Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tron: Legacy (2010)

It was a pretty horrible day to go out to the movies. The rain was falling thick and fast. The road conditions were atrocious as is standard in this country - not quite sure where my tax money goes to, especially as there isn't a government. People on the road were even worse, if you could imagine, in these rubbish conditions. Nevertheless, I've waited months to see Tron: Legacy so I stuck with it and did the 15 km trip all the way out to Kinepolis Brussels with my movie buddies.

Look, I know 15 km is not much at all, but it was rush hour and road conditions, blah, blah (read above), so don't give me static for this, ok?

Right, back to the movie. The reason why I've been so keen to watch it wasn't because I loved the original film from the 80s. To the contrary, I only watched the old skool one recently, after I picked up the trailer sometime in the second half of last year. The end result of sitting through a director's cut, extra long version was that I felt a bit stupid. I couldn't believe this is a cult classic, and that it has such a big following. It didn't really make sense to me at all. Just too abstract.

Granted, the graphics and the way they were presented were miles ahead of anything of the time, but still... The story was just baffling. I think I actually sat through the thing with my mouth open and a little bit of drool coming down, and it wasn't from any kind of awe, just plain confusion.

But, technology has moved on in the last 30 years and I was sure at least the new movie would be good to watch just for the graphics and what they were going to do with the latest CG animation. Then I came across a rather interesting picture of Olivia Wilde, whom I've never particularly liked. I thought her features a bit too rough, and not so "screen friendly." This picture was different though... It didn't look like her at all. She looked great!

Then came the reviews when the movie was released towards the end of last year. Yes, it came a month later in Belgium making it even more annoying. It turns out, the critics weren't overly kind towards the movie so my enthusiasm diminished slightly. Still, I pushed on because I really didn't feel like missing this movie. Anyways, there were nothing else interesting going on. It wasn't like I was going to see Green... Ha! Ha! Ha!... Hornet.

So, trekking across the dark, wet, dangerous roads, I got to the cinema. We decided to go for the 3D version since this film was billed to be pretty decent in 3D. We sat down just in time for the man on the screen to tell us that we can't walk out with the glasses because it can't be used elsewhere, blah, blah, blah, dribble, dribble... (snore loudly).

Then some adverts, a particularly rubbish 3D ad, no less, from Renault which made even less sense than Tron the Original! What a waste of my time, and waste of money for them. Good job, Frenchies! Carlos really should review the way their budget is spent. A bit of a teaser trailer came on for the upcoming Pirates 4 movie which looked relatively interesting. And then... the screen went blank, and a computer terminal blinker came on. The movie has started!

The cursor started moving as if someone was typing away on the screen in front of me. The words said something like: "this movie was partially filmed in 3D but any scene where 3D is not used is purely because this was how the shots were intended to be portrayed but keep those horrible glasses on through the whole film, OK?" Frankly, this means they spent very little money on the 3D side of things and could only do a bit. That bit turned out to be about 20% of the film, and it wasn't so spectacular anyways. So don't bother watching this in 3D. You'll just get a headache and want to kill Robert Iger for being such a tight arsed douche!

Not to give too much away, Jeff Bridges and his CGI makeover looked really good. It was much better than when X-Men tried to make Captain Picard look 30 years younger. Technology really has moved on. The soundtrack was quite fantastic, by Daft Punk. Absolutely going to go buy it on iTunes in a minute and listen to it on the way to work tomorrow. The graphics, not the 3D remember, looks significantly different from the original, but in keeping with the tradition. It's just that they managed to find more dimensions in terms of how the Light Cycles could move about than the old film - the old movie was a bit two dimensional in terms of movement.

How was the movie? Well, Jeff Bridges sounded like he was on a massive acid trip, or super high on weed, throughout the movie. He kept going on about "zen" and "cool, man" to a point where I got annoyed. Seriously, move on, man. None of the kids are doing acid anymore, they've gone on something stronger so they have a completely new lingo making the character look even more ridiculous. All the good work to make him look young and hip, erased.

It wasn't half bad. Olivia Wilde was actually very good, not just her looks. The new kid Garrett Hedlund wasn't half bad either. Except his eyebrow seemed to go way past where it should have ended a long time ago. And it was a bit odd how he got thrown onto the Game Grid but beat everyone on it without so much as a whiff of training behind him. The pad they gave him, when he was in the real world, was pretty cool though!

I've always liked Michael Sheen for the simple fact that he has led some of my all time favourite movies like The Queen and Frost vs. Nixon. Since those cinematic greats, though, he seems to have gone a bit downhill. He took up a part in Twilight (urgh!) the most stupendously ridiculous crap every unleashed onto Planet Earth. I promise you, those "saga" movies will be the end of the world as we know it. I'm sure the Mayans saw this one coming! Sheen was not just rubbish, he acted like a flamboyant homosexual seemingly without being told to do so. It was truly horrifying.

But after all this... You know what? I want to watch it again. I came home to some annoying letters in my mailbox (taxes to be paid... read above to recap why I think this is ridiculous) and while sorting through them, my mind kept wondering off to that fantastically wonderful land of pure digital imagination. I think that says it all.

Go for it. It's going to remain a classic in the future. Just don't waste your money on 3D.

In closing...

Dear Robert Iger,

Can you not be so tight arsed in the future? Also, can you please reimburse me for that extra few euros I had to pay for the 3D because it wasn't worth it? And you said so yourself at the beginning of the movie, when it was too late for me to change my mind!


Image source: Walt Disney Pictures

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