Although I understand the frustration of those who are used to seeing the "TV" version, this transfer preserves the integrity of the film as a work of art. That may sound pretensious, but as someone who has much respect for Auteurs like Terry Gilliam, I'm sure I come off as pretensious most of the time.
Oh yeah, this film is also EXCELLENT, but it's still no BRAZIL.
PS: MOST films, with the exception of those shot in Anamorphic or Super 35, are shot in full-frame and then matted for projection. The stuff that the letterboxing "blocks out" is, for the most part, junk. Of course, there are exceptions. Such as when a filmmaker wants the frame to look good in a theatre as well as on television. See Kubrik's "Eyes Wide Shut" (co-written by Frederic Raphael) for a good example of this.
The production scrapbook is a treasure, along with the commentary by Gilliam and Palin. These features truly enrich one's appreciation for the film; not only do they lavish praise on the actors playing the "dwarves" (who, in retrospect, did nothing less than a heroic job), but also reveal many of the clever tricks that allowed them to create such a sumptuously beautiful film for the cost of Speilberg's monthly catering bill. Compare this film to expensive clunkers like "Tron" (which came out a year later!) to appreciate the extent of Gilliam's craft. Cleese's description of his day's work is howlingly funny, and David Warner is generous and wryly amusing. The now-grown Craig Warnock is not particularly eloquent, however, and it's hard to tell if he's joking about the film scarring him psychologically!
The trailer is simply awful, after a promising start, but it's indicative of AVCO's cluelessness about how to market such a fresh and original film. They tried to pass it off as Python style comedy, safe for kiddies and fun for grow-ups. In fact, it's nothing of the kind - it's a dangerous and rigorous film that one may wish to keep out of the hands of small children.
Despite it's vague resemblance to "The Wizard of Oz" told upside down (or inside out?), "Time Bandits" is not a typical (modern) children's film. It has an old-fashioned Grimm-ness, with creatures dying nasty, sweaty deaths and even "good" characters behaving quite badly at times.Read more ›
A british kid goes on adventures with a bunch of hammy-acting little people. At the end, his parents die for no apparant reason. Read more