Blu-ray
Highly Recommended
4 stars
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Overall Grade
4 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Movie Itself
4.5 Stars
HD Video Quality
4 Stars
HD Audio Quality
4 Stars
Supplements
2.5 Stars
High-Def Extras
0 Stars
Bottom Line
Highly Recommended

Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five to Go

Street Date:
November 11th, 2014
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
January 6th, 2015
Movie Release Year:
2014
Studio:
Eagle Rock
Length:
162 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
Unrated
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

Nobody expected a reunion show of one of the greatest comedy troupes to ever grace the screen. That's right. After 34 years, the iconic and brilliant actors of Monty Python, came together once again to give us one more dose of their unique comedy. This performance, which was broadcast in the US and UK, certainly hits you in all the right nostalgic parts. If you're like me, you grew up watching 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' or any one of their hilarious films whether it be 'The Meaning of Life' or 'The Holy Grail'.

You can rest assure that skits and segments from those movies make it into this excellent performance. The group did 10 live shows at London's famous O2 arena in front of sold out crowds, and did some of their famous skits as well as some new material. This almost feels like a farewell tour and a Greatest Hits album all rolled into one big performance that is almost three hours long. Every member of the Monty Python crew is here, including Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Michael Palin, and Terry Jones. And yes, the late Graham Chapman makes a few appearances in the form of some video skits and messages.

It's amazing how these men have not lost their comedic beat and continue to entertain and make us laugh to this day. Full of music, comedy, and vintage skits that we all love, this performance is one for the books for every Monty Python fan. Keeping with their unique brand of humor, which at times can confuse us and go into the wacky and way out weird genre, the live performance starts out with of course, some llamas. It's quite funny in that "what is really happening" kind of way.

Through songs, dances and other comedic skits, we get that old and familiar taste of this unique brand of humor, which is at times, modernized for this day and age, complete with some excellent cameos throughout. Yes, the Yorkshiremen show up, along with the Spanish Inquisition, Bruces, Spam, and even some of Terry Gilliam's animated skits make it into the show. One of the only downsides to this show, which is only relegated to this Blu-ray is that the camerawork is kind of a mess in places, which leaves the home audience missing some of the jokes, because the camera is not focusing on some of the key players during some of the punchlines, hence we miss out. It's not a big problem throughout, but it is somewhat annoying in a few places.

'Monty Python Live (Mostly)' is a lot of fun, yet it kind of sad in a way that we all know in the back of our minds that this is the last time we will see all these guys perform together again. It's a solid farewell in style and comedy, furthering their legendary status in the entertainment and comedy world.

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

'Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five To Go' comes with a 1080i (yes, 1080i) transfer and is presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Despite the i, this image looks quite good. This program was broadcast on television live in the US and in the UK, and has most of the qualities that a live television program would have during primetime. The detail is very sharp and vivid throughout with closeups revealing all of the fun makeup, individual hairs and wrinkles on our favorite aging comedic actors.

You'll also be able to make out fine textures in costumes such as hairs and sequins. Colors pop off screen and are well saturated throughout. It's quite a colorful performance, visually speaking. Skin tones are natural and the black levels are deep and inky. Overall, this is a very sharp looking theatre performance that should satisfy, although there were some very minor instances of video noise, but it's nothing to write home about, leaving this video presentation with solid marks.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

This release comes with both a DTS-HD 5.1 mix and a LPCM 2.0 Stereo track. Both sound very good, but the 5.1 option is the way to go here. The DTS 5.1 track really lets this hilarious and entertaining production breathe and provides a great layered sound. The sound effects are robust and full and the ambient noises of the crowd really immerse you inside the theater. It's quite good.

Dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow, even with their English accents. There were no instances of any pops, cracks, or hissing. The music sounds incredible and provides a full and energetic sound through all speakers, while never drowning out any of the sound effects or dialogue. Even the applause was thunderous. The LFE is excellent and the dynamic range was quite wide, leaving this audio presentation with solid marks.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

The Production (HD, 8 Mins.) -  Here is a quick look at making this production come together, from rehearsing to the music. It's quite funny and informative.

Green Screen Shoot (HD, 6 Mins.) - This extra is very funny with the famous actors making the taped skits for their show. Laugh out loud stuff here.

Backstage at the O2 (HD, 5 Mins.) - Here is a fun and raw look at the actors getting ready for their cues on stage and getting into costume. 

Highlights from the 10 Shows at the 02 (HD, 3 Mins.) - This is more of a behind the scenes type of bonus feature that gives us a glimpse backstage with famous celebrities stopping in to get in on the action.

The Announcement (HD, 2 Mins.) - A very short snippet of the press junket when they announced the 10 shows.

The Reunion (HD, 2 Mins.) - Also a very short look at the first table read with all the actors.

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

There are no HD exclusives. 

Final Thoughts

Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five To Go' is a lot of fun, although you can't help but be sad a little bit of the time, because this was their last performance. Moving past that depressing aspect, the show is full of belly laughs, great songs, and debauchery. It shows us the best skits we grew up with and proved again that these comedic geniuses are still some of the best out there. The video and audio are both great and the extras, while short and brief are all worth looking at. This is a must-own for any Monty Python fan. Highly Recommended!

Technical Specs

  • 50GB Blu-ray Disc

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080i MPEG-4 AVC

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.78:1

Audio Formats

  • English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • English: LPCM 2.0

Subtitles/Captions

  • English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

Supplements

  • The Production
  • Green Screen Shoot
  • Backstage at the O2
  • Highlights from the 10 Shows at the 02
  • The Announcement
  • The Reunion

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