Time Bandits: This movie is about the strangest one I saw as a kid. It took the whole dark fantasy element but made it funny with a kid and a gang of little men who travel through time with their beloved map. While Kevin just wants to stay in Ancient Greece with Agamemnon (Sean Connery who graciously agreed to do a wonderful role for a B movie) his friends are busy trying to escape the Supreme Being who is chasing them. It’s a basic fighting against evil movie but it’s so strange and dingy that it can’t be seen as a wonderful land to live out their dreams. So while this movie isn’t the best film ever made it really does have an interesting take on the time travel journey story. I still distinctly remember this being on HBO when my babysitter got it at her house – we watched the end of Firefox and then this movie came on. It was so weird and great for a first movie experience. I’m not sure how many young audiences would like it since they’re use to a lot of CGI but they may as well see it from a science fiction perspective because it is fairly different.
The Toy: Richard Pryor is Jack Brown – the new “toy” that young Eric Bates (Scott Schwartz who was Flick in A Christmas Story) wants in his extremely lavish life. His father (Jackie Gleason) agrees to pay Jack just to keep him around to entertain Eric. Eric, of course, is a rich kid who is ignored most of the time so he’s never disciplined and doesn’t know how to make friends. After a lot of comical incidences with Eric driving Jack completely mad, they end up becoming friends and Jack helps him to win back his father’s attention. I always liked this because the story was cute as a kid but as an adult, of course, I understand how critics felt it was racist for putting Jack into a slavery situation. That would be an interesting take for young audiences to watch it and see what their reaction is to regarding friendship and class. I just always thought Pryor was funny so I liked this – especially seeing him running around in a Spiderman costume.
Jack Brown: Why me? Of all the stuff in the store, why did you pick me?
Eric Bates: You made me laugh. I wanted a friend who made me laugh.
Jack Brown: So of all the toys in the store you wanted a friend. If you want a friend, you don’t buy a friend, Eric, you earn a friend through love and trust and respect.
Eric Bates: Come see my train!
Jack Brown: You’re not listening to me, Eric, you don’t order your friends around, you ask them.
Eric Bates: Oh. You wanna come see my train, friend?
Jack Brown: No.