Jungle
TRON: Legacy/TRON: Original Classic 2-Movie Collection (BLU-RAY)

TRON: Legacy/TRON: Original Classic

Movie
On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Grade:
A-
Running Time: 
125 mins

The Tron series (with two films, an upcoming cartoon, and multiple video games, I think we’re safe calling this a “series”) is an interesting beast. The original film was certainly groundbreaking from an effects standpoint when it was released in 1982. In retrospect, it plays like an interesting visual time capsule…that moves at a snail’s pace from a story standpoint. While I enjoy Tron for what it is, I never saw it until a couple of years ago, so I don’t have a nostalgic attachment to it whatsoever (beyond general awareness of it by cultural osmosis).

I was really excited about Tron: Legacy when I first heard that it was in development. I saw it last year in 3-D and really dug it. As I told a friend yesterday, it’s not a perfect film, but I think it’s a lot of fun. I don’t understand some of the vehement hatred towards it that I saw online from some geek elements, but I guess you can’t please them all.

At any rate, in viewing the films back-to-back, Legacy actually complements the original quite well. While Bridges’ Kevin Flynn is the rebel trying to bring down the Man in Tron, he’s become a form of the Man (as a quasi-Obi Wan Kenobi on The Grid) in Legacy. He’s matured and his view of the world (both the flesh and blood one and the digital one) has changed as a result. While his son Sam mirrors elements of his father’s younger self, he’s also detached and removed, pulled into interactions with Encom more out of a sense of family duty and mischief, rather than actually trying to topple an empire.

In the end, I found the newest installment to be a pretty engaging sci-fi film and I hope that Disney green-lights more visits to the Tron universe.

QUALITY:

Fantastic. Both Tron and Tron: Legacy look fantastic on Blu-Ray. It’s almost a given that Tron: Legacy would look good in this format. Even though it’s the darker of the two films (visually speaking), there’s a good contrast between all the different shades of blue, black and gray. Even small details stand out well on-screen. Tron is the pleasant surprise here. Given that it was released in the 80s using cutting edge computer graphics of the time, you could be forgiven for thinking that it would look like crap. Astonishingly, it actually looks really good. Granted, everything looks dated at this point, from the fashion in the real world to the original white Tron outfits. But the clarity and detail of the visuals is top-notch. The computer effects look very sharp and clean. In contrast to Legacy, this is definitely the brighter and more colorful film.

Unfortunately, since I’m not made of money, my TV and Blu-Ray player haven’t been upgraded to the 3-D format yet, so I wasn’t able to check out the 3-D Blu-Ray version of Tron: Legacy. I hope to watch it soon on a friend’s system. If I do, I’ll be sure to update this review with additional thoughts at that point.

BONUS FEATURES:
This set has bonus features out the wazoo. Check this list out, courtesy of the fine folks at Amazon…

TRON: Legacy:
• First Look at TRON: Uprising, the Disney XD animated series

• Visualizing TRON - How did the filmmakers bring to life the gorgeous world inside the GRID?
• Installing the cast - Hear from all the stars of TRON: Legacy and their experience in making the movie

• The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed [BD Exclusive - Interactive bonus piece] - What happens immediately following the end of the movie? What is Flynn Lives and who is responsible for their efforts?
• TRON: Disney Second Screen [BD Exclusive - Interactive bonus piece] - Using your iPad or computer, watch the movie with exclusive interactive elements available on your 2nd screen

• Launching the Legacy - Beyond the amazing visuals is a rich story filled with an entire world's history and mythology. Discover how the writers and filmmakers created this complex fiction
• Disc Roars - Watch director Joseph Kosinski use the raucous crowd at Comic-Con to record actual ADR for the disc game stadium crowd
• Music video - "Derezzed" written, produced, and performed by Daft Punk

Beyond that, the original Tron has a myriad of behind-the-scenes features, concept art, design elements, deleted scenes…there’s hours of stuff to explore here. If you’re a Tron fan, you’re in luck, though it might put your brain in a sci-fi/neon overload if you try to watch it all in one sitting.

There’s also a pretty sweet section of easter eggs on the Tron: Legacy disc (The Next Day section) that hints at more to come, should the Tron film series continue. And therein lies the big question at the center of the Tron concept at this point: Is it enough of a moneymaker for Disney to warrant more films? It’s got a decent following at this point and I personally enjoyed the latest chapter, but it wasn’t the mega-blockbuster that I’m assuming that Disney was hoping for.

Ultimately, this is a terrific release. If you consider yourself a Tron fan of any measure, you’re going to want to pick this up. Buy it and log in to The Grid.

Jeremy Hunt
Review by Jeremy Hunt
Follow him @ Twitter
Friend him @ Facebook