John Cleese

A Liar

Everybody knows the name Monty Python, but most people can’t name the individual members of the legendary British comedians. For the record they’re John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Graham Chapman. And yes, I forgot Terry Jones at first, too. Like most comedy troupes formed in 1960s England, Monty Python isn’t as whole as they once were. No, don’t go Googling to see if Terry Jones is still alive. He is. I checked. But Graham Chapman is not. He died twenty three years ago from throat cancer, but audio recordings he made in 1986 meant to be narration for his autobiography have been put to celebratory use in the new, factually loose, humorous but sadness tinged animated film, A Liar’s Autobiography. Three directors, multiple animators and several members of Python came together to create this loving tribute to a very special dead man. (It focuses on his life before he died of course.) Check below for four more images from the new film, and be sure to tune into EPIX on November 2nd for the film’s premiere.

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A lot of thought went into what quotes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail would be used for this intro. In the end, though, it was decided that you all probably know this film by heart, anyway. If you don’t, what are you doing right now? Get to memorizing. When you’re done, though, be sure to come back for this special, little treat we have in store for you on this week’s Commentary Commentary. Monty Python and the Holy Grail had not one, but two directors to it, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones. The rest of Monty Python did their own commentary track, but it’s separate. Something about a death threat or something. Anyway, this week we’re listening to Gilliam and Jones, the directing team behind this comedy classic, some would even consider it among the greatest comedies of all time. What could they possibly have to say that this film doesn’t say already? Let’s find out. We may even find out what the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow is, but I’m not holding my breath. Right. Off you go.

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Monty Python

Monty Python veteran Terry Jones has co-written (with Gavin Scott) and will direct a Sci-Fi farce called Absolutely Anything that has been said might be the cause of a mini-Monty Python reunion. Unfortunately, all of the members of the Python crew are no longer with us, but news from Variety says that Jones’ new film is now looking like it will, in fact, manage to get back together at least most of the surviving members. In addition to his own involvement, Jones has already signed up John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, and Michael Palin, and he’s currently negotiating with Eric Idle.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dances with joy because it’s the only time you can dress up in flowing robes and head to the cineplex to see a movie based on an alleged children’s book and not get arrested. After cinching his wizarding cloak around his waist with his Gryffindor scarf, he sails off to check out Winnie the Pooh. Then, from the dysfunctional head cases in the Hundred Acre Wood, Kevin sneaks into the screening room next door to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II only to discover he doesn’t have his 3D glasses. Curses!

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A.A. Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood and the characters that inhabit it are among the most indelible literary creations, so it’d have been pretty hard for directors Stephen J. Anderson and John Hall to mess things up in their new Winnie the Pooh. And they haven’t. With its appealingly retro hand drawn animation, low-key aura and narrative reliant on gentle misunderstandings, the film offers a welcome return vehicle for Pooh, Christopher Robin and their motley band of Hundred Acre dwellers.

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Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. You can’t go wrong with a movie this overflowing with clever insults and John Cleese covering his man bits with a picture of his family. Perhaps the funniest heist movie ever made, Jamie Lee Curtis is the bait, and a bunch of diamonds are on the line if she can seduce John Cleese (without that picture) and if Kevin Kline can avoid getting them all killed. What can you learn from the trailer today? Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not “Every man for himself.” And the London Underground is not a political movement. Knowledge! Think you know what it is? Check the trailer out for yourself:

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As the only literate Reject, it’s my duty to find the latest, the greatest and the untouched classics that would make great source material for film adaptations. I read so you don’t have to. The end of the world is coming pretty soon, and the best way to be prepared for it is to read this book by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Don’t be caught with your pants down during the end times. Know your future, gird your loins, avoid gorgeous red heads that make you angry for no apparent reason, and keep a close eye on that neighborhood gang of kids that seems totally harmless. They’re probably hanging out with the Antichrist.

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It’s been decades since the Pythons have been on the screen together, and even getting them all into the same room for an event has been a Herculean feat, but the group may come back together for Absolutely Anything – a movie written and directed by their very own Mr. Creosote, Terry Jones. John Oliver, comedian and writer for The Daily Show, is on tap to star in the film that sounds like the typical lunacy and lucidity of Jones. Apparently it features, “aliens, a goofy Brit, a talking dog and buckets of silliness.” It’s safe to assume that “buckets of silliness” is code for the buckets that contain Graham Chapman’s ashes.

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python-header

It seems fitting that I was just spending the afternoon the other day watching several hours of behind the scenes features on my Blu-ray copy of Monty Python’s Life of Brian, as news from the Python camp today is that the gang is getting back together to celebrate their 40th Anniversary later this year.

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planet51-header

Planet 51 may not be an original tale, nor is it a movie from the likes of Pixar or Dreamworks. However, this second trailer is quite a bit of fun.

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FSR

Kevin Carr reviews the movies the studios didn’t allow him to see early this week: Pink Panther 2, Coraline and Push.

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Director Scott Derrickson’s remake of the 1951 science fiction classic, the latest in the long line of shiny, CG-heavy remakes, might be attractive at first, but in the end it reveals itself to be less than worthy of its name.

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The Day the Earth Stood Still

When I think of the upcoming remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still, I think of Al Gore. I know it’s a stretch, but go with me on this.

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The Day the Earth Stood Still

That title is really just me trying to reach out to all of you and let you know that I have, in fact, seen the original 1951 version of The Day the Earth Stood Still.

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