The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Paramount - 2008
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 308 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-25/BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Stereo
Starring: Trey Parker, Matt Stone
Directed by: Trey Parker
Written by: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Brian Graden
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 10, 2009
"Warning, this program is totally outrageous…and hysterically funny"
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.
I was late to the South Park phenomena and didn’t start watching it until a few years ago. I haven’t followed it religiously but catch up by recording them on my DVR and watching when time permits. My kids have been able to download episodes to their iPods and they are hooked. This is a show unlike any other animated series, both in appearance and creative concept. It stretches the boundaries of propriety to its limits and could easily be offensive to those with thin skins. If you look at it for what it is you are sure to be rewarded with deep belly laughs at its unending barrage of crude themes, blunt use of language, and unconventional plots. No stone seems left unturned when it comes to poking fun at celebrities, politicians and society in general. Season 12 has its share of funny moments some of which are priceless. One of my favorites is episode 1206 “ Over Logging”, which finds the good citizens of South Park awaking one morning to find that there is no internet. In true SP fashion it explores how we have all become extremely dependent on cyberspace as it follows Stan‘s family‘s exploits that focus on finding “the internet”. The season touches on subjects like the presidential election, the Olympics, breast cancer, HIV/Aids and of course what fun would it be unless there were ridiculous themes like Peruvian flute bands, over zealous living museum actors remaining in character in spite of being under siege by a group of Burger King robbing terrorist types, and getting high from inhaling cat urine. These are just to name a few but you get the idea. While it all sounds a bit ridiculous or absurd it has a proven formula that works. The four mischievous imps Eric, Kyle, Kenny, and Stan (honorable mention to my man Butters) along with their parents/families/classmates provide us with much to laugh at. I think that what brings about such hilarity sometimes is how much the show makes us take a look at ourselves and some of life’s experiences that resemble those of the inhabitants of South Park. Note that I said SOME because I assure you that not all apply. Regardless of whether you feel that way or not the show is entertaining, original and honest in its attempt to illicit audience reaction and that is where it succeeds admirably. All 14 episodes are spread out over two BD-25‘s and a single BD-50 (Disc 3) with commentary and bonus supplements contained on each.
This show contains thematic elements and language that would be inappropriate for young viewers.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
South Park: The complete 12th Season comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount featuring 1080i AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 14 mbps and lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate of 1.3 mbps.
This is a great looking video presentation that boasts snappy, vibrant colors that enhance the show’s animated elements. Images are razor sharp with clear definition that brings out plenty of subtle delineation in the characters and backgrounds. This was evident in the patterned texture in the clothing worn by the kids. I never noticed that Eric’s red coat has a basket weaved pattern. A similar pattern is shared by objects, backgrounds and to varying degrees in the clothing, hair and other characters. The show’s two dimensional animation doesn’t offer much in terms of depth of image but resolution was excellent which enhanced the perception of small details onscreen. Other than some minor color banding I didn’t see any video related artifacts worthy of note.
The show doesn’t have the type of sound that calls for demanding multi-channel audio but this Dolby TrueHD surround mix certainly made the most of it. Dialogue had lucid distinction and requisite clarity through the center channel so that it maintained a prominent position within the front soundstage. Channel separation and directional spacing across the front three channels was quite good. The track has a front dominant perspective however the surrounds were used effectively to open up the sound field to enhance spatial presence. The show’s music is spread out over the entire system and supplies most of the room filling sound which is nicely underscored by punchy bass that accentuates impact. There are a few instances were dynamics shine, such as during the gunfire and assault segments during episode 1207 “Super fun time”. Detail and clarity were discerning which elevated the perception of smaller sounds (like the metallic creaking of Jimmy’s crutches) within the recording. This mix won’t will blow you away but for an animated TV series it sounded excellent.
- Disc 1:
- Making Boobage: a look at 4 scenes from episode 1203 “Major Boobage” with commentary
- Disc 2:
- Six days to South Park: A comprehensive break down on preparation of episode 1207 “Super fun time”
- Disc 3:
- (HD) Behind the scenes: “About last night“ which details the 24 hours prior to this episodes airing which occurs the day after the presidential election
- Episode mini commentary by Trey Parker and Matt Stone
- Digital Copy - Downloadable standard definition (Windows only) version that can be played back on a portable playback device
South Park: The complete 12th season is another successful installment in the continuing misadventures of the gang from this rather bizarre little town. The show’s crude style of humor may not appeal to everyone but if given half a chance Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Eric will succeed at drawing you into their world. This three disc season 12 set comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount looking and sounding as good as I have ever seen South Park. The bonus features don’t delve deep into the inner workings or behind the scenes making of the show but does convey the sometimes harried pace and intuitive process involved in bringing an episode to fruition.
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JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BD55K Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 seven Channel amplifier
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package