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Thanks to Australian distributor Icon Film Distribution, we have Five double passes for Absolutely Anything to give away to our readers. This outrageous comedy is directed by Terry Jones (Life of Brian) and stars Simon Pegg, Kate Beckinsale, Joanna Lumley, and Eddie Izzard, plus the voice talents of Robin Williams, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Eric Idle. Synopsis: It's comedy magic when Simon Pegg teams up with the voices of the Monty Python team to remind us to be careful what you wish for in Absolutely Anything. Unbeknownst to school teacher Neil Clarke (Pegg), a group of eccentric aliens decide to place the fate of humanity in his hands. In order to determine if they should destroy the Earth or not, the aliens endow...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Terry Gilliam, despite turning 75 this month and recently publishing “Gilliamesque: A Pre-posthumous Memoir,” has no intention of seeing the curtain fall on his career. He fizzes with ideas as he sits for an interview with Variety at the British Film Institute cafe in London, dressed in a samue — a traditional Japanese jacket worn by monks and craftsmen. He jokes that the fusion of the two reflects his approach to his trade.
When it’s time to move to the location of the photo shoot across town in Covent Garden, he spurns the offer of a taxi, preferring to walk.
The determination in his brisk gait is mirrored in his creative pursuits. Though his doomed attempt to shoot “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” documented in the film “Lost in La Mancha,” took its toll on Gilliam, he has not given up on the project. Amazon is backing a revived version of the film, »
- Leo Barraclough
Perhaps the most subjective genre in cinema, the same comedy can cause one viewer to have tears of laughter and another to not crack a smile. So, while knowing there can be no definitive list of the finest in the genre, the Writers Guild of America attempted to narrow down the 101 funniest screenplays. Noting the distinction from the best in the genre, these 101 films should simply produce the most laughs.
Topping the list is Woody Allen‘s Best Picture-winning Annie Hall, a choice difficult to argue with. Rounding out the top five were Some Like it Hot, Groundhog Day, Airplane! and Tootsie, while films from the Coens, Stanley Kubrick, Wes Anderson, and Edgar Wright were also mentioned. There are also some genuine head-scratching inclusions, including The Hangover at 30, and, as much as I enjoy the film, Bridesmaids nearly making the top 15, but overall, if one is looking to brighten their mood, »
- Jordan Raup
“Annie Hall” has been named the funniest screenplay in voting by the members of the Writers Guild of America.
The script by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman topped “Some Like it Hot,” “Groundhog Day,” “Airplane!” and “Tootsie,” which make up the rest of the top five. “Young Frankenstein,” “Dr. Strangelove,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “National Lampoon’s Animal House” rounded out the top 10.
The awards for the 101 funniest screenplays were announced at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood at the conclusion of two hours of panel discussions and clips, hosted by Rob Reiner. He noted that his “This Is Spinal Tap” script had finished at the No. 11 spot — a coincidence that recalled the “go to 11” amplifier joke in the film.
- Dave McNary
Over the past half-century, Terry Gilliam has lived several lifetimes — first as the mastermind behind the surrealistically satirical animations on Monty Python's Flying Circus and then as a filmmaker with an unparalleled, singular imagination. His oeuvre contains everything from literary flights of fancy (Jabberwocky) and kid-friendly fantasies (Time Bandits) to dystopian epics (Brazil and Twelve Monkeys), kaleidoscopic romps (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) and the occasional slightly warped drama (The Fisher King, Tideland).
Now 74, Gilliam looks back on his life achievements, as well as »
The dramatic use of actors playing multiple characters is a bold and rather theatrical device that has its ups and downs. It goes at least as far back as Captain Hook being played by the same actor who plays the Darling children's father in stage productions of Peter Pan, a technique largely adopted in film adaptations of the story, too (hello to Jason Isaacs).
It's used a lot in cinema too. Done well, it's impressive, but when it's bad, it's Jack & Jill. Whether used in comedy or drama or outright horror, there are countless examples of actors delivering terrific performances in more than one role at once, and that's before we even get past Cloud Atlas. Still, we've had a go at totting up 25 of the best. »
A fact to drop at your next pub quiz night: Monty Python's Life of Brian has been banned in Bournemouth for over 35 years.
Now, it's finally getting its time to shine in the town's cinemas thanks to enterprising fan Adrian Cox's unwavering passion for Python.
First released in 1979, conservative councillors in Bournemouth slapped an X-rating on the film. The reason? Good ol' blasphemy.
Now the film's been officially approved for viewing in cinemas, it's costing Cox £3,000 to show the film to around 200 people.
As for why Bournemouth in particular banned the movie, Ben Grower - a veteran of the council, and on it at the time of the film's »
Marking 40 years since the Monty Python troupe made their narrative film debut, The Holy Grail gets reissued in cinemas and Blu-ray - and this time you're invited to sing along. Like the Pythons' trailblazing BBC sketch show - and the more recent stage spin-off Spamalot - it's a triumph of silliness over British pomposity, led by Graham Chapman's King Arthur on a quest to find the you-know-what.
Setting the irreverent tone were untested co-directors Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones working from a script penned by the whole Python gang, following Arthur as he gathers the fabled Knights of the Round Table to run an errand for God (a cut-out animation of a bearded bloke in the clouds). The visual quirks that would become Gilliam's trademark are very much in evidence here, although John Cleese publicly grumbled that too much technical wizardry threatened to overpower the jokes. Not so.
Here are a handful of links that I think are worth reading today, for discerning Criterion Collection fan.
Over on his Criterion Reflections blog, David has just posted his review of Mikio Naruse’s Scattered Clouds:
Since a couple years have passed between my last viewing of a Naruse film (1964’s Yearning, back in 2013, though not reviewed anywhere), I was thus quite eager to sit down and take in Scattered Clouds, available on Criterion’s Hulu channel (and only there, as no version of it on disc is anywhere to be found for the Region 1 market, anyway.)
Don’t miss the Criterion Collection As Haiku blog’s latest entry, on Lonesome.
Even though this is favorable, I think I underestimated the achievement of this first feature; reseeing it a quarter of a century later, »
- Ryan Gallagher
At the beginning of each month, HBO announces which films will be leaving its library. We collect the full list of titles here so that you can plan the most effective viewing strategy for the rest of the month. You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Screen: Gravity (2013) Alfonso Cuarón’s 2013 space thriller is a technical marvel, which is why we can’t wholeheartedly recommend that you stream it on anything less than a full-size projection set. If you can’t manage that, then sure, watch Sandra Bullock desperately try to survive as she hurdles toward earth on your laptop or phone, but just know you’re missing out. Leaves October 10. And Now for Something You Can Only Watch for One More Month: Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life (1983) A collection of sketches about life, death, and making fun of large Catholic families. Not as beloved as Holy Grail or Life of Brian, »
- Jackson McHenry
Very early in Ondi Timoner‘s new documentary “Brand: A Second Coming,” BBC commentator Jeremy Paxman is asked for his opinion of how British stand-up comic Russell Brand has apparently transformed himself from a serious funnyman into a political and social commentator who makes jokes. Paxman references a line from Monty Python’s “Life of Brian,” speaking to the great traditions of British humor even as he mocks Brand’s new mission to save the world by changing it: “He’s not the Messiah; he’s a very naughty boy.” Also Read: Russell Brand Documentary 'Brand: A Second Coming »
- James Rocchi
Bill is funny. There’s no better way to put it than that. I was chuckling from the simple-but-sharp opening crawl through to the Shakespeare medley finale, with a good few belly laughs along the way. If all you want is a comedy stuffed with jokes, rather than a forced heartfelt story with the odd humorous set-piece (which we’ve grown accustomed to from the genre in recent years), then you’re in for a good time.
The film comes from the same team behind Cbbc’s Horrible Histories, which became notable for appealing as much to parents as it did kids looking for a teatime treat. And those who’ve caught that show will know exactly what they’re in for here – a historical setting populated by a bunch of off-kilter characters, personified by period trappings suddenly making way for very modern tongues.
The big difference »
- Alex Leadbeater
Exclusive: On the eve of his third term as the trade association’s chairman, Michael Ryan has fired a broadside at European Commission proposals for a Digital Single Market.
The Gfm Films partner will officially transition into the role on September 24 when the Independent Film & Television Alliance (Ifta) holds its annual membership meeting, marking the third time he will have held the position.
In an interview with Screendaily, Ryan said he wanted to use Ifta’s voice to speak out against what he views as a threat to the livelihood of thousands of industry professionals.
“[The Dsm] is patently something that will destroy the independent film business if they pass it into law,” the incoming chairman said.
“We already have the ability to download and take our favourite programmes with us. We don’t need legislation from the European Union allowing it to be broadcast all over the place and deal a death blow to the independent film business »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Everyone has something they regret. Bill Murray has Garfield. Josh Trank has saying yes to directing a superhero blockbuster. I have that article where I said Mad Max: Fury Road wouldn’t be that good. And now Monty Python has Absolutely Anything.
Oh, individually, Messrs Cleese, Palin, Jones and Idle have done worse things, but together – through their smartly silly sketch show and even more accomplished movies – they’ve never produced anything that comes close to this.
The Monty Python™ branding may be lacking from the film, with them only getting a passing mention in the marketing, but all the hallmarks are there. We open with an Idle-esque musical number, the director is Terry Jones and the surviving Pythons reunite to provide the voices of supreme beings who gift Simon Pegg with the power to do absolutely anything with just the flick of his wrist. At this point, »
- Alex Leadbeater
Absolutely Anything, 2015.
Directed by Terry Jones.
A group of eccentric aliens give a man the power to do absolutely anything in order to determine if the Earth is worth saving.
The premise of Absolutely Anything will be familiar to fans of South Park. In one particularly brilliant episode of Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s irreverently astute show, “Pinewood Derby”, a self-professed intergalactic bank robbing alien called Baby Fark McGee-zax (which is of no relevance but is too good to ignore) lands on Earth to take everyone hostage while forcing Stan and Randy to recreate the warp speed that drew him there in the first place, so that he can make good his escape with his massive haul of space cash. It turns out that *spoiler alert* it’s all an »
- Edward Gardiner
Is it possible to train your cat to be vegan? Would he ever present Top Gear? And what’s his beef with Piers Morgan. The Monty Python and Fawlty Towers star answered your questions live - read his answers here.
That’s it! Thanks for all your questions. A final word from John:
This has been great fun, thanks for entertaining questions. Signed, A Non-Venemous Python.
David Gersch asks:
After reading your autobiography, I’m troubled on the conclusion of what type of Cheese you are, initially I thought of you as a Brie, sophisticated and elegant, then I noticed you more of a Goat Cheese, wanting to please everyone and losing yourself in doing so, but as you’ve matured I sense a Blue Cheese quality, an acquired taste. Mr Cleese what Cheese are you? in addition what are the other Pythons cheese types?
What kind of cheese am I? »
- Guardian Staff
Today we have a trailer for the upcoming "Absolutely Anything" sci-fi comedy, starring Simon Pegg, Kate Beckinsale, Robin Williams, Rob Riggle, Eddie Izzard, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin. Check it out below. Plot: A teacher (Pegg) at a failing secondary school is unexpectedly given great power by a group of aliens (Cleese, Gilliam, Palin), who are deciding whether planet Earth lives or dies based on his actions. The new movie is directed by Terry Jones (Life of Brian, Monty Python and the Holy Grail) and is set to hit UK theaters on August 14th. A Us release date has yet to be announced. Trailer: »
Considering his previous credits include Monty Python's Life of Brian and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it's no surprise that Terry Jones' latest effort, Absolutely Anything, promises to be a supremely silly of very British comedy. The first trailer sets up the premise perfectly, with a group of aliens (voiced by Jones and the rest of Monty Python) testing the capacity for good and evil in humanity by granting the power to do absolutely anything to a cynical teacher Neil (Simon Pegg). Of course, Neil wields this power in selfish ways, including giving himself the perfect body, immense success, and granting his the power of speech to his dog (voiced by Robin Williams in one of his final roles). The main meat of the story is thankfully kept under warps, and hopefully it remains there until the movie hits in a few months time, because this promises to »
- email@example.com (Tom White)
Lionsgate UK has released the first official trailer for Terry Jones' (Life of Brian, Monty Python and the Holy Grail) new sci-fi comedy Almost Anything. The film stars Simon Pegg as Neil Clarke, a cynical school teacher who is granted the power to do anything as a part of an alien examination to judge the good and evil in humanity. Clarke uses his abilities in a number of silly and selfish ways including spying on his attractive neighbor (Kate Beckinsale), giving himself ripped abs, and granting his dog the power of speech, voiced by Robin Williams in one of his final roles. Absolutely Anything reunites Jones with his Monty Python colleagues John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Michael Palin for the first time since 1983's The Meaning of Life. The comedic legends lend their voices to the power-hungry aliens who judge Pegg's character from space, determined to end »
- Haleigh Foutch
Gold for fans, though unlikely to mean much to anyone else, “The Meaning of Live” chronicles the reunion of surviving Monty Python’s Flying Circus members as the famed comedy troupe plays its first live shows in 34 years. Mixing a performance record with a light recap of the group’s original heyday, Roger Graef and James Rogan’s documentary premiered on British TV last fall. Its current fest run is high-profile yet unlikely to generate much further bigscreen interest, with tube and download sales remaining the ingratiating pic’s principal outlets.
The five Pythons (Graham Chapman died in 1989) decide to perform live for the first time since 1980, for the simple reason that a lawsuit (underexplained here) has had a serious impact on some members’ finances. Ergo, they’re doing a 10-day run at London’s O2 stadium, where they’ll play nightly to crowds of 15,000 who’ll mostly have their eyes glued to the Jumbo-Tron. »
- Dennis Harvey
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