Sunday, March 30, 2008

"Tin Man" DVD Review

Okay, so the DVD of "Tin Man" is out, and you may or may not have it, so here is my DVD review.

First off, the first thing you see is the cover. Well, the holographic foil on the paperboard sleeve is pretty striking. (Wait... The paperboard sleeve is the collectible O-Ring packaging?) Only problem is... the original cover design (and an early poster) were pretty dynamic. This falls a little flat.

Okay, when you insert the first DVD (both of which look pretty nice, but you can easily tell which one is which), you get the copyright notice, the company notice, some previews (which I didn't note, but there's quite a few), then the menu has a nice animation, and a nice little movie showing clips from the whole series. (Disc 2 is the same, without the previews.)

Disc 1 has Part 1 and Part 2 on it, no special features. Also absent is alternate language tracks, alternate audio tracks (so no commentary), and subtitles. (There is also no Closed Captions, but this isn't on a DVD menu.) There are scene selections, eight scenes for each part, and the scene selections for each part run into each other, reminding you that these are both parts of one story.

Okay, video quality is very good. I believe it's the best definition you can get on a standard DVD. I'm not reviewing the story, because I've done so on this blog entry... However, the parts have been extended. There are additional little scenes, like more fun with Glitch, more evilness with Azkadelia, and more tracking with Cain. These scenes neither make the series better nor make it worse.

Disc 2 only has Part 3 and the Special Features. Part 3 is also extended.

In addition, the opening title card and credits are now absent from parts 2 & 3 (but the video is still there) and there is no end credits on parts 1 & 2, and the opening credits on part 1 and the end credits on part 3 have been expanded to cover the entire series.

The Special Features are quite good, making this another rarity when it comes to Oz DVDs. (Very few have good special features.)

First up is the "Beyond the Yellow Brick Road: The Making of Tin Man" feature. This was aired on SciFi about a week before the miniseries (and was also a popular bootleg download and the only feature available on bootleg Tin Man DVDs), so this makes it a nice addition.

Next up is a new documentary: "On The Set With The Director," a documentary that, once again, goes behind the scenes and lets the cast and crew talk about working with director Nick Willing.

Now we have the "Blooper Reel." Ah, yes. We all love to see the cast mess up on their lines and cues... except that doesn't happen much here. It's mostly the crew joking around and the cast having downtime. Still fun to watch, but it should have been called by a different name.

Next up is raw footage of interviews with Nick Willing, Zooey Deschanel, Alan Cumming, and Neal McDonough. (Some promotional videos used interviews with Kathleen Robertson and Raoul Trujillio, but that isn't here.*) Some of this, if you're watching the special features sequentially, will sound familiar, as some of it was used in the featurettes. You can also faintly hear the interviewer asking questions and the director, actor or actress listening to them. This can be a little distracting, but most of the time it is bearable. Sadly, Miss Deschanel is not a good interviewee. She even has to ask the interviewer to re-state the actual question. We do learn some interesting things about the cast and crew, though.

Finally is the full-length Tin Man trailer. This was all over the Internet, and probably on SciFi, too, so you've probably seen it. (I even showed in my blog when it was officially released to YouTube.)

All in all, if I had to rate this DVD on a scale from 1 to 10, I'd give it an 8. Lack of subtitles, closed captioning (come on, fans whipped up a set of subtitles for the bootleg video files), and the special features, while there is a considerable amount, could have been a bit better.

I say, add it to your Oz collection. It's probably the best re-imagining of Oz that goes far-out while not raping Baum's original vision that we'll get for a long time.

* EDIT (4/2/2008) Disc 3 Review

As a Borders-exclusive premium, you can get the DVD as a 3-disc set at Borders. While supplies last, specially marked copies also have an acetane pouch with a third disc inside the case.

The menu is not unlike the Special Features on Disc 2. We have three selections here. The first two are fancily titled interviews with Kathleen Robertson and Raoul Trujillio. These are much like the interviews on Disc 2, the actor and actress not in costume, seated in what looks like one of the sets, answering questions from the same interviewer, who we can't hear any better than we could before. Both Kathleen and Raoul interview very well, and the interviews are a little over ten minutes long each.

The other item is over a half-hour long. It shows behind-the-scenes footage of the Mystic Man's show, including a deleted item wherein Zooey Deschanel's DG asks the Mystic Man for help. (We also get a good look at some decor at the show: a pillar shaped like a cyclone with many farmhouse items being spun around in it.) However, the repeated takes of the Mystic Man's show gets old very quickly. To be sure, this gives you a taste of what it's like to work on a film, but when you're not involved, it gets dull.

As with many premium bonus DVDs, this disc is not completely satisfying, but it is nice to see these uncut interviews with Kathleen and Raoul. As afore mentioned, the behind-the-scenes of the Mystic Man gives us a realistic glimpse of how much time is taken to shoot a scene that runs for just a few minutes. Altogether, not a bad addition.

(Thanks to Sharon of Curiozity Corner for confirming the existence of the Borders DVD and identifying the material the pouch is made of.)

1 comment:

Therese said...

The original show was captioned so I don't understand why the DVD is not. This is VERY annoying. I will not be buying this set, but I'll wait to see if a better set comes up in the future...with captions.