Tron: Legacy / The Next Day

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Re:

Post by EricJ » December 20th, 2010, 5:40 pm

Ben wrote:But even that was a slow and steady race, it didn't come out and do $300m in one weekend: it took the best part of a year to crawl to that amount, but the big thing was people kept going back to see it instead of those other films.
I had to look up what was the #1 box-office movie for the first week in December 1982:
It was E.T. Which opened in JUNE.
(Remember how we were annoyed at Avatar and Titanic staying around forever?
It was a lot more common in the last days before home video, when you had to go see them in the theaters, and hits thought in terms of months.)
As Droo said, it was a crowded market for genre movies that year. What people forget is that, with all that in play, Tron actually did pretty good. Not great, but better than some of those other films, and with continued VHS exposure the film became one of those cult hits in the home.
The pre-release tracking on the movie was HUGE, and that was part of the problem--Arcade nuts were expecting more of a mindblowing videogame binge than they got, which could also be said of Legacy.
For the record, the pre-release on Crystal was huge as well (if not for it being depressing and a last-minute recut rendering the script simplistic), but....it was a Christmas movie, and not likely to have been a threat to Tron's June box office. :P
Also FTR, Blade Runner, Tron's most direct June competition one week before, also Ridley-confused itself into a mediocre box office, and John Carpenter's "The Thing" did an icky el-floppo with mainstream audiences.
Sure, it's still a geek's own movie, but remember this: if it hadn't eventually coined in a certain amount of money eventually, we wouldn't be discussing a "Tron 2" here at all..
Again: The purpose of the sequel (besides to bury 20 years of abandoned sequel scripts) was to say "You've heard the jokes, now see the movie." It wasn't a take-the-title-and-run sequel, it tried to work in geek lore from those who grew up with the movie on video, let alone theaters, and continue the story to reflect the aging actors and the current computer technology. (Which had been the problem with the other abandoned scripts, which had mostly tried to bring back Boxleitner's Tron as the hero.)
We've had other threads on how Disney transformed "Hercules", for one, from a legendary studio-crippling disaster into a beloved home-video cult item with the next generation's bad memory for theatrical box office; what makes Tron specially singled out for specific cultural locker-room pantsing?: Because it's 80's? Because Peter Griffin dressed up as the character? Because Chuck had a poster of it in his room? Because a pudgy guy in a homemade costume harmlessly symbolized what you might stereotypically think sci-fi convention geeks looked like? Because a lot of 80's survivors over 30 know how to carry a grudge??
Last edited by EricJ on December 20th, 2010, 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by GeorgeC » December 20th, 2010, 5:54 pm

The thing is Bill, that films DIDN'T open wide in the US until well after Star Wars became a huge hit.

I just got done reading (what I cared to of) The Making of The Empire Strikes Back and it illuminated a few things I was generally aware of at the time in the 1980s and a few specific details that were not commonly noticed in the 1980s, too.

Films would generally open in a few (maybe 24-40) cities -- still wider than most art films do today -- and then expand to other cities and smaller towns as they became confirmed hits.

This business of starting opening day in 2,500 or more theaters was not common before '82 or '83 at the earliest. Opening wide was definitely the norm by the late 1980s. Opening weekend and the next week's fall-off are more important because they tell you whether a film will be profitable and have a life beyond the theater on cable TV/pay-per-view as well as home. There are still generally speaking very few failed films that become cult hits later on and inspire (ill-advised) sequels 20-30 years later!

(A good question studios ought to consider before greenlighting sequels is just how MANY people are fans of a cult film. I suspect in many cases that the people who show at conventions may be it. There just may not be enough people for a theatrical release but enough for a TV movie or made-for-video release. Oddly enough, I almost think the made-for-video releases are looked down more often than the equally cheap TV movies!)

The practice of opening wide began well after The Empire Strikes Back was released to theaters (1980). Those were the days when a film could play at the same theater for up to a year if it was popular enough locally. That sort of thing doesn't happen now because of differences in distribution and the home video/pay-for-view release cycles.

Locally, the old mall theater (long since torn down) in the town I grew up in played E.T. for about a year!

Nowadays, most of us deal with cineplexes and those have also changed the game, too. We're not only dealing with traditional film or projected hi-def, but also digital 3-D and Imax/3-D Imax, too. There are a lot more choices now but the chances of failing are also higher because of the much larger amounts of money involved. Inflation does not account for all the increases, either. Far more money is being spent now, period.

People say the studios play it too safe and greenlight too many remakes and sequels but they also greenlight a bunch of junk which will never make its money back. IF the producers and directors were better businessman AND artists (very few are both), they'd be able to spot the huge problems with many scripts and not put them into production BEFORE the scripts are ready. It goes without saying that many people in the upper food chain of the film industry -- not just celebrities -- are far overpaid for what they actually accomplish. It's not just the $20million actor that's not worth the salary anymore, it's also studio officers and many, many producers who frankly get paid more than what they return to their backers.

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Post by GeorgeC » December 20th, 2010, 6:46 pm

Directly related to TRON, the unseen-since-1982 "TRON Holiday Special" starring Burt Reynolds and Dom Deluise! With special appearances by Gabe Kaplan and Rip Taylor!

http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/5aaba2 ... ay-special

(There are Muppets in it, Ben... You KNOW you want to see it! Technically, they're Fraggles, but they're knitted together at the same Creature Workshop!)


Thanks to TheDigitalBits.com for the link!

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Re:

Post by EricJ » December 20th, 2010, 6:54 pm

GeorgeC wrote:Directly related to TRON, the unseen-since-1982 "TRON Holiday Special" starring Burt Reynolds and Dom Deluise! With special appearances by Gabe Kaplan and Rip Taylor!
http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/5aaba2 ... ay-special

(There are Muppets in it, Ben... You KNOW you want to see it! Technically, they're Fraggles, but they're knitted together at the same Creature Workshop!)
(Well, that would be an achievement, as Fraggle Rock technically didn't debut until 1983...) :P
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Post by Ben » December 21st, 2010, 10:35 am

So...

I loved, loved, loved the first, non-half hour of Tron: Legacy. All the wonderful hints back to the original, the recreation of the arcade and Flynn's office, the hand held game he played in the original on his sofa in the secret lab, repeats of fan favorite lines (you knew he was going to remark on the "big door" the minute it came on screen)...excellent stuff!

And I found I really liked Sam Flynn, despite not going gaga over the actor in the trailers and clips. I loved seeing Alan Bradley, and Dillinger Jr (who I expect would be a bigger part of a future film)...

Except, I don't think there's going to be any future films.

Once Flynn was sucked in (awe, no cool digitation scene?) the film dropped several notches of cool for me. It was still good, but as if the Matrix sequels never happened. Hated the girls dressing Sam in his cybersuit, and didn't much care for the meandering script before it got back on track with the lightcycles.

I actually liked Daft Punk's music, though kept aching for a reference to the Wendy Carlos score (it really needed it at least twice) but I hated their action cues: basically the same old synth-driven repetitious drone that passes for score in the Batman films, with big blasts of single chords here and there. The action scenes needed action scoring, and I was surprised that their collaborator Bruce Broughton wasn't used more to bring some thematic elements to these moments. As a result they dragged and became uninvolving.

I also hated young Jeff Bridges. When a young Flynn was first mooted I figured they'd go the Benjamin Button route, making Bridges look younger through CG FX. When I heard it was mo-cap, I was worried, and when I saw the clips I was more worried. In the film, he looks awful. Between the forehead and the middle of his nose, nothing on his face moves. It's even worse at the end, when old and young Bridges have a face-off (haha) and you can see all the life in old Flynn's eyes and nothing in Clu's. And if he turned to camera and did that half-smile thing again...grrrr...ugh.

Okay, so can we say that Clu was a synthetic being and the ideal of perfection, so naturally he would look super smooth and non-wrinkled? Yeah, okay...I'd buy that, but then there's no reason for young Kevin Flynn to look exactly as waxy and non-emotional either.

I also missed the color scheme of the earlier film. The concepts on the 20th anniversary Tron DVD were spectacular: modern and updated - organic even - but in keeping with the Troniverse. Everything here was one-note: black with color strips.

And it all seemed ripped out of other sci-fi movies: Flynn's pad straight out of 2001 (cluttering cutlery and all, but why do programs have to eat!?), and even the terrain looked like a darker Krypton. The slo-mo Matrix scenes became annoying: okay, they stole the Matrix from Tron, but in stealing it back, Legacy made it look too much like daylight robbery. Micheal Sheen as a Bowie-like club owner who kept lapsing into his other accents (Blair and Frost)? It was like Reloaded all over again, complete with the same crummy music.

For the first time in a 3D film, my eyes strained to see anything. I wouldn't say I had a headache, but several times I had to take off the specs - and it did nothing to the effect! In fact, the 3D brought almost nothing other that a bit of dimensionality to the film, with characters always in focus in the frontal plane. So glad that, with the first half hour flat anyway, that I didn't pay to go the Imax route.

THAT ALL SAID: I was like a kid again. It wasn't as cool as seeing Tron back in 1982, but then that did give us a completely alternate world. This was much like any other CG arena, and though the multi-level lightcycles were cool, there just wasn't any visual variety to break the monotony. But I really liked Sam, and I really liked how this was - whatever the marketing wants you to believe - a real and proper sequel to the first film.

Not that it needed doing, but it closed the story off good and proper, even if I'm not sure how Corra would really survive in the real world. I would also have liked to have seen a Clu/Sam scene where they bonded/realized that Flynn was basically both their creator/father. Could have been some good sibling rivalry stuff in there, or at least pretense on Clu's part. It was cool seeing Tron as well, though that whole subplot was thrown away, I thought, for a movie that had "Tron" in the title.

Ultimately, I guess what they have done is make a Tron for these times. They kind of made the 1982 movie, but in 2010, if that make sense. It doesn't better or worsen the original film, but adds another chapter to Flynn's story that closes it off and at least gives us another Tron-like movie. I'll likely love it outright when I see it again (either a repeat viewing or on BD), but as for first impressions, I wasn't "wowed" speechless by it, and neither was a fellow geek I went with.

That's not to say I was particularly "disappointed": I certainly wasn't, and it wasn't a "bad" film. But it's not going to bring any new fans to Tron, and I can't see that the projected one or two extra films are going to get made.

And though this didn't blow me away, that would be unfortunate as I think there's more potential to be tapped. :(

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Post by GeorgeC » December 21st, 2010, 2:09 pm

Eh,

They'll make a TRON ride in EPCOT or the Magic Kingdom some day, Ben.

I think it would have been cheaper to do that than make a sequel film!

I'd be very suprised if the sequel doesn't drop off over the weekend in the US. That's the effect of word-of-mouth when a film's mediocre and just doesn't attract anyone other than people who like big explosions. I could be wrong on that, too. Most people who speculate professionally were predicting around $45 million first weekend in the US but I don't think any of them really expect the film to have "legs" as it were.

Frankly, I'm not surprised that people hate the art design in this film. It's just not original following 12 years of The Matrix and a bunch of shows (and even an episode of South Park!) that covered the same ground or were similarly designed. Sequels rarely live up to or surpass their expections -- both The Empire Strikes Back and Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan were happy exceptions to that rule. It's also too different from the original film where you felt it was in a "videogame" environment. The new film looks like it could have taken place in ax Xtreme Sports Rally. Nothing stands out design-wise or feels consistent with the first film from what I've seen in the previews.

It's funny that you mention the special effects not working in places. Face replacement didn't work well for the Dooku/Yoda lightsaber fight in Star Wars: Episode II, either, and that was almost ten years ago now!

I'm serious about the EPCOT attraction. This really should have been done years ago but in the style of the original TRON. I still find the computer animation in many places holds up and it's a fine example of excellent rotoscoping, too.

I hear you on the music, too, but I'm NOT a huge fan of techno or modern music in general. At least the original TRON had a theme that stood out.

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Re:

Post by EricJ » December 21st, 2010, 2:38 pm

Ben wrote:And I found I really liked Sam Flynn, despite not going gaga over the actor in the trailers and clips .
I actually found my self flashing back on Eisner's complaint about Jim Hawkins in "Treasure Planet" originally being "too grumpy".
With Sam for the first half of the movie, I could kind of see what he was referring to.
I actually liked Daft Punk's music, though kept aching for a reference to the Wendy Carlos score (it really needed it at least twice) but I hated their action cues: basically the same old synth-driven repetitious drone that passes for score in the Batman films, with big blasts of single chords here and there.
On one board, we'd had fans gushing over the Daft Punk, but I sat thinking "Wait, isn't 'dun-dun, dun-DUN-DUN" the Terminator theme?...Is Clu really Skynet?" :P
Micheal Sheen as a Bowie-like club owner who kept lapsing into his other accents (Blair and Frost)?
I'd thought "Labyrinth-era David Bowie" too, at first, until we got his "panicky" scenes with the villain, where he lapsed into Jack Sparrow.
Not that it needed doing, but it closed the story off good and proper, even if I'm not sure how Corra would really survive in the real world.
And not to original-fan quibble about tech details, but how exactly DO programs materialize in the real world (as is Clu's apparent plan)?
In the first movie, Bridges' atoms were suspended in a transport beam, and his "program" was only the digital-simulation version, but it explained how he could get back out again--As Barnard Hughes would point out, here goes nothing, here comes something?
(Oh, and it's "Quorra", with a Q.)
Last edited by EricJ on December 21st, 2010, 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re:

Post by estefan » December 21st, 2010, 2:45 pm

Ben wrote: I actually liked Daft Punk's music, though kept aching for a reference to the Wendy Carlos score
Doesn't Jeff Bridges hum a few notes in the opening scene? At least, it sounded like like the Carlos music to me.

As for my thoughts on Tron: Legacy, I thought it was great. Maybe it's me being a bit of a technology nerd, but I really got into the world and I even enjoyed the many scenes of exposition. I liked that they kept an 1980s-style charm to the proceedings and the updatings of the discs and light-cycles blew me away. I also loved the 2001-esque set design and it says a lot that I didn't question the science-fiction of the film and just accepted it for what it was. But, then again, I'm not somebody who goes out of his way to look for plot-holes. It's not a perfect film, no, but as somebody who really likes the first Tron, I thought it was a worthy sequel and I'm hoping this is successful enough that Disney greenlights a third film.

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Re: Re:

Post by EricJ » December 21st, 2010, 3:22 pm

estefan wrote:
Ben wrote: I actually liked Daft Punk's music, though kept aching for a reference to the Wendy Carlos score
Doesn't Jeff Bridges hum a few notes in the opening scene? At least, it sounded like like the Carlos music to me.
Yep--"(action figure) This was Tron...'Da da-da, da DAA!'"
EricJ wrote:As Barnard Hughes would point out, here goes nothing, here comes something?
(And on the subject of Barnard Hughes' character: It's blink-or-miss, but was anyone pathetically first-movie geek enough to notice that Sam's cool garage digs had a faded "Dumont" logo?
As in, the garage where Walter Gibbs built the first Encom operating system?...Or is that just too obscure and paranoid? 8) )

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Post by Ben » December 21st, 2010, 3:40 pm

estefan wrote:Doesn't Jeff Bridges hum a few notes in the opening scene? At least, it sounded like like the Carlos music to me.
Yep, but a "dum-dum-Duuum-dum-DDUUUMM" doesn't equal to the elation one feels when you hear the score support a moment.

When Sam gets to Flynn's Arcade and looks at the sign? Needed the "Requiem For Tron" cue there, for sure. That would have been goosebumps for those in the know, just a nice bit of score for those that weren't.

As for accepting things for what they are, that's why so many mediocre movies are big hits. And I didn't go out of my way looking for plot holes (Quorra in the real world apart) and I don't think I found any.

I really, really like the original Tron - and like I kept saying, I did not dislike this one - but as a non-perfect film it's not going to draw in the added crowds that it needs to be a hit and greenlight more. The geeks have had their fill, and those geeks need to spread the word. But if the word is "accept it for what it is", and "it's not a perfect film", then those casual fans or even the ones adamantly against seeing it at all, are not going to come.

And I can't see them coming to be honest. Although it does leave little strands that could be followed up, I was so glad it it rounded out Flynn's story with a finality that meant that, in the likely event there are no more films, at least we haven't been left hanging. But like I said, if there were no more, "that would be unfortunate as I think there's more potential to be tapped".
EricJ wrote:It's blink-or-miss, but was anyone pathetically first-movie geek enough to notice that Sam's cool garage digs had a faded "Dumont" logo?
Eric: yep, I did notice Dumont, among many other bits like that, and chuckled to myself. I meant to mention that. It was cool touches like that that made me really like Tron: Legacy when it worked, and at least proved the creators were true to the source. You know, sometimes he wished he was back in that garage! ;)

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Re: Tron: Legacy

Post by GeorgeC » December 23rd, 2010, 7:03 pm

http://specials.msn.com/A-List/Lifestyl ... d=26881923


Tron Guy banned from seeing movie in local theater unless he wears actual clothing!

I guess people think he's too weird or he smells or something.

Does he actually have more than 1 copy of that outfit I always see him wearing on television?

I know he's an IT contractor and they can be kind of 'different' but still most people don't generally get stuck on a cult film so much that they wear replicas of the costumes day-in, day-out.

Master Control needs to recall that outfit!

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Re: Tron: Legacy

Post by Whippet Angel » December 24th, 2010, 1:11 am

Hey, am I the only one who
click to reveal content
totally geeked out at the Disney logo being all "TRON-ified" :mrgreen:

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Re: Tron: Legacy

Post by Dacey » December 24th, 2010, 12:00 pm

This is pretty cool:

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift--that is why it's called the present."

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Post by Ben » December 28th, 2010, 3:52 pm

Flippy-floppies! ;)

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Re: Tron: Legacy

Post by LotsoA113 » January 5th, 2011, 8:27 pm

Finally saw this Sunday afternoon in IMAX. Like everyone else it seems, I have mixed feelings. Quorra and Jeff Bridges were terrific and I felt that the updates of the visuals from Tron were great. I also enjoyed Daft Punk's awesome score and the IMAX experience, as it really MADE the film. However, I can't quite shake this feeling that there is a great movie in there, another avatar-like classic, but these guys screwed that up, so what we got was....this average flick that'll be forgotten by Summer.

Two things I wanted to point out:

1) Loved Michael Sheen. He's quickly becoming one of my "will-be-huge-soon" actors. Tough did anyone else feel he was the Jack Sparrow wannabe like Alfred Molina in Prince of Persia?

2) Did not like Sam Flynn. At all. Too cliche (he rides a motorcycle? REBEL ALERT!! REBEL ALERT!!) and never feels as if he went through an arc. Wouldn't be surprised if his actor has hard time finding work

All that being said, I did enjoy the visuals (sans creppy ,dead-eye Clu) and will pick it up on Blu-Ray, if only to see those colors pop and shine like they did in the IMAX I saw it in.
I love all things cinema, from silent movies to world cinema to animated cinema to big blockbusters to documentaries and everything in between!

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