J.D. Lafrance
Tin Man: 2-Disc Collector’s Edition DVD Review

Tin Man: 2-Disc Collector’s Edition

June 25, 2013

Director: Nick Willing,
Starring: Zooey Deschanel, Neal McDonough, Alan Cumming, Raoul Trujillo, Kathleen Robertson, Richard Dreyfuss,

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DVD Review

J.D. Lafrance

Tin Man (2007) made its debut on the SciFi Channel in 2007 as a mini-series spread out over three nights. It cleverly re-imagined L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with science fiction elements, transforming the classic fantasy tale into a steampunk epic with new characters thrown into the mix.

D.G. (Deschanel) is a young woman that works at a local diner in the heart of Midwest America. She has been experiencing a series of prophetic dreams and yearns for a better life elsewhere, much to the chagrin of her parents. Meanwhile, in the Outer Zone (or the O.Z.), the evil sorceress Azkadellia (Robertson) is searching for her emerald and only has seven days before she loses it all. The look of her empire and its forces are shades of David Lynch’s take on the evil Harkonnens in his adaptation of Dune (1984). She consults Raw (Trujillo), the imprisoned cowardly lion that can see into the future.

One night, D.G. is awoken by a massive twister that has formed nearby the family house and which Azkadellia’s men use as a cover to appear and attack her family. It seems that Raw has foreseen D.G. to pose as a slim threat and therefore must be eliminated. D.G. and her parents escape through the twister, which transports her to the O.Z. She meets a group of resistance fighters who capture her, assuming that she is a spy for Azkadellia.

D.G. also meets Glitch (Cumming) who had his brain removed by Azkadellia because of what he knows. They escape just as her men show up and head for Central City, “the shining city on the hill” and where her parents were reportedly spotted heading towards. Along the way D.G. and Glitch meet up with and join Wyatt Cain (McDonough), the tin man reconfigured as a law man, and Raw. They band together to stop Azkadellia.

Instead of recycling the traditional characters of Oz, director Nick Willing and his screenwriters Steven Long Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle re-imagine them as characters out of not just fantasy, but science fiction, with the cowardly lion having psychic abilities, the scarecrow as an inventor who lost his mind, and the tin man as a brave law enforcer.

Willing also does a fantastic job of re-imaging Oz’s world as fusion of sci-fi and fantasy, where steampunk meets magic. The end result is an interpretation of Baum’s characters unlike any other and way more imaginative than Sam Raimi’s recent take, Oz the Great and Powerful (2013).

Special Features:

“Beyond the Yellow Brick Road: The Making of Tin Man” is standard electronic press kit material that mixes soundbite interviews with behind-the-scenes footage.

“Nick Willing: On the Set with the Director” offers some fascinating insight into his take on the material.

“Wizard Tricks – Gag Reel” is a pretty standard collection of bloopers that are mildly amusing nonetheless.

“The Brain, Heart and Courage of the Movie” features interviews with Willing and the main cast members who talks about their characters.

“Raw and Uncut: A Sitdown with Raoul Trujillo” sees the actor get his own featurette separate of the previous one for some reason. He also talks about his character and story.

“Making the Mystic Man” takes a look at how a scene with Richard Dreyfuss’ character was put together and then the final product. It is interesting to see how it all came together.

Finally, there is the original trailer.

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance


Rating: 82%

Website: http://www.syfy.com/tinman/


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