Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Python fans rejoice - The 'Knights Who Say Ni' have made the jump to HD!

While some may favour Life of Brian and others The Meaning of Life, for me …Holy Grail stands proud as the best Monty Python movie. Hilariously silly and brilliantly irreverent, it’s a tour de force of cinematic comedy gold that somehow feels more authentic in its approach to the Arthurian myths than most ‘straight’ adaptations.

Picture: You’d be hard pushed to find anybody who would say that the Blu-ray release of …Holy Grail is a visual triumph on a par with, say, Avatar. Yet, the AVC 1.66:1 1080p is undoubtedly on a par with the Blu-ray treatment of Cameron’s blockbuster when it comes to replicating the quality of the source material.

This is a gritty and dirty piece of filmmaking, one that looks soft in some shots and pin-sharp in others. As such, detail levels fluctuate throughout as they would have done on the original negative, while grain swarms the screen like millions of angry insects. But this is exactly how it should be with this film. And when compared side-by-side with earlier DVD incarnations, the increase in fidelity, detail, clarity and colour saturation is simply staggering.
Picture rating: 4/5

Audio: The film comes to Blu-ray with a choice of audio tracks. For purists there’s a dual-mono presentation of the original mix, although disappointingly it’s only included in lossy Dolby Digital form. Most people though will undoubtedly opt for the all-singing, all-dancing DTS-HD MA 5.1 remix.

Like the disc’s image quality, the mix has a variety of strengths and weaknesses – thankfully many more of the former than the latter. Although much of the action is understandably kept to the front of the soundstage, but there is some playful use of the surrounds from time to time (such as sound of Arthur’s knights building the Trojan rabbit off-screen in Chapter 10), as well as some strong bass effects (Tim the Enchanter’s explosions pack plenty of punch in Chapter 20).
Audio rating: 4/5

Extras: Many of the extras included on the Blu-ray will be familiar to owners of the film’s previous DVD releases, including a pair of commentaries, a location featurette, a BBC location report and the Lego Knights short.

However, there are also a few exclusive new features as well. These include a collection of eight Outtakes & Extended Scenes introduced by Terry Jones, a collection of Lost Animations (described by Terry Gilliam as ‘probably the only reason to buy the new Blu-ray’) and a Second Screen iPad app where users can view outtakes, stills, script extracts sketches and more.
Extras rating: 4/5

We say: A great HD package for one of the funniest films ever

Sony Pictures, All-region BD, £20 Approx, On sale now