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Joseph Kosinki’s “Tron: Legacy” zooms onto DVD and Blu-ray on April 5, 2011, which, let’s face it, seeing this thing on anything other than Blu-ray is just a crime. Besides your run-of-the-mill standard DVD and Blu-ray formats, the movie also comes in 2-Movie Blu-Ray Combo Pack containing a whopping 5-disc set, and includes both “Tron: Legacy” and the original film presented in DVD, Blu-ray 2D and Blu-ray 3D (for you fancy early adopters out there), along with a digital copy of the film, a must nowadays given that our movie collection are scattered across various platforms.
Disney presents a high-tech motion picture unlike anything you’ve ever seen in an astonishing 3D Combo Pack. Immerse yourself in the digital world of TRON, as celebrated actor Jeff Bridges stars in a revolutionary visual effects adventure beyond imagination. When Flynn, the world’s greatest video game creator, sends out a secret signal from an amazing digital realm, his son discovers the clue and embarks on a personal journey to save his long-lost father. With the help of the fearless female warrior Quorra, father and son venture through an incredible cyber universe and wage the ultimate battle of good versus evil. Bring home an unrivaled entertainment experience with TRON: Legacy in jaw-dropping Disney Blu-ray 3D – complete with never-before-seen bonus features that take you even deeper into the phenomenal world of TRON. It’s Magic In A New Dimension.
I wasn’t old enough to appreciate the original “Tron” when it came out in 1982. Didn’t really try to catch up later, and although I have seen the original here and there, it never really caught on with me as something important to the world of fanboys. But when I was following the progress of “Tron: Legacy” from production to screen, I certainly got a taste of the frenzy that the franchise must have generated when it busted out of the gates back in the early ’80s.
“Tron: Legacy” is a direct sequel to the 1982 film, and director Joseph Kosinski clearly has a lot of love for the original. The film stars newcomer Garrett Hedlund as Sam Flynn, the now-grown son of software engineer/genius Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges, reprising his role from the original), CEO of the ENCOM corporation, who has gone missing for the last 20 years or so. No one knows where Flynn has gone or why, including his partner and best friend Alan (Bruce Boxleitner, also reprising). As a result, Sam has grown up into a rebellious young man who is smart like his father, but aimless and without purpose.
That is, until one day Sam discovers his father’s gaming lair, and hidden within, a secret work space. It’s here that Sam is zapped by one of his father’s inventions, and literally digitized into “The Grid”, a cyber world that Kevin Flynn created and, as it turns out, has been trapped inside since he supposedly went “missing”. You see, ol Kevin is fighting a civil war against one of his programs, Clu (Bridges, digitized to look like his 1982 self), who is determined to buck his creator’s wishes and lead an army out into the real world. It’s up to Sam, Flynn, and Flynn’s Grid companion/bodyguard Quorra (Olivia Wilde) to save the day.
All of the above doesn’t really get into the complexities of Joseph Kosinski’s “Tron: Legacy”, but honestly, trying to explain it all would just be confusing. You simply have to see the movie to actually understand what it’s all about. Mind you, not that the script for “Legacy” is particularly confusing or deep; it’s just that there is a lot of exposition and data to be understood. This is a pretty convoluted and fleshed out (if you will) world, owing in no small part to the one created by Steven Lisberger in 1982. There is a lot of background to cover, especially in the years between the first movie and now, and Kosinski covers all the bases pretty well. I have to admit, the world of “Tron” is pretty damn interesting stuff. Then again, that could just be the geek in me talking. Stuff like this used to fascinate me to no end back in school, when I was entertaining a career in computer science, and to some extent, it still does now.
Suffice to say, if you’re a fan of the original, I don’t see how you can not fall totally in “Oh” and “Aw” with “Tron: Legacy”. Kosinski has taken the original and slapped a whole new shiny coat of paint on it. In some cases, he’s literally added layers to the original — additional visual dimensional layers, if you will. In 3D, but also in terms of production value. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying the story is deep or that you’ll be marveling at the screenwriting here, but the film does have a number of very daring concepts that it tries out and, for the most part, succeeds.
Of course, when you strip the film of its glitz and history, “Tron: Legacy” does come up a bit lacking. Clu’s idea of breaking loose from the Grid and into the real world is borderline comic book evil supervillain stuff, and indeed, Clu never really feels particularly fleshed out (as it were). One day he just decides that his creator has outlived his usefulness and decides to rebel and take over. Okay. And what exactly has Kevin Flynn been doing all this time? Hiding out in the mountains? I hate to say it, but The Grid doesn’t seem all that massive that Clu couldn’t have found him with all his fancy flying contraptions that he has at his disposal.
But that’s nitpicking that can be easily overlooked and chocked up to the film being science fiction. There is definitely enough to like about “Tron: Legacy” to recommend it to fans of the genre. When you get right down to it, though, the film just looks cool, and if you’ve never seen the original, I dare say, the sequel might make you seek it out. Of course, if you bought the 2-Movie Blu-Ray Combo Pack, you won’t have to look very far.
Can’t review the film on Blu-ray 3D yet (and probably never will, natch), but “Tron: Legacy” in Blu-ray is a must. If you saw the film in an old theater with a scratched screen (like I did), watching it at home on Blu-ray on an HD TV will make you think you’re seeing it for the very first time. I recommend watching it with the sound up, blasting the Daft Punk soundtrack. Your speakers will literally throb and threaten to crack your walls. The special features are jam-packed with behind-the-scenes stuff, and fanboys should geek out over all the “how they did it” featurettes.
As for the original “Tron” on Blu-ray, it will easily blow away any previous versions of the movie you may have stored in your basement. The high-definition upgrade is fantastic, and although the film pales in comparison to “Tron: Legacy” in terms of visuals, just keep in mind that it was made back in 1982, before everyone carried around smartphones boasting processing power to rival some home PCs. The story seems quaint now, but “Tron” was so revolutionary in so many ways, it’s easy to see why it created such a loyal fanbase.
2-MOVIE BLU-RAY COMBO PACK BONUS FEATURES:
- First Look at TRON: Uprising, the Disney XD animated series
- Visualizing TRON – How did the filmmakers bring to life the gorgeous world inside the GRID?
- Installing the cast – Hear from all the stars of TRON: Legacy and their experience in making the movie
- The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed [BD Exclusive - Interactive bonus piece] – What happens immediately following the end of the movie? What is Flynn Lives and who is responsible for their efforts?
- TRON: Disney Second Screen [BD Exclusive - Interactive bonus piece] – Using your iPad or computer, watch the movie with exclusive interactive elements available on your 2nd screen
- Launching the Legacy – Beyond the amazing visuals is a rich story filled with an entire world’s history and mythology. Discover how the writers and filmmakers created this complex fiction
- Disc Roars – Watch director Joseph Kosinski use the raucous crowd at Comic-Con to record actual ADR for the disc game stadium crowd
- Music video – “Derezzed” written, produced, and performed by Daft Punk