8:00 PM, 1st April, 2005
Team America are your typical action-movie heroes - enthusiastically wiping out terrorists and national monuments with great vigour. But when the team is joined by Gary Johnson (Parker), a highly talented actor, the team becomes fractured, even more so when their actions are criticised by the Film Actors Guild (spot the dubious acronym). Is this the end of the free world? Will the sinister mastermind Kim Jong Il (Parker again) succeed in his dastardly plan? Or will extreme interventionist violence finally win the day?
Pretty much anybody who takes contemporary world politics remotely seriously is going to find something to be offended by in Team America - gung ho militarists and hippy peaceniks both take a hammering here. Still, anybody who knows Parker and Stone's previous work (South Park, Orgazmo, Cannibal: The Musical) should know the recipe by now. Start with a lot of extreme bad taste. Toss in a couple of up-tempo songs and some particularly nerdy references. Add just a hint of a moral (in this case, expressed using possibly the ickiest metaphor ever). Oh, and make sure the story's told using particularly cumbersome marionettes. Astonishingly, it works, as long as you don't take it too seriously.
10:00 PM, 1st April, 2005
Thunderbirds is based on the cult British TV show "Thunderbirds" from the '60s, which was made with marionettes (which I'm sure you will enjoy in Team America). This movie, however does not feature marionettes (except for a hand in one scene).
It is 2010, and billionaire and former astronaut Jeff Tracy (Paxton) and four of his five sons work relentlessly to save the world, in their guise as Thunderbirds, a group of fearless adventurers with hi-tech rocket-ships. Youngest son Alan (Corbet) is super-keen to become one of the Thunderbirds, but his visits to Tracy Island, a secret oasis in the South Pacific and headquarters to International Rescue, are restricted to school holidays. When the Thunderbirds are deployed on a fake mission by arch nemesis The Hood (Kingsley), Alan and his holiday buddies Tin-Tin (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) and Fermat (Soren Fulton), the super-brainy son of Jeff's eccentric techno Brain (Edwards), come up with a plan to rescue his family, defeat the adversaries - and save the world to boot.
The producers of Thunderbirds have made this live-action film more for the Spy Kids market than the "Thunderbirds" fans but don't let that put you off. It's good fun to watch, especially with all the cool whiz-bang gadgets.