TRON: Legacy (2-Movie Collection) (Blu-ray 3D and 2D)

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Rating: PG

Starring:
Garrett Hedlund as Sam Flynn
Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn / Clu 2.0
Olivia Wilde as Quorra
Michael Sheen as Castor
Bruce Boxleitner as Alan Bradley
Beau Garrett as Jem
James Frain as Jarvis

Directed by Joseph Kosinski

Special Features:
Contains TRON: Legacy Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + Blu-ray TRON The Original Classic

Collectible Lithograph

DVD First Look At TRON: Uprising, The Disney XD Animated Series

DVD Installing The Cast: The Stars Discuss Their Unique TRON Experience

Blu-ray The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed: Discover What Happens Immediately Following The End Of The Movie

Blu-ray TRON Second Screen: Watch The Movie On A 2nd Device With Exclusive Interactive Elements

Blu-ray Music Video: “Derezzed” Performed By Daft Punk

Blu-ray Launching The Legacy: Uncover How The Writers And Filmmakers Created This Rich And Complex Story

Blu-ray Disc Roars: Watch Director Joe Kosinski Use The Raucous Crowd At Comic-Con To Record The Sound

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
7.1 DTS-HD MA Sound
Spanish and French Language
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: Tron Legacy – 125 Minutes, Tron – 96 Minutes

Synopsis:
This is the sequel to the 1982 film “TRON.”

Twenty-one years ago, Encom CEO and game designer Kevin Flynn disappeared off of the face of the earth. Nobody knows what happened to him or where he went to. Flynn mysteriously left behind his prospering company and his young son Sam.

Years later, Sam has grown up into a troubled young man with a lack of direction. But when Alan Bradley tells Sam that he has received a page from Kevin’s old arcade, Sam goes to check it out. There he finds a hidden room with his father’s old computer equipment. He also inadvertently activates a laser that zaps him into a computer.

Once inside the computer, he finds himself in the computerized world of the Grid which was created by his father. There he meets personified versions of programs. Unfortunately, they’re hostile to those they deem as new programs and they immediately throw him into a series of games. But Sam must first survive the games if he’s to discover what happened to his father.

“TRON: Legacy” is rated PG for sequences of sci-fi action violence and brief mild language.

The Movie:
I’m a big “TRON” fan. I loved the movies as a kid. I had the toys and the books. I actually still have my Light Cycle and Flynn figure from the ’80s! One of my elementary school yearbook photos actually shows me wearing a TRON shirt (Mom didn’t realize it was picture day.) So yes, I’m a major TRON geek. But even I will admit that watching the 1982 film years later, it has a bunch of flaws. But I don’t care, it’s a cult favorite of mine. So it was with a ton of anticipation that I viewed “TRON: Legacy.”

I’ll be honest, “TRON: Legacy” is not a perfect film, but it does enough right that I enjoyed it. First and foremost, this is a beautiful looking film. The production design is fantastic. The costumes, sets, ships, make-up, and everything else is stunning. It has hints of the original film all over the place. You get the dark world highlighted by glowing elements. We also get the familiar Light Cycles and Recognizer, too, but everything is taken to a more modernized level.

I also really loved the action scenes. They took all of the familiar games from the first movie and amped them up. The disc battles are incredibly cool and well choreographed. They also throw in new elements like multiple discs, inverted gravity, and more. The Light Cycle battle is also spectacular. They could have had two hours of that and I would have been happy. Again, they take the chase from the first movie and make it more complex by adding multiple levels, letting the Cycles jump, and more. They also add some new vehicles, most notably the Light Jets. We’re treated to a fun aerial battle in the finale that is a beauty to behold.

I had never heard of Daft Punk before “TRON: Legacy,” but I have to say that their score is one of the best of the year. The music has a pulse pounding beat that adds an extra level of excitement to every action scene. Their sound also has a techno-feel that is entirely appropriate for this computer world. I have a feeling that this score will feel less dated in 20 years than the one in the original film.

As for the cast, Jeff Bridges constantly amazes me. Last week, I saw him as a grizzled old US Marshall in “True Grit.” This week, I see him as both the program Clu and the user Kevin Flynn in the middle of one of the biggest sci-fi films of the year. I’m convinced that there’s nothing he can’t do in film. The dual role is pretty exciting though it is a mixed bag, but the thing I liked best about it was the religious parallel. We have a sort of God (Flynn) vs Satan (Clu) relationship. It’s the creation turning on the creator story. It’s a deep theme for a Disney sci-fi film, but I got it and I liked it.

Garrett Hedlund is adequate as Sam Flynn. He lacks the charisma of Kevin Flynn in the first film, but his character has had a harder life. You wouldn’t expect him to be cracking jokes the entire time. Still, I wished he freaked out a little more about being stuck in the computer world than he does. That being said, I think I liked the idea of the character more than the actual performance of Sam Flynn. He truly goes through Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey.” We see him reject his destiny, get pulled into the ‘supernatural’ world, get help from the ‘goddess,’ and eventually become master of both worlds. All of the “Hero’s Journey” steps are here, so I appreciated that element of the script.

The aforementioned ‘goddess’ is Quorra who is played by Olivia Wilde. She’s a lot of fun because she has a lot more life in her than the other programs. She laughs, is curious, and is fiercely loyal to Kevin Flynn. She’s a bright spot among the cast. The other secondary characters also have moments to shine. Michael Sheen channels his inner David Bowie as Castor while Beau Garrett is incredibly sexy as Jem. The two shake things up a bit in TRON’s version of the “Star Wars” cantina. Also look for a cameo in the early scenes in the boardroom by a very familiar face as the son of Dillinger. It definitely looks like they’re putting the pieces in place for a sequel.

I’ll also add that I took my 5 and 9-year-old sons and my 11-year-old daughter to this movie, and they all enjoyed it. Boys will like the action while girls will like the strong female character of Quorra. Dads will like both. I think this is one that the whole family can enjoy.

One of the biggest risks of “TRON: Legacy” was de-aging Jeff Bridges into the character of Clu. In some respects it works. He’s a bit fake looking, especially when blown up on a massive IMAX screen, but that’s OK. He’s a computer program and a lesser copy of Kevin Flynn. If he looks like a Frankenstein creation, it’s appropriate for the character. On the other hand, it’s incredibly distracting. I kept focusing on the effects and not what the character was doing or saying. It’s also a shame that this is the weakest visual effect in the film. Gollum looked more realistic.

I think “TRON: Legacy” also had a number of lost opportunities. They hint at a resistance in the film, but they never go beyond the hints. Then there’s the sub-plot of what happened to the original TRON program. I found that a very interesting aspect of the story but it was never fully explored. After all, the movie is named after him, right? They hint that this will be explored in a sequel if there is one, but it still wasn’t satisfying.

While a lot of people gripe about 3D movies, I’m actually a fan of them. I like the effect when it’s used properly. “TRON: Legacy” is a perfect film to use the effect, but I was quite surprised that the 3D didn’t enhance the movie as much as I thought it would. Yeah, it makes the Light Cycle and disc scenes more fun, but any time there’s no action on the screen, the 3D effect loses its touch. It doesn’t help matters that all of the scenes in the real world are 2D. You get so used to seeing the picture in 2D, then when it switches over to 3-D in the computer world, you almost don’t notice. The original film also had a trippy sequence when Kevin Flynn was sucked into the computer world. I expected something similar here, but there wasn’t. It’s just like ‘blip!’, he’s in the computer world. Again, it’s a lost opportunity.

But the biggest problem of “TRON: Legacy” is the pacing. Any scene where there’s not action is incredibly slow. And with a two-hour running time, there are a lot of slow scenes. We get treated to almost non-stop action when Sam is pulled into the computer, then a lot at the end. It’s all the middle portion of the film where it gets really, really slow. My three kids all liked it though and didn’t get antsy in the slow parts. That’s saying a lot, so maybe it’s just me.

Finally, the ending is satisfying in some respects and not in others. I can’t discuss it without getting into spoilers, but I would have liked to see the ending tweaked a bit.

As a “TRON” fan, I was happy with this sequel which, by all rights, I never expected to see made. I enjoyed it and my kids enjoyed it. I certainly hope it kicks off a string of sequels from Disney. Yeah, it’s not a perfect film but it is an enjoyable one.

The Extras:
I don’t know how they did it, but Disney managed to jam FIVE discs in a regular sized Blu-ray case. I’m quite impressed by this because normally a set this size would come in a case three times bigger. My Blu-ray shelf and I thank Disney for making this set more compact.

Inside this case you’ll find a DVD and digital copy of “TRON: Legacy” (but not “TRON,” unfortunately). You’ll also find a Blu-ray 3D copy of this film. I don’t own a 3D HDTV, but when I get one this is one of the first discs I’ll be popping in to play. Rounding things out is a Blu-ray copy of “TRON.” This movie has been out of production on DVD for a few years. In fact, DVD copies of the film were going for quite a lot of money on eBay. So it’s nice to not only get it re-released, but on Blu-ray to boot. While the movie may not be quite as good as you remembered it, it looks better than ever. The colors are incredibly bright and the wide screen opens up so much more of the picture so you can start appreciating more of the details. For example, in one scene while Sark is ranting and raving, you can see a little Pac-Man chomping away in one corner of the screen. It’s fun to revisit the movie and it’s exceptionally convenient to have it included in this 2-Movie collection. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s a new bonus featurette included on it showing the cast and crew of “TRON: Legacy” reminiscing about the production and the reaction to it. As an added bonus the original bonus features from the old DVD are included here, too.

Getting back to the “TRON: Legacy” Blu-ray, the bonus features are actually a bit lighter than you might expect. There’s no commentary, no deleted scenes, no blooper reel, and no feature on the special effects. I suppose they are saving these for a later ‘special edition’, but they are noticeably absent for now. Here’s what you will find:

First Look At TRON: Uprising, The Disney XD Animated Series – Disney will be doing a new computer animated TV series set before “TRON: Legacy.” It will star Elijah Wood, Mandy Moore, Bruce Boxleitner, and more. It looks pretty cool and it appears it will fill in a lot of the blanks about how Clu came to power. Unfortunately this is only a short trailer for the series.

Installing The Cast: The Stars Discuss Their Unique TRON Experience – This is a brief featurette on the cast. You see interviews with Garrett Hedlund, Jeff Bridges, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen, and Bruce Boxleitner. It’s rather brief but you get to see a lot of behind the scenes footage.

The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed – This video is a fake documentary showing how the world reacted to the disappearance of Kevin Flynn. We see conspiracy theories and an underground movement to keep his philosophies alive. The movement is labeled “Flynn Lives” and, as we learn in the documentary, is secretly led by Alan Bradley and the man who programmed Ram in the first movie. They actually brought back Dan Shor, the actor who played him. The video is a little hokey but it is fun to see more of the players from the original film make an appearance. I just wish Cindy Morgan appeared!

TRON Second Screen – Using this feature, you can watch the movie “TRON: Legacy” while holding an iPad that plays additional bonus features. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to check this out before the release date, but it will be interesting to see what it has to offer.

“Derezzed” Performed By Daft Punk – You might expect a music video that’s simply a bunch of clips from the “TRON: Legacy” movie, but that’s not the case. Daft Punk created an original video inspired by the original “TRON” movie. We see Daft Punk pulled into the computer world and turned into digital jousters (no ostriches, though). Olivia Wilde makes a cameo in the music video, too.

Launching The Legacy: Uncover How The Writers And Filmmakers Created This Rich And Complex Story – This featurette covers how the creators adapted the script, designed the sets, and created the glowing costumes. Like the other featurettes, it is brief, too.

Roars: Watch Director Joe Kosinski Use The Raucous Crowd At Comic-Con To Record The Sound – At the San Diego Comic-Con last year at the “TRON: Legacy” panel, they had the crowd of 9000 fans chant lines of dialogue and applaud. This audio was used in the disc and light cycle scenes from the movie. It was a pretty cool idea and it’s neat to see it documented here.

Collectible Lithograph – This is nothing more than a postcard of the original “TRON” shoved in the Blu-ray case. However, Tron is depicted with red light instead of blue which appears to be a production photo error.

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