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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Monty Python: Almost The Truth' [Blu-ray
(Terry Jones, Michael Palin, John Cleese, et al / 3-Disc BR / NR / 2009 / Vivendi Entertainment)

Overview: Monty Python reunites in this outrageous comedy that also features some of today's biggest comedians including Jimmy Fallon, Eddie Izzard, Dan Aykroyd, and Seth Green. The Pythons are matched against their contemporaries: rock stars, comedians, actors, politicians, Python-haters and potential axe murderers, in this never-before-seen outrageous comedy from the biggest comedy troupe of all time.

Blu Ray Verdict: As they are intent to point out, this is an overview of the career of Monty Python's Flying Circus from the point of view of the five surviving members of the team. The various members are interviewed separately (except for some bits from an interview of Terry Jones and Michael Palin as they take a train to Aardman Animations, Nick Park's studio). Together they tell the story of the team from their individual childhood's to the present.

If you love all things Python, this is a great way to work through their career from the first episodes of MONTY PYTHON until the present, with their explanation of why there will be no new Monty Python projects featuring the final five. I learned a lot of new things about them and loved hearing them all talk about their various joint projects. For instance, I was not aware that John Cleese originally wanted to play Brian in LIFE OF BRIAN, but was talked out of it by the other members.

My only two complaints about the set are that many of the interviews with non-Pythons were sometimes not terribly illuminating. Did we really need any contributions from Russell Brand (he remains a mystery to me!)? My other complaint comes from the set. There were not very many interesting special features. We do get extended interviews and several of their most famous clips from the show. I saw this on Blu-ray and I was mildly disappointed with the visual quality of the clips (thought definitely not the documentary).

If the transfers are not any better than this, then I will certainly not be getting MONTY PYTHON on Blu-ray when that comes out. Hopefully they did not do their best work on the transfers. I remain hopeful that they can do new transfers that would justify doing Blu-ray editions. [RM] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.