Life of Brian (1979) Film Review


“He’s not the messiah. He’s a very naughty boy.”

Okay, let’s put religious beliefs aside, whether you believe that Jesus existed, whether you believe he was the messiah, whatever you believe. What if there was just an ordinary guy living in the time of Jesus who was most definitely not the messiah, but a series of misunderstandings lead him to be followed by thousands and even, eventually, crucified – all against his will?

Thank goodness it is Monty Python telling this story, because otherwise it could have been tedious or worthy – instead it is magnificently stupid and hilarious. Of course, this assumes you enjoy the humour of Monty Python. If not, well, you’d probably think this was all just a bit stupid.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) Film Review


Surely you know of the Holy Grail, about King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table and about the many legends that surround them? So what happens when Monty Python takes it on? It is so magnificently ridiculous. So many stupid characters, silly voices and just general wonderful insanity. Although if you don’t like the absurd, and if you don’t like the Monty Python style of comedy, don’t bother. Leave it for the rest of us to snigger at all the quotes and references that have made their way into everyday pop culture references.


The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) Film Review


Knowing that this was Heath Ledger’s last film, and indeed, that he passed away during shooting, I’ve been hesitant to watch it. Even knowing it’s a Terry Gilliam film and that filming was resumed with Colin Farrell, Jude Law and Johnny Depp, I still couldn’t bear it. I suspected (very wrongly) that it would feel unfinished, or, at best, half-arsed. As is often proven, I’m an idiot. Of course the perfectionist Terry Gilliam wouldn’t release a poor product.

There is a travelling theatre stage on the back of an old-fashioned horse-drawn caravan that appears in random locations. The feature act is Doctor Parnassus; the thousand-year-old man who provides a unique experience to anyone who enters. But it is running into the ground in the modern age as it has not updated – until the appearance of the hanging man, Tony (Heath Ledger).

There is so much more to the plot, but I think you should just watch and enjoy. Be aware, though; it’s crazy and nuts, with unreal worlds hidden from view, and you really need to suspend your disbelief to enjoy it.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus was nominated for Oscars for Best Achievement in Costume Design and Best Achievement in Art Direction.