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4.6 out of 5 stars
Monty Python's Life Of Brian - The Immaculate Edition
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Showing 1-10 of 18 reviews (3 star)show all reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2000
Format: DVD
The film is an undeniable classic and the commentaries, deleted scenes and 50 minute documentary on the Criterion version are very good. However, the negative used to transfer this film to DVD is scratchy and the DVD really suffers from it. Lines (some of them really bad) are evident in most brightly lit scenes and the sky in the opening of the movie is riddled with imperfections. This is probably the best print available and Terry Jones, the Director, has approved the transfer but compared to every other DVD I've bought this one is a big visual disappointment and is certainly not 'beautiful' as Criterion would have you believe.
Also, the BBC recently conducted a Monty Python night and there were interviews etc. with the Python's that could have been licensed for this disc. This certainly isn't a 'definitive' version and if you've got it on VHS then buy it for the extra's alone... a great film, but why use such a bad print?
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11 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Many people prefer to quote dialogue and recall specific routines when the subject of the Monty Python films is discussed. That is unfortunate because their films offer much more than memorable comedy bits. They actually offer very insightful commentaries on their respective subjects when you take a good look at them. That is certainly the case with "The Life of Brian."
On the night that Jesus is born, the Three Wise Men mistakenly deliver gifts to the nearby manger of Brian Cohen (Graham Chapman). After realizing their mistake, the trio travel to their intended destination but this one incident sets the tone for the rest of Brian's life. Years later he finds himself in Palestine leading an unremarkable existence until he hooks up with the People's Front of Judea. After participating in a botched abduction of Pontius Pilate's wife, Brian somehow ends up being worshipped as the Messiah. The Romans eventually catch up with him and hang him on the cross. Despite his pleas for help, his followers leave him there thinking that it is Brian's divine destiny to be crucified.
Watching Monty Python's "The Life of Brian," one can't help but wonder about what really did happen in the past in the real world. Credit must be given to The Pythons for examining this thought in an amusing and inoffensive manner. They are not dismissing organized religion in this film but are rather cleverly reminding us that inconsistencies, oddities, and contradictions abound in religious chronicles just like they do in everything else in the world. The Pythons' brand of humor has always been more sophisticated than many of their contemporaries and it has held up remarkably well to this day. "The Life of Brian" is one of those rare gems that makes you think while it entertains you at the same time. Too bad so many films being released these days can't make a similar claim.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I don't get the hullabaloo over this movie. I'm not at all offended by it as I'm not religious, but I'm not seeing what others apparently see in it. Perhaps I'm too literal-minded.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2008
Format: DVD
This one-disc version of Python's historical (note I did not say historically accurate)comedy set at the time of Jesus is rare among comedies in that it's still able to retain most of its humour value over the years and hence ages quite well. Although not all the scenes remain funny, there were some that left me in stitches such as the "Biggus Dickus" scenes with Pontius Pilate while the UFO scene was just stupid and actually in my opinion took away from the comedic value of the film a great deal. Like "Ben Hur" this film is set at the time of the birth of Christianity but other than that the story has really very little to do with Christ or Christianity in general other than as a minor sub-plot.

The story here is about a group of sinners who try to scrape a living by surviving the brutality of the Romans and particularly one of them, Brian, who is mistaken for a prophet and for a while the Messiah. Historians will tell you that in real life, many people at the time of Jesus were mistaken for the Messiah and even John the Baptist was as well and so there's nothing unusual here. They will also tell you that crucificion was the norm and not the exception as a form of punishment in those days and so I chose to take this comedy at face value and I never felt insulted in any way as a Christian myself. In any case, if your faith is founded on strong foundations, comedies like these shouldn't faze you. In fact, I thought the film was rather respectful of Christ himself and that the only buffoons were the cast who misunderstood his teachings and if you recall even in real life he faced a lot of sinners who misunderstood him and so again, nothing out of the ordinary here. If any historical figure was made to look like a jackass here it would have to be Pontius Pilate and some of the Roman soldiers and I'm sure not many people would have complaints about that.

This widescreen format dvd version though has decent picture quality although at too many spots the white circle that signals the start of a commercial is present which is really unacceptable and the sound quality is poor although those with a Pro Logic setup can more or less simulate surround sound and there are not special features at all. The best thing to do is to wait for a properly restored and remastered standard or Blu-ray version to surface with much, much improved picture and sound quality with at least 5.1 surround sound options and if a Director's Cut version is to be done to please remove the ridiculous UFO scene from what is otherwise an intelligent and funny comedy.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2015
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Good but not nearly as funny as "Holy Grail".
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 1998
The problem with this film is that it is a roller coaster ride of hysterically funny moments surrounded by a whole lot of non-funny moments. Instead of showing the whole film to my friends, I often fast-forward the film to the stoning scene, and every scene featuring Michael Palin as a stuttering Pontious Pilate, "Releath Thimon the Thagetariouth Thlayer!"
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2014
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Funny movie
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 1999
Format: DVD
Based on the movie content alone this DVD gets 3 stars. It loses 2 for looking and sounding quite drab. This is a movie desperately in need of a sound and especially video remastering. Since it is 20 years old and was very low budget this will probably never happen. I am basing this on the standard DVD, I have not seen the Criterion edition. I read EVERY review and found they are all given 5 stars based on the movie alone (which deserves it). But what about presentation? The Criterion reviews were obvious as they stated that there is commentary. For those who have seen both did Criterion use the same film transfer, or is it better other than just the extras? I would have bought the Criterion if I had known it was going to release 2 weeks after the standard one, I will only upgrade if the picture is better...
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2007
Format: DVD
So, that was the Life of Brain. Pretty short, I think. It makes a big difference watching a movie whenever you like and watching it in lessons. Well, I had to watch in in lessons; in fact I had to critizise almost every movie still and interprete it, which was sort of boring and messed up the funny parts. But all in all, I enjoyed it. I don't love it but I think it was hilarious at some times. On the other hand, I think it depends on your humor whether you like it or not and some scenes are too overdone.

I really liked the fact that this movie deals with religion in a very relaxed and unconstrained way.

I'd say this is not a masterpiece but a well done movie (made up of misunderstandings). I won't give anything away at this point, I don't want to spoil anything, but the movie finishes somewhat lamely. I know this may sound weird, but if the whole content had been a bit more serious, the jokes would have been funnier and they would be the highlights.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
After a 32 year wait I finally sat down and watched the 1979 cult film classic 'Monty Python's Life of Brian'. With the wait over I can honestly say I was neither surprised or disappointed, nor particularly amused or insulted. It was in fact pretty much what I had expected. Maybe I just don't get British humor, or maybe it's a problem with the heavy British accents. If I hadn't already been familiar with the religious context on which this satire is based I would have found large portions of the film all but unintelligible. Aside from the translation problem I found the truly funny moments in the story to be few and far between.

Memorable Moments:
1-The stoning bit was hilarious,
2-The singing on the cross was a clever touch and
3-All the re-occurring joisting and one-liners between competing Judean liberation groups was amusing and probably the only thing that keep me watching.

There were a few other good moments here and there but not enough to persuade me to endure a second viewing. I guess the comedy of Monty Python is an acquired taste that I apparently lack.
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