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Posts Tagged ‘TRON Legacy – movie review’

Today I watched the second movie in the Tron series: “Tron: Legacy“.  I originally saw and reviewed this film back in 2010 on its initial release.  I recently (back in Sept) reviewed the original movie “Tron“.
My reviews of both were not particularly favorable.  When I did the initial review of “Legacy“, I hadn’t seen the original in over 20 years and it (the original) was a vague memory at best.  The newer version suffered for comparison with my nostalgic memories of the original.  On re-watching the original (in late September), I realized how mediocre the original was, despite the fact that I personally enjoyed it for bringing back old (and good) memories of younger days as a geek programmer.
So, how did the newer version fare after a second viewing?  Surprising well!
The acting is pretty average: Jeff Bridges and Garrett Hedlund are particularly unengaging, although Olivia Wilde (with lots of sideways glances) is gorgeous and Michael Sheen practically steals the movie with a “Jack Nicholson-ian / Joker-esk” take as “Castor / Zuse”.  With the exception of the bike / fight scene, everything here (philosophy and special effects) has been done before and (mostly) better in the originals: “Tron“, “Matrix” and the various “StarWars“.  (The bike scene was very good special effects.)  But did this make it a “bad” (mediocre) movie?  I have to say not.  For me, the big problems were why certain things happened in the movie.  There was no ground work laid before a couple of things happened and then there was no subsequent explanation afterwards.  I can’t say much more without seriously compromising anyone’s viewing of the movie, but several times I just felt like saying: “Huh?”  If a movie character suddenly displays a power or a weakness, you kind of HAVE to explain to the audience what just happened (before or after).  Otherwise, the audience is placed in the position of not being able to suspend belief for the “universe” of the movie.
I believe I enjoyed it more on the re-watch than I did on the original (particularly Wilde and Sheen) – even though I’m not sure the movie played as well on the smaller screen.
So, my initial review pretty much stands: “Tron: Legacy” is an okay, enjoyable movie, but not a highly recommended.  As a “collector” of Sci-Fi movie with special effects and / or animation, I would get this movie at about the $8-10 price point or $15 for both as a set.  Otherwise, watch it on NetFlix or when it cycles through your On-Demand channel.
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Last Thursday, I had my 1,000th workout at the gym in the building where I work.  Friday was off, Saturday was Christmas and yesterday was Boxing Day.  Today, it was back to work.
And of course, that meant back to the gym – for workout 1,001.  When you say you’ve done something one thousand times, it sounds like such an achievement.  When you say you’ve done it a thousand and one, you put it back into perspective.  To me, it’s not: “Did you win the race?”  It’s: “When did you run again?”  Or as some would say: it’s not the goal, it’s the path.
Today was my last day for a while.  I’m going on a detail for work back to Baltimore, Maryland.  The detail is 120 days.  I’ll be leaving in January and back in May.  I’ll be documenting it (the trip) on this blog.  I’m not sure what to expect.  With the exception of Saudi, most of my trips away from my family have only been for a week at most and I’ve usually stayed in a hotel room.  I’m told I’ll be in some kind of longer-term accommodation.  I’m not sure what that means exactly.  I think it means a hotel room with a small kitchen.  We’ll see…
I’ll be taking some books with me, but mostly I’m planning to work, workout and blog.  Again, we’ll see…
I don’t know how many times I’m going to  get opportunities to visit the east coast, so I’m hoping a bit to get a chance to visit some of the Civil War battlefields – Gettysburg, Antietam and Manassas are the one’s which come to mind.  Gettysburg is a must.  The other two are names which have always struck me when I’ve heard them, but not being a “true” Civil War buff, I don’t currently know much about them.  Again, I’m not sure what I’ll find when I go looking, but I hear their names calling to me across the haze of history through the fog of bitter conflict.
Reading
Last Friday (X-mas eve), I finished reading “Shit My Dad Says” by Justin Halpern (2008©).  This is one seriously funny book!  More than once, I laughed until I cried.  It is just sooo hilarious.  I highly recommend it!
Movie Reviews
Yesterday, I went to see “Tron: Legacy” with my son James.  It’s a sequel of TRON, a movie which came out way back in 1982.  The funny thing is I remember seeing the original, but it could not have been before 1987, because I didn’t start programming until late 1986, so the movie would not have meant anything to me before that.  As it was, I felt I was inside a little club of folks who knew something about a world that most people didn’t.  I knew about TRace ON (TRON) and TRace OFF (TROFF), CPUs, bits, bytes and the whole speed of light, MHz cycles (light-cycles), etc…
Anyway, this version is not nearly so enthralling.  The animation / special effects are superb, and the story is fairly deep, but it just wasn’t entertaining enough for me.  Pleasant, but not enjoyable.  Reminiscent, but not inspiring.  I’m not sure how to describe a movie you expect to touch you one way, which does mean something, but just doesn’t quite reach you there.  I’m glad I saw it.  It’s worth the $7.25; but, I’m glad I didn’t pay full price and definitely glad I didn’t splurge for the 3D version.
After I got home from TRON, I had dinner and watched a terrific movie with my Hil: “Julie and Julia“.   It’s a movie about a woman who decides to write a blog about cooking her way through a cookbook written by Julia Childs.  Meryl Streep plays Julia Childs and she is fantastic.  The movie is wonderful on many, many levels: a story of newly-weds starting out, a woman finding herself, a new blogger, a new writer, a woman deeply in love with her husband and with living life, cooking (of course), and food.  Some of the levels are Julie.  Some of them are Julia.  And, some of them are both ladies (and all of us as viewers).  I would say this though, it was an intimate movie which I enjoyed watching at home (with just my wife).  I’m not sure it would have been as enjoyable on a big screen and with a crowd of strangers.   Just an observation.
And one final movie review: “Miracle On 34th Street“.  This is simply my favorite Christmas movie of all time.  If you haven’t seen it recently, you need to see the original (in black and white).  It is incredible “Americana” at it’s best.  The details are everywhere.  You really can see history in movies which are meant to be contemporary when you view them 60 to 70 years later.
Art is supposed to speak to us individually.
Enjoy all three – then drop me a comment and let me know if they spoke to you, too.
Oh, yeah.  1,002 may not be for a while, but tomorrow I start jogging at home – after work…  I guess that will be 1.
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