Tuesday, March 11, 2008

South Park: Imaginationland! Out today - Paramount (****4/10)

The original South Park movie, Bigger Longer and Uncut, was a masterpiece. I truly mean that - it was the best musical I have ever seen. The political anti-censorship message was brilliantly delivered, the characters made great sense and there were endlessly quotable lines throughout the film. Since then, the guys over at South Park seem to be on autopilot. Every now and then they come out with another great episode - The Tom Cruise in the closet episode was classic. The World of Warcraft episode was classic. But for the most part, the show has been running on empty. And this new DVD, ostensibly a movie called Imaginationland, is really a DVD release of three back-to-back episodes that make up one whole 70-minute piece. And it, like most of South Park these days, is not very good.

Oh, there are some quality moments only South Park could deliver. Cartman's quest to get Kyle to do some very dirty things to him is memorable. Butters, as usual, has some quality moments. But mostly Trey Parker and Matt Stone just come across as bitter, malicious people bent on being mean to any public figure they can think of. Al Gore, Kurt Russell, and so many more get skewered. And they also REALLY seem to hate their main competition, Family Guy. They make several references to Family Guy sucking, most notably mocking the idea of a Star Wars parody (which Family Guy did to great comedic effect on the Blue Harvest DVD, available now). Perhaps that is because the South Park guys truly have been surpassed when it comes to offensive humour and belly-laughs-per-episode.

The plot here is that the kids end up in Imaginationland, a place where every creature ever imagined by a human being congregates. Superman, Jesus, Santa, Zeus, Strawberry Shortcake, Luke Skywalker, Aslan, they're all there. And Butters is left behind when Stan and Kyle return to the real world. Then, bizarrely, terrorists attack Imaginationland, and only Butters can save the world. The military starts plans to nuke Imaginationland, and Cartman takes his fight with Kyle to the Supreme court. all of this could work, and like I said there are good moments, but what the South Park guys have forgotten is that just being mean to public figures is not in itself funny. (The Michael Bay bit and the M. Night Shyamalan thing were very well done.) But those moments are few and far between. Imaginationland comes out today, courtesy of Paramount, and it's a reminder of how far the South Park boys have fallen.


  1. Hey. Your daily events are more exciting than my months.

    Don't mean to be ridiculously blunt, but how do you get an internship like that?

  2. (email me at istrauss6@gmail.com)

  3. did he ever answer on how to get an intership there?