When I saw the lightcycle test footage for “TRON: Legacy,” I thought it looked really cool! I was aware of the 1982 film “TRON,” but didn’t know much about it.
(WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW)
So, this spring, I got it out of Netflix and watched it.
On a side night, I also watched 2002’s “Solaris” that weekend. I wish I had watched it first and “TRON” second because “Solaris” sucked big time! It’s amazing how so many talented individuals can come together to create something so bad.
Anyway, I watched “TRON” and, truth be told, it was still interesting and even the often (but not nearly always) video game-like special effects hold up (if you are able to watch it with your mind in 1980s mode). It has strong performances (most notably by Jeff Bridges and David Warner), an intriguing concept, a well-mixed score, and was done partially in 65mm (so the scale was really great). After watching it, I knew I had to see the sequel.
On Saturday, December 18, 2010, my friend (of over 10 years) Brian and I went to see “TRON: Legacy” in IMAX 3D at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square. It was really really really really cool! Yes, the youngified (yes, not a real word) Jeff Bridges (both as the younger Kevin Flynn and as C.L.U.) was a little creepy. Yes, the script had either too much help or not enough. Yes, there are some weaknesses in the plot, but it was soooooooo cool!
You eventually forget you are watching a 3D movie and get completely immersed in the environment. There are even moments when I fistpumped and went “Yeah!” Even the 2D scenes at the beginning of the movie are shot like they came out of Christopher Nolan movie. For his feature film directorial debut, Joseph Kosinski did quite a job! Speaking of which, in Sam’s childhood bedroom, you may notice a poster for “The Black Hole” – one of Disney’s other (and less successful) ventures into the realm of science fiction. Well, Kosinski is slated to direct the remake. Just a little tidbit.
I won’t say much about Jeff Bridges’ performance since it is just great all around. He brings the expected gravitas and coolness that go with the recent Academy Award-winner.
Bruce Boxleitner returns as Alan Bradley and gives the film that little extra bit of credibility (and a fine, if small, performance).
Garrett Hedlund stars as the aforementioned Sam Flynn and delivers a very good performance. I love a movie with a star I’ve never heard of.
Speaking of which, well sort of, there is Olivia Wilde. Yes, I had heard of her, but never seen her acting (save for, perhaps, a scene of “House” when someone else had it on the TV). She was awesome and, if I may say so, very hot! When her character, Quorra, rescues Sam from the arena, and says, “Patience, Sam Flynn. All your questions will be answered soon” there is a wonderful quirkiness to her delivery. She also kicks butt in the action scenes! I look forward to seeing her in “Cowboys & Aliens.”
Also in there is Michael Sheen as Castor/Zuse. He’s always great. I’m looking forward to watching his third performance as Tony Blair in “The Special Relationship” when I get around to watching it.
Of course, no posting about “TRON: Legacy” would be complete without mentioning the score. Like Kosinski, this is the feature film scoring debut for the French duo Daft Punk. When orchestral music and electronica come together the right way, it is a great thing! And that’s what happened here! A large orchestra was used and, unlike most films, this score was developed and written as the movie was produced, and not after the movie was finished, as is usually the case. Usually, the movie is made and then the composer is brought on. Here, they were writing the music in concert with the making of the movie. Along with so many great musical moments in the movie, including a main title that makes you think “very cool” the climax where Kevin Flynn defeats C.L.U. has such pulsating strings and vivid brass, it really made me smile! Music isn’t meant to be buried in the sound mix. I love it when a movie with great music realizes it is great music and gives it the prominence it deserves. Another recent example was “There Will Be Blood.” On a side note to that, had that movie not come out, “There will be blood” could have been the tagline for “Sweeney Todd.”
Anyway, I highly recommend you see “TRON: Legacy” and buy the soundtrack!
After the movie, Brian and I drove down 9th Avenue and had Thai food. We ended eating at Chanpen.
They had a $3 special on beer.
We shared an appetizer – curry puffs.
I think Brian had the chicken Pad Kra Praow.
I had the chicken Pad Khi Mao.
Dinner was yummy.
On my way home, XM’s Cinemagic channel was playing their “Reel Time” interview with Joseph Kosinski. When I got home, I ordered the “TRON: Legacy” album!
– Evan Bindelglass