Watch the trailer for "Time Bandits", Taika Waititi's TV adaptation of the Terry Gilliam classic

Re-watching Time Bandits with my kids recently, it struck me that while adults in general seemed incomprehensible and distant to Kevin, the Bandits represented his imagining of adults to whom he could actually relate.

I think most kids sort of think of themselves as shorter adults who aren’t boring and self-absorbed. The Bandits represented that literally – they were unintimidatingly kid-sized adults who shared his sense of wonder and adventure, and who actually (sometimes) listened to him and saw his contributions as valuable.

Not sure how much of that gets lost in having Kevin’s companions all be traditionally adult-sized, but it does feel like it loses something.


Currently above my mantelpiece. It’s printed on canvas and is one of my most prized possessions.


Well, my expectation. I haven’t enjoyed any of his movies - I simply don’t like his aesthetic. And I really like the original movie and Gilliam’s gritty dark humor.

I blame this on Hollywood constantly not fully understanding how representation works. You have someone like Peter Dinklage who says he avoids taking roles which are specifically written to be a dwarf because those roles are often very limiting, usually for comic relief and often based on negative stereotypes. And that’s a totally valid approach and analysis. But what Hollywood hears is “You can’t write parts to be dwarfs.” And then we get a live action remake of Snow White with no dwarves. And we get a remake of Time Bandits with no little people. And suddenly Dinklage’s efforts to expand opportunities for little people actors to include all kinds of roles has been subverted by Hollywood to do the opposite: limit opportunities for little people. The little people in Time Bandits are what there should be more of. They were the heroes of the original movie. Imperfect heroes, but heroes. And sure, there was comic relief there, but not at the expense of those characters, and the story wasn’t trafficking in stereotype. But this is what Hollywood does. Someone points out a legitimate problem and then Hollywood learns the completely wrong lesson from it. I’ve seen some people blaming Dinklage for this, but this isn’t on him. This is on the studios for not understanding what he was talking about. I mean, it’s not like he’s completely opposed to taking jobs where his character is written as a little person. Hell, his most famous role was. He just doesn’t want to be limited to only those roles.


Hmm. I’ll probably watch it but the fact that Lisa Kudrow is basically doing her usual Phoebesque character plus the usage of that B-52s song in the trailer raises a few fears that this will be disappointing. Hope I’m wrong.

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Meh… boring trailer. Cool it’s being made… I’ll probably watch an episode and hope it’s not as terrible as I expect it to be.

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Seen any of his TV series?
Our Flag Means Death
Wellington Paranormal
What We Do In The Shadows

All relatively lightweight comic entertainment, for sure, but extremely good at consistently hitting their mark (and with some darker and more intricate moments in some cases).


And as we know in doing new versions of stories, everything must be kept the same as it was the first time.

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Uhhh, what we do in the shadows isn’t what I’d call light comedic entertainment, maybe dark comedic entertainment (some of those scenes where they eat people in the trees in the park, not for the faint of heart)…


Well, once you accept the premise and that it is only a sitcom, it is pretty much light entertainment. But, yeah, the premise obviously leads to some less lightweight places, I agree.

Our Flag Means Death also has some pretty dark moments (and a real narrative arc of sorts) - but again, given its premise, that is not surprising.

Maybe that’s what I like about much of his stuff - it is almost the antithesis of a ‘twee’ sitcom.

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Maybe I’m more European in my sensibilities, having a person’s blood dumped over some innocents seems a bit extreme. I prefer sex to violence if we’re going to weird places, but I didn’t find things like Peter Jackson’s early zombie films as bad?


Hmm. I’m highly European (even though the continent is cut off by the fuckwitted fog of Brexit).


Yeah, OK, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt.

Great breakdown of the original here:


Yeah, not me judging you by any means, I just get freaked out by violence far more easily.


Can’t say I remember much of my watch of Time Bandits at all, except maybe the ending. But I guess my memories of Gilliam’s movies are hazy in general – except for Brazil, which I’ve seen repeatedly.

One good thing I can say about Thor: Love and Thunder is that it nails the feel of an incomprehensible 80’s fantasy film mashed together with no thought of narrative cohesion, so Waititi might easily be a fine choice for something like this?

(Oh that note, I suppose he’s given up on Akira by now.)

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Yeah but how did you feel about Peter Jackson’s early puppet sex film

That wasn’t easy watching, same for the lawnmower zombie scene in another early film, neither sold themselves as sitcoms, or light comedy either on the other hand.

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That was a really interesting analysis of the ending – thank you. It did an amazing job of teasing out why the ending doesn’t feel tragic or hopeless.

I’d picked up on the film’s commentary about father figures, but I’d largely missed its attitude towards mothers, so that was interesting, as well.

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