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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep criticism of society using subtle, intelligent comedy
No doubt the Monty Python group is one of the funniest tv-shows and movie-makers of all time. Their straight-faced, intelligent kind of humor is so everlasting that today, roughly 25 years after their three main movies were made, they still have a huge legion of worldwide fans, and among them very young people, some of them born after their movies were released.
In...
Published on Oct. 12 2003 by J R Zullo

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy!"
Many people prefer to quote dialogue and recall specific routines when the subject of the Monty Python films is discussed. That is unfortunate because their films offer much more than memorable comedy bits. They actually offer very insightful commentaries on their respective subjects when you take a good look at them. That is certainly the case with "The Life of...
Published on March 3 2004 by Steven Y.


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy!", March 3 2004
Many people prefer to quote dialogue and recall specific routines when the subject of the Monty Python films is discussed. That is unfortunate because their films offer much more than memorable comedy bits. They actually offer very insightful commentaries on their respective subjects when you take a good look at them. That is certainly the case with "The Life of Brian."
On the night that Jesus is born, the Three Wise Men mistakenly deliver gifts to the nearby manger of Brian Cohen (Graham Chapman). After realizing their mistake, the trio travel to their intended destination but this one incident sets the tone for the rest of Brian's life. Years later he finds himself in Palestine leading an unremarkable existence until he hooks up with the People's Front of Judea. After participating in a botched abduction of Pontius Pilate's wife, Brian somehow ends up being worshipped as the Messiah. The Romans eventually catch up with him and hang him on the cross. Despite his pleas for help, his followers leave him there thinking that it is Brian's divine destiny to be crucified.
Watching Monty Python's "The Life of Brian," one can't help but wonder about what really did happen in the past in the real world. Credit must be given to The Pythons for examining this thought in an amusing and inoffensive manner. They are not dismissing organized religion in this film but are rather cleverly reminding us that inconsistencies, oddities, and contradictions abound in religious chronicles just like they do in everything else in the world. The Pythons' brand of humor has always been more sophisticated than many of their contemporaries and it has held up remarkably well to this day. "The Life of Brian" is one of those rare gems that makes you think while it entertains you at the same time. Too bad so many films being released these days can't make a similar claim.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep criticism of society using subtle, intelligent comedy, Oct. 12 2003
By 
J R Zullo (São Paulo, Brazil) - See all my reviews
No doubt the Monty Python group is one of the funniest tv-shows and movie-makers of all time. Their straight-faced, intelligent kind of humor is so everlasting that today, roughly 25 years after their three main movies were made, they still have a huge legion of worldwide fans, and among them very young people, some of them born after their movies were released.
In "Life of Brian", the setting is Judea, around 33 A.D. The movie is about Brian, a jewish man-boy, raised by a tough mother; Brian's life is seemingly meaningless, until he joins a hilarious group whose main task is to go against Roman domination. Suddenly, and unwillingly, Brian has an enormous set of followers that, based on strange omens, think he is the Messiah.
From beginning to end, "Life of Brian" is much more than just a bunch of nonsense scenes revolving around a common base-point. Of course, the characters are made and chosen to fit the Python actors, but that doesn't mean the acting is bad. John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones (among many others) are still active and very much well-known today or in recent years - 007 series, "A fish called Wanda", etc.
But "Life of Brian", more than a simple comedy, is a tremendous criticism of the society we live in. It is not blasphemous in any way. Countries and societies that have banned this movie on religious grounds completely missed the point. This is not about religion, it's about people's relationships. To criticize globalization, lack of individualism and misguided leaderships (if they were able to see the problem then, what can we say about nowadays, when it's even worse?) they took as an example the christian societies and religious movements because, being westerners, and making a movie mainly for western audiences, they thought this would be more simple to achieve their goal. Well, in the end it was proved they were really ahead of their time. Even today "Life of Brian" is not completely understood, and mistaken as a religious parody.
Congratulations for the Pythons, on the subject choice and on the intelligence with which the movie was made.
Grade 9.2/10
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Movie, Jan. 31 2010
By 
Oliver (Los Angeles) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I'm not the type who watches movies more than once, but I've probably seen Monty Python's Life of Brian about 20 times. Brian is born in Bethlehem on the same day as Jesus and, throughout his life, is continually mistaken for Jesus. In the end, he too is crucified. On one level, the movie is a comedy, bordering on slap-stick. It is a smashing success on that surface level. Just below the surface, however, it contains far more serious social commentary, and it was actually banned in Britain for a time.

OK, the production values are not great, and there really is no reason to bother getting the Blue-ray version. But that is not what this movie is about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Funniest Movie Ever Made...., Jan. 14 2004
By 
Photoscribe "semi-renaissance man" (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA) - See all my reviews
....That isn't an early Mel Brooks or Richard Lester movie! This film pretty much made me a fan of the Pythons, leading me to go see a retrospective of theirs including "And Now For Something Completely Different", "Jabberwocky" and "Monty Python & The Holy Grail". By far the most ingenious and well written thing they've done since and maybe SLIGHTLY funnier than "Grail", this movie makes fun of zealotry, hypocrisy, decadence, dumb luck and history, all in one fell swoop!
The movie generally involves a case of mistaken identity that affects a Nazarene named Brian, born on the same day as, and right downstream from, you-know-who. This mistake affects Brian's life through the course of the entire movie, even after he joins a fanatic sect of Roman-hating terrorists. Though the Wise Men who mistook him for Jesus early in the film corrected themselves, Brian still has a hard time convincing the sheepish, desperate people who follow him everywhere that he isn't a messiah while trying to escape Roman capture.
Cleese, Idle and Palin especially shine in this film, playing many disparate parts...Cleese as 1) A Roman centurion, 2) Reg, the leader of a terrorist faction Brian happens onto, and 3) A high priest/Pharisee/Sadducee - whatever, holding a zany trial for someone who has said the Lord's name in vain; Idle as: 1) Stan, a terrorist with gender identity problems, 2) A crazy but extremely lucky guy who never gets crucified though he's due for it, 3) A guy who taunts a fellow at the sermon on the mount by repeatedly calling him "Bignose" and 4) A stuttering gravedigger; Palin plays: 1) Pontius Pilate, 2) a particularly zealous member of the terrorist band Brian joins, 2)A squirrelly beggar complaining about being cured, 3) a VERY mild-mannered head counter at Brian's crucifiction, 4) The guy Idle taunts at the sermon on the mount and 5) A verbose false prophet. Even Chapman, the one playing Brian, assays the roll of Biggus Dickus, the lisping friend of Pontius Pilate as well as the hapless "Red Sea pedestrian" himself. Terry Jones plays Brian's mother and an ascetic who has his vow of silence ruined by Brian stepping on his foot.
When I first saw this movie, I didn't remember laughing so much since seeing Richard Lester's "Help!" and "Hard Day's Night" at the Circle In The Square up in Greenwich Village. A true masterpiece of zany comedy as only the British seem able to do it.
Wouldn't it be great to see either Rowan Atkinson's or "Grant/Naylor's" take on religion? The possibilities are endless!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Ten Best Films Ever Made, June 23 2009
By 
Neil Olsen (Toronto, Ontario) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Monty Python's Life of Brian (DVD)
There is so much in this film - comedy, satire, allegory, the list goes on. It is still as relevant today as it was 30 years ago and just as controversial. It was a courageous film then and still is. As an expose of the gullibility of society at large, it is timeless and infinitely clever. It is a biting satire of the self serving nature of human society as a whole, and its themes can be seen throughout history. Top that all off with the superb comedy of the Python team and their ability to play a myriad of classic characters and you have a film people will be talking about for generations to come. The bonus material about the making of the film and the controvesy it caused and the several misguided attempts at banning it, provide a fascinating backdrop to a film as big as the subjects it took on. One of the greats!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Grail., Dec 7 2003
By 
Brad Heffner (Williamsport, PA United States) - See all my reviews
Thank God, for Life of Brian. Holy Grail has been ruined through years of people endlessly quoting it, thankfully a majority of people, at least from what I've seen, haven't seen Brian. Beside having one of the greatest ending of any movie or book, Brian also offers a very funny look a religion. The only problem with this movie, may be that it's too short. But what's there is genius.
Some people might see it as offensive or blasphemous, but it's not. Brian is not Christ, their are similiarities, but that's it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Movie, Jan. 31 2010
By 
Oliver (Los Angeles) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Monty Python's Life of Brian (DVD)
I'm not the type who watches movies more than once, but I've probably seen Monty Python's Life of Brian about 20 times. Brian is born in Bethlehem on the same day as Jesus and, throughout his life, is continually mistaken for Jesus. In the end, he too is crucified. On one level, the movie is a comedy, bordering on slap-stick. It is a smashing success on that surface level. Just below the surface, however, it contains far more serious social commentary, and it was actually banned in Britain for a time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best movie of all time?, June 25 2003
By A Customer
There's wilder movies, faster movies, more profound movies, maybe even funnier movies -- and there are movies that are much simpler and more perfectly made. But I don't really know any other movie that I enjoyed equally well (but differently) as a 20-year-old and as a 40-year-old. It's the richest work of a smart, nutty and talented group. It's in a class of its own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Is nothing sacred? NO! And that's why this is a riot!, June 22 2004
By 
Rocco Dormarunno (Brooklyn, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Irreverent, brilliant, ingenius... I'm getting all these words out of the way now before I forget them! Even though I'll probably use them a dozen times!
The funniest thing to come from England since The Stamp Act, Monty Python's Flying Circus could always be depended upon to provide the world with brilliantly twisted humor. The LIFE OF BRIAN is no less a comic masterpiece than anything else these boys have done. Ostensibly a parody of the life of Jesus, LIFE OF BRIAN is a hilarious attack on liberalism, conservatism, colonialism, individualism, communalism, organized religion, disorganized religion, fanaticism, feminism... take your pick of any of a hundred topics. It doesn't matter, it's still brilliant. And the script and direction holds it perfectly all together, even if there's a space ship chase sequence thrown in for the hell of it.
Once again, the members of MPFC each play several roles and every viewer has his or her favorites, so what the hell, I'll mention mine. Michael Palin, while playing a wonderfully foppy Pontius Pilate, is equally hilarious as a twitchy, hyperactive leper that Jesus had cured. Instead of being grateful, he complains that his rehabilitation has ruined his livelihood as a beggar. (Speaking of rehabilitation, Palin plays the part like a junkie in need of a fix.) John Cleese has several great moments, but his role as a Centurion turned sadistic Latin teacher is nothing short of genius. Everyone who has studied Latin will be beside themselves during this scene. And Terry Jones as Brian's mom still stuns me 25 years later. "My Brian is not the messiah! He's a very naughty, naughty boy."
Monty Python's LIFE OF BRIAN is irreverent, brilliant, and ingenius and this edition, complete with outtakes, behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews make this package worth the price. Whether you are an individual or not, "Monty Python's Life of Brian - Criterion Collection" will save your comic soul.
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3.0 out of 5 stars a film of great controversey, May 11 2004
By 
Ted "Ted" (Pennsylvania, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is for the Criterion Collection Edition of the film.
The non-Criterion edition is significantly different so be warned.
From seeing the negative reviews, I can assume that many of the reviewers did not watch the film. As a Christian, I find it difficult to review this film without bias so instead I will only review the special features.
The film's audio commentary has much information of the controversey surrounding the picture including the story of a Christian who gave a bad review but missed the first 5 minutes of the film which explain the story.
There is a good amount of special features for a single disc Criterion DVD.
There is a theatrical trailer, TWO audio commentaries both of which are with seperate cast and/or crew. They have radio spots for the film. There are 5 deleted scenes with optional audio commentary. There also is a documentary film "The Pythons" which is about the production of this film and background information on the actors. Many of the special features will not be found anywhere else.
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