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NEW Warnock/warner/cleese - Time Bandits (Blu-ray)


Price: CDN$ 16.99
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  55 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a very good transfer... Nov. 13 2010
By William Sommerwerck - Published on Amazon.com
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.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blu-Ray done poorly by Image Entertainment Jan. 30 2012
By David Bradley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Time Bandits is one of my all time favorite films. I was excited to find this on Blu-Ray. Then I saw that it was listed as 1080i on the packaging and was concerned. Why on Earth would a company release a feature film as 1080i on a blu-ray disc? Apparently this is the standard format for films put out on blu-ray by Image Entertainment as they've done this with several other major films they've released. With a business model like that, I doubt they'll last.

The print's color is much better than the old DVD I had, and the image is nowhere near as dark. HOWEVER, the image seems to have simply been artificially lightened to make it less dark and the result is that the dark areas show blocking, compression noise, and artifacts.

What was MOST disturbing is that no attempt has been made to give us a clean print! This blu-ray disc shows tons of dust flecks and scratches in many scenes throughout the film, and there's even a splice shown that for a single frame has half of one frame and half of another, with the splice line clearly seen on screen. This was obviously taken from a projection print that is worn and damaged and not given the care and attention that it properly deserved.

The film has been released in other countries as 1080p with less compression and on dual layer blu-ray discs. This U.S. version by Image Entertainment is not that same quality. As usual, the U.S. market is treated poorly.

Why can't someone get this disc right?
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor master used Nov. 25 2010
By Bic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
When you see film lint, dirt and other artifacts you wonder why not find a clean master print. If your generating a Blu-ray disk why not do it right?
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worst Blu Ray Transfer Ever. Fun Movie! Aug. 24 2010
By P. Colin McGraw - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I have fun with all of Terry Gilliam's quirky movies from this to The Adventures of Baron Munchausen to the recent The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus! Sadly, horrible picture quality drags this wonderful film down.

For Amazon reviews of older movies, I tend to assume that readers have a familiarity with the film already, so I'll instead focus on the question of how well the movie transfered to the Blu Ray format. The answer? Not well at all!

In fact, I think this is the worst Blu Ray transfer I've ever seen. Artifacts abound, from lines across the screen, to random specks. It's pretty awful in parts! It feels like I'm watching an old film reel on an elementary school projector.

You'll definitely notice that no effort appeared to be spent restoring the film for this release. I'm a bit saddened by it, too, because it distracts from the enjoyment of an otherwise interesting movie.

Four star movie, one star quality, two stars total.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great 5 star movie, bad blu ray transfer. Dec 3 2011
By Michael Dobey - Published on Amazon.com
Image did a crappy job on this blu ray. The transfer has lots of damage to it. It's not acceptable to have lines and dirt on a blu ray. (UNLESS you sell it for five bucks new.) this has to stop with blus, the bad treatment and higher price. IF you won't clean up the damage then please sell it for cheap. However image did a great job on 'basketcase' , a superlow budget movie and on this one they did NOTHING to fix the picture. And criterion did have a better print available around, this is a disgrace. But the movie itself is fantastic, it's five star and one of the best fantasy movies of the last 31 years. It stands up great today even on a pure fun level and wacky but thoughtful creation. OF course these guys are from Monty Python and that shows here as the little time bandits travel through time chased by God and his new creation EVIL. IT's heartbreaking to see movies treated like this on blu ray. Only a movie exec who doesn't love movies would have let a CLASSIC fantasy movie be put on blu ray with scratches and lines on it. Shame, shame , shame, even the shriek show doesn't allow scratches on their movies. But it's all we have on blu from this title. I still own the criterion dvd and I can't get rid of it , unless a great new remaster version of this comes out on blu. which may never happen.

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