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Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Special Edition)
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240 of 258 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2001
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Certain individuals have erroniously indicated in these reviews that the Special Edition will not have commentaries or other special features. They are wrong.
The special edition will contain the following:
A "21st anniversary" cut of the film that is 24 seconds longer, Dolby digital 5.1, a subtitle track for people who don't like the film (with text from Shakespeare's Henry IV), an onscreen screenplay option, audio commentary with Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin, and Follow the Killer Rabbit option. Disc 2 contains "Three Mindless Sing-Alongs" and "The Quest for the Holy Grail Locations" featurette, "How to Use Your Coconuts" educational film, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail in Japanese" (with English subtitles), the BBC Film Night special "On Location with the Pythonos", an interactive cast directory, still galleries with Terry Gilliam's original sketches and behind-the-scenes photos, "A Load Of Rubbish" with mystery items, unused ideas and other material, and finally two trailers and weblinks.
There will be no special features with the special edition? RUBBISH! This is not simply a reissue of the older DVD with new sound and audio as some have implied.
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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2012
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
As a Monty Python fan I've patiently waited for this movie to come to Blu-ray(2012) but didn't have very high expectations that it would look and sound all that good. Well I was wrong. It looks and sounds Great! And I'm not going to tell you it's an excellent movie, you already know that--great British humor(actually universal humor), ridiculously funny, great actors. And a silly price of only $9.99 (was $12.99 on release date).

Sony did a 1080p transfer(1.66:1 original aspect ratio) of this movie that looks amazing! There's lots of strong detail in faces, clothes, as well as surroundings like buildings, grass, trees. Flesh and earth tones look very natural. Blacks are deep. Strong color is not going to jump out at you, but that's just the nature of the film as the outdoor setting of much of the movie's grass, dirt, and rocks(browns, blacks, grays & greens) never contained strong color elements. But what color there is (like in the tabards,coat of arms, shields) looks very good indeed. Is the movie without soft shots or grain? No, but they've brought out a whole lot of nicely rendered detail that makes the movie a joy to watch. Until now, I feel like I've only seen this movie through a fog. Well, the fog has finally lifted and everything looks sooo fresh.

The audio is a lossless soundtrack (DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless). Voices sound very crisp and clear. Sound effects in general are very good. Audiofiles will notice some very rich sounding sections, but also some that are just acceptable. Overall, it is very enjoyable with nice use of surround sound and I think most people will be more than happy with it.

LOTS OF EXTRAS: (Some New Stuff)
Lost Animations (1080p, 12:55) Features Gilliam animations deleted from the film. ***New for this blu-ray release***
Outtakes & Extended Scenes (1080p, 18:57)***New for this blu-ray release***

MORE INCLUDED EXTRAS:(Some HD, some SD)
Subtitles for People Who Do Not Like the Film (From Henry IV pt. 11).
3 Mindless Sing-Alongs (480p, 5:10).
How To Use Your Coconuts (An educational Film) (480p, 2:58)
Quest for the Holy Grail Locations (480p, 47:00) Special Documentary
Cast Directory Photo Gallery (1080p).
Lego Knights (480p, 1:43): A lego recreation of the "Camelot's a silly place" scene.
Meanwhile, King Arthur & Sir Belvedere...
Elephant & Castle
Run Away!
The Tale of Sir Robin
The Tale of Sir Lancelot
BBC Film Night
Re-release Trailer

There are a couple more Commentaries, a Japanese version of 2 scenes(English subtitles), a UV Digital Copy and some credits AND the first subtitle from the opening credits that was missing on the Special Edition DVD is back. Comes in BLUE AMARAY CASE, NO SLIPCOVER.

If you've never seen this movie, you are seriously missing out. Monty Python and the Holy Grail [Blu-ray]
Endless re-watchability.

FREEBIE FOR iPad Owners: Free After Rebate--get the related iPad app called "Monty Python: The Holy Book of Days" ($4.99, App Store) - Re­creates the 28 days of location shooting of the landmark film. Mail-in rebate if you buy the iPad app AND the blu-ray. Rebate info is supposed to be on the back of a sticker on the outer wrapping, but some people are reporting there is no sticker so I've included all the rebate details in the first comment below this review.
According to the App Store:
"With your iPad and Blu-ray player synced via your WiFi network, the app becomes your remote control and lets you see the exact scenes talked about in The Holy Book of Days. It's an entirely new way of watching the film."

UPDATE: 7/10/12 the "Monty Python: The Holy Book of Days" app for iPad is still available on iTunes but it's $4.99 now, no longer free.
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106 of 122 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon July 16, 2002
Format: DVD
This is what dvds were invented for -- there are so many great features here! So in addition to seeing one of the funniest movies ever made, you can be entertained for hours with the extras, and the extras are terrific: subtitles in English, French or Spanish; audio track choices -- English (the original mono or a brand new full stereo version), French, a directors' (Gilliam and Jones) track or a commentary track with Cleese, Idle and Palin; a copy of the script overlaid on the film; a painstaking, hilarious Henry the IV-ish subtitle for those who don't like the film; a hard-of-hearing feature; killer rabbit easter eggs; animated menus using Gilliam's original animation; karaoke renditions of 'Knights of the Round Table', 'Sir Robin' and the 'Monks Chant'; a delightful 45 minute visit to the locations with Jones and Palin; an educational film about the 'other' uses of coconuts; Japanese versions of the French Castle and Knights Who Say Ni scenes, including references to the 'holy sake cup'; a 1974 BBC Film Night visit to a location site during filming; photos of tickets, press releases, reviews, posters, production stills and original artwork; trailers; cast credits (Palin played over a dozen parts!) with pictures of each character; a Lego knights version of the Camelot scene; pictures of sketches that were never used (a killer snail?!); a web link.
A lot of effort went into this special edition dvd, and it shows. I particularly enjoyed seeing Jones and Palin visit locations. They were in a jolly mood, their comments are interspersed with film footage, and they meet affectionate and funny fans along the way.
If you like this film you will love this dvd version; if you love the film, you wil adore this two-dvd set. An essential item for your collection.
Highest recommendation.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2001
Format: DVD
In the early 1970's the Monty Python troop (Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, and Terry Jones) stars from the immensely popular television series Monty Python's Flying Circus began producing, with the help of a fundraising concert headlined by Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd (You lie!! No, I didn't!), initial photography on what would later become (from all my extensive years of movie watching) the single most unforgivably sidesplitting, enormously irreverent, shrewdly perceptive, unremittingly uproariously aggressive, gruesomely hysterical, and endlessly quotable comedies EVER. Not even Mel Brooks's Best Efforts (The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein) comes very close to the revolutionary medieval merriment sustained in this royal purebred of cult classics. BAR NONE. No contest here.
Endlessly stockpiled with hauntingly hysterical sketches that will probably never leave your mind (no matter how hard you try) including, The Knights Who Say Nei, The Self-Abusing Monks (Eah aay ess eay dom eay nay), The Black Knight, The Trojan Rabbit, the Ever-Appearing Verbally Abusing French (I don't want to talk to you no more!!!), The Enchanter Named Tim, The Killer Bunny, The Bridge of Death (What is the capital of Hysteria?), The Old Woman Named Dennis, and so many countless more great sketches to include here that I'd die trying. Monty and Python and the Holy Grail remains an ever-enriching mirthful cult-classic that just seems to improve with age. Since Columbia has a bountifully hefty new special edition of the Holy Grail out now there should be no excuse, if you've never seen it (I think I'll go for a walk!!), just drop everything your doing (including Bringing Out Your Dead) and go experience this life changing movie today. You won't be disappointed, just tell them the Knight Not Appearing In This Film sent you, and they'll know what to do.

As for the options on the special edition here's a run-down:

Disc One: -"21st Anniversary" cut of the film running an extra 24 seconds; -Anamorphic Widescreen; -Dolby 5.1 track; -Original Mono Track; -Audio commentary with Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin; -subtitles "for people who don't like the film" (you get the text from Shakespeare's Henry IV instead); -an "on-screen screenplay" feature which lets you read the screenplay as you watch the film; -"Follow the Killer Rabbit" feature;
Disc Two: "Three Mindless Sing-Alongs"; -"The Quest for the Holy Grail Locations" featurette; -"How to Use Your Coconuts" educational film; -"Monty Python and the Holy Grail in Japanese" (with English subtitles); -the BBC Film Night special "On Location with the Pythons; -an interactive cast directory; -still galleries with Terry Gilliam's original sketches and behind-the-scenes photos; -"A Load Of Rubbish" with mystery items; -unused ideas and other material; -two trailers
and web-links.

Both discs represent the absolute final word resource for EVERYTHING and I do mean everything you'd need to know about the Python's greatest film. An Absolute Necessity for any Python Fan!!
P.S. You can't base a system of government just because some watery tart threw a sword at you.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
I had my first exposure to Monty Python as a very young child, when their shows were first being broadcast in the US in the mid '70s and my folks would watch them. Then I saw this movie on Cinemax around 1982...and again the following day. (By the way, Spiny Normal gives it two prickly thumbs up...Dinsdale!) After which I promptly went out and bought...*dramatic pause*...a SHRUBBERY!! *Dramatic music!* I laughed, I cried, I wet my pants (well, all right, not really), I did a few Silly Walks.

The genius of the Pythons simply cannot be overstated. Holy Grail was made on a shoestring budget, yet the lads managed to wring the maximum amount of laughs and silliness out of the Arthurian legends to great effect on that budget. From the use of coconuts to imitate the sound of hoofbeats, to the burning of a witch because she's made of wood and floats on water like a duck ("Cor, she turned me into a newt!" "A newt?!" "(Long pause)...I got better..."), to Castle Anthrax and lots of good spankings, to the Bridge of Death ("WHAT...is your favourite COLOUR?!" "Blue!" "Very well, then, off you go."), there's nary a wrong step here. The bonus materials are a bit of fun, too; I must add that the subtitles make the lines easier to understand as well. They make it much easier for you and your friends to spend countless hours quoting the film back and forth at each other...and the lines are VERY quotable.

And the general quality of the film in the special edition is greatly improved; the prior DVD release had muddy sound and murky images, and while the film was enjoyable nevertheless, you still felt a little cheated--after all, the DVD is supposed to be an improvement over the old VHS. With the special edition, it is. Clearer and brighter both in sound and images, Sony Pictures has finally given this classic film a new lease on life. And the extra 24 seconds of footage are good for a chuckle or two.
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54 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
The grand opus of Monty Python, a goofy gang of guys who invented the most skewed comedy routines in the world. Rather than a series of individual spoofs, this movie is a long spoof based on Arthurian legend; specifically, the legend of the Holy Grail. Somehow, these six guys not only produced a low-budget movie, but cast themselves in multiple (many multiple) roles throughout it and still maintained a hilarious result!
Rather than a real story, this is a series of vignettes concerning the long-suffering King Arthur and his loyal knights of the Round Table ("We eat ham and jam and Spam-a-lot!") Among them are:
*The encounter with the Communist peasants in their autonamous collective ("HELP! HELP! I'M BEING REPRESSED!")
*The Tale of Sir Robin, the cowardly knight with a chicken on his shield.
*The king's encounter with the loony black knight, in which a ridiculous series of blood-spurtings will have you guffawing. ("You've got no arms left!" "Yes I have!" "LOOK!" "It's just a flesh wound.")
*Sir Lancelot receives a desperate note from a castle, but is the person sending it what he expects?
*The French attack.... verbally. ("Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!")
*Sir Galahad is waylaid in the temptation-laden Castle of the Maidens (interestingly enough, in traditional legends Sir Galahad did go to the Castle of the Maidens, though in very different circumstances *leer*)
*The Keepers of the Sacred Word, the Knights Who Say "NI!"
*The rabbit of death, Tim the Enchanter, and so much more.
The sheer off-the-wallness is what sells this movie, and Monty Python was in rare form. Graham Chapman's primary role is King Arthur, who seems to be the most competant of the bunch but is still pretty goofy. John Cleese of "Fish" and "Fawlty Towers" fame stars as Sir Lancelot/Tim the Wizard/The Rude Frenchman, and is amazing in each role. Eric Idle plays lily-livered Sir Robin/Roger the Shrubber (don't ask)/Brother Maynard. Terry Gilliam is lower-key as Sir Gawain/Patsy; Terry Jones is also pretty low key as Sir Bedivere/Prince Herbert. Michael Palin has a hilarious series of roles including the King os Swamp Castle/Sir Galahad/Leader of the Knights Who Say Ni.
Shoring up the cast is Cleese's now-ex-wife Connie Booth as The Witch, John Young as the Historian/Dead Body, Neil Innes as the annoying Minstrel/Page Killed by Rabbit.
Perhaps the funniest move in this movie was mocking the budget limitations, with the coconut shells and so forth. The special effects are deliberately cheapened to make them sillier, such as the sprays of rather gloppy gore when someone is wounded. The script is typically hilarious, full of stupid comments and straight-faced jokes.
Frankly, it's hard to think of Camelot now without rhyming it with "I have to push the PRAM-A-LOT" and the line of tap-dancing knights. This movie is lodged in the American brain, and it ain't budging soon...
A small note: You may want to check out the Veggie Tales ep "Josh and the Big Wall," in which a respectful (yet kooky!) homage is paid to this film!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This movie is outrageously hilarious. If "Excalibur" is the definative movie-telling of the Authur Legend, then Monty Python's Holy Grail is the Ultimate Parody.
From the "horses" that lead to a discussion of sparrows, to the three-headed giant, to the French Knights, to the Brave Sir Robin, you will be left laughing til your sides hurt.
The DVD version of the movie restores the portions of the screen cut off by the pan-and-scan process. The Python troupe notoriously used the big screen to their fullest advantage. You can now SEE things that could only be heard in the VHS version. And hearing gets better too thanks to Dolby Sound.
Granted, this is dry English humor with a bit of gratitous violence... so it may not be for everyone... but:
If you are a fan of the Aurthur Legend or just like off-the-wall comedy, this is a must see for you.
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184 of 224 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 19, 2001
Format: DVD
Columbia's first DVD release of this Python classic was quite disappointing, but now they are setting things straight.
Disc One: -"21st Anniversary" cut of the film running an extra 24 seconds; -Anamorphic Widescreen; -Dolby 5.1 track; -Original Mono Track; -Audio commentary with Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin; -subtitles "for people who don't like the film" (you get the text from Shakespeare's Henry IV instead); -an "on-screen screenplay" feature which lets you read the screenplay as you watch the film; -"Follow the Killer Rabbit" feature;
Disc Two: "Three Mindless Sing-Alongs"; -"The Quest for the Holy Grail Locations" featurette; -"How to Use Your Coconuts" educational film; -"Monty Python and the Holy Grail in Japanese" (with English subtitles); -the BBC Film Night special "On Location with the Pythons; -an interactive cast directory; -still galleries with Terry Gilliam's original sketches and behind-the-scenes photos; -"A Load Of Rubbish" with mystery items; -unused ideas and other material; -two trailers and weblinks;
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2012
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I've been a Monty Python fan my entire life, and a huge fan of this film in particular. This is the best that MP&THG has ever looked, and perhaps as good as it ever will, or even can, look or sound.

Instead of rehashing what has already been said about the film itself and the shiny new 1080p video, I'd like to focus on a few of the extras, and what exactly is different about this release compared to the previous DVD release.

Most of the extras (Holy Grail locations, etc.) were all on the earlier DVD, but the new additions, the Outtakes and Lost Animations, are real gems available for the first time only on this Blu-Ray.

The Outtakes consist of longer versions of some scenes, which were understandably cut or shortened, but there are also some alternate takes and screw-ups with the cast forgetting lines or laughing in the middle of a take. It's all great fun, and a humorous look behind the scenes at an already drop-dead hilarious movie.

Terry Gilliam's Lost Animations are a hoot. We see a few spare parts that may not have had any particular intent, but there is also an extended opening to The Tale of Sir Robin, involving a collapsing cathedral, a stray rock catapulted into the sky and knocking out a flying dragon-like creature which then falls into the title card, impaling its mouth, collapsing, thus creating the "R" in "Robin." And there is also an extended opening to "The Tale of Sir Lancelot" in which a cartoon Lancelot battles a giant slug. Total Gilliam lunacy at his stream-of-consciousness best!

The only cut scene I wish had been included as an extra is "King Brian the Wild," which is a scene that was written but never shot. It appears only as a pencil sketch animation with sound on the Holy Grail video game that came out during the Dark Ages of video games. Unless it's an easter egg on this disc, or if it appears in the "Holy Book of Days," which I have not had a chance to explore yet.

There are a couple of things missing from the Blu-Ray, including the "Follow the Rabbit" feature from the previous DVD. That feature would be useless here anyway, since the new "Holy Book of Days" downloadable feature promises to be far more extensive and comprehensive. Also, the false opening "Dentist on the Job" short is not at the start of the film. Not a deal-breaker, of course, but if you are fond of that ephemeral opening gag, then hang on to your DVD.

The Blu-Ray menus are much better than the DVD menus, which I always thought were rather tedious and impossible to by-pass.

The various audio tracks, commentaries and subtitles (including the Japanese language track and the Henry VI subtitles) are all there, but on the DVD the default audio was the original mono track. Here the default is the more recent stereo remaster, including Michael Palin's re-recording of the narration.

This Blu-Ray release is a very impressive return to a fantastic comedy that has stood the test of time.
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41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2002
Format: DVD
not only do you get everything mentioned above, but there are 3 unlist surprizes that await you on this DVD.
1. On the majority of DVD players, you can't stop the subtitles from popping up at timecodes that related to the Follow The Killer Rabit feature. It's kinda a fun game, keep the dvd remote close by becuase this disc will test your reflexs.
2. If you've seen the movie before, remember those silly captions during the opening credits? well Sony/Columbia has added another awesome feature. They removed the first one so that we can imagine our very own caption being there! My friends and I sit there competing to see who can come up with the funniest caption to replace the one that they removed, so far none has been able to beat, "Return this DVD immediately." lol we are so silly!
3. If you don't like the 1. hidden extra, well Sony/Columbia will help you out there, simply mail them the entire DVD package. Don't worry though shipping at your cost added to the retail price is more then worth it. they refuse to think that anyone could dislike the 2. hidden extra (so that will still be there) and who could disagree!?
for the sarcasticly impaired, there are major defects with this disc. It is a great movie and the dvd transfer is excellent as wel as the Listed extras. However the defects really ruin it all. ... please remember, ALL the discs shipped with the errors, but the dialog subtitles poping up every so often ( 1. hiden extra ) doesn't effect every player. which is goods news if you are never going to buy another dvd player in your lifetime.
i don't know the rules on links in reviews and i won't risk posting one not knowing, but there is a online petition out there, please sign it so we can get all the glitches removed and own a truely fabulous DVD of this great comedic classic.
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