Friday, November 30, 2007

Tin Man has no heart

Yeah, I know, trite. I didn't get the chance to do a formal review of the new Sci Fi miniseries "Tin Man," so I'll give a few thoughts here.

"The Wizard of Oz" is a pretty rich bit of source material, as witnessed by the numerous interpretations of the books over the years. Turning "Oz" into a dark allegory on power hit its peak with the book (not the Broadway musical) "Wicked" by Gregory Maguire. That's a very, very dark, very troubling take on the story. Although I thought the ending sucked.

Anyway, if that's the very best, "Tin Man" is a very pale imitation.Here OZ stands for the Outer Zone, a parrallel universe ruled by an evil sorceress and the Tin Man is a former cop and Dororthy becomes DG and so on.

The visuals are creative enough - the sorceress' minions travel through tornados and the Tinman is punished by being locked in an Iron Maiden contraption and forced to watch a holographic film that endlessly repeats the murders of his family.

But despite that, the story falls flat. And the performances barely rise to the level of wooden. Zooey Deschanel in particular has some 'splaining to do for sleepwalking through this thing. In the interviews I've read, the actor's comments all have that trying-too-hard-because-I'm-a-little-embarrassed-how-this-turned-out quality to them. As well they might.

So, good idea, some points for execution, but Sci Fi's reach clearly exceeded his grasp on this one.



At 10:19 AM, November 30, 2007, Blogger Warren Epstein said...

Andy's wrong on this one. "Tin Man" is clever, imaginative, occasionally thrilling and sometimes dumb.

Worth it for "Oz" fans.

My favorite recent spin on "Oz" was in Tad Williams' "Otherland" sci-fi series of novels.

In Williams' future, people can explore several virtual worlds on the net, including several based on classical literature: "War of the Worlds," "The Odyssey" and "The Wizard of Oz."

Oz has become a nightmarish place in Williams' novels. The Scarecrow has taken over and it turns out, he's even worse than the witches.

At 9:20 AM, December 01, 2007, Blogger Eli the Mad (Beer) Man said...

Whaaaa?! Andy... wrong?! ;)

"Tin Man" looks fantastic. I know I'll be watching it!

Thanks for the tip on the Williams' book, Warren. I'll have to check those out!

At 8:16 AM, December 03, 2007, Blogger Eli the Mad (Beer) Man said...

Watched the first episode... VERY good! I love how they tweaked everything JUST enough. can't wait to see where this goes. Good stuff!

At 7:34 AM, December 05, 2007, Blogger Eli the Mad (Beer) Man said...

I'm now 3 hours into the show. While I agree with Warren that it's "clever, imaginitive and occassionally thrilling"...

I know I've seen Zoe on something else... but if this is the best this gal can act I will intentionally go out of my way to avoid anything else she's in from here on out. She is a TERRIBLE actress! I've seen cardboard cut outs that act better than her! It got so bad last night I cringed... almost turned it off a few times. But I want to see where this goes now.

I like every other actor/character... cept maybe for Raw. The guy playing Glitch is far and away the best of the bunch, but the gent playing "Tin Man" isn't bad. I've seen him a few things before too.

Once you get past the crappy FX, and take it for the cheese that it is... it still remains clever and imaginative.

I don't understand how any actor/actress can be picked for a role in this and not do their best to uphold the respect of the source material given it's legendary status.

It's starting to - sadly - teeter towards all the other dreck (aside from BSG) that Sci-Fi puts out.


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