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Blu-ray Review: Tron: Legacy

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Tron: Legacy is the sequel to the 1982 cult-classic Tron. Following the events of Tron, we see Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) take control of ENCOM while still travelling back to the digital world known as “The Grid.” He has a son Sam, who has been raised alone by Kevin after the passing of his wife. Sam stays with his grandparents as Kevin spends more and more time in the grid until one day he stops coming back to the real world sometime in 1989.

In 2010 when we next see Sam (Garrett Hedlund) he is pulling off stunts to embarrass ENCOM and following in his father’s footsteps as a trouble-maker. After his latest caper, he gets a surprise visit from old friend Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) who received a text on his pager from Kevin’s phone, which was disconnected years ago. Sam goes to investigate and like his father before him, gets sucked into the grid.

Once there, Sam meets CLU (Codified Likeness Utility) played by a CGI version of Bridges, a program created by Kevin that has gone rogue and wants to escape the grid, get into the real world, and take it over. Sam meets his dad, a very Zen-looking Jeff Bridges, and his ally Quorra (Olivia Wilde) who has been keeping Kevin safe from CLU all these years. Now Sam, Kevin and Quorra must stop CLU from escaping while finding the way out of the grid for both father and son.

I enjoyed this film; I remember watching Tron dozens of times on The Disney Channel back in the ’80s, and was very eager to see how the sequel would be handled. It was good to see Bruce Boxleitner, even if it wasn’t more than a brief cameo. Garrett Hedlund was great as the slacker/hero with untapped potential. Olvia Wilde was engaging as the naïve creature in the grid (to say more would ruin what she is), and seeing the real world through her eyes in future sequels would be great. Then there’s the dude; Jeff Bridges reprises his role as Flynn, and as it’s been close to 30 years since Tron, it’s great to see that his hotheaded character has mellowed and matured with age. If he hadn’t agreed to return, this film wouldn’t have worked at all.

Tron: Legacy is 1080p/AVC-encoded and looks visually impressive; the movie looks stunning. The reds, blues, yellows and oranges really pop during the grid sequences and when a character is “de-rezzed” they explode in a dazzling array of colors before fading to nothingness. The black levels are crisp and defined and never wash the actors out.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sound mix is also very impressive; the soundtrack by Daft Punk enhances the movie experience without ever overpowering the dialogue, or interfereing with it. You can understand each actor’s lines, and can distinguish each of them.

The extras for Tron: Legacy include:

“The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed” bridges the events of Tron and Tron: Legacy and sets things in motion for potential sequels. Flynn Lives gives a few answers of the time between films, asks some new questions as well as marks the return of one cast member from Tron not seen in the sequel.

“Launching the Legacy” gives the history of this franchise and includes test footage along with audience response as well as cast and crew interviews and how they had to respect the original film while bringing the sequel to life.

 “Visualizing Tron” highlights the designers and what it took to create a new world, updated from what we last saw in the original film. Topics include the costuming, 3D, the sets and how they were trying to make things look as real as possible with the CGI.

“Installing the Cast” features interviews with the main cast about the physical challenges of making the movie, and what it was like to work on the film. It als provides some cool behind the scenes footage.

“Disc Roars” one of the great thing about the movie is that the makers wanted fan participation. The roar of the crowds during the movie’s Disc Wars scenes were fans taped at Comic-Con International 2010 by director Joseph Kosinski during a Tron panel. This featurette gives a brief look at Kosinski directing the fans.

“Derezzed”  is a music video from Daft Punk, who provide the soundtrack for the film as well as havea cameo in the film.

“First Look at Tron: Uprising” is a brief teaser for the Disney XD animated series coming in 2012; which shows what happens in The Grid between the two films and looks really cool.

Tron: Legacy is a worthy addition to the franchise and sets up plots for future stories with Sam and Quorra, to which am looking forward. 

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