South Park-Volume 14 (2000)
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
Zoe Murphy Dion
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Series 4 of South Park continues with the next 4 episodes made available on South Park-Volume 14. After the last South Park DVD I reviewed (Volume 13), I wasn't expecting much, however, the episodes contained in this volume are a breath of fresh air for a series that up until now had (for me) started to lose the sharp wit and humour that originally made South Park famous. It is also exciting to note that the 4th Grade episode also seems to be the first of the new episodes with a new theme song and accompanying animation (which is reminiscent of the later release X-Men cartoon's beginning).
This DVD contains Episodes 10 to 13 of Series 4. They are;
Do the Handicapped go to Hell? (Episode 410, 22:01). In the first of this two-part episode, the boys find themselves under attack from Priest Maxi, being told that they would go to Hell if they did not mend their ways. Scared into believing him and horrified that their handicapped friend Timmy will go to hell because he can't say anything other than his name (and therefore can't confess and be saved), Cartman leads the group on a crusade to save the town from their sins, and therefore from going to Hell. Meanwhile, Satan has been getting on with his life with his new boyfriend Chris, when he is spun into turmoil with the return of an old lover.
Probably (Episode 411, 22:00). The follow-up to Do the Handicapped go to Hell? finds Satan contemplating returning to his old lover, and after much thought deciding to ask for help from a higher power that he hasn't spoken to for thousands of years. Back on the physical plane, Cartman has found spirituality and after finding the Priest a sinner, begins to help by guiding his new flock of followers to the Lord through his teachings. With help from the children of South Park he builds a Church to provide shelter for his people, although Stan & Kyle begin to question his motives when he starts asking the congregation to offer money in the name of the Lord.
4th Grade (Episode 412, 22:00). The boys have finally "grown up", and are facing a new year as 4th graders. As they are coming to grips with this monumental moment and the benefits it offers, they are quickly demoralised to find a new 4th grade teacher that scares them so much that they want to go back to the 3rd grade where life was good. With the help of some science geeks, the boys build a time machine using Timmy's wheelchair with the aim of going back to the beginning of 3rd grade and staying there forever. High up in the mountains, the replacement teacher helps Mr Garrison come face to face with his greatest fear, whilst learning how to reach her new students.
Trapper Keeper (Episode 413, 22:00). Kyle's brother Ike is going to kindergarten early because he is a genius. Whilst at the bus stop, Cartman upstages Kyle's basic "Dawson's Creek Trapper Keeper", with his super advanced "Dawson's Creek Trapper Keeper". Whilst on the bus, a strange man (who is not a "Homeless Person") by the name of Bill Cosby seems overly interested in Cartman's Trapper Keeper. Once at school, Ike ends up in a political war with another student to become class president, which quite quickly escalates to a preposterous situation. Soon South Park is filled with celebrity voters and lawyers to ensure equality for the elected parties. With scenes reminiscent of the final moments of Akira, Kyle & Stan have to work with Bill Cosby to save the world from a possible Terminator-like future.
The transfer is in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and it is not 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is quite sharp, and colour is fine with no observable bleeding. Where applicable, shadow detail was good with no low level noise present.
No MPEG artefacts were present, however as per usual dot crawl is observable in each episode, with the most notable being in the opening theme song of the first two episodes on this DVD.
There is only an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack on this DVD, which is what I listened to.
Given the restraints of the voice acting in South Park, everything that is meant to be heard (and understood) is represented well with good clarity.
The music transfer in these episodes is much better than previous South Park volumes. The new theme song definitely matches well with the new opening animation as well as being more melodious than the original, although possibly losing some of the original's charm along the way.
Surround use was quite good, especially in the moments in Hell/Heaven with good ambient noise, as well as with the music. The subwoofer doesn't call attention to itself, but supports the sound stage relatively well.
The video is good and matches the same level of quality of recent South Park DVD's.
The audio is also good, with the multi-channel usage & mixing of much higher quality than Volume 13 .
No extras of any merit grace this DVD, although this is no different than any other recent volume.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching these episodes, finding them funny and original. This DVD is as good a representation of these episodes of South Park you would find, and if I were a South Park fan I wouldn't hesitate to obtain a copy of this DVD.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using Component output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-835|
|Speakers||Energy eXL-16 left/right front speakers; Bose Video Monitor Centre speaker; Wharfedale SW-12 Subwoofer; Wharfedale Modus 2 left/right rear speakers|