Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five to Go appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The 1080I presentation looked good but not great.
Sharpness mostly seemed solid. Occasionally, wide shots came across as a little soft and ill defined. However, those examples appeared infrequently and did little to distract from the rest of the presentation, which usually looked concise and detailed.
I noticed some light jagged edges and moiré effects – mostly from stairs and small props on stage – but I detected no signs of edge enhancement. Source flaws looked absent, and I saw no issues related to artifacting, noise, or other distractions.
Live delivered a broad, dynamic palette. With a wide variety of costumes, backdrops and lighting choices, the show offered many chances for a mix of colors. The hues looked well developed and accurate. Blacks were deep and dense, while low-light shots came across as clear and appropriately visible. The mild softness and jaggies/shimmering left this as a “B” image, but it was still more than acceptable.
As one expects from a concert presentation, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundfield remained focused on the front, where the mix showed strong stereo imaging. Dialogue appeared firmly set in the middle, while music spread across the forward speakers. Some effects and crowd noise also came from the front side channels and created a good sense of atmosphere.
As for the surrounds, they mostly featured crowd noise. They added a little reinforcement of the effects, but not to a substantial degree. The soundfield went with a pretty standard concert approach.
Audio quality was solid. Dialogue worked fine, as the lines seemed accurate and as natural as one could expect in the arena setting. The rest of the track also showed good clarity and a dynamic tone. The music was peppy and full, while effects seemed accurate enough. This turned into a satisfactory mix for a concert performance.
In terms of extras, we find a mix of short featurettes. The Reunion runs one minute, 10 seconds and offers a table read among the Pythons. It’s too brief to be more than a tease.
The Announcement lasts one minute, 57 seconds and displays a press event at which the Pythons revealed their concert plans. Like “Reunion”, it becomes too short to add value; why not show the entire press conference?
With the seven-minute, 58-second The Production, we get “behind the scenes” looks at musical arrangement, choreography, costumes, the set and rehearsals. Like the prior pieces, “Production” lacks coherence; it flits about rapidly and fails to give us much useful information.
Next we go Backstage at the O2 London. This reel fills four minutes, 14 seconds with shots of singers/dancers as they practice and prep behind the scenes. It seems mildly interesting to focus on the non-Pythons involved, but once again, brevity saps the piece of value; it feels too superficial to deliver much to us.
Highlights from the 10 Shows at the O2 London occupy two minutes, eight seconds. That’s not a lot of “highlights” for 10 concerts, is it? The reel shows some celebrities in attendance and a few side comments from the Pythons. It becomes another largely superfluous featurette.
Finally, we get elements from a June 2014 Green Screen Shoot. The five-minute, 23-second clip lets us see filmed performances of the Pythons created for the show. It’s the most interesting of the disc’s bonus materials.
In addition to these video components, the set supplies a booklet. It contains a note from the Pythons, exaggerated biographies, photos and archival elements. The booklet offers a nice addition.
In their prime, Monty Python produced excellent comedy. With Live – One Down, Five to Go, we get a live concert that seems amusing but somewhat pointless, as we can see the material performed better in its original format. The Blu-ray offers good picture and audio with superficial supplements. Serious Python fans will want to check out Live but others should stick with the original shows