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Tin Man

Posted by admin | Posted in Movies | Posted on 05-09-2010


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Studio: Uni Dist Corp (music) Release Date: 07/20/2010 Run time: 88 minutes Rating: R… More >>

Tin Man

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Comments (5)

If you are expecting ruby slippers and a cackling green lady, you are in for an awakening of your own. Growing up with singing munchkins, I realized, hey, I am a grownup. And SciFi seemed to realize it too with a magnificent departure from the 1939 MGM film to a brilliant, futuristic, decadent, and sometimes apocalyptic telling. The reinventions of characters and fantastical sets soon transport you from the familiar to a place you find yourself hard to take your eyes off of– from phosphorous-glowing trees, desolate paths, Metropolitan-like art deco palaces, and underworlds unlike anything and then again reminiscent of a certain alphabet city pre-Rudy.

The story itself is not for the kiddies. Mine were told continuously to leave the room, go play, and find something else to do. But the grown up fairy tale is long overdue. The story actually had twists, turns, and menacing meaning– much more substance and meaning than the trifles the network and cable gurus seem to thrust down our throats.

I honestly cannot wait until the DVD comes out to feast my peepers on the rich masterpiece SciFi laid out for the holidays. (A much better smorgasborg than the Cheeto-fare of Lifetime).

And for just desserts– SciFi scored an incredible coup with incredibly gifted actors perfectly tailored for each role– most notably Alan Cumming for Glitch, Neal McDonough as the titular Tin Man, and the remarkable “evil” Azkadelia played by Kathleen Robertson.

Evil no longer is a personality trait to just carry a plot, but in this series, actually has a real beginning, reason to exist, and a true part in throughout the series up to the climatic end. This series is like a force of nature that I found myself carried away in– somewhat like DG.

Rating: 5 / 5

This will sound wierd, but this movie is like a realistic explanation for the original wizard of oz. I know its incorrect to say this, but, when I watch this movie I feel like its the real version, and the old movie is like a watered down “kids” version of the story. That being said, I really enjoyed it, all six hours of it on the Sci-fi channel. Anyway, I will definitely be purchasing this when it comes out. Its so cool to see a movie you kind of know, but then dont really know at all! I recommend it for anyone, all ages.
Rating: 5 / 5


I loved the premise behind this–a darker, more adult, epic fantasy version of the Wizard of Oz. I was actually pretty psyched about seeing this. Did it deliver? Well, kind of.

The plot moves along at a good clip for the most part, and the special effects are surprisingly well-done for a made-for-TV miniseries. I liked that the monkey bats seemed to be some sort of puppetry or stop motion rather than entirely CGI. But overall, I was left with the feeling that this series could have been so much better.

One of the biggest problems for me was the dialogue. Tin Man suffers from a severe case of “writer speak”–characters spout lots of “clever” lines that no real person would ever say. It doesn’t help that Zooey Deschanel seems to be locked into a narrow range of acting. I don’t know if it’s her fault or the director’s, but regardless of what’s going on she conveys a deadpan, sardonic nonchalance. When she’s swept into another world by a supernatural storm, she takes it in stride with a shrug and a quip. When the munchkins (now a bunch of psychotic, ugly tree-dwelling trolls) discuss torturing her for information, she seems only mildly disgruntled. “You’re out of your tiny minds,” she tells them, in the same complaining tone someone might say, “This burger is overdone.” I understand that they wanted her to be a tough heronine. Fine, but a little bit of realistic human emotion wouldn’t hurt. A lot of the cutesy abbreviations got to me, as well. Dorothy Gale is now “DG.” Oz is “the O.Z.” I’m surprised the Wizard wasn’t “the Big W” or something.

My other main complaint is the villain’s motive, or non-motive, rather. Azkadallia wants some special emerald she can put into a machine that will blot out the sun and engulf the O.Z. in darkness. Why? What is that going to accomplish? In the original Wizard of Oz the Wicked Witch is one-dimensionally evil for no reason–which is forgivable, considering that it’s a children’s book. Tin Man is supposed to be a more serious, adult version of the tale, so I was hoping for a more complex and realistic villain. There’s a bit of a twist toward the end revealing that Azkadallia is possessed by some kind of evil entity resembling a witch, but that doesn’t change much. We still have a main villain (the witch entity) who does evil things for no apparent reason. No moral ambiguity here.

Despite all this, I don’t regret watching Tin Man. There were some genuinely funny moments and enough twists and turns in the plot to keep me engaged. But though it was entertaining, I didn’t feel like it really left me with anything to think about.
Rating: 3 / 5

For many people, THE WIZARD OF OZ is one of their favorite films of all time. Frank L. Baum’s original story became a hugely popular and critical success not long after it was published and the story of the THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ and over 100 years later is still popular and hugely influential (look at the massive success of the musical WICKED). Despite this, nowadays many people have never read the original story or books that Baum wrote. If they had they would begin to see that Oz isn’t necessarily the bright and always cheerful place that the 1939 pictured. Oz was a fantastical place, but like in all fairy tales, evil and darkness is lurking in the shadows. Just take the flying monkeys. Many people think that monkeys are cute and sometimes they are. But monkeys are also very cruel creatures that like to play with their own feces and can be quite vicious and the idea of monkeys that can fly and are large enough to lift a lion is very frightening. There’s all kinds of creatures like that in Oz, proving that beneath the glitter Oz can be a very scary place, indeed, and a modern update of the tale would make for a spectacular movie.

Thus, the Sci-Fi Channel stepped in and updated the story with the airing of TIN MAN in December 2007. TIN MAN follows a young woman named DG (Zooey Deschanel). DG is living in rural Kansas. She works as a waitress at the local diner in town, rides a motorcycle, keeps getting chased around by Police Officer Gulch, and dreams of moving to a different place and living a more exciting life. DG is a fantastic artist and great mechanic. She also starts having bad dreams that start to occur more and more frequently. Late one night DG is awaken by a giant tornado, with a group of armed men in long coats, headed towards the family farmhouse. Before she can really understand what is happening DG is being chased by the men in long coats and is pushed by her parents into the twister and taken to a completely different world, the O.Z. She undergoes a series of adventures and is joined in her quest to find her parents by a man who has had his brain taken out and has a zipper on his skull, a man who was locked in an iron suit for over a decade who used to be a police officer or “Tin Man”, and a humanoid lion who has the gifts of healing and telepathy.

I saw the advertisements for TIN MAN when it first aired, but was unable to watch the special. It’s a shame because the mini-series became the single highest television event for the Sci-Fi Channel in their history. After a former student recommend that I watch the series, I made sure to watch it when it aired again in March 2008 and later watched the DVD. The overarching story is familiar, but the O.Z. is a much different and darker place than the Oz that people are probably familiar. I found the story fascinating. The film features a great cast of highly talented actors which gives the production a slightly higher level of creditability than many other Sci-Fi specials. The special effects are spectacular and the score is riveting.

With that said, there are a few weaknesses in the script. For instance, the timeframe that the story takes place incredible if not impossible and the whole idea of the flying monkeys being magical tattoos that fly off the wicked witch’s chest is more than a bit unsettling. I also was disappointed by the third part of the series. The first two parts of the series were well plotted, but the third section is rushed and concludes rather abruptly. The story would have been better if the final act was extended and more evenly paced with a satisfying epilogue.

Still the TIN MAN is a great film. It updates the story of THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ without minimizing it and in fact extends the legend of Oz. Also, unlike many others who have seen the film I think TIN MAN is perfectly suitable for most viewers, including children. TIN MAN is a fairy tale. Fairy tales are supposed to have an element of darkness and suspense in them because fairy tales are really about life and sad, dark, and scary things exist in life. Besides, flying monkeys really don’t exist and if they did we should all be scared of them anyway.

Recommended for people who enjoy films with a good story, people who enjoy quality fantasy films, and people who have actually read some of the original Oz books,

The DVD includes several extras including the making-of featurette “Beyond the Yellow Brick Road–The Making of TIN MAN”; behind the scene footage of director Nick Willing; a blooper reel; interviews with Nick Willing, Alan Cumming, Neal McDonough, and Zooey Deschanel; the original TIN MAN trailer, and trailers for THE MIST and THE HOGFATHER.
Rating: 4 / 5

This well made for TV mini-series Directed by Nick Willing will hold your attention from the beginning. All the actors were well chosen and Zooey Deschanel as DG will enchant you. At first it seems like any other contemporary contrived script that was just using a snappy title. Then you think this is Smallville and where is Clark? Then slowly the story unfolds and before you realize hat has happened you are caught up in the intrigue of a complex story with all of the elements found in Frank Baum’s original story but actually better designed. The film, even though being promoted as the darker side of OZ, in reality is just a little more down to earth or up in the sky fairy tale.

DG grows up in a rural town by elderly loving parents. There she is a waitress tat is contemplating of going out into the wide world. She has strange dreams of another world. Before her parents can tell her, the other world becomes a reality and DG becomes the target or key to an insidious plot to destroy the O.Z.

Bridge to Terabithia [Blu-ray]
Rating: 5 / 5

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