Software

The 28-year wait for TRON: Legacy is over

TRON fans have been eagerly awaiting the release of TRON: Legacy. The film's special effects, especially the age reversal of Jeff Bridges, are sure to dazzle audiences.

It's been 28 years since the original TRON showed us the future of motion pictures. Contemporary motion pictures such as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn used miniatures, but TRON's special effects were digital. So, instead of using models, which dated back to the 19th century, the Light Cycles in TRON existed only within a computer, a unique idea in 1982.

Much of the action in the original film took place within a dystopian digital world in a computer that Kevin Flynn (a much younger Jeff Bridges) tries to escape. Flynn soon discovers that the only way back to the real world is by overthrowing the powers that be, in this instance known as the Master Control Program.

The graphics for the original TRON were created on a computer with 2 MB of RAM and 330 MB of disk storage. In addition, much of the software necessary needed to be created from scratch -- the open source and commercial graphics packages that are now available did not exist in 1982.

Things are different with TRON: Legacy, which opens December 17, 2010. Other than 3D graphics, perhaps the biggest change is that it is now possible to realistically erase the intervening 28 years from Jeff Bridges -- at least this is true in the second trailer, which unlike the first trailer, appears to have been filmed in the 1980s. In the first trailer, his face appears to be bloated and clearly CGI.

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures, screenshots by CNET

Like the original TRON, I bet TRON: Legacy's special effects (from what I can tell from the latest trailers) will amaze fans for at least the next several decades. Take a look at the third trailer for TRON: Legacy.

Will you see the film?

Do you plan to catch TRON: Legacy on the big screen, and if so, will you see it opening weekend? So far, the reviews have been mixed (Roger Ebert, Metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes), but I bet that any fan of the original will see the latest installment of the TRON franchise regardless of the early reviews. TRON guy (Jay Maynard) says he had to fight off tears. If you see (or have seen) the film, share your reaction with the TechRepublic community.

More about TRON: Legacy

35 comments
Gordinho
Gordinho

Saw it on Saturday and although the story is pretty bland, I had no expectations on that front, this was always going to be about the effects. For a couple of hours a cynical 37 year old became that 9 year old again, running around the school yard with friends, pretending we were riding light cycles....job done :)

gc6763
gc6763

I was impressed with the original Tron. The Tron Legacy was more impressive. I will buy the DVD extended version.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Saw the movie in Real 3D at a seminar sponsored by Citrix. 90 minutes of marketing/crap followed by a very early lunch and then popcorn and drinks and the movie in Real 3D. Luckily I didn't pay anything [except time]. The 3D sucked. Seemed to be in 2D most of the time. Effects were good of course but not that huge of a difference compared to the original. Story was adequate. Even Olivia Wilde's costume wasn't that revealing [bummer!].

jsaubert
jsaubert

I saw it twice during preview showings and I'm really starting to think I saw a different move than the critics did. Anyone that has had the unfortunate experience of watching a movie with me probably know that I'm normally very limited in my praise. Sure Tron: Legacy was no Citizen Kane but that's not what this Tron fan wanted. It's only on a very rare occasion that I come out of a movie pleased. I sat down expecting a really fun popcorn movie adventure and I got up at two hours later popcorn gone, exactly where I expected the story to take me but not by the avenues I anticipated. Tron: Legacy is 110% a Monomyth and it's a path that we all intrinsically know except they took every element I expected, used them exactly at prescribed only turned about 15-degrees to the side. I miss this kind of movie. Not to mind-bending but with a few interesting things up mull over, not overly message-driven but with a good tone, not unfamiliar but with a different combination of inspirations. I wanted to be entertained and I was; which is more than I can say for a lot of "critically acclaimed movies" I've seen.

Parrish S. Knight
Parrish S. Knight

The FX are, as you would expect, amazing, but the film is just not very good... I'm sorry I can't recommend it, particularly not with the extra IMAX and 3D fees tacked on. My jaw just about hit the floor when I saw that I was going to be paying $17.50 for a movie ticket. That's almost two months' worth of Netflix Instant Viewing, for Pete's sake.

msims
msims

I've seen the original 1982 TRON when it was released in the theaters and back in that time the graphics were amazing. I have the 20th Anniversary DVD and original Movie soundtrack too. The 1982 TRON had the ensamble cast of Jeff Bridges as CLU, Bruce Boxlitner as TRON(appeared in the Sci-Fi series Babylon 5), Cindy Morgan as Yori 5(also in appeared in Cadyshack ) and David Warner as the Control Program. It had it's good humor and some campy on-liners but for what it worth it was one among the first first movies ever to use computer generated graphics in the entire film which also made the trend in making the movie the "Last Starfighter" although LS used computer graphics in it space battle scenes. From my first impressions of what I saw in the trailers of the new "TRON: Legacy" I'd have to give say the same small critique of the film that I gave the new "STARTREK" film about it lookin like the insides of and iPod: It looks as if the characters are stuck inside of an iPad because the motifs are black and the humor and action both may not be as campy as it was in the original. But the film is tailored to be made for both the 30- and 30+ crowds. I'll keep and open mind on this film and be the judge myself and see if the 28-year long wait gains fruit.

cyberlawprof
cyberlawprof

"Sam, I was paged last night" Who carries a pager today?

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

and they put it as the worst film to be released in the last 27 years.

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