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Some couple reviews "TRON: Legacy"
Glenn: So here's our first movie review for what will hopefully be a recurring series. My wife and I have quite a few different opinions of what makes a particular movie 'good.' So hopefully, between the two of us, we have something to say about a particular movie to help just about anyone decide if it's worth their time. We'll try to avoid being too spoiler-rific in our banter.
For our inaugural edition, TRON: Legacy.
Kik: Or as I'd title it, Tron: The Dude in Cyberspace.
Glenn: This was definitely my movie pick, and I definitely came out of the theater thinking it was a much better movie than Kik. The movie quickly scans over the time period in-between this film and the 1982 original. Kevin Flynn, the protagonist of the original, has been exploring the possibilities of the digital world he discovered. He promises to show his young son Sam Flynn the world of the "Grid" but mysteriously vanishes before that can happen. Fast forward to modern day, where a disillusioned Sam takes little serious interest in his father's company until a mysterious message leads him to discover the world his father was creating.
Glenn: First up, let's talk cast. What did you think of the protagonist son, played by Garrett Hedlund?
Kik: I think the kid actor was okay, but I just think some of those dialog lines were so cheesy. His whole character was kinda generic.
Glenn: Going in I only knew the guy had been the child hero of Eragon... which didn't instill me with too much confidence. But I agree with you, given the pretty tired role of disillusioned son of an absent father, who ends up reuniting and reconciling, he did alright.
How about Thirteen, I mean Olivia Wilde in the role of Quorra?
Kik: Thirteen did OK, better than I thought.
Glenn: Agreed. Some folks worried she'd just be in the movie to stand around and glow pretty, but she actually had an important, nuanced character.
How about Jeff Bridges?
Kik: Ugh, don't get me started. He fit "dude," or "man" into every line. It totally was like The Big Lebowski in cyberspace. I don't think Flynn's demeanor would be anything like that, after spending so much time in the grid. Remember, he said minutes in the real world seemed like hours on the grid, so this guy's had more than 20 years to hang out in cyberspace, and he's still going to talk and act like a stoned slacker?
Glenn: The Dude in Space actually sounds like a movie I might watch, but I digress. In Bridges defense, he plays a young hacker, who did end a lot of his sentences in the original movie with "man." Still, it did seem like he went overboard with the old hippie vibe at times. Flynn is not the Dude.
I really wanted to watch the original Tron again, both for a personal refresher, and to acquaint you with the source material, but it hasn't been to easy find.
My gripe about his character is that I wanted to see a lot more of Flynn in action. In the bar scene, when he shows up wearing some sort of glowing technomonk robe, crouched down like that, and the Daft Punk music kicks into "bad-ass" mode, I wanted to see what an experienced "User" could really do.
But individual performances aside, this film was really all about the style and slickness of the special effects. We didn't even see it in 3D, which I hear is a whole new experience, and I was still duly impressed.
Kik: I thought the special effects were good, definitely stuff I haven't seen before. But they didn't quite compensate for the plot in my book. In Avatar, the plot was also painfully predictable, but the visuals managed to make up for it. In Tron, they just never quite saved it for me.
Glenn: What didn't you like about the plot?
Kik: that it was a big ball of cheese. Predictable. The line "We're on the same team dad," the sacrifice at the end, the fake-out about whether you-know-who would be there in the end, and of course they were.
Glenn: I can't argue that the plot was pretty standard stuff, but not every movie can go way off the beaten track a'la Inception (which we both loved).
I thought the plot still managed to generate some good suspense, and I rather liked the themes that the screenwriters worked into this film. I liked that in an age where immersion into an electronic world has become the norm for our society, where a Facebook photo, errant Tweet, or popular YouTube video can dramatically change a life, it does seem that our computerized selves are gaining the upper hand on our real lives.
Kik: Meh. Are we done with this? I've got crops to harvest in Farmville.
Him - Slick sights and sounds made me really like the style of the new TRON. I think fans of the first film won't be disappointed.
Her - Bleh. It looked kinda cool, but I'd rather rewatch Avatar if I want to see cool special effects and a bad plot.