Monday, December 26, 2011

Movie Monday: "Tin Man"

Tin Man is a semi-Steampunk, semi-cyberpunk, semi-sci-fi sequel to "The Wizard of Oz." It re-imagines the land of the O. Z. as a military state under the evil rule of the Sorceress Azkedellia. Midwestern waitress D. G. (Dorothy Gray) is tossed into the mix to rediscover her magical past and save her parallel universe from the witch. Along with memorable and surprisingly well developed characters such as Cain, Glitch, and Raw, she spends 4.5 hours trekking across the O. Z. and recovering her memories.

It sounds interminabley long and strange, I know, but it is one of my most favorite TV movies. A 2007 Sy-Fy channel original, it is touch-and-go when it comes to acting, but the majority of the main parts are acted well. Undoubtedly the best actors in the film are Allan Cumming who plays the air-headed and loveable ex-royal advisor Glitch, and Neal McDonough who plays the tortured and stoic ex-policeman Wyatt Cain. Zooey Deschanel in her lead role as D. G. does well, but I have seen her act better. Kathleen Robertson is the movie's eye candy as Azkedellia, but her version of a wicked sorceress is more melodramatic and sexually provocative than threatening and hateful. Though the secondary actors aren't the best thing since sliced bread, they manage to pull together to create a suspenseful and compelling universe.

The three 1.5 hour long episodes are all titled "Tin Man," which I think is a misnomer. The "tin man" in the story, Cain, is hardly the main character or the fulcrum of the story, though he is important, and the mini-series would have been better titled "The O. Z." or "The Outer Zone."

"Tin Man" is available for instant viewing on Netflix and is available at Barnes & Noble, but you probably won't find it at your local library. If you can get past the few moments of bad CGI and enjoy the characters and beautiful scenery and surprisingly involved storyline, this makes for a great (and very long) movie night. The costumes and scenery blend Steampunk, cyberpunk, Medieval, and American Western ideas, making for a visually tantalizing production that is worth watching at least once.


The Lonely Alchemist

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