Tron Legacy/Tron: The Original Classic 5-disc Combo
If there is any credence to the notion that the Tron series does little more than showcase the latest visual technology, Tron Legacy/Tron: The Original Classic 5-Disc Combo certainly reinforces this notion with its variety of media options. Tron Legacy itself is on no less than 4 of the 5 discs present here. Whether you own a 3D TV, a standard Blu-Ray player, a PC, an iPhone or simply an SDTV with a regular DVD player, the 5-disc Combo has your bases covered for the recent film; obviously the fifth disc contains the original 1982 film – hell all that it is missing are the DVD, VHS, Betamax, and Laserdisc versions of the Original Classic.
Though nobody remembers it, the original Tron actually had a story. In a nutshell, Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) attempts to crack the mainframe of ENCOM, the world’s largest software provider and prove that the mega corporation’s current head, Ed Dillinger (David Warner) stole his ideas for the company’s most successful video games. He recruits the aid of his friends and current ENCOM employees Alan (Bruce Boxleitner) and Lora (Cindy Morgan). Flynn inadvertently enters “The Grid” when zapped by a new laser developed by the company. Here he meets two “programs” Tron (Bruce Boxleitner) and Yori (Cindy Morgan) who fight for the “Users” (you know humans, programmers, creators what have you) as they attempt to destroy the Master Control Program, which is a giant face that acts as an omnipotent rouge A.I. Though familiar sci-fi tropes abound, Tron is actually a very fun movie that benefits from a light approach while not taking itself too seriously. The film is a product of its time while remaining slightly ahead of it. Some may find the visuals out dated, but in truth, they are quite incredible and since they.
One could also say that Tron Legacy is also product of its time, to a degree at least. Though it hardly seems to have the benefit of foresight, however time may prove otherwise. Basically the plot is that Kevin Flynn has gone missing for 20-something years and his rebellious son Sam has been sabotaging the company by leaking their latest OS onto the internet. Turns out this set up is a narrative red herring and suddenly we find out that Kevin has paged Alan (Boxleitner in an extended cameo) from the old arcade. Sam goes there and is transported to the Grid 2.0; from here a bunch of non-sequiturs and questionable character motivations occur.
Though watchable and visually stimulating, Tron Legacy is a mess. The dialogue is stiff and flavorless, the script is full of holes, the pacing is clunky (especially in the middle) and at times the tone is all over the place. The greatest compliment that can be bestowed upon this film is that like its predecessor it has a vividly constructed universe that is almost tangible in its atmosphere. Also, due in large part to how Jeff Bridges plays the scene, a strong bond is established later in the film where Sam fills Kevin in on what has been going on in the real world during the last two decades. Oh, and the soundtrack by Daft Punk is incredible.
At least this box set knows what it has on its hands and acts accordingly. There are numerous extras across the discs, and almost all of them have to do with the special FX on display. The only difference is that Tron’s features are held with more reverence while Legacy’s are held with more awe. There is also a music video for Daft Punk, which meshes the aesthetics of both films. Also there is a ho-hum preview of the upcoming animated series Tron Uprising.
Visuals and audio for both films are incredible. In fact Legacy’s disc may just be the best ever seen for Blu-Ray and 3D Blu-Ray. There are next to no errors on any of the discs. As with the theatrical and IMAX releases, the aspect ratio is variable. There are no aliasing and no artifacts to speak of. The audio is just as incredible. The 7.1 DTS-HD MA mix is optimally compressed at a consistent bit rate of 48kHz. Frankly this is where the Tron Legacy home release needed to shine the most. It would be fair to say that it would have been a failure if it had messed up in the technical department.
Tron Legacy certainly makes a strong case for being the quintessential Tron series set. It has all of the bells and whistles and shows off what really matters about this series, which are mostly just bells and whistles.