MICHAEL PALIN'S PERSONAL BEST
Review by Michael Jacobson
Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones,
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Features: "Second Best" Compilation, Quiz, Biography
Length: 55 Minutes
Release Date: August 30, 2005
been a hunter all my life. I love
animals. That's why I like to kill
Pythons, six different takes on their best work...this time, it's Michael
the "nice one", compiled his take on the best of Monty Python's
Flying Circus in this video of TV highlights, and perhaps the most curious
aspect is the overall lack of sketches in which he stars.
Perhaps Michael would be better known as the "modest one".
each of the Personal Best discs from A&E, I sit beforehand and
consider what I consider to be each member's best work.
I was quite a bit off on this one...and surprised.
The Lumberjack Song wasn't here, nor was The Spanish Inquisition.
One of my favorite Palin bits, Déjà Vu, also was conspicuously absent.
there are other choice bits of jocularity, starting with Flying Sheep and ending
with The Fish Slapping Dance. Michael
himself hosts the DVD at the site of the latter...known for his series of travel
programs, it's no wonder he couldn't resist paying a visit!
best actual Michael Palin bit included is Blackmail, one of my all time
favorites...it's a rather twisted take on a game show.
Other welcome inclusions were The Mosquito Hunters, The Chemist Sketch,
The Architect Sketch and The Man With a Tape Recorder Up His Nose.
The story of the infamous Piranha Brothers is told, as well as a rather
hysterical take on Beethoven. Some
delightful animation from Terry Gilliam is also featured.
Michael also threw in a pair of the most trying skits the troupe ever attempted
(hey, in a four year long run, they couldn't all be high points).
The Cheese Shop always finds my attention wandering, as John Cleese
itemizes every cheese known to man (and some I dare say known only to Python
fans). Another is a bit on a
composer with a very, very, VERY long name that keeps getting repeated over and
over. It's actually hysterical the
first time it's said. But by the
sixth or seventh time, you may be tempted to grope for the remote.
Eric Idle, Palin didn't venture beyond the original television show for his
selections, so no gems from Live at the Hollywood Bowl.
The disc could have benefited from a couple.
It's a pleasant enough trip down memory lane for fans of Britain's
legendary bad boys of comedy, but for those who are really into The Flying
Circus, this seems a rather uneven and shortsighted compilation.
digital transfers for this classic Britcom remain impressive, and the best way
to date to relieve these shows at home. Though
some filmed footage shows a bit of wear next to the one shot on video, the
overall look is clear and clean, with decent color renderings.
audio track is perfectly passable...just jokes and laughter; nothing too
disc features a bio on Palin, a selection of his "Second Best"
material (about 11 minutes and pretty funny), and a 15 question interactive