Saturday, October 31, 2015

652. Life of Brian (1979)

Running Time: 94 minutes
Directed By: Terry Jones
Written By: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin
Main Cast: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin
Click here to view the trailer


Number 1,000! Don't get distracted, don't get distracted....okay, I'm good.

I actually had a little trouble locating Life of Brian, as Netflix currently has it listed as "very long wait" and it's not available to rent on any of the streaming services (Amazon or YouTube, anyway). I managed to track down a copy that someone uploaded to YouTube and thus, we're all set. I chose to do Life of Brian first because I preferred to end with something familiar as opposed to something new, and I'd never seen Life of Brian, while seeing Holy Grail multiple times.

As is the same with Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian is really just a collection of sketches, held together by a thin plot. In this case, the setting is bible times (as opposed to Holy Grail's medieval times) and the plot revolves around Brian Cohen, the baby who was born in the manger next door to Jesus. Later in life, around 33 A.D., Brian falls in with a group of Jews known as the People's Front in Judea, who are rebelling against the Romans. Brian, who earlier, found out he himself was actually Roman, his mother having been raped by the vicious Roman soldier Naughtius Maximus. Brian renounces the Romans and proudly proclaims himself a proud Jew, thus his new found affiliation. However, when the PFJ break into Pilate's quarters, the plan goes awry, Brian becomes a fugitive from the Romans and it doesn't end well for our hero. As is the same with Holy Grial, the six pythons play all the lead characters, Eric Idle, John Cleese and Michael Palin putting in serious overtime, playing a handful of roles.

Add Monty Python and the Holy Grail to the "list of movies my brother showed me". This was way back when we still shared a little bedroom and my brother had recorded the film onto a VHS tape. One night, he promised to show me something funny and thus, produced Holy Grail. In fact, you could just say that my brother introduced me to Monty Python period, because, believe it or not, despite liking Holy Grail, I never went on to see anything else from the Python creators. We'd always heard rumblings about something in one of their movies about "wolves nipple chips" and always joked about it as juveniles, but we never saw the film. Today, I'll proudly text my brother and tell him, "Finally saw the wolves nipple chips bit!".

As is usually the case when you see a first and don't see any subsequent chapters, you always stay loyal and true to the one you fell in love with first and that's the case here. Sure, I liked Life of Brian well enough, as it was a perfectly enjoyable way to spend ninety minutes, but I just kept thinking it was a poor man's Holy Grail. Sure the jokes were new, but they were in the same style and to be totally honest, I didn't laugh out loud once. I have a feeling I'm going to take a beating on this one...

Honestly, I REALLY wanted to like this one and hoped that it would make as strong of a first impression on me as Holy Grail did. However, I just flat out didn't like it as much. I would classify it as "somewhat amusing" and move on. Also, what was the deal with the alien spaceship bit halfway through the movie? Really weird and probably the moment where the film jumped the shark for me.

RATING: 6/10  Comedies are always hard to do reviews for, so we'll keep this short to avoid me rambling. Here's hoping Monty Python and the Holy Grail holds up and we end this thing strong.


October 31, 2015  10:48am


  1. So number 1001 will be Holy Grail, right? That's a perfect ending I think.

    1. For what was left, yeah I thought it was pretty perfect.

  2. Well now .. I actually prefere 'Brain' to Holly Grail. .. More rounded & focused, more .. grown up.
    Were you around when there was the storm of fuss and protest when this first came out?

    1. I wasn't around, but I kind of suspected something like that when I was watching it and I looked on Wikipedia to confirm my suspicions.

  3. I always took the spaceship scene as a sly acknowledgement that they couldn't think of a way for Brian to escape without a deus ex machina, so they might as well just go full-blown ridiculous and not even attempt to maintain the film's credibility. It's a self-aware scene poking fun of their own shortcomings as writers, in a way.

    1. Okay then, I like that explanation. It actually makes it all a little funnier i guess


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