Thursday, September 30, 2010


TRON Legacy Movie Preview [plus a review of the original TRON]

I remember seeing clips of this sci fi movie earlier in the year and thinking... WTF?
Honestly that's exactly what crossed my mind. While seated in the movie theater anticipating an action flick, a very brief clip of the forthcoming TRON Legacy movie was presented. It looked more like a video game on the big screen to me, more than anything else. Somehow the comprehensive vision I got was that the movie was all just a big race at night, conducted by a spunky hero fighting droid bad guys that could shatter like glass.

But I have to admit that the futuristic motorcycles in the trailer looked cool. The neon glows etched into the machines and the bodysuits worn by all the characters was also a cool touch. And since the scale of the digital world where 90-percent of the movie takes place was extremely epic, the trailer did trigger that inner geek within me, tapping into the same well of emotion that gives me a longing to behold larger than life sci fi worlds.

So what is TRON? 
Released in 1982, TRON is American action science fiction film that was produced by Walt Disney Studios. It was definitely a deviant vision, an anomaly in the world of giant talking mice, crystal heels and innocent fairy tales.
TRON was directed by Steven Lisberger and it was one of the first films from a major studio to use extensive computer graphics in order to contrive the interactive world of the characters and the characters themselves.

The focal character of the movie was named Kevin Flynn, who was a young gifted software engineer that worked for a software corporation called ENCOM. Kevin was a video game designer with dreams of starting his own firm.
Kevin got screwed by his rival, another programmer named Ed Dillinger, and Ed presents Kevin's work as his own. Ed gets promoted and Kevin keeps getting demoted, till he becomes the head of a local arcade center, tied to his company ENCOM.
All the main characters in this movie have their real-selfs, and their digital-personas.

Kevin later tries to hack into the mainframe of ENCOM, to find evidence that will prove Eds duplicity. His digital worm program, named Clu, is discovered and erased by the Master Control Program, the MCP.
The MCP is in league with Ed; and it tells Ed that it wants to dominate the Pentagon, in order to control the entire USA.

But some guy that works for ENCOM called Alan Bradley [who was locked out of the mainframe the same time that Kevin was locked out] comes to confront Ed, and tells him that he, Alan, was working on a security program named TRON, and he really needs access back into the system.

Ed claims he'll look into it, but the MCP tells Ed that he doesn't want to be monitored by a security program.

With the aid of his girlfriend Dr. Lora Baines [her digital-persona is called Yori], the new guy, Alan, goes to warn Kevin about the vile schemes of Ed.
Soon the three heroes, Kevin, Lora and Alan [aka TRON] break into a laser lab at ENCOM headquarters, and try to hack into the system, in order to shut down the MCP. And from that point, the adventure in the digital realm soon unfolds.
Lora has designed a system for literally digitzing humans, making them virtual-personas. She attempts to transfer Kevin into the mainframe of ENCOM, but the MCP somehow intervenes as the hacking procedure is flowing; and Kevin is zapped by a laser and transferred directly into the digital world,  where he is both a slave and a competitor. Now Kevin becomes Clu, his digital-persona.

Following a series of battles, Clu meets TRON and Yori and they start working together to shut down the MCP's main operating system.

Ed's evil digital personal is called Sark, and with the aid of the sovereign MCP, Sark and his forces strive to crush the three heroes in the digital world. Later TRON has a showdown against Sark, and he eventually prevails [even after the MCP turns the loosing Sark into an evil giant], with the aid of his two allies.

And at the end, Ed's initial scheme of intellectual property theft is revealed, the evil MCP is shut down, and Kevin is set to become the new CEO of ENCOM. I skipped a lot of details in this quick review, but I'm sure you get the picture.

[You may need to Click on the "Read More" link to view the rest of this blog article!]

And now, in the forthcoming TRON LEGACY Movie, Kevin has gone missing.
The rumor is, he disappeared while working on a top-secret video game project that would revolutionize the world of men, and their communal lives. Now, Kevin's rebellious son, Sam, is 27-years old. And after hearing a tip from an older Alan [the original TRON] about an encrypted message sent from an old arcade store, Sam strives to head back to the store and trace the steps of his dad.

When he gets to the old shutdown arcade and starts investigating things [the place is blanketed with dust and cobwebs], Sam inadvertently gets drawn into a new digital world, where his father has been trapped for over 20 years. And with the aid of a sexy warrior chick named Quorra, Sam and Kevin embark on a lethal journey across a visually-stunning digital universe—created over time by Kevin himself—which has become far more advanced with never-before-imagined vehicles, weapons, and landscapes and a ruthless villain who will stop at nothing to prevent their escape.
At first I thought Quorra was the sexy chick with white hair and tempting eyelashes; but I think that's Jem of the four Sirens. The Sirens [human-like digital programs] operate the Grid Game Armory, equipping combatants with the armor needed to compete in the lethal games.
A program named Castor seems to be the main villain in the digital TRON city, but I'm not certain if he works for a new larger "MCP".

Now watch this trailer for TRON LEGACY; I'm sure it will make more sense to you.

This movie sequel is slated to be released on December 17, 2010 and it is the directorial debut of Joseph Kosinksi. The original director [Steven Lisberger
And the cool motorcycles utilized in the new movie were designed by the guy that produced the conceptual artbook titled "Cosmic Motors". His name is Daniel Simon.
[it was either them, or a guy called Stephen Martiniere, who did work on I-robot]

It should be noted that the entire concept of TRON LEGACY involves living and competing in a live action video game, in which the loser actually dies. There are lots of races and arena styled battle scenes in the forthcoming movie. And the concept of a live video game was borrowed by the SPY KIDS franchise, as they showcase this sort of thing - in a more vibrant youthful manner -  in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.

I doubt that the TRON creators took offense at that movie, since imitation is the sincerest form of respectful flattery LOL

Disney Studios actually showed a TRON teaser back in 2008, at a comic convention. And they showed more stuff back in 2009, indicating that they were serious about pushing the franchise. Since then fans have found various secret web sites that have bits of information on the background of the characters and the sequel, such as the small site called:

Somehow I get the feel that the TRON franchise has a ton of potential, per its sci fi setting. The heroes actually don't use classic laser weapons. Instead they utilize special energy discs that are neon-lighted, just like their bodysuits. In the original 1982 movie, Kevin Flynn [digital-persona Cru] gradually discovered that he had creative powers, while captured within the digital world, since he was more than a program - he was a user. And perhaps that sort of concept can be expanded upon in the forthcoming sequel, granting the human heroes advanced abilities while they fight for their freedom from the TRON city.

So will the forthcoming TRON movie be worth the hype? Guess we'll just have to wait and see...

And Check out PART 2 of this article, featuring a closer look at the New TRON LEGACY movie [released in 2010]: