Monday, June 30, 2014

Scolding Review: Tin Man part 1

Asylum always knew Iron Man would be a hit.

5 years ago, I sat in a theater, with only a confused old lady and a smooching couple to watch Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li. It was a story I thought made sense to tell, with people I knew playing characters I liked. We all know how that turned out.

Well, for those who don't the story was a complete affront to the source material. How could these film makers take something we were all familiar with and twist it, dial it down until it becomes this unrecognizable gray mass of flavorless blandness? It was then and there that I felt for the first time stirrings about a movie strong enough to get me to write about it.

But is reinvention always bad?  With straight versions of Batman and the Marvel heroes we're getting today, sometimes I wonder if we'll ever get any weird takes on things anymore. You know, your German Impressionist Batman movie where it's like it's not even about Batman. Your Hulk where it's about how Hulk is angry with his parents and he does wuxia with trees. Your Vampirella where Vampirella is Talisa Soto.
If you're concerned about the lore of Vampirella being tarnished...your a perv in denial.

For example, with public Domain stories now there seems to be a rush to bring them to screen as  rubbery action movies. Snow White and the Huntsman,  Hanzel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, I Frankenstein, Alice in Wonderland, and more recently Maleficent. It's a trend that's yet to bring us anything but clunkers, seemingly.

But perhaps not all is bad. There is one version of a public domain story starring SF TLOC's own Bison, Neil McDonough and the sister of that lady from Bones and Alan Cumming that may yet prove that there is hope. It is the Sci Fi(before they put a bunch of "Ys" in there) original Minisiries Tin Man.

I know. Sci Fi original doesn't lend it a lot of credit. But let's give this a chance. It's also a perfect time to exploit all the Oz I've been reading.

The story starts with some ominous words in a dreamlike sequence. But it is a dream, one that is happening to our heroine  DG played by Zoe Deschannel. DG spents the whole first episode of the miniseries without anyone calling her anything else. You can fill the letterd yourself!
Why do I work in a retro cafe?

Death Gum is working  a waitress in Kansas, and as many heroes are wont to do in these stories, she wants more to life than what she has. Her parents try their hardest to be Aunt May and Uncle Em.

However, in another place, the evil, crosseyed queen of a land is demanding her men, The Not-SS, to find an Emerald, which she needs before a magical eclipse deadline. In desperation, she sends her men to find Doing Good, though a teletransporting  whirlwind. They arrive, and try to shoot our heroine and her family with their magic laser guns.   But Day Grunt gets thrown into the vortex, which takes her to the magical land of...Outer Zone.

Get it? O.Z.! OZ! Because it's silly, Oz is like, in Australia or something! Well, this movie's certainly about Oz, and they even needlessly credit Baum, but they still feel the need to rename just about all the characters. In some cases it makes sense because a lot of Oz's  characters  don't have names. In others, Well, you're trying to hard to sell us this action-fantasy Oz, Sci Fi.
I mean, I like big butts, but they have to look big relative to the size of the chick!

So Devil Goat gets trapped by Pygmies, who aren't quite sure if they are native americans or  africans, costume wise. They accuse her of being a spy, take her plocket of remember parents, and threaten to flay her. She takes offense to the locket part. However, hiding just above her is Alan Cumming, who they apparently felt they just had to tie to the roof.

Nightcrawler her is the Scarecrow of our Oz, an android called Glitch with severe glitches whose brain was stolen from his head. He certainly draws a few  chuckles. Together both of them escape as  the Notzi army prepares to destroy the NOt-Munchkins Kashyyyk trees.

Azky is not happy that her henchmen did not succeed, so she steals his soul and promotes his subordinate, a man called Zero, to a higher rank. They have some kind of hairy sasquatch man tied to a machine, which sucks his future predicting powers into the machine so it can be shown in her little tv. You know, in the original book the Wicked Witch only had one eye, but with that eye she could see  across the distance like a telescope with no depth perception. Here they honor that by making the witch a little crosseyed.
Azkhadelia's not impressed with the Xbox One price drop.

Danger Guts and Glitch come across a scene of some bad guys  putting the hurt on a family. She tries to help by running at them with a  broken branch, but then it turns out it was all a hologram, designed to  torture our newest party member,  Wyatt Cain, played by Neil McDonough aka Dunn Dunn Dugan from Captain America and Legend of Chun Li's Bison. This was before that, though. Can you believe I wanted to see this series just to know if he'd be good in that? Oh, man, was that ever silly.

They get the man out of his torture sarcophaguss, he shaves, and dresses up in his Walker Texas Ranger outfit, and goes into reluctant hero mode. He wants revenge on Zero, and he believes it is best for Glich(whome he outs as a convict, though maybe he means "fugitive?") But we all know he won't leave cutie pattotie Deep Game and lovably quirky Glitch behind.
"Hey, you, multiple attackers! Go away before I hit you with this twig I found!"
"Shit, it's Emily  Deschannel! Run!"

"Actually I'm her sister Zoey!"

"No rush, men."
They try and head towards Central City where the Mystic Man whom Cain used to protect might have their answers, and on the way run into an incapacitated Raw, our Cowardly Lion. He has been entombed by this horrible giant spiders that chase the group until they jump out into a river.
I feel this picture is a Meme that hasn't happened yet.

For the record, There is in the original book a giant spider, which the Lion Kills. Accuracy points, ahoy!

Even then the  bad guys come after them, so they run away and finally find Derp Glow's parents in a village of robots. The twist it, they're robots too! and they're not her parents! Due Gin is, apparently, an Outer Zone native, and her real parents took her to Earth to protect her until she was ready. She takes it all pretty well, overall. Yeah there's no huge breakdown at finding out her parents are robots, but I don't know if there's tone for that, here.
Perhaps  your encouragement levels are dangerously low, huma...I mean honey...

Our party rest up, and hitch a ride into Central City, which is like 1950s new york if they built a castle around it. There they run  into the Mystic Man, a showman hooked on Witch-Vapor drugs who is too high to even properly  refuse to help. Dino Gel eventually slaps him, and the mark robot man left in her awakens the man to reveal where they should go next.

Whoa...It's a giant Billboard of Anne Hathaway's face!

The party heads north, following Dedo Grande's dream-clues, until they get to a snowed in, locked up castle. There they find out the big twist: Her parents where Monarchs, she's a princess, and Azkhadelia is her sister! Her sister killed her as a kid, until her magic mom revived her.

Unlocky for all them, Azhkhadelia finds them using the flying monkey-bats she shoots out of her breasts. No, really.

Fly, my titties, fly!

After running through a couple of obvious green screen rooms, the Mobats(instory name foreal) have captured them all, except for Cain, who gets shot out of a window. This is how episode 1 ends.

I don't want to make my final determination, since this is merely the first episode, but I want to watch the next episode, no joke. The series, while sometimes it's effects are hockey, doesn't try to go too far into being "the serious action Wizard of Oz" one might believe.  It's like a quirky, stupid RPG about Oz. It seems pretty self aware of what it is, and I commend it for it. But is it all downhill from here? We'll see.


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