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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 25 not out
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...
Published on 14 Aug 2006 by Amazon Customer

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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie - a real classic, but poor transfer
I don't need to review the movie, you can probably read the reviews on the DVD section to find out what the film is like. I got the Blu Ray as I'm slowly replacing my favourites on DVD with the Blu Ray versions, and this is why I'm dissapointed.

Yes - the picture quality IS better than the DVD, but that's entirely due to the improvement in the format. It would...
Published on 6 Jan 2010 by Mr. Ro Johns


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 25 not out, 14 Aug 2006
By 
Amazon Customer "Boo62" (Ilkeston Derbyshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless, 28 Feb 2005
By 
P. B. Hall "Ben Hall" (West Sussex, UK.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Time Bandits [DVD] [1981] (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'. At this stage we are introduced to David Warner's deliciously over-acted 'evil genius'; a Satan obsessed with modern technology (but, ironically, surrounded by decay and incompetence), who plots to entrap the time travellers. The film gathers momentum towards the inevitable showdown between good and evil but Gilliam leaves this disturbingly inconclusive. God, played by Ralph Richardson as an intimidating schoolmaster, assures us that he is in control but that misery and suffering are all that we can expect ("something to do with free will") and Kevin's troubles have only begun. Ultimately this is a very British film which speaks to lonely idealists everywhere.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie - a real classic, but poor transfer, 6 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Time Bandits [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I don't need to review the movie, you can probably read the reviews on the DVD section to find out what the film is like. I got the Blu Ray as I'm slowly replacing my favourites on DVD with the Blu Ray versions, and this is why I'm dissapointed.

Yes - the picture quality IS better than the DVD, but that's entirely due to the improvement in the format. It would appear that no effort has been to clean up the film print, correct scratches etc and the hiss on the sound track is awful. This is a lazy and no doubt, quick/cheap effort.

This is why I've given 3 stars - 3 stars for thr Blu Ray transfer, 5 for the movie, which I love.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gilliam at his best, 31 Dec 2010
By 
Crookedmouth ":-/" (As seen on iPlayer) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Time Bandits [DVD] (DVD)
Time Bandits follows the adventures of Kevin, a put-upon, largely ignored but particularly imaginitive young lad who is abducted by a gang of dwarves (led by David Rappaport) who have stolen a time map from the Supreme Being (Ralph Richardson as an absent-minded, slightly stern, favourite uncle-like God) and are using it to develop their new careers as international criminals. Cue encounters with Napoleon (the ever fantastic Ian Holm), the Titanic, Robin Hood (John Cleese) and an unspeakably Evil David Warner.

As one of Terry Gilliam's earliest post-Python films and apparrantly aimed at a youngish audience, you might be tempted to give this a miss, but all of Gilliam's trademark imagery, wit and style is here, full-on and in bucketloads. The balance of review markings so far suggest that even those who like his work are less than enthused about Time Bandits, but really you can't go wrong here: visually sumptuous, excellently acted, exquisitely casted, superlatively plotted and wittier than Stephen Fry and Rowan Atkinson's secret lovechild: if you've enjoyed anything by Giliam, you'll love this. Many of the themes seen in later works are evident here: children, dwarves, theatre, travel and the eternal struggle between good and evil (allegorized as a conflict between the power of a childish imagination and the leaden hand of bureaucracy). Indeed Time Bandits could easily be the first of a trilogy with The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (I've not seen The Brothers Grimm, but I suspect that it could make this a quadrilogy).

"We're in the middle ages! Five hundred years before the man we robbed is even born. Ha ha! Try that one in a court of law!"
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic movie, poor quality disc, 6 Sep 2010
By 
Mr. Stuart Bruce "DonQuibeats" (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Time Bandits [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Just a quick review to agree with Mr Ro Johns. The movie itself is fantastic and is an essential film for your collection, one of Terry Gilliam's best but also most successful films (a rare combination) and entertaining again and again.

However as Blu Rays go this is poor. Very few extras and a very poor-quality print which has some picture drop-out, plenty of dust, and less than perfect sound quality. Admittedly the film is from 1981 and may not be in the best of conditions but no apparent effort has been made to clean it up. A lazy quick Blu Ray transfer.

Hopefully someday there will be a remastered, 'special edition' version. I wish I'd waited for that.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best kid's movies ever, 11 July 2001
This was my favourite film as a kid and I still love it as an adult. It has some spectacular visual sequences. It's a trully wonderful film with ton's of stuff to feed your dreams. Their is more creativity in one scene than the entirety of most other movies. The ending is great and easily the most memorable one when you're a child. The part with John Cleese as Robin Hood has to be one of the funniest scenes in film history. If you haven't seen this film, then you must do so NOW.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time Bandits Limited Edition SteelBook [Blu-ray], 29 Nov 2013
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Time Bandits Limited Edition SteelBook [Blu-ray] 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 [Sir 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.

Cast: Craig Warnock, David Daker, Sheila Fearn, John Cleese, Sean Connery, Michael Palin and Shelley Duval, David Rappaport, Kenny Baker, Malcolm Dixon, Mike Edmonds, Jack Purvis, Tiny Ross, Katherine Helmond, Peter Vaughan, Kenny Baker, Jim Broadbent

Director: Terry Gilliam

Writers: Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin

Music: Mike Moran

Cinematography: Peter Biziou

Region: Region B/2

Number of discs: 1

Running Time: 116 minutes

Studio: Arrow Video

Special Features:

Brand new 2K resolution restoration of the film from the original camera negative, approved by director and co-writer Terry Gilliam

High Definition Blu-ray [1080p] and Standard Definition DVD presentation

Original Stereo 2.0 and 5.1 Dolby Surround options (uncompressed PCM and DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray)

Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

Chasing Time Bandits: An Interview With Terry Gilliam (20:07) which chronicles his whole process from beginning to end, from the genesis of the project, working with Palin, casting the film, staffing up for production, and finally the release and legacy of the movie. Thanks to the chronological nature of the interview, not only is this an entertaining chat with the director, but it also serves the same function as a comprehensive "making of" featurette.

Writing the Film That Dares Not Speak Its Name: Michael Palin on Writing Time Bandits (16:05) chats up the Python everyman about his role as co-writer and co-star. Palin's friendship with Gilliam is quite warm and his memories of their collaborations is quite warm and endearing. He hops back and forth between memories of writing and acting on the project, as well as touching on the film's surprising success in America, and the film's unusually dark ending.

The Effects of Time Bandits: An Interview With Kent Houston (15:28) is focuses more on Houston's lengthy history with Gilliam and the camera technology used on Python animation that eventually helped make Time Bandits. Of all the extras, this is the most technical, focusing more on the tools and techniques used than sentimental memories of the shoot. He also talks about Terry's working style ("figure it out!") and goes onto talk about the state of effects films today.

Playing Evil (8:43) is a charming little chat with the actor about his happiness to work with one or two Pythons, the challenge of the costume, working with Terry, and a marvellous gift from producer George Harrison.

The Costumes of Time Bandits: An Interview With David Acheson (13:21) goes into his process designing the look of the Time Bandits, working with the actors to make sure the costumes reflected each character individually, costuming for each time period, and finally dressing the Evil Genius. He also tells a charming story about stress, as Time Bandits was his first movie, and another about Gilliam's very special wrap gift.

The Look of Time Bandits: An Interview with Milly Burns (10:43) sits down with the production designer to talk about how she first came to work with Gilliam and her memories of working on Time Bandits. Burns is very charming and has numerous amusing Gilliam stories, including his attempts to pay more for Moroccan rugs.

From Script to Screen (8:33) also features Burns' voice, laid over a series of script pages, production photographs, and Gilliam's storyboards. The title of this clip is fairly generic, but this specifically details the process of preparing everything needed to get the script on screen - how many locations, what will need to be built, who will need to be hired, etc. A bit dry, but very informative for those wondering how to break down a screenplay for shooting.

Original Trailer: A very goofy original Theatrical Trailer.

Restoring Time Bandits (2:43) wraps up the disc with a quick look at the restoration and new transfer, showing some of the usual "before-and-after" footage while explaining the process of updating the freshly-scanned negative through scratch and dirt removal, stabilization, and colour timing.

Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic James Oliver.

Andrew's Blu-ray Review - This is the 2nd time Time Bandits has received a Special Blu-ray release in the UK and now it has a re-mastered re-release from Arrow Video. The other Special DVD release was of course the NTSC The Criterion Collection which was brilliant and packed with wonderful extras, but this Special Blu-ray release is the best yet to be released.

Terry Gilliam's inventive fantasy from 1981 has six dwarfs with the help of a special map, traveling through time, accompanied by a little boy [Craig Warnock], and stealing treasures from the likes of Robin Hood [John Cleese], Napoleon [Ian Holm] and Agamemnon [Sean Connery]. All of this lands them in the middle of a battle to retrieve the secret map between Evil [David Warner] and The Supreme Being [Sir Ralph Richardson].

Co-scripted by "Monty Python" players Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin, Time Bandits is a flawed but frequently wonderful romp through time and space. The core cast of little people embrace the chance to show off their acting skills beyond the bit parts and creature roles such actors are usually saddled with, and they're joined by a crowd of A-listers. Despite only being Gilliam's second solo feature directing gig after Jabberwocky, the film is a masterpiece of visual imagination that reflects his artistic sensibilities in every frame, and it's filled with witty, silly comedy.

Before Time Bandits was made, Gilliam was already busy trying to make Brazil, a film with caustic black humour, a detailed and specific universe, and a fairly complex story. In some ways, Time Bandits might have been purposefully designed as the polar opposite: this is little more than a romp from place to place, which starts for almost no reason and offers very little (if anything) in the way of legitimate conflict. On one hand, this is the film's primary weakness: at just short of two hours, Time Bandits frequently feels aimless, stopping and starting randomly for elaborate sequences and extended visual gags. On the other hand, this simple structure is also what allows Gilliam's imagination to run wild.

Each time period Kevin and the Time Bandits drop into is drastically different. First, they visit the dark streets of Italy, where Napoleon [Ian Holm] is taking a break from the war to enjoy a puppet show that doesn't set off his height complex. It's gloomy and seemingly lit by fires set throughout the city. Next, they tumble backward into the time of Robin Hood [John Cleese], with lush green forests. Kevin takes a detour to the golden, sandy Moroccan desert, where he is prepared to become the adopted son of King Agamemnon (Sean Connery) before the Bandits rescue him. The gang then briefly stops on the deck of the Titanic before plunging into The Time of Legends, a fantasy universe filled with pirate ships captained by ogres, giants that rise out of the sea, and mysterious invisible walls. The Time of Legends features a strong sense of the surreal, with cages that hang over an endless black void, and a castle made out of giant stone Lego blocks. Gilliam is careful to design every universe completely differently, from colour to style, making his low-budget fantasy feel like a full-fledged epic.

As good as they are, visuals can't sustain a movie on their own, and given the flimsy story, Gilliam's secret weapon is his casting, which is excellent across the board. Each of the Time Bandits, especially top-billed Rappaport and Baker, have their own personality and style, and their slapstick interactions are pulled off with the skill of Chaplin, Keaton, or The Three Stooges. Although his pursuit is quite lazy, there's also the villain, "Evil Genius" [David Warner], who is deeply irritated by the Supreme Being's ideas for the Universe ("43 species of parrots! Nipples for men! ...If I were creating the world, I wouldn't mess about with butterflies and daffodils! I would've started with lasers, 8 o'clock, Day One!"). Warner's haughty comic timing is perfect. Connery's role is brief and a bit odd, but he's charming in the time he has. In some ways, Kevin's story is a little lost among the shenanigans outside of the Morocco sequence, and the ending is somewhat baffling, but the camaraderie of this band of misfits through Gilliam's imagination is more than enough to make Time Bandits a minor classic.

Video Quality: Arrow provides a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer derived from a new 2K master approved by Terry Gilliam himself. As much as the previous Blu-ray release was a step up from the various DVDs, this disc offers another leap in the quality stakes. The biggest problem I had with the older Blu-ray was the presence of film artefacts, but they have been all-but eliminated for this release. While the image isn't really any more detailed than the previous BD the new scan offers other benefits, such as a more natural grain structure for a more filmic look. Colour is also better than the previous effort, with more balanced, natural tones and a brighter overall appearance. Gone is the brownish-yellow cast that afflicted the previous DVD release, which proves to be especially beneficial for flesh tones. Contrast is also improved, as is brightness, which makes for a more vibrant image. Blacks are still more brown than true black, but they are improved over the Optimum disc. The framing is also slightly different, presenting a little more picture information to the sides of the frame without really losing anything at the top and bottom. Well, this new release is a visual improvement over the older disc in every respect and another solid effort from Arrow.

Audio Quality: There are two audio tracks on the disc: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and LPCM 2.0 Stereo. The quality of the original elements is the limiting factor here, with a slight lack of fidelity readily apparent for the entirety of the running time. This is most noticeable with the dialogue, which sounds quite hollow at times, but thankfully it never strays into unintelligible territory. Some of the effects are also a little on the tinny side and suffer from the occasional bit of reverb, but that's almost to be expected given the age of the source. The front of the soundstage isn't particularly wide, nor is the mix terribly dynamic, but the rears are employed to good effect for atmospherics and distribution of the score. Of course surround utilisation is nothing like as finessed as a modern sound mix, with localisation hard to pin down, but applause, screams, howling wind, growls and the like all serve to open things up some (and the last ten minutes or so are a flurry of activity). There isn't a lot of low end, but the sub does briefly spring to life whenever the Supreme Being appears and again when the gang enters the Time of Legends. All things considered this is a respectable remix given what they had to work with.

Finally, Time Bandits is a perfect example of a film that has gone up and down in my estimation at different points in my life. I loved the film when it was originally released. Technically the disc is a definite improvement over the old DVD effort, particularly in the video department where this new 2K restoration really pays dividends. I also appreciated the new extras, as they proved to be both entertaining and informative (and it's always nice when a company takes the time to produce new content). Of course the big question is whether or not it's worth the upgrade if you own the old DVD disc, well I think you should give your old fashioned DVD to a charity shop and purchase this ultimate stunning Blu-ray version. One thing is for sure though, the respect that Arrow pays to its catalogue releases puts most major film studios to shame. Long may it continue. Highly recommended. Enjoy.

Andrew C, Miller - Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Time Bandits Blu Ray, 19 July 2011
By 
This review is from: Time Bandits [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The transfer from film to Blu Ray has not had any enhancements at all. Dust spots and scratches are apparent all over the film which is deeply disappointing. Luckily you get immersed in this wonderful story and slowly begin to forget about the poor transfer.

1 of of 5 for the poor transfer.

5 out of 5 for the movie.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, if you aren't deaf, 8 July 2008
By 
Ian Watters "lovingboth" (Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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Time Bandits is a magnificent ensemble piece by a visual genius. This double disc has a variety of extras on the second disc, and an informative and funny commentary for the main feature. These make it worth the extra money,

What it doesn't have, and what I've deducted a star for not having, is any subtitles. What on earth is the excuse for missing those?
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I like little things, hitting each other.", 30 Mar 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Time Bandits [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
Since the time of its release this film was panned for not being as funny as it should. This film was at the time promoted as a kind Monty Python sequel due to the involvement of key members of the Python team.
But Time Bandits really isn’t a comedy; it is much more of children’s adventure. Time Bandits can be compared (very favourably) to films like Labyrinth and Dark Crystal. The films strengths lies not in its laughs (though there are some) but in its stunning visuals and its anything-goes wild imagination. As a piece of cinema it is stunning and it rivals, in terms of vision any big budget sci-fi film you can care to mention. After watching this film I felt that some of the imagery it produced was burned into my memory.
The best way to view this film is like a colourful children’s book brought to life and on those terms it succeeds with zest.
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