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Tron: Legacy (Four-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy)
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59 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2011
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
Let's face it: if you're wondering whether or not to buy Tron: Legacy 3D Blu Ray, you know if you like the movie or not, and are more concerned with the image quality and sound quality. Let me start by saying this is the first 3D blu ray I've purchased (my television came with Avatar 3D). I use a Panasonic 50 in. plasma, with active 3D. I have a pretty run of the mill surround sound stereo that I ran straight from my PS3 through AV cords. In other words, my television is fantastic, but my sound leaves something to be desired.

The 3D of Tron in theaters was, in my oppinion, the fourth best at the time of its release (Avatar, How to train your Dragon, and Toy Story 3 were above it). In my home however, this film looked fantastic. The depth of the 3D was great and the quality of the image is met only by Avatar's 3D Blu Ray. There are scenes that were filmed for IMAX and, like The Dark Knight, the blu ray keeps this aspect ratio for Tron. Personally, I loved this, my only complaint being that it makes the non-IMAX scenes feel less exciting.

The sound was another high point for this movie. The soundtrack is phenomenal and I can only imagine that on a better sound system, this would be the best sounding movie released on blu ray yet (them's fightin' words!).

All-in-all, buy this. It's a fun movie with an even better presentation that will make you satisfied with your 3D television purchase.
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458 of 578 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2010
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
"Greetings, programs!"

It was a long time coming, but the wait was worth it. While theatrical sequels to The Last Starfighter and War Games may or may not come out in the near future, and I am left hoping and praying for big-screen adaptations of Isaac Asimov's Foundation Series and Doc Smith's Lenman Series...Tron Legacy is here now (in glorious 3D) courtesy of Disney. I saw it on opening night in 3D with a huge box of kettle corn, a large group of friends...and I was first in line for the showing. Naturally my expectations were high.

The Grid

To be sure, this movie is visually and audibly stunning in every way. Everyone who was tantalized by the trailers and got excited by the visuals will NOT be disappointed with the art design or special effects. As they were leaving the showing before us, many people had neither a positive nor a negative expression on their face. They simply looked...stunned. Shocked. Out of it. And after seeing the movie I think I understand why.

This must be what it felt like to see Star Wars the first time in 1977. Seeing Tron Legacy (especially without seeing the first Tron) is like being transported to an alien planet through an inter-dimensional gateway. There simply has never been anything like this on the big-screen in history. The film cost 170 million according to box office records I read online, and you can see where the money went.

The computer world is literally a city of light. The first time you see it, it takes your breath away. The action sequences featuring light cycles, flying discs, and various flying vehicles are some of the most amazing ever captured. From the moment I saw the visuals that became the film's logo I knew the visual style of this film was spot on and I was going to love it.

The Game Has Changed

When you compare this movie to the first Tron, it's a MAJOR upgrade in just about every way (the one area I think it's inferior is the acting not quite on the same level). The dorky outfits of the first movie have been replaced with the new skin-tight outfits with glowing edges, the discs no longer look like ceramic Frisbees, the light cycles can make curved turns, ect. In truth, this was something I was worried about when I first saw the previews. It seemed to break from the feel of the first Tron film too much. But now...

This is how i feel about the overall feel of Tron Legacy compared to the first: I have seen many animated TV shows that were then made into feature films, and you almost always have the same feeling that characters were changed around, and usually some past events were totally re-written. In a good movie adaptation the essence is maintained but the experience is different (like an alternate telling or a what if?). Thus, while Tron Legacy breaks from many of the traditions of Tron (digital people now look much more like real people, real food exists in the Grid instead of just energy), at its heart it is a continuation of the story, characters, and world you have grown to love.

Flynn Lives

Yes, at its heart, this is the same world you loved when you saw the first Tron, with the same features and flaws. The first Tron was a visual masterpiece with unique music and visual flair, a simple but deep plot, and characters you grew to love on an age-old but engrossing quest to save the computer world and along with it the real world. This film is no different in these fundamentals. The visuals are amazing, the music is astounding, and the main plot is almost identical to the first movie (get out of system, defeat the evil program who rules the computer world with an iron fist).

The now older Kevin Flynn who was trapped in the digital world is no less likable, but expectedly changed as anyone would be after decades spent inside a computer. His son Sam is the kind of guy you immediately like. He's rich but not snobby, attractive but not superficial, a good guy but maybe just lacking some purpose and direction in his life. At any rate, he makes a great protagonist. Jeff Bridges is a bit subdued compared to his other roles lately, but his whacky zen charm still makes him fun to watch. His digital younger (flashback and arch-nemesis) self does not fare as well because while a digital world evil Jeff Bridges that feels a bit unnatural is no problem, when it's supposed to be Kevin Flynn in the past it just comes off as strangely artificial.

Probably the first thing everyone noticed from the trailer besides the light cycles was Olivia Wilde's character Quorra. She manages to be beautiful, innocent, courageous, loyal, child-like, fierce, and in all other ways awesome for the duration of the film. Her acting is flawless. Michael Sheen is totally over-the-top in a role that people will probably either love or hate, and Beau Garrett's Gem and Cillian Murphy's Dillinger will have you wishing they had larger roles. And of course there is one surprise I wasn't expecting regarding an old favorite character. But let's not kid ourselves...the real star of this movie is...the soundtrack!

Derezzed

The soundtrack...to Tron...is one of the greatest soundtracks in history. Please understand, I do not use these terms to describe a soundtrack lightly. My favorite kind of music to listen to is orchestral movie and TV music. From anime soundtracks like Vision of Escaflowne and Magic Knight Rayearth to under-rated scores like A.I. and the New World, I am a HUGE fan of orchestral tracks. I have literally hundreds of movie themes performed by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. I listen to the Star Wars soundtrack from beginning to end. I even recently wrote the Prague Philharmonic an email requesting that they record music on my wish list. That is to say...I take movie musical scores SERIOUSLY.

You should know that I am a fan of Daft Punk's album Discovery. Look it up on Amazon and you'll see my ecstatic review. Some people have unfairly criticized the soundtrack for Tron Legacy, simply because what they wanted was another Daft Punk album, another Discovery. This is NOT a Daft Punk album. This is a FILM SCORE, featuring a full orchestra in addition to the electronic wizardry of Daft Punk. And it is destined to become legendary. From the first moments of the film when the main theme kicked in I was blown away by the music, but there is much more to it than just that the music is phenomenal.

I would say that from 60 to 75 percent of the brilliance of this movie is the film score, and the reason for that is that the film was actually CUT to the film score, rather than the score being cut to the film. What this means, is that the film and its music are almost perfectly synchronized. Anyone who has watched a really good AMV on the Internet has seen the magic that happen when you cut the action to the music and it works magic in this film. The disc battles, light-cycle sequences, and chase scenes and fight scenes (Derezzed being the stand-out) are incredible because of how the music not only fits, but drives these scenes. And when the epic climax of the movie rolls around the music makes it a hundred times better because it is brilliant, and it is so loud, so strong, so appropriate, and so flat-out amazing that it just makes everything WORK. Some have said that they listened to the music on its own in order to more fully appreciate it. I say the opposite. See the movie to appreciate how the music was MEANT to be used. Awesome.

The Creator

Some critics and others might dismiss Tron Legacy as a simple candy-coated popcorn flick with all the depth of Super-Bowl commercial. "Tron Legacy isn't actually trying to be smart"? You have got to be kidding me. But then again...people said EXACTLY the same thing when the first Tron came out, and when the Matrix movie came out as well. I'm starting to think that every time someone says a movie has no plot what they really mean is "I didn't understand it."

This movie is NOT simplistic. The spiritual overtones of Tron once again are pronounced. Love them or hate them, they are what drive this story, not the basic premise of the plot. In the first Tron the Users were seen as gods, the ones who had a plan for everything, the great beings who watched over the Grid with benevolence. When Tron was given a mission by his User, it was akin to pulling The Sword From The Stone or learning to Use The Force. Likewise, Kevin Flynn's User powers are seen from time to time, making him seem like a sort of mythological wizard (Merlyn, Gandalf, or better yet Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars: A New Hope). When the creatures of his self-created Grid turn on him we cannot help but see an allusion to our own world where in films and popular culture everyone sees to be angry at God despite the fact that he made them. This spiritual metaphor does not come off as silly or cheesy (at least in my opinion) but rather lends significant gravity to an otherwise straightforward plot.

There you have it. The new Tron is an amazing film in just about every way. Not perfect, but definitely the best movie to come out in years. The 3D is nice, but not required, as it is not quite up to the par of Alice in Wonderland and Avatar. It would be better to see this film on a digital screen where the wonders of the world of the Grid can really shimmer and pop off the screen in razor sharp detail (the icing on the cake would be digital 3D). I've seen it multiple times in the theater. You should do the same. This one movie you do not want to rent and watch on a tiny TV for your first viewing. You want to see it on the big screen. And then buy the Blu Ray and watch it on your home theater. This is one movie that would show off a high-def setup in spectacular fashion.
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47 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2011
Format: DVD
As a 12 year-old boy seeing the original Tron, I was hooked. When I bought the 20th anniversary DVD I was taken back on a sentimental journey reminding me of those times when a movie came along that showed you new things you'd never seen before. Tron was one such movie. I worried how Tron Legacy would look, if it would be just like every other new sci-fi movie, and if it could stand out uniquely as much as the original did. Tron Legacy is stunning visually, and even more impressive for me is the story. What a great way to connect the two, and carry on the story. I'm amazed by people who think it as shallow, or without soul. This movie is rich, and has great depth. Those who can't see that, don't fully grasp the story. Tron was all Steven Lisberger, and although Tron Legacy has creative input and direction from additional people, Steven's hand is evident throughout. I feared they might not be able to pull it off, but not only did they pull it off, they did it convincingly. The Tron franchise still stands alone, not that it's the best movie ever made (how can that even be determined?, but Tron Legacy helps to cement the story as one of the most unique. Too many movies follow a formula where you can figure out what is going to happen. Tron does not. Who could have guessed what Clu becomes, or that Tron changes allegiance? The nuggets classic Tron fans are thrown throughout the movie are a real treat: Dumont's garage, Journey on the juke box, Dillinger's son, and so on. I loved the young Flynn and old Flynn. The did it flawlessly.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2011
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
For those out there that haven't heard there is a small group of people out there comparing Tron:Legacy to The Matrix. (Yeah I know pretty silly right?) First, let me say I love both Films but, I never would even attempt to compare these two total opposites. Let me point out that The Matrix is pure rated R goodness while Tron is a DISNEY film people! Yes Disney so you already know if there is even a hint of violence in the film it would be mild at best. Newbies tend to forget that Tron:Legacy is a sequel to a film that came out way before there was a Matrix. I saw the original Tron when I was 6 years old on my uncles Laser disc (yeah, back in the stone age) then the Matrix came out around my 19th birthday and nobody was comparing those films at the time. Then here comes along Legacy and some people decide to go all looney bin WHY? all because the only thing similar between the two films is a human being entering a computer generated world and that is it!
If you are a fan of the first TRON you will probably dissect the entire TRON:Legacy film but, I think you'll still like the movie overall. My only real complaints was that they could of used the 3-D better, what does that mean? well they don't start using 3-D effects until Sam enters the Grid that's over 15 minutes into the movie. I, like most people out there, would've loved to see Sam's Base jump off of the tower in full 3-D. Even Sam's motorcycle escape & evasion of the bike cop would've been cool in 3-D.
I didn't like the fact that Tron:Legacy is actually Part 3 of the story. Part 2 of the story was shown to us in a brief flashback and that story seemed to be way more interesting than the Legacy story. Hopefully the next Tron film will address that flashback or maybe they just wanted us to buy the comics that explained it in TRON:Betrayal. Disney was smart with the overall look of the film. If you haven't seen the original TRON lately then let me tell you they were smart to go with the all black with outline lighting because would you have really paid to see the old look in 3-D? (I don't think so!)
Compared to the original TRON, TRON:Legacy is a great modern update and I give it 4 stars for that but, because I like the style and the new direction they are taking the storyline, I'll have to add 1 more star for a total of 5 stars.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2011
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
This is a great movie, with a tightly woven plot. Also, Disney did a great job with the 3d filming. There was no problems with blurring as I have seen with some movies where the 3d part was kludged into it as an afterthought.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2011
Format: DVD
Tron Legacy is actually one of the rarest sequels that even surprise the original film twenty-eight years later with more cutting-edge 3D visual effects, Jeff Bridges(Kevin Flynn and Clu) and Bruce Boxleitner(Alan Bradley/Tron) returns with new to the series, Garrett Hedlund(Sam Flynn), Olivia Wilde(Quorra), Beau Garrett(Gem), and Michael Sheen(Castor, who looks like David Bowie) in the blockbuster event that translated from a giant Comic-Con Buzz teaser when it was called Tr2n to Disney greenlighting and recalling it Tron: Legacy with a giant marketing campaign and a giant $170 million budget plus more back on marketing with making almost $400 million at the worldwide box office, it may have not pulled off giant numbers as Disney was expecting but it was decent. The Original Score was done amazingly by Grammy Award winner Daft Punk and they even have a cameo appaerance in the film. The Visuals are exciting, the story may feel flat at times but this film is Disney's answer to The Matrix. Go and get this movie so we can see a Tron 3!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: Blu-ray
In a word, yes.

Late in my BD collection, but still much loved, TRON: Legacy explodes into light and life, sound and fury. The story starts off almost as a slight segue from the original; we see Flynn (always the marvelous Jeff Bridges) with his son possibly hours prior to getting zapped into the Internet before it was really the Internet.

You read that right; the original TRON predates everything except for the vaguest concept of the Internet. If you have not seen it yet, stop reading this review and go watch it. Now.

Back? Alrighty. The film then skips 20 years and the son receives a mysterious clue about the whereabouts of his father. Cue special effects. Enter eye candy.

The film was beautiful on the big screen, breathtaking in 3D, and even still a powerful experience in 2D HD. The 7.1 soundtrack explodes in your ears, whizzing along and grabbing you for the ride. The quality of the acting is less important than the underscores of the story: is the Creator responsible for the Created, and if so, how do you hold them accountable? Can human existence persist in an artificial environment, and if so how does the concept of The Soul correlate? Can visual effects be used as a primary character in film? And no, I'm not talking about Avatar and other purely CGI films. I'm talking about the visual effects (like some 98% of the film) of the new TRON film acting as a visual construct for the whole of the Internet. Pretty gutsy. And fairly unique. There is literally nothing like TRON and certainly not with the pure spectacle of TRON: Legacy.

The BD is rounded out with a goodly handful of featurettes, including a very unique prologue containing what happens directly after the film leaves off. We don't have any Commentary tracks, but then again, both TRON films are intended for the audience to make up their own minds and figure out the meanings therein.

The best part is the visuals, hands down. I guarantee, every time you watch this film you will notice something new. Maybe just a small but arresting detail, but it's still there. And if that isn't enough of a good reason to add a movie to your BD collection, I have no idea what would be.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2011
Format: DVD
I have been a fan of the original 1982 TRON since I was a kid. Both my parents worked in the satellite and computer field, and, at its heart, TRON is about a Kevin Flynn's journey into a fantastical world, albeit one of circuits and bits. This being said, it's my kind of movie, dated technology and all, and there is no way for me to go into seeing TRON: Legacy without a biased perspective.

The initial idea of a sequel, followed by the first teaser trailer released looked fabulous; I pounced on it and couldn't stop thinking about it from the moment I saw it. I was so impressed with how they managed to get such a wonderful blend of the old school style from the original, mixed with the modern sensibilities of our current computer age. When I first saw the newly-designed Recognizer float down out of the sky, my heart skipped several beats. The numerous articles written about the film implied an incredible amount of work having gone into making the film and the extended trailers continued to look just as amazing as the first; even better.

And on that note, I suppose, the film managed to deliver. The look of the film is, by far, its strongest quality (except, perhaps, for Daft Punk's ingenious musical score). The story, however, leaves something to be desired. Several somethings

When I first viewed the film, I was left feeling deflated and slightly heartbroken. The ending pushed all the film's other pros aside; I wasn't sure if I'd ever see it again, even for the visuals.

I have, however, gone back and seen it twice since. I have come to appreciate it more with each viewing, but I'm still left disappointed by the time the end credits roll.

Visually, it was everything I could have hoped for, dreamed of, ever thought possible. Absolutely fantastic. It was beyond amazing to see those images, those concepts come to life in ways that the original couldn't, because of the restrictions in technology and filmmaking of the time. Still, the original film set those ideas in motion and to see them executed in the ways that Legacy was able to do was a dream come true. The Light Cycles, the Disc Games and, again, for me, personally, the eloquent appearance and flight of the Recognizers.

But for all the effort the filmmakers supposedly put into the screenplay, it doesn't seem to be there. The story is cliché, predictable, and, at times, paradoxically over-achieving. The film is an "Alice in wonderland" type plot, it didn't need the earth-shattering subplot of the miraculous new life form. Going into the computer and finding a living, breathing world was earth-shattering enough and could have been, all on its own, in this sequel, from the perspective of Sam Flynn, Kevin's son. The religious subtext, too, was unnecessary. Not wholly inappropriate (since any artist can relate to the idea of one's ideas and creations becoming their own entities) but sometimes it felt almost preachy ("there, standing over me, was the Creator..." and, "behold! the son of our Maker!"). They could have played with these ideals in a different way, more the way they did in the original film, with this debate of whether or not the Users are real, or if that predetermines them to a specific life or fate (a theme right out of Alice Through the Looking Glass).

There's no mention whatsoever of who Kevin Flynn married, or what happened to Laura and/or Yuri (the female programmer and program from the first film, played by Cindy Morgan).

I also feel that, by having Flynn get stuck inside the Grid in the 1980's, it restricted the story from utilizing any of the concepts or developments that have come along in the last 22 years (since the film's opening in 1989). What was the point of updating the story to modern times, then? Plus, the original Grid was not a "world," with buildings, restaurants, etc., nor was there a game called TRON; Tron was the program, not a game. The game was called Space Paranoids. I realize that it's an adaptation for the new film, for a new generation, but they never really explain what this TRON game is; every bit of the "Tron Game" that we saw were Light Cycles and Disc Wars; so what is it? And what was the point? Too, the very idea of Light Cycles, Disc Battles, Recognizers, etc., didn't necessarily make sense. Why would Clu 2.0 have reinvented these things, exactly as they were before?

But my biggest gripe with the film, as I've mentioned, is the way they chose to end it, and here's why.

(SPOILERS AHEAD)

My favorite character in the TRON universe is Tron himself. He's my favorite part of the original film; him and Flynn meeting and taking down the Master Control Program together. But Tron, the character, was one of the things I loved most about the film and the story; I liked how he resembles Alan, but they're really two different characters (which I thought was impressive from an acting standpoint on the part of Bruce Boxleitner, who played both roles). My expectation for the new film, given the publicity surrounding it, was that Tron was going to either be completely ignored or only included as a bit part, without much involvement. After all, the trailers, commercials, posters, etc., don't even MENTION him at all, despite the title of the film itself. I thought, on a more specific note, that Tron would have been killed or buried or something, and that the mission would involve - at least partly - finding him (along with Flynn) and bringing him back to life, which, given how the film went, I would much rather have seen; it would have been a more interesting story. Hell, they could have gone with a "King Arthur" sort of subtext and it would have worked.

In a way, that's sort of what happened, though. Clu re-programs Tron to become a faceless, evil henchman, complete with the red-coloring and a helmet that hides his face. They tried to fool the audience by not telling you until much later in the film that that's who Tron is, but it's incredibly easy to figure out pretty early on. At least I wondered if it was him almost as soon as I saw him. I was looking for him, though; almost as soon as Sam Flynn entered the computer universe I was thinking, where's Tron? Where's Tron? I wonder if that's Tron... So I picked up on it pretty quickly. We get to see Tron's face in flashbacks; a young Bruce Boxleitner's face, via the same tech used to make a young Jeff Bridges' face for young Kevin Flynn and Clu. And it's pretty amazing, honestly. It really was Tron. (Likely, in part, because Boxleitner aged really well.) But you never see his face again, throughout the rest of the film. That bothered me. I kept waiting for him to take a more active role. He's just been re-programed; brainwashed so to speak, and it seemed off, a cheap way to have him involved. Knowing the back-story from the original, too, I find it a little hard to believe that Clu could just simply overtake Tron. Tron was the bigger program, with a specific purpose, more suited to take out threats than Clu; he was written as a security program by Alan, after all.

At the end of the film, Tron "pulls Darth Vader." They're all in the middle of this air battle, and Tron's coming after them, as he's done the whole movie as Clu's top henchman. But Flynn makes eye contact with him (through the helmet, I'm guessing) and just says his name, "Tron..." and Tron, still decked in the red coloring, seems to recall his own memory of the flashback we saw earlier, when he said, "Flynn, go!" as he was fighting off Clu and his cronies. He shakes his head, but then seems to have a full change of heart and turns his vehicle to intersect with Clu's. Just before he throws the vehicle forward for impact, we hear him say, "I fight for the Users." It's a classic line from the original, and I loved hearing it, but as they crashed, and both Tron and Clu went spiraling down into the Sea, I was horrified, thinking that Tron had gotten the axe for good. Then they showed him falling in the sea, and his suit returns to the blue tones. And that, boys and girls, is the last we see of him in the film.

The real killer thing, though, is that, on top of already having lost Tron at that point, Flynn defeats Clu by merging to two of them together and causing a massive explosion throughout the Grid, destroying everything - including himself - while Sam and Quorra escape back through the portal, into our world.

It just seemed cruel and unnecessary, to lose them both. I would have rather have seen Sam get stuck there than Kevin. I realize that it's largely due to the filmmakers' attempting to bring the whole of the story into a modern context, to a new audience, to the younger generation, but, at the same time, it's just completely heart wrenching for anyone who has followed the original and loved it for years. Honestly, I don't care about Sam and Quorra. The film did not manage to successfully create new characters that match the originals. I thought that Olivia Wilde's performance was enjoyable and thorough, but I was not especially impressed with Garrett Hedlund. The last few minutes of the movie, all about them, just seemed useless. I respected the fact that they didn't have some big, romantic kissing scene at the end, but otherwise, I just didn't care what happened to them. The two cornerstones of the story, the universe, were gone.

Again, it just seems that, considering the title is TRON, he, as a character, gets terribly underplayed in this film; so under-appreciated and often flat-out ignored. That makes me sad, because, as I said, he's my favorite character and I wanted to see him around more. I think his participation in the story as a hero would have actually helped the newer audiences fully understand WHY the thing is called TRON to begin with.

I have heard the various theories floating around regarding the supposed third film that is being planned; i.e. that the whole system will be examined with a fine-tooth comb and that the mission will be to help bring Flynn back to life, along with Tron. One of my friends even predicted that, next time, Alan may have to go back in with Sam. If they chose to follow that route, then I'm all for it, because, in that case, maybe Tron and Alan will come face to face. They communicate in the original film, but only Tron experiences it as a conversation; to Alan, it's just a command code or mission. So if they actually met in person, like Clu and Flynn did in this one, how AMAZING would that be?

As a writer, filmmaker and a fan, all I really care about is bringing back Flynn and Tron. Save them. Save Tron, save the world.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2012
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
I saw this movie in IMAX 3D in the theaters when it came out, and it still manages to thrill and excite me every time I see it. I'm surprised it didn't pick up more popularity after it came out. Disney action films are a tough sell nowadays (after the failure of John Carter, which, in my opinion, is a pretty decent film as well). I'm 31, and it's hard to keep my attention with most movies, but something about Tron always manages to captivate and excite me (especially once the movie moves into the digital world of Tron) . The action, characters, and music are all great and very atmospheric that helps create an artificial but believable world. I hope Disney makes another live-action sequel to this movie (the cartoon on Disney XD this summer, 2012, Tron: Uprising, is a great prequel to the movie, btw). The 3D is also a treat that lacks in many 3D movies. In fact, I bought the non 3D version before I had a 3D TV, but once I got the TV, I had to go back and buy the 3D version of this movie. While the first 30 minutes are not in 3D, once the movie enters the world of Tron, the 3D visuals are cool and effective without being overwhelming. Bottom line: if you like 3D action adventures movies that don't require you to use your brain too much, this one should not disappoint.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2010
Format: Blu-rayVerified Purchase
28 years, 161 days later, Tron's legacy lives on. Joe Kosinkski's understated long-awaited sequel to Steven Lisberger's game changing electronic mythos is a visual triumph, a world unlike anything we've ever seen before, transforming the iconography of its predecessor into an awesome 3D spectacle, but it is an imperfect world, its breathtaking three dimensions propped upon the two dimensional pillars of its problematic plot and one that would be looked upon with the consternation of its biggest adversary who, ironically, is the one who nearly completely undermines and very nearly derezzes it... Clu... and the guy doesn't dig imperfection.

The film's biggest special effect is also its biggest failure. The technology that I had hoped would be the promise of taking Tron once again to a new revolutionary cinematic level and breaking new technical ground in much the same way as the original film had ushered in a new era at the dawn of the digital filmmaking frontier demonstrates that we still have quite a ways to go before digital actors can convincingly look indistinguishable from real human performers and reinforces the theory of the "Uncanny Valley" in robotics that says the closer we get to making artificial constructs look human the more we can identify their subtle inhuman imperfections. The CGI animation used to make Jeff Bridges look 20 years younger more closely resemble the animated cut-scenes from its video game counterpart TRON: Evolution. Comparing it to how he looks in other earlier films of his career like Starman it's obvious that Bridges did not look quite like his poorly rendered doppleganger at that age. The eyes, the brows, the cheekbones, and the mouth have an unconvincing artificiality about them that betrays the illusion and his aged voice also belies the effect. In a creepy sort of way it almost works for the character within the context of the story because he is supposed to be an artificial construct and we can almost buy that he doesn't look quite like a real human being, but during the film's opening scenes when we see Bridges in flashback playing younger Kevin Flynn telling bedtime stories to his son, Sam, it robs the moment between a father and his son of its already forced sincerity and dehumanizes it in a cold and unsettling way.

The plot is almost video-game like in its objective as the competing faction of Clu's militaristic forces must obtain elder Flynn's identity disc which is a master key to unlock the door to our world so that he and his army can take it over. It is never convincingly explained how exactly virtual programs existing in the digital world can somehow manifest themselves into tangible living matter in our physical world with Flynn's disc like a magician pulling a rabbit out of an ethereal hat, just as it does not attempt to explain why a User like Sam can bleed in its digital realm other than the fact he is simply a User and "he's different," nor does it attempt to explain how Kevin Flynn has aged 20 years trapped in his digital confinement when theoretically he shouldn't have physically aged at all as a digital avatar of himself. Narratively it misses those opportunities to explore such metaphysical questions as it so masterfully eluded to in the film's promising test trailer shown at Comic Con the way that the original Tron explored such intriguing philosophical ideas around the religious beliefs of its programs and their creators. Tron Legacy's most astonishing revelation delivered by Alan when he tells Sam that his father was about to change science, medicine and religion in such a profound way is simply thrown away in a single line of expository dialogue. We never learn the real reason why Flynn created this world in the first place other than the fact that it was far out biodigital jazz, man.

Once again Jeff Bridges is the chemistry that holds the foundations of the Troniverse together solely with his strength and conviction of his performance as zen guru cyber-Jesus Flynn to his Judas megalomaniacal alter-ego Clu in some sort of virtual yin and yang. Garret Hedlund is surprisingly likeable as his son, Sam. Thankfully, he's no wooden Hayden Christiansen (although he would have made a much better Anakin Skywalker) and plays the cliched angst-ridden rebellious youth with convincingly noble admiration. Reciprocally, Olivia Wilde plays the character of Quorra with a truthful childlike innocence and wonder that demonstrates she has more to offer as an actress than just luscious fanboy eyecandy. Michael Sheen livens the film as Castor with his jestly rendition of David Bowie circa glam rock era Ziggy Stardust. And once again Bruce Boxleitner returns as Alan Bradley aka Tron... sort of. After all it's called TRON Legacy, right? Though, like the first film, the story is centered around Flynn's character and his legacy of which Tron is merely incidental to. The enigmatic character of Rinzler is Clu's henchman, one part Darth Maul wielding two discs, and one part Boba Fett as a mysterious tracker whose helmeted identity is concealed and it doesn't take half a nerd to figure out who he is.

As a 3D film Tron Legacy's illuminated electronic visuals perfectly lends itself to creating brightly rendered 3D images which has been the pitfall of all other 3D films. Tron Legacy is by far the real Avatar. It makes the world of Pandora look like a cartoon by comparison. The Grid is a place I would want to visit again because it is unlike anything seen in our world or any other. The brilliantly 3D rendered Disney logo showcasing the Magic Kingdom "Tronified" is appropriately memorable for setting the tone of the film which is then 2D until Sam is transported into Tron's colorful three dimensional illuminated world like Dorothy in the The Wizard of Oz. As a first-time director Joe Kosinski proves that he has the technical prowess to design a fully immersive world much like Ridley Scott did with Alien and Blade Runner but his weakness is marshaling a bullet-proof script equally as flawless to support it, but then again the original Tron, to be fair, didn't necessarily have a solid script to support it either so in that sense they are both equally as flawed and both equally as visually stunning.

As a fan of the original Tron I am torn. Part of me is protective of its mythos and at the same time heartbroken that what was once a unique, groundbreaking film has now been rendered obsolete by its own sequel that has taken the technology and improved upon it in nearly every visual way. The Lightcycle and Disc Wars sequences, for example, are spectacularly exhilarating and render the graphics in the original film relics of the Atari age by comparison and why Disney has wisely kept the original Tron film hidden away in its vaults and hasn't released it on blu-ray yet to avoid the inevitably unfair comparisons. Fortunately as a sequel it delivers without the bitter disappointment of sequels like Star Wars or Indiana Jones. It's no Phantom Menace or Crystal Skull, thank God. If it performs well there will no doubt be more Tron films that confident Disney has stated they already have in development along with an animated TV show Tron Uprising and will hopefully include the participation of Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner to make them work. Without them, it wouldn't be a Tron film at all. Tron lives. He fights for the Users.

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