Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tron: Legacy in 3D

Sunday, January 2, 2011 04:16:17 PM

I walked out of Tron:Legacy 3D with my head a whirl. My first 3D movie experience since 1982's Friday the 13 th in 3D , although my friend Todd insists that it was Jaws 3D we walked out of, the effects were breathtaking, but subtle, played down for the long run instead of relying on the obvious, quick thrill,  3D cliches. Those were reserved for the trailers and helped me acclimatize to the upcoming special effects spectacle. The most striking 3D effect was Olivia Wilde's eyes(“Thirteen” from House ), which sometimes appeared to exist outside her head like a tree frog's.

For Jeff Bridges fans, Tron: Legacy features twice as much as the first Tron.  He reprises his role as an aging Kevin Flynn, trapped in his own cyber creation, called The Grid, and his nemesis, the program Clu, whose search for perfection threatens the real world. Bridges plays Flynn as a cross between The Dude and Obi- Tron Kenobi, favoring dharmic garb and dropping  Buddhist kōans such as “remove yourself from the equation,” and “You're messing with my Zen.” As Clu, a computer program, which doesn't age,  he appears as the Jeff Bridges from the 1982 original film.

The film's explosive climax revolves around the struggle between the creator and his creation.  Kevin Flynn is the creator of the virtual world that most of the film occupies.  His creation, Clu, is attempting to usurp his creator. When Clu exhorts his digital minions to topple their god, he appears like a digital Lucifer, attempting to set his throne higher than his God's.   

If Kevin Flynn is God and Clu is Lucifer/Satan, then Flynn's son Sam and the mysterious Quorra are Adam and Eve, played with youthful abandon and reckless impulsivity by Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde.

Sam is the major share holder of his father's own company which appears to have morphed into a giant, heartless software company that forces its customers to buy endless, meaningless software upgrades, named Encom (Income, get it?). This is against the older Flynn's philosophy that information should be free (as in beer), much like the Open Source software philosiphy.  I am an enthusiastic open source user (I am writing this using Writer word processor under the Ubuntu 10.10 operating system). The direct influence of open source can be seen in this article at the OMG Ubuntu! website.  Check out the uber-dork comments at the bottom.  

Despite some story line incongruities,  Tron:  Legacy 3D was a great way to spend a cold Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati.  Visually, the film was a treat to watch and the story hummed along at a nice pace, although it did get a little slow during the middle section.  It was a much better sequel than the smoldering crapfest that The Matrix Reloaded was.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 08:08:34 PM

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