The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 1974
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 92 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.66:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Original English Mono, French/Japanese/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Korean
Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Directed by: Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones
Written by: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 6, 2012
The Monty Python team are at it again in their second movie. This time we follow King Arthur and his knights in their search for the Holy Grail. This isn't your average medieval knights and horses story - for a start, due to a shortage in the kingdom, all the horses have been replaced by servants clopping coconuts together!
Yoiks! Here be the Python's tale of good King Arthur and his knights as they quest for the Holy Grail. They face great odds, silly sots, wage battle against the fierce Killer Rabbit and confront the dreaded Knights Who Say "Ni!" Oh, these be trying times. Can these good knights pass the test of valor and cut down yon tree with herring? Or will they blow themselves to smithereens with Holy Hand Grenades? Courage, Lancelot! Onward, Galahad!
There is little need to dissect the plot in this hilarious classic from the twisted minds of the uproarious troupe Monty Python. I first saw Monty Python and the Holy Grail on cable TV back in the late 70's early 80's and was instantly hooked. It represented my first experience with them and their particular brand of humor and it remains my favorite among their films. I love how they each play various characters and the succession of hysterical skits that parody King Arthur and the search for the Holy Grail. Along the way outlandish situations, funny bone tickling antics and pitch perfect witticisms abound as Arthur and his knights close in on the location of the Holy Grail. Holy Grail is one of those classic comedies that I can watch over again and always laugh at the same lines/parts. A few of my favorite moments: Lancelot's quest to save the prince, Bring outcha dead, The Bridge of death, Sir Robin's Minstrel, the silencing of the historian, the holy hand grenade of Antioch, the ending sequence just after King Arthur gives the attack order, all of the animated sequences. I have introduced Holy Grail to my teenagers who both enjoy it nearly as much as I do. Funny is funny. This classic film transcends generational boundaries and remains one of my personal favorites.
The rating is for violence, comedic gore and mild thematic material.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Monty Python and the Holy Grail comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures HE featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.1 Mbps.
I have owned this film in its various home video release incarnations. I am happy to report that this presentation looks marvelous by comparison. Colors are vivid with subtle tonal variation and clean rendering. The range of colors is not particularly extensive but the earth tones which are its primary source look great. Facial textures and complexions are nicely delineated with warmth and lifelike tonality. Images are well detailed over the course of the film. This isn't going to exhibit the type of razor sharp high gloss definition that we see from films today however the level of detail is complimentary. There are minor fluctuations in sharpness and detail that appear related to the original photography. Film grain is intact, and appears well preserved throughout the presentation. Blacks are stable with consistent contrast levels that draw out plenty of visible detail during light and dark segments. I found little to complain about and thoroughly enjoyed this high definition rendering from Sony.
The DTS-HD Master Audio mix presents this soundtrack's elements quite naturally. There is lots of spoken dialogue in the film but it contains a variety of sounds and music that benefit from the high resolution afforded by lossless sound. The recording sounds one dimensional and dated but refined and dynamically supported. There are moments where there is no dialogue and the only auditory used to propel the story, are the music and/or a series of sounds. They are cleanly reproduced and free from strident highs or an edgy mid range. The front soundstage is narrow but opens up nicely during several sequences. There isn't much in the way of active surround sound or deep low frequency effects but the application of supportive rear channel ambience and punchy bass adds an enriching element that enhances the presentation. It's not a perfect audio mix but I found it enjoyable.
- The Holy Book of Days Second Screen: Through a downloadable app this feature allows users via their WiFi connected/synched iPad/Blu-ray player to look behind the scenes at the shooting of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Unfortunately the iPad app is currently unavailable for download but may be on or after March 6th.
- (HD) 5 Lost animations - with introduction by Terry Gilliam
- (HD) 7 Outtakes & Extended scenes - with introduction by Terry Jones
- Audio commentary with Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones
- Audio commentary with John Cleese, Eric Idle & Michael Palin
- Quest for the Holy Grail locations with Terry Gilliam & Michael Palin - 47 minutes
- Lego Knights - 1 minute 40 second animated Lego short
- Japanese version - 2 sequences from the film dubbed in Japanese
- Coconuts - 3 minute faux feature on the important uses of the coconut
- BBC Film Night - 1974 Location Report that explores the film set and includes cast/crew interviews and behind the scenes footage
- (HD) Cast directory photo gallery
- (HD) U.S. 2001 release trailer
- (HD) Holy Grail Blu-ray credits
- BD-Live enabled
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
For me Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a timeless, superbly quotable and classic comedy that finds the zany British troupe at the top of the game. It makes its debut on Blu-ray Disc from Sony in an excellent package that features faithful high definition video, complimentary lossless sound and a strong supplemental offering that includes Blu-ray exclusives as well previously released extras. If you're a fan this is a must have plain and simple. Enjoy!
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