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Not the Messiah: He's a Very Naughty Boy [Blu-ray]

86 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In 1979, Monty Python’s Life of Brian turned the Biblical epic on its head. Now, the makers of SPAMALOT turn classical music on its ear! Prepare for Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) – the comedic masterpiece that combines all of the unforgettable humor of the Python’s most celebrated film with the overblown grandeur of a symphony orchestra. Don’t miss your chance to share the one-night only performance featuring a rare on-stage reunion of Python troupe members Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam.HD.

Something completely different is all well and good, but for Monty Python fans, there are few greater joys than hearing even for the umpteenth time a rousing live rendition of the troupe's adopted theme, "The Liberty Bell" march, or singing along to a bagpipes-enhanced "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" and "The Lumberjack Song." These pleasures frame Eric Idle and John Du Prez's 2007 comic "baroque and roll" oratorio inspired by Monty Python's Life of Brian. "Chaos and Confusion" (from the opening movement of the same name) reign in the first quarter hour, but things pick up once the hapless Brian Cohen (William Ferguson) enters the picture. For the uninitiated: "He's not the chosen one / Not the hero of his race / He's just a wrong man at the wrong time in the wrong place." The oratorio's best bits are lifted from the film, particularly "What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us," "The People's Front of Judea," and "Individuals," in which Brian tries to persuade his eager would-be followers that he is not the Messiah. Some of the jokes are inspired ("Is it A.D. yet?" "About a quarter to"). Others are nudge-nudge, say-no-more groan-worthy ("She was great with child / And not too bad without"). Not the Messiah is an easy-to-Handel mad mash-up of musical styles, including gospel, Gilbert & Sullivan, doo-wop, and Bob Dylan. In their fleeting bits, fellow Pythons Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam (as well as the ever-ravishing Carol Cleveland) are given rock star welcomes. This lavish 2009 live performance at London's venerable Royal Albert Hall commemorating Python's 40th anniversary, and featuring the not-at-all-shabby BBC Symphony and Chorus, may not have the kick or star power of Spamalot, but it is funny enough, at times lovely enough, and above all, silly enough to take its rightful place at the Python Round Table. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

movieIQ+sync ™ and BD-Live connect you to real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie!
The Road to the Albert Hall
The Bright Side...
6 Sing-Along Songs!

Product Details

  • Writers: Eric Idle
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Portuguese, English, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 8, 2010
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003DF45A0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,941 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Mark Durand on May 23, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
At the outset, I must admit that my view on this piece may be slightly prejudiced seeing as I was fortunate enough to have been in attendance at the Royal Albert Hall that wonderful night and saw this live.

Having been there and having seen this already, and that as a Python fan since 1973, I can not imagine not having this in my DVD library.

The sad truth is that it is rare for these amazing and gifted performers to get together at all as time goes on and since they are all in their late 60's (at best) future reunions are not quite bloody likely, so gang let's enjoy them while they are here. The only regrettable thing is that the great John Cleese chose not to participate in the grand evening.

The concert performance of HE'S NOT THE MESSIAH, HE'S A VERY NAUGHTY BOY is quite fun. Written by Eric Idle and Jon Du Prez (One Foot in the Grave) and accompanied by a rather impressive choir and the BBC orchestra is a adrenaline shot that most of us geezers-in-waiting really need.

Treasured moments include seeing the look on Eric Idle's face as he sees 6 Gumby's in the front row. Also a great deal of fun is the first appearance of "Mrs. Betty Palin". Not too mention the first note and the audience reaction as the orchestra begins THE LIBERTY BELL MARCH. Although the main focus of the evening is HE'S NOT THE MESSIAH, what Python "reunion" would be complete without a sing a long to conclude the evening.

This DVD is a must for all Python fans!!!!!!!!!
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61 of 76 people found the following review helpful By K. Swanson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 20, 2010
Format: DVD
Apparently I am the lone Python fan here who was not only less than thrilled by this show, but almost bored silly.

My MP credentials had me ready for hilarity: I've seen Brian dozens of times since the week it came out and know it pretty much word for word; love the Pythons in general, have seen all the tv shows many times and all the movies many times; have all the records and most all the '70s books, even the rare ones that only Cleese's Mum ever read; love their sense of humor in general and consider them some of the funniest and most literate of all comedians. So, you know, I was well disposed to liking this.

But, at the risk of being a heretic like Brian, and attacked for not agreeing with the herd here ("Stone him! Stone him!!"), I found Not The Messiah to be Not The Greatest, and possibly Yes The Worst Of All (Ever-Increasing In Number) Tertiarily Semi-Pythonic, Sadly Ironic, Somewhat Related, Eric Idleberg-hatched Further Chances To Milk The Python Catalogue.

"Spamalot made a LOT of money! What might we do next along that line?"

"Nothing, Eric. Bugger off. Python is over. Let it go. Haven't you enough money yet?"

"But John, the others have all agreed to do guest spots!"

"That's wonderful, Eric, and I wish you well, but I'd rather not be part of something that's a little too close to the sort of non-stop merchandising we used to mock on the BBC 40 years ago. All the best, but please don't call me for the next project, either. And we all know there WILL be a next one, Eric. You have indeed found a goldmine here. You can market the old bits with new window dressing to the old fans who will do anything to relive the glory days, and that's wonderful, but really....those bits have been done. Move on. Write something completely new.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DONA on May 16, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Not the Messiah is an oratorio in the Handel style (sort of) as only the Pythons could present it. It is a joyous reunion of the famous cast and believe it or not a really good live musical presentation for the 40th anniversary of one of the 20th century's most gifted group of entertainers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Russell J. Miller on January 23, 2013
Format: DVD
I am both a classical musician and a Monty Python fan - and it says a lot that I believe this is a great work, musically, that stands on its own along with some of the great classical oratorios. It's written in a loose oratorio style that starts out dramatic ("Chaos and Confusion") and then the gloves come off. You have music in the style of Handel and Mozart, but also mariachi, Bob Dylan, gospel/spiritual, and folk songs. Included are a corps of bagpipers, a chorus who get just as silly as the rest of the cast (bleating like sheep, for example), and some very catchy showstopping songs that are wonderful in their own right.

Add to this the typical Monty Python surrealist/silly humor, guest appearances by almost all of the cast (including a spectacular performance by Terry Gilliam that must be seen to be believed, the audience was spellbound!), the audience waving LED light sticks in unison, and lots of references to their most famous skits (including a great encore) and you have something you can watch over and over again and not get tired of it.

I watched this on a (legitimate) streaming site but will probably purchase the DVD shortly to see the special features. I've already purchased the soundtrack. They've earned my money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 23, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
When it comes to "behind the scenes" material about a live production, you can't get any better than this short piece about the week leading up to the performance of "Not the Messiah" to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the "Monty Python" TV series. I really appreciated seeing short insights into the casting of the solo roles and the composition of some of the pieces, the amount of rehearsal it took, as well as hearing their un-polished thoughts on the entire rehearsal process. Composer John Du Prez's words about the musical choices are golden; I only wish that more focus had been placed on it. In fact, for a true Python geek or classical music geek, there probably should have been an entirely separate video about how the songs were composed and perhaps a different video on the first performance in Toronto.
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