SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT 1999In a world where society seems not to function without an irrational fear or two, Matt Stone & Trey Parker turn the microscope back in on itself. What results is a movie which is well-crafted, has great musical numbers and is truly laugh-out-loud funny.With characters from the TV hit show, South Park, we are aware of to whom we refer.  Kyle, Stan, Cartman and Kenny (following an opening show number which would have Rodgers & Hammerstein applauding) go to see a film by their controversial (Canadian) heroes Terrance and Phillip. They are underage but easily con their way past the ticket salesman. As they sit and watch the film gasping at the flow of expletives, they leave the cinema and start imparting these new curse words to the world at large. Enter the outraged parents and schoolteachers who thunder against such profanity and their position grows to eventually become true anti-Canadian sentiment (watch out here for Cartman’s chip implant which shocks him each time he curses aloud). In the midst of all this, Kenny meets an unfortunate end (as per usual) and descends into hell where Satan and Saddam Hussein are lovers (I’m serious!) and plan to rise up and take over the world. Back to action on terra firma and the anti-Canadian sentiment has resulted in the arrest, trail and conviction of Terrance and Phillip, with the US Air Force bombs Toronto. The boys form an underground resistance movement and the film plays out to the battle of the metaphorical good versus evil.The movie as a whole is excellently crafted and paced, which is unusual for TV shows which extend into a celluloid form. It is as if Matt and Trey always had this film in mind but were busy within the tight confines of the half hour comedy show. Given the space and freedom to breathe, they have coped with the regular pitfalls with some aplomb. Stan and the crew have never been more enjoyable to watch and the snipes against oppression are visibly hammered home whilst, in the script, the same matters are dealt with in subtle humour (one discussion between the boys about poor animation is followed by our seeing them walk off in a poor, clunky, animated manner). The real success is in the music and dance sequences, which are as good as any 1940s or 50s musical attained. They are also a refreshing departure from the overblown “Circle of Life” numbers which are as self-congratulatory as they are mawkish.As it happens rarely, we forget that feeling of leaving a cinema truly satiated. So accustomed are we to mediocre fare. In SPB&U, I internally dance along with the songs and did, indeed, laugh until my sides ached. Stone and Parker should be congratulated on reminding us how good a comedy should be as it is clearly no mean feat judging by contemporary efforts out there (or should I say, “up there…”).