DVD Shopping Bag: Time Bandits on Blu-ray - Mania.com

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DVD Shopping Bag: Time Bandits on Blu-ray

The Most Fabulous Object?

By Robert T. Trate     August 24, 2010
Source: Mania.com

David Warner is Evil in Time Bandits, now on Blu-ray
© IMAGE Entertainment


I still remember the first time I saw Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits (1981). I was visiting my cousins for the weekend and they had this awesome family room in the basement where they had complete control of the TV. My Aunt and Uncle had cable; we did not, so in visiting them I knew that strange and bizarre movies were always going to be shown. The first one I ever saw there was Alien (1979), then it was An American Werewolf in London (1981) the last great film was Time Bandits. A movie, despite spending 5 weeks at number one in the United States, my parents never would have taken me to see, which was strange because my dad was a fan of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) and Sean Connery. Time Bandits should have been a no brainer. Regardless, I knew nothing of Monty Python, or that the little people involved were tied to Star Wars. I simply sat back and was amazed by this crazy time traveling adventure. I was hooked and have been ever since. Image Entertainment has finally released Gilliam’s most successful (in the United States) movie on Blu-ray. Despite LOST being the huge release this week, nostalgia got the better of us here at Mania and we had to see what Randall, Fidgit, Wally, Strutter, Og, Vermin and Kevin looked like in 1080p.
Special Features
Outside of an incredible 18 minute interview with Terry Gilliam there are none. The interview is not dated nor does it have a copyright at the end so this could be from a previous release. The little word “new” is not next to it so it is safe to say it is not. Criterion released a version of the film (spine #37) that featured a proper release with tons of interviews and commentary. A film loved as this really does deserve a proper release. It probably has to do with licensing rights and ownership but Image really dropped the ball on the special features. We have all seen the film before so gives us that little extra bit to enjoy that adds to the experience.
The Blu-ray Experience
There are several moments in the film where watching it in 1080p really makes a difference. Kevin’s (Craig Warnock) innocent blue eyes are a huge contrast to the ugly world surrounding him. Both Randall’s (David Rappaport) and Evil’s (David Warner) red coats also pop against the bleak backgrounds.
While in ancient Greece (actually Tunisia) King Agamemnon’s (Sean Connery) battle with the Minotaur is set against a brilliant blue sky highlighting exactly the very best of what Blu-ray can do to a film. Each detail and bead of sweat is visible. Unfortunately yellow tape marks on the film ruin the moment. This was not the first or last piece of evidence where Image Entertainment clearly had used a poor print for their Blu-ray transfer. Older films I can forgive. I can look past the strings and early special effects because Blu-ray does point those things out. What I cannot forgive is spliced footage, streaking lines and dust all over the print. Outside of the opening title sequence with the map, which most title sequences are often poorly done from this time, the whole film looks as if someone never cleaned it before they transferred it. This Blu-ray is a massive fail and falls into the as ranks of Warner Brother’s release of Logan’s Run.
Final Thoughts
Is it that we want more from the films that are truly close to our hearts? Are the distribution companies that lazy or cheap to think just because it is on Blu-ray we’ll snatch it up? I will always be on watch for Blu-rays of this nature. I’ll gladly take the risk so you don’t have to. Keep checking the DVD Shopping Bag here on Mania for all the latest Blu-ray and DVD releases.  
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1. Lost: The Complete Collection [Blu-ray]Ninjas Vs Zombies (Ws)
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Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.


Showing items 1 - 5 of 5
jedibanner 8/24/2010 6:45:39 AM

So...no details on what is on the Lost full box set or the final season?


redhairs99 8/24/2010 7:10:40 AM

Very disappointing to hear, Bob.  I love Time Bandits!  It's one of my favorites of all-time.  The Criterion Edition was good, but I think Anchor Bay released a big two-disc special edition that had a TON of extras.

"Mum...Dad...Don't touch it!  It's EVIL!"

Hobbs 8/24/2010 7:15:26 AM

I'm glad you didn't let your nostagia love of the film detract you from pointing out the horrible blu-ray transfer.  Thanks for the info, I will not be buying this one.

Does anyone notice how bad this is becoming?  I am seeing countless blu-rays of our fav films that are having HORRIBLE transfers.  I mean they actually deleted out special effects shots in Gladiator with the transfer for God's sake. 

It really is sad that I bought a blu-ray player for the first time end of last year and only have a handful of movies because some of my favorite that are out there are so bad.  Hollywood might be doing all this in an order to make a quick buck but eventually its going to come back and bite them in the arse.  Speak with your wallet people, its the only way the studios will change what they are doing. 

swisshammer 8/24/2010 11:53:14 AM

redhairs: I have the Anchor Bay version of Time Bandits, and yeah, there is a TON of stuff on the second disc and the movie looks really amazing; especially if you have an upconverter on your Blu-Ray player. I don't think it's necessary to upgrade to the Blu-Ray version. Especially after reading how bad it is.

redhairs99 8/24/2010 2:18:28 PM

Yeah, Swiss, I had the Criterion but I gave it to my sister and plan on getting the Anchor Bay 2-disc.  Kinda sad to see that a special edition is better than Criterion.  I love most of my Criterion DVDs.  Still liked the one for Time Bandits, but I want the other extras too.



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