Tron: Legacy / The Next Day

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Post by Randall » December 2nd, 2010, 8:44 am

Reading that article, it's ironic that the next Narnia film, which Dis passed on, is tracking much stronger.

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Post by Ben » December 2nd, 2010, 1:31 pm

Actually...we knew Tron '82 was coming out around the release of the new film on BD next summer already (track back a few messages in this very topic). What we also know is that it's getting a new (better than HDnet) transfer/restoration for that release.

Yep, they didn't want to scare off new audiences, but having it play on TV can't be doing it any good either!

I don't think it'll be a bomb, but I'm not sure it's going to lead to any sequels unless there's a HUGE opening. And, basically, anything called Tron is going to have an uphill struggle to get non-believers into the theaters.

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Post by Ben » December 4th, 2010, 10:09 am

Hollywood Reporter's review:
The Bottom Line: Verrry long-awaited sequel looks sharp in 3D and runs circles around its progenitor in effects and story, which isn't saying a whole lot.
Opens Dec. 17 (Disney)

Could "Tron: Legacy" be the first official sequel made nearly three decades after the original film? There are perhaps good reasons why Disney waited so long, beginning with the obvious matter that the 1982 "Tron" was an awfully lame movie. Sure, it deserves a footnote in film history for marking the beginning of the CGI era.

But, seen today, the film is so incoherent and groaningly scripted as to be tolerable only if watched in a rude Mystery Science Theater 3000 frame of mind. Kids who caught the original at 12 when it came out are 40 now and may recall it through a fog of uncritical nostalgia, which may help account for Disney's wise decision to delay the release of a spruced-up Blu-Ray edition until early next year (at least in Los Angeles, DVDs of the first film have been essentially impossible to come by in video stores in recent weeks, even in the remaining specialist shops).

The mildly surprising news, then, is that there are aspects of Tron: Legacy that are actually rather cool. Granted, these mostly fall within the realms of architecture, interior design and advanced motor racing techniques, but they are blessed compensations nevertheless. The fact that you get two (or three, depending upon how you count) incarnations of Jeff Bridges isn't a bad deal either, although it all ends up being a half-hour too much of a just okay thing. Like the original, the follow-up should do decent business, especially in 3D engagements, where the dynamic staging of the action scenes will be be seen to greatest effect, but fall short of the box office Nirvana achieved by top-drawer sci-fi and fantasy films.

In fact, the recent film Tron: Legacy most resembles — in its lustful embrace of high technology, the combat-game format, corporate control angle, enduring father-son allegiance and fundamental silliness — is the Wachowskis' Speed Racer. To be fair, the premise of the current film is more intriguing, as it's built around a rescue mission in which, to retrieve Dad, the son must venture into the grid designed by his father but subsequently taken over by “programs” led by his old man's doppleganger.

That the grid is a perilous place is quickly discovered by Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund), who, in his late 20s, is still pissed that his genius pop Kevin disappeared on him a couple of decades earlier. Vengefully playing elaborate pranks on his missing father's giant technology firm Encom, zooming around city streets on his motorcycle and living a cutting edge downtown life, Sam is soon lured to his old man's shuttered video arcade, where he finds the long elusive key that will allow him to follow his father into another sphere.

Aping the immortal moment in The Wizard of Oz when the mundane monochromatic palette of Kansas gives way to the riotous colors of Oz, Tron: Legacy bursts from 2D into nifty 3D at the 24-minute mark, when Sam breaks through into the grid. Almost at once, he's all but literally thrown to the lions when forced to put his biker background to good use (with his squinty-eyed looks and prove-it-to-me attitude, Hedlund does throw off some Steve McQueen vibes) during a deadly high-speed race in a darkly suggested gladatorial-style arena seemingly big enough to accommodate the entire population of Chicago.

This sequence is not only the most exciting in the film but also provides a handy point of comparison to the original and to how far digital effects have come in the intervening years. In the first Tron, the race was an almost entirely geometric affair, with the motorcycles traveling as if on a child's Etch-A-Sketch board and crashing into opponents' contrails. It truly did feel like little more than a one-dimensional video game with no environmental component.

By contrast, compelling design elements are a hallmark of Legacy. Illuminated Philip Johnson-style glass enclosures hang dramatically against nocturnal backdrops, while uniforms and aerodynamically designed motorcycles are strikingly defined by their lights and colors — orange and red for the grid-based programs, blue and white for the outsiders. The streaks of light, combined with three-dimensional twists and turns by the rocketing bikes, the eye-widening way “programs” disintegrate upon impact and the power techno score by Daft Punk create a novel and fully realized action set piece limited only by the anonymity of all but one of the participants.

Before long, director Joseph Kosinski, whose background lies in high-end commercials, and scripters Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz must settle down to the serious business of Sam's reunion with his dad and figuring out how to extricate themselves from the prison of Kevin's own devising. Turns out the inventor slipped frequently into and out of the grid for some time before his “program” self, Clu, outstripped his creator and gained the upper hand. Kevin has since been kept under house arrest in the company of beauteous warrior Quorra (Olivia Wilde) in an abode that, in its immaculate whiteness, looks more than a bit inspired by Keir Dullea's elegant final home in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

With ruling the grid having gotten old , the megalomaniacal Clu craves crossing over into the real world, setting up the battle royal between him and the makeshift Flynn clan. Despite some sharp effects, notably a combat aircraft that takes shape as the “pilot” zooms through the air, plus a bizarre turn by Michael Sheen as an obsequious white tuxed, cane-wielding nightclub showman, the film's latter half bogs down in a redundancy of stand-offs and multiple endings..

Bearded and looking just a tad less scruffy as Kevin than he did in Crazy Heart, Bridges achieves many an actor's dream by convincingly appearing much younger than his real self, both as Kevin in a scene set in 1989, and as fit, fortyish Clu. It would be ironic if the ultimate legacy of Legacy were not as a notable sci-fi achievement but as the film that convinced middle-aged actors that they should again be considered for young romantic leads.

Production: Sean Bailey Prods.
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, James Frain, Beau Garrett, Michael Sheen, Anis Cheurfa
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Screenwriters: Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz
Story: Edward Kitsis, Adam Horowitz, Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal, based on characters created by Steven Lisberger, Bonnie MacBird
Producers: Sean Bailey, Jeffrey Silver, Steven Lisberger
Executive producer: Donald Kushner
Cinematographer: Claudio Miranda
Editor: James Haywood
Production designer: Darren Gilford
Costume designer: Michael Wilkinson
Music: Daft Punk
Visual effects supervisor: Eric Barba
Rated PG, 126 minutes

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Re:

Post by EricJ » December 4th, 2010, 3:48 pm

Could "Tron: Legacy" be the first official sequel made nearly three decades after the original film?
(Indiana Jones says hi. Norman Bates waves from the window.)
There are perhaps good reasons why Disney waited so long, beginning with the obvious matter that the 1982 "Tron" was an awfully lame movie.
Well, actually, it was because they went through twenty years of discarded scripts, each trying to find a plot that would update Bruce Boxleitner to the latest computer technology, and then cross-synergize it with the tie-in videogame/CD-ROM version that was either delayed, or came out just as the movie script was tossed back into development limbo again....But, close enough. :roll:
Kids who caught the original at 12 when it came out are 40 now and may recall it through a fog of uncritical nostalgia, which may help account for Disney's wise decision to delay the release of a spruced-up Blu-Ray edition until early next year
Kids who caught it at 12 can recite the DVD from memory.
It's all the OTHER dopes who tend to be pop-historically over-critical for symbolic value...Trying a little hard, are we?
In fact, the recent film Tron: Legacy most resembles — in its lustful embrace of high technology, the combat-game format, corporate control angle, enduring father-son allegiance and fundamental silliness — is the Wachowskis' Speed Racer.
(...Yes. Apparently we are.)

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Post by Ben » December 4th, 2010, 3:54 pm

Um, you know that I didn't write that, right? Not sure what the point is in blasting a review from somewhere else here...you'd be better off leaving feedback on his page (much the same has already been said there).

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Re:

Post by EricJ » December 4th, 2010, 4:43 pm

Ben wrote:Um, you know that I didn't write that, right? Not sure what the point is in blasting a review from somewhere else here...you'd be better off leaving feedback on his page (much the same has already been said there).
(Well, was just trying to illustrate discussion here on what a pre-programmed asshat the HR reporter was, trying to take the "Only losers liked Tron!" cultural gag as if it was already assumed for granted, and trying to use that as egregious poster-symbol of the current cliche'd cultural perception at the moment...Not every response is about YOU, you know. :P )

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Post by Ben » December 5th, 2010, 3:46 pm

Ahh, gotcha. And true. And I know not every response is about me, but originally you'd quoted me for a couple of that reviewer's lines and I wasn't sure if that was intentional on your part or not.

So I've removed my name from your quotes, since they're not my words. Which I then just wanted to make clear. Got me?

Anyway, enough about me. Let's talk about you. What do you think of me?*











*On second thoughts, don't answer that age old joke.

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Re: Tron: Legacy

Post by GeorgeC » December 6th, 2010, 10:15 am

Ben,

I just got back from AICN (and I feel dirty after having sifted through that site!) and a couple of posters said the TRON: Legacy played in a theater in London already.

Reviews have been... mostly mediocre. Same problems the first film had which doesn't surprise me at all.

When will studios learn that just because a film is supposed to be "videogame-based" that it doesn't mean you don't take it seriously like a drama!

The fellow hired to direct this film was an FX tech and had no previous experience directing a large budget film. Same mistake that was made with Sky Captain.

Anyhow, getting back to my point... I seriously doubt the film will break even for a few years. My own issues aside with the visual design aside (it looks inferior to the first film IMHO), this does NOT look like a film most people were really looking forward to.

It's this year's Speed Racer.

I really just don't understand this current trend of making sequels to films that are over 20 years old now. It sure hasn't paid off in good films!


P.S. -- Apparently, Disney ordered all video retailers to pull their remaining copies of the Tron DVD off the shelves. There's no way this film sold out of all in-print copies. Absolutely no way.

Prices of the remaining circulating copies have shot up (e-Bay/Amazon effect).

Disney did this to prep for the new film and keep as many people as possible from seeing the older film.

So much for confidence in the product!

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Post by Ben » December 6th, 2010, 10:38 am

Some of the more mediocre reviews are putting me off going the whole Imax 3D route, it has to be said. I was very much jazzed up for this, but I also have to say that, for how great it looks, I'm missing the "computer" feel of the 1982 original. I think there could have been a way to keep things feeling more "computery/electronic/digital" than going for the green screen, organic CG world style, and its a shame the costumes don't glow/pulsate any more.

I'm still on edge to see the film, but the added expense of Imax (nearest one is London, meaning travel and inflated ticket price not much short of $40 just for me, and I won't go alone) and the possibility that this won't be great means I may just see it down at the local. Not made up my mind there, but in this wintery cold, just getting there could be a bit of a trek too. But I do agree on that visual design...maybe they're holding back some brighter images, but the whole thing so far does look a bit dark and depressing!

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Re: Tron: Legacy

Post by EricJ » December 6th, 2010, 3:33 pm

GeorgeC wrote:It's this year's Speed Racer.
Seriously, George's attempt to squeeze the HR's jokes into his own routines to make it look like the world agrees with him does bring up an interesting point about the Speed Racer movie:
Speed Racer was a good attempt to reflect its original source, and respectfully threw everything into the pot to do it, just that nobody knew it. And as they say in the law, Ignorance is no Excuse.

(I remember when posters on the movie boards were dogpiling on Racer coming up with reasons to make it look like it "deserved" the box-office mistake it got, and there was a fair share of "WTF?--They put a kid and a chimp in the movie? What were they smoking to come up with THAT idea??"...Uh, it was in the original show, or didn't you know that?
Which is the same uphill battle Legacy may be fighting, trying to be so thoroughly versed in icon and reference lore from the first movie to appeal to modern-day kids that had been too caught up in Simpsons and Family Guy jokes to have looked up the original, even when it was on shelves. Hey, smug laziness isn't OUR fault, guys...)
Last edited by EricJ on December 7th, 2010, 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Randall » December 6th, 2010, 10:49 pm

Eric, we appreciate your comments, but your insults towards other members will not be tolerated. Tone it down in a hurry, or you'll get yourself banned for good. You've been warned before, and your chances are quickly running out.

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Re:

Post by EricJ » December 7th, 2010, 1:58 am

Okay, half the personal stuff toned down in the earlier post--
Still, it does generally underline that the uphill battle is that people still want to believe that the original movie was a flop because...what will happen to all the cool decade-bashing jokes if it turns out it was, y'know, not that bad, really? :shock:

People cling to what they want to believe, and they don't like rewriting the corny jokes they've told for so long--It's hard for Disney to get people to watch the real movie they haven't seen, when they're too busy chuckling over the urban-legend one they only heard about.
Again, that's not the sequel's problem; they made the film for fans who knew the landscape, and like the piano player, don't shoot, it's doing the best it can.

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Post by James » December 7th, 2010, 8:10 am

Tron Legacy soundtrack download is just $3.99 at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Tron-Exclusive-Ve ... 004EI3ON4/

Use this link and AV gets a little cut!
http://www.amazon.com/Tron-Exclusive-Ve ... edviews-20

Might want to hurry though - yesterday I bought the Tangled soundtrack for $3.99 and by that night the price had already gone back up. So not sure how long this sale price is for.

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Re: Tron: Legacy

Post by GRUNT » December 7th, 2010, 9:24 am

I haven't read even the 'mediocre' reviews for fear of spoiling myself, but I'm hoping that they say that the film is mediocre in the sense that it's a typical summer blockbuster; because I'm not getting my hopes up for a particularly excellent film - just good fun. If the film can't deliver even that (like The Last Airbender >_<), then I'll be very disappointed :[.

On a slightly off-topic note, but still Tron-related, Steven E Gordon made a blog post mentioning the teaser for a Tron animated TV series http://stevenegordon.blogspot.com/2010/ ... aglow.html I did a google and youtube search, but nothing immediate showed up. I don't suppose any of you fine fellows know where I could find this teaser? I'm very curious :P.

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Post by GeorgeC » December 16th, 2010, 4:29 pm

http://www.newsarama.com/film/movie-rev ... 01216.html


Latest review... The news continues to be bad about this film.

The buzz is mostly from people who've sat at advance screenings.

Even the praise for is lukewarm.

I'm not really surprised to be honest. We're almost 30 years later doing this world again and the same mistakes have been made. Poor script.... Director wasn't quite up to this... and here we have a film that lacks the acting and charisma to pull in an audience.

I'd be very surprised if this film has more than one decent weekend in it.

Whoever greenlighted this film has got to be quaking in his boot and wondering if he'll keep his job at Disney after New Year's.


P.S. -- EricJ, I've got your number.

I'm holding the cue stick and you're behind the eightball, kid.

Don't mess with me or another forum member again... EVER.

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