Cartman Becomes The Coon in Order to Save South Park in Episode 1302, “Mysterion”

Episode Summary

Cartman, in an attempt to rid the town of crime in the augmenting crime during such tough times, adopts an alterego superhero identity known as The Coon. He dresses like a racoon, and it’s not entirely clear whether there’s an inappropriate slur being insinuated here. In any case, Cartman wants to spread the word about this new character and tries to draw attention to the Coon however he can, including throwing an unsuccessful event called Coonicon 2009.

All of Cartman’s efforts are for nought, however, because another superhero, Mysterion, has captured everyone’s attention. Pissed that his spotlight is shining on Mysterion, Cartman teams up with Professor Chaos and General Disarray (Butters and Dougie) in order to get rid of his primary competitor. By threatening to blow up a hospital (Cartman’s idea) if Mysterion doesn’t reveal his true identity, Professor Chaos forces a confrontation between himself and Mysterion.

A battle ensues, which the whole town watches, and when it’s over, Cartman convinces Mysterion to unmask himself in order to prevent threats on the public in the future.

They really screw us good by showing us the kid’s face, which, as a South Park face, is totally indistinguishable. Then they make some jokes about stuff we already knew without narrowing the identity down. Cartman, it seems, will remain the town’s superhero.

And then…

This episode nailed a number of things, particularly all of the superhero movies that have come out recently, like Batman, Watchmen and The Spirit.

I also appreciated the knocks against all of the obnoxious people who think that in 2 months Barack Obama should have changed everything. It takes a very long time for the effects of a president’s specific work to be felt in the general public and for people to assume that Obama could have changed anything by now is pure foolishness. Give the man time.

Good episode – pretty silly, and not fixated on some larger issue like many are. Cartman getting pissed off and cursing so much was surprisingly funny.

What did you think of the episode? How do you feel about Season 13 so far?

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Will Smith’s, Hancock, a Mixture of Mood-Muddling and Action-Adventure, Comes Out Pleasing Audiences

Will Smith, honestly, I love you. I think that you’re one of the only true entertainers this world has left. You sing, you dance, you act in movies and on television. You produce and a whole lot more in between. What’s more is that you’re dedicated to the perfection of your craft, no matter what the specifics, and maintain a sunny attitude the whole time, never taking for granted the fact that it’s your adoring fans who make you who you are.

All that said, Hancock was not my favorite of your movies. Don’t get me wrong – it was fun and enjoyable, and I had a good time watching it. As everyone has noticed, it’s an amusing principle: an alcoholic superhero with a bad attitude. The action is pretty decent, the acting is good from everyone important (Charlize Theron, Will Smith and Jason Bateman), and the jokes, at least in the beginning, are consistent and funny. But that brings me to one of my problems with the movie: in the middle there is a giant shift of trajectory, mood and tone.

True, the movie could be broadly categorized as Hancock’s search for truth, but it’s really sold as – and continues for half the movie as – his attempts to reform and become the superhero he should be. However, about halfway in, the movie becomes darker, no longer comical, and delves progressively deeper into what seems to be a newly introduced topic that only Charlize Theron’s odd behavior and looks hinted at throughout the second quarter of the film.

Second, as many of you know, I love superhero lore and all of the concepts and explanations surrounding it. Believe it or not, that’s not one of my geekier passions. In any case, the superhero-ness behind Hancock is incredibly unconventional – not that I don’t appreciate that – but it took a turn for religio-historical in its attempts at explanation. As an historian of religion, that’s generally my favorite direction for things to be taken, but in this case, it drew a little short. I appreciated the incorporation of pagan lore, alternative explanations for ancient deification, and mentions of Persia and Sumeria, but all told, it was a little convoluted and under-explained despite the fact that they spent too much time trying. I love to be like, “Wow, cool explanation.” This time I was like, “Okay, that’s a little odd,” (e.g. what happens to his powers over time, etc.).

But don’t let those critiques deter you – only serve as fair warnings in case you thought you were seeing the most consistent and well thought-out Will Smith movie that ever there was. Like I said, despite these things it’s an enjoyable thrill ride with an ending more uplifting than I Am Legend (a movie I thought was spectacular). I love Smith’s move to darker films because I think he can do it all. I also think Charlize Theron is the most beautiful woman in Hollywood and love watching her go. Jason Bateman, though he acts in a predictable way and always seems to be the same guy, does a nice job too – great drunk scene but where was the hangover the next morning, buddy?

Worst part of the movie was when everyone clapped at the end. Glad to know you liked it but I hate clapping in movies. They can’t hear you, you know.

I give Hancock 7 Chocolate Salty Balls.

Have you seen it? What’d you think?

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Nolan’s New Batman Film, Dark Knight, Pre-Selling Out

I’m really excited to share this fact with you: Dark Knight, the most highly anticipated Batman film of all time, is selling out like crazy three weeks before the movie opens. I for one, share the absolute excitement of the movie-going public about this film. The cast, from Christian Bale to Michael Caine to, of course, Heath Ledger, looks simply phenomenal, and I can’t wait to see every single one of the them – except Maggie Gyllenhaal (though I hope she impresses me).

For the record, I hate actor switches that aren’t accompanied by some kind of acknowledgement of the fact, like in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air when suddenly Aunt Viv was a totally new person from one season to the next. What’s that about? At least when the daughter on Rosanne was switched out and came back Rosanne says to her, “Where the hell have you been?” I love internal jokes referencing something that we all noticed anyway. Somehow I doubt we’re going to get the same for Katie Holmes to Maggie Gyllenhaal. I used to have a huge crush on Katie Holmes during Dawson’s Creek but I don’t know what happened to her recently. She got weird and distant and sucky. Hmm…

So Dark Knight is selling out like crazy and it looks spectacular. I honestly feel like I can’t wait and like I’m going to wet myself (but that’s more of a day to day problem than Dark Knight related). I love Batman – the only non-superpower superhero – and the reason I loved Batman Begins is because it explained how an ordinary man came to have extraordinary abilities that were not supernatural. Plus, it was bad-ass. This Batman series is sensational (and it’s not even officially a series yet), especially when compared to the first four, which were all only worth watching because of the villains (Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey).

Do you have advance tickets? Are you excited? What are you looking forward to most about it? Do you think it will live up to all the hype?

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The Incredible Hulk: Not Incredible but Entertaining

No, the bar certainly wasn’t set very high on this one considering the last Hulk movie that many of us may remember. It was so terrible, un-action filled, lame and stupid that I considered shaving my scrotum with a rusty fork just to experience something that was less agonizing. But this Hulk movie did a nice job keeping me entertained for nearly two hours.

Edward Norton I always love. I have long since forgiven him for The Italian Job, especially considering how much I respected his attempt to bribe the studio not to release it. In pretty much all other cases, though, he’s excellent. Liv Tyler I have mixed feelings about, partially due to my hatred of Armageddon – no, not the event, that I can’t wait for…the terrible movie with Bruce Willis – and her usual inability to be loud or emotive in any but an overly-dramatic teary sort of way. I call that the Opposite of Al Pacino Syndrom. He can’t stop yelling and she can’t start. However, much to my pleasure and surprise, she yelled for like 6 seconds in The Incredible Hulk. It wasn’t her finest acting moment – clearly she’s found her niche with the quivering upper lip and whispery stuff – but it was something, so thanks.

The action was good and the super hero-ness of the story was decent too. I happen to love super hero stuff, though the movies rarely live up to my expectations. The Spidermans were not so great (second was best), I felt, and others fall short too (Fantastic Four – both). But I love learning how a super hero came to be. That’s very entertaining I think. This wasn’t the most detailed of explanations which is probably better for most people but they tossed me some bones. Though most people I think will have enjoyed Iron Man more, I was about as equally entertained by both.

Also amusing were all of the cameos. Stan Lee, of course, but also the guys who played the Hulk in the TV series – Bruce Banner (Bill Bixby – since he’s dead, this tribute was via a TV clip of Bixby in one of his other series, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father) and the green Hulk (Lou Ferrigno). Oh, and Stanley’s Pizza Parlor was a nice touch (“Stan Lee”).

I’m going to give it a rating of 6 Chocolate Salty Balls (this is out of ten, by the way).

Have you seen it? Did you like it? Wanna get your own copy? Do it here: Incredible Hulk.

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