Terry Gilliam's freaky fantasy film benefits from a brand-new 2K Blu-ray restoration
Armed with a map showing the locations of all of the known holes in the fabric of the universe, a group of disgruntled little people who used to work for the Supreme Being embark on an audacious scheme to rob their way through time. However, when one hole takes them through to the bedroom of an 11-year old boy, they find themselves with an unexpected extra member of their gang.
Time Bandits may have turned 32 this year, but it remains one of the most imaginative and smartest family films ever made. Dark and disturbing in the same way as the best genuine fairy tales, Terry Gilliam has crafted that rarest of things – a kids' film that is just as much fun for adults as it is for younger viewers.
Picture: Derived from a new 2K restoration, Arrow's Blu-ray release of Time Bandits is a huge improvement on Optimum Releasing's artefact-ridden 2009 release. While the nature of the source material means that it will never look a million dollars, this AVC 1.85:1 encode does bring plenty of lustre back to the imagery, cleaning up print damage, stabilising the colour grading and retaining the native grain structure.
Picture rating: 4/5
Audio: The disc includes an LPCM version of the original stereo mix and a DTS-HD MA 5.1 remix. Once again, the source material is the only really limiting factor here, with some rather hollow-sounding dialogue and a touch of reverb to some of the Foley effects. The 5.1 remix itself gets reasonable use out of the surrounds for positional effects, although the LFE channel doesn't have much to say for itself outside of the handful of moments when the Supreme Being turns up.
Audio rating: 3/5
Extras: While it's a shame that Arrow was unable to get its hands on the old DVD commentary for this release, it makes amends with a collection of brand-new supplementary features.
Director Terry Gilliam, co-writer Michael Palin, Peerless Camera Company founder Kent Houston, actor David Warner, costumer designer James Acheson and set designer Milly Burns have all been interviewed for the disc. Also on offer are a script breakdown featurette narrated by Burns, the trailer, a restoration demo and a collectible booklet
Extras rating: 3.5/5
We say: A huge improvement on the previous Blu-ray release and definitely worth the double-dip if you’re a fan
Time Bandits, Arrow Video, Region B BD, £23 Approx
HCC VERDICT: 4/5
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