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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ahh, Tron - fits like a comfy old jumper
Watching "Tron" again filled me with a warm nostalgia for the three-and-a-half minute squawk of my brother's ZX Spectrum loading up on a Saturday afternoon. The impressive thing is discovering how good it still looks.
Of course it's dated somewhat. But the film has such a unique style that many of the computer animation effects still work. The lightcycle race, for...
Published on 17 Oct 2002 by P. Sanders

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia and innovation
It's fair to say that time has not been too kind on Tron, as can be said for any aging sci-fi film, but I still have immensely warm feelings towards this groundbreaking tale of the innerspace of computers. A top notch cast married with some iconic design elements give the film a kind of grandeur and scale that makes sci-fi fans of a certain age.

If you're...
Published on 17 Jun 2011 by J. Stockwell


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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ahh, Tron - fits like a comfy old jumper, 17 Oct 2002
By 
P. Sanders "prhsuk" (Belfast) - See all my reviews
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Watching "Tron" again filled me with a warm nostalgia for the three-and-a-half minute squawk of my brother's ZX Spectrum loading up on a Saturday afternoon. The impressive thing is discovering how good it still looks.
Of course it's dated somewhat. But the film has such a unique style that many of the computer animation effects still work. The lightcycle race, for instance, is still exciting. Part of this is due to the effective art design, which plays to the strengths of CGI animation of the time. Machines built from geometric shapes have glowing outlines, and look cold and electronic - just as they should.
The live-action element of the cyberworld sequences were shot in black and white and coloured later. This, together with the wonderful costumes gives the film a unique feel - half futuristic, half silent-movie - that prevents the film from dating as badly as other 1980s films. "Tron" does not look anywhere near as bad as most brat-pack films do now - and they were set in the "real world"!
This DVD package is great. The extras are extensive, the animated menus are a delight, and (most important of all) the film itself looks stunning. Best of all is the line, "Without Tron there would be no Toy Story" - said by the director of "Toy Story" himself!
"Tron" is fun and imaginative. Sure there's the odd clunky line thrown in to remind you how "new" computer language was in 1982 ("They couldn't build a circuit that could hold you"). But "Tron" works best as an update of the old black and white serials like Buck Rogers - it's just good, groundbreaking fun.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very stylish SciFi thriller - 25 years old and looking good, 15 Feb 2008
By 
Keith_Joseph (West Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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My son (8) quite enjoyed watching this movie, but probably I wanted to see it more having enjoyed it at the movies back in 1982. On DVD the actual film doesn't seem any better than I remember it in terms of picture quality, although apparently Wendy (Walter) Carlos's film score has been recovered as the original analogue master tapes had badly degraded. This Special Edition two disk set seems the same as the '20th anniversary edition' which also has the second DVD of deleted scenes, storyboards, the 88 minute documentary `The making of TRON', etc.. all of which is far more interesting to adults who saw the film as kids back in 1982, rather than todays kids. The extra's are all you could want really and worth a view (you even get Tron's cut 'love scene'). Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner (TRON) are very good considering they were the first to act against a blue screen for mostly the whole movie. David Warner is excellent as MCP and Sark, reprising his equally superb role as The Evil Genius in The Time Bandits (1981). Peter O'Toole had turned down his role (as he didn't fancy acting against a blue screen). TRON is actually a Hewlett Packard BASIC simple debugging command of the period, and stands aptly for "Trace On". So as we all know, "That's TRON. He fights for the users". Let's hope he's still out there. Interestingly, first use of the term `Users' has been credited to this influential movie.

Back in 2000, a sequel called TRON 2.0 was in the works, but only the visually outstanding computer game version was released in 2003 (and as in the original film the 'Light Cycles' were a highlight). Despite it's innovation, on release TRON did relatively badly in the cinema (where it looked at its best), and ironically the well received TRON arcade game spin-offs made the most profit. Rumour has it that traditional Disney animators refused to work on this movie because they feared that computers would put them out of business. In fact, 22 years later Disney closed its hand-drawn animation studio in favour of CGI animation, following the rise of Pixar. TRON wasn't considered for an academy award for `animation' at the time, as it was felt that computer aided design cheated (it was nominated for both Best Costume and ironically Sound). In the "solar sail-ship" sequence, look out and see, for a brief moment, the cross-hatched silhouette of Mickey Mouse on the ground made to look like part of the terrain. This DVD's TRON has a 5.1 sound upmix that doesn't really add anything except perhaps a better sounding bass.

So the films worth owning both as an historical cinema milestone and as an essential prequal to the latest 2010 Tron Legacy movie. In 1982, the orinal movies plot was a bit ahead of its time as many preteen boys, the target audience, naturally weren't quite so into computers and game consoles back then, and arcade games tended to be in 18+ locations. However it's well worth another watch. The storyline can still hold most young boys attention for one or two viewings, and the now dated groundbreaking special effects still seem just right for the movie (perfectly setting it within it's 1980s timeframe). The film was created in a period when one person could write the whole software, hence the storyline - Tron was the first, and best ever, global computer virus. This film is clearly the grand daddy of the quality movies 'Spy Kids III' and 'Scooby and the Cyber Chase', and is probably even better than both.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Matrix was born here, 23 Mar 2007
By 
Mr. I. A. Macpherson "Macca" (Leamington Spa, Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
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I first saw Tron when I was a young child, and loved the colours, style and of course the action with the light cycles etc. Now I am older and understand the conceptual representation of humans inside a machine, fighting against computer programs represented as other people, I can see that The Matrix owes an incredible debt of story to this film. Tron stood completely apart from the time in which it was made, and tried to communicate ideas about computing that few people really understood, whereas The Matrix embraced the time in which it was made and presented the ideas in a way that the mainstream could come to terms with, but both are really based on the same premise.

Tron deserves to be viewed and held up as a brave, visually stunning and, for the time, incredibly high concept idea that has stood the test of time. Yes the graphics and effects are dated, of course they are. Is Jaws a bad film because the shark looks like a rubber puppet? The sheer quality of film making does not tarnish with time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film - However the transfers exactly the same as the 2002 20th Anniversary Release!, 29 Dec 2011
By 
Mr. S. T. Davis (Near bedford, Bedfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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I've always enjoyed this film, mainly because of its unique visual style using backlit animation and some of the earliest uses of computer graphics in films. The plot is actually fairly well structured despite what some may say, unlike the sequal where everything just seemed to be one long chase. Whilst it may have its slight flaws its still a good film.

My main problem with this item is the DVD itself - the transfer is exactly the same as the 2002 20th anniversary version, right down to the menu's! There are no additional special features unlike the bluray version which got additional special features as well as brand new restored transfer and sound mix supervised by the director Steven Lisberger! Why couldn't they have used the same transfer for the DVD instead of simply re-releasing the previous DVD?? I recently went to see this in its original 70mm format at the BFI Southbank and despite the slight print fading it was still fantastic, if only they could have bothered to give the DVD the same care as the bluray, not all of us have bluray yet Disney!

Bottom line - if you already own the 20th Anniversary edition, don't bother buying this.

Film 5/5
DVD 3/5
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful product of imagination, 7 Nov 2004
By 
D. Kingsmill "silvermaene" (London, England, UK) - See all my reviews
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TRON is one of those films that sits on a shelf in a nearby DVD store and gets overlooked by several people every day and it really is a shame because this film is absolutely excellent.
It follows the story of a man named Flynn, who designed a program the credit for which has gone to his ex-employer. However, said ex-employer's self-explanatory 'Master Control Program' has developed a form of sentience and digitises Flynn who appears in the computer world where programs walk around and interact with each other and the MCP is everyone's worst nightmare.
Although elements of the story are a little ridiculous, the fun of it is not diminished by that. The big battle that is waged through the film finds TRON, a security program, and Flynn fighting to defeat the machinations of the MCP with the fate of both worlds, real and computer, at stake.
The graphics are mind-bending if you consider that this film was made over twenty years ago. The design is excellent and there are many sequences that are simply beautiful to look at. Some of the story concepts are great as well, not in the least the light-cycle arena and the gladitorial fight to the death between bikers travelling and enormous speeds.
The only reason this film has only received four stars is that, since this is a 20th anniversary special, the extras are not all that wonderful. The commentary and making-of documentary were quite interesting, but there are only a couple of deleted scenes and the remaining extras are not that captivating.
Other than this minor gripe, a wonderful purchase and a film I would recommend to anyone. Even if you don't normally like science fiction films, give this one a try - it might surprise you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light years ahead of its time, 17 Jun 2013
By 
Mr. S. Storey "eats beans" (not at work) - See all my reviews
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In anticipation of the seeing the new movie, I decided to give Tron a repeat viewing. Having been impressed by the trailer for the new one I settled in to watch a thirty yr old movie and was ready for a nostaligic trip to hokey town, complete with shonky effects and a childish script. Far from having my memories dashed I was really surprised by it, the light cycles in particular stand up really well after all these years. Don't get me wrong, I realise this movie requires a whopping great dose of suspension of disbelief, but they managed to weave plenty of human elements into the Sci-Fi tale; more than I remembered. The cast are uniformly great, David Warner is an excellent bad guy, and although Tron is a hero, he isn't the hero, something I remember being irked by the first time around; this didn't bother me now. Jeff Bridges makes a great leading man as the wronged computer programmer whose molecules are sucked into the digital world when he tries to hack into his former employers mainframe. Imprisoned in cyberspace, he's forced into arena combat where he begins a fight to overthrow the master control program and escape to the real world. This is cracking stuff indeed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I programmed you to want too much.", 15 July 2011
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tron [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Watching Tron now you can't help but feel that the visual effects are looking less impressive than they did back in the '80s, then you realise that this film is thirty years old next year, and suddenly they seem pretty decent again!

The story tells of a computer genius trying to hack into his former boss' computer system to get back his intellectual property, after breaking into the premises and being digitised into bits of data by the prototype laser transporter there - he finds himself literally inside the system. Inside the mainframe he finds himself involved in a battle against the Master Control Program, an artificial intelligence which has mutated beyond its initial coding and has visions of world domination by hacking into other networks.

The various bits of software he encounters are visually represented using blends of computer animation techniques and live action manipulated in post-production. The film has a stylistic look which was unlike anything seen at the time. It still remains a unique experience as computer generated imaging quickly evolved since, leaving Tron as a pioneering title which has inspired the CGI work on countless films over the years and has been parodied many times. Admittedly the computer graphics do look very basic now and the large flying "recognisers" are laughably crude and not even slightly menacing. You do start to get used to the computer graphics though and the impact of their basic look softens. Despite this, I don't consider at the special effects to be particularly dated, this is best viewed as a film of its own time, you can then truly marvel at the immersive world which has been created, not that dated visuals matter too much as the strength of this film exists in the central story of a man trying to break free from a corrupt system - in both the virtual and the real world. Abuses of influence by those in high positions and by those who surprisingly find themselves with power are themes which will always be relevant, and therefore the film still remains contemporary and probably always will.

Jeff Bridges brings a cheeky flamboyance to his dual roles as Flynn the maverick genius, and Clu - his virtual alter-ego. He is a convincing programming maestro without being a stereotypical code bore, he is aware of his own esteemed regard by his peers and enjoys it. In an age where video-arcades represented the pinnacle of publicly available technology, he is the king of that domain and a character you want to see succeed in his mission against the large corporation which seems to represent so much of what is wrong with the world. For a more tech savvy generation Tron stretches plausibility, the spurious elements of what happens inside a mainframe computer will be hard to swallow but the look of the film is one of pure science-fiction fantasy and the innards of the machine could easily be a completely different world. This is escapist cinema and so it doesn't need to be too believable, it just needs to be fun - and Tron definitely delivers there.

This Blu-Ray transfer is an ambitious one, instead of polishing the film by employing heavy film grain removal and boosting of the contrast during dark scenes, the overall look of the film is one that feels faithful to the original. By 'enhancing' the film too heavyhandedly Disney would have ran the risk of making it look 'pseudo-modern' which would have made the visual effects look positively prehistoric, but by being made aware that this is actually an early 'eighties classic the special effects still contain their initial magic. This hasn't been left alone, any changes made (or not) have been done with artistic intent and blemishes have been removed with colours and sharpness improved to ensure that this is probably the best version of Tron you've ever seen.

In a nutshell: The granddaddy of modern cyber-punk and CGI, the importance of this film on the cultural landscape is hard to overstate. Its influence lives on. This isn't just a cyber-adventure though, it suggests that as computer "users", we are the God's of our own creation. But this will always be remembered more for the heavy computer influenced graphics and instead of looking increasingly dated, Tron continues to impress by showing what was possible before CGI was a tool film makers could lazily rely on, and the light cycles still look pretty cool.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia and innovation, 17 Jun 2011
By 
J. Stockwell (Here, there and everywhere) - See all my reviews
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It's fair to say that time has not been too kind on Tron, as can be said for any aging sci-fi film, but I still have immensely warm feelings towards this groundbreaking tale of the innerspace of computers. A top notch cast married with some iconic design elements give the film a kind of grandeur and scale that makes sci-fi fans of a certain age.

If you're coming to Tron from the sequel, don't come with too high a set of expectations, but I think you will still enjoy this early foray into CGI.

J
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Grid, 11 Mar 2011
By 
Tron, the original film introducing all of us unsuspecting types to the world of The Grid in 1982, still holds up well today. Jeff Bridges stars as Kevin Flynn/Clu, a genius programmer run out of Encom, a company he used to work for, by a jealous coworker who stole Flynn's work and passed it off as his own so successfully he is now Encom CEO. Clu is Flynn's Avatar in The Grid, a very early form of true electronic landscape pre-Internet as we know it today, the means by which he intends to track down the proof hidden in Encom's systems that his work was stolen. It doesn't quite work out, though...

Enter Alan Bradley, played by Bruce Boxleitner, an old friend of Flynn's who has created a security program called Tron, the films true hero, which/who may be able to get the job done where Clu could not, aided by Laura Baines, played by Cindy Morgan. However, the Master Control Programme, created by Ed Dillinger, played by David Warner, is an AI in control of the Encom computers. It's response to Flynn interfering withs its functions to help Bradley get Tron on-line is to bring Flynn into The Grid via a laser device, then to force him to participate in a series of increasingly lethal challenges even as it plans much bigger things. In The Grid, however, Flynn is shocked to encounter Bradley-actually Tron-and Baines, both of whom are Avatars of their Users. This encourages the three of them to work together to put an end to the tyranny of the Master Control Program once and for all. As Tron says, "I fight for the Users".

The CGI is primitive by the standards of today, but they make it work well in the film. The performances are solid and the AI created by Dillinger manipulating and then blackmailing him to achieve its own goals in the real world is an early example of peoples fear of technology getting away from us. The light cycles remain iconic, as do the unusual costumes worn by the cast on The Grid, updated in the recent Tron: Legacy. This film is a rare gem from the 80's and a must-see for any fans of the world of Tron. Also, its just a good film if you want to see something worth watching that might just make you think for a couple of hours. Enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dated but still very good, 26 May 2012
Before watching the Tron sequel I decided to watch the original 1982 classic. Of course it is dated but the digital world sequences are still impressive and exciting (seems to have a futurist art deco vibe). The lightcycle challenge is the obvious stand-out sequence and still looks good.
I recommend seeing the original Tron if you haven't already, or revist it before seeing the new one (which I also liked very much).
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Tron [Blu-ray]
Tron [Blu-ray] by Jeff Bridges (Blu-ray - 2011)
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