Tron (1982)

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Tron (1982)

Post  BoG on Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:32 pm


Instead of outer space - popular amid sci-fi films at the time - this goes into inner space: the conceptually theoretical space existing in our computers. There's a whole other world existing there, this film says, right underneath our noses, so to speak. This draws a suggestive parallel between the abstract-looking computer realm and our own lighted city-scapes as the film begins. In our 'real' world, there's a mundane plot about a young computer whiz (Jeff Bridges) who had been cheated by a former colleague (David Warner), who had reaped the rewards and is now a bigwig in a huge corporation. The whiz has a couple of friends (Bruce Boxleitner and Cindy Morgan), and one night they plan to get evidence.
The film throws several now well-known sf concepts together to get things rolling. First there is the a.i. - artificial intelligence - embodied by what's called the 'Master Control' here; it began small but greatly expanded its own intelligence until it's on equal footing with the human villain (Warner, usually playing villains during those years); this was popularized in The Terminator films. Then there's the matter digitizer laser, similar to the Star Trek transporters or the ones in The Fly films, developed by Morgan and elder scientist Barnard Hughes. The Master Control trains this laser on Bridges when he sneaks in; that's how he gets digitized and sent into the computer realm. Finally, there's the whole virtual reality concept of bytes of data possessing their own kind of life, perhaps as real as ours.
All these concepts should make for an exciting sf adventure but it's presented in a kind of mechanical fashion, similar to Disney films in the sixties, as one comparison. In other ways, Tron was ahead of its time, presenting perspectives on computers that were way out there back then. The whole visual of the computer realm was a very early version of all the computer FX scenarios we've become accustomed to in the past decade, though a lot of it also comes across as simply combining live actors with animated backgrounds - very abstract, surreal backgrounds, but still just animation.
The film also attempts to provide a new mythology: the characters inside the computer refer to people in our world as "Users" - this term is the film's stand-in for gods, since we are the creators and the data bytes regard us as somewhat godlike. Likewise, some of the computer bytes resemble their real world creators, recalling that God created man in his own image. This can be food for thought. There was finally a sequel, Tron Legacy, in 2010.  BoG's Score: 6.5 out of 10


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Behind the Scenes of Tron

Post  BoG on Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:48 am



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