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June 6th, 2002
10:45 pm
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Okay ... seeing as how I appear to be outnumbered six to one by my roommates on this one ...

What is it that people see in the movie "Time Bandits"?

People talk about it as though it was great, or at least watchable. I own this movie; I've watched it twice; and my honest opinion is that it's an incomprehensible flick starring an unenthusiastic child actor and a bunch of people who can't enunciate to save their lives, and sitting through it is like enduring the worst parts of "Never-Ending Story" mixed with the worst parts of "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey". I just don't understand how my opinion could differ so wildly from theirs. I mean, this isn't a "D&D kinda sucked"/"D&D was TEH WORST MOVIE EVAR" argument; this is a Siskel and Ebert thumbs-up/thumbs-down argument. Apparently either I, or they, simply Don't Get The Point, and weight of numbers argues that it's me.

So, if you've seen the movie, what did you like about it? I'll give it another shot if I can be persuaded it's worthwhile.

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(14 comments | Leave a comment)

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Date:June 7th, 2002 12:33 am (UTC)
Doesn't do anything for me either.
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Date:June 7th, 2002 03:23 am (UTC)

To each his own good Baxil, I liked it myself...was a fair laugh for me. I'm easy to entertain though.

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Date:June 7th, 2002 04:37 am (UTC)
Okay, see, that's a good start. You found it funny.

Thing is, I'm not looking for an "I'm OK, you're OK" here. I'm not asking for you to defend the movie, either. I just honestly want to know what people see in it. So: Why was it funny? Can you think of a few particularly good moments? Was it the actors, the script, the situational humor, the timing, the use of midgets, what?

And don't get started on the "I'm easily amused" thing; I'm not posting here to convince you it's crap. I'm posting hoping I can be convinced otherwise. I want to like the movie, if only because it's a Gilliam flick, but I just haven't seen anything in it so far.

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Date:June 7th, 2002 09:23 am (UTC)


[[Smiles gently]]

Well, it was, to me, one of those movies that you sit down after a generally weird day and watch without thinking much, cause then the movie happens to make more sense...err...kinda. I found all the little antics of the characters in it pretty funny, but mostly I think it was the villain's minions who were told "no torture for you" messages when they did bad stuff.

It's been awhile since I've seen it good Bax, so I'm sorry if my posting wasn't as meaningful as you might hope it would be.

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Date:June 7th, 2002 04:01 am (UTC)
It's a British film with Midgets, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Sean Connery and various holes in the space/time continuum. It doesn't -need- anything else...
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Date:June 7th, 2002 06:15 am (UTC)
So, you're not sure you grok Time Bandits? I'm still trying to figure out what people saw in Brazil. I think Gilliam movies are one of those Rorschach tests on celluloid. You may want to try to contemplate it as it fits with the other two movies he made before Brazil. He's claimed them to be four parts of one overall statement.

And frankly, if you aren't that big a fan of Neverending Story, TB may not do much for you regardless. While still very much a Gilliam film, TB is more of a romantic escapist adventure without a lot of darkness to it. Some genres appeal more than others, and there's always something a body Just Won't Get if it doesn't fit their mental hooks.

Also, between you, me and everybody's CRTs and LCDs, the ending of TB still has me befuddled. Or else maybe I need to see it again. It's been over a decade since I last watched it.
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Date:June 7th, 2002 08:41 am (UTC)
Couple of things. I was going to bring up the Never Ending Story/Time Bandits thine (not liking one so not likeing the other). Also I had a question. I know that Gillium at one point said that TB, Brazil and Baron Munchauzen (sp?) were connected (and later said they weren't, that he was just a bit pretentious) but I didn't know of a fourth. The theory I had heard was they were the stages of man... a really bizare man. I know that there had at some point been plans for a TB sequel but never happened for many reasons the final being that one of the midgets died.

As for why I like it, it was the kind of thing that as I boy I would have loved to have happened to me. I thought the film was fun and very funny in parts. I would honestly have to watch it again to give a specific breakdown as It has been so very long since I've seen it. I recall really liking Kathrine Helmond in it.
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Date:June 7th, 2002 08:44 am (UTC)
I like it for a couple reasons... first, it's surreal IN REAL LIFE. We have a copy of it on VHS at home. When someone's looking for the tape, they can NEVER find it. Really. It's nowhere to be found, and we keep all our tapes in one not-very-messy location. And when you're looking for something ELSE in there, Time Bandits pops up. Not only that, but nobody in the house can remember taping it. I'm dead serious here. We have no memory of how it arrived in the house, we can't find it when we want to, and it pops up when we're not looking. I respect anything that's capable of behaving like that, especially if it's an inanimate object.

Now... the actual film. Well, it's a dream. Quite obviously a dream, from start to finish. It's a brief descent into madness from a middle-class hell, where things don't have to make sense, don't have to fall together. They just ARE, and you have to deal with it while you're still in the dream. And while the special effects are nothing to write home about, I kind of like how cheesy they look to me. The whole movie, to me, has this feel of 'If you look too hard, you're going to see through everything we're doing.' I kinda like that. It's like one of the movies myself and my roommates through together over a weekend. Simple. Bizarre.

And, of course, we have the ending. Dear sweet heaven, I still don't know what it means. But it's still part of the dream - the youngling hasn't woken up yet. I enjoy films with endings that leave me blinking and trying to figure out what the hell happened. S'one reason I really enjoy The Spanish Prisoner.
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Date:June 7th, 2002 08:55 am (UTC)
For me it sent a simple message:

Life Doesn't Make Sense

But you can still have fun with it!

No matter how fucked up things get, there's always a spot of humor or enjoyment somewhere - it's just a matter of finding it. And, if you look hard enough, you see through the plastic shell of our world to find out that life still doesn't make sense, even when you are seeing the truth of it. You can grok the pattern, or go with the flow, but it'll always be a little wierd and surprising no matter how deep you penetrate "reality" to it's core.

Oh, yeah, the other lesson:

Evil dresses in funny suits

...or at least looks silly trying to be impressive ;)
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Date:June 7th, 2002 10:15 am (UTC)
I think it may be the Krull effect. Remember, that when it came out, many of us were very used to poor fantasy movies. Many of us were also children. Korray likes Pokemon 2000... nuff said.
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Date:June 7th, 2002 10:24 am (UTC)


There is no universal measure for Art. It's like trying to convert metric to ee cummings version of linquitics. Different people like different things.

There is no movie that absolutely *everyone* hates, and vice versa.

Time Bandits? I liked the dreamlike sporadicness of the sequences, seeminglymashed together from several concept skits and piled on ontop another with a few bits of string to hold it all together. The feel of an actual dream put to celluloid. Most of all, I like the kids constant 'You can't do that...' attitude, followed by the 'Oh, yea? Watch me.' of the midgets. But all of this means something to me, and is one hundred percent guaranteed to *not* match up with anyone elses oppinions.

Personally, I liked The Adventures of Baron Munchausen more, and Myles and I (who see about eye to eye on Time Bandits) will vehemently disagree about that one. I'm sorry... Vulcan, the God of War trying to explain the concept of an ICBM to a 7 year old child is just too damn funny.

As for the whole mess of the evolution series with Brazil, Munchusen, Time Bandits and Jabberwocky (which I think was the fourth in that little meme) utter poppycock. It may be a sign of his evolution as a director and the changes he has gone through, but lets not forget he also came up with Spies Like Us, and... oh... oh my god... OH MY FUCKING GOD! He's doing Good Omens in 2003! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Ahem... If you like it, good. If you don't, good. If you insist on prancing up and down stating your oppinion that it is absolute drivvel that only a recent recipient of a full frontal lobotomy could sit still for... well. We have an egg beater somewhere...
[User Picture]
Date:June 7th, 2002 11:48 am (UTC)


He was *in* Spies Like Us. My bad... He did however write the ecreenplay and direst Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas... and the upcoming Good Omens!

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Date:June 7th, 2002 11:15 am (UTC)
>>What is it that people see in the movie "Time Bandits"?

*enjoys a good, long, reminiscent chuckle*

Wow...that's going back quite a ways, at least a decade. I would have to accredit that movie as one of the conerstones to my present-day character and outlook towards life.

Back then it sat on the top shelf of the bookcase, which seemed to stretch for a hundred feet. That meant at the time that it was borderline taboo, sitting next to copies of Alien and Terminator.

It was perhaps one of the first movies that I ever saw...before I even had a concept of what a movie even was. One of the first visual tales, a world that had motion and sound, perhaps even a character you could even juxtapose yourself with. It's likely that I did.

Perhaps you are trying to observe the movie, rather than watch it. Personally, if I went back and viewed it again (interest piqued and all), I might even enjoy it more. That is, in relating to my initial exposure and influence, the impact that it had on me both then and now...as opposed to a foray for meaning.

That being said, perhaps the manner in which one first viewed the movie played a pivotal role in their outlook of it...it may not be a discussion pertaining to the present...
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Date:June 7th, 2002 04:12 pm (UTC)
I always thought the incomprehensable, confusing, stupidity was exactly what made Time Bandits so much /fun/.

It's an MST3K sort of thing, I thought.
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