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Posts Tagged ‘Rock & Roll Fable’

A little while back I re-watched the original “Tron” movie (1982).  I picked it up with the latest version, “Tron: Legacy“, some time ago, but have not sat down to watch them both together.  Well, I still haven’t.  But I did watch the first to see what I remembered – not much.  Well, not much about the movie anyway.  What I took away from the re-viewing was the sense of deja vu from knowing but not remembering a movie.
The word “tron” comes from the programming contraction of “trace on”, which is a programming tool for helping to see what’s going on in a running program.  “Tron” turns the process on and “Troff” turns it off (“trace off”).  Yes, programmers are an original lot when it comes to naming things.  None of this is mentioned or explained in the movie.  That would have been TOO geeky for the average audience.
Anyway, I went to see the movie at the theater (back in ’82) because I was (am, but less so now) a computer geek.  A programmer.
Setting aside the geek factor, is Tron a good movie?  No.  Not even for its day.  Did that really matter to me?  No.  Not even to this day.
It’s a “cool” movie with reasonable special effects which incorporates a number of Sci-Fi and Computer Science related terms and I loved being on the “inside” of knowing what it (the movie) was about.
The real question is can I give the movie a “High” or “Strong” recommendation or not.  Well, if you’re of a certain age and certain background (geek), you will probably really enjoy the movie the same as I have.  If you’re not a historic geek (too young) or not a computer geek (a user not a programmer), you probably won’t get much out of the movie except as the prequel to the “Legacy” version.  So, where does that leave me…  I highly recommend this movie because it reminds me of what it was like to be geek before geek was normal.  We knew we were “cool”, before our future became everyone’s present.  (Resistance was futile…)
Somehow, looking back like this only makes me feel older…  Maybe if today had happened sooner, I’d be able to enjoy it longer (still).
Today’s second review is: “Streets of Fire“, which came out in 1984.  This is a “rock & roll fable”.  I’m not sure what that means, but that’s how it was advertised to us way back then.  It’s a simple movie: girl gets kidnapped by bad-guy, girl gets rescued by good-guy, big fight at the end.  Simple.  What’s good about the movie?  Well, aside from the stylish filming, there are a couple of well done fight scenes – a short one at the beginning to introduce the hero, and a longer one at the end – the crescendo.
There’s also a couple of pretty good songs (MTV videos in the old days) in the movie.  The best one (“I Can Dream About You“) is the main song for the lead-in group and the final song is “Tonight Is What It Means To Be Young“) is performed immediately afterwards with the lead-in group singing and dancing backup.  Because of a bizarre twist of fate, “I Can Dream About You” was showing on MTV all the time the year I met my wife, I fell in love with her, she went back home to England, and it (the song) became my theme song until she returned to me.  Twenty-eight years later and I still dream (day dream) about her…
If you’ve never seen this movie, it’s well worth the viewing.  If nothing else, you get to see a young Michael Pare (good-guy) and a young Willem Dafoe (bad-guy).
It also has Amy Madigan in a terrific supporting role as good-gal, side-kick.  She almost steals the movie.
I highly recommend this movie for anyone interested in early adaptations of MTV to movie cross-pollination’s.  If you haven’t seen either song in the movie, both are available on YouTube.  I highly recommend “I Can Dream About You“, but then I would, wouldn’t I?
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