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Time Bandits [Blu-ray]
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THEY DIDN T MAKE HISTORY, THEY STOLE IT!
The film that established Terry Gilliam as more than just Monty Python s resident animator, this delightfully inventive children s fantasy is about young Kevin (Craig Warnock) who finds himself travelling through holes in the space-time continuum in the company of half a dozen fractious dwarfs.
Along the way, he encounters Agamemnon (Sean Connery), Robin Hood (John Cleese), Napoleon (Ian Holm) and winds up as a passenger on the Titanic, although not necessarily in that order. But is this just random entertainment laid on for history fan Kevin s benefit, or part of a wider struggle between the forces of good (Ralph Richardson) and evil (David Warner)?
At the time, this was a rare example of a small-budget British film successfully taking on American blockbusters. Now, it's a much-loved fantasy classic bursting with inspired images and ideas: Gilliam and co-writer Michael Palin (who also appears) are clearly enjoying themselves as much as their audience.
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From a script cowritten with his fellow Monty Python veteran Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam pulled out all the stops on his prodigious imagination for this comedy-fantasy from 1981. Film critic Pauline Kael was right when she wrote, "This may be one of those rare pictures that suffers from a surfeit of good ideas," because there's not enough plot to keep pace with the sheer inventiveness of Gilliam's filmmaking. That hasn't stopped Time Bandits from becoming a classic, of sorts, attracting a cult following as a semi-reunion of the Python gang (with Palin and John Cleese making splendid appearances) and a rousing adventure of near-epic proportions. It's about a kid named Kevin (Craig Warnock) who joins a band of mischievous dwarves on a jaunt through various eras and epochs. They've stolen a map to holes in the space-time continuum that belongs to the Supreme Being (suitably played by Sir Ralph Richardson), and as Kevin survives a variety of heroic adventures, including an encounter with King Agamemnon (Sean Connery) and an Evil Genius (David Warner) who pursues the coveted map using his nefarious magical powers. As a warm-up for Gilliam's later, even more ambitious fantasies, Brazil and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, this is a dazzling dose of cinematic whimsy, and Gilliam doesn't compromise the darkness of his tale with an artificially upbeat ending. There's as much menace in Time Bandits as there is an awesome sense of wonder, and that gives the movie an extra kick of timeless appeal. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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The following text appears inside the booklet provided with this Blu-ray release:
"The original 35mm Time Bandits negative was scanned at 2K resolution on a pin-registered ARRISCAN, and the film was fully graded using the Nucoda Film Master Colour grading system.
Restoration work was carried out using a combination of software tools and techniques. Thousands of instances of dirt, scratches, and debris were carefully removed frame by frame. Damaged frames were repaired, and density and stability issues were significantly improved. The soundtrack was transferred from the original magnetic tracks and underwent audio restoration to repair bumps, clicks and other instances of audible damage.
Director and co-writer Terry Gilliam has approved the restoration.
Film Restoration Supervisor: James White.
Film Restoration by Deluxe Production: Mark Bonnici, Graham Jones, Paul Collard.
Datacine Colourist: Stephen Berman.Read more ›
As usual Gilliam coaxes the last drop of acting expertise from all involved, the humour is plentiful but very two edged and there is a subtext as deep as you care to delve.
The story rattles along for the most part but there are one or two scenes that could do with a gentle push in the right direction as the humour and pace slack. these though are rare and as anyone who remembers his python contributions or who has seen his films will know,Gilliam really knows how to visualize the incredible and so, even 25 years later, you are left with images of a knight on horseback charging from a childs wardrobe, 6 dwarves and a child dangling from a cage over infinite nothingness, a giant with a sailing ship on its head and so on and so on.
A quarter of a century has not dulled this films sharp edge nor left it without its ability to shock,tickle or astound. it can be enjoyed straight up as a grown up childs adventure story or you can happily chew over its subtext, either way there is much to enjoy.
But history turns out not to be all it's cracked up to be. Napoleon is crippled by an inferiority complex stemming from his small stature; Robin Hood is a patronising liar and his 'merry men' are a bunch of violent filthy animals. Only in mythical Greece does Kevin come close to realising his dreams.
The film retains a dark edge throughout. As Gilliam explains in his DVD commentary, by casting small people as the bandits, led by the delightfully arrogant David Rappaport, he hoodwinks the audience into swallowing their extreme cupidity. The innocent Kevin (played by a child actor deliberately selected for his shyness) finds himself swept into company even more mindlessly greedy than that of his parents'.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've seen this film loads of times, it's totally my sense of humour. There's just too many funny parts to pick one thats the best!Published 9 days ago by Phil Beynon
one of my favourite films and am delighted it is now part of my collectionPublished 1 month ago by Mrs. K. Shipley
More wonderful, hilarious, and touching fantasy from Terry Gilliam. Ralph Richards as the Supreme Being and Sean Connery as Agamemnon worth watching alone.Published 2 months ago by Dan B
Great production of its genre and suitable for older children I would say.Published 3 months ago by Douglas F Turner