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 :)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't get that. Seriously, what motivates someone to see a movie when they know in advance most of it is going to be computer generated? I really don't get it when the potential viewers are the TR membership, people who work with computers on a daily basis. It's ones and zeroes. Give me Buster Keaton dropping that barn on himself, Hal Needham jumping over real chasms in real cars, or Jackie Chan choreographing mundane props into marvelous fight scenes.

dwdino
dwdino

...about art museums? This is a subjective matter and those enjoying it find pleasure in the creativities of others. I personally enjoy all of it. A well done presentation of Shakespeare, a choreagraphed Chan brawl, a well delivered speach in Indepedence Day...

Omnifice
Omnifice

...but this ain't one of 'em. Yes, Tron's story is very light. Sometimes it's nice to just shut off the analysis, buy in to the goofy story and go along for the ride. Tron is one of those movies that is just a fun ride. And this is coming from an overly analytical dude. Work took IT and QA yesterday as a "team building exercise". W00t! I thought it was great fun and the movie was in the spirit of Tron. And the eye candy was awesome! :) ...and I loved Sky Captain, but yes, huge plot holes...so kinda with ya on that one. ;)

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't expect a story line when I go to an art museum. On the rare occasions I go to a movie I expect a tale to be told, and I expect the story to be the most prominent feature. I have the same expectations when reading. It doesn't matter how wonderfully the author manipulates the language if the plot is implausible or doesn't go anywhere. "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" was absolutely lovely but I felt ripped off by a story with holes you could fly a giant robot through. That's the last film I saw that my wife and I describe as a 'CG-fest', but I began skipping them somewhere before 'Matrix'.

Omnifice
Omnifice

...everybody has their own tastes. ;)

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.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

I liked the film, but then I wasn't expecting Citizen Kane, either. Did you notice that room was left for a sequel?

jsaubert
jsaubert

There seemed to be a thread all throughout the movie that kept nudging the writer in me and whispering "sequel" ... which was actually one of the few things I disliked. I think that it would have been fine if it was designed and written as multiple movies. I think that the climax was tweaked slightly to allow a window for further stories.

Cyclops116
Cyclops116

The movie wasn't long enough for the story should be an HBO or Showtime series!

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.

Jefph
Jefph

TRON had very little /actual/ computer graphic stuff, most of it was wearing suits & dark scenery with things painted on in post-production. One of the best uses of CG was (oodly enough) in a scene that was cut! I'm quite looking fwd to the new one. What annoys me tho' is that where I live, of the three cinemas showing it, there is only ONE 2D viewing each day - all the rest are 3D. My eyes don't cope with it, and I end up with a headache.. so much for entertainment. So I'm off to an 11am showing on Monday morning!

Jellimonsta
Jellimonsta

One of the first movies to make use of CGI was 'Young Sherlock Holmes' in 1985. The Stained Glass Knight scene was pretty cutting edge.

cyberlawprof
cyberlawprof

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

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Well besides techs just about every Surgeon. Those who work in Public and Private Hospitals most certainly do so that they know when their Requested OR's are free for them to do their thing. Also Stock Brokers and Lawyers carry them all of the time so that's a fairly big user base of the Highly Paid end of Town and then there are the Techs who don't really count. ;) Col

TobiF
TobiF

Either to inform you that your pizza is ready (think food court) or that your table is ready (medium class restaurant in shopping center).

JamesRL
JamesRL

A pager rents out for cheap - much less than the cheapest cell phones. We have people who are on call after hours who have them - they don't need a company cell phone, and when their on call time is over they pass the pager to the next person.

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

took it back, should go beep.

dallascaley
dallascaley

It's not a lot better or worse than the original movie, it's just that over the last 28 years I've learned to appreciate things such as a plot over special effects. Also the mystery of computers and the 'Digital Frontier' was kinda gone for me the day I woke up and said 'yep... I guess this is the future'

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

but can turn off the device when not on call. Your mobile is no good turned off and I don't want to have more than one.

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

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

NexS
NexS

And I enjoyed it. Though all I could think of while watching Jeff Bridges was Iron Man. When comparing the movie to the original, I find it served very well. The storyline and legitimacy were lacking in both films (being an IT professional, you cannot believe that being transported into a computer system is even remotely possible, let alone the fact that the computer system looked like a cityscape of polygons), but Legacy seemed to me that a little more thought had gone into the how and why, though still completely absurd. The special effects were fantastic, and I feel that they spared no expense. The 'young' bridges was only slightly noticeably computer 'assisted' (I say that because of the fact that Bridges would have had to play both roles in their entirety). As all hollywood movies have, there were some cliches, some obvious twists and such, but none more than I expect from any film. I should also mention that there was really no point in seeing the 3D version. All in all, I enjoyed it and will buy the Bluray when it is released

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

has obviously never heard of Peewee Herman...

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I heard that's another one UnHolywood intends to unearth.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Hmm. "Unearth" must be the word of the day?

squirrellysiege
squirrellysiege

I seriously doubt that anybody could call this the worst movie to be released in the last 27 years. I liked the new Tron film, it served it's purpose of entertainment and looked good doing it with a good story, but even if I hated it, considering all the Will Ferrell and Jack Black movies that have been released, I wouldn't even have put this in the top 100 bad films to be released in the last 27 years.

burntfinger1
burntfinger1

I wasn't going to see it until I heard that:) If the critics don't like it the film (dating myself) might be worth watching.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

I saw it on openning day. The special effects were great and there was actually a plot!

Editor's Picks