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on October 12, 2001
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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on March 7, 2012
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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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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on October 29, 2001
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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on April 3, 2000
This is one of the funniest movies ever committed to film, no doubt about it. Were I to judge this DVD on the film alone, I would have given it five stars. If you are one of the few who have never seen this picture, do yourself the favor of and buy a copy on VHS straight away.
Purchasing this title on DVD, however, I have to take marks away from an otherwise excellent comedy. There has been absolutely nothing done to enhance the quality of this 25 year old film, and a DVD system drives the visual and auditory pitfalls home with feeling. The picture is grainy and jittery in many places, and the audio is mudded and full of hiss. I confess, I was looking forward to a sharper, cleaner viewing of one of my all time favorite movies than I had ever had before. I was profoundly dissapointed.
It is an hysterical movie, but don't look for an experience above what is delivered on the average bargin basement SLP recorded VHS tape here. If you've never seen it, go run and rent a copy from the local video store, and wait for a remastered release.
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on October 22, 1999
The DVD version looks "dirty", as though it was projected on a screen and then digitally recorded (the center is even brighter than the corners!). I mean, the image is even off-center somewhat. The additional DVD features are limited to a bunch of uninteresting movie trailers. Not worth the extra money over the VHS version. Actually I spotted some digital image glitches like the ones you see on a low-resolution .jpeg, this is in addition to all the flickering crap you see in regular film movies. If you still want it, save some money and buy the VHS version.
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on July 22, 2003
Monty Python and the Holy Grail is one of the greatest comedies of our time (in fact I think I'm going to watch it right now,) however, this "Collector's Edition" is just the same as the "Special Edition" but it comes in a fancy-dancy box and comes with a book (whooooooo!!!!) and a film cell (aren't you impressed, I thought so.) So, if you are a hardcore fan you might just want to get it because it has the Python name on it. Us regular fans will stick with our old copies of the Special Edition (for it is the same)
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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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VINE VOICEon August 19, 2001
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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on September 25, 2012
Love the movie. One of my favorites. Love the transfer to blu-ray. Crystal clear for the most part (a few scenes were apparently more problematic to transfer and are still pretty blurry, and it can be jarring when you come across those scenes because they really do stand out). The extras are limited but interesting, and informative, with the possible exception of Terry Gilliam's commentary on the lost animation sequences. (He really didn't sound very happy to be doing them.)

However, the "Ultraviolet Digital Copy" feature on this disc (which is adminstered by Sony) is entirely worthless. You may think you are getting an actual copy of the movie to watch on your ipod, iPad, or other device at your leisure, right? WRONG. The downloadable copy is for your desktop or other primary computer ONLY. And in order to get that, you must create an account with Sony, give them your personal information, and install their proprietary software (Silverlight) to download and view the copy. After giving them my name, email and other information (and agreeing to allow them to send me marketing materials at that email address, which YOU MUST DO to proceed with the account creation - there is no way to opt out and still continue), jumping through all the installation hoops and installing Silverlight, it took my computer an additional 6 and one half hours over high-speed DSL to download this +/- 90 munite epic. Amazing speed and efficiency, no? Incidentally, the download also overheated and burned out my old DSL modem.

After all that, I tried to transfer the downloaded movie to iTunes. Guess what? You can't. If you want to download it to a mobile device, you have to install additional software, go through the Ultraviolet site again, and essentially repeat the download process on that device. God only knows how long it will take to download it agfain using an A5 chip... Then, you can view the movie at your leisure on your mobile device, right? Not according to the folks who have tried it! If you are foolish enough to remove your mobile device from your house, you're out of luck! You see, if you get outside the range of your WiFi connection, the movie will not be viewable. Apparently the digital copy needs to contact Sony every time you try to view it. Just a little quirk that Sony forgot to mention to you! Want to take a copy of the movie on vacation? Too bad! Long car or plane ride? Too bad! Maybe someone should call Sony and inform them of the meaning of the word "mobile" so they stop advertising their "digital copy" for your "mobile device".

So, buy this blu-ray version movie if you only want the movie itself and do not want the "digital copy" (sorry I keep putting it in quotes, but I feel like, if there is no actual copy of the film that you can move around between devices, in what sense do you have an actual "copy" of anything?) go ahead and buy it. Frankly, I can't recommend the movie enough. Just don't expect to be able to use the "digital copy" that comes with it.

PS: There are a number of movies (like James Cameron's new release of "Titanic" on blu-ray) that come with actual, bona fide digital copies. You plug a download code into iTunes, and it downloads automatically. And you can watch that on any device you transfer a copy to. Just look for the little "iTunes" logo on the cover. And stay away from anything marked with "Ultraviolet". Ultraviolet is not worth the money, not worth the hassle, not worth the time. In short, UV copies are worthless.
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