Monday, December 10, 2007 5:11 PM
I dedicated time to watch Tin Man on the Sci Fi channel. I feel that I absolutely must weigh-in on this mini-series.
The show was reasonably well written. I enjoyed the re-imagining a lot. The visual effects were really good (arguably the best for a Sci-Fi mini-series outside of Battlestar Galactica). I think the individual stories were good and the overall story was good and the writers tied them together reasonably well. The score is okay and overall I like it. Here is an analysis of the good.
- Script & Dialogue (4/5) - I think the script and dialogue is good overall. There are a few moments where it feels forced, mostly when dealing with Toto. There are very few cliche moments and that's good (I hate cliche).
- Costume Design (4/5) - The costuming was great. The costumes are original and different without being eclectic.
- Setting (5/5) - I really enjoyed the setting. It is a "time that never was" and I always like that. Basically the setting is an alternate 'dimension' (I use that term loosely) that spawned after World War II. They have magic to drive technology but still use old cars alongside new weapons.
- Character Development (2.5/5) - I am completely torn on this. On the one hand, some characters (like Tin Man) are well-developed while others (like DG) are poorly developed. I attribute this in large part to the acting.
- Acting (2.5/5) - As with character development I am split. So I'll give props where props are due (and pans where pans are due).
- Zooey Deschanel (1/5) - Deschanel's acting is extremely poor. Her performance is flat and two-dimensional. Her facial expressions are non-existent. She attracted more flies than surprises with her open-mouthed flat-eyed gaze, a look that dominates her performance.
- Neal McDonough, Kathleen Robertson, Alan Cumming (5/5) - Offsetting Deschanel's performance are the performances of these three. They had good dialogue, good character development, and, of course, excellent acting. They were all in character throughout the entire series and delivered deep, rich performances.
- Others (3/5) - Other performances were good, especially considering the limited dialogue afforded them. I always like to give props to Callum Keith Rennie (for obvious reasons).
In spite of the overall positive rating I give the series, the show had some bad aspects that are so bad they bring the overall experience down. Typically, in my view, one or two bad things don't necessarily ruin the whole experience. In this case though, the bad aspects are so in your face throughout the entire series that they really make it difficult to enjoy the rest of the show. It's like having an earache...it's not that bad but it makes whatever else you're doing seem less enjoyable.
- Deschanel's Performance - Her acting really is that bad. I find her acting flat and, actually, one-dimensional (although I wrote 2D above). Since she plays the star of the show, it is hard to not notice it...over....and over...and over again.
- Score - Although I wrote above that the score isn't that bad, it is flat. Also, it is repetitive. So when combine, the flat repetitive score isn't that great. It's not horrible by any means but I think it could have been a little better.
- DG's Character Development - The DG character realizes who she is without letting the audience know how. I attribute this more to Deschanel's performance than to bad writing (although a little more dialogue when she's learning about herself wouldn't hurt). She goes from talented grease-monkey to all-powerful magical being and the audience has no way of understanding how. Give us some clues as to the 'how' of the most significant character change in the story.
So that's it. Overall I like it okay. I'd really like to see a scene-for-scene remake with someone else in the lead role (Jennifer Garner, Lindsay Shaw, somebody younger and not too...perfect). I hate to pan a professional at their job. I mean, I'm not perfect at my job by any means. What do you think?