Not The Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy) Aubrey Powell

Not The Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy) Aubrey Powell
I'm not sure the world needed a comedic oratorio based on The Life of Brian. Nevertheless, here it is. Eric Idle has spent the latter stage of his career flogging the dead horse that is Monty Python, while most other members have made names for themselves in other arenas. He penned the smash hit Broadway musical adaptation of Monty Python and The Holy Grail, aptly titled Spamalot, and toured the world in a stage show even more aptly titled Eric Idle Exploits Monty Python. Using Handel's Messiah as a template, Idle and Spamalot collaborator John DuPrez created a farcical oratorio employing a full symphony and choir as a platform for humour. Again, Idle mined Python material, reworking the troupe's 1979 cinematic parody of the life of Christ. Not the Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy) originally premiered at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto during the 2007 Luminato festival. Although that performance was never recorded, an expanded version of the show came to the Royal Albert Hall in 2009 and was filmed under the auspices of Monty Python's 40th anniversary, with special guests/ex-Pythons Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin. The only problem is, it's not that funny. Anyone buying this disc because of the large "Monty Python 40th Anniversary" text on the cover is in for a disappointment. There is little dialogue from Brian and the scenes that remain are performed by Idle and the singers, who are no substitute for the real thing, with Jones, Palin and Gilliam relegated to brief cameos. Make no mistake: this is the work of Eric Idle, not Monty Python as a unit. Viewed in this light, it's an impressively staged event, but will only work for serious Python fans that have exhaustively watched The Life of Brian, everyone else should revisit the original film. The Blu-Ray disc looks fantastic though ― some of the shots of Royal Albert Hall give you the sense of actually being there. Not so hi-def friendly are the Pythons themselves ― maybe a lower quality video would have covered up some of those wrinkles and liver spots. Special features include a half-hour making-of doc that's actually pretty interesting, as well as sing-along versions of some of the songs. (Sony)