May 25, 2011

Justify My Netflix: Tron: Legacy

(Like many Netflix customers, I too can get quite lax with the timely watching and returning of my movies, which of course defeats the entire purpose of having a flat-rate rental plan in the first place. To combat that, I am now writing standardized mini-reviews of each and every movie I end up watching through Netflix, both instantly and on DVD. Don't forget, all previous 'Justify My Netflix' reviews can be found on CCLaP's main movie page.)

Tron: Legacy

Today's movie: Tron: Legacy, 2010 (Amazon | IMDB | Netflix | Wikipedia)

Why I added it to my queue: Because it's the sequel to Tron. The End.

The reality: OH MY FREAKING GOD THIS IS THE GREATEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME AND DID YOU SEE THAT THING WITH THE LIGHT CYCLES WHEN IT WAS ALL LIKE ZOOOOM AND YAAAHH! AND HOLY SH-T FLYNN'S LIKE YOUNG AND OLD AT THE SAME TIME OH MY FREAKING GOD OH MY FREAKING GOD. So yes, it's true, this turned out to be one of the only two or three films a year I actually bother to see in an actual movie theater, for the full $175 or however f-cking much it costs these days, a 3D digital projection while sitting in the fourth row of a stadium-style screening room at the high-end Icon Showcase theater in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago, pretty much the most perfect way possible to watch a movie like this; and now that I've watched it in flat 2D on DVD here at home as well, I can confirm that my overwhelmed reaction to it the first time was not mere hyperbole, that this really is one of the most visually arresting movies of all time, a profound groundbreaker just like the original which is destined to subtly shape the future of that entire industry for at least the next decade.

Now, that said, please be aware that it's based on a cartoonishly bad script, with a plot that makes even less sense than the original (and that's saying quite a bit), dialogue that flops around on the floor afterwards like a dying fish, and a bad habit among the twelve contributing screenwriters (!) to immediately revert to the most lazy stereotypes in the entirety of storytelling, the exact moment that even a shred of creativity is required of them. (Need a weasely minor villain, evil enough to move the story along but who will never outshine the main baddie? Have you considered a gay cabaret-host David Bowie type recently?) But today is literally one of only two or three times a year where I claim that such a thing doesn't really matter; as regular readers know, I think even the most erudite arts fan is allowed at least a couple of projects a year that they enjoy merely as visual eye-candy, and in this case I really dare anyone to come up with a movie in the last year or two that comes even close to outshining Tron: Legacy in terms of computer animation and special effects. (And seriously, take your best shot in the comments, and we'll all debate it fangirl-style.) A true guilty pleasure in the classic sense of the term, this is the closest the entertainment industry has gotten yet to convincing me to buy a Blu-Ray player, a fall-asleep-to-on-a-Sunday-night film that I will undoubtedly be visiting again many times in the years to come.

Strangest piece of trivia: Among the twelve contributing screenwriters was a literal Zen Buddhist monk with no writing experience, brought in personally by Jeff Bridges to "add some spirituality" to the script.


Filed by Jason Pettus at 9:11 AM, May 25, 2011. Filed under: Movies | Reviews |