Saturday, October 22, 2011

TRON (1982)

Links: TVTropes, Wikipedia, IMDB (6.7).

TRON is a soft sci-fi adventure film that spends most of its time in a fantastic virtual world representing the inside of a computer ruled by a fascist operating system.  (It dates from an era before GUIs had shaped the public's ideas about computers, so it actually has a good excuse for its naïveté... unlike, say, Hackers.)  The film was a commercial flop and a disappointment for Disney (known in that era as "that theme park company that sometimes releases mediocre movies"); it also got snubbed at the awards for using CGI (even though most of the effects are rotoscoped or hand-drawn).  Despite all the negativity, the movie had pacing issues but was actually pretty enjoyable, and its cult following kept it bubbling on the cultural back burner for the next 3 decades, eventually spawning a successful sequel.  The film's pace sometimes drags, and it's shockingly earnest in a way that wouldn't work in a modern film, but it's a fun romp through the most un-gritty, un-cyberpunk depiction you've ever seen of a virtual world.  Score: 3 stars out of 4.

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