DVD Review HTF Review: Monty Python's The Meaning of Life SE + TRANSFER PROBLEM FEEDBACK

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jason Perez, Aug 27, 2003.

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  1. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Are the songs dubbed in French, or left in English? The French dub of the South Park movie was a riot!
     
  2. ErichH

    ErichH Screenwriter

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    a fish a fish - i did love it...like a son........

    e
     
  3. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Woohoo! Thanks for the review! I've been waiting for another Python movie to complement Holy Grail and this looks to be the winner! [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  4. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

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    I absolutely love this film....and I can't wait to have this disc in my collection come next week. Great review Jason.
     
  5. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    The Crimson Permanent Insurance is very funny. First time I ever saw MoL was on a dubbed video, and they had not included the Crimson Permanent Assurance. The film to me just started with the fish. This of course had me confused by the bit in the actual film where the CPA attacks the board room. WHen I actually saw the full film, I couldn't understand why anyone would cut that part off.
     
  6. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    To me, MOL is as strong as the other two films. It's just different. Whereas LIFE OF BRIAN and THE HOLY GRAIL had definite storylines (although GRAIL kind of falls apart toward the end) MOL is a brilliant collection of surreal and intelligent skits with only the thinnest thread of continuity. I think if you look at it that way, you can appreciate it more. I hadn't exactly gotten too excited about this until I read this review. Now, it's a must-buy.

    Terrific review, Jason! No offense to the other reviewers, but your review is the best I've read on this site in a while. Keep up the good work.
     
  7. MartinTeller

    MartinTeller Screenwriter

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    Well, IMHO the sketches lean far too heavily on "shock value" (sex ed class, penis song, "Every Sperm is Sacred", extreme vomiting, etc). I can't watch without feeling that they felt they had to prove they were still naughty and edgy.
     
  8. Daniel J.S.

    Daniel J.S. Stunt Coordinator

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    As a long time fan, I must concur that this film has many moments of sheer brilliance. I don't think the humour in this film is purely for shock value. For example, the humour of the Mr. Creosote scene isn't in this guy throwing up all over the place (as it might be in a movie like "American Pie"). Rather, the scene is about the class system where an obnoxious socialite (he is literally a "fat-cat" who gorges himself on the pleasures of high society with no regard for the lower classes) shows his contempt for the servants by throwing up all over them.

    By the way, not being an Brit, I've never understood all that talk about hanging your clothes on the lower peg. Can someone enlighten me?
     
  9. Jeff Kuykendall

    Jeff Kuykendall Stunt Coordinator

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    Shock value isn't always a bad thing. It's a particularly valid form of humor when it comes to satire, which Meaning of Life is particularly full of--much more so than Holy Grail, but on par with Life of Brian. (Although the Pythons' use of shock value-with-satire goes way back to early episodes of their TV show.) "Every Sperm is Sacred" might be considered a shock value sketch. But (a) it's hilarious, and (b) it successfully points out the absurdity of the Catholic church's stance on birth control. I don't think they were trying to prove they were edgy, but I think that after Life of Brian, the troupe had largely eschewed silliness-for-its-own-sake, and wanted their comedy to have substance. The shock value becomes particularly important in driving their points home with force. Daniel's defense of the Creosote sketch is dead-on.

    (Admittedly, the bit with Eric Idle and Michael Palin in a tiger's outfit is silliness-for-its-own-sake, and therefore reminiscent of Holy Grail's humor. But it's also immediately preceded by a biting critique of British colonialism.)

    If anything, Meaning of Life has aged better than most comedies of its era because the satire is so sharp, the writing never dumb. Betamax reference aside, it will continue to age well, and get laughs, long after the American Pie movies and their ilk fade from memory. I concede it might be the weakest of the three main Python films, but it's still a classic that stands a tiger's head-and-tail above other 80's comedies.

    Just some thoughts. I guess I just think Meaning of Life's ready for some reappraisal, so I'm glad it's getting a special edition DVD!

    Jeff
     
  10. Aaron Cohen

    Aaron Cohen Second Unit

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    I can't wait to get this dvd. I just wanted to point out that the running time in the top box of 148 minutes is incorrect. It is 1 hour and 48 minutes.
     
  11. Jason Perez

    Jason Perez Second Unit

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    Aaron,

    Thanks for the eagle-eyed observation. It should read 108 minutes, and I don't want anyone to think that the Pythons put together a Peter Jackson style Extended Edition! For some reason, it seems that I typed a 4 instead of a 0, which is weird because it is all the way on the other side of the keyboard! Oh well, that is what I get for finishing the review at 2:30 in the morning![​IMG]

    Anyway, thanks again, I will try to edit my original post!

    Regards,

    Jason
     
  12. andrew markworthy

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  13. Travis D

    Travis D Second Unit

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    I'm just looking forward to "This man is about to die..."

    :drool:
     
  14. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    The restoration featurette is absolutely hysterical. I was pretty impressed by James Katz's deadpan delivery during the first part. I don't think I could have held it together enough to make it through the whole thing, especially when he gets to the part about the man being chased to his death by topless women and then segues into comparisons with Welles, Kubrick, Lean, etc.

    In fact, I think he gives a more convincing performance in the featurette than Gilliam. [​IMG] Very funny stuff.

    Regards,
     
  15. Coressel

    Coressel Supporting Actor

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    I haven't seen MOL in years, so I'm very excited about getting this DVD. I'll never forget the day 20 years ago when MOL was in my town for a whole 3 days or so. My friends and I sat down, the cinema was about half full, the announcement "There will be a short film..." actually made several people in the audience groan, get up and leave! Hilarious.

    A few days later, MOL was replaced by Porkys, a truly unfunny piece of crap that only made me see MOL for the misunderstood gem that it is. I also remembered being suprised that, after all the controversy over Life of Brian, that nobody protested this movie!

    I love how MOL completely blows away everything and everyone in its path, as if to say "if you thought Brian was sacreligous, look at THIS!"

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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  17. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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  18. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Don May Jr of Synapse is also indicating over at Mobius www.mhvf.net that there appear to be substantial PAL-NTSC artifacts visible and that the picture quality was better on the original Image release. Anyone confirm this?
     
  19. Derek Miner

    Derek Miner Screenwriter

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    Well, I hadn't noticed the aliasing problem when watching this DVD on my computer, but sure enough, it's there: three frames full, two frames interlaced. Throughout the whole movie. The extra scenes branched into the film have a different pattern that I can't figure (it seems to be two frames full then FOUR frames interlaced, but the pattern seems to vary). I did notice that the commentary track sounds pitched down, so the conversion from PAL to NTSC definitely sounds culprit.

    If anyone was wondering, the "director's cut" is branched very roughly. There is a short break as you move to the additional bit, and no effort has been made to make the additional material flow cleanly from the actual film. It works for the most part, but just don't expect THE ABYSS...
     
  20. Felix Martinez

    Felix Martinez Screenwriter

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