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Time Bandits [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: John Cleese, Sean Connery, Shelley Duvall, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm
  • Directors: Terry Gilliam
  • Producers: Terry Gilliam
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Bay View
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Feb 2006
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CEGU4O
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,543 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Schoolboy Kevin is rescued from his dull suburban life when a gang of dwarves emerge from his wardrobe and carry him off through space and time. Their travels bring them into contact with some leading historical figures; John Cleese is Robin Hood and Sean Connery is Agamemnon in this bizarre comedy made by several Monty Python members.

From Amazon.co.uk

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.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Aug 2006
Format: DVD
The story for time bandits is typical Terry Gilliam inspired lunacy, a boy who is totally ignored by his materialistic parents finds himself being dragged along by a gaggle of dwarves who have pinched the supreme beings,(a splendid Ralph Richardson), plans. they are then pursued both by him and the evil one,( a similarly excellent David Warner), through time portals that lead to a very pythonesque sherwood forest scene, the titanic, a beautifully realised fantasy land complete with giants and ogres and a land of mythology where a scene stealing Sean Connery plays Agamemnon.

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.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By P. B. Hall on 28 Feb 2005
Format: DVD
Time Bandits is a deeply satirical morality tale superficially packaged as a kid's adventure film. On the surface it seems simple enough; a young boy, Kevin, is spirited away by a gang of time travelling comedy dwarves for a series of adventures in different historical settings. But there's a lot more to it than that. Kevin's parents are a grotesque caricature of self-absorbed suburban materialism; incessantly arguing about kitchen appliances while watching brainless TV gameshows at full volume. It is Gilliam's attention to detail which really makes this film for me. Kevin's parents don't eat anything which hasn't come out of a microwave or blender and are too precious even to remove the plastic wrapping from their hideous three-piece suite. Kevin, meanwhile, is a romantic who, until the fateful night the Time Bandits arrive in his bedroom, can only live out his fantasies in history books.
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'.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Milt M. R. Ingarfield on 31 Aug 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This 50GB region B locked disc is a re-issue of Terry Gilliam's "Time Bandits" which is a vast improvement on the 2009 version on Blu-ray and is like a different film comparing it to the 2002 release on DVD which like the 2009 version on Blu-ray had various flaws ranging from print damage and scratches to a lack-luster sounding soundtrack, this 2013 incarnation is both an improvement in both departments with a picture that is both better in depth of colour and field of blacks I found the most impressive version of the audio track to be the English LPCM 48kHZ 24 bit stereo which I thought had a better sounding dialogue track comparing it to the previous Blu-ray and DVD copies which sounded muffled and at times difficult to follow.

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.
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