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Time Bandits Blu-ray Review

Time Bandits Criterion Blu-ray

“Time Bandits” is one of Terry Gilliam’s finest films.

The plot: A young kid (Kevin) becomes mixed up with 6 dwarves who stole a map from the Supreme Being. As the dwarves try to evade the Supreme Being, they spend their time jumping through time holes and swiping priceless artifacts and objects all across history. Supreme Being aside, an even bigger problem soon presents itself when a powerful villain (Evil) sets his sights on the map.

Throughout the course of cinema history, no genre has proved to be more challenging to excel in than that of the fantasy genre. For every “Lord of the Rings,” there are 7 films on the level of an “Eragon.” It takes a true visionary to make a fantasy world come to life in cinema. Director Terry Gilliam is one of those visionaries.

From the first frame to the last, Gilliam’s magical fantasy adventure is full of weirdly imaginative moments (An ogre with back problems! A deathly game show! Rat eating! An exploding dog!) and a deeply unique exploration of ideas such as selflessness, technology, history, and God. As is to be expected, there are also plenty of trademark Gilliam visuals (in the form of the production crew’s skillfully crafted sets and costumes) that make the story come to life.

Of course, Gilliam isn’t the only person that makes “Time Bandits” a success. The film’s cast deserves much of the credit here. Whether it be one of the film’s stars such as David Warner (Evil), Craig Warnock (Kevin), David Rappaport (Randall) or one of the film’s MANY supporting cast members such as John Cleese (Robin Hood), Ian Holm (Napoleon), Sean Connery (Agamemnon), the varied cast makes this globe-trotting adventure infinitely more fun.


Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? This new 2K digital restoration is simply gorgeous. The colors are so much crisper, certain lighting techniques are more present, and little details on costumes are more noticeable as well.

Audio Track: Uncompressed Stereo. How does it sound? Whether it’s the gladiatorial fight in Greece on screen or the snoring giant sequence, this track is as lively as can be.

* A double sided fold out with a map on one side and an essay by film critic David Sterritt on the other.
* A “Time Bandits” trailer.
* Still gallery.
* An interview with Shelley Duvall on “Tomorrow” with Tom Snyder.
* Peter Von Bagh interviews Terry Gilliam for 79 minutes at the Midnight Sun Festival in 1998. Gilliam talks about filmmaking, Minneapolis, childhood, “Monty Python,” films he made, and much more.
* “Creating The Worlds of Time Bandits”- David Morgan narrates this new 23 minute extra which touches on the fabulous production and costume design of the film.
* Commentary by Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, John Cleese, David Warner and Craig Warnock. Gilliam primarily dominates the track with in depth discussions about story ideas, behind-the-scenes stories, set details, cast member tales, etc. Easily the best extra on this set.

Overall Thoughts: “Time Bandits” has been given a fantastic new Blu-ray disc courtesy of the always reliable Criterion. Check it out.

December 7, 2014 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

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