Developer: Melcher Media

Price: 4.99
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

iOS Integration Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Monty Python: The Holy Book of Days is like a Trojan rabbit. The app looks like fanware for the cult classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and it is that. But its obfuscated primary function is as a second screen app for the Blu-Ray edition. Huzzah! Brave Sir Robin and The Knights who say Ni still look remarkably low-rent, but the flaws are very sharp in super high-definition.

Wait. What’s a Trojan rabbit? Who’s Sir Robin and what’s a Ni-Knight? Stop. If you don’t know you have two choices: run away run away, or get your hands on a copy of the funniest – certainly the most irreverent – Arthurian tale to ever grace the cinematic canon. If you hate the antics of comedy geniuses John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin this probably isn’t the right app. If, however, hearing “Bring out yer dead” makes you giggle, it’s a treat.

Looking dapper in his dotage, none other than Mr Cleese greets us by telling us we’ve made a terrible mistake buying this companion app. So we set off in perfect Python pitch.

The app goes day-by-day through the 28 frantic days of filmmaking, or scene-by-scene, showing off all kinds of minutia: everything from script morsels and insider trivia, to video outtakes, daily logs, and audio clips. There are a few 3D props, nonsense, and a bit of sense, about Scotland (where the movie was shot), and all kinds of digital goodies.

There’s tons for fans here, but this app is not a digital book. It’s a new kind of second screen experience. Those whose Blu-Ray players allow for an Internet connection can pair up with The Book of Days via Wi-Fi while screening. The iPad acts in place of a remote control and shows the app’s associated sections in sync.

It’s a groovy idea, but even as a hard-core freak, er fan, I’m not shelling out for a Blu-Ray copy. I have the movie on a broken VHS, scratched DVD and one from iTunes. Were this film the sort where the killer rabbit and minor flesh wounds on a Black Knight looked pretty cool special effects-wise, even by 1974-5 standards, it might be nice to have a shiny new pixel-dense copy.

But, as anyone who’s seen any Python pic knows, low-budget effects are a trademark. I don’t need higher resolution; I need a reunion! I’m hoping the enhanced version finds its way onto iTunes. If the app integrated with a rental I might actually shell out a few bucks.

If one owns the Blu-Ray then get this. As a stand-alone product it’s pretty hard for those who know the answers required to cross the Bridge of Death to resist, too. But buy a new Holy Grail hard copy? Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh!


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