Customer Reviews


147 Reviews
5 star:
 (121)
4 star:
 (18)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


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

versus
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.


‹ Previous | 1 215 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Always look on the bright side of life, March 24 2004
By 
Whiteseagull (British Columbia) - See all my reviews
Who can fault a movie where the theme is to always look on the bright side of life?
The film parallels the story of Jesus but it takes us in another direction, to see a population who can't seem to think for themselves. They must have a Messiah to follow and they think they have found one in Brian. But Brian isn't interested in being their Messiah.
My favorite line is when a crowd calls for Brian to come to the window and show himself. His mother opens the window and tells the crowd: "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy." The Monte Python ensemble has a knack for making us laugh at situations that when seen from their satirical point-of-view, are quite ludicrous.
The point of the film is our longing to belong and to follow a leader. Yes, if you look at it from that approach we are all sheep. We must flock and we must follow. We are all constantly searching for that Messiah to lead us. And yes, we see it in the modern world where good leadership is quite deficient. The crowds roar together, "Yes, we are individuals." "Yes, we must think for ourselves." But do we?
This film will offend some, but it is harmless fun and sometimes you have to trust having fun. After all, isn't this what Jesus' life was about, teaching how to get along and connect with other fellow human beings, as well as spiritual redemption? I'm sure Christ had a good sense of humor, as I know God does. Blessed are the fun makers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Budget-priced version of one of the funniest films ever!, March 2 2004
This is the "no-frills" budget-priced DVD of "Life of Brian," containing just the movie with no extras (except for a trailer). Criterion has released an excellent Special Edition with commentaries, a documentary, and deleted scenes; however, the price of it is pretty steep. If you're a Python fan, you'll want to spend the money on the Criterion Collection DVD. If you have a more casual interest in the film, or just don't want to spend so much money, then this DVD will satisfy your needs. Either way, you'll get one of the funniest films ever made.
With Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" ringing up box-officer registers and inflaming controversy, it's never been a better time to re-visit this classic but also controversial film from the Monty Python troupe, which takes on the story of the Messiah in a hysterical, yet sharply satiric, way. It's the best piece of work the Pythons ever produced, exceeding all their other movies and their television programs. Instead of merely stringing together sketches around a common theme, as they usually did, the Pythons here created a wonderful, coherent story with consistent themes and a steady target for their cynical humor. It's not only a wonderful comedy, it's really a wonderful character drama as well!
No big producer would touch the controversial material, so the film was funded with the help of former Beatle George Harrison. Although filmed on a tiny budget, the work of director Terry Jones and designer Terry Gilliam make it look as handsome as a multi-million dollar Cecil B. DeMille epic. (It helped that they had sets available from Zefferelli's recent TV mini-series "Jesus of Nazareth" still around for their use.)
The story follows the misadventures of Brian Cohen (Graham Chapman), who was born just down the street in Bethlehem on the same night as another famous baby. Brian's life parallels Jesus's (glanced occasionally, played by Ken Colley), only in a completely mistaken, unintentional way. He becomes part of the People's Front of Judea, becomes an unwitting rebel, then an unwitting messiah to a group of mindless followers ("Yes, we are all individuals!" they shout together), and then an unwitting martyr. (Which leads to the classic finale song, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.")
John Cleese in interviews has tried to distance the film from being a direct attack on Christianity, saying it was really meant to criticize the mentality of people who follow leaders without question. However, "Life of Brian" is very cynical about religion in general, there's no mistaking that. But it doesn't have to be viewed as an insult to the Christian religion at all, as many claimed it was. It also makes fun of historical epics, gender roles, "Star Wars" (in a very funny special-effects sequence created by Terry Gilliam), and people who would rather fight with those who agree with them than with their common enemy.
There's also no mistaking that this is one of funniest films ever made. Hysterical scene piles up on hysterical scene: John Cleese as a priest trying to control a mob at a stoning; Michael Palin as the world's least inspiring prophet ("And then a friend shall lose his friend's hammer..."); Eric Idle forcing Graham Chapman to haggle when he doesn't want to; Michael Palin's lisping and completely ridiculous Pontius Pilate ("Thwow him to floor, Centoorion!"); John Cleese as the leader of the P.F.J. trying to prove that the Romans have done nothing for Judea, despite his followers many claims to contrary (the aqueduct, the roads, the court systems, education, wine, sanitation...); and Terry Jones as Brian's mother telling his crowd of followers: "He's not the Messiah! He's a very naughty boy!" My personal favorite scene has John Cleese's centurion correcting Graham Chapman's Latin in the anti-Roman graffiti he's painting on the palace walls.
I would like to point out what an excellent actor Graham Chapman was. All the Python's were brilliant comedic performers and writers, but Chapman was a very talented, pure actor. He could have played dramatic roles as easily and comic ones, and there's a reason he took the lead role in this film. His sincerity in the role of Brian really holds the film together. It's a tragedy that he died so young.
Grab this DVD for gut-busting comedy and satire - unless you want to lay down the dough for the Criterion Collection (which I think is worth it).
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Not as offensive as it's made out to be, Dec 21 2003
By 
Daniel J. Hamlow (Narita, Japan) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Well, the message behind Life Of Brian, to take a line from Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues," extols people "don't follow leaders," and blindly at that. This biblical send-up has sight gags, barbed and hilarious lines and situation, funny voices, which all flow like milk and honey here.
The setting is in Judea, AD 33, and Jesus is preaching his Sermon on the Mount, you know "Blessed are the cheesemakers" or was that "Blessed are the Greek"? But there is quite a bit of disharmony going on in the back row.
My three favourite scenes have to be the stoning, the Roman grammar lesson and the scene where Brian (Graham Chapman) is first brought before Pontius Pilate (Michael Palin). When one Matthias is sentenced to be stoned for committing blasphemy, saying "Jehovah," the lynch-mob crowd mentality is demonstrated by an automatic launching of a stone at that word. As the Jewish priest (John Cleese) says, "Now look, no one is to stone anyone until I blow this whistle. Do you understand? Even, and I will make this perfectly clear, even if they do say Jehovah." Guess what happens?
The second scene: After falling in with the People's Front of Judea, led by Reg (Cleese), Brian is instructed by them to write "Romans Go Home." He is caught (gasp!), but because this is Monty Python, he gets a grammar lesson from the centurion (Cleese) on duty, so remember, it is not "ROMANES EUNT DOMUS.�E
And the third scene brings me out in giggles the same way as the Roman guards, not only because of Pilate's gay lisp, but because of his friend's name, which has the guards trying hard not to dissolve into laughter. His friend's name? First name is Biggus.
Another theme that's brought into light is the way a conquering people brings some benefits to its conquered, and Dr. Davies, my Western Civ. teacher, showed this part of the video to demonstrate it. Reg (Cleese) rhetorically asks his PFJ cohorts what the Romans have done for the Jews? To which they list the aqueduct, wine, irrigation, among other things, to which Reg reluctantly concedes. The punchline is that the Romans to some extent, have brought peace to a previously unstable region.
Palin has the best roles as "Big Nose", an ex-leper, a crazed prisoner, and Pontius Pilate, and Cleese does great as a Roman centurion, Reg, and the ill-fated Jewish authority figure.
Eric Idle does best as a stuttering Roman guard, a vendor who teaches Brian how to haggle, and Stan, who wants to be a woman and be called Loretta. BTW, Jesus is played by Kenneth Colley, who was Admiral Piett in both Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi.
This movie is ingenious, irreverent, cheeky, but not offensive or blasphemous. The lines and jokes are at their barbed best per usual, but the jokes involving crucifixion are the boldest:
As I said, the main message is told by Brian to the people who blindly see him as the Messiah: "You've got to think for yourselves. You're all individuals. You're all different." And you'll enjoy this movie,... even if you do say Jehovah!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 215 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Monty Python's Life of Brian (The Immaculate Edition) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
CDN$ 19.99 CDN$ 14.83
Usually ships in 12 to 13 days
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews