Blu-ray: Recommended
4 Stars out of 5
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List Price 32.98
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Release Date: July 25th, 2023
Movie Release Year: 2004
Release Country: United States
COLLAPSE INFO -

Team America: World Police

Review Date August 8th, 2023 by
Overview -

Freedom isn’t free… it costs folks like you and me… another chunk of change for a genuine kickass Blu-ray release of Team America World Police! Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s hilarious marionette sendup of 90s action movies and early 2000s fervent patriotism has aged like a fine boxed wine and is somehow even funnier today than in 2004. Shout Factory gives fans a fitting reason to upgrade offering a sparkling new transfer, both cuts, great audio, and excellent archival bonus features to sift through. Recommended

OVERALL
Recommended
  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs: 2-Disc
    Theatrical & Unrated
    Video Resolution/Codec: 1080p AVC/MPEG-4
    Length:98
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):2.39:1
    English Descriptive Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1/2.0
    Subtitles/Captions: English SDH
    Movie Studio: Shout! Factory
    Release Date: July 25th, 2023

Story Review Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

4 Stars out of 5

It’s weird to think there was once a time when South Park was relatively still new(ish) and Matt Stone and Trey Parker weren’t multi-Emmy Award, Tony Award, and Peabody Award-winning personalities. By 2004, they figured the show would end at any time so they were ready to branch out and get back into filmmaking. During the height of the war on terror, well-meaning but pretentious celebrities and bad Michael Bay action movies were everywhere. So Parker and Stone decided they’d make the mother of all satires with Team America World Police - a film that deftly skewers everything from Alec Baldwin to Kim Jong Il to hyperactive-toxic patriotism to Michael Bay movies to Maaaaatt Daaaamon. Only instead of animation, Parker and Stone brought this action-packed comedy gem to life with Marionette puppets! 

The story for Team America isn’t exactly complicated. Basically, take any generic action movie and replace the tropes for early 2000s post-9/11 American fervent patriotism through the lens of Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor with puppets, add some body fluid humor and you pretty much have this movie. No global personality, well-meaning celebrity, or action movie was spared... and Maaaaatt Daaaamon. 

But the film might have been a little too ahead of the game in 2004. While it did well enough at the box office, it wasn’t exactly a massive success like South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, and as a result, Matt and Trey retreated back into doing what they did best. I thought it was funny, but given that the world tensions of the era were so raw, the humor didn’t always stick the landing. Puppet sex and over-the-top action sequences were hilarious, but skewering world events didn’t always tickle the funny bone. However, nearly 20 years later, the jokes work better now for a genuinely hilarious action-packed puppet flick… Maaaaatt Daaaamon. 

For my take, I thought the film was amusing when I saw it in theaters, but I didn’t love it. I bought the unrated DVD, watched it once or twice more, and then basically forgot about it. Aside from knocking various celebrity personalities, it felt like a lot of the humor and the Michael Bay jokes were pretty one-note. At that point, Bay had made only one genuinely bad movie with Pearl Harbor (or two if you count Bad Boys 2). The film was best when it was going for the same brand of shock comedy as South Park; the puppet sex scene is a notable example there. 20 years later the Michael Bay jokes hit better because we’ve endured and survived five increasingly numbing and mindless Transformers films among other films he’s either directed himself or produced. Those celebrity personality jokes have only gotten funnier with Alec Baldwin’s puppet becoming an even more hilarious surrogate given recent tragic events. Sitting down with this again after so many years away I was surprised and happy to see it’s a better movie than I remembered and a brutally sharp satire at that.

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Maaaaatt Daaaamon. 




 Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Team America World Police explodes onto Blu-ray for a new two-disc set from Shout Factory. Each cut of the film picks up its own Region A BD-50 disc. Both discs are housed in a standard two-disc case (no slipcover). The discs load to an animated main menu with standard navigation options.

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    2-Disc
    Theatrical & Unrated
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080p AVC/MPEG-4
    Length:98
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    2.39:1
    Audio Formats:
    English: DTS-HD MA 5.1/2.0
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English SDH
    Movie Studio: Shout! Factory
    Release Date: July 25th, 2023

Video Review

4.5 Stars out of 5

Reportedly sourced from a new 4K scan of the original camera negative, Team America World Police kicks a lot of ass on Blu-ray. Previously released on Blu-ray in the U.S. in 2015 (other territories got it earlier), reviews for the transfer weren’t the greatest and as a middling fan, I didn’t feel the urge to grab it. So with that in mind, I don’t have a basis for comparison. On their own merits, both the Theatrical Cut and Unrated Cut look great with clean clear details and naturally cinematic-appearing film grain. Nothing has been scrubbed and the image doesn’t look like it’s been hit with any edge enhancement. You can fully appreciate all of the goofy puppet face and costume details, as well as the impressive production design to recreate this little miniature world.

Audio Review

4.5 Stars out of 5

Both cuts of the film offer up either DTS-HD MA 2.0 or DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio. Right out - stick with the 5.1 tracks. Unless you’re rolling a barebones soundbar, there’s really no need to offer up the 2.0 option. Dialog is clean and clear, the songs sound fantastic. The big action sequences (and there are many of those) are fully realized with plenty of high-power gunfire and big explosions to rattle the subs. Even with the scale sets, it’s clear a lot of effort went into the soundscape to make each location feel big and lifelike fully utilizing the surround channels.

Special Features

3 Stars out of 5

On the bonus features side of things, we have a fine collection of archival materials. If you bought the old DVD way back in the day, then you’ve seen these already. I would have loved some kind of retrospective or new Matt and Trey commentary track, but as they were probably busy relaunching their restaurant, revisiting the stress of this movie probably wasn’t high on their to-do list. The same set of extras appears on both discs. 

  • Team America: An Introduction (SD 5:10)
  • Building the World (SD 12:42)
  • Crafting the Puppets (SD 8:01)
  • Pulling the Strings (SD 10:09)
  • Capturing the Action (SD 6:44)
  • Miniature Pyrotechbnics (SD 4:50)
  • Up Close WIth Kim Jong-Il (SD 5:10)
  • Puppet Test (SD 4:10)
  • Dressing Romm Test (SD 2:05)
  • Deleted/Extended Scenes and Outtakes Dressing Romm Test (SD 2:05)
  • Deleted/Extended Scenes and Outtakes (SD 6:07)
  • Storyboards
  • Trailers

Final Thoughts

When the world needs a good laugh, Team America World Police saves the day on Blu-ray. I enjoyed it, but didn’t love it when Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s little puppet opus hit theaters, but time has been kind to this one. Nearly two decades later with the emotions of the political climate a little less raw, and me a more mellow, this film’s satyrical edge has only sharpened. Now for a new Blu-ray release, these puppets look better than ever with a fresh new scan. Too bad a 4K release wasn’t in the cards, but this is a winner nonetheless. Throw in great audio and all of those archival bonus features and you’ve got a great flick for the collection. Recommended

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Maaaaatt Daaaamon...

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    2-Disc
    Theatrical & Unrated
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    1080p AVC/MPEG-4
    Length:98
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    2.39:1
    Audio Formats:
    English: DTS-HD MA 5.1/2.0
    Subtitles/Captions:
    English SDH
    Movie Studio: Shout! Factory
    Release Date: July 25th, 2023