Those six pandemonium-mad Pythons are back with their craziest adventure ever! These naughty Britons offer the usual tasteful sketches involving favorite bodily parts and functions, the wonders of war, the miracle of birth... more » and a special preview of what's waiting for us in Heaven.« less
Vulgar, tasteless, sickening and worth every minute.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Seeing this movie for the first time when it came out back in 1982, I remember telling my friend, "This is the coolest movie ever!" Coming back to it, I can proudly say my feelings for it have not diminished one iota.Its detractors say, "It's disgusting!" Yes, it is. An impossibly fat man explodes in a miasma of viscera and puke. But if you take note of the personality of the character in question, you could look at it as the Pythonian equivalent of Karma.It's oppnents scream, "It's filthy". Bingo. A stuffy schoolmaster and his wife demonstrate coitus for a bored classroom of schoolboys during sex-education class. During the lesson, the teacher admonishes a student to pay attention. "After all, this is for your benefit," he chides. A man so cut off from his own emotions, that not even sex interests him on a personal level.Its nay-sayers chant, "It's blasphemous!" You betcha. In a production reminiscent of the ones in 'Oliver', a Catholic family, apparently numbering in the hundreds, sings "Every Sperm Is Sacred". Maybe so, but why is papa so anxious to sell them all off for medical experiments?Fans say, "It's clever". I defy anyone to find a more clever song in a movie than "The Universe Song", a hummable Cole-Porterish ditty containing a pocketful of useful factoids about this wonderful material plane which we call home.Python disciples say, "It rings true". It does for me. That's why I laugh so hard.The usual Python targets are all here, all to illustrate a very valuable point. I think it's something like: Life is really short, the world is a confusing mess, hypocrites and scoundrels are plentiful, stupidity is more plentiful than any other substance in the universe. The meaning of life is to try your best to dodge all of this meaninglessness and do so with a measure of personal grace. The meaning of life is in how we face what is thrown at us. The Pythons do it by allowing themselves, and us, to laugh at it."
Of course it's great! It's Monty Python!
Glynn Clapsaddle | San Diego, CA United States | 10/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Up to their old tricks again, the Pythons finally brought their sketch comedy to the big screen. Putting together a series of unconnected skits with a common theme, they actually pulled it off, though most said it could never be done. As with all of their work, this movie contains several lines that fans will repeat over and over. "Every sperm is sacred!" Most of the skits went down as some of their greatest work, from Cleese teaching Sex in a private school by demonstrating it with his wife in front of the class, to the grossest scene ever performed in cinema, "Mr. Creosote." Absolutely a must-see for anyone with even the faintest of senses of humor. This DVD presentation is also very solid, including a Making Of feature that lets the personalities of the individuals show through, including Cleese's disdain for doing this film. Some of the extras can be ignored, but I still found myself sitting down for over two hours to check them all out, and I was not disappointed."
Great film, not that necessary on HD-DVD...
Lee | Los Angeles, CA | 06/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although this is probably the most inconsistent film that Monty Python made, it's still fantastic. It ends up being a series of sketches loosely tied together around the meaning of life. Some are the absolute highlights of the Monty Python canon (e.g. the sex education scene and the disgusting Mr. Creosote), while others are much less successful. This was essentially the last material made by the Python troupe.
This HD-DVD release contains the exact same features as the recent 2-disc DVD special edition. The extra features are superb with a hilarious and insightful commentary by director Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, who aren't afraid to admit its faults. The trouble with this release is that the film is now over 20 years old and was shot with a relatively low budget so it doesn't look that good to start with. So by getting the HD-DVD you're just seeing the graininess and clunky special effects more clearly. If you already have the DVD there's really no need to get this, but if you're looking to buy it for the first time and you have an HD-DVD player then it's a no-brainer...
...and yes, the meaning of life is revealed in this movie!"
The Boys Push the Envelope on this One!
D. Mikels | Skunk Holler | 03/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The members of Monty Python apparently decided to pull out all the stops when they made their final motion picture. Even more bawdy, naughty, reckless, and wickedly deprived, MONTY PYTHON'S THE MEANING OF LIFE pulls no punches and takes no prisoners as it explores, unravels, and tramples upon the stages of life, from birth to death. This film is Python with ADD, rumbling and bumbling from one sketch to the next. And it's darn funny.For me, the film hit a homerun with its opening short feature, "The Crimson Permanent Assurance Company," followed shortly by a grand musical number--a hilarious spoof on Catholicism--entitled, "Every Sperm Is Sacred." By now, the viewer is tweaked, alert, enthralled, giddy, and laughing. Most of the ensuing sketches are firecrackers of irreverent humor and relentless satire. Alas, the movie ended rather anticlimatically, and the film's overall unevenness prohibited this reviewer from giving it five stars.If you like Monty Python, you'll enjoy this film. If you're unfamiliar with Python, yet willing to get smacked between the eyes with X-treme comedy, give THE MEANING OF LIFE a try. (Not on a full stomach; the "Mr. Creosote" sketch might have you reaching for some Alka-Setzer.) Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam give new meaning to the meaning of life!"
Monty Python's: The Meaning of Life (HD DVD) Review by Justi
Justin Sluss | Kingsport, TN USA | 06/21/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Movie Itself is in my own personal opinion the best of the films by the British comedy troupe Monty Python which included (the late) Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Michael Palin. The group made a total of four motion pictures aside from their widely popular television sketch show Monty Python's Flying Circus. This was the last of those films and was released in 1983. The whole plot to this movie as you guessed even if you're not a Python fan is obviously about The Meaning of Life. And it's pieced down into 8 stages with a little bit of fun thrown in before, during and after. The film has a lot of musical numbers that are absolutely hilarious and extremely catchy to boot (refer to my audio quality review for song titles).
If you're a fan of British sketch comedy or even Canadian sketch like The Kids in the Hall you're going to love this if you've never seen it before. This is sketch comedy at it's finest in the form of a film. The film was directed by Terry Jones who was a member of the comedy troupe and obviously acted quiet a bit in this as well as bossed everyone around. It's obvious that some people will clearly argue the best Python film would be "The Quest for the Holy Grail" or "Life of Brian." They are all great films by me and I look forward to the three others eventually making their way to High Definition disc release. This is encouraging to see one being released you have to admit either way.
Video Quality on this release is presented in 1080p VC-1 encoded on a 30gb disc. First off, yes this is an improvement over the DVD version(s) of this film available in the past but at the same time it's not really the best video transfer to High Def. Don't get me wrong, I mean yes this film is from 1983 for starters and has it's obvious original film grain to it and that's cool in it's own way. The thing I'm really trying to say is that don't expect it to look amazing. Just instead expect it to look better than before. There are some artifacts and pixilatation problems in rare occasions but nothing really to complain about that much.
Audio Quality on this release is in Dolby Digital Plus 5.1. This is only a small improvement over Dolby Digital 5.1 on the latest DVD release of this film. As Python Eric Idle says in one of the bonus materials "the film is a disguised musical" so the songs of this film are really important to the sound mix. I mean after all who can forget such classics as "Isn't it awfully nice to have a penis?", "Every Sperm is Sacred", "Galaxy Song", "Christmas in Heaven" and of course the opening track "It's the Meaning of Life."
Bonus Materials are primarily all in 16:9 (Widescreen) standard definition and ported over from the latest DVD release of the film. There's loads of material here, first off an introduction from Eric Idle before the film, audio Commentary by both Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam. There's also another audio commentary track called "Soundtrack for the Lonely" which is sure to keep you company if "Terry and Terry" don't.
"Snipped Bits" (18 minutes) is basically deleted scenes with occasional commentary introductions or comment from Terry Jones. There's some laughs here but you see why some scenes were obviously deleted. "The Meaning of Making The Meaning of Life" (49 minutes) is your obvious "making of" documentary featuring interviews with the entire Monty Python... cast (even clips of the late Graham Chapman). Eric Idle says "... the film is a disguised musical." in this and we also learn that John Cleese isn't too fond of this film. He argues "Life of Brian" is the better of the Python films. Some would argue "Holy Grail" is but that's to be debated elsewhere, not in my review of bonus materials. "Education Tips" (6 minutes) is a series of skits done by John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin. I like Cleese's last character "Dr. Ken Enron Chaney." He cracks me up with just his name alone but there's some really hilarious stuff here overall. Including Michael Palin as the world's worst voice over narrator. It's ironic because he actually does voice over narration now on a nature television show.
"Un Film De John Cleese" (1 minute) is absolutely hilarious. It's nothing more than his edit of the film with only him in it. "Written, produced, directed, conceived, edited and probably projected by John Cleese." To only be a minute long it's definitely worth the minute for a good laugh. "Remastering A Masterpiece" is a spoof restoration documentary narrated by Michael Palin. It offers some goofy interviews with Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam as they try to restore the film by washing it. Gilliam and Jones both seem to have no luck as Jones resorts to a local British laundromat washing machine. Eventually Terry Gilliam gives up and says "I hate this film!" I guess this explains the video quality rating I gave this HD DVD doesn't it? Just kidding. There's a bit more material to be found but they really don't prove to be worth watching to even the most die-hard fan like myself. This is about where it stops for the bonus materials worth watching on this release. Nothing too bad but it is nothing more than the bonus materials from the DVD release ported over.
-- Review written by Justin Sluss of HighDefDiscNews.com"