The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Saturday, Debtember 18, 2010

“Tron Legacy”

Jeff, Bunny and I went to see “Tron Legacy,” the sequel to Disney's 1982 film “Tron.

I'll say this right now—the film is just as cheesy as the original, but I'm still glad I saw it in the theater. The plot is predictable—Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) makes an incredible discovery in the computer he helped to liberate (in “Tron”) and rebuilt, but one of his helper programs—the very one he wrote, CLU, staged a coup, killed TRON (the program written by Kevin's friend Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) that helped Flynn in the original movie) and trapped Flynn in the computer. Twenty years later, Flynn's son Sam (Garrett Hedlund) gets a message from his father and when he goes to investigate, gets sucked into the computer and with the help of his father and another program, Quorra (Olivia Wilde) leads yet another revolution to free the computer for the users.

The real draw for this movie (and much like the original) is in the computer imagery and music. The visuals are absolutely stunning and the re-imaging of the iconic … um … icons, from Tron are beautiful, and that may prove to be its ultimate downfall in time. You see, in “Tron,” it was obvious that the animations were done via computer—they're pretty much the iconic look for “computer graphics” and strangely enough, for being almost thirty years old, stand up incredibly well. The imagery for “Tron Legacy” though, is too realistic (exhaust vents on the Recognizers? Really?) and solid looking. Gorgeous, yes, but this is meant to exist inside a computer; does it really need to look … well … realistic?

But on this quibble, time will tell.

Disney also had a tough task in making Jeff Bridges look young (for the opening scenes of the film, and a few flashbacks), and here, I think they failed overall, as the younger Kevin Flynn tended to fall right inside the Uncanny Valley. As CLU it would make sense that his likeness would fall into the Uncanny Valley, but given that none of the other “computer programs” fell there, it just made the “young” Jeff Bridges really disturbing to look at, unlike, say, Olivia Wilde or Beau Garrett, who, I must say, looked absolutely stunning in their Tron costumes.

For a fan of Tron, it's worth seeing. To see stunning visuals, it's worth seeing. For an incredible story and acting … um … not so much. Still a fun film, though.

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