The comedians behind Monty Python have turned into household names and The Holy Grail is potentially their most loved piece. Having been commissioned by the BBC in 1969 Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Graham Chapman began shooting scenes for a sketch show under the name of Monty Python's Flying Circus. The 45 episodes were full of surreal comedy which each and every one soon became cult classics.
Simon Pegg continues his rollercoaster career, alternating between superior blockbuster franchises (Mission: Impossible and Star Trek) and awkward British romantic-comedies (Hector and the Search for Happiness). And this might just be his most disastrous move yet. Despite a promising cast, which includes a reunion of the surviving Monty Python members, this madcap sci-fi comedy never finds its tone, veering wildly from nutty slapstick to sentimental silliness. It's hard to remember laughing even once while watching it.
The story kicks off when an American space probe launched in 1972 is intercepted by the Intergalactic Council (voiced by the Pythons). Their investigation into Earth consists of watching YouTube videos, so of course they decide to destroy the planet. But first, they'll give one earthling a chance to save the world: they randomly choose North London schoolteacher Neil (Simon Pegg) and give him superpowers that allow him to do absolutely anything. After a few mishaps, he tries to use his abilities to improve his life, making his his dog Dennis speak (in the voice of Robin Williams) and appearing irresistible to his neighbour Catherine (Kate Beckinsale). Even though she already likes him. But Neil only has 10 days to do the right thing with his powers, or Earth is doomed.
Yes, this is essentially the same plot as Bruce Almighty, but the film never quite settles on an approach. It's produced in the style of an over-wacky child's movie, but the humour is eerily adult-oriented, so it's difficult to see who would enjoy it. The main plot is never remotely coherent, meandering through the story without any sense of direction. There are also a few corny sideroads to pad out the slim running time, including Neil's work colleague (Sanjeev Baskar) becoming an object of religious devotion, while Catherine's American military one-night-stand (Rob Riggle) becomes an obsessive stalker. Neither of these strands goes anywhere funny. Nor do extended cameos by Eddie Izzard (as a gruff headmaster) or Joanna Lumley (as a snooty TV presenter).
Continue reading: Absolutely Anything Review
If you could change absolutely anything in the world, what would it be? This is the ultimate question that Neil Clarke finds himself faced with when he wakes up with the ability to become whoever he wants to be, have whatever he wants and make the impossible very easily possible. Little does he know that this is a test set up by some disgruntled extra-terrestrial lifeforms, who have given the following ultimatum: use this ultimate power for good, or watch the Earth burn. Unfortunately, Neil has a lot of things in his own life that he would like to change, let alone important things in the rest of the world. He wishes for an easier life, to be more attractive and to win the heart of his neighbour Catherine. But, as Spider-Man once said, with great power comes great responsibility, so if he is thinking of making some big changes, he ought to make sure he's really thought them through first.
Continue: Absolutely Anything Trailer
John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin - 2015 Tribeca Film Festival - Special Screening Narrative: 'Monty Python And The Holy Grail' at Beacon Theatre at Beacon Theater, Tribeca Film Festival, Beacon Theatre - New York City, New York, United States - Friday 24th April 2015
The film, along with a new documentary will be screened next month at the annual New York festival.
It’s been four decades since Monty Python gave moviegoers an unforgettable laugh, when their first film Monty Python and the Holy Grail hit cinemas in 1975. So of course it's only fitting that the comedy troupe have found the best way possible to celebrate the landmark anniversary, by attending the Tribeca Film Festival for a special screening of the cult classic.
The Python boys are headed to Tribeca
The film will be shown on April 24th at The Beacon Theatre during the annual movie festival which runs from April 15th to 26th in downtown Manhattan. Surviving Python members John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin have all been confirmed as making the trip, which will also include the premiere of a new documentary filmed around the group’s reunion shows in London last year.
The English National Opera is facing financial peril.
The English National Opera has been placed in special measures by Arts Council England, effectively being ordered to improve or risk being removed from the national portfolio given regular funding. On Tuesday (February 10), the national council aired concerns over the organisation's governance.
Terry Gilliam was a director at the English National Opera
The English National Opera suffered two high profile exits in recent months - first, chairman Martyn Rose stood down after a warning, and then executive director Henriette Gotz stepped down after disagreements with artistic director John Berry.
Continue reading: English National Opera Told To Improve Or Face Huge Funding Axe
Filmmaking siblings Lana and Andy Wachowski never do anything by halves. The Matrix was a genre-changing blockbuster followed by two head-scratching sequels that ramped everything up a bit too much. Speed Racer was simply too much eye-candy for most viewers. And Cloud Atlas' intertwined storylines left audiences both exhausted and exhilarated. Now they've taken on the space action adventure with unfettered gusto, creating an utterly bonkers story that can't help but keep us thoroughly entertained.
So it turns out that Jupiter (Mila Kunis), an immigrant cleaner in Chicago, is actually the recurrence of a powerful matriarch whose empire runs the universe as a big business. Her three children (Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth and Tuppence Middleton) are tussling over control, because their mother's re-appearance changes their inheritance rights. Chased by bounty hunters, Jupiter is rescued by Caine (Channing Tatum) and his cohort Stinger (Sean Bean), who help her navigate the complex galactic society to claim her genetic rights. But each of the three children has plans for her. And as she zips back and forth across the universe, Jupiter realises that she's going to need to rise to the occasion if she wants to save herself. And Earth.
The Wachowskis clearly understand that the story is far too complicated to make much sense, so they only provide enough information to hold the audience's interest. Large plot threads and characters pop up and disappear at random, while Jupiter's own journey lurches through a series of contrived set-pieces and tense encounters that feel oddly unresolved. But none of that really matters, because the film is infused with a sardonic sense of humour that makes it enjoyable. Even the bad guys are intriguing; there's not much Redmayne can do with his leather-trousered grump, but at least he goes for it. Kunis has a great time with Jupiter's continual sexy costume changes, while Tatum performs a series of action scenes with his shirt off for no real reason. All of the cast members dive in without hesitation, using sheer charisma to make the characters a lot of fun to watch.
Continue reading: Jupiter Ascending Review
Monty Python could be in trouble...
Communications watchdog Ofcom is investigating the Monty Python live show after bad language was broadcast before the watershed. Many of the complaints about the farewell show on 'Gold' concerned offensive language though some fans had aired their dismay that other areas of swearing were cut.
The Monty Python live show has come in for criticism
An Ofcom spokesman said: "After receiving complaints about the broadcast of the most offensive language before the watershed, Ofcom is investigating a live performance of Monty Python on Gold."
Continue reading: They're Very Naughty Boys: Ofcom Probes Monty Python Swearing
The Pythons might not be back at full force, but if it's nostalgia you're after, they have plenty.
The last ever round of Monty Python reunion shows has been getting mixed reviews since its first night, July 1. While most fans likely filled the 20,000 seats of the O2 Arena because of nostalgia, rather than curiosity, the Pythons were accused of pandering to the point of being unfunny.
Eric Idle - The Pythons' final outing won't make any new converts, say reviews.
Anticipating the comments, Palin, Gilliam, Cleese, Jones and Idle brought out a secret weapon on their second night – an especially acerbic Mick Jagger, who roasted them before the media could.
Continue reading: Mick Jagger Hazes Monty Python In Video For (Mostly) Live Reunion
Alright Python fans, this is your last chance.
In what may just be the biggest comeback in showbiz history, the remaining members of Monty Python have teamed up again for a number of reunion shows. John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam took to the stage at the O2 Arena in London on Tuesday night in what is to be the start of a 10-gig run.
Eric Idle - The Pythons return for one final round of gigs.
In a fit of nostalgia, they performed a collection of classic sketches, including the Four Yorkshiremen and the Lumberjack Song. They concluded the show with a sing-along to the ever popular Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.
Continue reading: The End Is Nigh: Monty Python Reunite For Final Round Of Gigs At The O2
The Rolling Stones rocker was recruited to get the jokes rolling before curtains up.
Mick Jagger has starred in a promotional video for the upcoming Monty Python live shows, the first of which will be held tonight at London's O2 venue. The Rolling Stones rocker displays his witty sense of humour as well as his ability to laugh at himself by dismissing the Python troupe as "a bunch of wrinkly old men."
Jagger is shown sitting on his sofa with drummer Charlie Watts watching the World Cup before discussing Python's reunion. "Monty Python? Are they still going?" he asks in mock amazement. "Who wants to see that again? It was funny in the Sixties."
When an aide tells him that tickets for the first gig at London's O2 arena sold out in 40 seconds, Jagger replies "Wow. They must be coining it in. That's pretty amazing," adding "But they're still a bunch of wrinkly old men trying to relive their youth and make a load of money. I mean, the best one died years ago!"
Continue reading: Mick Jagger Takes The Mickey In Monty Python Reunion Tour Video
Date of birth
22nd November, 1940