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Home Video Review: "Tron: Legacy/Tron: The Original Classic"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Packaging the original "Tron" with "Tron: Legacy" was, obviously, a no-brainer for Disney. Unfortunately, the immediate comparison really drives home how frustrating the two films are. Both are parts of good movies, but neither wholly come together. "Tron" has heart and charm despite its clunky visuals. "Legacy" is all state-of-the-art flash and dash with no pulse.  But from a purely aesthetic standpoint, both transition beautifully to Blu-ray.  

    Let's start with the youngster. Upon second viewing, "Legacy" still suffers from the problems that plagued it in theaters. Setting a glass world against a gray background is boring to look at no matter how crystal clear the image (not to mention the film makes almost no effort to establish the scale or location of anything - so objects move about with no sense of speed or momentum. Everything is gliding and nothing seems even remotely tangible), and the story still makes absolutely no sense (What was Clu going to do if he got into the real world, exactly? He's zeroes and ones without a body. We also still have no idea why Olivia Wilde's Quorra was important except that Jeff Bridges keeps telling us she is. Oh, and if all the "people" in the Tron world are suppose to be computer programs with real functions - remember the nerdy accounting programs from the original? - what, exactly, was Michael Sheen's David Bowie-esque club owner suppose to be?)

    "Tron: Legacy"

    [NATL] "Tron: Legacy"
    Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund) accidentally gets sucked into the computer world where his father, Kevin (Jeff Bridges), has been held captive for 20 years by his own creation. With the help of the warrior Quorra (Olivia Wilde), they make a desperate run for freedom. (Published Tuesday, Nov 9, 2010)

    However, the best part of "Legacy" is also the best part of the Blu-ray experience. Daft Punk's pulsing score will have you praising the day you indulged in 7.1-channel surround sound, while scaring every animal in a 30-block radius. The disc also wisely (or is that unwisely) includes the "Derezzed" music video that is a glimpse of a much cooler Tron sequel that the Punks should have been allowed to make instead of this dour and mostly humorless one. The rest of the special features include some interesting tidbits (director Joe Kosinski actually recorded the Comic Con audience and used it as the cheering crowd during the movie's disc battle sequence), but also hints at a sequel that no one, sadly, is interested in. The short "The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed" indicates that Cillian Murphy's Dillinger (Remember him? Two lines? About a minute of screen time? Son of the original movie's main villain?) will be the baddie in "Tron 3." Assuming it ever actually happens.

    The 1982 "Tron" actually fares better than its shiny new sequel. Again, it's still clunky, but the Blu-ray transfer is gorgeous - this is how you do eye candy, son. The lines have been smoothed and the colors enhanced - this is hands-down the best the movie has ever looked (and sounded. Wendy Carlos' still-cool-in-a-geeky way score benefits almost as much as Daft Punk does). Disney has also created some exclusive new bonus features (the rest have been ported over from the original DVD release and the Laser Disc). The best is "Photo Tronology," which takes a loving look into the production of a film that was far more influential than it was ever given credit for (it basically predicted Second Life and the ubiquity of the internet).

    The 5-disc "Tron: Legacy/Tron: The Original Classic" collection contains a Blu-ray 3D copy of "Legacy" (of course a movie like this is going to try and lure in the early adopters of 3D TVs), a Blu-ray copy of "Legacy" and "Tron", a standard DVD copy of "Legacy," and a Digital Copy disc.