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Tron: Legacy — Too Much Imagination Required?

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the who-needs-it-when-we-have-cgi dept.

Movies 429

MoldySpore writes "Stepping back from the positive and negative reviews of the new Tron sequel, Tron: Legacy (which has so far amassed over $111,000,000 world-wide), something occurred to me after seeing the movie and reading the numerous reviews. It seems many of the reviews, and perhaps the reviewers themselves, can be split into two categories: those who saw the original Tron when it came out and can put the new movie in context, and those who either watched Tron recently to prepare for the sequel or never saw it and jumped right into the new movie." Read on for the rest of MoldySpore's thoughts.
"While nostalgia plays an important role in any franchise's resurrection, technology has come so far in the 28 years since the original release of Tron, it would seem the human imagination regarding technology has become somewhat disenchanted. Back in 1982, most anyone who saw Tron (or a few years after, as it garnered 'cult classic' status) was captivated, not just by the amazing computer-generated graphics of the time, but about the possibility of a world inside a computer system, where programs walk around and interact with each other like humans, where bits and bytes are interactive things you could touch and see, and where artificial intelligence was something to be feared (in the form of the MCP) rather than embraced.

Most of my friends were born in the '80s, and the ones that saw the original Tron were much more open to the storyline of Tron: Legacy than the ones who never saw the original or who watched it only recently to prepare for watching the new movie. While they all agreed the CG and 3D was amazing, they felt the story was 'unimaginative' or 'run-of-the-mill.' Also, many people born later, such as my younger sister, who is very tech savvy herself, seemed to dismiss the plot and characters completely, instead speaking only of the quality of the graphics and the music. I believe this speaks to how the human race has grown out of its own imagination when it comes to technology since it entered the digital age. Young people can't see past the fact that there isn't a world inside the computer, that programs are just tools to be used by humans, and artificial intelligence is something discussed on a daily basis.

I'd be interested to hear what the Slashdot community's experiences and feelings have been about the new movie and its effect on the people who went and saw it. Imagination is something uniquely human and has always played an important part in our ability to look past our current limitations. With negative reviews of the new movie often referencing the 'sub-moronic script that feels like it was written by people who had never used a computer,' has some of this been lost now that digital technology is part of our daily lives? Does this signal a movement toward humans becoming indifferent to technological advances, and by association, the hindering of outside-the-box thinking when it comes to technology?"

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Saw the original for the first time yesterday (2)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682762)

I'm in the group of people who just recently saw the first movie just yesterday, in fact. I was born the year after the original was released so was too young to get to see it early on. I also grew up with computers and scifi/fantasy and can say that I knew what Tron was going in. It was a move from the early 80's. It was groundbreaking for the time. I did feel it was a bit cheesy, but I blame that more on Disney than anything else. If you expect something amazing and epiphany-making, you're going to get let down. If you expect it for what it was at the time, you'll enjoy the hour-and-a-half you spend watching it.

Re:Saw the original for the first time yesterday (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683128)

I was old enough to watch the first release of the movie in the 80's. I watched it again recently and I did not manage to watch it until the end because I was getting bored since I had watched it so many times back then.

I enjoyed it a lot back then and, for myself, the thing that inspired me the most me was: what if our lives were part of a pretty large scale simulation ?

The scheme has been reused in many movies and Tron probably wasn't the first one to exploit it. Let's state "The Matrix" as one of the successful one.

I haven't watched "Tron Legacy" yet. I will get back to you when I do ;-)

I think most people missed the point (3, Insightful)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682774)

The reviews I've seen have tried (and failed) to cast C.L.U. as a clueless (pun intended) bad guy. But he wasn't a bad guy, he was Flynn's idealism wrapped up in a program. The movie is more about idealism and the folly of trying to attain perfection than it is about any sort of struggle between good and evil.

Re:I think most people missed the point (1)

android.dreamer (1948792) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682878)

I have read a lot of reports criticizing the computer graphics and likeness of C.L.U. to Jeff Bridges. If they were going for realism, yeah they failed. But we are talking about a computer game and game characters didn't really have very realistic faces back in the day, Since TRON takes place inside a computer, then that kind of facial graphic is exactly what I would expect to see.

Re:I think most people missed the point (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682924)

But we are talking about a computer game and game characters didn't really have very realistic faces back in the day, Since TRON takes place inside a computer, then that kind of facial graphic is exactly what I would expect to see.

In the original Tron, actors' faces were the only exposed part (the rest was "suit"), so they were actually the only realistic part inside the computer in the film. I don't think the makers of Tron: Legacy have an excuse for pulling another Polar Express.

Re:I think most people missed the point (3, Interesting)

Copperhamster (1031604) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683136)

Interesting thing most of the people I have talked to have missed. They've commented that CLU looked a little off, especially in the eyes. So the conclusion of many is that the tech just ain't quite there, however something occurred when watching (I was looking specifically for this bit).

When Flynn is having his storytime with his son at the beginning of the movie, he's also digitally restored to a youthful appearance. And he looks fine to me. There's none of whatever it is, and I agree it was there, that made CLU slightly bothersome to look at, at least for me. Therefore I believe that CLU's slightly off appearance, trigger to the uncanny valley as it were, is intentional.

I will admit there is another possibility, which is that it was there, however the more real backdrop of a young kid's bedroom vs the high contrast shiny of the world of the ghosts inside of the machine muted the effect enough to not be bothersome. That the setting compensated for the flaws in the composition, as it were.

Re:I think most people missed the point (2)

AstynaxX (217139) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683308)

CLU, as I heard it, was deliberately -not- an exact likeness. His features are half of Bridges', mirrored to give him perfect symmetry. Seems fitting to the character, anyway.

Re:I think most people missed the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683074)

Bingo, you got it. Id vs Ego is the central theme of the movie, And I'm sure Super Ego is floating around somewhere...

Re:I think most people missed the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683100)

The reviews I've seen have tried (and failed) to cast C.L.U. as a clueless (pun intended) bad guy. But he wasn't a bad guy, he was Flynn's idealism wrapped up in a program.

His face may have been CGI, but as a villain he was cardboard.

Neither reviewer liked it (4, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682780)

It doesn't matter how old you are, or how you felt about the original movie. This one apparently has good graphics with a poor plot. Both reviews quoted in TFA were basically negative on the movie. Ebert thumbed his up to three by liking the visuals, but he said several times in his short piece that the movie is essentially plotless. The following quotes are all from his review:

I'm giving this more attention than the movie does, which is just as well. Isaac Asimov would have attempted some kind of scientific speculation on how this might all be possible, but "Tron" is more action-oriented.

"Tron: Legacy," a sequel made 28 years after the original but with the same actor, is true to the first film: It also can't be understood, but looks great.

It may not have legs, because its appeal is too one-dimensional for an audience much beyond immediate responders. When "2001" was in theaters, there were fans who got stoned and sneaked in during the intermission for the sound-and-light trip. I hesitate to suggest that for "Tron: Legacy," but the plot won't suffer.

None of those are positive statements with respect to the plot.

CG is fine for avoiding expensive trips to filming locations in the remotest corners of the globe, or for rendering places that aren't there. But it's in no way a supplement to a plot. Transformers, 2012, Doom, etc., all proved that flashy visuals can turn a profit, but they can't turn suck into a movie worth watching.

Re:Neither reviewer liked it (1)

HJED (1304957) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682906)

I have to say I disagree with the reviewers, whilst the graphics in the movie where good I didn't think they where that spectacular. The plot however was quite good although it had a slow build up I defiantly wouldn't put it in the same category as Transformers. I haven't seen the original so I don't know whether that would have affected my view of the movie.
It defiantly wasn't what I expected from a Disney film.

Re:Neither reviewer liked it (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682942)

I defiantly wouldn't put it in the same category as Transformers.

Whom do you defy not to put this movie in the same category as Transformers?

Re:Neither reviewer liked it (1)

haystor (102186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683150)

Angsty teen makes good after everyone believes in him? Yea, awesome plot.

Barnes & Noble has a "New Teen Paranormal Romance" section that you might be interested in.

Re:Neither reviewer liked it (3, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683210)

First off, I haven't seen the original TRON in over 20+ years, and I never saw it in the theatres. But I've got a copy on VHS I taped off TV sometime in tne 80s, and I've watched it many times in the 80s on TV.

It, like Starfighter, are mostly cult classics because us geeks saw how computer technology was going and we would flourish (and we have).

That said, I enjoyed TRON Legacy. It's not going to be a classic like Gone With the Wind or Sound of Music, just like the original TRON wouldn't either. But it doesn't mean it's not a film a geek shouldn't watch. It's effectively a geek blockbuster - it's not going to be cared for by many in a year.

In fact, I would classify this kind of movie as a "escapist movie" - we have classics, we have blockbusters. And we have movies that are simply a good way to spend a couple of hours but really don't do anything other than provide a distraction. It may be a bad movie, but it's entertaining. Just like I watched Transformers and Transformers 2 (also badly rated), they are great way to spend a few otherwise boring hours and get out and try to be social.

The visuals were great, the plot trite, and the soundtrack asesome. But I don't care, because I enjoyed it completely and find it was an excellent way to spend the three hours I went out a couple of days before Christmas. I escaped the hustle and bustle of christmas shoppers and got wowed by eye-candy. What more would I want?

(I personally hate classic movies - just like I hate all the English classes I had to take where I had to go identify hidden meanings in books and analyze every sentence. I don't care for subtext. I don't care for symbology or metaphors. I just want to enjoy the creative work that one or more people put in.)

Re:Neither reviewer liked it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683000)

When you say "turn a profit, but ... [aren't] worth watching" how do you quantify that? It would seem, actually, that the majority disagrees with you. Yes, we knew Transformers was going to be stupid, but we paid to see it because it was entertaining.

I liked the film. I saw the original as a kid several times, and then I watched it twice before going to see the sequel in IMAX 3D, and I even bought the soundtrack. I get engrossed in films, so I liked it right away, and still plan to buy the movie; I was entertained (devalue this as you like).

My point is this: not every movie needs to have a mind blowing plot. It's nice to sit down and look at something pretty. There are entire fields of art dedicated to this. I don't think anyone believed that Tron: Legacy would be a thought piece about the dystopia that is our modern times, but they went to be entertained anyway.

Re:Neither reviewer liked it (1)

plover (150551) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683184)

When you say "turn a profit, but ... [aren't] worth watching" how do you quantify that?

As Ebert said, "It may not have legs". By that he means that he doesn't think the story isn't compelling, and it won't be rewatched by the majority of viewers.

I'll probably buy the soundtrack myself, but only because I like Daft Punk. And like graphics, a great soundtrack is not enough to make a good movie, either. A great soundtrack and visuals can't turn a 60 minute "escape from cyberspace" sequence into a great movie.

Re:Neither reviewer liked it (1)

jaymzter (452402) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683028)


The first half of the movie was an homage to the original Tron, but the second half, with its silly plot, was simply a waste of time. For one thing, I'm extremely curious how the new Sark's carrier was supposed to fit through the transcoding machine. I also remember wondering, how long are these people going to sit and talk? Movies are supposed to be about showing people what happened, not telling them. The creators of Tron:Legacy forgot that.

Re:Neither reviewer liked it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683122)

Once the military figured out that the movie was gonna be big, they ensured they got their recruitment agenda written in. At about the halfway point. I suspect that movie made money before it was even released...

Re:Neither reviewer liked it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683400)

It seems like the only films anymore with a story are based on books. Scripts today are largely inane dialogue tied together with pointless action scenes. Screenwriting is a thing of the past. The fact audiences are bored to death doesn't seem to impress the execs behind the films. We need stories with decent actors and direction otherwise all the effects and action in the world can't save a bad movie.

Things have changed. Get over it. (3, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682788)

I was in my 20's when the first Tron was released. Back then, computers were magical mysterious things. Today, your cell phone probably has more computing power than the computers used on the original Tron and amazing CGI is everywhere. Any kid with a cheap computer can do stuff that rivals the best movie effects of 30 years ago.. As a result, people aren't as impressed by fancy computer graphics as they used to be, and they notice that "hey, this story line and acting is pretty lame.

Re:Things have changed. Get over it. (3, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682900)

I think the people that saw the original Tron at the time remember it as a much better movie than it really was. You're spot on when you say the original Tron heavily relied on special effects at the expense of story. While we all decry that sort of thing as laziness and lack of imagination these days, when we think back to that original movie we think of how cool it looked to us at the time, and gloss over the bad parts (like the plot and the pacing). The only imagination required to appreciate the new Tron is the imagination it takes to believe your nostalgic view of the original is an accurate measure of the quality of the film.

Disney tried to basically do the same thing with this movie, relying heavily on special effects. Unfortunately for them, and hopefully fortunately for the future of movie making, the movie-watching public may finally be getting to the point where cutting-edge technology is not enough to save bad movies. Maybe we'll finally get to where the big blockbuster movies actually have to have a coherent plot instead of relying purely on whiz-bang graphics. Of course, believing in such a future may take more imagination (or self-delusion) than believing either Tron movie is any good.

Re:Things have changed. Get over it. (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683062)

hardly. In the original a user could actually do stuff programs couldn't and was pretty dang powerful. In this new movie the user was a puss.

That's where the story and plotting failed, and failed miserably.

Re:Things have changed. Get over it. (1)

Confusador (1783468) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683216)

There has got to be a snarky comment in here somewhere about the films reflecting the attitudes of the computer makers of their times regarding the amount of control users should have over their devices...

Re:Things have changed. Get over it. (1)

jroysdon (201893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683330)

The new movie reflects the new reality. User's don't control the programs and you don't need a matrix to suck energy from humans. Look at Facebook and a host of Farmville-like apps and the control the apps have over users... and I thought WoW and Evercrack were bad, but they were just the tip of the iceberg as they were too complicated for the less than average user, which Facebook clearly makes up for.

Re:Lack of Imagination (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683272)

In my opinion Johnny Mnemonic and Matrix stuck two very powerful tentpoles into the idea of cyberspace, but Matrix 1 was ahead of them by a decade, so those examples weren't around to study from. In fact, we barely had any SF to study from. I think we have a Sense of Wonder discussion going on here. Track the year carefully.

1981 was pretty blah for home PC's.
1982 saw Tron in Summer and a Commodore 64 for Christmas. That's a combo that wouldn't be topped for easily 5 years. Maybe not even until Windows 95 announced MS-Borg.

Put a little edgily, I predict we only have about 3 years of computer consolidation left before we hit a big chasm of "what now". (Call it Android 4.1 ish, iPhone 6, Son of Java after Oracle loses part of its lawsuit, Windows 8, Mac OS11, Ubuntu LTS after they fix Unity, etc, your choice of 5 more.)

Then we will get seriously "technologically bored" and see a small but durable spike in cabin-fever type mood and eternal-september stuff. It might be a little dystopian after we lose some of the copyright & neutrality battles.

So what's *after* that to really excite us?

Re:Lack of Imagination (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683282)

Bad Typo, I meant Tron 1 was ahead by decade.

Re:Things have changed. Get over it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683364)

I think the people that saw the original Tron at the time remember it as a much better movie than it really was.

Yes. This is exactly what happened with the the Star Wars sequels*. I remember when the first of those came out, and people where all down on it because it didn't have an elaborate plot or witty dialog. Take off the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia, and they're pretty similar.

This is actually a Good Thing, though. People are expecting better fare these days.

*Excepting of course Jar-Jar, the creation of said character being an unforgivable crime against nature.

Re:Things have changed. Get over it. (3, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683030)

You hit the nail on the head with the "magical mysterious" description of computers. I was 10 when Tron came out, and I had just gotten my first home computer - a TI-99/4A. This was the era in which computers finally began to make inroads to the home, and the C64, TI-99/4A and Atari 800 could be found set up and running in every Sears and KMart across America. Those that could fire up one of those computers (which all started out in the BASIC command environment) and could type "10 PRINT "DAN WAS HERE"; 20 GOTO 10 were demigods capable of working voodoo in this newfangled technological world. Everyone knew computers were the future, and that each home should probably have one, albeit for reasons they couldn't quite pin down (this might save me 10 minutes a month balancing my checkbook!).

For those of us that did know computers, the "ENCOM" mainframe in which the Tron world unfolded was hardware of unfathomable complexity, power and scale. Our home computers were puny things, that could only do one thing at a time and were totally stand-alone. Who knew what could happen in hardware of that magnitude! The sky's the limit! Of course now we all know that the only difference between a C64 and the most powerful supercomputer in the world is how fast it can calculate, and the convenience of accessing memory (swapping out billions of 5.25" discs by hand over the course of billions of years of computing doesn't sound very fun). The whole "Turing complete" deal sort of takes away the magic attributed to raw scale and complexity of computing devices.

But my point in running my mouth endlessly is to say that when Tron came out, computing was a new frontier, and all it took was to throw in a few "factually correct" constructs (like the Bit, for example) to totally reel kids like me in hook line and sinker. Just like Star Wars, which elicited awe and astonishment in those of us that saw visuals on the big screen the likes of which had never been seen before, it was a movie with irreproducible impact and significance grounded firmly in the very era of which it was a product. The "story" Tron would never be written in today's world - it is simply too naive, metaphorical and anthropomorphic for today's highly advanced technological world.

Re:Things have changed. Get over it. (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683320)

Or it could have been The Matrix. When I heard that they were going to make a Tron sequel, my first thought was that the inside of the computer was supposed to represent how the graphics of the day looked. Since today we have photo realistic graphics, everything would have too look real. Thus, good or bad, The Matrix.

Re:Things have changed. Get over it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683040)

... As a result, people aren't as impressed by fancy computer graphics as they used to be, and they notice that "hey, this story line and acting is pretty lame.

And this is why Avatar (Pocahontas in Space) did so well? Avatar had great CG, and a horrible, flat, and over used story line and plot. Fern Gully was a much better take on that story. My problem is that now-a-days too many movies are sold only on their craptacular CGI and "3D", and so few of them have any plot that has not been told by 6 other movies better.

I don't know about that (1)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683290)

As a result, people aren't as impressed by fancy computer graphics as they used to be, and they notice that "hey, this story line and acting is pretty lame.

I've seen lots of bad movies and panned them on IMDB only to be rebuffed by people that think it was "The BEST movies Ever!!!11!!!". Current example, Skyline, which is one giant CGI fest with zero plot, bad acting, and cardboard characters. I think too many movies these days are relying on the F/X instead of the story.

Also, I saw Tron when it first came out. It bored me to tears. I will not be suffering through Tron: Legacy.

Or maybe... (0)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682800)

I believe this speaks to how the human race has grown out of its own imagination when it comes to technology since it entered the digital age.

Or maybe the movie simply wasn't very imaginative, or at least was less imaginative than the original. The movie had very little to do with technology, besides being a visual backdrop. It was just another "problem in fantasyland" movie that didn't capitalize on anything besides the audio/visual aspect.

Re:Or maybe... (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682858)

My movie is only a failure because you are all too simple minded and stupid to appreciate the true genius of my creation. If the special effects aren't enough for you, then you are a generation of special-effects-spoiled brats with no patience. If the plot isn't good enough for you, it's because you're unimaginative. And you've all clearly grown out of your ability to fantasize and imagine great technological and scientific stories, because you didn't like the absurd plot in my movie that had nearly nothing to do with technology. I mean, nobody watches science fiction movies or shows anymore and there certainly haven't been an abundance of successful movies, shows, and books in the last decade that prove me wrong.

Re:Or maybe... (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683032)

Or maybe the movie simply wasn't very imaginative, or at least was less imaginative than the original...It was just another "problem in fantasyland" movie

I think this is the problem. There is nothing original about the movie, and clearly it wasn't intended to be. But when three episodes of the same old trite story comes out containing Hobbits and Wizards, then it's "magnificent." The problem is not the story or the setting, it's that some people just can't see passed the technology to recognize it for for what it is, a simple adventure film.

Tron Sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34682808)

Look, I recalled Tron being an awesome movie all my life. Then I watched it a couple years ago. Actually, to be accurate, I *tried* to watch it a couple years ago. I didn't even make it half way before I pulled the rip-cord. That movie was so uneventful and droll and boring that I could not force myself to sit through the rest of it. And not boring as in "slow paced, but methodical". It was just boring as in "nothing happens and it rests entirely on special effects, which while amazing at the time haven't been impressive for twenty years".

As a result, I have zero interest in watching a remake or a sequel. Not everything from your childhood needs to be recreated and re-experienced and a lot of it just flat out sucked and still sucks. Or was great, but sucks today. On top of it, the sound track is fucking awful. That fucking Daft Punk theme they keep playing everywhere to promote it is a bunch of ear blistering feedback. I love me some Daft Pun, but jesus christ. It's like listening to a 28.8 modem handshake set to some sort of percussion.

And don't give me that "it's a great movie, you just have to understand it" bullshit. Sometimes shit is just shit, even if you try hard to convince yourself that it's just too over your head for you to grok the awesomeness.

Also . . . who the fuck cares about 3D?

Some notes: (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682816)

With negative reviews of the new movie often referencing the 'sub-moronic script that feels like it was written by people who had never used a computer,'

Possibly not. Unix commands are shown being used when the OS12 is put on the net and goes haywire. There's all kinds of other open-source ideology being tossed about. I think they did a good job appealing to the true geeks while pleasing the other average moviegoing morons. You just have to look for the little things. I also loved the neo-retro elements like the old synthesizer sounds in the soundtrack.

One thing I didn't appreciate was all the hokey self-reference to the original (the poster and other merchandise in the kid's room, the original arcade machine, etc.). The symbolism of going into the basement of one's own hangout and dusting off the old memories(to get into the grid) was laying it on a little thick, also being hokey as hell. They should've just did it lawnmower-man style and put the portal inside the corporate tower.

Re:Some notes: (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682870)

Why would there be a portal inside a corporate tower? Remember its just a device for scanning people. If they had that machine in their office, what were they using it for? I suppose that will be in the sequel.

I appreciated the Transhuman/Virtual reality sequences. The ones which hark back to The Matrix are better than the scenes they reference. I thought the 80's music was a nice touch.

I liked the shot of the original Mac and the fact they used real unix commands.

I saw the movie with my son yesterday at the Melbourne IMAX and it was way too loud. We both had our hands in our ears during the violent bits. For me, it has a few really beautiful scenes which justify watching the movie for me. Water falling upwards in Flynn's fireplace. The beginning of the light bike scene.

Re:Some notes: (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683132)

I liked the shot of the original Mac

No, that was probably a Mac Plus. It's very difficult to tell, due to the poor lighting and lack of focus, but I think it had the name printed on the front (which previous Macs did not have), and in any case, a Mac 128k would not have been a good computer to have as late as 1989.

Re:Some notes: (1)

Marillion (33728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683288)

It was really a Banana Jr. [] .

Re:Some notes: (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683294)

On the subject of focus, even some the scenes in the grid had some objects seriously out of focus. It looked like a deliberate style to me. Not sure if it worked though.

Re:Some notes: (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682884)

Because the one thing I demand in a story about people being sucked into a computer where "programs" control each other and fight each other and talk with each other with human avatars is a realistic bash prompt.

Re:Some notes: (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682960)

One thing I didn't appreciate was all the hokey self-reference to the original (the poster and other merchandise in the kid's room, the original arcade machine, etc.).

Because Flynn, a game programmer who owned an arcade, wouldn't market the incredible mind trip he went on and make an arcade game better than Space Paranoids?

Re:Some notes: (1)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683078)

I was very happy with the actual computer scenes. I was impressed hollywood actually used a GREP and KILL Command correctly. Also, seeing the old school "whoami" command used in a comedic way made me laugh out loud and garnered some funny looks from people unfamiliar with the command.

Re:Some notes: (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683344)

I was very happy with the actual computer scenes. I was impressed hollywood actually used a GREP and KILL Command correctly.

Really? Seriously? In a movie that is total fiction/fantasy about people living inside a computer, you're worried about the correct use of GREP and KILL? I'm so sick of people who watch a movie and go "LOL!! OMG!! Look at that command line he typed!! It's totally bogus!!"

Re:Some notes: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683328)

Hey there were a few things from The Black Hole (Poster and VINCENT toy?) - another movie which didn't fit the Disney image like Tron.

Re:Some notes: (1)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683350)

Every computer outside the Grid was running Mac OS X. Didn't you recognize the Darwin command line? No big thing: Steve Jobs is the biggest shareholder in Disney now so he gets mad props. That's the way that goes.

Actually having to go into Flynn's Arcade on the way to Flynn's secret office is one of my favorite scenes in the movie. I gather that you were in diapers in 1982. I was 18. Tron was big stuff for geeks of my generation.

Oh yeah, you didn't notice the most telling nostalgia object in young Sam Flynn's room? Mac Classic. Pristine.

Get off my frakkin lawn, youngling.

Grouping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34682818)

I've also realized that the numbers from 1 - 10 can be put into two different groups; numbers from 1-3 and from 4-6 or 7-10.

Too Much Imagination Required? (3)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682820)

No, not enough imagination used.

Re:Too Much Imagination Required? (4, Insightful)

jorenko (238937) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682886)

More specifically, my main issue with the OP's point is that the movie's anthropomorphization of the computer's inner workings is too obviously inaccurate -- anyone who knows anything about computers can easily see that it's just a thin sheen of technobabble hastily thrown on top of a standard action movie. Props to the guy they got to do the UNIX commands in the real life scenes, but other than that, the tech stuff was so out of this world that it left none of what good sci-fi needs to engage the viewer -- that thin line of plausibility and the possibility that our world could really become like the one in the movie one day.

Re:Too Much Imagination Required? (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682950)

More specifically, my main issue with the OP's point is that the movie's anthropomorphization of the computer's inner workings is too obviously inaccurate

Spare us an accurate movie about the inner workings of a computer.

Re:Too Much Imagination Required? (3, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683242)

Spare us an accurate movie about the inner workings of a computer.

I'd settle for a plausible one. Watching T:L's special effects, I couldn't help thinking: Why are there dust/debris cyclones being kicked up by the Recognizer's landing rockets, inside a computer/software world? Why does the Recognizer need landing rockets in the first place? Why do those rockets sound like they are burning chemical fuel? Why would a software construct need to burn simulated fossil fuels in the first place? Why have light cycles regressed over the last 25 years, so that they can no longer do instant 90-degree-angle turns, but instead have to turn gradually like motorcycles in the real world? Etc.

The whole point (I would think) of creating a simulated world inside a computer is to do things that can't be done in the real world. So why spend so much time and energy limiting the simulated world to be just like the real one, except with blacklight decor?

If only this was fark.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683060)

I would inline the 'Not Sure If Serious' image.

Re:Too Much Imagination Required? (1)

Petrushka (815171) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683134)

... anyone who knows anything about computers can easily see that it's just a thin sheen of technobabble hastily thrown on top of a standard action movie. Props to the guy they got to do the UNIX commands in the real life scenes, but other than that, the tech stuff was so out of this world ...

That gets to the heart of the difference between Legacy and Tron, and I'm surprised I haven't seen that comment made more widely. Tron's world-inside-the-computer was visually cool, but it also allowed those in the know to geek out a little over how they rendered real computer concepts. Tron had --

  • programmes as characters (of course);
  • a bit as a minor character (Disnification, sure, but it's true to the core conceit);
  • the MCP assimilating other programmes' functions;
  • a "game grid" that actually related isomorphically to what was going on in real-world game machines;
  • I/O "towers" representing the central importance of control over information.

All of these things were part of the world-inside conceit. In Legacy, by contrast, the only thing remaining is programmes-as-characters. We now get to see that they have code (but why? shouldn't they be binary blobs?), but all of the rest of it has vanished. The game grid has been retained as well, but now it's meaningless! Surely more people have noticed that ALL the computer-geek stuff is in the real world -- NONE of it is inside the machine? As a result, the world inside the machine is nothing more than a cool-looking veneer over a generic and dull fantasy setting.

Now, the game Tron 2.0 (by contrast, again) absolutely nailed the core idea. It added nifty mechanics like permissions, viruses, and code optimisation; missions that involved things like getting through a firewall, hacking servers, compiling code, escaping from a HDD format, and getting a PDA to do what you tell it by draining its battery.

Both sequels looked cool. But the sequel that really carried on the cool ideas in the original is to be forgotten, alas. Instead we've got the utterly unengaging fantasy realm as "canon". Sigh.

Re:Too Much Imagination Required? (1)

musicalmicah (1532521) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683298)

Plus, people have developed the world-inside-a-computer theme in fiction so much since those days. Cyrstal Nights [] by Greg Egan comes to mind as a story that could totally blow people's minds on the big screen.

Sorry, the movie was "meh" at best. (1)

WiglyWorm (1139035) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682832)

Ok, yeah, I was born in the 80s and didn't see the movie in the theaters, but I saw the movie originally at a young enough age to have a lot of that same sense of nostalgia. Make of that what you will. It's just full disclosure.

The plot did suck, but not because it had a script that felt like "it was written by people who had never used a computer". Clearly anyone who is familiar with the Tron universe knows that Legacy fit in fine. It sucked because it was cliche, it sucked because it was predictable, it sucked because Kevin Flynn was played by The Dude (though, too their credit, they tried to turn him in to a monk, it's too bad they didn't pull it off). On a personal note, it sucked because neither Imax nor 3D added anything to the film, but I got suckered in to the insane ticket prices anyway.

Even so, it was a fun ride, and I can't wait to own it. I just certainly won't be paying attention to it for the plot, though. I'll probably just be using it to show off my HDTV.

Re:Sorry, the movie was "meh" at best. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682930)

I was born in the 60s and I don't see many films at the cinema these days. Its too hard to find the time. I can enjoy a movie with a good plot at home. At the cinema I can appreciate movies which are just fun to watch. I went out to see both Avatar and Tron Legacy, and had a good time, despite their limitations.

Re:Sorry, the movie was "meh" at best. (1)

Nilatir (179045) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683300)

Kevin Flynn is The Dude...

From Tron:

---*Because*, man, *somewhere* in one of these memories is the *evidence*! If I got in far enough, I could reconstruct it.

---Paranoids, Matrix Blaster, Vice Squad, a whole slew of them. I was this close to starting my own little enterprise, man. But enter another software engineer. Not so young, not so bright, but very very sneaky. Ed Dillinger. So one night, our boy Flynn, he goes to his terminal, tries to read up his file. I get nothing on there, it's a big blank. Okay, now we take you three months later. Dillinger presents Encom with five video games, that's HE'S invented. The slime didn't even change the names, man! He gets a big, fat promotion. And thus begins his meteoric rise to - -what is he now? Executive VP?

---Like the man says, there's no problems, only solutions.

Re:Sorry, the movie was "meh" at best. (1)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683346)

Yes, Kevin Flynn IS The Dude. I was very happy that they kept his characters personality intact with his little "that was radical!" asides amid his more monk-ish, zen outlook thing. (he says at one point "You're really messing with my Zen thing, man" or something to that effect. I loved that. Like he had changed but underneath it all was still the younger version of himself, with all the 80's slang talk still intact).

I enjoyed the Unix bit at the beginning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34682862)

The alleged whiz kid head of Entcom engineering tried to stop Kevin Flynn's upload by punching in something like

kill -9 `ps -ef | grep scp`

What a lamer!

Never saw the orignial (1)

HJED (1304957) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682872)

I've never seen the original as I was to young when it came out, but I quite enjoyed the new one. It was defiantly one of my favourite releases this year. The friends I watched it with also enjoyed it a lot and had similar opinions. Then again I do watch a lot of SciFi.

I also felt that as movies go it was reasonably realistic (apart from programs being able to exit the computer), although not possible with our current level of technology. I disagree with the OP I think people still have a lot of imagination about tech, but they tend not to associate SciFi tech with the real world and real world advances. Also the movie really didn't have much of a focus on the tech involved it was more about coporate greed and idealism. As well as the impossibility of perfection and the standard Disney themes.

In relation to movies released this year it didn't come close to Inception, but it was a lot better then Harry Potter 7 and at least as good as Avatar. Most people I know who have seen it share this opinion.

Re:Never saw the orignial (1)

hawks5999 (588198) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682980)

by Avatar, you mean The Last Airbender, right? I agree it was as good as that.

Think back (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682874)

In 1982, would most who saw Tron (or a few years after, as it garnered 'cult classic' status) been watching with a friend/parent/loved one who could draw them into the tech 'magic' of computers.
Todays well educated young people might respond to the movie as the 1980's people would to a toaster doco or car movie ie. known tech
Thats the problem with remakes, people start to feel a few basic scripts are been rewarmed a few to many times by people with the skills and cash to create.
As for AI, the real question is when did they just go for really fast sorting and matching ;)
Early 1980 gave us the AI vision, in 2011 can we have the fast database movie?

It's not about the graphics. (1)

simon0411 (1921684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682880)

The original Tron was imaginative because it introduced concepts which were fantastical relative to our knowledge at the time. Tron Legacy doesn't achieve this. Admittedly a tall order, given its source material is nearly 3 decades old. That said, still an entertaining film. Most reviews were perhaps a tad harsh.

That's not a lot of money... (1)

Waruwaru (857592) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682904)

"Tron: Legacy (which has so far amassed over $111,000,000 world-wide)" Are they reporting all Tron statistics in binary now?

Re:That's not a lot of money... (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683332)

To compare, Transformers brought in more than $200,000,000 in the opening weekend, alone. What was Tron? About $44,000,000?

3 generations watched Tron on Xmas Eve (5, Interesting)

microcars (708223) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682914)

- the original Tron, on XMAS eve as a family.

That would be me, my wife, her son and daughter in law and their 3 teenage boys (the grandkids)

I think we had the entire spectrum of possible viewers there that night.
I saw the film when it came out in 1982 and remember how great it was in the context of the day.
My wife saw it but doesn't remember much because she was too busy being a Mom and dealing with her 8 year old SON who she had apparently taken to the theater to see TRON.
She spend most of the movie saying "I don't understand what is going on, which one is Tron? They all look alike, I don't remember any of this".
Her son (now 36) sat silently and did not comment. I'm pretty sure he lapped it up but did not want to admit it to his kids.

And while the movie is on I am trying to explain the context of the original to the 3 boys who see an arcade filled with video games and think WTF is up with that?
They paid attention and just dealt with it.
As soon as it was done, the youngest went outside and made a snowman while the other 2 made a few comments about how dull the story was.
That and a discussion ensued about "Why do movies always make the future look like flat grids and cubes and things?" Which then became a discussion of vector graphics which then bored the hell out of them.

Then my wife and I took the 3 grandkids to Tron: Legacy in 3D yesterday.
I personally thought the story was better and that it was not really necessary to have seen the original, my wife agreed but then she will forget what Tron:Legacy was about in a month or so anyways.

However, she was obsessed with how they got Jeff Bridges to look old and young in the same film.
The 3 teenage boys had a great time with the new film and during the *very* short discussion that followed before they began to wrestle they decided that they liked seeing the original before the new one.
This was a surprise for me.
One of them pointed out to the others "Hey remember how dated the original looked and it was only 27 years old? How do you think this film is going to look to us in 27 years?" This then started a discussion about the future and technology that stopped as soon as they got home and started a snowball fight.

Re:3 generations watched Tron on Xmas Eve (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683006)

That's one of the best comments I've ever read on Slashdot. So nice that the boys showed everyone how much better it is to go build a snowman or have a snowball fight than to obsess over a movie, any movie.

Re:3 generations watched Tron on Xmas Eve (1)

SoftwareArtist (1472499) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683374)

It makes you wonder, doesn't it, why snowball fights never go out of fashion? I mean, they've probably been going on for thousands of years, and haven't changed a bit in all that time. If Tron looks dated after just 27 years, then snowball fights ought to seem downright prehistoric. Surely they need a bit of modern technology to bring them up to date?

Only when trying to fill in the plot holes. (1)

hawks5999 (588198) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682918)

Of which there were many. Or rather there are parts of the plot that make almost no sense and seem bolted on to try to give some meaning to a pretty thin plot. The whole ISOs concept, for being as important as it was supposed to be was glossed over in a 30 second flashback that didn't answer any questions... heck, it barely asked any. The idea of Tron being the right hand henchman and Flynn recognizing him at the end... pointless and really unexplained. Did Flynn recognize Tron because he was upside down or something? I mean that was the only thing that seemed to give away who he was. I just couldn't grasp the motivation of nearly anyone in the whole story and the dialog rivals Attack of the Clones for stilted and wooden (did Sam ever put more than 4 words together in a sentence... actually, more than 4 syllables?). All in all, I was really disappointed with the story. But then again, I saw the original Tron in theaters when I was 8 and thought it was awesome. Seeing it again recently it seemed pretty cheesy, yet it's overriding principles of individualism vs. central control (anti-Soviet propaganda even?) and parallels between real world people and programs displayed better ideas than Legacy. And call me old but Journey and Eurythmics were the best part of the score for me. Don't know why all the hype for Daft Punk.

Re:Only when trying to fill in the plot holes. (1)

gothzilla (676407) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682996)

I am a major Tron fanboi and have watched the movie weekly since I got my first copy on vhs, then later the 20th anniversary dvd. It was the first movie on my phone when I learned phones could have movies on them (way before iPhones).

Tron has those 4 squares on his chest. Took me 3 days after watching it to figure out that's how he knew. That's how bad the writing was.

Re:Only when trying to fill in the plot holes. (2)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683080)

Did Flynn recognize Tron because he was upside down or something?

Tron had two discs.

the dialog rivals Attack of the Clones

Much of the plot seemed lifted from Star Wars.

Re:Only when trying to fill in the plot holes. (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683202)

No, you're not old, Daft Punk's soundtrack really sucked. I keep wondering, why the hell didn't they get Wendy Carlos to do it again?

So in decimal... (1)

Qhartb (1311541) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682922)

So in decimal that's $448. Honestly, I expected better.

The problem was the metaphors, not the imagination (1)

tskirvin (125859) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682932)

The original Tron was pretty poor *as a movie*, but nevertheless I enjoyed it, and continue to enjoy it today. What it really came down to, though, was that the movie was *extremely* metaphorical, and that those metaphors made sense in the context of computing at the time. (And in fact those metaphors hold up today, which is what makes the movie so much fun to watch today.)

The new Tron: Legacy didn't actually try to play with metaphors. It used the old ones from time to time, and it threw in some Unix and open-source allusions here and there (inappropriately, I might add), but other than that it just spent its effort on making things look pretty.

As a side-note: my reading of the movie is that the central theme of the movie is that open-source is good, but that the GPL is bad. And Clu is Richard Stallman. My review (which doesn't go into that in detail, admittedly) is here. []

Re:The problem was the metaphors, not the imaginat (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683022)

I guess that means that Tron: Legacy is about the GNU Public License.
If so, then yes, that means that Clu represents Richard Stallman.

But Clu spent the whole film trying to kill Sam Flynn, who is the only character who actually promotes something like free software.

Come to think about it Sam seems a bit like the young Steve Jobs. He is orphaned, a bit of a smart arse, rich....

Perhaps in Tron 3 he turns the occupants of the grid into slaves to drive his domination of the market for laptops and phones.

Wait for the DVD (0)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682938)

The movie is "meh". Wait for the DVD.

The only reason it did well is that a lot of people needed to see something during the holiday season, and the competition is very weak.

  • "Yogi Bear", as a live action movie? Please.
  • "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" is almost a video game movie, though based on a book. The party goes around collecting swords, and when they get enough swords, they pile them up, there's a pillar of fire effect, and they win. Now that's an 80s arcade game.
  • "Tangled" is probably the best of the lot of holiday movies.

I think you're on to something (1)

Jay Maynard (54798) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682946)

I noticed the split as well, but had put it down to movie critics vs. the folks who actually go to see movies because they want to enjoy them. You might have put your finger on the real cause of the split, though.

This is a film people either love or hate. Personally, I think that just about everyone involved is really just now getting their feet under them is also a factor. It wouldn't surprise me to see an even/odd factor similar to the one in the Star Trek movies take form.

It's not about the visuals... (1)

wired_parrot (768394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682954)

I don't think people get it. Even when the original Tron came out, nobody really believed that there was actually a world inside a computer. I was 10 at the time and even at that age it was obvious the concept was pure fantasy. What it did inspire in me at the time was the possibility of the computer as a creative medium, expressed not only in the cgi animation but in the analogy of the programmer as a creator of a world. I credit the movie with inspiring me to pursue a career in computer science, by showing that it could be a creative field that could inspire, at a time when the only other facet being shown of computers were of a deeply logical and unfeeling world. For me the most important legacy of Tron was the metaphor of the programmer as a creator and an artist.

btw to the poster (1)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682964)

As i read what you said i can say thats 3 people....And i'll say it is a good movie compared to the crud that has come out lately. BUT then its not a star wars but some of the affects were neat.

But what does TRON GUY think? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34682976)

Did anyone ask him?

Re:But what does TRON GUY think? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683106)

Did anyone ask him?

I'm sure he's too busy making new costumes. Expect a David Bowie TRON Guy at a convention near you.

It's Fantasy not Sci-Fi (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 3 years ago | (#34682990)

Some people don't get that Tron is a classic fantasy story, set in a technical setting. It's not a science fiction film trying to create some realist believable technology. People don't question "The Force" or Hobbits, but the do question "User Power" and Isos. As soon as you find yourself asking "Why does Flynn age?" or "Why does Flynn eat?" you've already decided that you were not going to watch the film for it's storyline, but instead for some preconceived idea about the technology is should portray.

Allow me to reiterate. Tron is a fantasy story. It's a simple adventure, about getting from point a to point b and being betrayed along the way. Heck it damn near parallels the Lord of the Rings, if you can accept the Flynns disk (or Tron's in the first film) is the ring and the I/O tower (or MCP in the first film) is the volcano, or what every they throw the ring into.

The real question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34682994)

Having not yet seen Tron: Legacy, the most important question for me is:

Does Bruce Boxleitner whip out the tactical nukes at any point? After B5, I'm not sure I can take the man seriously without at least passing mention of atomic devastation. :)

It's not a problem of imagination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683052)

You're reading too much about the state of human imagination for what clearly is a Thanksgiving / Christmas season action movie blockbuster.

Seriously? If anything, the plot for Tron: Legacy is too unimaginative. I was struck by how many possible ways the movie could have been made more interesting. So many things were either left unexplained or unused, like questions of how Tron was subverted, and how it could have been used against the protagonists (note that Kevin Flynn's disc was, at some point, in the hands of CLU -- imagine the mischief that CLU would have been able to do on his user's code!).

But they didn't want to overwhelm the audience. Fine enough. They didn't want to mess around with the status quo either, so they made the female love interest into the McGuffin, too. Notice how much of a sausage-fest this current Tron was? I mean, come on.

Mind you, Cillian Murphy's line that the latest ENCOM Operating System "is the most secure thing ever" was amusing, and indicative of how Hollywood thinks. Obviously the way to keep something secure, reasons Hollywood, is to not release the code to ever increasing scrutiny, to keep it hidden.

Ha, stupid Hollywood. That is why you will fail.

The movie is an Unimaginative POS (0)

mrshowtime (562809) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683066)

I'd say that the Tron: Legacy doesn't require you to have an imagination, it just requires you to nod your head and agree to all of the stupid stuff that happens in the movie. Here's the best review I've read on Tron: Legacy. [] It catalogs all of the significant problems with Legacy.

Re:The movie is an Unimaginative POS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683154)

That article is titled "The best Tron:Legacy review ever." Wow, that's quite an endorsement, that means we can skip the other 300 reviews out there on the Net and just read that one. But who gave the endorsement, and who wrote the review?

Please don't tell me it was the same person.

Too little (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683072)

Probably is too little imagination what is needed to enjoy that movie. You start with a virtual world, your body gets digitized and gets into it and... well, somewhat, you get old (ok, you as user, your avatar keeps being of the same age), you need to eat and drink (and if well the water looks like something of that world, the food shown definately belong to this one) and sleep, even and specially when time matters.

For me the movie was a wasted opportunity. They had the chance to do an epic movie, something that updated that vision of virtual world to our current knowledge (keeping the look, but i.e. exploring evolved AIs, making programs not so unidimensional, giving them something to live for, ideas of networking not limited to team play, etc) and they seem to had focused more in the special effects and music than in the argument. Make me remember an ST:TNG episode where they found a Dyson sphere, and just visit it to rescue the old Enterprise engineer.

Being naive helps (1)

J-1000 (869558) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683088)

Suspension of disbelief is much easier when you are young, impressionable, and don't totally understand computers. That said, if you're going to have an unrealistic plot, better not to skirt the boundaries of realism too much. Both Tron movies work better than garbage like The Net precisely because they abandon all pretense of being realistic and base it on supremely fantastical notions. For this reason an "old" guy like me (35) was able to enjoy Tron Legacy's premise and characters. But although the plot started out well enough it ended up in a confusing mess.

I enjoyed it somewhat (1)

asm2750 (1124425) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683092)

With how Hollywood is today my expectations were very low to begin with. However, I enjoyed the movie, it was kinda like a rehash of the first movie and im sure alot of people were expecting it to have a weak storyline anyway. With the great deal of eye candy, superb music, and somewhat simple writing, it was worth the money I spent to see it.

Re:I enjoyed it somewhat (1)

WozNZ (1079087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683232)

I enjoyed the film but then I did not expect a deep meaningful masterpiece. I was a fun revisit to an old classic with great eye candy. Too many people are trying to read too much into films these days or what to pretend they are a film critic.Either way they will always be disapointed :) .

Lacking in heart (3, Insightful)

steveha (103154) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683112)

On the scale of 0 through 10, I'd give this movie a 10 for visuals, a 10 for music and sound effects, a 10 on costumes, a 4.5 on story and about a 3 on heart.

Those of us with some love for the original movie are somewhat more inclined to let the lack of heart slide, or to view it through nostalgia-tinted eyes and not think about it too much.

One of the basic problems is that I didn't like most of the main characters. I found it hard to empathize with Sam Flynn; he was incredibly privileged yet pointlessly emo. (By the end of the movie, he has set aside his emo-ness but I'm not sure quite why, probably because I don't understand why he was so emo to start with.) Kevin Flynn was more of the actual protagonist than Sam, but he spent much of the movie doing nothing and saying that doing nothing was the right thing to do; and the scene where he is reunited with his son didn't have the emotional impact it deserved. (From Kevin Flynn's point of view, he hadn't seen his son in centuries at least, centuries where it must have eaten at him to wonder what was happening in the real world.) CLU was an unsatisfying villain, especially if you compare him to Sark and MCP from the original. The only character I actually liked was Quorra.

It would have helped if we could have seen more emotion. Did Sam believe his father had run away and abandoned him? That would explain the emo, but we didn't get a scene that suggested it. Did Kevin feel hatred for CLU, for the horrible things CLU had done? Did he feel anguish, that something he created had gone so far wrong? He talked about the situation like some sort of chess game: "Any move we make helps him win" or something like that.

Despite the flaws, I'm glad I saw it, and I actually hope they will make another one right away. I wish they would get a really good script for the next one, one with a bit more heart. All this needed was a better script and it could have been a great movie instead of just a good one.

P.S. As a geek, I care about continuity, and there were egregious continuity breaks with the original. Programs in the original just wanted to drink some electricity, but now they have actual food and drink. In the original, Kevin Flynn had powers because he was a user; in this movie, Sam Flynn didn't seem to have any user powers, and Kevin Flynn had rather limited powers for someone who had had centuries to refine them. (I wanted to see the two of them fighting together like a pair of Jedi.) Did I want to see bits? *+YES+* Did the movie have any? *-NO-* And it would have been great to see Cindy Morgan in at least a cameo. (I wish the plot line had said that Sam had been adopted by Alan and Lora after Kevin disappeared!)

The costumes look totally different, but I don't count that as a continuity violation; it was UNIX now instead of an IBM mainframe, so of course all the programs were cooler-looking.

P.P.S. There were some cool plot ideas in the TRON 2.0 video game, and I would like to see those ideas used in future movies. What if shadowy government agencies got the TRON laser technology, and started sending agents into the Internet to spy on computers, sabotage systems, or even assassinate people? What if data errors during the laser digitizing process caused people to go insane or even become mutant-looking monsters in the computer world? How about a scene where someone (say, Alan) is in grave danger in the real world and Sam has to protect him from the computer world, by hacking?


TRON is about the world inside of the computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34683116)

TRON is about the world inside the computer. Pure and simple. It's a blend between our world and some concepts of information processing and pits "Good" vs. "Evil". TRON was new, the graphics were amazing for the time, and computers were just making inroads into our daily lives. For most people at the time this started with video games, and dad's PC with boring accounting software. Things like a bit being either "yes" or no" were incorporated into the movie.

TRON Legacy was a bit of a letdown. I imagined a fantasically advanced, internetworked world of TRON, with the "programs" being way more aware of the users (since user-friendlyness etc. since the early 80s) but being cut off through some sort of MCP re-instatement (hint at government-trying-to-control-the-Internet). The world that was presented to me looked even smaller than the original. Game Grid, Flynn Hideout, and I/O port and that was basically it. In the 1982 the Atari 800 had 48k of RAM max. Nowadays desktop PCs have 8GB. Mainframe systems have seen similar orders-of-magnitude increases. But still more or less the same tiny world. So there's a bar now. It has "MP3 programs".

The angle with the ISOs (this of course being a reference to CD and DVD images, another "modern computer age buzz word") is new but not at all worked out.

All in all, hopefully there will be a TRON3 where it is revealed that Sam Flynn went actually back to a Virtual Machine that was running inside the Real World of TRON, set up by Clu and using an ISO program to pose as Kevin Flynn so Sam would think it's all over and never return. Because Quorra is a real ISO who has their memory tampered with, Sam finds out about the deception and returns to Real World of TRON (which is as one would expect of 30+ years of progress).

It's a Fantasy movie not Scifi (2, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683158)

Tron is no more Scifi than Starwars was. Just because there's space or computers involved in the plot does not make it Scifi. I'm not saying either were bad movies, but really, if every single aspect of the movie is scientifically impossible it's FANTASY not science fiction.
Look at this garbage:
WALL-E is Scifi?
The Thing?
Back to the Future?
The Iron giant?

The fact of the matter is, most people don't know enough about science to know this stuff isn't possible. But today most people DO know enough about computers to know that Tron isn't possible. Now if we could figure out how to make relativity required for facebook updates we might get somewhere.

Is it a good movie? (1)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683200)

This is the only question that is meaningful.

Backwards (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683208)

Funny, I see it the other way around. I was a big fan of the original Tron since I was a little kid, and even today I could appreciate the plot that entangled religion and politics in the little details. This is where Tron Legacy let me down: it was a cheesy Hollywood hack-job of a plot, about an absent father and his confused son. It was unconvincing on its own, but more importantly it completely dismissed the almost-cohesive fantasy world of the original film, where the users were seen as mythical god-like beings. In this one, it seemed as though every "program" knew what was up - a hard sell, considering the only actual user inside the system was Flynn.

The resultant hodge-podge of flashy action was then edited to hell, with terribly uneven pace and giant holes in its two-line plot. It really felt like someone looked at the Tron trailer and DVD back cover, borrowed the basic styling and made everything else up without any understanding or prior knowledge of the Tron world. The result is a delight for the senses that dulls the mind.

Warning: SPOILER (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683226)

I think the only part that I got interested in was Quorra becoming human. They could make a WHOLE movie about that, did you know? What does it mean to be human? Why is pain so awful? What are these things called emotions? Et cetera.

I expected to see more stuff about "the user has superpowers" that Flynn displayed in the original TRON (after all, he's the USER). But I guess they chickened out from being compared to Matrix just because the user can do things that programs can't.

Anyway, the 3D was awesome and I got out of the theater with a smile. It was a nice weekend.

Good enough (1)

jroysdon (201893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683262)

I thought the movie was good enough. Of course, I grew up with Tron on VHS in the 80s and watched it many, many times (nearly as many as Star Wars). I'm sure that has me biased, but I still thought it was good enough.


The whole Isos concept was lame - like a digital evolution or some garbage nonsense. Suspension of disbelief is a skill required for most movies, and this one is no different.

The orginal Tron wasn't Very good either. (1)

bm_luethke (253362) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683348)

Really, as a movie it wasn't very good. It's plot was a strange combination of overused cliche's that were forced into a "modern" setting with much of it left up to the watcher to fill in. If you were technical enough with a good imagination you filled in the blanks to where you liked it, if not then it was just pretty graphics that even 5 years later didn't look that good. Even then most of the enjoyment was technical, not really to do with the story or cinematography.

I liked it and still do today, but I do so because someone somewhere in the process had a good combination of understanding of technology and decision making to force the confusing parts to be done anyway. It created a "realistic" (as much as you can say that) environment for a program to live in. For me the part I truly liked and still love watching is the interaction between Flynn and the Bit - it is one of the best pieces of cyberpunk moviedom out there. Of course part of that is that cyberpunk movies traditionally blow chunks.

I haven't seen the sequel yet - I fell on a patch of ice and injured my back before it came out and until I get the MRI done this Wednesday am not supposed to do that much movement. My guess is it is either the same things and will simply be a cult classic or they just raped the whole thing. It is VERY unlikely that they created something that appeals to such a strange and unforgiving market as the people who love the original Tron and those that watch movies now. Given that I'm one of the ones that liked the original I hope for a cult classic, but I figure they probably raped it.

I haven't seen Tron: Legacy yet... (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683382)

But I am already confusing it with Lawnmower Man.

I guess I need to see it to disambiguate them.

It was all about the CG (1)

konohitowa (220547) | more than 3 years ago | (#34683388)

I saw Tron in the theater when it came out. I was really looking forward to it. It had a gotten a lot of tech coverage, including a fairly detailed account (in Byte, IIRC) about the mainframe rendering in New York with data streams being fed back to LA. At the time, it was an enormous amount of data to be moving around.

Anyway, I wasn't disappointed by the rendering, but the storyline was stupid. I went with a friend, and we laughed through large portions of it because it was so incredibly ridiculous. I was in High School at the time. I have the 20th anniversary edition of Tron on DVD and have watched it once or twice, and I still think the storyline is ridiculous.

To me, the best thing that came out of Tron was the arcade game franchise. I shoveled a fair number of quarters into both the original game, as well as Discs of Tron (which was a really fun game).

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