If you were wondering which Tron Legacy version to purchase, following the release of the Christmas 2010 blockbuster, Disney has decided to make things easy for you. As part of the 2-Movie Collection, containing an original copy of the first Tron movie, aptly named Tron the Original Classic (talk about an oxymoron) , Disney has also dumped four version of Tron Legacy in their five-disc set. If you’re one of those who likes 3D movies and you don’t have an eight-year-old at home who gets headaches when he watches a 3D enhanced movie on Blu-Ray, this is for you. If you can do without the 3D and want your little ones to be headache-free, go for the straight Blu-Ray release. If you don't have a Blu-Ray player – Disney thought of you too. There’s a DVD version of this film in the set. Finally, if you like to watch your movies on your computer or mobile device, well, Disney aims to please with the digital version of this film that. If that doesn’t cover your needs nothing will.
About Tron Legacy, it’s the story of the son of programmer hacker Kevin Flynn played by Jeff Bridges in both the original film and this sequel. Sam Flynn, played by Garrett Hedlund is kind of a hacker but more a contrarian who plays tricks on the board of the company he inherited from his father after the latter disappeared mysteriously about 20 years ago. The disappearance of Kevin Flynn is the stuff of conspiracy theorists and hardcore fans of the technology company he help build. However, when Sam discovers the old computer where his father was conducting experiments every night within the computer he created, he is suddenly trapped in the world of Tron, like his father first was decades ago. All is not rosy in this digital world and Clu, the first program created by Kevin Flynn seeks to take over both the digital and physical world while stopping both Flynns from ever escaping.
This version of Tron, visually, or course, is the one we all wish we had seen in 1982 (for those of us who were around back then). The graphics and special effects have nothing to envy from any recent blockbuster action flick. Instead of just reinventing Tron, it improved on the original designs while keeping much if the visual signature.
The story itself is another story. There’s not much enchantment like the first Tron. There’s little for the viewer to discover or be amazed by. It’s a straight action flick with some technogeek nuances. Tron Legacy is not a bad movie at all, even if there are some plot holes that were never really addressed, like why are programs human-like? Why do they take space like human-like objects instead of just being lines of codes deployed on hardware? Unlike the first Tron movie, there was little integration of modern computing paradigms in the creation of the world and concept of this world. I can understand that the world of Tron was not connected to the Internet, but none of the world creating possibilities explored by properties such as World of Warcraft, the Sims and Second Life were explored in this other world.
Were the fake documentary and the behind the scenes elements added to the collection not been up to par, this would have been a poor release. Here, the home theatre release producers and the director of this new film, Joseph Kosinski focused instead on what it means to be a techno media mogul. They took a page from the recent Iron Man film franchise and patterned Flynn the father after one of those mythical Silicon Valley inventor turn company executive that influence culture and have mass followings of fans. That whole situation was quite well handled. In fact half of the fun of this DVD package is to discover through easy to find Easter eggs the various extra features that bridge the first Tron movie with this sequel. It’s actually quite fun and inventive and what one would like to get from most DVDs.
Disney is really trying to create a cool franchise here that will speak to techno geeks and in a way; it may have found a way to do just that. While the extra features are fun, many of them are repackaged often and thus lose some of their charm. I would say here that just like parts of the movie, such as in the club, Disney is really trying hard to be Matrix-cool with Tron, as if it were fighting to reclaim its crown and very legacy as the originator and producer of a cultural geekish icon before such things were fashionable. Yeah, Disney is trying to gain some decent street cred. The problem with street credibility is that you can’t really manufacture it and nowhere in this project does it seem that Disney fed the geeks it pretends to entertain. Nowhere, does it really seek input from the cultural influencers that it pertains to respect. Instead, Tron Legacy presents us a pre-manufactured world where high level and not so cool executives think they have an insight into the psyche of the average nerd. Even when Disney allows nerds to participate in the project, such as when it captures the cheers from the crowds who attended a panel at the 2009 San Diego Comic Con, the crowd is merely directed to perform a collective goal, not engaged.
These complaints are moot in the end as the product is good, even if not really genuine. I was entertained and impressed by the features. You too will be entertained by this collected edition, including the multiple extra-features included which will, hopefully shed some more information on Tron as a new sequel-ready property for Disney. Disney has finally found a way to reach out to young men who grew out of Mickey’s Club House.
Iconic Imagery (Bonus)
Stage Presence of David Warner (Bonus)
Securing Bruce Boxleitner (Bonus)
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