Tin Man

00.29.48 - Mark

Scifi channel has been hyping Tin Man (their big budget overly sponsored miniseries movie thing for the year) since last December, and I haven't been paying much attention to it since the whole "Wizard of Oz" remake thing just wasn't that attracting to me. I'm not a fan of the bright sun shinny fantasy world we see in the 1939 version (which like most people is the only version I'm really familiar with).

However with nothing much else on tonight when it started I turned it on and I'm glad I did. The acting is solid and the writing is enjoyable (even if the revamped scarecrow's lines are a little too good for someone lacking a brain). I love the visual aesthetic of Tin Man - some of it's a little unworldly (hovering cyborgs), but there are huge swatches of steampunk that get backed up with some steampunk character and world elements. Like the Battlestar Galattica reimaging, it's not trying to paint a Utopian picture, it's a darker grittier world where we get to see real problems and how the characters make tought decisions to overcome. However it still throws out referances to the source material that keep you paying close attention (I was reminded of a few when I looked over the wikipedia entry for the original book).

Tin man is a real treat to watch since it's more on par with a major movie production than what you expect from a made-for-TV movie.

My only real complaint with it so far is the CGI. This wouldn't be a problem, except Sci Fi has this horrible habit of getting the cheapest computer generated animations available, as if they dumpster dive at all the major CGI firms and walk away with 10 year old backups that they then hack into new movies. For example the Tornadoes in Tin Man look worse than the ones I remember being in Twister from 1996. Any SciFi channel original picture with a giant killer wave will always look far worse than what was created for The Perfect Storm in 2000. I'm willing to admit that Twister and The Perfect Storm had bigger budgets for special effects, but Moore's Law has had a clear effect on special effects - just look at the problems Hollywood is having with the Uncanny Valley. There's no good reason that the Scifi Channel (whose main audience by definition is geeks) should have shitty visual effects.

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Thank you Al Gore

09.08.09 - Mark

AMC is showing Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea right now, and its one of those movies I had vague memories of but couldn't remember the title. It's an old Scifi flick, and I picked up the movie halfway though, but I've been wanting to see it for a while now, and I was a little disappointed when I saw Netflix didn't have it. turns out that there's only been one DVD release of it and that was a double billing with Fantastic Voyage in 2000. However there's a new version coming out this week, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (Global Warming Edition) comes out June 5th.

I realize the movie deals with a radical global warming, but why on earth would they release any DVD (other than maybe An Inconvenient Truth) as a "Global Warming Edition"? I don't even see anything that remotely resembles mini documentaries on global warming in the otherwise impresive list of special features. I blame the Cult of Al Gore.

Hopefully netflix will buy their share of copies and I can sink my teeth into it.

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Impossible Dreams

01.13.02 - Mark

I love Escape Pod and with the exception of a 3 or 4 episode backlog (that I'll have cleared by Saturday) I've listened to every show since episode 1, and while I've got some favorites, I was blown away by EP105 - Impossible Dreams. I don't know that it's my favorite recording, but it's easily my favorite Escape Pod story to date. I'm not a movie buff like the characters, but I relate, and while listening to it I found myself empathizing with them far more than I do in most fiction. It's been a long time since I've been pulled into a story in the same way as Impossible Dreams (which is a 2007 hugo award nominee ) did, and that easily is worth donating some money to Escape Pod.

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22.25.54 - Mark

Doctor Who 2005 which originally wasn't going to get distributed in the US, now is. SciFi finally had the insight to pick it up. I may or may not have already seen this series, but I'm glad its getting distributed in the US.

I'm happy, noting is going to be able to make March 17th suck (St. Patrick's Day and the US airing of the New Doctor Who) Hopefully Scifi will be enlightened enought to pick up the second season when it starts airing this fall rather that wait a few months.

As a side note, I'm starting to go though iBook widthdrawl. I miss my laptop and its barely been 12 hours... :'(

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