Not the Messiah: He's a Very Naughty Boy (UK - BD)
Marcus: .Crucifixion? Good. Out of the door, line on the left, one cross each'...
Brian: I am NOT the Messiah!
Arthur: I say you are Lord, and I should know, I've followed a few.
Monty Python goes Opera! Or more specifically Eric Idle and long-time collaborator John Du Prez turn the Python’s Life of Brian into a an oratorio—whatever one of those is (keeping it more simple, I’ll go with the Idle description that it’s a ‘Sung Play’). Behold: Not the Messiah: He’s a Very Naughty Boy.
Filmed live at the Royal Albert Hall in 2009, this special show celebrating forty years of Monty Python sees the majority of the Pythons reunited (Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, with the exception of John Cleese who seemingly didn’t want to know) for the big event.
Not being a fan of this sort of thing really, the real reason that got me on board for this was a love of the Python’s work and lots of gooey affection for The Life of Brian. Admittedly the musical style never really won me over, but the fun in the performers' eyes, the Pythons (almost) all back together (and obviously enjoying it) and the more closely recreated Python moments were more than enough to make this a pretty enjoyable show.
I really, really like watching live shows in HD despite not having a great deal of experience in doing so. I love how the HD image captures the details, whether it be the lighting, the sense of scale on the stage or the clearer presentation of the actual event. Not the Messiah does a grand job doing all of this and it really looks gorgeous.
The glow of the brightly lit stage has a great feel to it and captures the excitement of seeing a live show well. The camera work gives you a good sense of the large Royal Albert Hall venue and the tiny details on the Pythons' aging faces and the many costume changes all show a good level of detail with the bold colours making for another great Sony HD presentation.
Beyond all of this, it’s the twinkle in Eric Idle’s eyes that the HD transfer really sells. You can see the joy in his eyes that his show is hitting all the right buttons with the audience and outside of seeing the show in the flesh, it’s not gonna get much better than this.
Large live orchestras, booming voices, the odd stage effect and 'Always Look on the Bright Side of Life' is a combination that any half decent DTS-HD Master Audio track should thrive upon, and it does so here.
The instruments are spread throughout the speaker system well, the voices are crisp and strong and the recording of the show takes a home audience into account and doesn’t mess around with trying to capture the size of the venue too much, creating a strong, focused and impressive audio track to compliment the live show.
‘The Road to the Albert Hall’ (31:02 HD) should really be viewed before watching the show I think. It’s a nice build up to the entire event and shows just the right amount of rehearsal footage and interviews.
‘Show Time’ (03:07 HD) is a montage of the performers backstage getting ready to go on, intercut with them doing their stuff on stage and ‘The Bright Side’ (HD 02:07) focuses on the classic song.
Rounding up there are six songs to watch back in a sing-a-long feature, a movieIQ option, and of course BD-Live.
Not the Messiah: He’s a Very Naughty Boy isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but for anyone who has an affection for all things Monty Python should snap it up, if only for the feel good moments the show generates for their work. The disc looks and sounds fantastic and without going into too much detail the features are a nice side order to the main event.
* Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over
Release Date: 14th June 2010
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD MAster Audio 5.1 English
Subtitles: English, English (HoH) Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croation, Czech, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish
Extras: Featurettes, movieIQ, BD-Live, Sing-a-Long Tracks
Easter Egg: No
Director: Aubrey Powell
Cast: Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam
Genre: Comedy and Musical
Length: 91 minutes
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