Worth A Look: 10.19%
Pretty Bad: 1.85%
Total Crap: 3.24%
7 reviews, 174 user ratings
|Monty Python and the Holy Grail
by Scott Weinberg
You may be wondering why someone as busy as myself would take time to review a mega-classic movie that the enitre world has already seen. Surely another review of this movie would be a pointless act. Ah, but I've seen the new Special Edition DVD! (Plus that whole "busy" thing is a sham. I was bored.)The reason so many people latch onto this movie when they're young is because it's one of the first films they see that makes them work for their laughs. (Deciphering those unfamiliar accents proves to be very rewarding, eh kids?) Monty Python and the Holy Grail, despite its overwhelming abundance of silliness, is a very smart comedy. The cast is comprised almost entirely by the six "pythons" in several different roles, and many of this film's finest scenes leave the viewer thinking "Oh, that's freakin' hysterical". Surely the world has seen very few comedians as gifted as these fellows.
"The movie is near-perfect. The new DVD version is a thing of beauty."
The plot is a sketchy framework of the Arthurian legend, and it's a wonderful conceit to hang the jokes on. Not content with merely skewering the legend of King Arthur, the Pythons seemingly toss in any gag they see fit. From killer bunny rabbits to a decidedly anachronistic police officer, there's more bizarre goings-on in this movie than in your local Dunkin' Donuts at 4:00 am. (Trust me, that's a lot of weirdness.)
One of the most beloved comedies of all time (and arguably the most quoted), Monty Python and the Holy Grail is nothing short of a masterpiece. Clocking in under 90 minutes, it makes for one of the tightest and most enjoyable spoofs you'll ever see. (Of course, if the Monty Python style of humor isn't your bag, please feel free to ignore all my praise, 'cuz you won't like this one either!)
Think back and remember the first time you saw the "Black Knight" scene. Tell me you didn't end up describing it to all your friends the next day. ("...and the King cuts off his LEGS and the Knight is still fighting! Blood's pouring out of his bloody stumps and he's hopping around kicking King Arthur!!") Who doesn't love the scene of twisted logic involving a witch, a scale and a duck? Or The Holy Hand Grenade. Or the taunts of the obnoxious French soldiers... I could go on and on. (Actually, I think I already have. Sorry.)
While it's a bit "tamer" than Monty Python's Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life (both great comedies in their own right), I consider Holy Grail the crowning achievement (pun intended) of Graham, Eric, Terry, Terry, Mike and John. It will be very interesting to see how future generations embrace this film, but my guess is that this one will be around forever.
Fresh off a limited theatrical re-release, this classic comedy is now given a glorious "Special Edition" treatment by the fine folks at Columbia/Tri-Star. The previous DVD incarnation was non-anamorphic and had basically nada in the special features department. Suffice to say that both issues have been remedied.
If you've only ever seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail on VHS or (gasp) television, you're in for a real treat. I bet you never noticed how damn colorful this movie is, to say nothing about the glorious use of Scotland's breathtaking landscapes. But you will now. I'm not much of an audio-phile, but you can rest assured that this movie sounds fantastic as well. Truly amazing when you consider this movie was made in 1975 for less than $200,000.
Like all good Special Editions, this one is a 2-disc affair. Since I certainly wouldn't dream of robbing you of some hysterical surprises, I'll mention just the main extras:
2 separate audio commentaries! One is taken from the old Criterion LD and features both directors (Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam), while the other is an audio track with Michael Palin, Eric Idle and John Cleese. (Recorded separately, but edited together brilliantly.)
Subtitles for those who don't like the movie - (From Shakespeare's Henry IV!)
Sing-a-long with the musical numbers!
Michael Palin and Terry Jones in a fantastic all-new (45 minute) documentary entitled "Quest for the Holy Grail Locations"!
A 1974 (18 minute) location report entitled "On Location with the Pythons"!
Follow the Killer Rabbit! - Anyone familiar with the "White Rabbit" feature from The Matrix DVD will get a kick out of this one!
Sketches, photos, mystery items and literally about a dozen more goodies are packed on these 2 discs.
If you're a Python veteran and you think you've seen it all before, just trust me. Between the two audio commentaries and the "Killer Rabbit" feature, you could watch this DVD four separate times and see something completely new. Enjoy!If you already have the original DVD version or (gasp) a VHS copy, my advice is to unload it at eBay or something tomorrow and immediately buy this Special Edition. While I'd like to think that this DVD may create some new Python fans, I'm thrilled to announce that this DVD is an absolute must-own for those already afflicted with Python addiction.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1231&reviewer=128
originally posted: 10/24/01 09:11:17