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The Wizard of Speed and Time
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Customer Reviews:

  • Still one of my favorite films
    10 Years ago I discoverd a video in a little videostore with the title "MAGIC MOVIE". This was the German title of "The Wizard of Speed and Time".I didn't know this movie because it was never shown in Austrias cinemas.I read that this movie was about filmmaking so I took it with me back home,and it become one of my alltime favorite film.Thanx Mike...more info
  • Possibly the best vanity film ever made
    This is film by, for, and about film geeks. Naturally, I love it. Using mostly stop motion photography, it details the trials of Mike Jitlov trying to get his film made. It's riddled with inside jokes about the industry, many obvious but some subtle. It's also quite textured with lots of cute and clever sight gags going on in the periphery - much like a Joe Dante film. A worthy showcase for Jitlov's work, I only gave it four stars instead of five for its lack of any substantial plot, feeling more like a "The Making Of This Movie" documentary. However, the four stars definitely do not detract from its overall entertainment value, which is substantial.

    As other have pointed out, most people (including yours truly) missed this when it was first released - easy to do since it only played about a week. And that's a shame - it's extremely witty and entertaining. Even more so when you consider the work involved in shooting a live action film in stop motion.

    I'm fortunate enough to own one of the reportedly 1600 laser discs which were made and it's a perennial favorite of mine. However, even on VHS, if you get a chance to buy it, I can heartily recommend it....more info

  • Just a darn great film
    I sure wish someone would bring the correct version of this to DVD. I love it, my (young)nephew used to beg to watch it everytime he visited.

    It's just great.

    Hey Mike... thanks, and best of luck...more info

  • The Best Movie
    I got this movie and watched it over and oveagain. It got me hooked on making stop-motion animation. It has a great plot and shows some of the techniques used to make a live motion picture if you want to start....more info
  • A Classic
    It's really sad that more people don't know about this film. It's a classic for all ages and the effects are AMAZING. Mike Jittlov is and was a genius. If you're interested in stop motion animation and you don't own this movie, you're missing out! ...more info
  • Pure Film Magic
    What I love about this film:

    1)It was made independently.
    2)It's an inspiring story that's good for the whole family.
    3)It has some nifty special FX that will leave you asking "How'd they do that!?!?" (There is NO CGI in this movie)
    4) The FX are part of the story, not just "icing on the cake".

    What I hate about this film:

    1)The company who printed this release isn't paying Mike Jittlov a single cent
    2) The Wizard got totally screwed in real life... the man who made the film didn't see a decent dollar for his work.
    3) The "actor" who portrayed "Harvey" was the lamest ham I've ever seen.
    4) Mike Jittlov isn't making movies anymore because of how bad he got screwed on this deal. This is a testamet to how blind hollywood is to real talent....more info
  • This is a Must See for all Film Making Students
    Mike Jitlove is a Genius who managed to do more with imagination, a lot of stop motion animation, and hand creating each frame of special effects. He is light years ahead of his time with this classic movie about Making a movie. He shows the humorous/frustrating side of Hollywood and all the Guilds and Unions it takes to make a movie. I first saw this when taking Special Effects Make-up classes in Orlando. The teacher had a copy on Laser Disc. I would actually buy one of the old Laser Disc Players just to have a copy of this movie, that is how good this movie is....more info
  • A cult favorite
    This little movie has become legendary among animation buffs, and the creator, Mike Jittlov, a bit of a legend himself. Part of the legend has to do with all the Hollywood machinations that Jittlov set out to lampoon and that ended up biting him in the end.

    Watching the film today is a bit of a disappointment for anyone raised on the special effects of the post-Star Wars era. The effects aren't anywhere as impressive as when Jittlov made this film. Jittlov's acting and that of much of his mixed amateur-professional cast is indeed amateurish, as is much of his directing. The story is weak, and is mostly one long rant against Hollywood.

    Yet the film still has a certain undeniable charm, and for anyone involved in trying to self-produce a film it's a must-see- or a must own....more info

  • A supremely charming movie
    This is one of those films which you appreciate more and more over time for its charm and joy. That, and you spy more sight gags with each additional viewing, too.

    My ex fought to keep the laserdisc version of this winner and I'm not thrilled about going back to *shudder* tape. Hopefully, a DVD version will be forthcoming. How about it, Mike (Jittlov)? You'll at least sell six copies. :)

    A bit of trivia for you fans: did you happen to catch Mike's animation credit in the movie, Ghost? If you know of more of Mike's credits in other films, let me know....more info

  • Low-tech, High Enjoyment
    What started out as a three-minute student film has evolved into a feature length masterwork. This should be required viewing for film students to show what can be done with low budgets (and no computer effects!).

    Mike Jittlov, a writer/director/actor/animator/editor/special effects technician/film-maker/voice-over artist/calligrapher/cult figure/iconoclast (Yes, but can he type?) plays himself in this cinematic tour-de-force (or should that be cul-de-sac?) as the struggling independent film-maker at odds with the Hollywood system. The scene involving Jittlov trying to file the proper paperwork to join the required Unions is a scream, and all too close to the truth.

    Bootleg copies of this video (the SGE release, NOT StarMaker!) have been passed around like pieces of the True Cross, and the fandom following seems to grow each and every year. The hyperkinetically edited sequence near the end of the film will take your breath away. As for animation, this film uses stop-motion, cel, pixilation, and some of the quickest cuts in history.

    The film is rated PG for slapstick violence and two very mild sexual jokes (that will probably sail right over your kids' heads), but is suitable for family fare.

    Track it down, and watch it. You will not be disappointed!...more info

  • Vanity, yes, good no.
    Woody Allen has a cameo? I don't think so....

    Anyway, my own feelings towards this film is that it is decent, but no where near what could be accomplished if Jittlov would stop playing martyr and move on.

    I'm waiting for a DVD of this--containing the movie, and his short subjects--as many that can be fitted onto a disc. I don't think that will happen, but I can dream, you know.

    Please do like the fact Jittlov got a movie made. Just be honest about it and say "it's nice, but not that good a film."
    With a shoe string budget, it accomplishes many things. But the budget keeps it from accomplishing anything where Jittlov's imagination would work wonders.

    Too bad Jittlov got into a snit over the film. He did a subliminal in the flick that says "Mike Jittlov can do anything." Except forgive, move on and do something new.

    I think everyone would like that, wouldn't you?...more info
  • Pure Film Magic
    What I love about this film:

    1)It was made independently.
    2)It's an inspiring story that's good for the whole family.
    3)It has some nifty special FX that will leave you asking "How'd they do that!?!?" (There is NO CGI in this movie)
    4) The FX are part of the story, not just "icing on the cake".

    What I hate about this film:

    1)The company who printed this release isn't paying Mike Jittlov a single cent
    2) The Wizard got totally screwed in real life... the man who made the film didn't see a decent dollar for his work.
    3) The "actor" who portrayed "Harvey" was the lamest ham I've ever seen.
    4) Mike Jittlov isn't making movies anymore because of how bad he got screwed on this deal. This is a testamet to how blind hollywood is to real talent....more info
  • Long, Long, Ago
    Many years back a buddy of mine told me about this movie since he knew I loved SciFi or just plain fun movies. I caught it on TV and immediately went out and bought the VHS. Am I glad I did. It wasn't a mainstream movie and so mostly film students and a few from the SciFi community that trade movies or discuss them at conventions knew about this little gem. It has become a bit of a cult classic. Even though this movie was made on a shoestring budget and by an independent many times this type of movie ends up on DVD because of the following. I am quite surprised this one hasn't reached that status yet. Unfortunately this hasn't been shown on TV in several years to my knowledge or I am sure it would be on DVD by now. We can only hope someone is smart enough to back getting this on DVD since I am sure once it is word will get around and they will more than recoup their investment. If you are lucky enough to catch this on TV or find it on VHS somewhere be sure to watch it. I think you will agree it is amazing what someone can do once they put their mind to it. A film student is told he can't do things. When he puts together his magic of changing things it is truly a mystery of time and speed that you will find fascinating and funny. A very entertaining movie that the whole family can enjoy. Get used copy if you can. $12-15 isn't bad considering how much you will watch it. I saw a few people being fair priced and they have a good track record. More than $18 for a used copy is just getting greedy....more info
  • The Wizard is Magic!
    I have had a copy of this video since the first time I saw it, and every time I need a creative boost this is the video I watch. It always makes me smile and never gets old. Mike Jittlov has created a movie that deserves another look by everyone. I am looking forward to it showing up on DVD, I will be the first in line....more info
  • Of all the words of mice and men...
    ...the saddest are "It might have been."

    Having encountered a tall fellow in a green jacket at 2AM or so at the World SF Convention in Boston in -- ummm -- 1980? -- and greeted him with "You're Mike Jittlov -- and i'm not!", I stood and talked with him for some time about Things.

    I got a crick in my neck -- he don't look it on film, but he's tallenough that six foot tall me had to look up while talking -- and he told me some of his plans.

    First, though, i asked him how the *%*^& he made the stop-motion animated frisbees in "Mouse Mania" spin as they cruised by (when i point out that effect to people who know/have done stop-motion, their jaws drop) and he told me.

    And then he told me about the wonderful movie he had planned, spinning off from a segment of Disney's promo show for The Black Hole. (Which, incidentally, aside from the Barnstable twins, was the best part of the program -- oh, no -- i tell a lie -- Frank and Caroline Mouris [Frank Film] did a beauty of a cut-out animation sequence.)

    It was going to be titled "The Wizard of Speed and Time", and it was going to be the story of a man who gained the ability to use 100% of his brain instead of the roughly 10% we allegedly use in our normal lives.

    He would be superintelligent, nd superfast and generally superish, and the normal human authorities would feel threatened, and...

    It sounded great. But it didn't happen -- instead we get this sad travesty.

    Yes, it's funny. Yes, it recycles parts of some of Jittlov's previous work -- but, none of the shorts used are complete, and none have the proper original music cues.

    Yes, he gets some revenge on a Large Hollywood Production Company which shall remain nameless but they did a teevee special (mostly pretty unspecial) about special effects that Jittlov worked on.

    Yes, he lays some zingers on the Hollywood guild-and-union system.

    Yes, there are some wonderful gags layered in here and there -- try freeze-framing the "Japanese Jumping Wall" segment as the Wizard scoots along the wall, and be sure to read all signs and placards and so on in the background.

    But "the system" managed to grind down even such a wild talent as Jittlov's, and, not only it ain't what "might have been," but i understand Mike got such a screwing from the producers/releaseing company that, according to one report, he left film-making entirely...

    Another good man done gone......more info
  • wizard
    This film hits the notes in all the right places The whole film leads up to one special effect sequence at the end This is a very dangerous thing for a filmmaker to attempt because if the sequence doesnt work then it makes the whole film pointless But in this case it does work and it works wonderfully It is impossible to watch without a grin coming across your face Also watch out for the datablast included in the running sequence jog through on your video to read Mikes thoughts great...more info
  • If you can get your hands on this, grab it!!!
    My father found a copy of this film at a video store in Cleveland, of all places, years ago, and it quickly became my family's all-time favorite film. We rented it constantly, until I saw a copy one day in a pre-viewed pile for sale and grabbed it. I managed to find a second copy the same way, so (thank goodness!) I can have my own copy without depriving my parents of one.

    I was thirteen when I first fell in love with the Wizard of Speed and Time. I'm 25 now, and I could still watch it over and over again. It's become a family classic - my brother and I have found ourselved sprinkling quotes into normal conversation - "it's the ultimate in low-tech," "my uncle's got friends in high places - he's got high friends everyplace!" and on and on. We've introduced many, many friends to it over the years. I've yet to show it to someone who hasn't loved it.

    See it for the amazing animation. See it for the quirky characters. See it for the sight gags. See it for the songs. Most of all, see it in celebration of the magic that truly is possible. You won't be sorry.

    P.S. Mike's a pretty amazing guy, too! My brother and I each have a signed film poster to show for it....more info