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back to article Monty Python and the Holy Grail on Blu-ray

Round and round we go the video format bush. First you recorded it off the telly. Then you bought it on VHS. Finally, you acquired a perfectly brilliant version on DVD. And now, finally again, Sony Pictures has found yet another way for you to part with your money for the love of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Monty Python …

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Tell me...

Did you used to work for a video games magazine?

80% for a grainy film, with pointless and bad extras, that you admit has awful sound, just because it ties-in with a pay-for app? And they can't even link the online content correctly?

Isn't this back in the realm of "pay me money, I'll give you a 90% rating"?

Someone please bring back proper reviewing, where "scores" can go down to 0 again rather than starting at 80, and people aren't afraid to say that a product is junk or you're probably better off with the previous releases unless you're an absolute collector freak.

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JDX
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Re: Tell me...

80% because if you don't already have the DVD, it's great.

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Re: Tell me...

That's like giving Windows ME 80% because if you don't already have Windows 3.1/95/98/2000, it's great.

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Headmaster

Re: Tell me...(@Lee Dowling)

Only in the respect that Win ME is a joke. Nearly as funny as Mr. Montgomery Python, if your humor is based on schadenfreude.

I think the score breaks down to:

85% because it's The Holy Grail,

+3% for added features,

+4% for the app integration,

-2% because the app is not bundled,

-1% for the failure(impossibility?) of updating the audio/visual,

-4% for not having the proper links/extras that were advertised,

-1% because what's the point of putting it on Blu-Ray?

-1% for cost

Round it and you get 80%

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JDX
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@Lee

"That's like giving Windows ME 80% because if you don't already have Windows 3.1/95/98/2000, it's great."

No that's a moronic argument because ME was far worse than earlier versions whereas the review clearly states the BD version is better than the DVD.

It's pretty standard to review a product on its own merit.

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Linux

Re: Tell me...

I think I got a copy of this DVD from the Walmart bargain bin about 5 years ago.

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Stop

Re: Tell me...

Indeed. 80% for some fake stereo and grainy picture is mad. The film stock isn't great so it will never look that good. Since the DVD can be picked up for a couple of quid they'd need to be a compelling reason to get the blu-ray release.

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Re: Tell me...

>>people aren't afraid to say that a product is junk or you're probably better off with the previous releases unless you're an absolute collector freak<<

Funny you should say that. Did you read the review?

Alistair

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Re: Tell me...

Yes.

Did you read the final score again? 80% if that IS your conclusion?

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Re: Tell me... (Alistair Dabbs)

>Funny you should say that. Did you read the review?

I think that was the whole point.

Most of the review was spent telling us how bad everything was, and that you'd be better off buying the DVD, but it still gave it score of 80%

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Extras?

Can someone please explain this to me?

I don't give a toss about extras, how it was made, what they had for tea on location, where it was shot, what the place looks like now or a thousand other piles of useless information. I just want to watch the film not go on Mastermind specialist subject, the bleedinng obvious. Sorry, a bit of crosstalk there.

Basically they've invented a format that can hold far too much and now need to justify the high price by conning the public into thinking they are getting more. Pretty soon they'll be claiming the FBI warning is part of the movie experience and having a "how it was made" extra for that as well.

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Re: Extras?

In which case you can get a non-special edition for a few quid and stop whining that serious fans want something more.

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Trollface

Re: Extras?

Does anybody ever watch those extras? I think I might have done once from the first DVD I bought but never since. Then again I rarely bother with DVDs at all. Watching most things once is enough. I do actually have the aforementioned set of DVDs for this but only because it's a classic.

I suppose that 80% on the basis that you might not already have it might be acceptable but I'm not convinced.

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Re: Extras?

I rarely watch them either but that's why I don't buy special edition versions because I also don't want a special box or a 100 page book... but I appreciate collectors do.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Extras?

It is called choice. Some of us who have seen the film dozens of times enjoy knowing about the background ideas. Some commentaries can be better than the film. (Whereas others can just be a director droning on and send you to sleep)

Usually there is a simple "single disk" or "just the movie" DVD released which will be cheaper and more fit your needs.

It is these extras that make me want to by DVDs\BluRays of decent films instead of torrenting them. (There have been many occasions where I have watched a torrent at a friend's house and then gone home and bought the DVD from Amazon or EBay purely for that commentary)

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Linux

Re: Extras?

All of this other nonsense distracts from the movie. The movie is still the main point of the entire enterprise. If the movie itself is not executed well then the other distractions are pretty meaningless.

Did they do a righteous transfer? If not then it's game over. The BD doesn't deserve anything better than 50%.

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Re: Extras?

It has nothing more for the serious fan - No better quality, no extras that a serious fan couldn't find elsewhere and MISLEADING ADVERTISING as to the extras included. So yes, it's a ripoff.

But still one of my top-5 films, no matter what format. And the fact that $ony hope they can bilk another generation with another crappy release is actually a tribute to the genius of the Pythons.

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Mushroom

Faithful transfer of poor source material somehow = bad transfer ?!

That's dumb logic.

The review points out that the ORIGINAL FILM STOCK itself is responsible for the poor visual quality. If the blu-ray transfer faithfully reproduces poor original visuals how is it not deserving of a high score ?

That's like down-rating the visuals of a blu-ray because the focus is off in some of the shots. That's not the fault of the format or the transfer and ironically may only be noticeable precisely BECAUSE the transfer is top notch, showing the source material WARTS AND ALL.

I suspect - and the screen shots seem to support this - that the image quality on this blu-ray is significantly improved over the DVD in key areas such as colour gradation, contrast and black levels, all things where blu-ray has significant advantages and benefits over DVD.

Will that show up things we perhaps don't stand up as well alongside modern production values ? Maybe.

But it is what it is.

Don't like it ? Go get yourself a print of the film for your movie projector for the authentically genuine experience ... but I suspect the blu-ray will actually be preferable to that.

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@Anonymous Coward 14:49

Have your choice, nothing wrong with that but I still don't understand why you'd want to know that when Michael Palin said "African or European" they spent three days discussing whether it would be funnier to say it that way or say "European or African", that it took 25 dubs to get the right comic intonation and that it wasn't actually Michael Palin but a voiceover atriste because MP had a cold that day. I doubt I'll need to be reminded to stay clear of anybody who comes up with such stuff and in particular anybody who really does knows whether it was MP and the order the question was phrased because they were just guesses.

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Re: Extras?

If they're interesting, yes. I'm always interested in "how did they do that?" or good stuff about how it was put together.

This though seems pretty much the definition of a WOMBAT (waste of money, brains and time). Nothing much interesting, and nothing new to say. Buy it on DVD for a fiver instead.

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Re: Extras?

I am always left wondering why anyone would want to watch the film + directors commentary, it's very much like watching a programme that has been dubbed into German but has left the original soundtrack intact but quieter than the dubbed soundtrack.

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With all that space for extras it's disappointing to see nothing about the Swedish Du-reformen and it's relationship to The Knights Who Say Ni.

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Headmaster

OK, I'll bite

Please tell me what the Swedish "du" reform had to do with the Knights who say "Ni"?

If it's easier, you can answer in Swedish :)

p

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I'm sure they'll have extra ads, some sterner piracy warnings, region protection and perhaps a rootkit to remind all of you not to mess with the S.

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Coat

The only extra I want with it is...

...A SHRUBBERY!

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Extra extras

I was kind of hoping for a scratch 'n' sniff card with it so that now you really can smell the Elderberries!

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But not too expensive.

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Anonymous Coward

..round and round the format..etc

You forgot to mention those of us who also paid to watch it at the cinema (yep I'm that old).

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Re: ..round and round the format..etc

>>You forgot to mention those of us who also paid to watch it at the cinema (yep I'm that old).<<

I don't think I so. Did anyone bother to read this review before commenting?

Alistair

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Shakespeare subs....

I'm fairly certain that and a couple of the other "Bluray only" extras are on my DVD version of the film....

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Facepalm

She's a Witch, She's a Witch......

I'm trying to get my head around the Reg ratings system. It seems to be something like:-

95%: Stupendous

90%: Great

80%: OK

75%: Meh

70%: Poor

65%: Awful

60%: Crap

55%: Total Crap

50%: Complete and utter Crap

45%: So unbelievably crap you won't believe it

40%: OK, so there is something worse than unbelievably crap

35%: Possibly the crappiest pile of crap ever invented.

30%: Definitely the crappiest pile of crap ever invented.

25%: Surely nothing can be crappier than this.

20%: Oh my GOD. I can't believe how crap this is.

15%: The reviewer killed himself because this is so crap.

10%: The Review killed himself after massacring the rest of the office in complete despair at the sheer crappiness of this thing.

Products scoring less than 10% will result in immediate Armageddon.

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Headmaster

Re: She's a Witch, She's a Witch......

Amiga Power was one of the few magazines ever to use the full 0 to 100 range. Made them a few enemies though from publishers who couldn't accept that 50% was an "average" game.

This was their reasoning:

http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/ap2/info/marks.html

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Re: She's a Witch, She's a Witch......

haha, Thats a proper old school text only website must have been from the days when ISPs like pipex only gave you 5mbs of space.

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3D?

Is it not in 3D? blimey, there's the next release lined up then.

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Joke

Weighs more than a Duck

So if the Blu ray has more data on it than a DVD ,

Then it must be heavier , so if the dvd floats ..

and the BLu ray dosent then it weighs more than a duck!

Fetch the Large Scales!

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Re: Weighs more than a Duck

DVDs and ducks are made of wood?

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Re: Weighs more than a Duck

Judging by the horrific grinding noises my DVD drive makes when it's installing something, I'd have to say yes.

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A Load Of Rubbish! — Is this included on le Bleu Roi? I doubt there's much extra beyond the 2001 Special Edition, and the weblinks worked back then. Mind you, I haven't tried them lately. And the entire Japanese version is on that 2-disc (sic) lowly DVD. Now if this had Black Plague Tetris as the original CD version did, that'd be spanking!

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FAIL

Le Bleu Roi?

"The Blue King"?

The French for Blu Ray is "Blu Ray" :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Le Bleu Roi?

Certainly you mean "le Blu Ray".

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Anonymous Coward

worth it i suppose

as some stage the nutcases will appear and question why the grubby low quality res of the film wasnt spread across the whole full fat bluray capacity cos they can see the difference.lol

Shame most of the 70s looks so fuzzy.

I suppose the invention of faster film stock meant you could dispense with a lighting crew and controlled studio settings. saving cash in the 3 day week 70s.

and there is an air of grubby medieval authenticity compared to those naff bollywood epics from the 50s and 60s.

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Trollface

First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to 80

no more, no less. 80 shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be 80. 81 shalt thou not count, neither count thou 79, excepting that thou then proceed to 80. 82 is right out. Once the number 80, being the 80th number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.

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My favourite Python but I have it on DVD so thanks to this review I can safely pass :)

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Film grain vs compression

Generally I don't mind film grain, it tends to be quite organic whereas I find compression artefacts harsh and intrusive.

Another often overlooked quality difference can be the graduation of colour; the film is effectively infinite but during digitisation it will need to be stepped. I'm sure there is a technical term for it but you will often see it on underwater scenes where the watery background should be smooth graduated colours but actually has just three or four blocky steps. Horrible.

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Emo

Re: Film grain vs compression

It's called quantisation.

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Re: Film grain vs compression

I think you have a LCD/LED type TV, this sort of thing is much less noticeable on a plasma IMHO. Though why that should be I have no idea.

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Re: Film grain vs compression

Maybe it's different for video but that kind of colour banding is referred to as posterization on digital images.

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Anonymous Coward

I can highly recommend

That anyone who works in IT, particularly with Indian developers, watch the scene in the swamp castle with the king and his guards, it may seem strangely familiar.

King: Guards, make sure the prince doesn't leave this room until I come and get him.

Guard: Not to leave the room... even if you come and get him.

King: No, no. *Until* I come and get him.

Guard: Until you come and get him, we're not to enter the room.

King: No, no, no. You *stay* in the room, and make sure *he* doesn't leave.

Guard: And you'll come and get him.

King: Right.

Guard: We don't need to do anything, apart from just stop him entering the room.

King:No, no. *Leaving* the room.

Guard: Leaving the room, yes.

...

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The app's fine without the BD …

… and rather better value.

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