Tin Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Tin Man Reviews

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Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
October 23, 2008
[font=Century Gothic]"Tin Man" starts with Azkadellia(Kathleen Robertson), the evil sorceress in charge of the Outer Zone(O.Z.), fretting because her dastardly minions have not found an emerald that is necessary for her nefarious plans. What they have located instead is a source of light on the other side in the person of DG(Zooey Deschanel), a young waitress with disturbing dreams and a continuous sense of not belonging(Cool! So, I'm not the only one...), but she manages to escape to the O.Z. before she can be captured. That is the good news. [/font]

[font=Century Gothic]The bad news is that she is captured by a bunch of rather diminutive resistance fighters. She escapes them with Glitch(Alan Cumming), who is missing his brain and is the worse for wear. Later, they meet up with Cain(Neal McDonough), a former lawman, and Raw(Raoul Trujillo), a psychic. All together, they are off to see the Wizard(Richard Dreyfuss)...[/font]


[font=Century Gothic]"Tin Man" is a mildly entertaining miniseries that is an updating of "The Wizard of Oz." Actually, there is more than enough evidence to suggest this is a long overdue sequel but the continuity issues alone would give me a migraine. Thinking back on a classic film, it should come as no surprise that nostalgia is at the heart of this, especially involving childhood and remembrances of golden times. However, the miniseries is lacking in magic and imagination when it comes to the present. It owes as much to Snow White as anything and if you've seen one fascist dictatorship, you have seen them all. Considering witches have always been persecuted, what would happen if the tables were turned? Considering the epic journey, it is a shame that the ending turns out to be so very predictable. Sadly, DG's mechanical talents are not brought up again after the first part. And no matter how much I like Zooey Deschanel as an actress, her natural sarcasm does not work well in a heroic role.(Strangely, Natalie Morales has no problem making it work on "The Middleman.") [/font]
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ June 25, 2012
I know when I think of a bleak and darkly gritty twist on an innocent source material, I think of Zooey Deschanel, especially after she did some of the music for that one hardcore thrill ride that came out in 2011, "Winnie the Pooh". Yeah, and if that's not brutal enough for you, this mini-series was on the Sci-Fi Channel... or Syfy, or whatever they're calling themselves, so you know that this thing is super serious. Actually, I might not be totally justified in being sarcastic with that statement, because Sci-Fi... or Syfy has had some cool stuff under their belt, only we just keep giving them trash for their cheesy moments effects (Eh, it's cable TV, what are you gonna do?), as well as their love of really bad B-movies, especially those about sharks, which Scyfy (Hey, that's what they're going by now, so I'm running with it) can't get enough of for some reason. Well, speaking of getting used to something, the whole shark craze with Syfy didn't really kick in until very recently, so don't go into this mini-series expecting them to crowbar in some random shark attack from out of nowhere, even though, quite frankly, when you look at the runtime, you're more along the lines of hoping for a shark, because I know that if I'm going to be stuck with a darker version of "The Wizard of Oz" for three episodes and four-and-a-half hours, then there better be something as crazy as a shark to keep me interested. Of course, then I actually "surf" (Get it?) by a Syfy shark film - of which there are too many - on TV and breathe a sigh of relief that they didn't work that into this film. Yeah, because otherwise, this dark cable mini-series re-imagining of a children's novel would have just been plain silly. Seriously though, while this isn't "Frank Herbert's Dune", this is still a fairly decent Syfy presentation, though, as you would expect, hardly a spotless one.

Everyone and their grandmother complain about how this mini-series is relatively too dark in comparison to "The Wizard of Oz", but what they don't tell you is just how cheesy this series gets, most likely because they figure that it should go without saying that this Sci-Fi Channel mini-series is not simply cheesy, but really, really cornball at points. Your faultier bits of dialogue range from cliched to laughable, with comic relief also often plummeting into the cornier part of familiar and score work also being conventional, sometimes to an also cheesy effect, yet that doesn't stop this series from diving into darker areas, or at least trying to. In its attempts to be dark, the series has moments of being slow to the point of being rather disengaging, if not completely uninteresting, yet when the darker moments do cut through as genuine, the critics are right in saying that there are occasions in which the series gets to be a bit too dark for its own good, not just because it doesn't gel with the source material, but because it doesn't always gel with the fluffier parts, rendering the series sometimes tonally inconsistent. Well, come to think of it, the whole execution of this series itself is cheesier than you would hope it to be, with unfitting set pieces and concepts (The O.Z. sounds like a bad dance club and, seriously, what's up with guns in the O.Z.-I mean OZ?) going up there with the aforementioned other cheesy aspects as emphasis on just how much they missed the opportunity to get a lot of momentum out of a much darker take on "The Wizard of Oz", and that opinion goes further secured by the occasional poor performance, whether it be by Kathleen Robertson as a stiff-faced, yet still rather overbearing antagonist (Well, at least she's pretty hot), or, yes, even our leading lady. As much as I'll give Zooey Deschanel credit for being cute, a great singer and in one of the greatest films of all time (Well, Kate Hudson and Jason Lee were there too, so maybe I should tone down on that excuse), she's a bit of a hit-or-miss actress, and while she's not terrible in this series, she's still delivering a performance that's very much a miss, as she's pretty much playing Zooey Deschanel, yet limits more in her number of notes, while delivering quite a few lines pretty awkwardly, if not just plain stiffly, thus making for a weak lead performance that also brings Deschanel's being rather miscast more to attention (Well, at least she's better than the girl-I mean, block of wood who played her child version). Needless to say, this series is about what you would expect from a Sci-Fi Channel attempt at a darker take on a children's novel, being graced with plenty of potential, yet not enough juice and good moves in the execution for this lengthy sit to really deliver. However, when this film picks up, it really engrosses, keeping you with it as it hits much more than it misses, particularly when it comes to style.

Again, this is a cable television mini-series, and one on the Sci-Fi Channel, no less, so from cinematic standards, don't expect the $20 million bad boys that went into this puppy to really pay off on a "Fringe" level of visual effects, yet for what the effects are, they're pretty top-notch, having enough life in them to be bought, even if they are fairly fake. Eh, just watch a couple of those aforementioned shark films on the Sci-Fi Channel, then this mini-series' effects will look like they came straight out "The Pirates of the Caribbean" by comparison. As for the non-digital fruits of relatively sharp production, expect quite a bit versatile dazzle in the nifty art direction and production designs that do a fine job of brining this world to life in an eye-catching fashion. Still, what might very well keep the story going the most is, well, the story itself, for although there are many touches and sub-concepts that are spotty, the general idea behind the mini-series is worthy and fascinating, with enough momentum to maybe not make it through its sprawling length with extreme smoothness, yet still have enough steam to hold your attention, as well as your enjoyment, and it certainly helps that director Nick Willing, upon establishing a comfortable and firm grip on the situation, manages to really get a lot of juice and oomph out of this series, and just enough to not only keep your investment from drying out, but build with the film's progressively ameliorating level of quality. Still, Willing isn't the only person keeping things going, for although this series still has quite a few fall-flat performances to spare, and from people who you would expect to be the last people who need to slip up on acting, there are still quite a few good performances to work against the weak ones, with our leads who aren't Zooey Deschanel really stepping up. Neal McDonough's Wyatt Cain character has a backstory that stands among the most fascinating, yet he is written with few notes, and McDonough, for the most part, unfortunately plays it faithful, yet still boasts enough charisma to get you by until he finds the rare opportunity to stretch and deliver, something that can be said about Raoul Trujillo, who is terribly underused and underwritten as the Raw character, yet when he's given his time in the spotlight, he shines with unexpectedly powerful emotion, intensity and layers, thus making for an actually quite satisfying and compelling dark twist on the concept of the Cowardly Lion, whose unbearable and unrelenting fear is anything but cute anymore. As for Alan Cumming, he steals the show with firecracker charm that really delights and leaves you to buy into his Glitch character, standing as one of the most colorful highlight in this spotty picture, though doesn't at all stand alone as a strength that helps in making this series generally worth the sit.

Overall, the series hits its share of inconsistent overly dark moments, as well as a couple of slow spots, yet more than that, it hits many cheesy points, spawned from corny concepts, cheesy cliches and even a couple of poor performances - notably by our should-be compelling antagonist, Kathleen Robertson, and protagonist, Zooey Deschanel -, thus making for a bit of a generally underwhelming execution of promising concepts, yet through relatively impressive technical value, as well as quite a few high points in direction and acting - with co-leads Neal McDonough, Raoul Trujillo and a show-stealing Alan Cumming especially stepping up - really breathing much life into the fascinating and ever-bettering story, "Tin Man" stands as a generally entertaining watch that's ultimately worth watching.

2.5/5 - Fair
April 16, 2010
Awful crap, and I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I watched all 3 episodes. I think the only thing that kept me watching was Alan Cumming.
September 8, 2013
Such a twist on the original Wizard of OZ. Loved it!
September 30, 2012
Zooey Deschanel is cute and quirky. I accept that. Unfortunately, cute is the only positive quality she brings to the table. Her DG is oblivious, inept, and utterly boring. Alan Cumming's glitch faces a similar story. Aside from that, it's standard sci-fi miniseries fare. Only for the Deschanel obsessed, although some of them may find themselves more alienated after it's over. Better to stick with the new season of New Girl instead.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ June 25, 2012
I know when I think of a bleak and darkly gritty twist on an innocent source material, I think of Zooey Deschanel, especially after she did some of the music for that one hardcore thrill ride that came out in 2011, "Winnie the Pooh". Yeah, and if that's not brutal enough for you, this mini-series was on the Sci-Fi Channel... or Syfy, or whatever they're calling themselves, so you know that this thing is super serious. Actually, I might not be totally justified in being sarcastic with that statement, because Sci-Fi... or Syfy has had some cool stuff under their belt, only we just keep giving them trash for their cheesy moments effects (Eh, it's cable TV, what are you gonna do?), as well as their love of really bad B-movies, especially those about sharks, which Scyfy (Hey, that's what they're going by now, so I'm running with it) can't get enough of for some reason. Well, speaking of getting used to something, the whole shark craze with Syfy didn't really kick in until very recently, so don't go into this mini-series expecting them to crowbar in some random shark attack from out of nowhere, even though, quite frankly, when you look at the runtime, you're more along the lines of hoping for a shark, because I know that if I'm going to be stuck with a darker version of "The Wizard of Oz" for three episodes and four-and-a-half hours, then there better be something as crazy as a shark to keep me interested. Of course, then I actually "surf" (Get it?) by a Syfy shark film - of which there are too many - on TV and breathe a sigh of relief that they didn't work that into this film. Yeah, because otherwise, this dark cable mini-series re-imagining of a children's novel would have just been plain silly. Seriously though, while this isn't "Frank Herbert's Dune", this is still a fairly decent Syfy presentation, though, as you would expect, hardly a spotless one.

Everyone and their grandmother complain about how this mini-series is relatively too dark in comparison to "The Wizard of Oz", but what they don't tell you is just how cheesy this series gets, most likely because they figure that it should go without saying that this Sci-Fi Channel mini-series is not simply cheesy, but really, really cornball at points. Your faultier bits of dialogue range from cliched to laughable, with comic relief also often plummeting into the cornier part of familiar and score work also being conventional, sometimes to an also cheesy effect, yet that doesn't stop this series from diving into darker areas, or at least trying to. In its attempts to be dark, the series has moments of being slow to the point of being rather disengaging, if not completely uninteresting, yet when the darker moments do cut through as genuine, the critics are right in saying that there are occasions in which the series gets to be a bit too dark for its own good, not just because it doesn't gel with the source material, but because it doesn't always gel with the fluffier parts, rendering the series sometimes tonally inconsistent. Well, come to think of it, the whole execution of this series itself is cheesier than you would hope it to be, with unfitting set pieces and concepts (The O.Z. sounds like a bad dance club and, seriously, what's up with guns in the O.Z.-I mean OZ?) going up there with the aforementioned other cheesy aspects as emphasis on just how much they missed the opportunity to get a lot of momentum out of a much darker take on "The Wizard of Oz", and that opinion goes further secured by the occasional poor performance, whether it be by Kathleen Robertson as a stiff-faced, yet still rather overbearing antagonist (Well, at least she's pretty hot), or, yes, even our leading lady. As much as I'll give Zooey Deschanel credit for being cute, a great singer and in one of the greatest films of all time (Well, Kate Hudson and Jason Lee were there too, so maybe I should tone down on that excuse), she's a bit of a hit-or-miss actress, and while she's not terrible in this series, she's still delivering a performance that's very much a miss, as she's pretty much playing Zooey Deschanel, yet limits more in her number of notes, while delivering quite a few lines pretty awkwardly, if not just plain stiffly, thus making for a weak lead performance that also brings Deschanel's being rather miscast more to attention (Well, at least she's better than the girl-I mean, block of wood who played her child version). Needless to say, this series is about what you would expect from a Sci-Fi Channel attempt at a darker take on a children's novel, being graced with plenty of potential, yet not enough juice and good moves in the execution for this lengthy sit to really deliver. However, when this film picks up, it really engrosses, keeping you with it as it hits much more than it misses, particularly when it comes to style.

Again, this is a cable television mini-series, and one on the Sci-Fi Channel, no less, so from cinematic standards, don't expect the $20 million bad boys that went into this puppy to really pay off on a "Fringe" level of visual effects, yet for what the effects are, they're pretty top-notch, having enough life in them to be bought, even if they are fairly fake. Eh, just watch a couple of those aforementioned shark films on the Sci-Fi Channel, then this mini-series' effects will look like they came straight out "The Pirates of the Caribbean" by comparison. As for the non-digital fruits of relatively sharp production, expect quite a bit versatile dazzle in the nifty art direction and production designs that do a fine job of brining this world to life in an eye-catching fashion. Still, what might very well keep the story going the most is, well, the story itself, for although there are many touches and sub-concepts that are spotty, the general idea behind the mini-series is worthy and fascinating, with enough momentum to maybe not make it through its sprawling length with extreme smoothness, yet still have enough steam to hold your attention, as well as your enjoyment, and it certainly helps that director Nick Willing, upon establishing a comfortable and firm grip on the situation, manages to really get a lot of juice and oomph out of this series, and just enough to not only keep your investment from drying out, but build with the film's progressively ameliorating level of quality. Still, Willing isn't the only person keeping things going, for although this series still has quite a few fall-flat performances to spare, and from people who you would expect to be the last people who need to slip up on acting, there are still quite a few good performances to work against the weak ones, with our leads who aren't Zooey Deschanel really stepping up. Neal McDonough's Wyatt Cain character has a backstory that stands among the most fascinating, yet he is written with few notes, and McDonough, for the most part, unfortunately plays it faithful, yet still boasts enough charisma to get you by until he finds the rare opportunity to stretch and deliver, something that can be said about Raoul Trujillo, who is terribly underused and underwritten as the Raw character, yet when he's given his time in the spotlight, he shines with unexpectedly powerful emotion, intensity and layers, thus making for an actually quite satisfying and compelling dark twist on the concept of the Cowardly Lion, whose unbearable and unrelenting fear is anything but cute anymore. As for Alan Cumming, he steals the show with firecracker charm that really delights and leaves you to buy into his Glitch character, standing as one of the most colorful highlight in this spotty picture, though doesn't at all stand alone as a strength that helps in making this series generally worth the sit.

Overall, the series hits its share of inconsistent overly dark moments, as well as a couple of slow spots, yet more than that, it hits many cheesy points, spawned from corny concepts, cheesy cliches and even a couple of poor performances - notably by our should-be compelling antagonist, Kathleen Robertson, and protagonist, Zooey Deschanel -, thus making for a bit of a generally underwhelming execution of promising concepts, yet through relatively impressive technical value, as well as quite a few high points in direction and acting - with co-leads Neal McDonough, Raoul Trujillo and a show-stealing Alan Cumming especially stepping up - really breathing much life into the fascinating and ever-bettering story, "Tin Man" stands as a generally entertaining watch that's ultimately worth watching.

2.5/5 - Fair
June 7, 2010
Was a very interesting spin on the original. Worth seeing.
May 19, 2010
Tin Man: What an adventure! This "bold reimagination" of Wonderful Wizard of Oz is fantastic. I am a huge fan of the original 1939 film and I was concerned that this was going to be a remake. I thought that Tin Man was going to try and compete with the original. I was wrong. Tin Man is a brand new telling of the Wizard of Oz. It has some of the same characteristics as the original, let's say a few familiar moments but the story is completely new. With science fiction and additional fantasy elements added, Tin Man makes for an amazing watch. I got lost in the story (in a good way). I felt that this story was more in depth and really had great character developments. I really did love the way familiar elements were added but they did not over power the story. It moves at a fast pace, really jumping right in to the story. Even though it is almost five hours long I watched it in one sitting. I thought the acting was great. Neal McDonough as Cain (Tin Man) and Alan Cumming as Glitch (Scarecrow) were my favorite from the cast. I really enjoyed their performances. The rest of the cast should not be overlooked, I thought that overall the entire cast gave amazing performance. Nick Willing did an amazing job directing. You see the story just as he intents you to. I think Tin Man is one of the best TV makes I have seen in years. Tin Man is a new way to enjoy the work of L. Frank Baum. Overall I would have to say that this is a great piece of entertainment and it should not be overlooked. If you are a fan of the original, don't worry Tin Man will not take its place in your heart but you may find room to love Tin Man as well. PERSONAL NOTE: I watched it three times in two days, that's how much I enjoyed it.
March 30, 2010
I somehow made it through this tedious film, which leads up to an even more tedious action sequence at the end.
March 19, 2010
I loved it. I found it an exciting new take on the old Oz. Its very imaginative and visually stunning. Even though its long, its complex and full of adventures and twists. There's a def darkness in Tin Man that I found mesmerizing. And even though its fantasy and such an absurd take of reality, it brought a sense of realness. I found myself having a hate/love relationship with every character which i find to be refreshing.
½ January 7, 2010
I was just really blown away by this complex little follow up of sorts to the original wizard of Oz. Which manages to take all of the originals charachters and enviroments and make them feel more realistic and epic. Zooey Deschannel is cute but feels a little overwhelmed as DG(haha) but don't let that little bit of cleverness deter you. theres much fun to be had with the films eccentric charachters, wonderous costume design and exciting story line. It takes the whole film into more of a epic fantasy realm in the vein of Chronicles of Narnia and such. And despite it's low budget it's big imagination and remains truly effective. Sure they do tend to reuse things a bit much and there are some scenes that feel a little underwhelming but as a whole the film is worth a watch.
December 18, 2009
A twisted new adaptation of wizard of oz.simply enjoyable.
November 22, 2009
An excellent interpretation of one of the greatest movies in history.
August 25, 2009
a new take on the wizard of ozz and i do say its brilliant and well this is a bit of a biased review since im in love with zooey lolz
½ August 24, 2009
This had promise, but ultimately fell flat. I lost track of how many times the camera zoomed in on Zooey Deschanel while she stared vacantly off into space like a confused child. I'm actually afraid to watch anything with her in it after this, even though I'm sure the blame falls on the director more than her.
August 11, 2009
An interesting variation on the original.
July 15, 2009
I loved watching this re-envisioned classic with added depth to the characters I've known since I was little. It was fun and playful, dark and suspenseful.
July 15, 2009
Amazing interpretation of the Wizard of Oz series. Visually dynamic and captivating world of the O.Z.
½ May 26, 2009
[font=Times New Roman][size=3]Once again, good material has gone to waste in the Tin Man mini-series made for the sci-fi network. [/size][/font]
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[font=Times New Roman][size=3]The idea is brilliant but risky, wanting to update the wizard of Oz, one of the most beloved novels and film. The thing is, when you say ??the Wizard of Oz??, people will automatically think back to the 1939 adaptation starring Judy Garland. This version has become such an iconic image that trying to reinvent it is almost destined to fail. [/size][/font]
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[font=Times New Roman][size=3]Note the word ??reinventing??, this is exactly what Tin Man is; it is not a simple re-adaptation. Unfortunately, this is kind of its downfall. Re-adapting would already be a huge task but reinventing is an even larger one. I don?t think it is an impossible task, but unless it is done exactly right it will not work. [/size][/font]
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[size=3][font=Times New Roman]Looking at pictures of the new version s of the characters I thought it looked like a fun reimagining of the original. However, good costumes are not enough to makeup for a bad plot. I lost interest in the story when I realized that it had absolutely nothing to do with the original material. Now it is but another story about a hot but evil villainess who wants to blow up the world with some incredible machine to which DG is somehow the key. So basically the filmmaker has merely taken some of the best material ever written and turned it into a B movie Sci-Fi flop. [/font][/size]
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[font=Times New Roman][size=3]There are some elements in the film that work very well, such as the tin man being stuck inside a metal suit. It is a clever little moment and a good way to reference the original material. Had the film included more scenes such as this one, the film might have worked as an entertaining mini-series. I don?t believe it would have been the next classic but it would have worked. [/size][/font]
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[font=Times New Roman][size=3]One of the most notable mistakes in the film are the villains. Whenever I see them I am reminded of an old power-rangers episode. The wicked witch is here named Azkadellia, and is of course is a beautiful young dark haired girl which seems to be becoming a cliché in a lot of these sci-fi series.[/size][/font]
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[font=Times New Roman][size=3]Anyway, I was not impressed by the end product. You would think they that they could get more stuff right, but I guess you can?t expect much from the guy who made the 90?s TV version of Alice in Wonderland which was a real flop.[/size][/font]
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March 28, 2009
[font=Comic Sans MS][color=purple][color=darkgreen][b] I have to say though I am not a fan at all of sci-fi, I still found myself tuning into the 4 hour long movie. Being a fan of Zooey Deschanel made me give it a shot and besides maybe an upgrade or two into the graphics it was rather enjoyable. If you like the wizard of Oz, then you may like this modern twist on it. DG ( Zooey's character based on dorothy gail ) had me lost in Oz with her the entire three part mini series (as they called it).[/b][/color] [/color][/font]
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