Time Bandits (1981)

Time Bandits Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Time Bandits Movie Review

Time Bandits is a 1981 family fantasy film directed by Terry Gilliam and starring John Cleese and Sean Connery. It is such a frustrating, disappointing film.

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Dead? No excuse for laying off work.

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Time Bandits Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Now I obviously dislike Terry Gilliam as I do not care for most of his movies and that is why I didn’t like Time Bandits as well. He infuses this movie with his signature and very annoying style and thus ruins what could have been a great family fantasy flick with interesting time travel elements.

The biggest problem is its lack of identity. The film tries to be both a family fantasy adventure and a bizarre, odd comedy for adults and you can’t have it both ways. Some parts were admittedly funny and some scenes were very interestingly conceived and intriguing in imagery and mythology, but for the most part both of these movies failed in my opinion.

That is because the fantasy elements were mostly overly campy and filled with a ridiculous villain and many silly characters such as those dwarfs. Not only silly, but the characters are also annoying and some are even plain unlikable.

As for its comedy, it fails in that regard as well owing to its obvious Pythonian style. And having in mind that I do not like ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’, I naturally disliked that that humor was present here too. So disappointing and not to mention really not fitting to this story.

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Time Bandits Movie Review…………………………………………………………….

Time Bandits does have some inspired scenes with awesome imagery and great effects for its time. Its first half contained some clever dialogue and funny lines. And the overall film is certainly original in plot and characters, but done for better and for worse. I just had such high expectations for this film and it left me feeling cold and even bored. In the hands of any other director, this would have turned out great, but in the hands of Terry Gilliam, it ended up being another frustrating experiment.

Time Bandits is such a frustrating movie and another proof that I strongly dislike Terry Gilliam’s style. It does have some interesting scenes and imagery and you can’t deny its originality, but it is tonally inconsistent as it tries to be both a family fantasy flick and an odd, bizarre comedy and it just never succeeds in either of those areas as the humor is overly Pythonian and the fantasy elements and characters are silly.

My Rating – 3

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Romancing the Stone (1984)

Romancing the Stone Movie Review………………………………………………………..

Romancing the Stone Movie Review

Romancing the Stone is a 1984 action adventure romantic comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. It is a pleasant, fun flick.

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Joanie, you are now a world-class hopeless romantic.

No, hopeful. Hopeful romantic.

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Romancing the Stone Movie Review………………………………………………………..

I really enjoyed this movie. It has everything the Indiana Jones franchise was supposed to have – romance, adventure, charm and a lot of heart. The story itself is pretty solid for this type of movie. Simplistic and typical, yet certainly well crafted and with some memorable plot points and details. The film is very interesting in terms of its tone and genres. It is mostly a fun adventure flick, but it also has action in it and it is definitely a romantic comedy with humor and romance both being very accentuated.

I liked the characters and they were all very likable. It is interesting that this is one of the rare movies where even Michael Douglas I found to be likable as he is usually annoying to me. But he was very good and sympathetic here. Kathleen Turner is excellent and very charming and cute. And of course, as a big Danny DeVito fan, I liked seeing him here a lot and he was quite funny in a couple of scenes.

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Romancing the Stone Review………………………………………………………..

Romancing the Stone is very memorable in its third act. Yes, the action there is certainly overwhelming, but better than it was in the middle of the film and some of the set pieces are quite interesting. I liked the use of crocodiles quite a bit and the hand chopping sequence is truly dark for a supposed family picture.

I would have gone without the Columbian stereotypes and really the people and especially its representation as a poor and wild country felt very unnerving and dated. But the romance worked in my opinion as some of the scenes between the two were quite charming and even though the ending was overly happy, it was still endearing and satisfying in a typical eighties fashion.

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Romancing the Stone Movie Review………………………………………………………..

It is too much a product of its time, but it also benefits from it as they shot in real locations, Mexico I believe, which led to one fine looking movie with great cinematography and a lot of memorable shots and imagery. The direction from Robert Zemeckis is strong and I think this is one of his earliest movies and he showed great talent and he did deliver with such a strong directorial career. The pacing is somewhat problematic and the movie isn’t always as entertaining as it should have been, but it is always endearing and wonderful to watch plus it is surprisingly well crafted and made for a blockbuster. I liked it a lot and it is one of the best blockbusters of its time and one fine adventurous entertainment.

Romancing the Stone has its flaws such as some stereotypes, sometimes overwhelming action and a somewhat typical and predictable story, but the film is so adventurous and charming with quite likable Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, endearing romance, some very memorable set pieces and shots and a genuinely well crafted, intriguing plot.

My Rating – 4

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Octopussy (1983)

Octopussy Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

Octopussy Movie Review

Octopussy is a 1983 spy film starring Roger Moore which is the thirteenth James Bond entry. It is as weak as the critics say it is.

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Forgive my curiosity, but what is that?

That’s my little octopussy

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Octopussy Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

Now, this one is definitely not the worst in the series as there are a couple of entries that were weaker in my honest opinion. But it is still a mediocre film that is far from truly bad, but also far from good. The plot is as underutilized, convoluted and silly as you would expect from the series and the characters aren’t much better either.

The titular Bond girl is certainly memorable and some moments with here were quite funny in their sexual humor. Bond himself is okay, but this is still one of Roger Moore’s weakest turns as the character. Plus he was way too old for the part here. As for the villains, they are all forgettable and uninspired.

Octopussy has its strengths. Certainly its Indian setting proved to be quite memorable and a lot of fun with some very entertaining scenes and great scenery. The cinematography is really good here. The movie definitely has its charming and amusing moments, but they unfortunately come too rarely for the film to work.

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Octopussy Movie Review…………………………………………………………………….

It is otherwise a bore to sit through, overlong and slow paced. But probably its biggest problem is the pure ridiculousness of its action sequences. Not only is the action way too overwhelming here with the spy elements being lacking and never enough utilized, but some of it was so silly and even ludicrous that it was ridiculous to watch. It was undoubtedly inspired by ‘Moonraker‘ in its campy and silly tone and that was just infuriating to see. I don’t know why they would want to repeat that silly formula and they should just get back to those earlier Bond films that were much more serious in tone, but also funny at the same time. This movie isn’t even that funny with only a couple of amusing moments. All in all, it is not the worst Bond film, but certainly near the bottom of the list.

Octopussy isn’t the worst Bond film as it has a memorable setting and some amusing scenes, but it is still so bland and forgettable in plot, very weak in its characterization and just way too overwhelming and even silly in its action that it ended up being one of the lesser, more campy and ridiculous entries in the franchise.

My Rating – 2.5

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Pretty in Pink (1986)

Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

Pretty in Pink Movie Review

Pretty in Pink is a 1986 teen romantic comedy directed by Howard Deutch, written by John Hughes and starring Molly Ringwald. It is a really charming movie.

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I just want them to know that they didn’t break me.

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Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

Now, first I have to say that this is nowhere near the quality of ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Sixteen Candles, two movies that I just adore. It is more in line with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ as the plot is fairly simple and clichéd, but the film does most with it anyway. Some parts of the film weren’t as great and some were even dated, but most were terrific and my favorite has to be the entire third act which was just beautiful to behold. So romantic, charming and it just brought a smile to my face. And the entire movie felt like a pleasant teen journey.

The characters are pretty good, but some parts felt false. The entire conflict that arose between Andie and Jack in that he was too rich for her was just ridiculous and not believable at all. They did the most they could do with it, but it was still somewhat silly. And I have to say that I didn’t care for him that much. Duckie was at first quite annoying and I didn’t know if he was supposed to be gay or nerd or in love with her and the last option came to fruition eventually. Even though the two were obviously better off as friends, I still wished that she chose him instead. But that ending with him telling her to go after him was both funny and endearing.

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Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

The performances are really good as usual. Harry Dean Stanton is solid and Jon Cryer, though annoying, is quite good in his role. But as usual, Molly Ringwald stole the show as she portrayed such a wonderful character once again and her performance was expectedly great.

Certainly there is something missing in Pretty in Pink and that something is the direction. Howard Deutch is just not John Hughes and although he wrote the script, I wished that he directed the film too as it would have been much better that way.

The film is still competently made, don’t get me wrong. But it is just never as sophisticated as you would come to expect from Hughes’s movies. The script is the major problem as it just felt overly standard and typical. The execution is actually excellent and it thoroughly lifted the material, but I still wished for a couple of more clever lines of dialogue as well as a good conflict.

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Pretty in Pink Movie Review……………………………………………….

But the humor made Pretty in Pink as enjoyable as it is. It is that kind of wonderful and endearing humor that seems realistic and charming instead of forced and I love that. There are some scenes here that were so heartwarming and funny at the same time that I smiled and laughed and was having such a great time. The silly clothes, the prom and of course the soundtrack all brought that very pleasant 80s tone to it and made it a very moving experience. It is far from a great movie or anything like that, but it is competent and lovable enough that I consider it very good and satisfying for the most part.

Pretty in Pink is lacking in comparison to ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Sixteen Candles’ as the script is fairly typical and the conflict rang false, but it is such a lovable movie that I enjoyed it a lot nevertheless. Molly Ringwald is as likable as ever, the third act was so wonderful and the movie is well acted and made while consistently being endearing in its humor and characters.

My Rating – 4

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The Wind in the Willows (1983)

The Wind in the Willows Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………….

The Wind in the Willows Movie Review

The Wind in the Willows is a 1983 stop-motion animated film which is one of the many versions of this famous story. It is a solid movie.

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I’ve been told you are a criminal of deepest guilt,

and matchless artfulness and resource…

whatever that means.

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The Wind in the Willows Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………….

I really like this story and I loved Disney’s version of it featured in ‘The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad’. This 1983 version was admittedly solid and very well made and respectable, but it felt inferior to the aforementioned example because the story was just never as interesting or as exciting. Some plot points were excellent, but some were lacking such as that inferior, prolonged and dull beginning.

But the character development is actually quite strong. All of the characters are very well developed and quite likable. Mole and Rat were quite endearing and they served great as a team, charmingly British too. Toad was expectedly goofy, amusing and sometimes very funny. The character interactions between the three of them were top-notch.

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The Wind in the Willows Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………….

The voice acting is also quite good as all of the voices were fittingly British and elegant in style and again quite charming. I loved Toad’s amusing voice too. However, the voices were poorly incorporated with the animation itself as it never accompanies the movements of the characters well. This is something that early stop-motion films struggled with constantly and I don’t blame them as much because the technology just wasn’t there yet, but this is one of worse examples of it as it just felt too jerky, too choppy and plain unfinished. It is the only area of the film which felt like a TV movie. This is actually a TV movie, but it never felt like it as the story and animation are great, but the movements did feel TV for sure.

The animation in The Wind in the Willows is excellent. Very effervescent and very endearing. The character designs are exquisite, detailed and all of them look great and are well clothed as well. Their movements are again subpar, but the imagery is pretty good and some of it was very pleasant and memorable.

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The Wind in the Willows Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………….

The Wind in the Willows is also really well edited and the film flows well for its short running time, but it isn’t as engaging as it should have been and it should have had more action in it. That goes without question as the film was too mild in my opinion. The humor is pretty good and the characterization is great, but it should have been brisker and more entertaining. The score is fine, but the songs are so-so. Some are solid, but some are dull and they were overwhelming in their presence. Overall, it is a solid, but inherently flawed movie.

The 1983 version of The Wind in the Willows is quite solid with excellent animation, very good character development with great interactions between the three major characters and the film is charmingly British, but the songs are lackluster, the movements are not well synched with the voice acting at all and the film should have been brisker and more entertaining in its approach.

My Rating – 3.5

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Tender Mercies (1983)

Tender Mercies Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………

Tender Mercies Movie Review

Tender Mercies is a 1983 drama film directed by Bruce Beresford and starring Robert Duvall. It is quite a good, moving drama.

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I don’t know why I wandered out to this part of Texas drunk, and you took me in and pitied me and helped me to straighten out, marry me.

Why? Why did that happen? Is there a reason that happened?

And Sonny’s daddy died in the war, my daughter killed in an automobile accident.

Why? See, I don’t trust happiness. I never did; I never will.

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Tender Mercies Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………

It is about a recovering alcoholic country singer who seeks to turn his life around through his relationship with a young widow and her son in rural Texas. First of all, I have to say that I get why many people nowadays would find this film overrated as it is slow and it is too simplistic and ordinary at glance. But I really liked it nonetheless mainly because it is the kind of drama that unfolds in a very simple and calm way and just after you’ve seen it, you realize how deep and meaningful it actually was. I love that quality in film which is why I admired Tender Mercies.

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Tender Mercies Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………

Obviously you have the theme of family and love. The film very clearly states that love is the most powerful thing in the universe and that it is a driving force in human relationships and that it can save people and it did save the protagonist here. I also really liked its religious themes as he became a Christian late in his life and it helped his life, but after his daughter died, he realized that Christianity can’t shield you from death and tragedy after all. The best thing about the ending is how poignant it is. It shows us that some relationships can’t be mended and how his relationship with his daughter will remain a giant missed opportunity. But it is still a happy ending as he remains sober and settles down with his new family and I just loved that conclusion.

What I didn’t love is the film’s character development as it is quite weak. The dialogue is excellent when it is there, but it is too sparse and there were too many quiet moments. The characters are realistic and good, but I wish we spent a bit more time with each one of them. As for the acting, everyone did a solid job, but Robert Duvall is naturally the highlight as he won an Oscar for this performance. In my opinion, he won because it was a weak year and he didn’t do anything truly extraordinary here, but he still did give a rather natural, subtle and even sensual performance and he definitely carried the entire movie on his shoulders.

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Tender Mercies Movie Review…………………………………………………………………………………

Tender Mercies is sometimes too slow and uneventful and definitely too simplistic at times. I wished that it had more dialogue of substance and more emotion in its first half. It is still solidly paced as it flows well, it is very well directed and it is well shot too. I have to say that the soundtrack is excellent and even though I don’t quite like country music, I really liked these songs and they transport you really well into its setting. The film is quite atmospheric when you think about it. I don’t know if it deserved to win Best Original Screenplay, but the nods for director and song Over You were very much deserved as both are great.

Tender Mercies does have sparse dialogue, overly simplistic approach at first and the characterization should have been stronger, but Robert Duvall is very good in his Oscar winning performance, the direction is also strong, the film’s soundtrack is excellent and it is a story that seems too simple and uneventful at first, but when you think about, it actually has a lot of deep themes in it such as love, death and religion plus the ending is quite satisfying and moving.

My Rating – 4

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For Your Eyes Only (1981)

For Your Eyes Only Movie Review…………………………………………………………

For Your Eyes Only Movie Review

For Your Eyes Only is a 1981 spy film that is the twelfth entry in the James Bond series. it is one of the weakest so far.

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Him? He thinks I’m still a virgin.

Yes. Well, you get your clothes on…

and I’ll buy you an ice cream.

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For Your Eyes Only Movie Review…………………………………………………………

The plot here is as uninspired as these Bond flicks can be. Yes, they brought back a somewhat realistic instead of bombastic approach in the execution, but the plot and the characters are so weak that it doesn’t really help the final product which is surprisingly dull and prolonged.

Roger Moore is solid in the role, but he is definitely getting too old for the part and it is really problematic to consider that he acted in two more Bond movies after this one. He is serviceable and I didn’t mind his performance, but they really didn’t know when to change actors in time.

The action in For Your Eyes Only is very tedious and again we get those underwater sequences which are getting overly abundant and clichéd by this point. The Bond girl here is solid, but to me she is far from great and there is a problem of two many characters here and none of them leave any lasting impression which is the problem of the overall movie that is highly forgettable.

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For Your Eyes Only Movie Review…………………………………………………………

For Your Eyes Only is so-so paced, but its only strengths are the visuals and the score. It looks really good and is always pleasant for the eyes plus some of the action is very well executed with those ski scenes being the best realized. The score in particular is very strong. It is a score of its time, but a good one and once again the opening title sequence steals the show with a very good opening number and fine visuals. It’s a shame that the movie itself never had anything that memorable or inspired on it.

For Your Eyes Only  has a good opening number, fine score and it looks good, but the action is dull, the characters and plot are uninspired and the film is one of the most tedious and forgettable Bond flicks so far.

My Rating – 2.5

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Dead Poets Society (1989)

Dead Poets Society Movie Review…………………………………………………………..

Dead Poets Society Movie Review

Dead Poets Society is a 1989 American drama film directed by Peter Weir and starring Robin Williams and Ethan Hawke. It is a solid, but mostly disappointing movie.

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No matter what anybody tells you,

words and ideas can change the world

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Dead Poets Society Movie Review…………………………………………………………..

It is about an English teacher who inspires his students through his teaching of poetry. What I liked here is that the movie took a serious dark turn near the end with one major death. That was emotionally powerful and I really respected its portrayal of bad parents and how they want something specific for their children when schools are concerned and they don’t care what their child really wants. That is an important issue well explored here.

But what I didn’t like is how the movie totally wasted Robin Williams. He is absolutely phenomenal here and what he did with his looks was astonishing and you could easily see strong emotion just in his eyes. He is the movie’s brightest spot both as an actor and as a character and it is such a shame that the film abandoned him for the boys. I was immensely disappointed because of that.

But all of the other actors did a good job and it is such a shame that only Ethan Hawke made a career out of this movie when in reality all of these young actors gave really respectable performances. And the characters themselves are solid, if not entirely realistic.

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Dead Poets Society Movie Review…………………………………………………………..

Dead Poets Society is definitely well made and also well shot and scored, but the editing could have been better and the direction from Peter Weir is not my cup of tea. The film is basically made as a typical Oscar bait with all of the aspects that define an Oscar nominated or winning movie such an important issues and themes, good acting, typically bloated running time and an emphasis on strongly emotional ending. And yes, I strongly disliked that ending which was just so cheesy in a typical manner for the decade. The emotion was somewhat earned, but I still don’t like when they emphasize the happy ending this strongly. Overall, the film is solid, but it only earned the Best Actor nod with the other three nominations being totally undeserved.

Dead Poets Society is very well acted with Robin Williams being so good, its dark turn near the end is commendable and the film deals with important themes and issues, but it is made as a typical Oscar bait, there isn’t enough of Williams in it and the ending is beyond mawkish.

My Rating – 3.5

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The Last Starfighter (1984)

The Last Starfighter Movie Review…………………………………………………………

The Last Starfighter Movie Review

The Last Starfighter is a 1984 family science fiction film directed by Nick Castle. It is one of the most overrated blockbusters of its time.

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Greetings, Starfighter.

You have been recruited by the Star League

to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan armada

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The Last Starfighter Movie Review…………………………………………………………

It is about a teenager who gets recruited by an alien defense force to fight in an interstellar war due to his particular skills at playing arcade video games. What is the major problem with the story is that it’s just very clichéd and not to mention incredibly unrealistic and too much of a fantasy, even for a kid’s film. And I just was never invested in it at all.

The Last Starfighter is a childish film even by my very low standards. It is just too immature and childish and in my opinion science fiction and family entertainment do not mix well whatsoever and that is best exemplified in this particular flick. It surely has its charm at times and it is of course far from a bad movie as it is pretty serviceable, but it is never particularly good either and it is a film that those that grew up with it of course would love, but because I am a 90s kid and I haven’t seen it as a child, it was to me a too childish and over-the-top experience.

The acting isn’t great and the special effects are a mixed bag. On the one hand, they do look dated and evidently of its time, but on the other hand, this is one of the earliest movies along with ‘Tron‘ to extensively utilize computer-generated imagery and you have to admire it for that.

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The Last Starfighter Movie Review…………………………………………………………

The film starts and ends in a pretty solid manner, but everything that came in the middle was sorely lacking as it was either dull or immature or frankly campy and cheesy at times. The Last Starfighter is one giant 80s cheese and that I never liked and I didn’t like it here too. In the end, although it has its strengths, it is such an overrated, uninspired and cheesy sci-fi flick that only children and those who grew up with it could really enjoy.

The Last Starfighter is sometimes endearing, its use of CGI is groundbreaking and the film is good for children, but it is way too childish for adults and way too cheesy even for 80s standards. It is a movie that those who grew up with it and kids could enjoy, but everyone else would find boring, immature and uninspired and that is exactly what I thought of it.

My Rating – 3

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Time Masters (1982)

Time Masters Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

Time Masters Movie Review

Time Masters is a 1982 French animated science fiction film directed by Rene Laloux. It is a very flawed, yet very original and intriguing film.

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The creature denies happiness!

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Time Masters Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

It follows a boy Piel who is stranded on a desert planet and awaits rescue by his friends who guide him through voice. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that there is a lot more to this plot and that it ends with a giant twist that was actually pretty clever and even fascinating. I loved its adventurous tone and its ecological approach was great. In terms of the themes, it is definitely lacking, but in terms of originality and charm, it most certainly succeeded in spades.

What is the best asset that Time Masters possesses has to be its animation which is absolutely astonishing. I simply adored watching this movie. This entire planet called Perdide is wonderful to behold and the world building is something that this director always manages to convene perfectly. The whole planet is filled with these weird branching trees with very interesting fruits to them. But some of the creatures that we meet are also interesting with the winged men and their myth being so fascinating and the animals are mostly really cute. The entire animation looks polished and  although the character designs were far from amazing or original, the visuals were awesome and detailed in a typical French fashion. And some of the water scenery and buildings here were wallpaper-worthy.

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Time Masters Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

Rene Laloux also made ‘Fantastic Planet’ and ‘Gandahar’ and both of those movies are great and much better than Time Masters owing to a variety of reasons. One of them is the sophistication which is something that those movies had in abundance, but this one doesn’t. Another thing is the overall entertainment value which isn’t great as the film is sometimes slow and definitely a bit meandering in structure and editing.

But the biggest problem has to be its humor. The film is a superb French science fiction film overall, but because it is mostly serious and the director’s other movies are serious throughout, this one is uneven as it adds humor to the table which is totally unnecessary and not done properly. Those animals seemed to have come out of a Star Wars movie as they were too cute and too pointless for this particular film which is otherwise mature. That was so disappointing, but at least they took only a smaller amount of running time.

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Time Masters Movie Review………………………………………………………………..

But the overall look to the movie is terrific and this world is beautifully imagined and also very much authentic and one of a kind. I admired its mythology and a definite attention to detail along with an intriguing first act and superb third act with only the second one being troublesome. The voice acting is fine and the characters aren’t great, but they aren’t bad either and are very much serviceable for this kind of film and some are quite likable as well. In the end, Time Masters isn’t the best that Rene Laloux has to offer, but it’s most certainly an original and mostly satisfying science fiction excursion.

Time Masters isn’t the best that French animation or Rene Laloux have to offer as the editing and structure are meandering and the humor is unnecessarily thrown into the mix, but the animation is simply astonishing with a couple of gorgeous sequences with great imagery and excellent attention to detail. The world building is terrific with many interesting creatures and the story is very original and intriguing with a great twist at the end leading to a flawed, yet pretty good science fiction endeavor.

My Rating – 4

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