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Monty Python: The Meaning of Life

 
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Kernan
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Post25 Mar 2006 06:45 am
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While I respectfully disagree with my colleage Motpic about the quality of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, I wanted to praise the bravery of his review. In this day and age when Monty Python is so revered and deified I think its a gutsy reviewer who bucks the trend with a negative take on a Python film.
Motpic is inviting the scorn of a legion of devotees and yet he chooses not to censor himself and I think that should be recognized.
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Kernan
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MotionPictures
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Post26 Mar 2006 08:36 pm
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Why, thank you. I do think parts of it are sheer genius and/or hilarity. I love "The Miracle of Birth," "The Crimson Permanent Assurance," and "Find the Fish." A perfect 100% Popcorn there. If you can handle vomit, "Mr. Creosote" is also beautiful.

But since we have to score movies as a whole unit, yeah, I felt like it faltered along the way. Part of it is my darn moral scruples... Razz And then, it lacks the consistent wit and overall cohesiveness of the Holy Grail. (Key word being "consistent") When I get around to a Holy Grail review, you'll find I'm not a complete anti-Pythonian heretic. Very Happy

Even the Pythons weren't too happy with Meaning of Life, I recently discovered. I don't know how new the book is, but there's an "autobiography" of Monty Python, collected excerpts from diaries, interviews, etc. of the six members. Quite illuminating, though extremely long and weighty to be an afternoon's pleasure reading. Apparently they were past the peak of their collaborativeness, and were starting to squabble more; and John Cleese and Terry Jones kept sneaking into the editing room and re-editing it, etc. The DVD version is a "director's cut" by Terry Gilliam(?) which is basically the penultimate draft of the film that they had worked out back in '83 (before Cleese sneaked in and took one more whack at it before it was distributed).

Anyway, there it is. I'm sure my review did not deter the more rabid Python fans one bit. And I'm sure in a few more years I'll rent it again and get my "Ping!" fix.

Kernan, in your spare time, post a review of Meaning of Life and we can compare and start a fight! Very Happy
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Thom
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Post28 Mar 2006 01:17 am
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Sounds like its faults then stem from the skit-based structure of their comedy? I think that's the problem I've always had with Monty Python. Too disjointed--feels like I'm constantly walking in halfway through the telling of a joke. Not that I'm a hater, I'm just Python-impaired or something.
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MotionPictures
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Post28 Mar 2006 05:09 pm
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I don't have a problem with the skit structure. I enjoyed their first movie, And Now For Something Completely Different, almost as much as the Holy Grail, and it has zero connective tissue, compared to Meaning of Life's thin threads running through it.

Some of it is the special effects, poor green screening, things like that. Then there are some skits that just fall short of ROFL status. And then there are the skits you simply don't watch in decent company, and don't admit to even watching in private if you like to think of yourself as decent company. I realize that is a fluctuating standard, and I probably hold one of the more conservative views on this site. Oh well.

Of course Python fans should see MoL at least once. Thom, we'll give you a pass if you're not into that kind of thing.
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