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Summer 2014. The remaining Monty Python group (John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones) reunited for ten shows at The O2 in London. Recreating sketches of old and intermixed with classic clips via a big screen (allowing Graham Chapman to remain very much part of the group) the classic comedy group got together one last time (probably) for the honestly titled One Down, Five To Go.

Video


This live show is given to us in a crisp wonderfully bright 1080i presentation that captures the scale of the O2 stage and it’s many, many seats. The power of the lighting is recreated extremely well here on Blu-ray and the warm red coloured stage, with it's many colourful costumes and props look so good in HD, it very much generates the feeling of being there.

There’s very little criticise here beyond some of the closer shots having a ripple of heatwaves from the lights and general heat the room would generate but this is rarely too distracting even if it is always pretty obvious from a certain camera angle or too. This is a minor thing when you see the detail in this image. The costumes look fantastically vivid with textures and of course the many wrinkles the Pythons have built up over the years are even more obvious in such a well lit, high definition image.

Audio


The 5.1 track holds far too much echo in the rears for this reviewer to put up with, even with tweaks to try and flatten it out a bit but with it you do totally get a sense the atmosphere and size of The O2 and a real sense of what the show probably sounded like on the night. The LPCM track is a much more pleasant experience for watching the show at home though. The bass and sheer power coming from the live orchestra sounds great, filing out the track (as well as the room) and adding a whole lot of depth to the track. The musical numbers are incredibly strong too, with many layers of singing voices and stomping feet and a whole lot of oomph.

Beyond that it is of course mainly talking. There’s a crisp live sound to the recording  with a nice representation of the Python’s voices and in some cases croaky throats. The audience's chuckles underpins everything well and the balance when it's music and singing and talking and whatever else that's going on sounds fantastic. This is a great representation of a live show (just stick with the LPCM track).

Extras


The only extra is a 23 minute behind the scenes glimpse, the features, The Reunion, The Announcement, The Production, Backstage at the O2, a highlight reel of the 10 shows, and a Green Screen Shoot. It starts with a recorded read though of selected bits (with Terry Gilliam chuckling along throughout, bless him). Theres a few snippets of the press events to promote the reunion and a glimpse behind the scenes and thats how it continues really. It basically just enables us to follow the Pythons around, as they interact with celebrities and interviewers, as they are getting the show together in offices and everything in and around the shows. It's a nice glimpse behind the curtain in the lead up to the big shows and even around the actual shows as they are on, as celebrity fans look on backstage or audiences cheer or The Pythons get ready between segments.

It’s also worth noting there’s also a nice accompanying booklet covering the show.

Overall


I really wanted to like this Monty Python reunion show more than I actually did but I really struggled to stay locked in with the casual pace and the in and outs between the live show and the many, many old clips shown (even though from a nostalgic point of view, it was very enjoyable).

That said there is of course a great deal of greatness on show here, especially with the best of Monty Python approach and there’s no denying it’s great seeing the gang back together, even if the staged, and scripted approach takes away from the madcap feeling the original show tended to generate. Hardcore fans should eat this up with two spoons because the presentation is top notch stuff and while the extras are a little too loose for their own good (it would have been nice to have more direct interviews or discussion covering the reunion) the overall experience of getting back with The Pythons makes for a perfect Christmas watch, with a good two hour plus runtime and a whole lot of nostalgic fun to be had. In fact, given the nature of the show it's almost an alternative Christmas Panto for adults.

 Monty Python Live... Mostly: One Down Five To Go
 Monty Python Live... Mostly: One Down Five To Go
 Monty Python Live... Mostly: One Down Five To Go
 Monty Python Live... Mostly: One Down Five To Go
 Monty Python Live... Mostly: One Down Five To Go
 Monty Python Live... Mostly: One Down Five To Go


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