Action / Adventure / Sci-Fi


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March 18, 2013 at 12:37 PM


Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn / Clu
David Warner as Ed Dillinger / Sark / Master Control Program
Bruce Boxleitner as Alan Bradley / Tron
Cindy Morgan as Lora / Yori
720p 1080p
694.09 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 36 min
P/S 0 / 28
1.40 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 36 min
P/S 4 / 47

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Robert Morgan 10 / 10

Poetical cyberadventure

I was terribly excited about Tron when it came out theatrically; I was all of 8 years old, but was already a computer geek. 15 years later, I ended up purchasing the $100 Archive Edition laserdisc box set as my very first LD. Tron definitely made an impact on me.

Tron has survived the years- more so than many other contemporary SF films, and more than I think most critics would have guessed. Instead of looking out-dated and corny, as the years have passed, Tron has aged gracefully. Sure, the monochrome-screen terminals might look a bit old, and the arcade is a distant, fond memory, but the SFX are still beautiful, and the storyline, in this era of the Internet, seems shockingly modern.

One of the reasons Tron's SFX have aged so well is because they did not try to simulate anything already existing. We have no basis to determine if the architecture of the MCP's world is out-dated or not-hip; everything is styled so uniquely that it's never going to look wrong. Much like the design of Maria in Metropolis, the look of Tron is never going to be laughable or quaint.

The storyline is lacking a little bit; you can see the ideas the script writers wanted to insert, but there are too many ideas for only 2 hours of film. There are quite a few points in the film that are mentioned and then ignored (Grid bugs, anyone?), and occasionally the film digresses from the plot for no other reason than to digress- the digressions being unimportant to the story at hand. But, despite the problems, the philosophy of user/program interaction, and the handling of technophobia are both handled admirably.

I recommend every video game, computer, and SF fan to watch Tron at least once. I echo the call for it to be the widescreen version, but I am disappointed with the DVD's extra features- or lack thereof. The LD is much more full featured, and better for fans, despite the side breaks every 30 minutes.

Reviewed by J-bot6 9 / 10

TRON: 'All that is visible…'

TRON. Now here's a film that seems to generate a wide spectrum of reviews.

As for my take on this landmark motion picture, I have to admit that I will always be able to reflect on it in its original context.

In 1982, TRON (along with Blade Runner) was nothing short of breathtaking. And, although it was originally panned by critics, those who have taken the time to look closer, have noticed that there is more to this film than there first seems to be.

One of TRON's greatest strengths lies in its extensive use of parallelism. There is the world of the user (almost a god or demigod motif), contrasted with the world of the programs (very much a metaphor for our world). And, just to enhance this metaphor, Dillinger's helicopter is shown with neon-red lines, and the final fade to black is preceded with a time-lapse of the city – suggesting data running along traces.

The obvious parallels are with the use of the same actor for each character's counterparts in the digital world. Flynn and Clu, Alan and Tron, Laura and Yori, Gibbs and Dumont, Dillinger and Sark.

However, we see a number of other characters show up here and there, in more subtle form: For example, there's Sark's second in command on the bridge of the carrier. He shows up earlier in the film as Peter – the suit who was watching Dillinger's office. Then there's RAM's human counterpart asking Alan if he can have some of his popcorn.

I find it surprising that many are critical of the 'unbelievable' aspect of this film. However, never is the audience expected to believe that this is the way the computer world really works or that a person could ever be zapped into a computer. In fact, to allude to the type of story that the audience is being presented with, TRON does a near-quote of Alice In Wonderland, with 'Stranger and stranger.' Perhaps Kevin Flynn fell down the rabbit hole…. And – for those who think TRON is a Disney film – watch the production notes and you'll discover that this is not a Disney film (although they did fund it).

Of most obvious interest is the fact that TRON pushed the computer graphics technology of the time to its limits and beyond. And – despite many who have said that its graphics are primitive, they're confusing resolution with texture-mapping. The truth is, the number of colours displayed and the resolution shown in the computer-generated components in TRON is higher than most desktop displays – even today. To output to film with the level of sharpness and smooth gradients seen in TRON, you'd need at least 24 or 32-bit colour, with a horizontal resolution of approximately 3000 to 4000 pixels. On top of that, it was the first film to use transparency in 3D CGI (the solar-sailor simulation). To my knowledge, texture-mapping didn't exist in 1982. Fortunately, the lack of texture mapping works well with the stylized look of the film's 'world inside the machine.'

As a film, TRON is definitely both unique and entertaining. And, for those who are visual in nature, it's full of splendid eye-candy. The design work is top-rate, and is best appreciated when viewed on film. I recall watching this movie when it first came out in 1982, and have to say that it was nothing short of total immersion. Unfortunately, most of the modern transfers of this film have been pretty rough (with the exception of the out-of-print Laserdisc box-set).

The plot for TRON is actually quite simple. Despite this simplicity, it is cleverly used for the purpose of -- hopefully – making the audience think about our world, and how it may relate to some 'higher world.' If we are programs, then who are our users? Is there a level up from us, and do they know all the answers? There is certainly a metaphysical angle to TRON, which the audience can ether pay attention to, or disregard in favour of the simple thrill of watching Light Cycles square off against each other on the Game Grid.

Many elements are combined in this film: the gladiatorial film, the exodus, the revolution, the sentient AI, the battle of good vs. evil, and – of course – the almost prophetic depiction of the computer industry. Encom and Ed Dillinger are very much parallels to real themes that took place in the computer industry in the years that followed the release of TRON. These themes are very much repeated in more recent trilogy of films. I think the actual name for the Light Cycle game that Flynn mentions will give you a clue as to which trilogy I'm referring to.

Finally, there's Kevin Flynn. Some may be surprised that I left this one to the end. However, I thought I'd leave the best for last. Fact is, Jeff Bridges did a brilliant job with this character. Over the years, I have actually known computer-industry hot-shots who are remarkably similar to Flynn. He made the character believable. And, this carries over to the film itself. No matter how much of a leap you're expected to make when approached with a script or screenplay, be compelling. Jeff Bridges and David Warner do exactly this.

TRON is a movie that really entertains. I like to think of it as a big small movie. One that was definitely ambitious and is presented in 'glossy' and vivid wide-screen, yet has a sort of nice-light-snack kind of feel to it. It's a movie with a great deal of replay value, and one with compelling characters.

In short, TRON – like its video game counterpart – is fun.

And for that, and a host of other reasons, it will remain on my list of favourite films.

End of line.

Reviewed by DrLex 9 / 10

Groundbreaking and still entertaining today

I still remember having seen parts of this movie when I was a very little kid and I thought it was incredibly cool, I hadn't seen anything like it. Now I have bought the 20th anniversary DVD and this was the first time I watched the movie in its entirety (and with a developed brain). And I still like it. Not in the same way as when I was young, because now I understand the story (I didn't understand English back then and I couldn't read the subtitles) so it's different from what I imagined back then, and now I have seen a truckload of modern movies with CGI effects.

However, even though the effects in this movie are somewhat 'dated', they are still unique. While listening to the audio commentary (which is a must if you wonder how they managed to make a movie like this in 1982), I heard someone stating my thoughts exactly: the unique thing about this movie is that while modern movies use CGI in an attempt to simulate the real world, in Tron one tried to simulate a computer world with real world images. Because they did succeed in this, the movie will never become 'dated', while movies trying to use limited CGI effects will become dated as soon as CGI evolves. The limitations of computer graphics at that time forced the makers of the movie to be very creative. E.g. all camera motions in the CG scenes (including the swinging motions in the chase scenes) had to be calculated by hand, there simply was no software for it! Nowadays computer graphics are nearing perfection, and that's why a movie like this will never be made again.

If you haven't seen this movie yet, to fully appreciate how groundbreaking it is, you must be willing to imagine that you're back in a time where the most complex computer animation to be seen were the moving blocks in video arcades or the 5 seconds of wire-frame models in Star Wars. You might expect that the resolution of the images will be very low and the pictures will be blocky, but this is totally untrue. The images were created at film resolution, often using methods which don't even involve the rasterization of images, so they look perfectly smooth. Some might say too smooth, due to the lack of texture mapping (which hardly existed at that time), but IMHO this is what gives the depicted 'digital world' its unique appearance.

The story is not of great complexity, but it's original and entertaining enough. Of course it's a Disney movie, so there aren't many 'sharp edges' to it (a scene with a mildly erotic undertone was even removed), but don't expect 'Bambi' sweetness either. Grown-ups will probably be more amazed by the kind of effects they managed to pull off in 1982, while children will be enchanted by the strange world shown in this movie. If you want to entertain young kids during a hour and a half, this movie will be perfect. They will like every bit (pun intended) of it!

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