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Monty Python and the Holy Grail ("Extraordinarily" Deluxe Edition with Premium) (Bilingual)
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Could this be the funniest movie ever made? By any rational measure of comedy, this medieval romp from the Monty Python troupe certainly belongs on the short list of candidates. According to Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide, it's "recommended for fans only," but we say hogwash to that--you could be a complete newcomer to the Python phenomenon and still find this send-up of the Arthurian legend to be wet-your-pants hilarious. It's basically a series of sketches woven together as King Arthur's quest for the Holy Grail, with Graham Chapman as the King, Terry Gilliam as his simpleton sidekick Patsy, and the rest of the Python gang filling out a variety of outrageous roles. The comedy highlights are too numerous to mention, but once you've seen Arthur's outrageously bloody encounter with the ominous Black Knight (John Cleese), you'll know that nothing's sacred in the Python school of comedy. From holy hand grenades to killer bunnies to the absurdity of the three-headed knights who say "Ni--!," this is the kind of movie that will strike you as fantastically funny or just plain silly, but why stop there? It's all over the map, and the pace lags a bit here and there, but for every throwaway gag the Pythons have invented, there's a bit of subtle business or grand-scale insanity that's utterly inspired. The sum of this madness is a movie that's beloved by anyone with a pulse and an irreverent sense of humor. If this movie doesn't make you laugh, you're almost certainly dead. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The first disc contains the movie itself, along with some choices of how to watch it.... subtitles, commentary by directors Terry Jones & Terry Gilliam or by John Cleese & Eric Idle & Michael Palin. Then "for people who don't like the film", there's subtitles from Shakespeare's "Henry IV, Part II". Now, these do not faithfully follow Henry IV verse by verse, but they do come from the play, and it's hilarious how the phrases Shakespeare wrote do actually match up with the action on the screen.
Disc Two contains several mementoes: a film of John Cleese, Terry Jones, and "Grail" production manager John Young (who also played the hapless "Historian" towards the end of the film, and the "I'm not dead!" guy) paying a return visit to Castle Doune , in 2000. At first it's fun to hear them reminisce at the filming site, but since it's a very small spot with nothing but a wall and a bit of ground, they appear uncomfortable and that quickly gets old. More interesting is the home movie made by the two Terries when they looked for prospective film locations in the seventies.Read more ›
Comedy is extremely subjective. What works for me might not work for others. If you examine the previous 61 titles in this 100 movies series, you won't find anything that is classified solely as a comedy. Films such as Amelie, As Good as It Gets and Midnight in Paris certainly have a great deal of comedic content, but they also contain dramatic elements.
It's not that I don't like to laugh or don't have a sense of humor, it's just unrealistic to me when a movie tries to tell a joke in every sentence. I'm too aware that I am being manipulated. Maybe it has something to do with my age, but I don't think it's funny watching people get hit in the genitals repeatedly or fail to make it to the bathroom in time. Innuendo or scatological humor ceased to make me laugh two or three decades ago. Physical humor can work, but it has to be executed well.
Why am I bothering to tell you this?
The six members of the Monty Python team make me laugh, despite using all of the techniques described above. I keep asking myself why that is, and I think it's a combination of things. The writing is superb and unpredictable. If I see a joke coming from a mile away, I'm not likely to find it funny. Even though most of Python's material is extremely silly, it has a kind of sophisticated brilliance.
Who else could reduce the Lady of the Lake myth to:
"Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government.Read more ›
Movie: 5 Stars. It is absurd, outrageous and hilarious! Writing is as sharp, or shaper, than the best comedies currently.
Video: I would rate the video a 4/5. I don't think we will ever see a release of this movie on par with 2001 (on blu-ray the picture is STUNNING!) in term so picture quality. I think the quality of film it was shot on back then just doesn't have the resolution/quality of a 2001 and this is probably the best we will get. However it is an improvement over the DVD.
If you are Monty fan, have a blu-ray player and don't have HOLY GRAIL on DVD, buy the blu-ray! If you have DVD I still recommend the blu-ray. You can get it for around $10-$12 on sale and for a classic that is a price worth paying.
The Knights of the Round Table all encounter one another and quest for the Holy Grail... alas, there was no money for horses so coconuts were used to simulate the sound of their footsteps. Alas, there was no money for epic battle scenes; funny and endless diatribes were filmed instead. Well, I could go on but needless to say the movie is funny, comedic and takes a nice stab at biblical epics, turning the genre on its head.
Audio and video is wonderful (I haven't seen the movie look so good in ages) so you're in Python land from the first second till the last drop (I'm pretty sure that's what I meant).
There is a second screen option, though I do not like the idea of not including everything on the disc (much like video games, it seems special features are bound to be available online one day... that is what I fear), but there is a nice mouthful of extras that reprise almost everything from the 2-disc DVD available a while back, and adds a few new featurettes.
Fans of Python rejoice, Holy Grail is not only a great movie, it is also beautifully restored.
Most recent customer reviews
I found it to be funner than most, as I'm a monty python fam. It is quite funny. I had caught some bits of it on TV and I wanted to see the whole thing. Read morePublished 2 months ago by David Taylor
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