Retroist Tron Podcast

“TRON” and “TRON Legacy” the 2-Movie Blu-Ray/DVD Collection

I fight for the users!

Anyone who spends any amount of time on The Retroist knows a few things about me. I drink too much soda, I do not get much sleep and I love the movie TRON. So when TRON Legacy hit the theaters I went and saw it multiple times (8 in total). I guess I am explaining this sort of as a disclaimer. I am a TRON fanboy and I find it impossible to separate myself from my love of the story and the mythology behind the films. So as I sit down to write a review of my much appreciated advance copy of the “TRON” and “TRON Legacy” 2-Movie Blu-Ray/DVD Collection, I need to establish some ground rules for this review.

I am not going to talk much about the story or I will be hear all day gushing and that ill be embarrassing for both of us. All I can say is that TRON and TRON Legacy are fantastical movies set in a cyber-world of compelling heroes and villains. Its sooo good.

I am also going to get talking about the artistry of the film over with now – both films are visual masterpieces in my opinion. They are well conceived and carried out with the best technology available for the filmmakers at the time. Okay now with that out of the way, I can get to the meat of this 2 movie Blu-Ray/DVD collection.

The Packaging
Looking sharp – Nice Hologram style cardboard sleeve with Quorra and Sam Flynn. The image you have probably seen a 1000 times from the marketing blitz. When you pull off the sleeve you get the same image, this time no hologram. I am sure you have seen this before, but if you have not, enjoy:

tron legacy 2 movie combo

The Blu-Ray case is the aptly colored blue (for once this seems more relevant). Inside is the normal inserts and advertisements. Three interesting ones.

1. An add for Commodore USA with a C64
2. TRON Uprising logo
3. This beauty:

A scan cannot do it justice, but I can tell you this, it looks good enough to be hanging next to my desk now.

What You Get Inside
Packaging is good, but the real gem is whats on the discs and you get a lot of Tron. You get:

1. TRON Legacy 3D Blu-Ray
2. TRON Legacy 2D Blu-Ray
3. TRON Legacy 2D DVD
4. TRON Legacy 2D Digital Copy
5. TRON the Original Classic Blu-Ray

Now that is just the main stuff. You also get a host of extras including”

• 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

I have had this set for over a week I am still wading through the sea of extras between my constant need to re-watching of the original film (it is almost becoming a compulsion).

The Picture
Visually both films are stunning. I had not doubt how good Legacy would look in Blu-Ray. This is the type of movies that they use to sell Blu-Ray players. What made me nervous is what they would do with the with the original TRON. Now Disney could have passed the film through a computer and cleaned up everything about the film. Heck they could have even redid some of the special effects to make the film seem more like Legacy. I am very pleased to see that they did not. They obviously spent a great deal of effort cleaning up the film. I watched it and compared it to my DVD copy and you can see the love they put into it. But they did not try and change the original experience.

Yes, 30 years have not been kind to TRON and the effects look somewhat dated, but this movie is a classic and these special effects were groundbreaking. To change it and its visual style would be like colorizing Casablanca or editing in an ending where Rick gets on the plane. Instead Disney did the noble thing. They cleaned up and preserved the film making it more TRON than it has ever been. It is because of this that I have locked in to re-watching the movie. I now feel like I am seeing it again for the first time.

The set also has a 3D copy of the film. I do not have the ability to watch 3D (and I am not a huge fan of 3D — it makes me feel ill after a while). Still if you do have a 3D setup at your home, I think Legacy is a good addition to your collection (I saw it in 3D in the theater).

The Sound
I have never been an audiophile, but I tried to make a little setup using computer speakers that I own to enjoy the movie in high quality stereo. Both titles sound great, although I have to say Legacy with its Daft Punk music definitely benefits more from the higher quality audio (and I love that music video).

Conclusion
I love both TRON and the more I watch it, the more I enjoy TRON Legacy. I think that either title alone is worth owning. I know a lot of people are down on Legacy, but now that a third film is on the horizon and more of the story is about to unfold, I think that Legacy will be vindicated. It is a flawed movie for sure, but that is because it stuck with the burden of having to redefine an established mythology and update it for a new audience. As more of the Tron Universe unfolds over the course of the next few years, this will be a film that certainly rise in people’s esteem. Of course, I am a fanboy, so you got to take that for what its worth.

That aside, the movies look and sounds great. The extras are plentiful. These are just what I was hoping for in a release. So make sure you pre-Order your copy or at least mark it on your calender. It will be available on April 5th. If you are an especially hardcore fan you might want to check out the Tron: Legacy / Tron: The Original Classic (Five-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD / Digital Copy in Identity Disc Collectible Packaging). I know I already have the movie, but I think I might need to get that one as well. Love those identity discs.

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Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!
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15 thoughts on ““TRON” and “TRON Legacy” the 2-Movie Blu-Ray/DVD Collection

  1. fluffdaddy says:

    @The Retroist:

    “It is a flawed movie for sure, but that is because it stuck with the burden of having to redefine an established mythology and update it for a new audience.”

    I rather think it’s flawed because it had an incoherent story and its characters were uninteresting. The problems you describe — redefining a mythology and updating it for a new audience — are only marginally applicable: the mythology was never that well-defined in the first place (certainly not to the level of, say, Star Trek), and the audience was going to show up regardless, as they would for any highly-marketed studio tent-pole.

  2. I am not so sure it is incoherent. In the end it all made sense, but it rambled. It was little too busy in some areas (that pointless bar sequence) and not in others (the “train” ride) — as if they had their eyes on some distant 3rd movie prize. As a fan, I wish that many things could have been different.

    I personally would have preferred they concentrated strictly on Flynn and his ability to accept the flaws in his two creations (his digital and organic son).

    The one key thing that I could gripe about for hours is that they gave little play to their best character, TRON. Instead concentrating on the far less compelling Quorra so that they could cram a wooden feeling romance into the movie. Of course I think that was all in an attempt to “modernize” a film that didn’t necessarily need it, but of course I am more of a fan of the original.

    I enjoyed it though all the same. In the same way I enjoy Return of the Jedi, but still think SW and ESB are far better — especially ESB.

  3. Hm, I can’t think of a single character that I was not interested in, fluffdaddy. But much like the Retroist, as he stated, I’m a fanboy as well. :)

  4. fluffdaddy says:

    @VicSage

    I can’t argue your point (nor would I). Interest is entirely subjective. Perhaps I should have said the characters did not have well conceived story arcs.

    @The Retroist

    “Of course I think that was all in an attempt to “modernize” a film that didn’t necessarily need it”

    I think you hit the nail on its head. They went for style over substance, and in the process they failed to harness the vast potential of the franchise. And that’s precisely why I get worked up about this movie in particular: because it did have such great potential. (Incidentally, your point about RoTJ is well taken, and I happen to feel exactly the same way about that particular film — but not Legacy, obviously.)

    I mean, if I were to ask you what Legacy was about, how would you answer? And the answer “It’s about Sam Flynn going to look for his father and ending up in the same virtual world his father designed” is not what I’m looking for. That’s what happened, not what the movie is about (i.e., Titanic was about how love really can save you, for instance). Once all the gorgeous imagery is gone (and it is paradigm breaking), once the innovative soundtrack fades to silence (and it is a hella cool soundtrack), what remains? What is this movie about?

  5. fluffdaddy says:

    @Doug

    That’s a fine, coherent observation, but it has nothing to do with the main character, Sam. That would be correct if it were Flynn’s movie, but it’s not.

  6. Doug says:

    Sam is also pursuing perfection, the perfection of his father’s company. It gets him in trouble.

  7. fluffdaddy says:

    @Doug

    I think that’s a stretch. At the beginning of the film, Sam isn’t setting out to perfect his father’s company, he is setting out to sabotage it. Furthermore, his character is presented as a somewhat anarchic malcontent, which is to say that the pursuit of perfection isn’t something that drives him.

  8. Doug says:

    He is sabotaging the company because it isn’t being run according to his father’s principles. He is anarchist because his father’s vision has been thwarted. So he is an agent of perfection, although a disillusioned one.

  9. “That would be correct if it were Flynn’s movie, but it’s not.”

    I think you hit on something there. It starts off as a Sam film, then once Kevin Flynn gets involved, the movie is all about him. Sam is just a bridge in this film (for better or worse) to the third so that we can resolve what happened with Kevin and move on. By the end we know that Kevin finally embraces his own flaws on both ends. He accepts that his bio son is different from him and he accepts responsibility for Clu’s behavior. The movie is also about how an idealist can be paralyzed by their own actions — which I imagine could have some sort of religious overtones that I am not going to even touch.

    It would have been much more effective if they cut all the jazz about the new life forms out and focused on that. Just one scene with Clu railing against father and brother would have lifted the film up so much.

    This does not exactly answer the question, “Is the film good?” But, I was able to get what I got out of it, without much work and I am enjoying thinking about the film in these comments. It is much easier for me to dissect my feelings and thoughts about Legacy than it is the Original TRON.

  10. fluffdaddy says:

    @Doug

    But Sam is resentful toward his father for abandoning him. He is in no way acting in pursuit of his father’s vision. Which brings us back to the original question: What is this movie–if it is indeed Sam’s movie–about?

    @The Retroist

    I think we’re pretty much in accord, although I would go so far as characterize the movie as definitively bad. Again, that doesn’t mean one can’t derive enjoyment from watching it. I just wanted and expected much more.

  11. Doug says:

    Just because he isn’t apparently acting toward it doesn’t mean he isn’t actually acting toward it. How many people use hate to try to get love?

  12. fluffdaddy says:

    @Doug

    You’re making my point for me. If his motives are that murky or you have to make such Moebian twists of logic to connect the dots, then he doesn’t have a clearly defined character arc.

  13. Atari Adventure Square says:

    As a huge Tron fan myself, I share The Retroist’s (and fellow lightcyclist Vic’s) sentiment about Tron Legacy fulfilling a dream of going back into that world in a modernized fashion.

    I gotta admit that the movie left me somewhat non-plussed initially because, well, the story is unfocused (the attempts at last-minute rewrites were a bad omen), the sentiment is dry (because of it) and and the emphasis on visuals overtake the experience of my actual expectations (that had been revved up by the sensational viral marketing campaign) which can be resumed to this – I was ready to go find Flynn myself inside the computer world I left years ago (and revisited many times).

    Mostly, I wanted modern audiences to share what the retro-TRON fuss was about but TL is a hard-sell as a first-comer’s movie experience and possibly also as a fan cogitating for years about the possibilities of life inside today’s computer. I knew I’d be short-changed by the need to create a new story, not just a parody of routers, firewalls and malware (but somebody please make that movie – pretty please?).

    I’m with the bandwagon of those hoping the next movie will elevate the trilogy by expanding on all elements in play – themes, story, character arcs, more Tron:the character, and more winks at the audience (cuz this is a popcorn-type of movie after all and my audience got only one laugh out of the whole thing – Flynn bopping the guard on the head).

    In the meantime, the thrilling extra – previously leaked and now officially released – of The Next Day offers more than a little fulfillment to fans like us. It’s positively a sign of things headed in the right direction in terms of story.
    And it actually resolves Legacy in a way that makes the whole ride worth re-visiting.

    Both movies were made for high-def technology, so I’m *really* looking forward to reliving the experience of the original and its sequel in such a glorious way.

    Thanks for the fanboy’s review, Retroist. It says what I feel in my heart about the world of Tron and its infinite possibilities.
    With this great release, the news of a third film and the upcoming cartoon, I think the Users have spoken.

  14. Vinvectrex says:

    I agree with fluffdaddy – but also with The Retroist. And, I’m amazed that there still exists a place online where differing opinions can be shared in a civil environment. I’m not a huge fan of acting or plots either film…and yet am continually drawn to them. I cannot explain how I manage to be a Tron fan, yet I’m not overly enamored with either movie. Maybe I’m just a fan of the idea of Tron. Or perhaps the visual style. Either way, I’m anxiously awaiting my DVDs. Wish I had the 3D TV, but for now, blu-ray will have to suffice. I was hoping for a digital copy of both films, but it seems that only Legacy has it?

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