June 20, 2012

Cheapskate Film Festival: NOT THE MESSIAH

Welcome to the Blog This, Pal! Cheapskate Film Festival, in which I feature a variety of movies purchased at a particular closeout chain (which I will not name for legal reasons, but whose mascot is a large, orange exclamation point) for $10 or under, to provide some entertainment as well as some viewing guidance over the next few weeks. (If any breaking news occurs, I'll be sure to double post that day - gotta drive that SEO).

In that spirit, I would like to start with a review of Monty Python's Not the Messiah....or more accurately, Eric Idle's Not the Messiah:

There's been a lot of talk about the feuding amongst the Pythons, especially between Eric Idle and John Cleese over money. Of course, this isn't that kind of post.

In a weirdly ironic way, Not the Messiah - a classical oratorio based on Life of Brian - proves John Cleese's points, because it's the worst, most blatantly obvious cash-in on Python's reputation. And I'm not saying that because it's an "Oratorio".

It would be easy to suggest, "Well, what would you consider Spamalot?" My answer is that Spamalot is just one of another variety of Broadway adaptations, driven by media content being controlled by a handful of corporations. (As well as, I imagine, a lack of enthusiasm on the part of the Pythons to develop new and original material for the Broadway stage). But Not the Messiah shows a real lack of originality - the jokes (both musical and text) are obvious, and really comes across as less a celebration of Python's 40th anniversary and more of a "Look at us! We're still wacky!" cry for help.

It's....not worth watching. And I rarely, if ever, say that.

Now that we've gotten the negative review out of the way, come back tomorrow for a more positive one.

But if you go through life never seeing this particular piece of Python, you're not missing anything.

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