Fluff, Media, snarky's machine

Fluff: Tron Legacy or Tron 2: Electric Boogaloo

Tron: Legacy finally has an official release date – Christmas 2010 – and I am a trying to tamp down my excitement. Look, I come from a time where one had to use a steam engine to play Combat. Tron blew into town at time when Disney was trying to get its groove back.  The Black Hole (1979) and the highly underrated ghost tale The Watcher in the Woods (1980) had not revamping the brand the way it had hoped. Remember, The Little Mermaid was still seven years away.

Tron was expected to usher in a new direction for the mouse, However, with its modest box office success, accusations of “cheating” (via the use of computer technology still in its infancy) and mixed to terrible reviews, Tron seemed poised to become the Thank God It’s Friday of the sci-fi film world.

Tron: Legacy

Enter Tron’s release on laser disc. I believe this was a game changer in some respects for sci-fi action films, more so than Ridley Scott playing footies with various cuts of Blade Runner. Seeing it on Laser Disc, with the visuals set to Wendy Carlos’s dazzling synth work probably did more for the film than legions of Queer Studies papers deconstructing the homoerotic relationship of Clu and Tron, though the papers were highly entertaining and very much appreciated.

Because we can all use some respite, let’s dish Tron. Are you intrigued? Disgusted by someone tampering with your childhood? Are you excited about seeing Bridges and Boxleitner back in action? Memories of the film? It’s all game, provided it falls under the rubic of FLUFF, sci-fi films and such.

ETA: I really, really, really need a break from discussing Black female desirability.

63 thoughts on “Fluff: Tron Legacy or Tron 2: Electric Boogaloo”

  1. I have never seen Tron, don’t know what Tron is, and am otherwise completely out of it. The SO knows all about it, though, so I’m not sure how I missed as he’s younger than I am. But if by Bridges, you mean Jeff Bridges, I might get around to watching it as I like him.

  2. Omg omg omg! I sooooo wanna work on this film! First ears about it at last years siggraph (annual cg nerd convention) and gave been salivating over it.

  3. The first time I was exposed to Tron was through Kingdom Hearts 2 (totally showing my age here XD ) and I absolutely LOVED the whole MCP story. I can’t wait till it comes out.

    Side note: The motorcycle looks exactly like it does in KH2….Exact same model. And also, that motorcycle is sexxy and I want it…

  4. I did not like Tron and found it very dull (that said, I only recently watched it – not as a child). Bridges was obnoxious with no charm to redeem, Boxleitner boring, and hello, the whole “epic” tale was about, um, video game royalties.

    I did think the film was pretty. And even more so I liked hearing that Bridges’ package was big enough they had to strap it down to make it decent for Disney. Is this true, or fiction? Either way, it gives me a giggle.

  5. Watched a trailer for it – I am intrigued. I told the SO that we should make a date to see it. I will be best wife ever. And it’s 3D?

  6. Kelly – I hear the sentiment you expressed a lot. Though in fairness to Tron, few sci-fi films truly excel at character development, even when adapted from compelling source material. (Which Tron was most certainly not.)

    It does seem cheesy when I watch it now, but as a kid it was unlike anything I had ever seen.

  7. Electric Boogaloo. Oh holy hell, I had completely forgotten the Breakdancing films and soundtrack. I sprained many an ankle to that. Happy days.

  8. I’m definitely intrigued by Tron Legacy — though as long as we’re being nerdy, I feel compelled to point out that it isn’t actually Tron 2: the surprisingly excellent video game Tron 2.0 was, so Legacy is really number 3. :-)

  9. Tron was a bit before my time, but what has always intrigued me is that its design shaped the visualisation of computer technology, virtual reality, cyberspace and so on for decades to come. The design of darker shapes lighted with bright neon lines and circles reappears everywhere in popular culture, videogames, science-fiction movies… heck, look at Avatar, the glow-in-the-dark visuals show the ‘network technology’ within the forest and creatures. Tron established something visual about technology that never went away since.

    Unless Tron was based on something else, too. In which case I’m attributing the wrong movie.

  10. I really like the original Tron movie. I have it on DVD (btw, there’s a bug if you play it on a PS2: there’s one frame that needs to be skipped or else the movie gets all pixilated and you must reboot the console).

    I also liked the GBA version of Tron 2.0. Almost got the Xbox vesrion but had to return it when it turned out that it isn’t one of the Xbox games compatible with the Xbox 360.

    As for the new movie, I’ll reserve judgment till it comes out, but it must be specified that the trailer’s content won’t appear in the movie after all, according to a recent interview with the filmmaker.

    Incidentally, I was 7 when Tron came out and I remember that there was tie-in toys in boxes of Shreddies. I remember crappy mini-frisbees with characters’ images on them in different colors.

  11. I’m definitely looking forward to it, especially if they refrain from taping down Bridges package this time.

    I saw the original a few months ago, and I was really struck by how avant-garde it was in aesthetics and soundtrack for a mainstream release. It is beautiful, with touches of silent film visuals and a mind-blowing soundtrack by one of the foremost electronic music pioneers. I read that the inside the computer scenes were all filmed in black and white and then hand colored.

    I hope the new one stays true to the original lok and feel, even though I know there will be cgi involved. too bad Wendy isn’t doing the soundtrack to this one too.

  12. I am too young to have feelings about Tron. However, I distinctly remember there being Tron-themed porn at the video store I worked at in 2000. Sadly I don’t believe it was called “Pr0n.”

  13. Sadly I don’t believe it was called “Pr0n.”

    How can that be? The name practically writes itself! :)

  14. Pron! Surely it will be made this time around,though. Otherwise I will lose my last remaining bit of faith in humanity. ;)

    I have no opinion about Tron, really, but The Watcher in the Woods was a fixture at grade school slumber parties.

  15. The only way I knew of Tron was that there was an arcade game for it at my local department store (around 1984/85), and (being a young gamer girl even then) I tried playing it, but I could NOT figure out what the point was or how to play it – instead of a joystick or buttons, it had two buttons and a dial kind of thing, and I don’t remember any clear objective except you had to try to move around a big coloured cylinder or something (memories are vague here). But the weird sci-fi clothing, the blue and red outfits that were in larger-than-life proportion on the frame, made a big impact on me. But I have to admit a slight bias against the movie itself because the game was incomprehensible to me…

  16. It does seem cheesy when I watch it now, but as a kid it was unlike anything I had ever seen.

    I was in my 20s when it came out, and it was unlike anything I’d ever seen. I was struck silent by the look of it, the world within it, the strange, spare, dark art deco landscape and brilliant streaks of light. When I run across it on the telly today, I notice how congruent with 80s style it is, but at the time it just seemed otherworldly. And funny. It’s stuffed full of puns and jokes on computer jargon. I think … as I recall, that was one reason it didn’t do too well on its first run; despite the fad for video games, not many people were at all familiar with computers in 1982.

    I’m looking forward to ‘Legacy’ … have done, since a teaser of the light cycles came out awhile ago, and saw it was going to have a similar look to it. That’s what I’d been afraid of when I’d initially heard of the project, that it’d be obnoxiously ‘updated.’

  17. I’m also a little too young to have seen Tron when it came out – it was released two years before I was born – but I’m familiar with it through pop culture references, especially in Family Guy, and probably through Kingdom Hearts II (I’ve never played, but I had an ex who was pretty obsessed).

    I’d see this new one if someone else wanted to, but it’s not really my genre…

  18. Damanique, the cyberspace/sciencey look and feel we’re familiar with through fiction also owes a lot (and I daresay more) to William Gibson’s cyberpunk stories, which started coming out around the same time as Tron (although his novel generally seen as the Big Influence, Neuromancer, didn’t come out until 1984). Not to say that Tron didn’t have an influence,of course, but there’s a lot more there to Gibson’s novels than there is in Tron simply because you can pack a lot more world into a novel or series of short stories than you can into an hour and a half of movie.

  19. I’ve never seen the original Tron, but hot DAMN does this look cool! I think the last time I had a nerdgasm this intense was when I found out about the new Star Trek movie coming out.


    I loved this movie. And it taught me something! “A beam of energy can always be diverted. Are we there yet, mommy?”

    I still love Tron, cheesy 80s visuals and all. The end, where the “city” lights up again, still gives me chills.

    @Snarky’s Machine: AAAAAAAAAAAGH NERAK!!! I remember watching that when I was little and being horribly freaked out. A couple years ago, I found the DVD for like $3, and bought it, figuring it couldn’t be as scary as I remembered. IT WAS. That movie is FUCKING SCARY.

    (note: I scare easily.)

  21. Ooh, cereselle, it’s on DVD now? Time to go google! It really was a creepy movie, no matter how cheesy the trailer looks (SnarkysM, I hadn’t seen that…lol!).

  22. Huge sci-fi nerd here. Cannot believe I’ve watched Bridges in cheezy sentimental “Starman” more than once (okay, probably 3 times), but never heard of “Tron.” (I DO live in a cocoon sometimes…or, looking at the year on that film, it was more like a haze. Of smoke.) Bridges is deeelish. I loved him in “The Big Lebowski” too. Guess what I’m renting this weekend. My SO will be so excited…Tron!

  23. It does seem cheesy when I watch it now, but as a kid it was unlike anything I had ever seen.

    And, you know, it’s been a long time since I’ve actually watched it. So I’m wondering how it would seem to me now. But it definitely made a giant impression on me.

    I posted this to my twitter feed a while ago, but it merits a replay:

  24. @RNigade — sorry, that was Steve Gutenberg in Cocoon :)

    Starman’s a huge favorite movie of mine, and in fact just watched it again recently. I think it still holds up well as a great sci-fi romantic tragicomedy.

  25. I thought Tron was boring when it came out, but I wasn’t into sci-fi at all as a kid; I would probably like it more now. Oh, but “Watcher in the Woods”? Yes. Such an awesome movie that scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. The first Bette Davis movie I ever saw.

  26. OK, can I just say I LOVE that you used “Electric Boogaloo” in the title! I use it all the time and am greeted with blank looks and crickets.
    Also, for those of you who don’t know what
    Tron” is, quit making me feel so old, lol!

  27. Ah, Tron. I have it on VHS somewhere, taped off the Disney Channel. I too am beginning to feel old. Yes, I’ll go to see it. I’ll be kinda sad David Warner’s not in it, though, the man makes such a LOVELY villain…

  28. I used to rent a very nice finished basement (or “garden apartment” if you’re feeling fancy) from a couple. One of the pair had a arcade-game Tron console he’d gotten somewhere and repaired and installed lovingly downstairs in my living room.

    Every now and again, I’d hear a knock on my door and there would be some sheepish looking grad-student gamers asking if they could come in and have a video-game arcade moment of nostalgia. My landlord really loved Tron.

    That’s the only video game I have ever had in my living space. I suppose if you’re only going to have one, you might as well go big.

  29. I’ll be kinda sad David Warner’s not in it, though, the man makes such a LOVELY villain…

    Mmmmmmmmm yeah.

    (I’ve had a ginormous crush on Warner since … erm … 1969. Damn I’m old.)

  30. “Jeff Bridges has nice feets”…the odds were stacked against me reading these words today and yet once again, life surprises.

  31. Went to a sciencey-nerdy HS. We all played video games, too. IIRC, we went to a Sat night show en masse to see TRON. We all thought it was super-cool!

  32. @Snarkysmachine-

    No, that’s David Warner, but the cheekbones are very, very similar.

    @Eucritta- I’ve had a crush on him since sometime in the mid-80s when he played Jack The Ripper vs. Malcom McDowell’s HG Wells in “Time After Time.” Tron and being Ra’s Al Gul on Batman: The Animated Series didn’t hurt, though. MAN, what a voice…

  33. @Ellen Brand… omg yes, Time After Time. Malcom McDowell was totally outgunned in that fantastic film. I love it when Jack talks about how he belongs in the future “completely and utterly. ” Totally chilling as a villain.

  34. ‘Time After Time’! Yes!

    It also doesn’t get too much better than Warner’s Evil Genius in ‘Time Bandits.’

  35. I really hope that they bring back the bit in this movie. It’s one of my favorite characters. It’s entered my cultural lexicon but I just sound weird to anyone who hasn’t seen Tron whenever I jokingly mention nonononononoNONONONONO

  36. I love this thread. I’m totally excited about the new Tron, and hoping they don’t ruin it somehow – we got it when I was little and I have very fond memories or racing around with my little brother on our big wheels, occasionally crashing into each other and the walls of the garage while making our own sound affects. Sadly, I didn’t experience Time Bandits till last year. I sort of wonder what we’d have done with it in our big wheel days.

  37. My mom actually made me watch Tron about five years ago, when I was in high school, and it blew my world. I LOVED it, and all my computerdork friends loved it in college. And then I played KH2, and one of the endgame scenes is Tron dancing down the hallway, snapping his fingers, an awesome scene.

    I’m really excited for new Tron and I hope they keep the minimalist design and strange synthed look. I wonder where it will go plotwise, though?

  38. @karak, maybe Tron will struggle to connect the dots among government intelligence agency computer systems in an effort to catch terrorists.

  39. Oh! A new Tron! Oh Snarky you made my day! I was just watching Tron today. I looove it’s faux retro/futuristic looks. Love love love it. I never actually got to see Tron when it was in the theaters. I pissed my Mom off, I don’t even remember what i did, and she forbade me from seeing movies for like six months. So I read the novelized version of it. (I was major sci-fi novel geek child, so that fit right in with I Robot and I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream) But years and years later I found it again, and It’s definitely one of my retro faves. I hope they do right by it with the sequel.

  40. I went to see Disney on Ice when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I remember very little of the experience, other than being overwhelmed by the crowds and being annoyed at other children and people in general. (I still hate crowds.) But one thing that stood out in that whole experience was the Tron on Ice portion of the evening. It was amazing! The music! The lights! The black-light-sensitive unitards!

    I’m totally going to see Tron 2: Electric Boogaloo (which should totally be its title).

  41. I *loved* Tron, so much, in fact, that I saw it twice in the theater (which was a big deal for me in ’82). I loved it almost more than Xanadu, but not quite. I can’t wait to see Tron Legacy.

    A few years back, I was at a Halloween party with a bunch of people who work in the entertainment industry in various capacities (make-up artists, costumers, etc). There was a guy at the party in a perfect replica of the Tron outfit, complete with the little ‘frisbee’ disc. I don’t know how he did it, but he had some kind of lighted blue wire going all through his costume, just like in Tron’s outfit. It looked like neon, but it wasn’t. Of course I flirted with him shamelessly all evening. I mean, how could I not? My first serious crush was Tron when I was 12.

  42. I’m a bit late to this party, but I loved Tron too. Very trippy. Don’t really get the Jeff Bridges love, myself, but I am looking forward to an update with some nice effects. And maybe a bit of a storyline this time. :-)

  43. And I should have said, a big part of the reason it was so trippy was because of Wendy Carlos’ excellent electronica score. I do hope the music is as good in this film.

  44. I’m late to the party too, but I love Tron, and I’m very excited about Tron Legacy.

    Who has seen the extra scene where Yori and Clu sort of wake up and it seems to be hinting that things are…almost post-coital? What do you think, did they spawn a little process together?

    thirtiesgirl, big high-five for the Xanadu love, also. I have a great fondness for that movie.

  45. @Renatus – Also, BladeRunner. I still remember the interview where Gibson said he cried when he first saw that movie, during the opening scenes, because he felt like someone else got there first.

  46. @Renatus – I have a wierd attachment to BladeRunner. Not so much the plot, really, more the overall look of the movie. That and Alien totally changed the idea of how sci-fi should look forever.

  47. @CassandraSays: I do as well, for all I’ve only seen Bladerunner once (or maybe twice; it was over a decade ago, at any rate). Thinking about it, that’s likely why I forgot it in my mention of things cyberpunk; the look and feel wormed itself right into my subconscious like it’d been there forever and clicked into place amongst all of the things I loved that had no doubt been influenced by it. I discovered Gibson’s work soon after. End result is that even though I recognize references from Bladerunner, I end up forgetting about it otherwise. I need to remedy that.

  48. I remember Tron. Wow. It was so amazing when it came out… as an ice show. I had to re-watch the movie a few years ago because my only memories of it were from Tron on Ice (really). It’s hokie now, but I liked it.

    I’m looking forward to the sequel. Not so much that I’ll see it in a theater (Go Netflix!), of course, but I do want to see it. I doubt they’ll do an ice show for the sequel though. :P

  49. Jeff Bridges – Check

    Bruce Boxleitner – Check

    Light Cycles – Check

    Recognizers – Check

    Cameo by David Warner – Unknown

    The movie sounds like winsauce already, a cameo by Warner (as either Dillinger or Sark) would be icing on the cake for me. Those characters are classic but if no cameo we still at least have recognizers.

    Regarding recognizers, I need a lot of them, flying around, recognizing stuff, with a side of recognizer, on recognizer bread, topped with recognizer cheese.

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