The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: RHI - 2007
MPAA Rating: NR
Feature running time: 267 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH
Starring: Zoey Deschanel, Alan Cumming, Neal McDonough, Raoul Trujillo, Kathleen Robertson
Directed by: Callum Keith Rennie, Richard Dreyfuss
Music by: Simon Boswell
Written by: Craig Van Sickle & Steven Long Mitchell based on The wonderful wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 20, 2010
"Follow a new Yellow Brick Road"
Follow a new yellow brick road with Tin Man, the unforgettable science fiction update of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. When small-town waitress D.G. (Zooey Deschanel) unexpectedly lands in the dangerous wasteland known as The O.Z., she'll need the help of three unlikely friends and the great Mystic Man (Richard Dreyfuss) to escape cruel sorceress Azkadellia (Kathleen Robertson).
In this cyber-twisted update of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a leather-clad, a soul-sucking sorceress named Azkadellia has scorched the once-beautiful O.Z. (Outer Zone) into a desolate wasteland. Its only hope lies with an outsider named DG (Dorothy Gale), a young Midwestern woman, whose troubling dreams have summoned her to the doomed paradise. She not only changes the fate of the O.Z. but discovers, as well, her own destiny in this strange new world.
Tin man is a 3 part miniseries based on the classic The wonderful wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum. The plot revolves around the main character of DG, her forgotten connection to the O.Z. and the need for her to recoup her memory in order to use her untapped magic power to stave off the destruction of the O.Z. by the wicked sorcerous Azkadellia. Integral to the story and her quest are a group of characters several of whom are reminiscent of those found in the original tale. First there is Glitch (Cumming), once an inventor and trusted adviser to the Queen (Galvin), who had half of his brain removed by Azkadillia. Raw (Trujillo) is a skiddish and soft spoken viewer (mind reader) an animal/man hybrid whose kind are enslaved and used by Azkadelia. Lastly, is Cain, a former Central City police officer (often referred to as a tin man), who spent years imprisoned in a metal plated full body suit and forced to view the image of his wife's death at the hands of Zero, one of Azkadellia's Longed Coat minions. As the story develops more of who DG is and why she is predestined to return to the O.Z. is revealed. Interwoven are smaller subplots that focus on Cain, the torment he feels over the loss of his wife and young son, Glitch and the reason for Azkadellia removing half of his brain, and the relationship between Azkadellia and DG and how it all plays a part in the bigger picture.
There are thematic references to the original story. Some are cleverly integrated while others seem applied as referential window dressing. The plot itself rarely resembles the classic story and is more of a re-imaging with modern elements commingled with revamped characters some of whom share an affiliation with the originals. I like that aspect of it and don't feel as though it comes off as a hokey remake with a typically spun narrative or cardboard caricatures. There are points in the story where the dialogue and situations feel a little juvenile but conversely it can also be dark, foreboding and serious. The blend gives it a freshness that I found appealing.
I like Zoey Deschanel, she may not be a multifaceted actress but here she conveyed the right amount of innocence and youthful charm that seemed a good fit for this character and the story. Her cohorts in Raw (Trujillo), Glitch (Cumming), and Cain (McDonough) all do well with respect to breathing life into their characters. Kathleen Robertson's sinister and when appropriate conflicted portrayal of Azkadellia is spot on and perfectly enhanced by her sultry good looks. I must admit that after watching the first hour or so of the first installment I felt disconnected with the story and felt interest waning. By the conclusion of part one I found myself curious to see what was next. After that the building storyline held up nicely the rest of the way. The three part series is presented on two BD-50 Blu-ray discs with parts 1 & 2 on Disc one and part 3 and the bonus material on Disc two. Tin man isn't perfect and seems to draw from a variety of influences none of which ever seem fully realized. While this may frustrate some viewers I think it value lies in the total sum of its parts and the sort of revisionist style scope of its production. If your open to it I think Tin man has something to offer.
The show contains thematic elements, frightening images, and violence that would make it inappropriate for young viewers.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Tin man comes to Blu-ray from RHI/Vivendi HE featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.2 Mbps.
This made for television miniseries has a distinctive visual style that utilizes a variety of color schemes and CGI to depict its fairytale based world. There is a pleasing blend of primary colors which include deep reds, vivid blues and lush, gradational greens that are capably offset by a delineated assortment of darker secondary hues which are quite often anchored in scenery and backgrounds. I found the look to be striking and a perfect match for the show's fantasy based theme. Fleshtones are on the warm side but are tonally balanced and lifelike in depiction. Resolution is estimable as close ups and mid range pans have appreciable depth while exhibiting varying levels of refinement. Fine detail isn't always conspicuous which results in images appearing less delineated at times. On the contrary there are many instances where the video has defining sharpness and lucidity. Contrast is stable and blacks are deep but mildly crushed which in some instances makes subtle gradations harder to detect. The result is that some dark scenes tend to lack the dimensionality of brighter ones but overall the variance remained consistent and didn't prove overtly distracting. Other than some minor noise visible in a few dark backgrounds I didn't see any obvious signs of video related anomalies.
I was pleased with the quality of this lossless audio presentation as I really wasn't expecting that much from this miniseries' soundtrack. Spoken dialogue was clear, well intonated and prominently placed within the front soundstage. Soundstage depth was excellent, with great front channel separation and plenty of room spanning directionality. Dynamic range was fairly extended which imparted a visceral energy to the soundtrack's active moments which was supported by bass response that had palpable presence and noteworthy extension. Simon Boswell superlative music had good top end air, enriching/immersive presence and potent dynamic impact that augmented the screenplay's subtle moments and forceful themes. I found the blend of music, discrete/ambient sounds, dialogue and low frequency detail to be well balanced which made for an involving aural experience that elevated the enjoyment of Tin man.
- Beyond the Yellow Brick road: The making of Tin man - 22 minute featurette
- Nick Willing: On set with the director - 6 minutes
- Wizard tricks: Bloopers and gags - 9 minutes
- The brain, heart, and courage of the movie - director/cast interviews
- Alan Cumming
- Neal McDonaugh
- Zoey Deschanel
- Kathleen Robertson
- Tin man original trailer
- Raw & uncut: A sit down with Raoul Trujillo
- Making the Mystic Man: Behind the scenes with Richard Dreyfuss & Nick Willing - 36 minutes
Tin man is a three part SyFy channel TV miniseries that originally aired in December 2007. It is a modern, sci-fi/fantasy based re-imaging of the iconic The wonderful wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. It features many references to the original some cleverly integrated, some not, and a semi-surreal storyline that draws from a variety of influences none of which ever seem fully realized. It isn't perfectly executed but I enjoyed its sort of revisionist style production and found value in the total sum of its parts. It comes to Blu-ray from RHI/Vivendi HE in a solid offering which includes satisfying high definition video, rewarding lossless DTS-HD Master Audio sound and a decent set of bonus features that take a look inside the production. If you're already a fan this is an easy recommendation. If you're willing and open to it I think Tin man has something to offer so throw it in your rental queue and take it for a spin.
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