Monday, April 18, 2011

If TRON 2 was in 3D will TRON 3 be in 4D?

To say I was excited when TRON: Legacy was announced would be a gross understatement.  In 1982, a film about a computer superhero made by Disney hit almost every chord possible for my family and me.  When I first saw information about the sequel, I was perhaps overly ready. 

I marked the release date on my calendar, in case I wanted to take a half day to go see it, and I dug the original out to watch it in preparation.  I then learned the problem of being too connected to geek culture as the time drew closer, with no increase in advertisement.  I found out that I had the right release day, but was off by a year.

In that amount of time I managed to finally convince my wife and daughter to watch TRON…and they told me I could go see the new one alone.  (Perhaps that’s why Disney pulled the it from the shelves before the sequel premiered.) 

It ended up being my mother, sister and I at a midnight show for TRON: Legacy, and it was well worth the lack of sleep. I was surprised to see that it returned to the pacing, tone and themes of the first one. There were a great many throwback references to warm an old geeks heart. All throughout the film, I was wondering if people who never saw the '82 classic would be able to follow it and get the impact of the important references. 

Because of that thought, news of the movie barely breaking even (and that counting only production costs) wasn’t much of a shock.  The ads tried really hard to make it look like a combination of the Matrix and Speed Racer.  It is, however, a much more patient film, having bunches of :
"Ooh stop and look at this,"
"Hey, let’s pause and think about that for a minute,"
 kind of stuff the first one had.

The action scenes were good, but weren’t the key to the story. The strongest emotional points the film made required knowledge of the original to really hit home. I liked it a lot, but TRON is basically a defining part of my personality, so you could say I know it fairly well. While not surprised that the public didn’t embrace it, I was saddened by its financial performance since it looked like the franchise could go to other really cool places in a follow up.

Yet right around home video release…Disney announced TRON 3 would come.  


I have seen theories that the powers that be are finally realizing that a film’s box office take is only a fraction of the money that can be made from an idea. However, to truly believe that I would have to accept the fact that both Movie Studios and Marketing People have made a logical and rational decision…and that’s really a distant stretch.

Disregarding one ridiculous idea, I have another one:  the decision to continue the TRON franchise has something to do with me personally. (No, I’m not crazy enough to think they’re filming my Grand Unified Movie Theory, as cool as that would be.)  I believe this decision was reached to balance out years of changing things in films and shows from the source material that have no effect on plot or emotions for no other visible reason other than to annoy me; and causing anyone sitting near me undue stress and aggravation as I huff, rant and occasionally stand and shout at the screen…such as:

Pteranodons with Teeth in Jurrasic Park 3.
(Pteranodon means “toothless wing” as anyone within fifty feet of the theater heard that night.)

ANYTHING Ross Geller said about paleontology.

Spidey’s Organic Web Shooters.

Doctor Doom’s Organic Armor.

Cookie Monster’s Organic Diet
(It’s right in his theme song, “C is for cookie, THAT GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME.”)

Duke from GI Joe being a Captain not a First Sergeant
(and kind of a weenie…actually, that whole film is a rant for another day.)

Replacing Frank Welker as Megatron’s voice, with Hugo Weaving.
(Then trying to make it sound like the cartoon anyway.)

The TV Movie Lone Ranger’s brown hat.
(It looked like a turd on his head)

Kryptonian pointy finger, hologram duplicate and giant saran wrap “S shield” powers.

Daredevil deciding he’d rather fool around with Elektra than save someone.

Fox deciding they’d rather make Elektra then, y’know, a good movie.

(Don’t really need to add to that.)

The Joker and Kingpin Killing Batman and Daredevil’s parents.
(Reversing them would have made an interesting choice though.)

Batman unmasking.
Spidey unmasking.


Batman Killing the Joker.

Batman Killing the Penguin.

Batman Killing  Two Face.

Batman Not Saving Ra’s.

(I’m ok, breathe…breaaaaathe.)

And of course…

(I know it’s not a Superhero film or anything pretending scientific accuracy, but it was so awful, that seeing it the same night as Batman and Robin may be the only reason I like that generally reviled film as much as I do…

Or it could be that it’s the only Batman film of that group where he doesn’t


[I’m really sorry, didn’t mean to relapse.])

Anyway, after all they’ve done to annoy me over the years; it’s only natural that they threw me a bone on this one.  See you in theaters for the next trip to the grid!

One final other happy ending note: My wife and daughter had a much higher opinion of Tron: Legacy than the first one.  They really enjoyed it and my daughter wanted to know when the next one comes out, and asked to see all the “Flynn Lives” stuff on the Blu Ray.   

Her favorite part was the Light Cycles. When I told her there were Light Cycles in the original, she said,
"They were boring, you only saw them drive around, you didn't see anybody EXPLODE!"

*Sniff* sorry, I think there's something in my eye.                                                                     


Anabelle said...

Hooray for Tron 3 and Daddy! Why are you soooooooooo exited? Ilove you soooooo much.

Jeff McGinley said...

And that makes all the nights with almost no sleep to work on this blog worth it.