Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I would have started with lasers, eight o'clock, Day One!

See it for yourself of course, the best part of the whole freaking movie:

Now I don't know what character flaw this indicates in me, but I found most of this movie irritating, except the parts with the Evil Genius, and maybe one or two other parts. There were lots of brilliant ideas to be sure, many of which I think were better developed, and executed more effectively and cohesively in Gilliam's masterpiece Brazil. (Which I almost fanatically love.)

But Time Bandits, where to start with the causes of irritation? That poor little buck-toothed British kid, Kevin, has to protest or cry out so many times in this movie, and the best he can manage even in the most dramatic and intense scenes is a soft whimpery plea. He is just so ineffectual.

Kevin (whispering pathetically, in a voice you might use to coax a frightened cat out from under the porch): "Please sir, Mr. Agamemnon, don't leave me behind (!!!)"

What happens next: Agamemnon turns and helps little Kevin up onto his steed, and they ride off together to share in a glorious victory/welcome party back in the city.

What should really happen next: Agamemnon turns, makes his horse rear, drives a spear through Kevin's foot, stonily rides off into the desert in a cloud of dust.

And those dwarves/little people, what was with the one who kept eating live chickens and rats? And the one who wore a spaghetti strainer on his head. Oooh, those dwarves, so wacky, so half-animal/half-man, so "can I dress them up in little capes and bonnets?" (Nooo! The costume department already did that!) I'm all for Gilliam's madnesses, but usually it's a little better thought-through than that. It seems a bit cheap to bank so heavily on playing up the visual novelty of the little people just to help create the sense of a fantastical world.

And what's with Kevin and the dwarves getting nervous (only nervous!) when the Evil Genius kills the cowboys, the archers, the knights in armour, then breaking down and sobbing uncontrollably when one of their guys gets crushed? (Too emotionally inconsistent for me.)

And what the hell with Kevin's (albeit horrible) parents getting unceremoniously offed at the end? (I mean, they're unspeakably awful, but don't tell me this whiney little kid is now so hardened by his time-travelling adventures that it doesn't even mildly freak him out to be an orphan standing in front of his family home that has just been razed to the ground in a fire. Perhaps he is emotionally spent from mourning the fake death of his dwarf colleague, see earlier para?)

I don't know where I'm going with this. I suppose this means it's time for Ms. Banjeroo Grumpypants to go to bed.


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