Tron and Tron Legacy
Saturday night I was seeking escapism so I thought hey how can I escape most thoroughly and then I ended up watching Tron and Ton Legacy as a back to back double feature.
And you know what? They were freakin' awesome.
Original Tron is definitely kind of wonk but if you look at it within the context of 1982 it's like bananas ambitious. And Tron Legacy was completely gorgeous. And SO much better than it ever had to be. It was nice and clever and fun but not loud and dumb. It was highly stylized but like in a way that made sense. I dug it. It was unfortunate that Olivia Wilde's character sucked but other than that, I enjoyed it was more than I ever thought I would.
I was led to watch it because I also recently watched Oblivion, and that film shares the same director, Joseph Kosinski. Tron Legacy appears to be his first feature film, but he's been in the biz for a long time with his uniquely high art sort of style or whatever.
I will definitely watch anything he directs. I can't say I'll watch anything that Claudio Miranda DPs though...Life of Pi was pretty but the story sucked too much for me to care. Oblivion had a decent enough story, but I wouldn't have cared as much about the movie if it hadn't been completely and utterly gorgeous.
So what I'm trying to say here is hi my name is Kylee and I love Tron.
Because I'm that annoying guy who immediately thinks of a Simpsons reference in response to basically everything:
But yeah, I liked Tron Legacy too. I actually didn't like original Tron on any other level than thinking of it in context to 1982. It doesn't hold up well, but was probably mind-blowing back in '82. Did I just say "back in '82"? Now I must respond to my own comment with a Napoleon Dynamite reference. God I suck:
I enjoyed the lightcycles, Kylee.
I will take your pseudo-80's references and give you my experience:
I saw a double feature of TRON and Splash...wait for it...at a drive-in movie theater (Braintree, MA - the parking lot was used as a flea market in the Summer and was also the location to park your car to take the Logan Airport Express bus. Not sure what is in this spot now, probably a Home Depot.)
I think TRON was a bit beyond my pre-7th grade intellect at the time, but Daryl Hannah's mermaid nakedness was right up my alley!
I saw Legacy in IMAX 3D - agree it was beautifully created. However assuming that TRON the original existed inside a computer that Jeff Bridges created in 1982, and that Bridges was stuck inside the computer all these years with nobody updating the code from the outside, shall we assume that Flynn (that's his name) was programming the computer from inside the computer?
Or are we not supposed to take this so literally?
There was also a animated TV series which I saw a couple of episodes of, and probably some other online videos to tie the two movies together.
I think Kosinski's next movie should be "Flight of the Navigator: Legacy." I know I'd like know what that kid is doing nowadays.
My younger son made me smile a deep, nostalgic, GeekDad smile about 2 weeks ago: My daughter had brought home a Frisbee lit with on-board colored LED lights, we borrowed it for an impromptu game of "catch" in the street/driveway around dusk. Out of nowhere, he catches the glowing Frisbee, holds it above his head in the iconic movie poster pose, and bellows:
"I FIGHT FOR THE USERS!!!"
I had shown my kids TRON on VHS back when they were less than ten years old. They dug it, the same way I had when I saw it in the First run as a teen.
TRON was very ambitious for the time it was made, and only a small part of it was actual CGI, the rest used various Process tricks and even cel-basd animation. But it told a pretty good, if simple, story that held together all right, if you accepted some of the SF premises.
TRON LEGACY is gorgeous to look at, like high-end fashion photography, glossy and textured yet empty, the easier for you to imagine yourself in it... but I found the story overall to be much weaker and more riddled with holes and logical contradictions of the "rules" set in the first movie. It was also very obviously structured to be an easy launch pad for a TV series that never happened, but a short-run cartoon series, with even less plot sense, but a nice look, was spun off.
OBLIVION was also very stylish and pretty, outstanding, even, in the photography and art direction, but the entire script was just a bucket of old SF plot ideas thrown in a blender set to "frappe". For a great Tom Cruise SF Movie, "Edge OF Tomorrow", is WAY better.
Kylee, you should follow up the TRON viewing with one of "The Last Starfighter" THAT was also one of the pioneer CGI effects movies, and it still is fun to watch... well, if you're a GUY, it is, for sure.
[Mark Suszko] "Kylee, you should follow up the TRON viewing with one of "The Last Starfighter" THAT was also one of the pioneer CGI effects movies, and it still is fun to watch... well, if you're a GUY, it is, for sure."
Hey man, my wife loves The Last Starfighter every bit as much as I do...which is a LOT. We saw it a couple of times in theaters, and I can't count how many times since then. Very, very fun.
The thing about the first Tron is that it was also a lifetime pivot point for a whole lot of guys who are mostly in their late 50s - late 60s. That's what made them drop everything to do THIS. Not just making MOVIES, but making movies that had huge graphic components -- and as Mark observes, they weren't necessarily computer graphics, although that's how it worked out in practice for obvious reasons.
In fact, one of the cool things about The Last Starfighter is that I didn't notice how much of it was CG the first time, because the MOVIE feels organic. Great performance by Robert Preston, too.
[Mark Suszko] "well, if you're a GUY, it is, for sure."
I saw The Last Starfighter once, but it's certainly worth a re-watch in recent history.
I said that because it was certainly very much pitched to a young male audience as your basic every-teen-boy's fantasy. If women dig it too, though, that's fine. I just haven't come across too many female fans of the film.
Mark - Your younger son is awesome!
I must be the minority here but I LOVE the original and thought Legacy was just OK. As a kid I remember watching Tron and most of all loving the great world that was created. Great CGI for the sake of great CGI isn't enough. The Transformer movies have become really tough for me to sit through now. What really made TRON great was that these great special effects sold us on the terrific world that Steven Lisberger created. As a boy growing up, visiting a great new world is the best, TRON, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Hook, Oblivion. In fact, I think that is where Joseph Kosinski is really going to make is mark, as a guy who creates great worlds.
End of Line.