Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tron and Tron: Legacy, a return visit

It's been over a year (see post on April 26, 2011)  since I last watched Tron and Tron: Legacy, and I was curious about whether my initial reactions to the two films had changed since then.  So, last night I engaged in a Tron film festival.  It's only two films, so it's not much of a festival, but so far, Disney hasn't come up with a Tron 3, yet.

To be brief, my initial reactions still held true, even stronger now after a second viewing.  The plots are still weak, although Tron: Legacy had an opportunity to explore an Eastern tradition in cyberspace, but never went anywhere with it, aside from putting Jeff Bridges in a meditation gown and showing him in a meditative pose now and then.  That is frustrating  for that could have been a fascinating idea to explore.

Put simply:  Tron had the look and feel of a truly alien world.  It was a convincing depiction of cyberspace, a digital universe with bright, sharp colors and strong demarcations of creatures and structures and motion impossible in our world. Cyberspace could be like this.

Tron: Legacy was not an alien universe, but our own universe distorted to some extent by computer graphics.  It no longer was an unknown world, but just one variation of ours--no longer digital but now a  modification of our analogue universe.  And, according to an interview with the director, Joseph Kosinsky,  this was done deliberately.  In his view, the digital world had evolved to become more "realistic," more like our own world. The special effects were fantastic, but all they did was to turn the digital world into ours.

What a waste of time, money, and effort!  I watched the film to see something new, not a variation of a world that I already knew, and a variation that concluded with scenes from the 1934 Nazi propaganda film, Triumph of the Will, directed by Leni Riefenstahl. I guess this is supposed to be another example of how realistic the Tron world has become.

If this trend continues, the third Tron, if there is one, will be set in an universe so realistic that it will be indistinguishable from ours.  I'll skip that one. 

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