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July 30 2009

Tron Legacy

tron legacyBy the time Tron Legacy is released it will have been 28 years since the original Tron… who cares? This sequel could be made 50 years after the original and everyone my age would line up from the old folks home to see it.

Released on July 9, 1982, the original Tron was the first movie to really feature “computer animation” as a main story plot, and it launched an entire generation of computer geeks as we all imagined this world inside the computer.  Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) was a computer programmer that worked for a company named ENCOM that stole his idea for a video game and went on to make millions from it.  In his efforts to get the proof, he was confronted by the Master Control Program (MCP) of ENCOM that uses a digitizing laser to transport Flynn into the company mainframe to get rid of him.

Once there, Flynn finds a fantastical world of gladiator style games that pit programs (represented by humans) against each other to the “death”.  Eventually Flynn and Tron (Bruce Boxleitner), a security program inside the mainframe, defeat the MCP, and Flynn is returned to the real world.  He gets the proof he needs to prove he created the game, and Dillinger (David Warner), who was also the template for the MCP and his general, Sark, is thrown out of the company, and Flynn is made the new CEO of ENCOM.

That is a very, very trimmed down version of the plot of Tron, and it is well worth watching if you’ve never seen it.  It changed a lot of lives, and was one of several movies (The Last Starfighter and WarGames being the other two biggies) that really got people thinking about computers and what they could do in this world.  And, hey, it also gave the world one of my all time favorite movie quotes:

Sark: You’ve got it. I’ve been hopin’ you’d send me somebody with a little bit of guts. What kind of program is he?
Master Control Program: He’s not any kind of program, Sark. He’s a User.
Sark: [shocked] A User!?

I don’t think a week goes by that I don’t say “He’s not any kind of program, Sark, He’s a user.“… and you have to say it with a bit of a British accent.

So, here we are.  In 2005 they announced a sequel to Tron, and then some test footage was shown last year at Comic Con with the title of Tr2n (thank goodness they changed it to Tron Legacy).  It was actually this same footage, but its been cleaned up considerably since then.  The biggest change is the Light Cycles (the funky motorcycles) changed significantly from the first movie when they could only make 90-degree turns.  The rumored plot is that Flynn disappeared some years ago and now his son, Sean (Garrett Hedlund), and an unknown female played by Olivia Wilde go looking for him.  Somehow or the other they end up in the computer world and discover Flynn has been there for years, and from the looks of the footage, and has taken over.

Is this movie really needed?  Who knows.  Will I be waiting like a giddy schoolboy to see it?  Yes.  Will I watch the first movie again before seeing it… oh yeah.  It’s a regular watch anyway.

So, what do you think? The look is going to take some getting used to, but I don’t care, I’m still seeing it.



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