Tron: The Original, The Legacy, The Deluxe Editions
Watch a clip with our review of the numerous incarnations of the release on DVD and Blu-ray this week
"Rare is the costly box-office flop that actually gets a sequel, let alone a sequel almost 30 years after the fact. But that's Disney, and that's "Tron," for you."
So begins MSN critic Glenn Kenny's review of "Tron: Legacy," a videogame of a movie that is, in fact, about characters living inside a computer world that has transformed cyberlife into a despotic realm where life is a (mostly fatal) videogame and the losers of the digital bread-and-circuses are "derezed." Garrett Hedlund is the ostensible hero, the bad-boy genius son of Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges' character from the first film) who follows his missing father's trail right into the matrix. But the real draw, outside of flashy but soulless effects, is the return of Bridges himself as a grizzled guru hermit living in exile outside the core and (thanks to digital scrubbing) an ageless, creepily artificial cyberversion of himself that has turned himself (itself?) into a ruthless dictator eradicating all forms of life in the grid.
The original "Tron" was groundbreaking in its day for visualizing computing culture in an era before home computers, point-and-click operating systems, and cyberspace, and for using rudimentary computer animation to create the computer imagery… or at least most of it. Director/writer Steven Lisberger came from an animation background and resorts to old-school tools and simple animation to enhance the live action shooting and computer effects. And for all the dazzle of the cybercycles and sailships and glowing game characters, it's a pretty simplistic film: the first videogame movie. Which is to say it takes inspiration from the imagery of arcade games of the era and then creates its own conceptual world out of the cues. Just not a particularly deep one.
In that sense, "Tron: Legacy" is a genuine sequel. It updates the geekspeak and visual effects (yes, it's amazing what almost 30 years of computing history adds to the capabilities) and adds more conceptual tidbits with the idea of not simply artificial intelligence but digital evolution of programs into something new. It's sleek and zippy and full of glowing figures in a virtual universe that is as bleak and soulless as the first, and the rest is even more derivative in its adventure of a rebel against the machine.
See film clip below, plus details on the supplements offered in the various DVD/Blu-ray editions, after the jump
Disney is releasing "Tron: Legacy" in multiple incarnations on home video. The single-disc DVD includes the well-made but limited featurettes "Visualizing Tron" (a general introduction to the look and texture of the film) and "Installing the Cast," which run under 15 minutes apiece, and a promo for the upcoming animated series "Tron: Uprising."
The next step up is a "2-Disc Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack," which adds the 10-minute featurette "Launching the Legacy" (more promo than production featurette) and "The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed," a mock doc on the "Flynn Lives" movement with a conspiracy theory attitude and bunch of bonus clips accessed from a menus designed like an arcade video game screen with player codes as launch codes plus the "Disney Second Screen" interactive function, which works in tandem with an iPad or laptop to provide supplementary materials. There's also a music video and a very cool three-minute piece called "Disc Roars" that shows exactly how the audience at the "Tron: Legacy" ComicCon panel were invited to participate in the film.
The "4-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack" adds in the Blu-ray 3D edition (you need a 3D compatible TV and a Blu-Ray 3D player for this one) and a digital copy, but for the complete magilla you need the "5-Disc 2-Movie Blu-ray Combo Pack," which includes all of the above plus a Blu-ray edition of the original "Tron," along with two new featurettes (one a general look at the original film with comments from the cast and creators of the sequel, the other, more interesting one a look back on the original production with Steven Lisberger revisiting the film through stills and documents from the files) and the rich array of supplements from the 2002 DVD release. That includes the 88-minute "The Making of Tron," a production-oriented commentary track featuring Lisberger with producer Donald Kushner and visual effects supervisors Harrison Ellenshaw and Richard Taylor, deleted scenes (with introductions by Bruce Boxleitner), alternate music for two scenes, galleries of storyboard to film comparisons, an extensive still gallery and pre-production designs by Syd Mead and Jean “Moebius” Giraud, pre-production animation tests and computer animation designs and demo reels, publicity materials
Also available as a movie download and OnDemand.