Finally a new post by me that is actually about a movie/TV! Actually I have a few drafts that I haven’t finished or posted and I was going to do those first, but having just finished watching Tin Man in one sitting I’m going to write this now.
Bare with me fora bit because I promise I’m going to talk about the mini-series. I’ve never been obsessed with The Wizard of Oz. I’ve seen it a number of times, but it never really mattered much to me. I have a lot of friends who have seen the musical Wicked and love it. I’ve listened to the soundtrack and love the music, but have not been able to see it performed. Eventually I’m going to. I know people who will gladly drag me. In the mean time though I’ve wanted to watch the original Wizard of Oz, but haven’t gotten around to it. That or I’ve forgotten. I saw Tin Man on my Netflix and decided that I’d like to see it for a number of reasons. Part of it is my recent interest in Oz stuff. The cast seemed damned good and I recall hearing positive things about it.
Tin Man is a three part miniseries set up by the SciFi channel (now SyFy I believe). Each part is roughly an hour and a half and really that probably is to long. The series is a “re-imagining” of the Wizard of Oz story. Basically it has nothing to do with the original story/movie. There are loads of references, but nothing really concrete. I wouldn’t expect someone looking for a nice new twist to the Wizard of Oz to like this. It’s basically an attempt to turn The Wizard of Oz into the Lord of the Rings for nerds, which is why it is to long.
I had mixed opinions about this. For a SyFy production it seems really fucking good. I don’t watch the channel hardly at all, but most of what I’ve seen on there is usually poor production quality. Tin Man is really good on that level. For television it looks pretty good. Hell, it looks better than some movies so I don’t quite get all of the complaints on that end.
I also enjoyed the cast. Zooey Deschanel plays DG (Dorothy Gale) and I enjoyed her performance, but I usually do. She has a style that plenty of people don’t like. Guys however think she’s hot (and rightfully so). Alan Cumming (is it wrong for his name to make me giggle) is Glitch or Ambrose (his parallel being the Scarecrow) and I was a bit disappointed there. I was sort of expecting a bigger performance out of Alan, but he was still good and you got glimpses of it at times. Neal McDonough plays the titular Tin Man, which in this realm is slang for cop. McDonough is the best out of this bunch for me. I’ve loved everything I’ve seen him in (that I can think of). The first time I recall seeing him was in Band of Brothers and he was great (as was the show). Defiantly someone to watch for. Toto (or Tudor here and also a shapeshifter) and Raw (the lionish dude) make nice performances and fill out the traveling group. On the whole those actors did a good job of meshing together. I also thought Kathleen Robertson was pretty good as Az (DG’s sister and evil bitch -sort of). I found her cleavage amusing, especially since they put “magical” tattoos over/on her breasts for the nerds (which I admit to enjoying as well). Richard Dreyfuss also has a short appearance as the Mystic Man (also known as the Wizard). A fine performance by a great actor, but hardly in the series really.
As good as the cast was, and I do stand by their performances, the writing was pretty crap. There were some horribly cheezy and cliché moments that just killed the buzz at times. That kind of thing makes the actors looks bad and I can’t help but to try to defend them to some extent. If the direction and lines are crap you kinda get fucked. The idea of the story was neat, but really it didn’t go nowhere. Four plus hours I believe that took way to long and wasn’t actually confusing. I followed everything mostly which shouldn’t be the case for something that long. I should be confused at some-point. The side stories were just unneeded at times. There’s also a lack of any action that’s good or at all for that matter. The magic is lame as hell. DG does absolutely nothing spectacular for supposedly being badass and Az (Roertson’s character) does some cool tricks that aren’t explained and a number of things of screen hat we only hear about.
On the whole it was good enough that I kept watching it for four hours. It’s something I’d even watch again at some point. I think the thing I enjoyed the most about this series was that it gave me a lot of writing ideas and thoughts on how to handle certain things so that was a plus. Basically it’s pretty crappy if you think about it. For a SyFy production though it’s pretty good and if you enjoy there brand of stuff than you should enjoy this.