Monty Python: Almost The Truth – The Lawyer’s Cut (2009/Eagle Rock Entertainment Blu-ray)
Picture: B+ Sound: B Extras: B- Feature: A-
a funny Family Guy segment in which
Meg is tied down and forced to watch Monty
Python’s Flying Circus skits, to which she exclaims “I’m a girl! I don’t
even like the good Monty Python!” For
the most part that is how many people feel; a majority of Americans end their
fascination of Monty Python with The Holy Grail; though there are others
(like myself) who believe the crew has to offer. Outside of their several film ventures, the
fellows of Monty Python have had a
humongous career with their own television series (the aforementioned Flying Circus) as well as the men
branching off to have very successful solo careers.
of that said, those of us who have actually attempted watching the hours and
hours of Flying Circus material
realize that time has not looked too favorably on the old sketches. For the most part Flying Circus has fallen victim to dated references, dreadfully
drab British humor and some things that not even I can put my finger on. The light at the end of the tunnel, however,
is that the good sketches are timeless, amazingly well constructed and feature
some of the most brilliant moments in television history. I am talking a lot about Flying Circus, whereas the Blu-ray under review here is a pure
documentary on the cast and crew of the insanely popular Monty Python; as my intention is mainly too emphasize the huge
career that band of comedians has had and applaud them as this documentary is a
worthy tribute to their lives.
documentary is broken down into 6 wonderfully presented episodes. The episodes are as follows:
- “The Not So Interesting
- “The Much Funnier Second
- “And Now, the Sordid Personal
- “The Ultimate Holy Grail
- “Lust for Glory!”
- “Finally, the Last Episode
(ever) (for now…)
included on the Blu-ray set are several of Monty
Python’s most famous sketches; Disc 2 includes:
- The Parrot Sketch
- Spanish Inquisition
- The Fish Slapping Dance
- Ministry of Silly Walks
- Lumberjack Song
- The Cheese Shop
Also on Disc
2 are extended interviews with the Pythons, Outtakes from the Cutting Room
Floor and Terry Gilliam Picture Gallery.
documentary is well made from beginning to end; with each of the 60-minutes-long
episodes fascinatingly having the cast recount their memories for that episodes
particular theme. The episodes infuse
that casts happy memories, hardships, endless debates and the controversy that
has surrounded them since their first sketch.
The cast also goes into great detail about the many achievements and
failures they have had over the years; but always maintain a sense of humor
about the situations they have been put in.
honesty, Almost the Truth is the
most honest, lively and hilarious documentaries I have ever had the pleasure of
viewing. The crew has no restraint as
they explicitly and candidly give their opinions about the past, present and
future (especially Eric Idle who never tends to hold back).
was tough for the Python troupe as most people saw their brand as comedy as
weird and strange in Britain; while in America broadcasters refused to even
convert the Flying Circus tapes to
good to know their vision was realized and the world of comedy would never be
technical features on this 2-Disc Blu-ray are very well done and will make any
Python fan very happy. The picture is
presented in a 1.78 X 1 1080i MPEG-4 AVC transfer that nicely presents both new
footage and old. The newly created
interviews have great detail, solid contras and look great. The old stock footage of films, personal moments
and skits is also amazingly impressive as it has higher quality than I ever
expected. The footage from beginning to
end is a great visual experience. The
audio is presented in both English LPCM 2.0 and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Sound; both having their own merits.
With both track the older footage has its limits and is noticeably bland
at times; whereas the new footage is amazingly crisp, clear and full. A nice presentation from beginning to end.
extras are those listed above.
Almost Truth is a great set that will impress
any Python aficionado as it weaves together the long and trying tale of a band
of idiots that made it big.
Python, try these links:
Life Of Brian Blu-ray & DVD
Flying Circus: Idle & Plain
Best Of DVDs
- Michael P. Dougherty II