REVIEWED
3/2/03

STORY



LOOK

Time Bandits (Criterion Collection)
Director: Terry Gilliam
Year: 1981
TRT: 1:56


The story follows the adventures of a boy and 6 International Thieves, who all just so happen to be under 4 feet tall. And not very good thieves. They inadvertently lift the map of Creation's mistakes from the Supreme Being, and try their hands at doing something they think would be a lot more fun than making bushes and such for the big guy. They pick up Kevin along the way, who happens to be a very imaginative young boy in a very boring family. He joins them and ends up experiencing some of the most fantastic adventures he could ever dream of, bouncing through different periods in history.

This is a great fantasy movie that reads on two different levels. It could be viewed by all ages (though some imagery may be a bit severe for younger children), but it's kinda like the CGI movie Antz. Sure, kids can watch it and see a lot of cool stuff, but they won't really understand what's happening. Hell, I don't even understand what's really happened. [If you have seen the movie, read the "spoiler" that digs into why, though it's a great and humorous fantasy tale, the ending really bothers me.]

Overall there's some great performances by dwarves who are normally stuck in stupid costumes (like Rick Baker of R2D2 fame). Each timeframe that's visited has a unique take on the period, and some great comedic elements throughout.

Great Scene: They end up dropping in on Napoleon, played wonderfully (and quite humorously) by Ian Holm as a very insecure vertically-challenged man, who takes an immediate liking to the band of dwarves.

DVD Notes: Decent Criterion Collection edition put out in 1999 by Anchor Bay that includes a great commentary with Gilliam, with some tidbits added by cowriter/actor Michael Palin, John Cleese, David Warner, and Craig Warnock (who played the boy). Also included is the original trailer and a short animated "Scrapbook" collection of production photos and sketches.

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