Home  >  Movies & TV  >  DVDs

Screen Shots

Taking aim at the best and worst of movies and television.

New on DVD: Monty Python, Woody Allen and more

Posted 4:08pm on Monday, Oct. 26, 2009

Most discussions of Monty Python begin with a favorite sketch and expand outward, escalating into ever sillier digressions. The Python franchise has been thoroughly mined; multiple editions of the Python films exist on DVD and the series has been repackaged a couple times itself. Until now, there hasn't been a definitive documentary but Bill Jones, Alan G. Parker and Benjamin Timlett's six-hour Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer's Cut) comes the closest yet.

Its generous length allows the surviving Pythons, along with a coterie of admirers and collaborators, to bring a somewhat fresh perspective to the well-worn tale of the groundbreaking British comedians' trajectory at home and abroad. Truth doesn't flinch from the troupe's spiky interpersonal relationships; the factions of frenemies are abundantly clear. Still, copious clips (including a few moving, hilarious snippets of Graham Chapman's memorial service) and fawning tributes from the likes of Steve Coogan, Eddie Izzard and Stephen Merchant make this sprawling doc a must-have for Dead Parrot-heads. Extras include even more interview footage (one bit focuses on Dallas-based KERA's willingness to be the first American PBS station to air Flying Circus in the early '70s) and a selection of timeless sketches (yes, "The Dead Parrot" is included). (Eagle Rock, $29.99 DVD; $39.99 Blu-ray)

-- Whatever Works: Writer/director Woody Allen's latest pairs him with kvetching comrade-in-arms Larry David, who schools the younger Melanie (Evan Rachel Wood) with his acerbic worldview.

-- Il Divo: Paolo Sorrentino writes and directs this admittedly dense but enthralling portrait of Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti (played by Toni Servillo), whose reign was fraught with nefarious deeds.

-- Z: Criterion Collection: Costa-Gavras' white-knuckle, Oscar-winning thriller still resonates 40 years later; if anything, its exploration of governmental machinations and the quest for truth seems eerily prescient in 2009.

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Hey there. or join DFW.com. Your account. Log out.

Remember me

We now have a new, simpler way for you to enter and search for events, at listings.dfw.com. As always, when you submit an event to appear online, it will also be available for us in our print publication. But now you can simply enter your event and provide an email address, rather than creating a separate account and registering. Our new listings tool is still a work in progress, so we appreciate your patience as we fine-tune it. Please contact us at hsvokos@dfw.com if you have any questions or concerns.