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A hugely talented but socially isolated computer operator is tasked by Management to prove the Zero Theorem: that the universe ends as nothing, rendering life meaningless. But meaning is what he already craves.
A young boy's wardrobe contains a time hole. Through this hole an assortment of short people (i.e. dwarfs) come while escaping from their master, the supreme being. They take Kevin with them on their adventures through time from Napoleonic times to the Middle Ages to the early 1900s, to the time of Legends and the Fortress of Ultimate Darkness where they confront Evil. Written by
In his book Monty Python: The Case Against Irreverence, Scurrility, Profanity, Vilification, and Licentious Abuse, Robert Hewison describes the dwarves as a comment on the Monty Python troupe. The nice one, Fidgit, is said to represent Michael Palin; the self-appointed leader, Randall, John Cleese; the acerbic one, Strutter, Eric Idle; the quiet one, Og, Graham Chapman; the noisy rebel, Wally, Terry Jones; and the nasty, filth-loving one, Vermin, Terry Gilliam. See more »
Toward the end of the movie the bandits steal back the map. The creatures begin to chase after them and one of them shoots "missiles" out of its eyes. The wire these "missiles" travel along are clearly visible. See more »
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Block of ice to Beef Bourguignon in eight seconds. Lucky things.
Dad, did you know that the ancient Greek warriors ...
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At the end of the credits the scene where the Bandits have their photo taken is replayed. See more »
I was lucky enough to see this piece of celluloid magic on the big screen when it first came out. I'm glad I did, too, because the shoe-box multiplexes that were being slapped together couldn't do this movie justice. Terry Gilliam hits just the right note when he introduces Kevin, a ten-year old with big appetite for western mythology(you get the impression that in another year, he'll be reading Joseph Campbell and Rider Haggard)and an even bigger imagination. Having parents of the most sterile, materialistic bent(plastic couch covers--ecch)just ensure his receptiveness to the adventures that follow his falling through the time-door in the back of his closet with Randall and his fellow dwarves as they plunder and loot their way through time and history. Gilliam pokes fun at some of history's figures, like Napoleon("That's what I like to see--little things hitting each other!"), Robin Hood("was it really necessary to hit him?""Yes boss.""Ah, I see."),and others. Gilliams' lesson that having lots of stuff will not ensure happiness and that usually, the journey itself is reward enough is artfully told without flogging the audience with it. Something else that stuck with me, but I didn't realize until long afterwards, were the things that Kevin discovered, after a fashion, in his adventures but didn't have in his life back in the 'burbs: a real father figure, played by Sean Connery as Agamemnon, and true love, as presented by Peter Vaughan and Katherine Helmond as Mr. and Mrs. Ogre. Plus the special effects are economically impressive without being too cheesy(my god--the fortress of ultimate darkness WAS made of lego blocks!). In the end, though, it was something that I find far, far too rarely in movies now and before, and it occured to me after I had seen, of all things, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". What Ang Lee's film had in common with Gilliam is simply this: they both had the feel of a great big story that you came in the middle of, and you didn't want ever to end, but it didn't matter, because the structure was such that you had enough to digest for now. And I can count on less than two hands the movies where I was left with THAT wonderful feeling.
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