johnlink ranks TRON (1982)

I wanted to watch this again before seeing the just-released sequel. But, really, there is no way this can still be any good, right? With the advances in CGI and green-screen sophistication, this sort of cartoony, crude piece of arcade popcorn can’t possibly hold up. Right?

I watched TRON (1982) on 12.18.10. It was my third viewing of the film, and first in probably six or seven years. TRAILER HERE

The answer to that question is, surprisingly, yes! I don’t know how. This is a big ball of cheese. But it still makes me smile, laugh, and it keeps zipping right along. I was born in 1982, and I didn’t see this film until college. So it isn’t one of those that I’m fighting for because it was a big part of my youth. This is just… undeniably appealing.

I give this movie credit for being a kid’s movie which doesn’t hold your hand. The lingo isn’t explained, the rules of the computer world are learned on the fly, and the action is relentless. Are some of the images almost too bright and colorful? Sure. But they exist in their own world, and they follow their own rules, and there is a justification for how things look. This film ages well because it is when it is. It isn’t a movie pretending to be about the future, it is just a movie about where computers were in 1982. At the time, this film showed audiences things they had never seen. It seems quaint now, but not in a bad way.

I have to say, also, that every time a video game is shown in this movie, whether in the outside world, or within the computer itself, I instantly want to play it. That game where you stand on the rings and curl the ball off the ceiling while trying not to fall down the pit? Where can I play that now? I give the writers a lot of credit for being creative and original in their gaming concepts.

Jeff Bridges really stands out as Flynn, and I am very much anticipating the follow up. I am unabashedly excited that they brought him back, and I think that this is, for once, a movie which actually calls for a sequel to be made thirty years later. I’ve avoided the trailers, I’ve avoided finding out plot details, and I hope the second movie is as fun as the first.



It may be strange to give such an old film a bonus point for the CGI. Sure it is dated, but it is entirely effective. The CGI adds to the film, even if its realism is non-existant. But it is in a world we have never seen, so concepts such as realism don’t really matter anyway!

6+8+6+7+1= 28


~ by johnlink00 on December 19, 2010.

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