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South park: A Masterclass in Comedy and Film making

In the year 1969, a bunch of British comedians, with the help of clever satire, silly humor, a deep meaning, irreverence paved the way for modern comedy. Now there have been many works of art, which have replicated this with perfection like, Rick and Morty, The Simpsons and even Deadpool to some extent. However, the tv show that we will talk about today, isn’t just any tv show. It’s number 33 on “Rolling Stones 100 TV Shows of all time. It’s currently going to have its 24th season on the air in September and still are fresh and relevant to this date. We are going to talk about a show set in a small town of Colorado, created by the geniuses, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, called South Park. 

A show so controversial, the banned episodes are worth the hype. Their worst episodes are probably better than any great episode by an average sitcom. Their humor hits the right Pythonesque marks and has even given a room for more comedies like it to emerge and think how life is. (I.e Rick and Morty). 

However, I feel like it’s not just a comedy, but one of the best masterclasses on film making. Regardless of being worth $500 million each, they still don’t get recognized at the same level as someone like Martin Scorsese, who is also a legend, but these guys also deserve the same status. Let’s analyze as to why these python heads deserve as much recognition as any legendary filmmaker 

Premise 

South Park

The premise is pretty simple. It’s a show which shows the crazy happenings in the world from the eyes of a bunch of 4th graders. It shows us how adults try to make sense in life when there exactly isn’t any meaning to it. It stays up to date with its political affairs and uses satire to a level so extreme it makes it silly yet so layered at the same time.  

Its crude, lude, blasphemous and very rude. But it hasn’t stopped the world or critics from calling it the greatest show of all time and showering it with love. The comedy is one of the smartest and should be used by filmmakers more often. Their ability to take on subjects people wouldn’t and talk about topics people are afraid to talk about is what drives the show. 

Southpark’s bold choices to show that animals can have homosexual tendencies, you can be both right and wrong to being PC in today’s times, you can be religious and be genuinely caring and can be an atheist and be an asshole. Usually, people would like to joke about something that is trending. These people would make a different version of the joke. 

Their premises mostly include famous people doing random shit which makes them look stupid even if they think that what they are doing is some kind of a genius (i.e Mel Gibson) 

They take simple stories and make complex characters and premises out of it and even till this date they have been doing it so well. 

Animation  

South Park characters

Southpark has a very distinct style of animation, unlike some lazy shows (ahem.. Paradise PD.. ahem). 

Southpark animation isn’t the world’s best or most aesthetic animation, or at least wasn’t initially. In the first episode, Trey Parker and Matt Stone did the whole episode with the help of stop motion animation. They had the option of doing a different type of animation which could be considered better by a lot but sticking to this animation made it more funny, hilarious, distinct and faster to deliver within 6 days. They usually have 6 days to deliver an episode, and unlike Family Guy or Simpsons, Southpark gets written & animated, and sent over to network – Comedy Central by Wednesday. The next working day, they start over again. Creating such a distinct animation and making almost exact look-alikes of celebrities with this animation is truly commendable. 

Characters and voice 

South Park Main Characters

People usually have talents of doing certain voices in shows. Trey Parker and Matt Stone almost voice all the characters. 

Other than having an amazing storyline, the characters in the show truly remain with you. The 4 young men Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny are a treat to watch. Every one of them has something exceptional that separates them from different children around them. Stan is a standard child, who some way or another needs to hurl at whatever point he sees somebody he likes.

Kyle is the main Jewish child around, Cartman is by all accounts dismally fat and Kenny is incredibly poor.

Other than these shallow qualities, they vary likewise in the sort of people they are.

  • Stan is this cool person that individuals love to spend time with.
  • Kyle is caring and cherishes his younger sibling Ike(even however Ike’s adopted).
  • Cartman is a racist, hippie detesting egomaniac, and Kenny who can be known as a deviant of sorts, as in a scene he should have passed on from autoerotic suffocation.

Aside from the significant characters, even the optional characters are given enough weightage in the show. Some of them, like Butters, had their own one of a kind episode. 

Other great characters include Randy Marsh, Stan’s father who is almost as irrational as Cartman, Mr. Mackey, a bobblehead who tries to be a smart counselor and of course Mr./Mrs. Garrison. 

Other celebrities like Tom Cruise, Kanye West and Mel Gibson, etc are all voiced by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. 

Bill Hader, April  Stewart, and Eliza Schneider mostly do the other voices.

They aren’t imitators, they do have their own touch in every imitation, yet it feels real. 

Conclusion 

South Park Conclusion Review

More than a review, this is more of a love letter. This happens to be a thank you note.  Comedy has been a prevalent subject matter to talk about since the time of Aristotle. A lot of people use comedy to tell stories about the “and then” theory. These geniuses have taught a lot to filmmakers, like the “but” and “therefore” theory. This is me saying Thank you to South Park and its creators, for making me fall in love with film making and comedy. People should look at this show more and get inspired. Rick and Morty and other shows have achieved greatness, But somehow South Park will always hit the right notes and always selflessly make this show for themselves and still make a huge audience laugh.  

If you still don’t want to watch it you will have to respect their authoritah.” 

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Movies Reviews

Team America: World Police Review – Success in Replicating Failure

Team America: World Police, written by Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Scott Rudin and directed by Parker, is a full-blown satire of America. It involves Gary Johnston, an actor who is hired by Team America to fight terrorists controlled by Kim Jong-il.

Team America: World Police
Team America

Introduction

What do you get if you cross years of media jizzing to America and two Atheistswho make fun of anything stupid they come across? Team America: World Police. It is a satire from every angle possible. The movie doesn’t try to be its own thing and also make points through mockery. Instead, it’s a strong commitment to being a deep-rooted satire is what makes it stand on its own. It doesn’t just poke fun at the subject matter, it rips it to shreds exposing the truth. The topic of ‘ ‘MERICA!’ is taken a jab at as a whole. While the main focus is American media’s representation of America, they also point out flaws in American celebrities’ egos and America’s flawed need to ‘police’ the world. Hence the title. Genius.

This is the definition of smart comedy. It’s ingrained very naturally in everything; movements, dialogue and visual gags. Even if nothing funny is said, the realisation of what the scene means is enough to keep you snickering constantly. Every joke is layered beautifully in that way. They’re also layered in the sense that there are multiple interpretations. For example, Gary is disguised as a terrorist with his skin poorly darkened and face smothered in hair. It’s a stab at America’s perception of all terrorists and calls them stupid enough to be fooled by this. Most punchlines rely on exaggeration, but just enough gags subvert your expectations, so it doesn’t get monotonous too quick. It’s the kind of humour that shouldn’t work on paper but does because of the performances. Everything comes together to create something that’s more than the sum of its parts.

Characters

Of course, the characters are amplified stereotypes of typical caricatures. Gary is an actor who is only praised because he acts. Not well, just acts. But its shown as so great that everyone is gaga over him; a stab at idolization of celebrities. His past constantly haunts him, as action heroes always need lazily written depth. Gary also falls in love with the lead female, leading to a scene nobody expected to see in their lives. Because, of course, a guy and girl in a movie? And they’re gonna stay platonic? lol.

Team America: World Police
Stereotypical characters that work well? Check.

Other characters of Team America: World Police conform to this too. The main female denies her feelings for Gary (such conflict). There is a love triangle present (much emotion). The guy who hates Gary is an asshole so obviously he’s introduced playing pool (wow). They extract so much humour out of the Spottswoode, the chief of the team. He is so exaggerated and oblivious that you can’t stop laughing. His chair moves constantly because this character must be dramatized in some way or the other. What’s special is that everyone’s motivations for doing bizarre stuff actually make sense. They’re far more solid than some movies that actually try to be serious. Genius.

The best character is Eric Cartm- Kim Jon-il, the over-the-top dictator. Again, layered as hell. His accent satirizes American perception of Asians and the hyperbole is just hilarious. His mansion is complete with a throne, killer sharks and a statue of himself. The character oozes evil and they STILL manage to make you empathize with him. His minions are the terrorists who are established at pure killing machines who speak gibberish. Do I even need to point out the commentary there?

Team America: World Police
Best character in the movie.

Technical Aspects

No praise does the script and direction of Team America: World Police justice. The writing style of moving the plot forward using ‘so’ and ‘but’ instead of ‘and then’ creates an organic pace. The story is given a natural progression as each event plays into the next. There is actual tension in some sequences (released by blaring patriotic music, obviously). The final monologue is a masterstroke of writing. It encapsulates human philosophy in the rarest way I have seen till date. It’s guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face, but not in the way you might think. Again, genius.

The D.O.P is the legendary Bill Pope. He shoots the film as a dramatic action story. It not only provides aesthetic beauty, but the dramatization also works toward the satire being even funnier. There are actual crane shots that make the film seem like live-action. It may look like there is not much work put into it, but on second thought you realise the tight planning and creativity at play here.

The puppet work is honestly, masterful. When you hear about puppets in a film, you might think they’re old-school style. The opening shots start with one of those and pans out to reveal a more detailed puppet controlling it. Instantly solidifying this movie isn’t going to be what you expected. Apparently, they had fully motorized heads and its shows. Their range of emotion exceeds anything Arjun Rampal has done till date. The attention to detail is extremely effective. The blinking and head movements actually make them seem like real actors. The settings are so exaggerated as well, keeping up the deep-rooted nature of the satire. The immersion created by all these elements is commendable.

Team America: World Police
Puppet work is great. Film Actors Guild pictured above.

Cons

Toward the middle, the film drags a little bit. This is obviously done, again, to poke fun at how most movies do this too. But it’s at this point that the realisation of what they’re doing doesn’t remain as fresh anymore. Both of these combined do mess with the flow of the film. This style of humour really lends itself more to a shorter runtime, so the escalation is quicker, like South Park. But that still doesn’t detract from the hilarity and they do manage to keep you more than interested.

Conclusion

Team America: World Police is…ingenious. It proves how satire should be done; with a firm, unshakeable commitment. Every moment is crafted to seem layered and funny at the same time. There’s a sense of predictability, yet you feel like wanting to know what happens next, or rather how it happens. It has way more artistic value than the surface level tone it takes. The makers take the worst parts of American media and make them the best. They even manage to make musical numbers fun. An immense achievement.

Team America: World Police
What a movie.

We need comedy like this. That gives you a great time yet points out what is wrong with everyday things that surround us. Usually, this kind of criticism is blatant and unearned; it just amplifies flaws and doesn’t give a solution for them. This film is the answer to that mentality. If criticism must be done, shouldn’t it be done like this?

 

Further Reading –

 

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Movies Reviews

I Lost My Body – A Handful In The Best Way

I Lost My Body, written by Jérémy Clapin and Guillaume Laurant and directed by Claplin, tells the story of a severed hand that tries to make its way across Paris back to its owner, Naoufel. The path reminds it of life when attached to him and when he met Gabrielle.

I Lost My Body
Naoufel and Gabrielle

Story

Almost everything about this movie is unique. The animation style, story, characters, direction, sound design, and more feel never-before-seen. I Lost My Body presents a world that is monotonous and depressing in its nature, keeping us from being fulfilled. It tells us to break away from ‘fate’ and create our own path in life; to be an active character in our own story rather than just adhere to mundanity. There’s a commentary on how great ambition must push through despite being tarnished by life. Else, you would just be a shell of a person and never truly satisfied. It may be challenging, especially without any support, but must be done regardless of our past holding us back. It’s a subtle truth we don’t often think about because we are busy with the flow of life.

A theme of determination is enforced by Naoufel’s want to pursue Gabrielle and the hand’s conviction to get back. It tells us to be determined to take charge of our destiny. The story takes a non-linear approach; transitioning into a flashback makes sense at the moment but also elevates the storytelling. The transitions are so smooth that had the flashbacks not looked like they did, you wouldn’t even know it happened. It creates a seamless experience that pulls you in without you knowing it.

Characters

The characters represent the themes appropriately. Naoufel’s backstory is shown through precise flashbacks that set up who he is and what led him to this point. As a kid, he wanted to be an astronaut and a pianist but ‘fate’ intervened. Due to an incident that passion is stripped away and he is thrown into a tedious life. Working a soul-sucking job and living with people who barely acknowledge his existence. Which is why his reaction to even the smallest concern shown by Gabrielle, perfectly showcases what this world is about. She grows as a character by the skillfully written conversations they both have about fate. These were extremely interesting as the dialogue shows us by telling us. Characters almost say exactly what they are thinking and feeling. Hence it is not direct and gives the viewer something to think about, enforcing the themes further.

I Lost My Body
The hand is its own character

But what sets I Lost My Body apart is the character of the hand. It is very much established as its own entity. Just the opening scene where it escapes from a lab executes this perfectly. It takes action in order to escape and reacts to its surroundings so it’s not caught red-handed (No pun intended). It’s this action and reaction combined with lifelike movements that make the viewer perceive it as a separate character. It moves back when shocked and slouches when resting, furthering its resemblance to a full human. Purely through movement, because of the absence of facial expressions, the hand’s desperation to get back is brought out. It refuses to quit despite the constant obstacles it faces which enrichens the theme. It takes action to form its own path, solidifying the realization as absolute truth for this world.

Technical Aspects

The animation is gorgeous. It is the most unique element on display. The lines look hand-drawn but the textures of objects are quite detailed. This provides an interesting contrast that makes it distinguished. It has a distinct personality that’s visually interesting, aesthetically very pleasing and compliments and elevates the story. The movements, as mentioned before, are extremely lifelike which makes all the characters seem like real actors. Blocking, expressions and the voice acting come together beautifully to make the film come to life. Mainstream animation aims for exaggeration and photorealism to bring out character. Here it happens purely through treating them like physical beings. It provides an authentic experience and helps us accept and get wrapped up in the characters so effectively. It’s like viewing real-life with a filter over your eyes, just pure bliss.

The Animation is Extraordinary

Another interesting choice is the frame rate of the film. It’s half the standard fps (12 frames per second instead of 24). Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse did this as well, however it relied on fast-paced movement and actually used proper frame rate at times to tie it together. In I Lost My Body, the glue is the dynamic soundscape. The sound design is sharp and concentrated while the score induces a dream-like state. Almost as if the characters’ need is a fantasy. The sound ambiance created adds another level of realism to an already authentic visual experience, creating a further unbreakable illusion. The direction is exceptionally crisp. Not one frame feels out of place or unnecessary. The transitions into flashback are connected by movement making them buttery smooth. There are tense sequences, and the pace only makes that tension stronger. It is truly fantastic in every aspect.

 

Cons

As far as gripes go I only have a minor one. The film is just a hair too vague. ‘Show, don’t tell’ is a law in filmmaking, however, anything in excess ruins the effect a little bit. The hand sequences are actually not the issue, just some flashbacks, and part of the third act. But that’s it. Everything else is just brilliant.

I Lost My Body
Magnificent Film

Conclusion

I Lost My Body is undoubtedly underrated. It is a subtle yet compelling story, filled with well-rounded characters brought to life by outstanding animation, all supported by excellent direction. The film doesn’t shy away from mature themes and imagery creating an experience that is remarkably unique. It proves that animation is not just for kids and deserves the same recognition and respect as live-action.

 

Further Reading:

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Movies Reviews

Onward Review – A Decent Quest While it lasted

Onward, directed by Dan Scanlon and written by Scanlon, Jason Headley and Keith Bunin tells the story of the Lightfoot brothers, Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt), who go on a magical quest to find a way to bring their father back for one day.

Onward
Ian and Barley Lightfoot

This movie is…entertaining. It is fun to watch; there’s not a sequence that was boring or felt dragged out. It succeeds in achieving a quick pace and making the whole film seamless. The film presents quite an imaginative setting that has a ton of scope to expand upon. It is filled to the brim with really artistic designs and elements that give you a good sense of this new world. Underneath it all is quite a touching bonding story, which you don’t see coming. The animation is stunning and Onward is another testament as to why Pixar is leading in this industry. While I liked the film overall, there were just some major issues staring me in the face that I couldn’t let go off. On the one hand, it’s great that there are so many creative ideas in the film, but that’s where the problem lies as well. There are SO MANY creative ideas in the film. The makers aren’t able to explore all of them fully, especially given the runtime. The imagination put into the ideas really does shine through and make the whole concept seem quite ambitious, but it’s almost like the film relies on us revelling in how good the concept itself is, rather than presenting something richer.

The film also has an issue where they set up one thing but go in a completely different direction. This happens constantly. For example, we’re introduced to the concept of magic and wizards and other fantasy elements existing in the past, but they’re now gone in favour of technology and modernisation. This seemed like a set-up for a very obvious metaphor about today’s world, but the whole magic concept ends up being a contrivance for the characters and doesn’t mean anything to the world of the story. Had it been that way, the themes could’ve been much stronger and more hard-hitting. I guess the attempt was to subvert viewer expectations as that is what the third act, and in fact the whole movie, relies on. And it saved the film big time. The perspective shift near the end was extremely effective and easily the best part of the movie. It makes you think about the story in a completely new context. It was the one expectation subversion that worked and how. Felt like a classic Pixar-Third-Act moment. If only everything leading up to this point was just as good, the film could’ve been this year’s Coco.

Onward
Literally just a pair of pants

Onward has characters that are quite likeable, if not the most memorable. Ian is the youngest in the Lightfoot family and lacks self-assurance and confidence. While this is a very beaten-to-death trope, they go a little deeper with it, so it fits within the story. On his 16th birthday decides he wants to be bold and confident like his dad. The film required his need to be stronger, to get us on board with the quest concept, which is mostly driven by his elder brother Barley instead. He is a fantasy fanatic who wants everything around him to be like a fantastical quest (Chris Pratt was perfect casting for this). It makes sense that he would push his brother to pursue a ‘quest’, however, had Ian been the singular driving force it would’ve made him a more active character, something that works perfectly in his arc. The issue with Barley is his arc kicks in toward the middle of the movie, making him seem more like a supporting character till then.

Honestly, I was getting a little tired of him till they decided to give him some depth, which also didn’t feel solid and earned. Even his resolution, while effective, was a product of actions he takes because of Ian’s need, again casting him off as a supporting character. More focus should’ve been put on him, but I also understand that that would ruin the impact of the ending a bit. It is, after all, a bonding story. Speaking of supporting characters, their mother Laurel (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and the ‘Manticore’ Corey (Octavia Spencer) were so funny. Every time the film cut back to them, I was excited, and it didn’t feel unnecessary. The biggest issue lies with Wilden Lightfoot, Ian and Barley’s father, the reason for the quest to begin in the first place. Throughout the movie, he is just his bottom half. Just his pants. This stopped him from being a complete character, no pun intended. I kept waiting for him to be one, but he is just a MacGuffin at the end of the day. Again, it is understandable that this was done for the ending and message they wanted to bring out. However, a twist should not be set up at the cost of a great experience for the audience. Onward also has great voice acting all across the board. In fact, it seemed like the actors weirdly had better chemistry than the characters. But overall, great performances.

The animation is breath-taking. The environments and objects that surround the characters look so photorealistic. The lighting effects and textures are just beautiful. Pixar just keeps getting better with no end in sight. There is an issue with this too though. For how realistic the surroundings look, the character designs are a bit cartoon-y and childish. They needed to pick one style and stick with it, like The Incredibles or Inside Out. That choice made Onward feel a little disjointed. The other technical aspects don’t stand out in any way, but they’re decent for what they are. The score needs special mention; it is detrimental to the final twist in the story. In fact a lot of the other sequences depend on how effective it is as well. Speaking of sequences, I wish they were a bit more unpredictable. The first two acts are filled with scenes where, as a viewer, you can tell exactly how they’re going to end, and its things like this that hold it back from being solid and unforgettable.

Onward
The animation is beautiful

Onward is definitely an enjoyable film, but it was just that. Enjoyable while it lasted. Again, some ideas are really great, particularly one involving a truck behaving like a unicorn. Brilliant moment. The execution required the same amount of care put into the conception. Right now, it just comes off as a little rushed. The makers needed time to embrace the concepts fully to create something truly unique and significant.

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Movies Reviews

Ford v Ferrari Review – What A Ride

Ford v Ferrari, written by the Butterworth Brothers and Jason Keller and directed by James Mangold, tells the true story of Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and Ken Miles (Christian Bale) as they navigate through corporate disturbance, natural science, and their own restraints to try and win the Le Mans ’66.

Ford v Ferrari
Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles

This is not an average sports film. It’s not an underdog story. Ford v Ferrari is arguably the most one-of-a-kind sports movie made to date. It shows us a world where everything will stop you from pursuing your passion, but you have to follow it no matter what. What the film does so brilliantly is present a simple story, but everything little element is so strong and fleshed out that it feels like far more than that. It drives (sorry) the theme of ‘passion over glory’ home in a very subtle manner. In fact, the attitude of the whole movie seriously condemns glory and tells us to be satisfied with things that enthuse us. The final message is quite layered and might seem bittersweet, but the film doesn’t treat it that way. The script is able to perfectly balance human drama and riveting action scenes and interweave those to make the whole experience that much more satisfying. Scenes have this level of realism to them, obviously stemming from it being a real story, yet the writing is so impeccable that the drama comes through ingeniously. Not one scene uses melodrama to push its point further. It all comes through with clear-cut conflict, an apt level of grit and really entertaining dialogue.

The movie focuses heavily on the interest in cars and racing shared by the main characters, and so it achieves a clear focus and refuses to waiver from it, which makes the experience seamless. It’s 2 hours 30 min runtime doesn’t even come close to feeling like that much. It also knows not to take itself too seriously so that regular scenes have a more entertaining tone and, relatively, scenes that need more of an impact are able to accomplish it. It is able to please any type of audience member; those who just want to experience high-octane action and those who want to feel a story play out, which is what the best movies are able to accomplish.

Ford v Ferrari is filled with fantastic characters. Carroll Shelby is a former race-car driver who is forced to retire due to an injury, but his passion for racing hasn’t diminished. Ken Miles is a professional race-car driver and mechanic who is struggling to provide for his family. The chemistry of these two drives (sorry again) the movie. Their motives for and obsession with racing are so strong it makes them likable as hell and we sincerely root for them. They do so many ‘illegal’ things, yet we never hinder from being on their side. Shelby and Miles always treat the cars, not like machines, but their own entity. They represent the passion of the film, as stated earlier, while Leo Bebe (Josh Lucas) represents the ‘glory’ side of things. He is a scheming rep from Ford who only wants to make his boss happy for personal gain and will do anything to make that happen. This brings me to the performances. Everyone is perfect. Moving on, all the arcs enforce passion. Carroll realizes he needs to make decisions according to what he wants rather than what is told to him. Miles and his son majorly bond over said passion. And Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) is constantly on our protagonists’ side even though he works for Ford, enforcing the idea that true passion can even exist in the heart of glory.

Ford v Ferrari
Ken Miles with his son

James Mangold’s direction is flawless. As mentioned, the tone he approaches Ford v Ferrari which gives it its unique feel. He is able to make us feel the weight of the situation, yet entertain us constantly, so it works. Everything about the tone comes from the character’s reactions, not the other way around. The editing is pristine. The action scenes obviously stand out. They’re excellently paced to the point where just like the rest of the runtime they don’t feel nearly as long as they are. Even the non-action scenes feel like the editor is in control of what’s happening. Just the right emotions are brought out at the right times, even during action sequences. It’s unique as there are so many cuts to keep the action high octane yet you’re so engrossed you barely notice it. They play out longer than normal sports movies would allow them to (even though they don’t feel like it), so their weight can be soaked up by viewers. Definitely deserved the Oscar. The sound is also extremely well done. It bridges entire scenes in a manner where the revs of the engines get you going. Even after the film ends, it keeps your heart racing (sorry, last one). The score is very underrated. It enforces the tone of the movie; not too serious yet makes you feel the weight. A ton of it is actually quite soft, which is different for a sports movie about racing. But that’s what builds the dramatic element which is what makes the film so great.

Ford v Ferrari
The actions sequences are more than riveting

Ford v Ferrari is far more than a sports movie about cars and racing and underdogs. Its focus on characters and telling a story really push it to be a rare film. It’s this focus that makes all the exciting stuff work in the first place. Every element is flawless and seamlessly creates an experience that is memorable and lovable. As stated before, it can please any type of viewer which means this is a must-watch for everyone.

 

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TV

Paradise PD Season One: Why Would You Rip-off Family Guy In The First Place?

There should be an award for everyone who went through this season.  

Paradise PD is an animated Netflix original created and written by Roger Black and Waco O’Guin, who are the Sajid-Farhad of the West, only way crasser. Now, I agree with the fact that comedy is subjective, but for something at least be seen subjectively, there needs to be content. The creators of this show had also created the awful Brickleberry, which was very much a rip off from seasons 6-10 of Family Guy. Paradise PD sadly ripped off the worst seasons (season 12 onwards) of an otherwise mediocre show and tried to sell it as funny. Now I have forever been a fan of Adult animation. In the 90’s Tv shows such as South Park, The Simpsons, Duckman, Ren, and Stimpy, Bevis and Butthead pushed the whole concept of adult cartoon genre. In the early 2000s, it was Futurama, King of the Hill and even to some extent, Family Guy (the earlier seasons). In the 2010s, we saw Rick and Morty and Bojack Horseman take a completely different turn on adult animation. If you noticed, all these shows had pushed the animation genre to different extents. Paradise PD is a lazy version of Family Guy, with a few talented actors. 

Story (or lack thereof) 

Remember when people used to be excited about Netflix Originals?  

Shows like these, make Riverdale look like The Breakfast Club and the jokes make Sajid Khan look like Mel Brooks. 

The plot is weird. A commissioner starts regretting his son’s existence after he accidentally shoots him on the balls while he is having intercourse with his wife. The son joins the same department to prove to his Father that he can make him proud. Meanwhile, there is a town that is supplying Argyle Meth to the entire town and it is up to the Paradise PD, to find the killer. 

Now, you might be asking how and why any of this is related? It’s not. Things just happen in this show for the sake of it. Unlike the South park strategy ( moving the story and narrative forward with but, therefore, so, that leads to) it takes the easier and lazy approach to go with narrative (using and then to move the story forward) which another reason why Family Guy isn’t considered funny anymore. 

The dialogues of the show are just used to crack jokes. They don’t move the plot forward. Regardless of whatever your view might be of comedy, no one will ever talk like this in the wildest situation possible. The dialogues sound like acid being spewed at each other. They are just crass jokes for the sake of it. Even when I am with my friends and in the most comfortable environment, I won’t talk like this. 

The whole plot is completely screwed and doesn’t connect in any way. Oh, and the easiest plot point they could use, make the black guy or the guy who is the most decent the villain in the end. 

 Characters 

 Now, we can never talk about stories without layered characters. However, that’s not the case over here. It’s a known fact that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but we still couldn’t follow, who they wanted to flatter. 

Paradise PD has taken some of the best voice actors they could. Tom Kenny ( known for giving small voice roles in shows like Rick and Morty and Rocko’s Modern life and also for playing SpongeBob SquarePants) and Sarah Chalke  (known for her role in How I Met Your Mother and for playing Beth Smith in Rick and Morty) are the most known voices in this show. However, even their Talent couldn’t save this shows lazy writing and dialogue delivery. 

Let’s start naming the characters, shall we? 

Chief Randall Crawford is like Carter Pewterscmidt, only more sexually frustrated and has a certain addiction to Testosterone Patches and Heroin. 

Gina Jabowski is like Glenn Quagmire, but she is a female and more violent and has a thing for Overweight men. 

Dusty Marlow is Like Peter Griffin, only less sexual and way more stupid. 

Bullet is like Brian Griffin, but way more of an addict. 

Kevin Crawford is like Chris Griffin. Period. 

Gerald Fitzgerald is like Cleveland Brown, but eviler. 

These character descriptions are lazy, but so is the show. Besides, these are all that the characters have to offer. 

Animation 

Paradise PD Review

When people used to experiment with animation back in the ’90s and early 2000’s they had solid reasons for it. South Park animation was to show the absurdity and initially, the creators didn’t have a lot of budgets. Simpsons used to make them more noticeable. But all the animations show a certain level of creativity and surrealism. This is a blatant copy that has no depth. I don’t even think this animation has any dimensions to it. It’s exactly like Brickleberry. 

Now, some could argue that they probably didn’t have the budget, but that’s hardly the case. South Park didn’t have any budget but today their animation has become iconic. King of the Hill used low budgeted animation but made it at least look like its two dimensional. 

Also, Paradise PD had the backing of Netflix. 

 Conclusion 

 Season 2 is going to come out on March 6th and is promising a Brickleberry Crossover (yay.) 

Now reading through a lot of comments, people have said that they watch this show whenever they get intoxicated and that’s why they find it funny. I completely get that people have an interest in this and it’s a completely different genre. Paradise PD was marketed as a show that just has offensive material.  But that doesn’t mean it’s well done.  Even such a form of art has its appreciation and even a few classic movies. But there will forever be a difference between The Big Lebowski and Pineapple Express. They are both good, people will always know which work of art is superior.  Being edgy doesn’t mean you are right.

I would like to end this with a very famous quote from Jason Alexander from the show Duckman. 

“Comedy should provoke! It should blast through prejudices, challenge preconceptions! Comedy should always leave you different than when it found you. Sure, humour can hurt, even alienate, but the risk is better than the alternative: a steady diet of innocuous, child-proof, flavourless mush! Demand to be challenged, to be offended, to be treated like thinking, reasoning adults. And raise your children to be the same. Don’t let a comedian, a network, a Congressional committee, or an evil genius take away your freedom to laugh at whatever you want.”

 

 Paradise PD, however, is not that. 

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Movies Reviews

The Invisible Man Review – A Bit Hollow

The Invisible Man, written and directed by Leigh Whannell, follows Cecilia Kass as she runs away from her abusive partner, who commits suicide two weeks after. But she has a sneaking suspicion that he is still alive and is screwing with her life as revenge.

The Invisible Man
Cecilia Tries to Escape Her Abusive Partner

Leigh Whannell’s direction really shines through in The Invisible Man. He is able to set up the film in quite a ‘show, don’t tell’ manner. In the first scene itself, we understand that the main character wants to escape, something she has been planning for a while and its because of her dangerous partner. It has a sense of tension that pulls you in and perfectly sets up what the film will be like on the direction and technical front. Speaking of, the cinematography and sound design are also on point. The camera work does something unique; it films blank space as if a subject is present. It succeeds in making us feel what Cecilia feels too, that there is a person following us who we just can’t see. It’s actually kind of genius. Most of the film looks like this so at all times we feel the threat of an invisible person lurking around. The sound design knows exactly when and how to create tension. Never is there a cheap jump-scare moment where the sound drowns out and surprises you. Similar to the cinematography, it constantly works toward making us feel the presence of someone invisible. Overall, the direction and technical aspects elevate the film as they are sharp, subtle and work toward giving us a very creative experience.

Elizabeth Moss must receive tons of praise for The Invisible Man. She portrays the paranoia and fears the character is going through brilliantly. She is always fidgety and constantly looks around as if to stay alert of everything. The character truly feels like a victim of abuse because of her. How Cecilia’s past has made her what she is, is brought out really well, to the point where you do sympathise with her, but not out of pity. Other characters are not really given too much to do, but that is done on purpose as the intention is to make us go through these events as she is experiencing them.

The Invisible Man
Elisabeth Moss Plays Cecilia Brilliantly

And that’s about where all my pros with the film end. Everything else in The Invisible Man seriously brings it down, namely the script. It began beautifully, but right after the first act ends; it jumps the shark. Every scene turns into a horror trope we have seen in a million other movies. She faints out of paranoia, she slowly walks around looking for someone in a dark place, people say she has done things that she doesn’t remember, and so many more. Even though it is directed well, the core events aren’t special or different enough to lift the film. The script also thinks it’s cleverer than it is. Characters keep pointing out small details that would prove or disprove someone’s point. This could have worked, but it’s very clear that these details are brought up specifically to move the story forward, as the same points cause a few plot holes. For example, the movie focuses heavily on CCTV cameras to get Cecilia into trouble, but the same cameras in other scenes can be used to defend her and end the movie right there.

The reveal of the ‘Invisible Man’ is also completely out of left field. It is the last thing that fits in with the film’s tone set up to that point. It is a very obvious attempt to revamp H.G.Wells’ classic story, but they completely missed what made that story work in the first place. The twists in the film are extremely predictable. They don’t add an element of surprise to the story like they try to, and just bore you further because you see them coming from a mile away. The main character does complete her arc, but it’s a very basic and unsatisfying one. More so because of the potential it had to be interesting. Every time there is a psychological aspect to a horror film, I am instantly intrigued, but here they fail to deeper with it. And I guess that’s the biggest problem with this movie. It starts off with heaps of potential and squanders it more and more as it goes further.

The Invisible Man
Too Many Overused Tropes

Overall, The Invisible Man uses some great technique to create a tone and feel that is supported further by Elizabeth Moss, but drops the ball and becomes a series of failed attempts at making something smart.