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Saturday, June 04, 2005

Review: Team America

Team America hired Charles, Edward and Stephen Chiodo of Killer Klowns From Outer Space to work on puppets. The Chiodo brothers hired The Dickies to write Killer Klown's theme song. The Dickies's last studio album was All This And Puppet Stew. Yes, my point exactly.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone are idiot savants but idiots all the same. Happily they hired talented people and Paramount poured in all the money it took to create a technically staggering film. Working on 1:3 scale (22" string puppets w/computerized facial controls) with all effects in-camera, they've created stunning sets with attention to detail and color you've never seen before. The making-of features are better than the film itself (if you're a geek like me I guess).

The film itself is a mess with some good bits mixed in with the usual adolescent shock value. They take two steps forward, three steps back, one forward, another forward, then one back again. It equals another near miss. My personal take on cursing and obscenity is that regular films should go no higher than PG. Porn should be so obscene it would make a sailor puke.

Much has been written on the politics of Team America. I don't believe anything Parker and Stone say because they talk without thinking, but this is what I did notice: the fictional characters are action genre stereotypes and over the top. The real characters are all leftist and portrayed as superior, pompous, hypocritical assholes. Parker and Stone are assholes, but I like that they hate with a raw passion assholes who pretend they're not.

PS: I liked that the Spotswood character was based on Phil Hartman. He was the best.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked Team America quite a bit. It wasn't the most well thought out concept, but then when have these guys ever produced anything so labored over that you can spend days pondering the subtext?

Technically, it's a staggering acomplishment. And while it wasn't a success in theaters, at least it shows there is more to these guys than just South Park.

I hope they have a few more years to entertain me with their poorly pondered but very funny libertarian politics and hatred of the self-important.

7:34 PM

Blogger Richard said...

My younger brother, who drinks copiously, swears incessantly, and watches lots of hardcore porn, was offended by the puppet sex scene. He said it was just "too wrong." Heh.

11:44 AM


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