Last Friday night I was lucky enough to be invited with a theater full of colleagues to George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch to view an early screening of the new Disney film Tron Legacy. We were treated to a 3D smorgasbord of stunning visual prowess in the beautiful surroundings of the Stag Theater. If you were a fan of the 1982 original film Tron, you will be happy to know that this film is indeed a love letter to the 80’s arcade faring crowd with which I grew up. If you’re just curious about the cult phenomenon that has somehow lasted all of these years, I can tell you for sure that I do not agree with Scott Mendelson’s review over at The Huffington Post, even though I’m sure that all of his readers will, without ever having to watch the actual film. After all, if someone is a professional movie critic, they have to be right, right? I do not consider myself a professional critic, because I don’t consider it a true profession. I instead like to make films and enjoy the collaborative process and their technical and artistic achievements knowing how much work actually goes into these films instead of crying like a spoiled baby about how unsatisfied I was from the experience. I considered Tron Legacy a truly awesome visual spectacle which has a well crafted look and design feel most likely because this first time film director has a degree in industrial and commercial product design and was formerly an amazing and very technically proficient commercial director. Joseph Kosinski stopped in to my workplace on Monday to discuss for about an hour to a full theater the three and a half year process that brought Tron back to life from the year 1982 into 2010. I really enjoyed the fact that he put it right out in the open that he knew beforehand that the plot that both films are based upon is in a way ridiculous, but that’s not the point here. Disney approached him over 3 years ago about doing a proof of concept to show at that year’s Comic Con in San Diego. He spent 6 months or so with a select team of about 10 visual effects artists at Digital Domain in Venice CA., some of them good old friends of mine putting together a teaser to show the fanboys at Comic Con to do a purely litmus test on their reactions. Kosinski stated that he thought initially because of the underwhelming response in the viewing hall that the project was sank. Soon afterwards though, the internet took control of the situation. A leaked guerilla copy of the presentation hit the web,and the buzz began. Cut to 3 years later, and the marketing is everywhere. I will say that the film is exquisitely gorgeous, and also a very fun ride especially in 3D. The story aint Shakespeare, but you will be thrown mercilessly back into the 80’s a bit, and then enjoy a truly updated and visceral descent into this digital world ruled by a fascist avatar of Jeff Bridges. There is also an interesting religious undertone very prevalent in the story, which does show, as Kosinski said, the first time you see a conflict between a father and son and son,one human,one digital. There is an intriguing discussion about how time is treated in the digital space whereas Jeff Bridges character,Kevin Flynn is actually the equivalent of being 1000 years old. He plays it as a semi Buddhist version of “The Dude” from the awesome film The Big Lebowski, and it strangely works. I also wanted to highly recommend listening to the soundtrack, both in the context of the film,and also as a standalone experience. This is crafted by the French Libertarian Techno band Daft Punk of which they spent 2 years on. In fact Joseph Kosinski said that when he had them meet him in LA to talk about them potentially doing the soundtrack, he felt like they were interviewing him, because of their closeness to the material. There is a 21 minute preview of the soundtrack here: http://www.cinemablend.com/new/21-Minute-Preview-Of-Daft-Punk-s-Tron-Legacy-Score-Finds-Its-Way-Online-21946.html . The action scenes make the film, and try to view it in IMAX 3D if you can. You’ll feel like a kid again for a couple of hours.
Tron Research Pack
DaftPunk Robot Rock:
Tron Guy reviews Tron Legacy:
The Making of the Original Tron: