Fairy Tales are just not the same anymore…

21 Mar

So in my recent binge of Syfy channel films, I’ve taken to finally watching the channel’s versions of the fairy tales/fantasies- Tin Man, Alice, and Neverland. I’ve stated a few times that I’m not big on things that are altered from the original. Why change a good story? Or song? But every once in a while I give these things a chance.

tinman-alice-neverland

Of the three, I like Alice the best. Tin Man had a lot of potential, I liked the characters, the acting, direction, and the basic storyline- the problem was… it was slow. It was a three part miniseries when a two part would’ve sufficed. And then there was build up to UST and then suddenly… nothing. It just ended. Well, loyal readers know how much that annoys me. Neverland… visually lovely, but I had no connection to the characters until the last quarter of the film. Sigh.

AliceSo why did I like Alice? I think that story has always fit as changeable for me- one of my fondest memories is watching the 80s miniseries. The story was a bit more involved than the other two, as well as being a bit more relateable… it’s all about the drug trade. But with a messed up relationship situation. I may even like this one the best because yeah, there’s UST… until it’s requited! Also… the cast. Kathy Bates is the Queen of Hearts. Perfect casting. Colm Meaney- whom I love!- as the King of Hearts. Caterina Scorsone as Alice, does a fine job- and she’s one of those actresses that you know you know from somewhere, but can’t quite place it but that stops being something you think about after a few minutes because you get caught up in Alice trying to figure out what the hell is going on. The one character that really gets ya, and steals the show (as it should be), is the Hatter, played by Andrew Lee Potts. Now I’ve recently developed a bit of a love for Andrew (as noted by my recent marathon obsession with Primeval) but it took me a few minutes to get that it was him. I was too caught up in the crazy of the Hatter. Which is how it should be- that character should be off their gourd. Special note of adoration to Matt Frewer as the White Knight. Just wanted to hug him.

Tin Man follows D.G. through a mysterious trip through Oz Tin Man Promo Image as she looks for her kidnapped parents. Only to discover that nothing she thought she knew was true. She meets Cain, a former cop (referred to as Tin Men), and he helps her because it semi-sort-of goes along with his plans for revenge; Glitch, a mentally altered individual- he’s sort of missing his brain, at least in part- who sometimes knows important things; and Raw… a cat-man-esque being that happens to be psychic or empathic or something. It’s not entirely clear. And the crew sets off to help D.G. solve the riddle of her life. Lots of history is given on all the characters… but… in my opinion, it was too much because ultimately, it leads to nothing. I mean- OK, some of it is crucially important to the re-imagined story but… there’s just too much. Too many holes get opened that just never get filled. Maybe it’s just me. Overall, it was worth a viewing though- the visuals were fabulous!

neverlandNeverland tells the tale of Peter Pan before he was a flying troublemaker. Alright, before he could fly. Well… alright before and early in his ability to fly. Tells how he and the lost boys got to Neverland in the first place… and why Hook hates him so. And how he connects to TigerLily and her people. Again, stunning visuals. And the pirates are fun. But… this was the hardest for me to connect with- I don’t know if the characters were just not alive enough or what but… there was no spark. And I’ve done Peter Pan- I was a lost boy and my older brother was Hook (he was fabulous, btw)(Tony Winner Audra MacDonald was one of the assistant directors, trivia fact)- so I have a connection to the story (at least in my head), and normally, I connect very well to related films. This one… nothing. I could’ve turned it off and walked away but since there wasn’t anything really wrong with it, I opted to give it a full viewing and finally caught a spark in the last 45 minutes.

I know all of these films are a few years old- we know that I am behind on the times- but I really would like to see what other adaptations the creative team could do. If I remember correctly, it was the same writer/director for all three films. I’ve already said that I didn’t love two of them- they were worth a viewing though- but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in other things the director has done. He has a strange creative vision. I’m intrigued. Anyways… I just wanted to share. And if you’re like me and still haven’t seen these films- next time you have a random afternoon off and no plans, they are available on NetFlix and Amazon streaming. Enjoy.

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