Beard (voice of Token Williams)

All fourteen uncensored episodes from South Park’s twelfth season are now available in this exclusive three-disc set. In this collection, South Park follows the new President-elect from his acceptance speech to his first official day of duty as Commander in Chief. The boys keep busy helping a pop-princess who’s down on her luck, negotiating a truce for striking Canadians, and preventing giant rodents from destroying the world. For them, it’s all part of growing up in South Park.

South Park Season 12 on Blu-ray is raw and absolutely hardcore!

And this season dares to go “there” and push the button and will more than likely provoke a reaction.  But come on, its “South Park” and you wouldn’t accept anything less right?

“SOUTH PARK: THE COMPLETE TWELFTH SEASON” becomes the first “SOUTH PARK” season to be released via the Blu-ray format in all of its uncensored glory.

Included are the following episodes:

Blu-ray Disc 1:

Episode 1201 – Tonsil Trouble: Cartman goes in for tonsillectomy but due to a hospital blood transfusion mishap, he contracts the AIDS virus.  And because Kyle ridicules him, Cartman sneaks into his bedroom one night and injects his blood into Kyle’s mouth while he sleeps and thus giving Kyle AIDS.  With both boys now with AIDS, how would they rid of the disease?

Episode 1202 – Britney’s New Look: Britney Spears has been in the public eye for her mishaps and to escape the paparazzi, she goes to South Park.  But when the boys learn that the paparazzi is making so much money in selling their photos, they get the idea to make some cash and try to sneak into her hotel room, but because of all the pressure, Britney blows off part of her head with a shotgun.  Despite losing 75% of her face, she is still alive and Stan and Kyle who feel responsible try to help her escape from the paparazzi.

Episode 1203 – Major Boobage: A South Park homage to the 1981 animated film “Heavy metal” as a new craze to get high (called “cheesing”) has been sweeping South Park.  And to get this new high, one must have a male cat urinate on their face.  Due to the urine, Kenny and Stan’s father hallucinate about a woman with tremendous assets.

Episode 1204 – Canada on Strike: It’s “Canada Appreciation Day” and the world stop acknowledging the special day.  So, the Canadians go on strike and the boys are ticked that their favorite show (which is made in Canada), “TheTerence and Philip Show” are reruns, thus they devise a plan to raise money for more programming.

Episode 1205 – Eek, a Penis: Ms. Garrison decides that he wants to go back to becoming a man.  But she/he is depressed because he had his penis removed.  But learns that science has found ways to grow organs on mice and thus tries to have scientist create a penis for him.  All goes well, that is until the mice with the penis growing out of it escapes the lab and is running loose around South Park.  Meanwhile, Cartman becomes a teacher for inner-city kids.

Blu-ray Disc 2:

Episode 1206 – Over Logging – One day, the citizens of South Park lose Internet access.  Everyone goes into Internet withdrawal and thus Randy and Marsh family hears that California may still have Internet and decides to move the family out west and ends up in a Internet refugee camp.

Episode 1207 – Super Fun Time – The fourth grade class has an educational field trip to a living museum.  But unbeknownst to the kids, a group of thieves breaks into the museum and takes everyone hostage.  Meanwhile, Cartman and Butters are having fun at an amusement center next door.

Episode 1208 – The China Probrem – After watching the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic games, Cartman believes the Chinese are going to invade America.  So, to make a statement, Cartmana and Butters in Chinese disguise (and armed with a weapon) confront the Chinese at P.F. Chang’s restaurant.

Episode 1209 – Breast Cancer Show Ever – Wendy tries to tell her class about breast cancer but Cartman keeps making fun of her.  So, Wendy challenges Cartman to a one-on-one fight but Cartman tries to find a way to get off the fight but yet continue to antagonize her.  An episode that fans have been waiting 12 years for.  Meanwhile, the other boys are traumatized by the raping of Indiana Jones.

Blu-ray Disc 3:

Episode 1210 – Pandemic – Peruvian flute bands are invading cities around the world and seeing how these bands make money, the boys decide to create their own Peruvian band.  That is until the government tries to put a stop to the Peruvian flute bands and rounds them all up and puts them in internment camps.

Episode 1211- Pandemic 2: The Startling – Giant guinea pigs are now attacking cities all over the world, meanwhile the boys must try to save everyone.  Randy Marsh documents the destruction with his new digital camera.

Episode 1212 – About Last Night… – Barack Obama is elected as the 44th President of the United States and South Park is split.  Half of the citizens celebrate while the other half brace for the end of the world.  Meanwhile, Obama and McCain have their own post-election plans as they and a team try to pull of one of the largest jewelry heists of all time.

Episode 1213 – Elementary School Musical – The whole school has become a big fan of “High School Musical” and constantly sing in school but Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny have no reason why.  But when Butters becomes more popular than them, the boys feel that they need to put a stop to the song-fest or give in to peer pressure.

Episode 1214 – The Ungroundable – Due to a new Hot Topic in town, all the South Park kids are trying to become vampires.  But the goth students have had enough and begin to rebel.  Meanwhile, Butters who never gets the respect of his family and friends decides that in order to get respect, he must become a vampire.

“SOUTH PARK: THE COMPLETE TWELFTH SEASON” is definitely a season where Trey Park and Matt Stone are pushing the button and for many of us who watched the season unfold on Comedy Central, conversations amongst other fans were like “oh man…did you see that episode?”, knowing that this season was going farther than they have in previous episodes.

But at the same time, if there was any show that could push that button, it’s “SOUTH PARK”.  So, depending on the viewer, the show may not for everyone but for those with an open mind and want to laugh, just know that the series will be an “equal opportunity offensive” (no one is spared) type of comedy series that will poke fun at races, pop culture and much more.  And as a long time viewer, I would expect nothing less from this series.  It’s all about taking things as far as they can and sure enough, season 12 accomplishes that.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“SOUTH PARK” gets its first High-Definition treatment on Blu-ray and is presented in 1080i.  As much as people may wonder why not “1080p”, considering that “SOUTH PARK” is not exactly a series you are looking for extreme special effects or action scenes, the 1080i does a great job in showcasing the color.  Vibrant colors pop and overall, picture quality is clear with no grain or major artifacting.  Picture quality is very good!

As for audio, audio is presented in Dolby TrueHD English 5.1 , English 5.1 and Stereo.  If anything, the Comedy Central intro really puts your front speakers for a challenge with its heavy bass.  But overall, dialogue is clear and again, this is not a series where you would expect any major uses of audio.  But dialogue is clear and understandable.  Music segments definitely are heard quite clearly and more pronounced, especially the episode of “Elementary School Musical” which is a music-based episode.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Both Blu-ray Disc and DVD versions come with the following special features.  Although the “Behind the Scenes – About Last Night” is a featurette featured in HD.

  • MINI-COMMENTARY –  Every episode has good length commentary by Trey Parker and Matt Stone.  The two definitely give insight to every episode and what prompted to have the storyline and what was in their heads at the time.  Especially an episode such as “China Probrem” where the two were definitely upset with the fourth Indiana Jones film and talk about what would happen if Spielberg or Lucas were to approach them about the episode.  Also, another episode featured Matt Stone sick and a doctor giving him a steroid that delayed the cold in order to give him enough time to do the vocals for an episode before he gets sick again.  Really good insight for the commentary.
  • Disc 1: Making Boobage: Behind the Scenes of “Major Boobage” – This feature showcases Kenny and Randy Marsh’s scenes which pay homage to “Heavy Metal” from storyboards and commentary on those “major boobage” scenes.
  • Disc 2: Six Days to South Park: A Day-by-Day Making of South Park – This feature surprised me because it features six of the staff discussing how the episode “Super Fun Time” was created.  I was aware that in a country like Japan where in an animated series, an episode is completed right on the day of when it is supposed to be aired and sometimes arriving minutes before airing.  But I always figured in the US, these episodes were made way before it was to air.  But watching this featurette, you get an idea how the staff and crew working six days a week.  Each day is broken down and you get to hear what the crew does for each day.  From drawing out storyboards, then black holes, animating, voice work, final touches, etc.  An informative featurette.
  • Disc 3: Behind the Scenes: “About Last Night” HD – A 20-minute featurette featuring the producers commentary of the episode.  Unlike the “Six Days to South Park”, this features on one day and the crew talking about the 24-hours they had to do this show because it aired the day after the Presidential elections and thus had to fix a lot of the show based on who won the elections and get it out to the Cartoon Network in time.

“SOUTH PARK” is one of those series that I’ve watched since my college years that I can’t seem to stop watching.  No matter how far the series goes, how offensive the series may get, I don’t really get upset.  It’s because the series is known for pushing the button and taking things as far as Comedy Central will allow them.

Of course, on this Blu-ray (and also on the DVD) edition, these episodes are uncensored and are filled with profanity.  But it’s what makes “South Park” the type of series it is and personally,  I find it refreshing to have an animation targeted for adults.

“SOUTH PARK: THE COMPLETE TWELFTH SEASON” definitely dared to go farther in surprising people with its content.

With the first episode to kick of the new season with Cartman contracting AIDS (for the episode titled “Tonsil Trouble”)  from a transfusion mishap during his tonsillectomy and then getting back at Kyle (who ridiculed him) by injecting his blood with AIDS into his mouth while he slept was shocking.

And then each episode after the other such as Britney Spears blowing off her head for the episode “Britney’s New Look” but kept alive and yet everyone around her thinks she is fine while Kyle and Stan are in awe that these people don’t recognize that she blown her head nearly off.

And to see the kids testing out of how they can get high by “cheesing” by having their face behind a male cat and using another cat to provoke it, thus making the male cat pee on the person’s face and making them get high.  To the episode of “China Probrem” and watching Steven Spielberg and George Lucas constantly raping Indiana Jones and in the same episode, to see how far Cartman and Butters would go to stop the Chinese.  Needless to say, watching many of the episodes for the 12th season definitely surprised me.

A lot of the episodes from the twelfth season has generated plenty of comments of “oh, crap…that is so f’d up”.  But it’s all about comedy and if one is sensitive to these jokes, then “South Park” is definitely not for them.  But for those who have been long time fans, we enjoy the series and enjoy seeing how far Parker and Stone can go. “SOUTH PARK: THE COMPLETE TWELFTH SEASON” goes even farther than previous seasons and pushes the limit of what can be shown on cable television.  And again, each episode is featured in its uncensored glory on Blu-ray and DVD.

As for the first Blu-ray release of “SOUTH PARK” and how it differs from the DVD version, looking at the Blu-ray and DVD specs of bonus features, they both have all three special features and commentary.  The main significant difference is that the episodes on the Blu-ray disc is featured in HD and one of the special features (About Last Night) is also on HD .  Also, the Blu-ray does come with a way to obtain a digital copy of “South Park Season 12” (a code for one to download the episodes).

Overall, I’ve found the 12th season of “SOUTH PARK” entertaining. I found the series entertaining then and entertaining now and no signs of slow down.  If anything, each year, the crew manages to push the button.  Of course, for those who take this series a bit too seriously, “SOUTH PARK” is not a series to take seriously, it’s a series you just want to sit back, laugh and be surprised of what Parker, Stone and crew have prepared for you.

Definitely prepare for some surprises in this twelfth season and more of the “oh, crap that’s really f’d up!” sentiments but yet, in an entertaining, “South Park” kind of way.






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