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Time Bandits

This is a Criterion 4K release — and I didn’t quite expect that to happen. I mean, I saw this movie on VHS back in the 80s, and I remember thinking it was kinda lame? But I remember no details beyond that.

Heh heh, such social satire.

Oh yeah, parody game shows were big back then… before all those parodies became actual game shows.

Whoa. Or rather, I can see how they wanted that to be a “whoa” scene, but it wasn’t quite…

Into the custard!


It’s Napoleon, see?

Gilliam goes for “zany” mixed with “satire” a lot, and neither actually translate to “funny”… But it’s amusing for sure.

Oh, I thought this was a flop? But nope — it was a box office success. I’m probably getting it mixed up with the Munchhausen thing…

See? Zany. But pretty amusing.

Are all the Monty Pythonses gonna make cameos in this?

There’s so many shots like this — where the framing is really uncomfortable, as if the cinematographer has been given no choice but to film like this, possibly because of issues with constructing the sets? So many shots have this cramped, amateurish quality about them — you could just sort of imagine one of the American post-Spielberg directors doing this movie? Like Joe Dante. And it’d be one of “those 80s movies” instead of being this odd thing…

Yes, it’s Sean Connery for a couple of scenes.

These two are the best characters in the movie.

I can totally see somebody having this as their favourite movie ever. It’s just overflowing with oddball ideas and weird settings. And there are some pretty good jokes in here, too. But to me it didn’t quite work? All the famous people cameos, the squishy sets, the off-kilter cinematography… It just left me being bored a lot.

Time Bandits. Terry Gilliam. 1981.

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