Tin Man

 
(i)

 

Wizard of Oz meets Blade Runner.
  • Review Date: March 10, 2008
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 265 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Wicked sorceress Azkadellia rules the O.Z. through violence, intimidation, torture, and a private army of goons known as longcoats. Think of it as fascism backed by magic; the result is a country gripped by fear. Residents of the O.Z. are unwilling to trust each other and live in constant fear of Azkadellia's spies, and the series' mood is relentlessly gloomy.

Violence

Several fistfights, a few gunfights, and plenty of attacks by various beasts and monsters. Azkadellia's private army, the longcoats, rule through violence and intimidation and aren't above beating up women and children. A thick sense of gloom and oppression pervades much of the series.

Sex

No sex or nudity, but Azkadellia's wardrobe is heavy on the low-cut gowns. Central City, the capital of the O.Z., seems to be a modern day Sin City, with scantily clad working girls on the corners and several theaters that appear to be strip joints.

Language

Some swearing, including "bitch" and "crap" -- but that's about as strong as it gets.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One important supporting character, the Mystic Man, appears to be addicted to magical vapors, and there seems to be plenty of carousing in Central City.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this miniseries is nothing like the classic 1930s film it's based on. The Wizard of Oz was all about love and the nurturing goodness of home; here, the Outer Zone (aka "the O.Z.") is a dark, grim place where suspicion easily trumps affection. Evil sorceress Azkadellia uses force, fear, and magic to dominate the land -- her goons roam the countryside looking for rebels, and in the capital, Central City, hookers, strippers, and drunks hang out on the corners. There's some swearing ("crap," "bitch," etc.) and a fair amount of violence, but little gore. The film is dominated by an oppressive feeling of despair and gloom that could be scary for young children; even tweens might find it difficult to see that underneath the darkness is a story with a happy ending.

What's the story?

TIN MAN is a dark reimagining of The Wizard of Oz. The O.Z. (Outer Zone) is ruled by the evil sorceress Azkadellia (Kathleen Robertson), who desperately wants to find a powerful mystical emerald that will help her rule the land but has no idea where to look. Enter DG (Zooey Deschanel), an everyday farm girl -- er, modern feminist who rides a motorcycle and likes to roll up her sleeves and repair engines -- from Kansas who is transported into the O.Z. by, yes, a twister. Turns out DG and Azkadellia share a mysterious bond; unraveling this puzzle may help them locate the gem. Joining DG on her journey are Glitch (Alan Cumming), a flexible and loyal pal who's been lobotomized by Azkadellia's mad scientists (in other words, he has no brain); Raw (Raoul Trujillo), a nervous, hairy sort who sometimes has magical visions; and Cain (Neal McDonough), a former lawman -- or Tin Man, as they're known in the O.Z. -- who wants nothing more than revenge on the Longcoats who attacked his wife and son years earlier.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If the cyclone had deposited Dorothy Gale not in Oz, but in the famed grim future of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, the result might have been Tin Man. The movie is filled with clever shout-outs to The Wizard of Oz. Look for DG's blue gingham waitress uniform back in Kansas, and the Munchkin-like members of the Resistance Fighters of the Eastern Guild.

But Tin Man is definitely its own film and a totally different story -- though ultimately it offers a similar message about the value of family. The original, though a timeless classic, may seem a bit too sugary to some people these days; this dark, modern version is an exciting and interesting update (though, at six hours, it sometimes drags).

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why movies get remade (or, in this case, "reimagined"). In cases like this, where the new version is so different from the original, is it even accurate to consider it a remake? Do changes to stories you're already familiar with bother you? Families can also discuss the secrets that DG discovers, including her mysterious connection to Azkadellia. Is it OK to have conflicting feelings about a family member? How would you react if you found out that some of the people closest to you aren't who you thought they were? Also, Cain is seeking revenge on one of Azkadellia's henchmen, who carried out a brutal attack. Does that justify more violence? If there really is no place like home, how far would you go to protect yours, and would you want revenge on someone who destroyed it?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 30, 2007
DVD release date:March 10, 2008
Cast:Kathleen Robertson, Neal McDonough, Zooey Deschanel
Director:Nick Willing
Studio:Rhi Entertainment
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:265 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Tin Man was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008
 

dark but interesting

this movie is long but good i reversed when azkadellia said the b word the part of the dream where a scary face spook me out i didn't see the rest.
Teen, 15 years old Written byHairspray May 25, 2010
 
I loved it. Yeah, it swore a little, nothing I haven't heard before. Az's clothes were a little.... different, but she had tattoos to release the monkeys from on her chest so they were showing you that. It wasn't scary at all. My little sister watched it and loved it. It was a good story about finding out who you are.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written byKatie-Kakes January 3, 2010
 

great movie / tv series

this is great, i realy like zooey deschanel and think this movie is great. a tv chanel is currently showing it on wednesdays and i dont belive that it is very violent. there aare guns, attempted murder and a little swearing but most children lately can handle this. my 7yr old brother watches this with us and enjoys it almost more than i do.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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