Time Bandits

Time Bandits

DVD - 1999
Average Rating:
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Challenged with the task of patching up the handiwork of a Supreme Being who was forced into creating the world in only 6 days, a troupe of bandits, accompanied by a schoolboy, steal a priceless map of the universe and are swept away on a whirlwind adventure through time and space.
Publisher: [United States] : Criterion Collection, c1999
ISBN: 9781559408998
1559408995
Branch Call Number: MOVIE TIM
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (116 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

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What it didn't get: 1981 Oscar for Best Visual Effects


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d
Davidf05
Apr 15, 2017

John Cleese as Robin Hood & Sean Connery in his best performance since Goldfinger,two great actors in a hard to watch family film that I recommend for adults & teenagers.

d
dodieo
Sep 16, 2016

At the top of my all time favorite movies list! The STARS! The MUSIC! The ludicrousness!

e
ENFPWOMAN
Apr 02, 2016

On my list of top 10 favourite movies of all time! Yes, some of the scenes are cheesy (anything with Evil in it), but those are totally outweighed by the rest of this hilarious movie... twists and turns galore, idiosyncratic
characters, a sense of real fun and the joy of childhood's imagination. A true family movie that will delight everyone from toddlers to grandparents. Highly, highly recommended!

j
jeffi22
Oct 05, 2015

Some similar humor to Monty Python (and some of the cast!), I was worried I wouldn't understand it with accents/country and age. But hilarious. Also good (and applicable) satire about technology and imagination. I feel Bill and Ted, History of the World, etc. took from this but I'd have to check dates...

m
marx_bro
Jul 08, 2015

This is a great film!!! Perfect (non animation) fantasy that can be enjoyed by "children" of all ages. Incredible funny and a great refresher course in (distorted) historical figures.

g
Glokta
Jan 12, 2015

Thinking about the possibilities of the concept behind the movie is more fun then actually watching it. It's very uneven. Nothing ever really gets developed. It seems like much more of a kids movie. Either that or you probably have to strongly appreciate Terry Gilliam's movie making style and dry British humor to enjoy this. If you are on the fence about either of those things then don't waste your time. If you are not already a Terry Gilliam fan don't make this the first movie of his you watch. Watching it as an adult for the first time, without the nostalgia factor of having seen it as a kid, it just feels empty.

n
nparrish
Jan 09, 2015

I rate this film high, not just cause it's a lifetime favorite of mine, but also because I love the idea behind the story.
The execution is kinda low-budget, but I still like the bandit characters, John Cleese as Robin Hood, & many scenes throughout.
It is clearly a kids' movie, much of it is silly or ridiculous, but I'm still a fan of this movie style...matterofact, I'm off to get Baron Munchausen now..

e
elcidd
Mar 31, 2014

This movie is very funny and great for children and the young at heart. They don't make them like this anymore, it seems that they don't make good movies anymore, on purpose, because hollywierd is owned and run by the Devil, trying to brainwash us all with filth and violence. I think many older movies are far better because they still had artistic freedom and morals and values back in past. I hope this message reaches a lot of people and the library staff as well and makes them think. There is so much trash nowadays they are buying for our library's. It is a shame and I for one am very ashamed and angry that there is so much trash and fiction they are filling our library's with. GOD bless our children. This world is so evil and violent and immoral. What is it for a man to gain the whole world but lose his one and only SOUL ? JESUS is LORD ! LOVE IS THE ANSWER !

0
0cho
Feb 25, 2014

I saw this movie a long long time ago when I was a kid and remember it being a great movie. That was not the case seeing it as an adult. If you are like me, do yourself a favour and don’t try to recreate those memories. This is a kids movie and kids will enjoy it. Other than that no one else should watch it.

a
alpaca85
Jan 03, 2014

I seem to have a problem with Terry Gilliam. I don't know exactly why, but of all the films I've seen by him, I only really enjoyed Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Since I saw Brazil, my position on that film has constantly flipped back and forth from being bored by it, to being awed by it. However, I can safely say that in the future, I will not have such a problem with Time Bandits.
Don't get me wrong, I wanted to like this film, I really did, but I just couldn't. I was bored by it and despite the dazzling effects and characters, and I couldn't even get through the most exciting scene without wanting to yawn my head off. Gilliam, save for one occasion, seems to have the uncanny ability to make me incredibly tired. I don't know why, but Time Bandits is a prime example of a movie that really should have worked, and then just.... didn't.
The story of Time Bandits centres around a young boy named Kevin who, one night, finds a group of dwarves appear in his room. They are carrying a map of the universe, and are being chased by the Supreme Being, whom they stole the map from. This map shows them where the holes in the universe are, so they can jump from time period to time period while evading capture. They take Kevin along with them, deciding to go on a historical robbing spree, travelling to Napoleon and stealing from him before setting out to steal from everyone throughout time. Unfortunately they are being watched by Evil, who intends to lure them to his fortress in order to steal the map and take over the entire universe!
It doesn't make the most sense, but with a little humour and wit, it could work quite well. So that is why it is ultimately very disappointing when the man who was in Monty Python can only produce one or two laughs in the entire movie. I'm not saying it had to be humourous, but what is shown on screen is neither humorous nor entertaining, so I'm just a little bit confused where Gilliam was going with this.
Craig Warnock is fine as the main character, 11 year old Kevin, but his role is pretty typical for a fantasy film such as this one. The group of dwarves are also fine in their roles, but they do not consist of the best comedians, and as a result are not very funny. In fact, the group, with David Rappaport and Kenny Baker in particular, can sometimes come across as very sad, muddling the tone even further. Their wanton lust for greed seems to serve only as a cruel punishment concerning their previous situation, heaped upon them so that they could destroy themselves.
The "guest" cameos with actors playing famous historical people are fine. Sean Connery stands out as a kindly Greek king, and he is one of the best parts of the movie. Ian Holm as Napoleon is fine, but the height jokes get old pretty quickly. John Cleese is a lot of fun as Robin Hood, as is Michael Palin and Shelly Duvall as a pair of hapless lovers. Ralph Richardson makes a nice cameo at the end, and David Warner's Evil is a bit tiring. Warner is a fine actor, but his scenes are the films worst.
The production design is excellent. The sets are all expansive and gorgeous to look at. The way the film seemingly trots all over the world is well represented in all the sets and different locals showcased here. The cinematography is fine as well, but it's never really eye-popping. For the early 80s, the special effects are surprisingly good. However, they do have quite a bit of a nostalgic quality to them, which is nice.
I can understand what Terry Gilliam wanted to do here. The idea of creating a modern fairy tale is an admirable one; I just wish it had been done a little better.

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Age Suitability

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d
Davidf05
Apr 15, 2017

Davidf05 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

e
elcidd
Mar 31, 2014

elcidd thinks this title is suitable for 6 years and over

l
LydiaKernen
Feb 20, 2013

LydiaKernen thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

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pronto1961
Oct 27, 2012

pronto1961 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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Liber_vermis
Apr 27, 2012

Liber_vermis thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

Notices

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Liber_vermis
Apr 27, 2012

Frightening or Intense Scenes: There are plenty of threatening creatures, scenes of violence and death to people, destruction of property with fire and explosions, and six mischievous dwarves that may be upsetting to young children.

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