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Monty Python and the Holy Grail: The Quick and Dirty DVD Review
Reviewed by Joe Hourcle, © 2002

Format: Movie
By:   Monty Python
Genre:   Comedy
Review Date:   August 08, 2002
Audience Rating:   Rated PG
RevSF Rating:   9/10 (What Is This?)

Remember, Joe is reviewing the DVD, not the movie. A DVD of Batman & Robin could get a 10, if the features are cool enough. And A Clockwork Orange could wind up with a 1 if it got no features at all. Got it? Good.

 

Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Regular Edition (wide screen).

I'm going to keep this review short, as this is, of course, the 'regular edition', and there's a new 'special edition'. The last time I checked Amazon.com, there's a $1 difference in the price. I admit, I bought the regular edition over a year ago, and with the special edition, and my VHS version, I'm up to three copies of the movie. But, well, we all know the movie itself is worth it.

Just go and buy the special edition, already. Hell, you're probably going to have a problem tracking down the regular version anyway these days, as it might be out of print.

If you do get the regular edition, however, you do get a couple of special features. Well, okay, I wouldn't count them as that special, really. You get some 'bonus trailers'. I can understand putting in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, and even The City of Lost Children. There was a quote from Terry Gilliam, so that one might have a slight connection to this movie. I have no clue what the deal with Dr. Strangelove was, however.

I can't really say that there was anything truly special about this DVD. It's not to say that the movie isn't worth shelling out $20 for, but well, you might as well save up the extra $8.50 for the difference in MSRP for the special edition. At least it had some picture menus. I give this a 2.

 

Holy Grail: Special Edition

I got my special edition in the mail and didn't get to opening it for almost a week. When I finally got the chance to sit down so I could really enjoy it, I was blown away. There were no 'security device enclosed' messages! I don't know if it's because I got it mail order, instead of buying it locally, or what, but I don't care. It didn't have 'em.

I don't know how many items I see on the special features that others don't, but, in the case of this two disk set, sit on the menus for a few seconds, instead of jumping straight in. You should also make sure to choose the menus for the hard of hearing.

Anyway, the scene selection's animated, and you'll get a little bit extra if you have surround sound hooked up while you're in there. As most of you have seen the movie a dozen or more times, you'll probably want to turn on the 'killer rabbit' feature for some random interludes in the middle of the film. If you haven't seen the movie before, it might be distracting and keep you from being able to follow the film the whole way through. (Of course, this is a Monty Python movie, so, well, you can't follow the movie the whole way through, so you might as well just turn it on.)

I really enjoyed the Palin and Jones video on re-visiting the film locations 25 years later, but it would have been nice if the production manager had been miked. (You anti-Mac fans might want to skip this one, because Terry Jones has a PowerBook G3.)

There are a few other completely random bits (it's Python, were you really expecting non-random things?), including the Japanese dubbed version of a couple of scenes, with English subtitles, as the knights search for the 'Holy Sake Cup' and have to get bonsi for the Knights Who Say Ni.

For the section on Old Rubbish, I found the text was simply too small to read all of it. They read one page out loud, but it'd have been nice to have known what the rest of it said.

You also get two trailers (both the original, and re-release trailer), your normal cast listing, and, for the first time that I've ever seen it, an actual list of credits for the folks who did the DVD work. There's also the lego version of the Camelot scene, a sing-a-long for "The Knights of the Round Table," "Sir Robin," and "The Monks' Chant," and, if you listen to the commentary, you can find out how they managed to pull off the one-legged special effects for the Black Knight scene.

My only real complaint is that the commentary was obviously done separately by each of the folks, and then someone's gone and mixed everything back together for the commentary tracks (one has the two Terrys, and the other is Cleese/Idle/Palin). Of course, they help to make up for it with things like the ‘subtitles for people who didn't like the film’. Overall, I'd give this one a solid 9.


óRevSF columnist Joe Hourcle has to push the pram a lot.

 
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