Massive spoilers hide in the mountains of Colorado!
The first in a series of films exclusive to the TV channel Paramount+, South Park Post Covid is set in 2061, forty years after the events of the South ParQ Vaccination Special. And honestly, if you’re not a fan of the Colorado boys and their shenanigans, what are you even doing here? We’re goin’ down to South Park!
So here we are, some forty years in the future as they rather often point out, the Covid pandemic still endures and affects all of us in the most interesting of ways. The boys have not only grown into, well, we can’t really say adults per se, but perhaps aged versions of themselves, they’ve also grown far apart too. The only thing that could bring them all back together again is the, wait for it, death of a certain infamous scientist, one Dr. Kenneth McCormick.
Nothing brings people together like a funeral and the Covid pandemic has certainly caused far more than we ever wanted, so the older alcoholic and severely depressed Stan has to come back to Colorado with his Alexa-girlfriend, where he promptly clashes with adult Kyle, now the guidance counselor for South Park Elementary. Far worse than that as far as Kyle is concerned, is the appearance of Rabbi Eric Cartman, his very Jewish-stereotyped wife Yentl (Mona Marshall) and their three children, ostensibly here for Kenny’s wake but also to try and slip a spark back into the bro-ship of old by investigating Kenny’s death.
Also in attendance are adult-ish versions of other South Park favorites – Tweak and his partner Craig, still a couple; Wendy Testaburger (April Stewart) and her husband Darwin; late-night talk show host Jimmy Valmer; our beloved Token Black (Adrian Beard), who’s now unsurprisingly a law enforcement officer; anti-vaxxer Clyde Donovan; and Scott Malkinson is now a priest that no one listens to. Just as in the beloved show, the now-adults get together to try and puzzle the mystery of Kenny’s death, yet again!
And what was Dr. McCormick, scientist, philanthropist, well-known if more than a bit eccentric but beloved by most, working on when he died this time? Finding a cure for the Covid pandemic, of course. It should come as zero surprise that Tegridy Weed, Randy Marsh’s damnable marijuana business that consumed far more than an entire season of South Park, was found mentioned in Kenny’s notes, so Stan gets to suck it up and go visit his dad in the nursing home!
Stan and his dad had a serious falling-out over the fiery destruction of Tegridy Weed Farms and the accidental deaths of sister Shelly and the on-purpose death of mom Sharon, so the two guys snarl at each-other and lay blame rather than trying to come together to investigate Kenny’s death.
Meanwhile, of course, the cause of Kenny’s death has been determined as yet another new Covid variant, causing widespread panic in South Park and sending Cartman’s oh so Jewish family to seek shelter with, wait for it, ‘Uncle Kyle’.
After determining that Dr. McCormick’s one surviving associate, a madman known as Victor Chouce (as in, just say it aloud and you’ll know who they mean), has been institutionalized, the would-be sleuths try to go visit him, only to get stopped because good old Clyde is an anti-vaxxer, still.
The boys are trying to figure out where Kenny left his missing information, especially after figuring out that this whole time, their best pal Kenny has been trying to puzzle out time travel so he can go back and stop the whole Covid-19 pandemic, and that yes, he blames his old purportedly best friends for everything horrible that’s happened since then. This of course involves a wonderfully Cartman-like scene where the Rabbi gathers his little Jewish family together and vows to not let his old friends change the past, for fear of losing his current-tense future. And over at the asylum, surviving lunatic Victor Chouce is just waiting for his chance to … raise a little chaos.
South Park has been on the air for more than two decades at this point, and creators (and main voice actors) Trey Parker and Matt Stone have made their disdain for conforming to any kind of standards and practices well known, poking fun at everything from actual curse words to Mecha-Streisand to PCism to member-berries and much more. The trend towards nostalgia while the real Covid-19 pandemic rages on is well-known at this point, but South Park Post Covid offers us a look at what could happen, the real dangers of living your past nostalgic glory and nothing else, and shows us all that despite growing up, the South Park characters will never ever actually grow into adults, or anything resembling contributing members of ‘polite society!
Joy Ride Is An Extremely Raunchy And Hilarious Comedy
Joy Ride is an extremely raunchy and hilarious comedy that takes the mantle of ensemble risky
comedies that at times, leave your mouth on the floor. Joy Ride focuses on two best friends
Audrey and Lolo (Ashley Sullivan and Sherry Cola) end up getting roped up into a trip to Asia,
they end up on gals pal cross-continent trek to find Audrey’s long lost birth mother so she
doesn’t lose a huge business deal.
The chemistry in this movie is superb. Every character has their moment to shine and there’s
rarely a scene where you don’t get a belly laugh. I was shocked at how crazy and bold this
movie got, continually pushing the line to get a laugh. The movie does a good job of getting to
the point and getting to the scenes that really make you chuckle. There are some editing choices where the story flies by some stuff, and it feels a little incomplete, but never at the expense of really enjoying being around for the journey.
I thought that this was a sleeper for this year and certainly a movie worth watching with your
friends some weekend. It’s great to throw on if you want a laugh and really just enjoy some
great actors riffing off each other. The focus on culture was a nice touch and really elevated the movie to another level. While I would say if you’re easily offended, this movie is not for you – if you’re looking for a no holds barred comedy, Joy Ride is a trip worth taking.
Who Doesn’t Want To Wear The Ninja Suit Of Snake-Eyes Or Dress Like The Mandalorian?
Hasbro has had their pulse app out for a while now. It allows for access to items to buy, preorder, and a look into future projects and releases. It also allows for a very cool thing most nerds (a group of which I am a proud card-carrying member) have always wanted, the ability to make yourself into an action figure. I’ve contemplated making one for a time but, I finally got my chance to get my hands on one at Comic-Con this year. Now, of course, I had to wait in line as it was a pretty sought-after item. Who doesn’t want to have themselves wear the ninja suit of Snake-Eyes or dressed like a Mandalorian? I was approached by one of the booth staff as I was showing my nephew all the cool ways we could get him his own MIles Morales action figure with his face (as he’s a massive fan) and invited to take a seat and scan our faces into the Hasbro Pulse app with the help of their awesome team and make this dream a reality. My wife was with us, so of course she got in on the fun too. We scanned our faces in and it was very simple and quick. Then we all selected our figures to add our heads to. We all chose Power Rangers(Me as the Black Ranger, my wife chose the pink ranger and the nephew got the red ranger). Then we were told that we needed to wait about 4-6 weeks and we’d have our custom action figure team in our hands. This was a major part of our Comic-Con adventure and definitely, a memory my wife and nephew won’t forget (as it was both of their first Con ever). Thank you to Hasbro for being so generous(also getting me brownie points that home) and I highly suggest checking out Hasbro Pulse and all the cool stuff it has to offer.
The Last Voyage of the Demeter: Double-knock on wood!
Adapted and written largely from the Captain’s Log chapter of Bram Stoker’s magnum opus Dracula, The Last Voyage of the Demeter tells the story of Dracula’s journey by ship from Carpathia to London, and what happened to her crew in the interim.
So here we are in Bulgaria, middle of 1897, and Captain Eliot (Liam Cunningham) of the Russian schooner Demeter is here to take on some strange cargo from some unknown client and transport it to Carfax Abbey in London. In need of some extra hands, the Captain sends out his capable Second Wojchek (David Dastmalchian) to scout for some, and initially the roving black doctor and aspiring philosopher Clemens (Corey Hawkins) is passed over in favor of more work-roughened men. The adorable cabin boy of the Demeter, Toby (Woody Norman), narrowly misses being crushed by the mysterious dragon-marked crates being loaded onto the ship, saved by Clemens himself and switched out with the superstitious sailors running from the Demeter like they had been poisoned by the sign of Dracul. And now, armed with some nine or so crewmen, Doc Clemens, and Captain Eliot himself, the twenty-four strange what looks like coffins adorned with dragon signs brought mostly safely aboard, the Demeter can make for open water and the Hell that awaits them there.
The duty of showing Clemens around the ship falls to a cheerful Toby, who proudly shows him the living areas, the Captain’s quarters, the very-large cargo hold, the galley and kitchen where the overly-devout Joseph (Jon Jon Briones) cooks the crews meals, the various above decks, even the sails, and the rigging are all at least touched on, and the livestock pens that Toby himself is in charge of, including the handsome good-boy doggy Huckleberry, or just Huck. We the audience get a very clear feeling of what it’s like to actually be aboard the Demeter, just how large she really is, and what living on a ship for months at sea is really like, the reality and practicality and the dangers of it.
Everyone more or less settles in for a hopefully uneventful voyage, taking mess around the common table and exchanging ideas or aspirations for when they arrive in London early thanks to the fair winds, and receive a handsome bonus for their troubles. But that involves being alive and making it to London to spend said bonus and pay, and the coffin crates spilling dark soil from the motherland and disgorging all sorts of other nasty secrets, have some serious plans to the contrary.
First, it’s the livestock, innocent and shrieking in their locked pens as a monster takes great furious bites out of their necks, and of course, the creature just straight up ruins poor doggy Huck. Then there’s the fully grown girl that gets dislodged from an open coffin-crate, covered in bite scars and as pale as death, she eventually starts interacting and talking after several blood transfusions from Doc Clemens, Toby learns her name is Anna (Aisling Franciosi). And then, as the weather turns foul and the winds begin to be a serious problem, the attacks turn toward the remaining humans onboard the Demeter.
Most people these days are familiar with Dracula, that gorgeous cunning vampire Elder who can supposedly transform into a bat or a wolf, seducing women to voluntarily offer up their veins like an unholy sacrament, a being at once beautiful and powerful, but also horrific and murderous if given half a heartbeat to smell your blood. This is not Dracula.
Instead, the creature that hunts the humans occupying the Demeter is an absolute monster, not a single human feature left to it, barely even recognizable as humanoid-shaped, instead boasting not just full-length bat wings but an entire exo-skin of bat membranes that can be used for feeding, a mouth full of needle-like teeth akin to a predator of the deepest darkest parts of the ocean, those yellowed Nosferatu eyes that will not tolerate light in any way, and of course giant pointy bat-ears. This is a thing, a grotesque straight from the depths of Hell, and no amount of glamor magic can make this Dracula (Javier Botet) seem like anything other than what he, is – a parasitic demon who only wants your blood. There is no reasoning with it, no trapping it, not even really any talking to it (kinda hard to talk when your throat has been ripped out), and, like the much more frightening Dracula stories of old, no amount of pure faith behind a symbol does anything other than give false hope.
Coming face to face with an actual abomination does different things to different people. The formerly delightfully foul-mouthed Abrams (Chris Walley) dissolves into a blubbering mess; poor Larsen (Martin Furulund) didn’t even get to see his own death coming; and it turns out Olgaren (Stefan Kapicic) wants to live so badly, he’ll suffer becoming a blank-eyed Renfield if that’s what it takes. All of Cook Joseph’s purported pure faith didn’t stop him from trying to take the coward’s way out and didn’t save him anyway when the sound of unnatural bat wings descended on him. I find that kind of irony delicious. Dear Anna, resigned to her fate to be eternal food for the horror that terrorized her village, nevertheless wants to try and save whoever is left of the Demeter with her own sacrifice, and there aren’t many. Wojchek of course wants to kill Dracula, but for all his logic and solid practical nature, has no experience whatsoever with this sort of thing, and sure doesn’t want to sacrifice the Demeter, the beloved ship he called home that was promised to him by Captain Eliot himself, in order to destroy that demon. Even poor sweet Toby isn’t safe from the creature’s clutches, and what happens to the cabin boy of the Demeter is what finally sends Captain Eliot over the blooming edge. And who could blame him? For this sort of thing to happen during the last voyage of such a proud, solid ship as the Demeter, is some serious bullsh*t.
To leave such a film open for a potential sequel, especially when called the last voyage of something, was a pretty hefty ask, and somehow the filmmakers managed it. I personally think a different version of Van Helsing, the infamous vampire hunter, teaming up with a certain black doctor who nurses a serious grudge against Dracula, could be a kickass sequel. Until then, experience the doomed final journey of the Demeter and her poor crew in all it’s bloodstained glory, in theaters now!