Movie Review – South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut

South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut

Directed by Trey Parker

Starring the voices of Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman, Issac Hayes, Brent Spiner, Dave Foley, George Clooney, Minnie Driver, Eric Idle, and Mike Judge.

A lot of people were fearful when it was first announced that they were doing a feature film version of South Park. I, personally, think that the crudely animated cartoon is one of the best shows on TV. I was greatly looking forward to a movie version. I started getting wary when I started reading about how the creators wanted to use the movie to take the show to “the next level.” So, I went to see the film, curious to know what “the next level” was.

Our story opens with our intrepid gang of Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny going off to see the Terrance and Philip movie Asses of Fire. As the gang leaves the film, their parents are horrified to discover that their kids have picked up the high degree of foul language that abounds in that movie. After the school’s failed attempts to rehabilitate the kids, Kyle’s mom decides that true threat to their kids is Canada, the country of origin of Terrance and Phillip. So, she forms the group Mothers Against Canadians, and the group promptly gets enough pull to get Terrance and Phillip arrested, thus leading to war between the United States and Canada. One problem: the United States and Canada going to war is one of the signs of the Apokalypis. So, Satan and his abusive boyfriend Saddam Hussien prepare to take over the world. Can the kids stop the war and free Terrance and Phillip? Can Kenny (who died and went to Hell) give Satan the self-confidence to dump Hussien? See the film!

This is, without a doubt, the funniest movie of the summer! I was laughing so hard I was crying. What it makes it really cool is that the humor does have a point, with a strong message of anti-censorship and parents taking responsibility for their children. And, in the best Disney tradition, this film is a musical! I’ve been singing What Would Brian Boitano Do? for the last 24 hours, and sad but true, the song Unca Fucka is quite a catchy tune. Kenny dies in a most gruesome way, and the entire midsection turns into a spoof of Les Miz. This movie is a must-see at all costs. And remember, always seek out the clitoris. (You’ll get that joke after you see the film).

4 Nibs

Movie Review – Tarzan


Directed by Kevin Lima and Chris Buck

Starring the voices of Tony Goldwin, Minnie Driver, Glenn Close, Lance Henrikson, Brian Blessed, Nigel Hawthorn, Wayne Knight, and Rosie O’Donnel

I saw this film immediatly after I saw The Iron Giant. I almost didn’t want to see it, because I wanted a little more time to digest The Iron Giant. But, Disney has been on the upswing in their animated films in these last few years, so I thought I’d give it a chance.

I’m sure we’re all framiliar with the tale. Tarzan’s human family is shipwrecked off the coast of Africa. His parents, however, are soon killed by a leopard, and Tarzan is adopted by the ape Kala (Close). She raises Tarzan (Goldwyn) as her son, much to the dismay of the leader of the apes, Kerchak (Henrikson). He’s just suspicious of outsiders. Tarzan grows up, befrinding the elephant Tantor (Knight), and the ape Terk (O’Donnel). But soon, man comes to the jungle, in the form of Jane (Driver), her professor father (Hawthorn), and their guide Clayton (Blessed). When Tarzan encounters other humans for the first time, this leads to his inner conflict as to which world he belongs. Sure, the apes are his family, but he’s falling in love with Jane. Oh, and Clayton is a poacher bent on capturing all the apes and selling them to zoos.

After The Iron Giant, this film just seemed to ring hollow for me. Sure, it is one of Disney’s best of later years, but it was lacking genuine heart. It has many pluses for it though. Phil Collins’ songs (mostly focusing on jungle drums) are a great asset to the film. These characters have to be some of the most formed in all of Disney’s more recent animated films. And, you know that the animation is top notch. I still recommend it, but not as highly as The Iron Giant.

3.5 Nibs

Movie Review – Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

Austin Powers:  The Spy Who Shagged Me

Directed by Jay Roach

Starring Mike Myers, Heather Graham, Seth Green, Robert Wagner, Rob Lowe and Verne Troyer.

According to an internet poll, this was the second-most anticipated film of the summer of ’99. And, I will admit that I found the first one to be incredibly funny! It always seems to be that I only see Mike Myers sequels in theaters: I saw Wayne’s World 2 in the theater, but not Wayne’s World. And now, I didn’t see Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery in the theater, but I got to see Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. How odd.

The plot is incredibly simple: Dr. Evil (Myers) is freed from his orbiting Big Boy with a new plot for world domination: go back in time to the 1969 and put a giant laser on the moon to hold the world hostage. And, to keep Austin Powers (also Myers) from stopping him, he has an operative Fat Bastard (also Meyers), a Scotsman who weighs exactly one ton, steal Austin’s mojo from the frozen Austin! So, to preserve the timeline and stop Dr. Evil, the mojo-less Ausin must go back in time to 1969. There, he finds a new female sidekick in the form of CIA Agent Felicity Shagwell (Graham). Plus, Dr. Evil throws off the officials of the 1960’s by acting like a 1990’s villain! Oh, and we can’t forget the clone of Dr. Evil, Mini-me (Troyer). He’s exactly like Dr. Evil, only 1/8 the size, and sibling rivalry evolves between Mini-me and Scott Evil (Green). That about sums it up.

The problem that many critics have with comedy sequels is that they are generally below the original. Austin Powers is not below the original, but it’s not above it either. It is about on par with the original. And, being the second-most anticipated film of the summer, that adds up to this film being a bit of a let-down. Don’t get me wrong, if you loved the first one, you’ll get a kick out of this one, but I was expecting…more. But, the film has a lot of great gags nonetheless. A pretty good way to kill an afternoon.

3 Nibs

Movie Review – Star Trek: Deep Space Nine final episode What You Leave Behind

Star Trek:  Deep Space Nine

Final episode What You Leave Behind
Directed by Allan Kroeker

Starring Avery Brooks, Rene Oberjounois, Nana Visitor, Colm Meaney, Michael Dorn, Alexander Siddig, Nichole deBoer, Armin Shimerman, Cirroc Lofton, and the rest of Deep Space Nine players.

This is one of my dirty, little secrets: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is my favorite Star Trek show. Why? Because it dared to be different. It showed us the darker side of the Federation. It showed us a Federation at war, and officers dealing with secrets from their past. Sisko, as captains go, has been one of the most underrated by the fans, IMHO. Plus, they had the Defiant, which was the most ass-kickingest ship in all of Star Trek. So, with the final episode coming, I was eager, yet sad.

The plot was fairly simple: with the evil Dominion on the run, the Federation was launching one massive offensive to end the war once and for all. They were off to invade Cardassia, and free the Cardassians from the rule of the Dominion, and thus crush the Dominion’s main base in the Alpha Quadrant. Kira, having been stranded on Cardassia in the previous episode, was helping the Cardassians lead a resistance against the Dominion. Of course, the good guys won, but the victory celebration didn’t last for long, as Sisko was called by the Prophets to launch one last battle against the evil Gul Dukat.

For the final episode of my favorite Star Trek, I found this to be a little. . .dissapointing. For a final episode, I was expecting more! But, based upon the episodes before, this just all felt a little anti-climactic. I guess my expectations were to high, and this just didn’t deliver. I also found it depressing that this ended with the crew being broken up! (OK, I’ll spoil it: Sisko goes off to be with the Prophets, Odo goes to the Great Link to teach his people that solids aren’t all bad, O’Brian goes off to teach at the academy, and Worf becomes Federation ambassador to the Klingon Empire.) Who knows, being the darker series, maybe a depressing end was the best way to go. But I didn’t get the big pay-off I’d been hoping for. All in all, it was good, but not as good as All Good Things…, the final episode of The Next Generation.

And one last gripe: Sisko’s original mission was to oversee the restoration of Bajor, and it’s eventual entry into the Federation. I had always hoped that the final shot would be some grand ceremony in which Bajor was finally admitted into the Federation; kind of like the medal ceremony at the end of Star Wars. Oh, well, as Spock said, having something is not as pleasureable as wanting something.

3 Nibs