South Park: Vol. 5 [DVD]
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Four episodes from the second season of the foul-mouthed animated comedy. 'The Mexican Staring Frog of Southern Sri Lanka' sees Ned and Jimbo off to hunt the deadly 'Mexican Staring Frog' after a sighting in South Park. In 'Flashbacks', the school bus is trapped on the edge of a precipice, and the boys reminisce over some sticky moments while Mrs Crabtree goes in search of help, becoming a stand-up comedy sensation in the process. Could it all be a bad dream? 'Summer Sucks' sees the town's 4th July celebrations spoiled by a sudden ban on fireworks. Meanwhile, Cartman is forced to take swimming lessons - will he ever make it to the deep end? In 'Chef's Salty Chocolate Balls', talking poo Mr Hankey suffers when the masses descend on South Park for its first Film Festival. Meanwhile, Chef concocts a new sweetmeat for the edification of the recently arrived cognescenti.
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I don't find these episodes as funny as the first time I watched them. A lot of the humor of South Park is in shock value, and that has worn off. But even so, I find them funny enough to be worth watching every now and then. If you are a hard core fan, I recommend you drop thirteen bucks for the DVD. If you are just a casual fan, your money would be better spent elsewhere.
There are no extras on the DVD to make it really stand out from the VHS version. The primary advantage of the DVD is random access to the episodes. You also get Matt and Trey introducing the episodes, which is fairly amusing. However, the lack of substantive extras is very disappointing. Also, the menus are static and silent; the power of the DVD medium has been completely ignored. This is why I only give this DVD 3 stars.
Some have complained that you can't skip the introductions, but I have no problem fast forwarding through them with my DVD player. Many have also complained about the three worthless items appearing at the end of each episode (the Braniff logo, Comedy Central logo, and FBI warnings). But simply pressing the "menu" button on your DVD's remote is all that is required to skip these items. I don't like this rubbish either, but the people who whine on incessantly about this are making a mountain out of a molehill.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!
Relevance/Message: C- to A-
Artistic Merit: D
Overall Entertainment Value: A
Transfer Quality: B
Use of Medium: D
Here's the summaries for the episodes and what I liked about them:
"Conjoined Fetus Lady" : While the gang is off to compete in the dogeball competition, Kyle's mom wants to make the nurse's "disease" well aware to South Park residents so she won't be made fun of. This is a really funny episode, and it shines the spotlight on Pip for once. The dogeball scequences are brutal, but hillarious!
"The Mexican Staring Frog of Southern Sri Lanka" : This one has it all: lies, deciete, scandals..... and a plastic frog? You'll have to see it to believe it. I don't want to give away too much about this one, but believe me, it is a good one!
"Flashbacks" : The kids are stuck in a school bus that is very close to falling off the cliff. The kids try to face fear by remembering all of the troubles they had encountered in the past......but they all ended in ice cream? A very funny one.
"Summer Sucks" : Fireworks are banned and summer is up and about. While Stan, Kyle, and Kenny are in denial, Cartman takes swimming lessons...but ends up only swimming in first graders' pee. "Ewww! You sick sons of (explicit)!" This is my favorite one on the DVD, and Cartman once again steals the show by saying some of the funniest lines you will hear in a South Park episode.
Overall, a very funny South Park DVD. The intros by the creators are also very hillarious. No special features, sorry. If you love South Park, then check out Volume 5. Sweet!