Monday, July 2, 2012

Holy Flying Circus

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Holy Flying Circus - 5 out of 5

I'm a HUGE fan of Monty Python's Flying Circus and I don't mean huge in the fact that I am overweight but an obsessive fan.  At an early age, I discovered the Pythons and instantly fell in love...so in love John Cleese has several retraining orders on me!  Their unique take on sketch comedy spoke volumes to me and inspired me to film my own skits in high school.  Granted I didn't create anything NEAR the quality of this...


It wouldn't be a Python-style film without men in drag.
The skits I made were crap...pure and utter crap but the writing style of the Pythons and their delivery would later inspire me in my stand up comedy years.  Recently a friend of mine told me about this made-for-TV film called Holy Flying Circus that was a fictionalized representation of the backlash the Pythons got when they made their groundbreaking religious satire Life of Brian.  Watching the film now and the outrageous spectacles that are out there when making light of religion nowadays, the movie is pretty tame--but still unbelievably brilliant.  Hell, even I, an atheist comedian makes light of organized religion in my set and will stand firm that the greatest show I ever performed in was The Roast of Jesus last December at The Comedy Shrine in Aurora, IL.

Rufus Jones and Phil Nichol as Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam respectively.

Tom Fisher as the late Graham Chapman.
As a non-believer and a guy who doesn't buy into the idea of a invisible wizard that lives in another dimension in the clouds who lets shitty things happen to good people and will cast you into a pit of fire if you don't believe in him...but he still loves you, is laughable in itself and also a reason I never found Life of Brian to be an offensive film.  However, believe it or not, when this movie came out, people hated it and wanted it banned...and, like most people who want to ban things that others enjoy, they never bothered to actually see the film and understand what it was all about.  That's what Holy Flying Circus is all about.

Charles Edwards helps steal the movies as Michael Palin.

Using the real events of the film's release in 1979, Holy Flying Circus adds a dash of Python to the mix and makes the events as surreal as the troupe's skits.  What you get is an exaggerated story that looks and feels EXACTLY like something Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Eric Idle would have wrote about the real happenings.  All the jokes and the way they twist the story and events all harken back to the unique eye that was Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Darren Boyd's portrayal of John Cleese actually scared me.  I still can't sleep because
he was so spot on.

Steve Punt's impression of Eric Idle sounded so dead on, I
actually thought Eric Idle overdubbed his voice.
Even more amazing is watching the cast who were brought in to play the Pythons.  Their imitations are frighteningly dead-on and as the film progressive, you find yourself sinking deeper and deeper into the story and jokes, and you easily start to believe that you are watching the actual Pythons on the screen.  Also, and this deserves mentioning...Stephen Fry plays God in this movie!  If you don't know why that itself is funny and why that fact is awesome, than we can never hang out and you'll never experience what a great hugger I am.

Stephen Fry as God...every argument every known to man is now invalid.

If you read my blog, and judging by the amounts of death threats I get in my inbox that there are people out there who read it, you know I only review things on DVD or, on rare occasions, films I just got back from seeing in the theater (usually I do that when I hated it so much I don't want to experience it again on DVD) but, sadly, this isn't available on DVD (yet).  If you are a fan of Monty Python, you need to see this movie.  Now, I'm not going to openly advocate illegally downloading a TV rip of this movie but...nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more!

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