A GREAT introduction to the funniest troupe of all time
Brian Jay Jones | Damascus, MD USA | 01/21/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was America's first big-screen look at the Pythons -- not a film, per se, but some of the troupe's best sketches from the early years of the TV show, reshot for the screen. As such, yeah, if you've seen the TV shows, you'll know all the words, but isn't that part of the fun?Actually, some of the sketches DO work better in this film -- the Restaurant Sketch, for example (where every member of a restaurant staff comes to one diner's table to apologize for a dirty fork) comes together better here, if only because it doesn't have the jumpy close-ups of John Cleese ("You bastards!") that break the rhythm of the original TV sketch. Others, such as Dead Parrot and The Lumberjack Song, will work, no matter HOW you do them, and they're just as funny here as they are on TV or live. And the Upperclass Twit of the Year remains a highlight of this film, and of the early TV years as well.If you're collecting the complete TV series that A&E is presently releasing, then you've already got all the sketches shown here. But that's no reason to stay away from ANFSCD -- it's a great way to introduce the uninitiated to the Pythons. And for those who are already fans and may own the TV sketches, it's STILL interesting to compare the filmed sketches with their TV counterparts.Ultimately, ANFSCD still holds up, even three decades later. Check it out."And now, a man with a tape recorder up his brother's nose...""
Clean, Clear, and Funny
Kevin L. Nenstiel | Kearney, Nebraska | 10/17/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie introduces no new material to Monty Python's body of work. It selects several key routines from the first two series of Monty Python's Flying Circus and reshoots them. So why bother?Because this is easier to watch.This film was shot as part of an abortive attempt to introduce Monty Python to an American audience (which wouldn't actually be accopmlished for another three years). Where the original series suffered from a low budget and spotty production values, this film has high-end production quality, including clean sound, a single variable-angle 35mm camera, and the exclusion of the laugh track that muddied the sound on the TV series. There was obviously money for retakes, allowing the boys to edit out minor line muffs and giving them permission to experiment with their character delivery.The picture is clear and organic. The sound is clean and audible. The characters are fun and believable. Just what we've always loved about Monty Python, isn't it?But be warned, except for one or two linking jokes, this is material that you've already seen. Don't expect anything that will take your beloved boys in new directions, and don't think you'll get anything new. Just sit back, hear the jokes you've never heard clearly before, and laugh out loud. That's what they wanted, isn't it?"
A great introduction, but not great Python
Steev Proteus | nowhere in particular | 09/20/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After their groundbreaking TV series, British loonies Monty Python decided to try their hands at filmmaking. Produced by Hugh Hefner (who also produced Polanski's MACBETH) and directed by Ian McNaughton, who produced and directed the television shows, AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT might well have been called "Monty Python's Greatest Hits", as it is simply a collection of some of the best skits from the show, with a coat of gloss. The skits selected are excellent, and occasionally surpass their TV counterparts. More often than not, however, these new versions are a bit too dry, lacking the immmediacy of the live television atmosphere; and inevitably, there are a few bits missing whose exclusion many fans will regret. Terry Gilliam's animations, without the audience laughing along onscreen, are really bizarre and even occasionally disturbing, but every bit as funny as before. Some of the skits included here are: "The Parrot Sketch" (of course), which they rather ingeniously fuse with "The Lumberjack Song"; "Hell's Grannies"; "Nudge Nudge"; "The Upper Class Twit of the Year"; "World Forum"; "Vocational Guidance Counsellor". Overall, if you aren't a Python fan or know nothing of the group, this might be for you; it's a great introduction. For fans (like me), though, if you haven't seen this yet you might just as well not do so, except for the sake of completeness, but as the film which served to introduce American audiences to their particular brand of comical lunacy, it deserves honorable mention. Python on film would not hit its stride till their next feature, the glorious HOLY GRAIL. (Only that time they would direct themselves, with much more interesting results). In any case, catch "Monty Python's Flying Circus" to see these (and many, many more) skits in their original (and usually much funnier) form."
It's silly. Very silly indeed!
Andy Werner | Reno, Nv United States | 04/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am going to voice a dissenting opinion. To me, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is the group's weakest effort. I opine that And Now for Something Completely Different ranks to me the most laughs per minute in a Python movie. Although the sketches are reshot from the BBC TV Series, they have a refined sense to them that makes them racier and funnier. Python fans know of the Milquetoast Mr. Putie and his encounters with the almighty, the Hell's Grannies, Ernest Scribbler and the effects of his humor writings, and one of my favorite characters in all Pythondom, the Graham Chapman portayed stuffy Royal Army Colonel who interjects to oppose the scenes he thinks are a bit silly. Right! ANFSCD provides an excellent first glimpse of what it was that made the Python so incredibly funny. I wish real British comedy would again influence the American movie screen. The best we seem to have is the Mike Myers Austin Powers movies whose humor gets old after just a few viewings. I shudder when some people say to me that Austin is British comedy. Bollocks! Plus, I'll take Carol Cleveland over Liz Hurley or Heather Graham anyday. Bottom Line: Pythons rule forever!"
Beware - not original TV sketches
Andy Werner | 09/23/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Purchasers should be aware that this is a compilation of all the most famous sketches RE-INACTED and refilmed by the cast in a Movie format. It lacks the raw fresh energy in the TV versions. It's still very entertaining - but for the full MPFC punch skip this movie and spend the extra money for the original TV episodes."