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TRON
BLU-RAY disk
04.25.2011 By: Jaci Selby
TRON order
Director:
Steven Lisberger

Actors:
Jeff Bridges
Cindy Morgan
David Warner

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
While trying to prove his ex-employer stole his original code, a hacker is physically pulled into the company's sentient program. There, he is forced to compete in deadly gladiatorial games while trying to overthrow the tyrannical Master Control Program.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Chances are, if you've never seen TRON, you've at least seen it referenced to. Family Guy, South Park and Robot Chicken have all made allusions to this 1980s cult classic. I personally can remember my older brothers playing "TRON frisbee" in our backyard at night with glowsticks taped to a frisbee. If you've ever been to a con, you've probably seen some TRON cosplay.

Flynn, played by Jeff Bridges is a man-child gamer who is a disgruntled former employee of ENCOM. Flynn has good reason to be bitter as ENCOM stole his code and passed it off as the company's own. Flynn enlists friends Lora and Alan, current ENCOM employees to help him recover his code and prove the theft. During their heist, Flynn is pulled into the program via a laser and finds himself in the digital world.

The sub-story isn't the most original, as it borrows from many other futuristic dystopian stories such as Logan's Run, Brave New World and even 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. Themes like man vs machine and oppressive government are familiar. However, they are given a unique and new take set against the background of a digital world inside a computer program. Once Flynn is taken into the virtual world,he must fight against the fascist regime of the Master Controller Program. Along with TRON and Yori (Alan and Lora's avatars), Flynn attempts to overthrow the MCP by having TRON contact his user and use his code to disable the MCP.

I assumed the special effects and transfer would be lost on the Blu-Ray format, but they're not. In fact I was impressed by how clean and crisp everything is, both the real world scenes and the digital world ones. At the time, this animation was cutting edge and its easy to see why. Anyone who's had to take a basic design course can attest that these types of animations still hold up. Of course, if you watch TRON:LEGACY a few hours later, like I did, then you can truly appreciate how far animators and artists have come in the world of CGI and special effects.
THE EXTRAS
The Tron Phenomenom: A really fun nostalgic clip where people involved with the TRON series recall their feelings and experiences from the original film. Interesting how everyday terms from today were remote jargon back when TRON was created. Parallels between TRON's program alter-egos and today's Facebook and blog online identities are drawn. The behind-the-scenes pictures and stories are unbelievable when you see just how low-tech their limitations were for the (then) cutting-edge look of the film.

Photo Tronology: Steven Lisberger and his son Carl go through production photos from Disney's archive. Some discarded characters and costumes show up. Lisberger talks about the arduous pre-production stages of the film. Interesting to see how this family's life was so influenced by this film.

Original DVD Features: These are broken down into ten categories which also have sub-categories for each. If you have the time, definitely give them a peek. Some of them come with a quick summary in the sub-menu so you can skip something that doesn't interest you or sounds like something you've just seen. The development features are fun and nerdy and show just how much Lisberger devoted to this film and it's story. There's a making-of featurette which I personally always think are fun. Origins of the animation and lighting techniques are explained by Lisberger. Pretty interesting was that some of Lisberger's first animations were for Sesame Street. Some early concept art that helped get the studio ball rolling is under the Making of Tron category. A music feature plays the original musical underscore for the lightcycle scene and the end credits. Some trailers and a poster gallery can be found under the "Publicity" menu option.

Deleted Scenes: Lisberger introduces some deleted scenes between TRON and Yori. The filmmakers harp on a bit about these scenes as the deleting of them caused some dissension amongst them. The movie is better without these scenes, as they don't really make any sense (why would a computer program need a studio apartment?) and would've interrupted the flow of the story. There are also some storyboards and art galleries in this category.

Audio Commentary: With director Steven Lisberger, the producers, and visual effects supervisors. To be honest, this is the most interesting of the features. If you only have time for one bonus feature, this one incorporates behind-the-scenes, story formula and anecdotal insight.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
It's a really fun movie even now, twentysome years later. The Blu-Ray is definitely worth if if you are already a fan of the film as it is full of special features and behind-the-scenes information.
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11:04AM on 04/25/2011

Flynn wasnt CLU

Clu, in the first movie, was a program flynn was manipulating from the "real world". he was using clu, who was in a tank with bit, to search for the code. when clu's tank was attacked and destroyed, clu was brought to the MCP where he was assimilated into the system. this was all before Flynn was pulled into the system.
Clu, in the first movie, was a program flynn was manipulating from the "real world". he was using clu, who was in a tank with bit, to search for the code. when clu's tank was attacked and destroyed, clu was brought to the MCP where he was assimilated into the system. this was all before Flynn was pulled into the system.
Your Reply:



2:03PM on 04/25/2011
Thanks mister! I think the CLU line was meant for the first paragraph as Bridges playing both characters. I re-worded it and it should be correct now.
Thanks mister! I think the CLU line was meant for the first paragraph as Bridges playing both characters. I re-worded it and it should be correct now.

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