Monty Python-Live (Mostly): One Down, Five to Go (Blu-ray) (2014)

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Released 5-Nov-2014

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Multiple
Deleted Scenes
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2014
Running Time 136:57 (Case: 160)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Shock Entertainment
Starring John Cleese
Terry Jones
Michael Palin
Terry Gilliam
Eric Idle
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $19.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080i
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Danish
German
Spanish
French
Dutch
Norwegian
Portuguese
Finnish
Swedish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Monty Python is probably the most famous comedy troupe ever, revered by audiences and other comedians alike. They formed in the late 1960s after working in various combinations on television shows in England. They had a highly successful television show that ran on the BBC from 1969 to 1974 called Monty Python's Flying Circus. This was followed by various movies during the 1970s and 80s and live shows many of which are also available on DVD. However in the early 1980s the group pretty much went their own ways and have sporadically got back together for various projects. However they had not performed live together for 30 years until this year where they agreed to get back together for a final farewell live show at London's O2 arena. Originally it was planned as one show only, however that sold out in 43 seconds. They added 9 more shows which were held in mid-2014. The last of those shows was recorded and is released on this Blu-ray.

     This show features all the living members of the troupe including John Cleese, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Eric Idle (who also created and directed the live show). The title of the show One Down, Five to Go refers to the one dead member of the troupe Graham Chapman who died in 1989. Chapman does appear in the show by use of scenes from the series shown on the big screen above the stage. Also appearing in the live show was their regular female sidekick in the series, Carol Cleveland. The show itself runs for over 2 hours and features many of the classic sketches from the show plus many of the songs including tweaked versions of songs like I Like Chinese, Christmas in Heaven, Sit on my Face, Every Sperm is Precious and many more. The P**** song also makes an appearance although it includes extra verses focused on other body parts (one part of which I think earned the MA15+ rating for the Blu-ray). Sketches done or referred to include The Cheese Shop, Dead Parrot, Llamas, You were Lucky, Bruces, Nudge Nudge and Whizzo Chocolates and many more. As the show was put together by Eric Idle it does tend more towards songs than sketches but there is a good mix. Added in are a few guest appearances by other comedians.

     Fans of Monty Python will enjoy seeing these old guys performing their greatest hits (as I did), however I think the show would have had more meaning in person than it does on Blu-ray. There are a few new touches such as the extended P**** Song and a few jokes at each other's expense but generally speaking this is a live greatest hits show. Palin and Idle are obviously having a great time, however Cleese seems a bit less interested although this may just be his personality. The show is really well staged with lots of costumes and wig changes, a full chorus line and orchestra and lots of sets and props.

     A nice souvenir of the end of an era as the team have said that 2014 will be the last year of existence for Monty Python. A fun show with lots to enjoy for fans.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is very good on this Blu-ray version.

     The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080i.

     The picture was sharp and clear throughout, although not quite as sharp as some Blu-ray's of concerts especially longer shots. Shadow detail was excellent.

     The colour is excellent really showing off the great sets and costumes.

     There was some minor digital noise here and there probably from the original recording.

     There are subtitles in English which were clear and easy to read plus Danish, German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Finnish and Swedish.



Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is very good. There are two quite different options available.

     This disc contains an English soundtrack in LPCM 2.0 48/16 and in DTS HD-MA 5.1. The LPCM version is the default and felt like the best option for watching the show to me. The DTS version included a lot more crown noise so gave the feeling of actually being in the arena, however this meant that the dialogue was less prominent, which is obviously important in comedy. Either way the sound was clear and well defined.

     Dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout.

     The music is marvellous with all the songs and orchestra sounding great on either soundtrack.

     The surround speakers were used mostly for crowd noise on the DTS track.

     The subwoofer was used to support the music.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     A decent set of extras although no real laughs are included.

Menu

     The menu features music and motion. Watch the curtains as they go by for a few laughs.

Booklet

     An amusing set of biographies which bear little relation to the truth and some photos.

The Reunion - Nov 13 (1:10)

     Early rehearsal footage.

The Announcement - Nov 13 (1:57)

     Behind the scenes footage of the announcement of the shows.

The Production (7:58)

     Behind the scenes footage of the production meetings led by Eric Idle and John Du Prez (the conductor/musical director). Includes various meetings, songs and choreography for the production.

Backstage at the O2 (4:14)

     More behind the scenes footage mostly featuring the extras changing costumes, rehearsing, hair styling, changing wigs etc.

Highlights from the 10 shows at the O2 (2:08)

     Not really what it sounds like this is some more behind the scenes footage of guests such as Bill Bailey, Simon Pegg, Stephen Fry, Mike Myers and more.

Green Screen Shoot (5:22)

    Shooting the Pythons as Pepperpots and Gumbies for showing on the big screen. Probably the best extra.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This film is available in other regions on Blu-ray in the same format.

Summary

    It's fun to see the old guys go round one more time but there is little new on show here.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras are decent.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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