This file was generated 2003-03-08 07:10 GMT. This movie's information hasn't changed since 2000-12-31.
Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> July 1998 >> Tron
Tron was one of my favorite movies when I was young. From the Wendy Carlos score to the amazing, inside-the-computer visuals, it was dazzling. I had occasion to see it on a big screen for the first time recently, and I was still filled with wonderment, but only for the visuals and the music.
While I suppose that many of the scenes could be reproduced easily today in very little rendering time, I doubt that the same look would be achieved. The majority of the movie was filmed in black and white, then carefully hand-painted frame-by-frame to add color. The combination is magical because it is completely novel to the eye and opens up the doorway to a new world. This accomplishment makes the movie worth seeing. The computer-generated objects have a look unlike most of what we're exposed to today because the technology predates the polygon-based rendering we're overexposed to now. The light cycle design is smooth and stylish partly because of the limitations of the rendering system, but it's still of a style that modern work has not duplicated.
It is important that you not walk into the movie with Too Much Information. The less you understand computers, the less you'll be offended by the utter lack of accuracy. Computers were unfamiliar things to the masses in 1982 except as behemoth mainframes and video games. I was already into computers when I watched this movie, but I don't remember it being quite so wrong. A B.S. in computer science later, I found myself laughing.
Flush with the excitement of buying a DVD player, I bought Tron on DVD. I was a little frightened when I saw the awful transfer quality of the trailer, and I picked the ring game as my first scene to watch, and that didn't look so good either. I almost wanted to return the player immediately and see if another did a better job. I was reassured when I saw that I was seeing the movie with a richer texture than I might've remembered. Besides a French language track, there are no other extras. Annoyingly, the audio can only be switched from the menus and not during playback. If this was used for nothing more than to pick between two title cards, it's annoying.