This is a review of the Image Entertainment Blu-ray edition. I'll limit this review mostly to the transfer.
The transfer varies from absolutely superb to unacceptably terrible. Many scenes have a multitude of small white dots, and even vertical scratches! The black backgrounds of night scenes are often filled with noise or horizontal striations. The quality can vary radically from scene to scene, with one a model of Blu-ray quality, followed by a low-contrast, badly scratched sequence. This suggests this edition was assembled from multiple sources.
Almost all these problems are fixable -- it just takes time and money. But apparently no one wanted to spend them, even on a film that some consider a classic.
The price is reasonable for a Blu-ray disk, but "Time Bandits" is not of the consistent "demo" quality it ought to be; you might actually find it annoying to watch. There is no excuse for a 30-year-old film to be in such poor condition, especially a film from such a fussy, perfectionist director.
The film itself hasn't aged well. It's a good idea -- especially its not-very-subtle slap at the gross materialism of modern society, and the revelation of what comprises Ultimate Evil -- supported with magnificent production design, but Gilliam (and his co-writer Michael Palin) don't know how to write a terse or genuinely witty script, or give a rambling and picaresque tale the kind of focused direction it needs. (It's hard to believe Gilliam gave us "Brazil".)
This is a tossup. As lousy as the transfer is, the film simply /looks better/ -- /much/ better -- than any previous transfer I've seen. As we'll probably never have a properly cleaned-up edition, this might be a good time to buy the Blu-ray.
PS: I did some checking. My copy is from Image Entertainment, not Anchor Bay. The box says the transfer is 1080i (no frame rate given), but the player's screen display says it's 1080p 60fps. (The 24fps light on the player does not come on.) And in browsing reviews on a Website devoted to high-definition home videos, I discovered that "Time Bandits" is not the first Image Entertainment Blu-ray to be criticized for poor or inconsistent image quality.