Sunday, January 02, 2011

Watching Tron: Legacy

Wired Magazine had this as its opening paragraph:
You will like Tron: Legacy. That’s not a prediction—it’s a command. Don’t even try to fight it. Come December 17, when the movie comes out, your butt will be in a seat and your head will be plugged into migraine-inducing Urkel goggles like everybody else. The people from Walt Disney have made sure of it.

I did watch the original movie when it came out in 1982, wow, doesn't that age me or what. Then again, being a geek means I had to attend and enjoy it. One person called it the first myth of the computer generation. It looked to computers as connected devises in which users manipulated the 'lives' of the population of the computer. It could be controlled, or it could control us. It had great music, produced by Wendy Carlos, and the attention to detail, plus the special effects, the disc match, the light cycles, the escapes- all that made a good movie. Yes I know it was panned by the critics and sort of failed, but it may be one of the those movies that improve with age. Whatever it inspired a sequel:

What also made the first movie so interesting was the interaction between Tron and Jeff Bridges character.

This blog is going to be more based upon my opinion of the movie, not a full review. So there's no worries of spoiler alerts, because if you read my work, you're equally a geek and you've seen it.

Let's discuss it:

This was my first experience of a 3D movie, I know shocking, its just I never had another one I was interested in see. I mean Piranha in 3-D, please I do have tastes. What I liked is the 3D was not over the top, it was relevant, there was no scenes of the light cycles 'crashing' through the screen at us. It added depth and allowed to show the difference between the real world and the digital world, or is it the real world and the analog world.

It also had a number of the original cast, well at least two- Bruce Boxleitner, who went on to be Captain John Sheridan of Babylon 5 fame. As well as Jeff Bridges who brought back his role of Kevin Flynn.

The music was not by Wendy Carlos and her amazing Moog Synthesizer, it was Daft Punk, who brought a more house sound to the movie.

What interested me was the influences of the movie, I thought there was at least three movies which had an impact: Tron, of course, the Matrix and the Big Lebowski. You may wonder why the other two, I thought the scene at the club was right out of the second and third Matrix movies, although the role of the Merovingian was played by Castor. In fact the only thing missing was the three heros entering the bars with weapons drawn. They did have the same DJ booth and the two DJ's in it were dressed alike. I don't know about you, but you either hated the bar scene or loved it. It did make sense in the third movie, except for the rave in the cave of Zion- still hate it. Personally, I thought it was the club scene that set the movie apart from the original. To me the first half was very much scripted to form, call for the flying tanks, have the battle with the discs and cue the light cycles. It was only when the met at the club to get the information they need, plus hang out with the hot babes that the movie came alive. Yes Clu did destroy it, but it was important and the battle scene was quite good. Plus Olivia Wilde did some serious butt kicking, even though she was injured

As for the third influence, it did have, after all, the Dude himself. The Dude truly did abide. Getting serious, there was a very spiritual influence on the movie, Jeff Bridges spent a lot of time meditating. He also was driven with a desire to redeem his character and save what remained of a people, which had been destroyed by Clu. Ultimately Flynn does sacrifice himself to save the Grid, his son and Quorra.

Overall, I did enjoy the movie.

I do have a few reservations, the first was the CGI of the younger face of Jeff Bridges, it was a bit hokey and at first seemed to be a rather bad photoshop attempt. I don't know if it improved through the movie or not, or I just got used to it. The second was the minor influence of Tron, yes it was a corrupted program throughout most of the movie, only coming back to his true reality towards the very end when he does sacrifice himself to protect the Users. It is only then you heard his voice, perhaps Bruce didn't want to go through the CGI process for his character.

In a good way the movie continues the legacy, which is its name, after all. It was worth the price and popcorn which followed.

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