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Tron Legacy

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Mark Suszko
Tron Legacy
on Dec 19, 2010 at 5:32:41 am

"I got in."

Pretty cool, not blow-me-away, but enjoyable. Saw it in 2-d here but it was nevertheless quite "immersive".

I won't put spoilers here, but I will say the script borrowed a couple of key iconic scenes from Star Wars this time; you'll see them, I'm sure.

I felt like a block of the beginning of the film had been deleted in editing, in order to get into the Grid World sooner. In the boardroom you'll maybe see a sort-of call-back to Malfoy from Harry Potter.

The aesthetic in the production design favors a lot of glassy surfaces, maybe too many.

I was least impressed with the digital young version of Jeff Bridges; it came off more like a botoxed version of Beau Bridges to me, still not quite out of the "uncanny valley" but near the rim, anyway.

The Daft Punk Score may be the best thing in the whole movie; it is a seamless fit and I did not miss Walter/Wendy, even though I felt a few passages were giving Carlos a nod. But it sounds more like Georgio Moroder than anything. Damn, I'm going to have to break out the DX7-IIFD and jam to this.:-)








The ending left an opening to spin off a TV series from. Damn them.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Tron Legacy
on Dec 20, 2010 at 3:52:08 pm

I had the weekend to think about what I watched, and I got more and more critical of the script the more I thought about it. A number of internal inconsistencies and illogical actions/motivations in it nag me, stuff that the writers should have worked out over the long time it took to get this project done. And that leaves me with a little bit of a bad aftertaste for the movie, because you see where it could be so much better. The script as edited and shown has the feeling of numerous set-pieces strung together but the narrative "glue" connecting the set pieces is weak. Oh well, scripts get mutated in the production process. A novelization of the script, where you can add back the missing pieces, would probably be better.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Tron Legacy
on Dec 20, 2010 at 4:02:11 pm

Yeah I liked it, thought it was pretty cool, but also wasn't mindblowing or anything like that. I saw it in IMAX 3D, which was half worth it, the 3D wasn't spectacular (seen better, seen worse) but the big IMAX screen worked well for it (they shot several sequences in true IMAX size, and went in and out of aspect ratios [like Dark Knight did]).

I'll admit I'm not a big fan of the first Tron, it's only OK in my opinion, and I actually thought Legacy was more coherent than the first one, probably because it was more dumbed down. In the end, I thought the story was not that bad for a special effects picture, but I think I would have rather sat through a movie about a Tron light cycle tournament. I thought they did the light cycles (and light airplanes) really good, those two scenes were awesome and very entertaining.

And I downloaded the Daft Punk soundtrack maybe a week ago, it's definitely awesome, and worked spectacularly with the film. It's good for just casual listening as well, a good sign of a good score. And aside from a few moments of Flynn channeling Lebowski, the Daft Punk cameo as the DJs in the club was probably the funniest part of the movie.

Overall, good not great. Could have used more Olivia Wilde. Just in general. Maybe even throw her in the background of scenes she doesn't even belong in. It couldn't have hurt.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Tron Legacy
on Dec 20, 2010 at 4:53:38 pm

Regarding the score; it makes any mundane thing you're doing suddenly become mega-awesome: I was wearing my iPod in the grocery store last night and jamming the Daft Punk, and suddenly my every move to pick things off the shelves was invested with alternating menace and deep significance. It was all I could do to to stop from going into faux slow-motion, my coat flowing like a cape, as I walked, no, strutted, astonaut-like, to the ice cream freezers... :-)


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Mark Suszko
Re: Tron Legacy
on Dec 20, 2010 at 4:54:35 pm

Scott, did you catch all the "Star Wars moments" I talked about?


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Mark Suszko
Re: Tron Legacy
on Dec 20, 2010 at 4:59:42 pm

Boomer must be hiding out from the forum to keep from reading spoilers before he sees it for himself. Ron is perhaps the biggest TRON fan in the world, self-admittedly, so this weekend was probably like a religious holiday at his house. If I had to guess, he's probably on his fifth or sixth viewing and hasn't left the theatre all weekend. We may have to use lasers to digitize ourselves to stage a recue mission to get into the grid ourselves and retrieve him:-)


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Scott Roberts
Re: Tron Legacy
on Dec 20, 2010 at 5:29:01 pm

Are you referring to the whole dogfight sequence?

Or are you referring to the sweet Obi-Wan robe Flynn was sporting?


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Mark Suszko
Re: Tron Legacy
on Dec 20, 2010 at 5:47:11 pm

I don't want to add spoilers, but the tailgunner sequence was one, the "you shall not pass!" bit, the Vader-like redemption of one certain "bad" character... some hints at the Death Star Trench Run. A lot of Kenobi-isms here and there, some iconic poses and things.


After most people have seen it, I would like to come back to this and discuss in very extensive detail all the plot and background elements of the fictional universe as depicted, and how they relate (or don't) to the characters and plot. What we got on screen was a fun carnival ride, but there was a potential there for so much more, by first thinking thru the universe they were depicting, and more deeply exploring it's implications vis-a-vis the story.


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Scott Roberts
Re: Tron Legacy (Spoiler Post)
on Dec 20, 2010 at 6:59:50 pm

**SPOILER**

I also detected a Matrix feel to it as well, with Flynn as "The One", and the renegade creation in the fake world (Clu [Mr. Smith]) trying to escape into the real world. Also the whole "there is another reality existing in a layer under our reality". And Flynn having supernatural powers at the end of the movie where he can manipulate the computer world to his will to engulf the bad guy. (and basically have The Force! Star Wars again!)


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Mark Suszko
Re: Tron Legacy (Spoiler Post)
on Dec 20, 2010 at 7:42:58 pm

(Spoilers, warning. )Flynn's son is digitized and lives in the Grid as data. But during a disk fight, he gets cut and bleeds. Where does that blood come from? He can't be flesh and data at the same time, can he? His dad is later shown having a dinner with the son and they are eating a roasted suckling pig. Who eats in the Grid, or needs to? Are there odors? Do programs poop? Why is there rain in the digital world? This is some of what I was getting at in my earlier post, about how what you imagine the created world to be has a direct influence on character development, motivations, and plot. You have to know the rules of the world you've built, and be internally consistent with them, in order to tell a story that holds together.

The programs in the Grid all act like they are individual A.I.'s, each with independent motivations, ideas, feelings. In Tron 1.0 each program looked like's it's real-world user, and was designed for one function, like accounting, or insurance calculating, etc. and their sole purpose was to perform that function for their "user".

But in 2.0, these individuals were all constructed by Flynn in this "sandbox" universe, though without obvious functions, except to exist. What is their purpose? What do they do all day? What do they want?


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Scott Roberts
Re: Tron Legacy (Spoiler Post)
on Dec 20, 2010 at 7:56:00 pm

(still more spoilers)

I was thinking something along those lines on my way out of the theater regarding the very last scenes. When Olivia Wilde's character (can't remember the characters name) exits the grid and is exposed to the real world, wouldn't she become overwhelmed with basic functions of the human body that she didn't have to deal with before? Even a small headache would be a new and terrifying experience for her. I guess that's overthinking what was supposed to be a warm, semi-happy ending, but c'mon, does she even have internal organs? Was she actually converted to real human? If not, was it smart to even let her out of the grid?

And I completely agree about the functions of the programs. If clu was creatng the "perfect world" in his eyes, why was there so much random chaos, with programs just wandering the streets, doing whatever they wanted. It was supposed to be a smooth running machine, but parts of it looked like a cluttered desktop.

<a href="http://i1.creativecow.net/u/150514/cluttered-desktop.jpg"><img src="//i1.creativecow.net/u/150514/cluttered-desktop.jpg" border="0" /></a>


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Mark Suszko
Re: Tron Legacy (Spoiler Post)
on Dec 20, 2010 at 8:25:58 pm

I'm going to assume the "clutter" was deliberate chaos injected into the design by Flynn, who made a point of embracing it. Problems start when he tells CLU to make it "perfect" without fully understanding or communicating what "perfect" means. To the "dude", "perfect" would mean a happy place where everybody gets along and co-operates but has full autonomy. Any video editor knows that computers don't do stupid things by themselves, as much as they interpret stupid orders, and CLU interpreted his ill-defined task in a bad way. You can extrapolate it into a political discussion on the difference between "strict constructionists" on the U.S. Constitution versus the "commerce clause/ennumerated poweres" folks.

See, within this discussion, we have already got a better handle on what makes a good "tron2" script than what the movie showed. I wish it had spent a little more time on some of this in between all the battle and effects sequences. I have a feeling Lisberger waould have wanted to get more of this in, but was overruled. I can't wait for the Red Letter Media review of Tron Legacy, but he has yet to get around to reviewing the 1.o version.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Tron Legacy (Spoiler Post)
on Dec 20, 2010 at 8:29:58 pm

"I was thinking something along those lines on my way out of the theater regarding the very last scenes. When Olivia Wilde's character (can't remember the characters name) exits the grid and is exposed to the real world, wouldn't she become overwhelmed with basic functions of the human body that she didn't have to deal with before? Even a small headache would be a new and terrifying experience for her."


This is all fodder for the third movie or a TV spin-off. Seems very obvious to me; a combination of "Small Wonder, welded to the recent "Terminator: the Series". Quorra is the prize in a battle between evil Dillinger's son and his evil tron minions, versus the idealistic young Flynn. Gah, it writes itself, quick, purge this file before the Disney folks read it an...


CARRIER LOST


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Mike Cohen
Re: Tron Legacy (Spoiler Post)
on Dec 24, 2010 at 12:34:04 am

Visual sugar rush
I thought the visuals were the most stylized in years
Here's a description:

The matrix and phantom menace have a baby named Trim

Although phantom menace may be going too far - but eye candy for the sake of eye candy is a danger in films like this

Overall I loved it - could have toned down Zuse (david bowie?) - why would a program act that way? I liked the flashbacks and the reverse aging
The opening sequence seemed inspired by the Dark Knight Hong Kong sequence

So a lot of outside influences (homage or otherwise?) And some cool action, great soundtrack and predictable plot points.

Mike Cohen
I fight for the users!


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Mike Cohen
Re: Tron Legacy (Spoiler Post)
on Dec 24, 2010 at 12:36:41 am

I agree the 3d did not add much except dollars to the box office
The imax screen was nice
The smell of popcorn "butter" and crinkling candy wrappers ruin every movie theater experience
I would pay extra to have a food free theater


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Mike Cohen
Re: Tron Legacy (Spoiler Post)
on Dec 24, 2010 at 12:36:42 am

I agree the 3d did not add much except dollars to the box office
The imax screen was nice
The smell of popcorn "butter" and crinkling candy wrappers ruin every movie theater experience
I would pay extra to have a food free theater


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Mike Cohen
Re: Tron Legacy (Spoiler Post)
on Dec 24, 2010 at 2:28:34 am

sorry for the double post - new phone!

"Wireless networking? I had that idea in '85!"


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Scott Roberts
Re: Tron Legacy (Spoiler Post)
on Dec 24, 2010 at 6:59:31 pm

Saw this over at Penny Arcade:

<a href="http://i1.creativecow.net/u/150514/1134132281_dztui-l.jpg"><img src="//i1.creativecow.net/u/150514/1134132281_dztui-l.jpg" border="0" /></a>


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Mark Suszko
Re: Tron Legacy (Spoiler Post)
on Jan 1, 2011 at 11:41:11 pm

Until the guy from redlettermedia does his review, this may be the best collection of the problems in Tron legacy's plot and execution:

http://www.tronlegacyreview.wordpress.com/


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