Tron: Legacy and Tron: The Original Classic Combo Pack (Blu-ray)
TRON: THE ORIGINAL CLASSIC – 7
Neon lights, synthesizer music, cool neon bikes; yes, the classic, if not cheesy, 80’s film TRON is back in the limelight again, 29 years after its initial release. I was not one of the fortunate kids that grew up watching TRON and my first viewing of the film was not until I sat down with this wonderful Blu-ray set. I knew the graphics were going to be bad, but what I wasn’t expecting was to become emotionally involved with the characters and actually care about the plot of the film. I found myself interested in what was happening on screen and fully engrossed with the characters. For a movie known for its tacky use of neon and lack of color, TRON is actually a quality film.
The graphics in the original TRON are painfully bad, not only from a technical standpoint, but they physically hurt your eyes as you watch choppy, tri-colored graphics breeze by on screen. Even though the graphics date this film, it’s hard not to respect what they were trying to do in 1982. They created an entire world and developed an innovative method of filmmaking that had not been done before. TRON presents such a unique vision and idea that it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the story is actually pretty decent. The film is sprinkled with religious undertones, which can be taken as seriously as your personal beliefs will let you, but the filmmakers have created genuine characters with depth that make it easy to follow what’s going on.
This is a PG-rated Disney film about people getting stuck in a video game (essentially), so although I liked the story, I was expecting more things to actually happen. They set up a great, potential action sequence with the games, but once they escaped the game, the film wasn’t able to recapture the intensity. But even with a few dry spells and some hard-on-the-eyes graphics, I found myself enjoying the classic TRON, which made me even more excited for the sequel.
TRON: LEGACY – 7
We’ve come quite a way in 30 years.
For a sequel that didn’t need to be made, TRON: LEGACY proved to be a fun ride and a trip down memory lane for fans that grew up with the original film in the early 80’s. When he becomes “trapped” in the computer program his estranged father, Kevin Flynn, built 20 years ago, Sam Flynn is forced into a digitized world run by the misguided Clu. He learns that Clu is actually the program that his father had built to create the perfect world, but now Clu rules the digitized world with an iron fist and has his sights set on escaping to the real world. Sam’s only hope is to find his father and together they can team up to stop Clu. It’s true that the original didn’t really set this up, but screenwriters Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz justified the sequel admirably by giving us a snapshot into what happened between the two films.
With all the incredible graphics and great design, the best upgrade in TRON: LEGACY over its predecessor was the score. I loved the original work from Daft Punk, which set the tone of the entire film and provided quite an upgrade to the over-synthesized score of TRON. But let’s not kid ourselves; every technical aspect of this film is a significant upgrade. I loved the style and sleekness director Joseph Kosinski created and he managed to create something very different while still paying homage to the original.
If there’s a downside to TRON: LEGACY, it’s that it’s too reserved. I know that sounds strange considering we’re talking about people getting stuck in a computer, battling programs and riding neon bicycles, but the film felt like it was holding back. It had already thrown all concepts of reality out the window, so giving the audience some more intense action sequences and some epic battles would have kept the pace moving more efficiently. I liked the story, but there comes a point where a guy reciting lines in a neon jumpsuit doesn’t cut it anymore.
For someone that hadn’t seen either film, I found watching them back to back was actually a very enjoyable experience. The contrast in the quality of graphics aside, the two films go well together and tell a pretty decent story.
Video (1080p HD): I can’t heap enough praise on Disney for what they did with the original TRON. This film does not look like it was made 20 years ago…well, the video quality doesn’t look like it was made 20 years ago. Everything was crystal clear and this is a remarkable Blu-ray. TRON: LEGACY was equally beautiful and I would add this to your list of reference-quality discs to show off to your friends.
Audio (7.1 DTS-HD): The audio was also incredible with surround channels used to perfection. Both films are amazing.
Disc 1: TRON Legacy Blu-ray 3D
Disc 2: TRON Legacy Blu-ray 2D
The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed (10:26): This is almost like a mini-film that takes place after TRON: LEGACY that is driven by this group or movement called “Flynn Lives”. If you are really into the TRON universe then you will enjoy this little piece of fiction as it talks about ENCOM and how much Alan Bradley and Sam Flynn is involved.
Disney Second Screen (:40): An app you can download from the Disney website that includes interactive features.
First Look at Tron: Uprising Disney XD Animated Series (1:15): This is a preview for the animated series.
Launching the Legacy (10:20): This is a bit of a making-of featurette that involves more of the pre-production process including cast and crew interviews and how audiences reacted when a first clip was shown at Comic-Con.
Visualizing Tron (11:46): This is the feature you want to watch as it goes into the special effects that went into making this film including how they made a young looking Jeff Bridges. If you can only catch one of the special features this is most worth your time.
Installing the Cast (12:04): This is about the casting and how much they all love each other and their work.
Disc Roars (3:00): This is how director Joseph Kosinski used the Comic-Con crowd to get some ambience sounds for the film.
Music Video (2:58): “Derezzed” by Daft Punk
Discover Blu-ray 3D with Timon & Pumba: This is the same featurette we’ve seen about Disney Blu-ray 3D on past films.
Learn How to Take Your Favorite Movies on the Go: A tutorial on how to work a Digital Copy.
Disc 3: TRON The Original Classic Blu-ray
Audio Commentary with director Steven Lisberger, producer Donald Kushner, visual effects supervisors Harrison Ellenshaw and Richard Taylor: This isn’t a bad commentary to listen to as they talk about the beginning of the TRON world, the development process and how many different challenges they met during the process. They also discuss how TRON has stood the test of time over the years. Fairly interesting if you like the technical side of things or if you are a fan of the original film.
The Tron Phenomenon (9:58): The cast and crew talk about the upcoming TRON: Legacy and how it relates to this original film.
Photo Tronology (11:59): Director Steven Lisberger and his son go to the Disney archives to get concept art and information that was saved from the original TRON. This was really interesting to watch.
The Making of Tron (87:59): This is the same documentary that was found on the DVD release of TRON and follows the basic “making of” formula. Interesting but TRON fans have probably already seen this.
Development (8:01): Another previously released featurette about the production of the original film. This also includes a television clip from 1982 that includes clips from the film.
Digital Imagery (11:58): This is a run-down about the lighting and imagery used in the film. It’s actually interesting to see how far we’ve come.
Music (8:02): We get a chance to listen to just the score of one of the scenes as well as the end credits which were composed by Wendy Carlos.
Publicity (12:59): Trailers and images used to market the film back in the 80’s.
Deleted Scenes (6:03): Three scenes as well as an alternate opening all with an introduction from Steven Lisberger. These scenes were rightfully cut.
Design (3:34): A look at some of the designs used in the film including the lightcycles, animation tests for the bikes and then some scenes from Space Paranoids.
Storyboarding (8:57):This is about the storyboarding process that everyone went through which was so extensive it even included the title sequence.
Galleries: Lots of images from the different categories listed above.