The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Comedy Central/Paramount HE - 2010
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 308 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Dolby Digital Stereo
Starring: Matt Stone, Trey Parker
Directed by: Trey Parker
Written by: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Brian Graden
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 26, 2011
"Four boys one completely dysfunctional town"
All fourteen uncensored episodes from South Park's fourteenth season are now available in this exclusive three-disc set. Join the boys as they publish award-winning novels, struggle with a ban on fried chicken, fight off an invasion from New Jersey, and reveal the true identity of Mysterion. 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 14 has its share of hilarious inappropriateness some of which is priceless. One of my favorites is the two part episode 200/201 (episodes 1405 and 1406) where Tom Cruise gathers other celebrities mocked by South Park and threatens a class action lawsuit unless the town brings Mohammed to them, so that they can obtain his powers not to be ridiculed. I was pleased to see the return of The Coon and Mysterion, and the antics introduced by the South Park Superhero Alliance.
This season puts the South Park spin on subjects like the economy, Facebook, medicinal use of marijuana, popular films, celebrity sex scandals, the BP oil spill and pokes fun at various societal issues including hoarding and sexual addiction. 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. We caught most of this season's episodes when they were originally broadcast but it was fun revisiting our favorites here. All 14 episodes are spread out over two Blu-ray Discs. Disc 1 (BD-25) contains episodes 1 through 7 and deleted scenes. Disc 2 (BD-50) contains episodes 8 through 14 and the season 13 bonus episode The Coon.
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 14th Season comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount featuring 1080p 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 1.4 Mbps.
This is a spectacular 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. A similar pattern is shared by objects, backgrounds and to varying degrees in the clothing, hair and other characters. The show's one dimensional animation doesn't offer much in terms of depth of image but resolution was excellent which enhanced the perception of small details onscreen. I was impressed with the shading, contrast, and blacks featured in the nighttime segments which noticeably stood out compared to the standard backgrounds/scenery typically seen. Other than some minor color banding I didn't see any video related artifacts worth noting.
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. Detail and clarity were discerning which elevated the perception of smaller sounds within the recording. This mix won't will blow you away but for an animated TV series it sounded great.
- Audio commentary by Matt Stone and Trey Parker on each episode
- (HD) Deleted scenes - 6 minutes
- (HD) Bonus episode The Coon from season 13
Season 14 Episode listing:
- 1401 - Sexual healing
- 1402 - The tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs
- 1403 - Medicinal fried chicken
- 1404 - You have 0 friends
- 1405 - 200
- 1406 - 201
- 1407 - Crippled summer
- 1408 - Poor and stupid
- 1409 - It's a Jersey thing
- 1410 - Insheeption
- 1411 - Coon 2: Hindsight
- 1412 - Mysterion rises
- 1413 - Coon vs. Coon and friends
- 1414 - Crème Fraiche
South Park: The complete 14th 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 two disc season 14 set comes to Blu-ray Disc from Paramount looking and sounding great. The middling bonus supplements offer little in the way of in depth features but those familiar with the show should enjoy the typical Stone/Parker commentary. As a fan I am glad to add this to my collection and applaud Paramount for bringing it to Blu-ray Disc in excellent high quality fashion. Enjoy!
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