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|Running Time||87:56 minutes|
|Start Up||Language Selection then Menu|
Mary Kay Bergman
James "Munky" Shaffer
Brian "Head" Welch
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, in the end credits of "Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery"|
The episodes contained on this DVD are Episodes 10 to 13 of Series 3;
Chinpoko Mon (Episode 310, 21:59). The South Park children are caught in the grip of "Chinpoko Mon" fever, a seemingly unexplainable frenzy to own the latest item in the latest Japanese fad to hit South Park. Unfortunately, Kyle has problems keeping up with the turning of the trends. Is it all harmless, meaningless fun? Or is there something sinister behind it? This episode is a great, biting satire, based around that other "Mon" we all know (and adults all loathe).
Starvin Marvin In Space (Episode 311, 21:59). An alien lands in Ethiopia and is promptly eaten by lions. Starvin Marvin manages to get into the space ship and pilot it around the world, trying to find a place somewhere on the planet Earth where he can resettle his people, but cannot find anywhere on Earth that a) has plenty of food, and b) is free of missionaries. With the help of Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny, he finds his way back to the alien's home planet, where his people will be accepted. That is, if the CIA and/or CBC (Christian Broadcasting Channel) doesn't get in the way. Once again, there is some great, biting satire in this episode, with Star Wars and in particular Jabba The Hut being sent up beautifully.
Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery (Episode 312, 21:59). It's this season's Halloween episode, and if the title of the episode doesn't give away what TV cartoon series they are sending up here, Korn's groovy van sure will. Halloween in South Park this year will be celebrated on the Docks, but what about those nasty pirate ghosts (or is that ghost pirates) that are rumoured to haunt the Docks? Meanwhile, Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny resolve to scare some bigger kids, with the help of Kyle's (dead) grandmother, and poor Kenny STILL can't win the best costume competition...
Hooked On Monkey-Fonics (Episode 313, 21:59). Cartman's mother buys him a Monkey-Fonics kit to help him win the annual Spelling Bee. This year, however, two "home school" children take part, streeting the other kids. Kyle falls for Rebecca, one of the home-schooled children and the other wants to try out normal school.
The transfer is nicely sharp and clear at all times, and is always pleasant to look at. Shadow detail is as good as the animators drew it and intended it to be. Low level noise is never a problem.
Colours were always clearly and strongly rendered, with not a trace of colour bleeding nor chroma noise at any stage.
No MPEG artefacts were seen, although if you paused the image you could see occasional small macro-blocks in the backgrounds of images. These were certainly not visible at normal viewing speed. Of particular note is the clean and clear way in which the end strobing sequence of Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery has been rendered - this sequence would have taxed the MPEG codec considerably.
An unusual "dot crawl" type artefact affected the image at times, more frequently than on previous volumes of South Park. Cartman's hat was affected, as it has been previously, as were various other items. An obvious example is at 2:10 during Chinpoko Mon. Once again, I can only attribute this artefact to the NTSC to PAL conversion that these transfers have presumably undergone, unless they are inherent in the master source material.
Aliasing is more frequent on this volume than on previous South Park instalments. Starvin Marvin In Space is particularly affected, with Marvin's spaceship shimmering quite noticeably at times. Kenny's costume in Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery also shimmered noticeably.
No other artefacts, film-sourced or video-sourced, were noted.
Dialogue was reasonably easy to understand. I did, however, find myself needing to concentrate on the dialogue a lot more with this set of episodes than with previous volumes of South Park. Some of this is deliberate - much of the Japanese-accented English dialogue in Chinpoko Mon is very difficult to make out, and the Emperor's speech at the camp in the same episode is well-nigh impossible to discern, probably deliberately. Audio sync was as good as it is going to get with this style of animation.
Several words were beeped out in Chinpoko Mon, and several sentences of Japanese dialogue went without subtitling. I cannot comment on whether this was deliberate or was censorship.
The music is credited to various sources, with Adam Berry having the primary credit. The opening music is mono and is of limited fidelity, but other musical cues are quite definitely stereo and of rather good fidelity in comparison to the dialogue.
The surround channel was not used, and the subwoofer had minimal redirected signal passed to it.
© Michael Demtschyna
(read my bio)
15th June 2001
|DVD||Denon DVD-3300, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 4:3 mode, via the RGB input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Denon AVD-1000 DTS AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials and the NTSC DVD version of The Ultimate DVD Demo Disc.|
|Amplification||EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifier for Left & Right Front; Marantz MA6100 125W per channel monoblock amplifiers for Left & Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO Subwoofer|