24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2014
I went to two of the shows, including the last one which is shown here. The shows were great, and you should enjoy this DVD. However, if you want an exact replica of the original sketches, buy the original series, as there are sometimes differences.
One of the two down points of this release are the occasional edits. Why do they do that? We miss John Cleese taking Terry Jones' cue card and reading it himself during the Crunchy Frog sketch, and also a rant and discussion with Michael Palin about bad reviews during the Parrot sketch. The other is the bonus features - instead of the announcement press conference, we get tiny snippets. Why? 'Highlights from the 10 shows' is just a few celebrities or stage hands in box pop clips, NOT highlights from the shows! Only the production feature comes halfway to what you expect.
So great show, rubbish features. A wasted opportunity.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2014
Husband (huge Monty Python fan) and myself (a bit of a Monty Python fan) went to see the live show. This DVD left me with the same sentiments as the show. It's worth watching if you have previously enjoyed Monty Python and don't mind seeing the performers who are a bit past their best re-enacting their golden moments (and rather over-relying on the original video footage in the first half), but if you want to experience Monty Python at its greatest, I would suggest you watch their original materials.
64 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 2014
I don't know which of the performances will be immortalised in DVD and Blu-ray (I went to the first show, July 1 2014). I know that, having my sense of humor developed by endlessly watching and rewatching the Python oeuvre since my teen years, it was a magical evening. No, it's not the best way to start exploring their work - there's a perfection in timing and freshness in the original material that's unbeatable, and if you don't know where to start, just go chronologically, from Flying Circus to The Meaning of Life - but as a celebration of all these amazing veteran comedic gods created, as a warm, fuzzy, touching (and yet wicked) chance to see them together in a stage probably for the last time, it was one of the best shows I've seen in my life. Because it's not just about the quality of the sketches and musical numbers and Gilliam's terrific animations; it's deeper than that. It's about what this meant - sharing a time and a place with the guys who invented modern comedy, who opened the doors and windows to everybody, everywhere. We owe them our devotion. Even in their darkest, angriest sketches, these artists indeed made - and keeping making - our life much happier. Thank you, Pythons.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2015
The Deluxe Edition is the one to get. I made the mistake of buying the DVD on it's own only to find it has the worst picture quality of a modern DVD release I've ever seen, thanks to Eagle Rock's policy of releasing all their SD material in the American NTSC system only. That abomination is featured in this set but thankfully you also get the crystal clear Blu-ray too - the only way to watch the show. A pity that there are edits here and there (the first overture is edited, the second missing all together and improvised banter from Crunchy Frog and Dead Parrot had been trimmed) but thankfully all these are retained in the two audio CDs which are exclusive to this set, which also omits most of the more visual filmed material, making for a much pacier show. The hardback book containing the four discs is a thing of beauty, featuring full colour photographs of every sketch and song. As a Python fan for nearly 30 years I thought this was for the most part a fitting send off to my heroes. Sure, the first half has it's problems (too much VT and Eric Idle-dominated broadway shenanigans) but the second half is pure joy. Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam in particular are on outstanding form throughout. Highly recommended (just avoid the standalone DVD release, unless you prefer wobbly backgrounds).
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 July 2015
Well I'm going to be another heretic.This would have been better and more realistically packaged as a West end musical based on the works of Python.It seems to me that their status as national treasures meant that they could perform as wearily and half heartedly as they liked and it wouldn't matter because who,after all,is going to blaspheme the name of Monty Python?.
Yes,I understand that we're talking here about six people (I include Carol Cleveland) that are all in their 70's and so presumably needed the extended musical numbers to provide breathers and costume changes etc and I understand that they're not going to have the same energy,timing and delivery as once before.But all this seems to me to be reason not to have done it in the first place rather than reason to justify what,in the end,was a poor show.I'm afraid that it was material written about 40 years ago by some young men in their creative prime being performed by some old men in their Autumn years,some of whom have been ravaged by expensive divorce and litigations of one type or another,and it sadly showed.As a side note,the sudden and somewhat disjointed appearance of Mike Myers seemed utterly bizarre to me!
I suspect that a vast majority of the positive,four and five star reviews to be found here are wholly subjective and based on the "who" as opposed to the "what" and "how".Shame really.I'll be sticking to the original series and movie DVD's and leaving this one on the shelf.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 11 November 2014
I really have trouble understanding some of the other reviews. You are meant to be reviewing the product not whether you think the Pythons should be doing certain material or in fact should be doing the shows at all. I was lucky enough to have attended and enjoyed one of the live shows. Yes they did the ' greatest hits' but what else would you expect? Rough around the edges? Yes, but again what would you expect? In fact it gave the performance charm. Having seen the live show broadcast on Gold with Dairmud O' Brien (crap) and the repeat with commercial breaks (again crap). This DVD gives you the full flavour of the live show. My only gripe is with the bonus features which to be honest are really poor. Having been a python fan since the begining i know that we can now expect, the deluxe version and the enhanced deluxe version and finally the boxed set, but really as a final farewell they could have given fans a bit more up front to start with. Guys do you really need the money, obviously apart from JC who will be saving for his next divorce and TJ who needs to pay off his mortgage :)
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Some thirty four years after their last formal live appearance - and it seems openly inspired by divorces and court cases - Monty Python take one last Pension Fund hurrah by offering a shameless and typical Greatest Skits show. But does anyone really begrudge them this? Does anyone really mind? Here, Monty Python, one dead, five not, give the world a final chance to experience something we never really did at the time, and manage to provide some degree of financial comfort in their old, often-divorced years. Cleese has had one of the most expensive divorces in history, and the Python court case over royalties for a musicial must hardly have been cheap. Where there's a hit, there's a writ. And with an average age of a staggering 73, Monty Python give us all one last chance to see them before comedy extinction.
Mostly of course, it is a nostalgia show – for a troupe that have created nothing of note in the past thirty one years, it is, as you would expect, a chance to experience for one last time what the audience (mostly) could never have experienced at the time, when they irregularly played the US and UK for money, and since their last UK appearances were at Drury Lane in 1974 – before the Sex Pistols had formed, and before many 40 year olds were born, in fact – there was a sense of finality, as if for one brief moment, Halley's Comedy Comet returned for the last time. And, with a combined age of around 370 – excluding the one very obviously very dead ex-Python in Graham Chapman – there's also a clear aging. Terry Jones reads off cue cards on occasion, and John Cleese frequently forgets his lines or goes off track for his own amusement – though all these are handled in a frank and mocking way that draws attention to the absurdity of the whole thing. And a Yorkshireman asks, “Who would've thought 40 years later, we'd still be doing Monty Python?”
The choice of work is sometimes esoteric – the opening sketch is forgettable and relies on a sense of oh-My-God-It's-The-Pythons, as opposed to anything actually notable ; (after several minutes brain wracking it occurs to me it is the Llama sketch) and it's some time before the sense of novelty wears off and is replaced by genuine humour as opposed to muscle memory and rote repetition.
Luckily, the whole thing is arranged as not merely be a staid recital of well known cliches, but sketches are Frankensteined into a thematic whole – the Spanish Inquisition leads into “The Galaxy Song” which, through context sees the absurdity of some religious belief underlined ever further. Following that with a short video sequence that sees prominent scientists having a viciously physical 'think off' both underscores and deflates the point with the knowing self-awareness that sees them never get quite too big for their boots. The Pythons are always the first to burst their own balloons, and it's a skill that I probably have managed to bring into my own life.
It also recalls the ancient days of now mostly-forgotten vaudeville, Victorian baudy camp and music hall, with frequent song-and-dance moments, placing the Pythons in a historical context that only now one can see of repressed middle class white privilege. Not all the material has aged well, a handful of ancient jokes about sexuality, cross dressing, and the song “I Like Chinese” seem – a half century on – somewhat illplaced now I am not 12 years old. Some expected classics do not appear, and some forgotten gems hove back into view. It's by no means lazy, but somewhat predictable.
Graham Chapman's absence is mostly poured over cleverly, though at certain moments it cannot be concealed, and his frequent video reprises are enthusiastically received. If we're honest, he was easily the funniest one of the lot,in the face of strict competition. Cleese has fine timing when allowed to, especially in a couple of well timed and nearly intimate jibes in this enormous aircraft hanger of comedy. In the meantime, Terry Gilliam takes on many of his roles with aplomb – though there is something quite saddening about the finest living film director there is pretending to vomit baked beans into a hat and then wearing them on his head mid show. But Chapman towers over the whole thing as the absent father figure.
The final moment is... exactly what you think it is. It couldn't be anything else. Short of stripping them all naked and sticking them on crosses, it is the only way to end Monty Python. The penultimate caption rams it home. “Monty Python 1968-2014”. And so it is.
This is the end. A greatest hits, as it were, woven with a suspisciously Pythonesque flair and character. There is no way Python would not have disappointed someone, and with so much material to pick from, someone inevitably would have their favourite part missing. But looking at what there is, who would've ever thought they'd get to see any of this performed live by any of the creators, let alone all of the living ones? And thus, as the end of Python, it is a look back, a reminder, a fitting epitah to the lazy bastards. Ex-Pythons soon, and this is the last goodbye.After this show, Python will be extinct, an historical artifact. It seems churlish to deny us and them a chance to say farewell to history. Especially when executed so Pythonesquely.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2015
Python was the soundtrack of my younger days and I was a huge fan. The reruns of some classic sketches like the Philosophy Match brought back great memories and were still funny, but the attempt to put it all into the current context, with dancers, swearing and cheap sex - did nothing to elevate something that truly belonged to its own era and was best left alone. I gave up in disappointment.
on 8 January 2015
I brought this for my parents who had always enjoyed Monty Python, I really hoped that this was not simply going to be a bunch of old men who had perhaps been persuaded to do this because one of them had financial problems and they needed the cash, but, how wrong I was. Christmas telly 2014 was absolute rubbish as usual, the only decent things on were old films and this dvd, it was hilarious, it was so entertaining, so well choreographed and the O2 was rammed. The audience age was so varied but they were standing, cheering and having a really good time from die hard MP fans to teenagers, brilliant, it stands the test of time and the 5 remaining Pythons had a blast and it was lovely to see references to Graham Chapman, gone but not forgotten!
on 1 February 2015
It's true that the surviving members now lack some of the energy (and in Cleese's case vocal range) that made their original performances truly great, but this was well worth the effort. As Chapman was my favourite Python, I miss his pompous absurdity more than most, but they did at least incorporate clips of him into the show as well as cleverly mocking up a photo of him to make him look like Doctor Who. This is more an all singing, dancing stage show celebrating all things Python rather than sparkling new original comedy and delivers very well in that vein. Apparently they intent for this to be the last Monty Python project and it's a good way for them to sign off.