17 April 2011

My Complaints On Tron: Legacy

Helps to have a hot chick in your marketing campaign

I think I am going to start a series of movie reviews...it maybe a series of one.  There will be spoilers, but if I have seen a movie...pretty muck everyone in the world has seen it.  First up is Tron:  Legacy.  Disney pumped a lot of money into the marketing of this movie.  They created a huge hype that started at Comic-Con 18 months before the release.  In a marketing standpoint, Disney did a text book job.  Of course, it helps that Disney has money to do this kind of thing.

As a movie, this is about as good as the first one.  The film makers created a word for the audience to get lost in.  The special effects, costumes, sets...all the visual stuff was stunning, just like the 1982 release of the original.  Bottom line, this movie just looks cool.

Screen cap from movie, or video game?
 But...it has its flaws.  Clu, looks computer generated.  Yeah, I know he is suppose to be a program.  If everyone else in the system looked like him, then that would be fine.  He just looks like really good video game graphics...great for PS3, not so good for a movie where most characters are human.  This is why the Navi in Avatar look great., they all look the same.  Granted their CG is way better than Clu.

Psst, he has a Ducati
Product placement is way too obvious.  There is a Ducati featured in the movie.  They constantly show the logo on the gas tank during the bike scenes.  While in his man-cave, Sam parks his bike behind the couch.  So, when he sits on said couch...we see the Ducati logo behind his head.  Oh, he also has Ducati stickers on his fridge.  You must think, "gee how many times did you see this movie?"  Just once, and that was how distracting it was.  Sam and Kevin also exchange a  product placement conversation about the Ducati.  Spoiler alert:  Our hero Sam rides the bike...a Ducati, by the way...off into the sunrise (instead of sunset) at the end of the film.

Cool refresh of original light cycle
 Speaking of bikes, the light cycle scene was really cool.  It totally copied paid homage to the original.  That car Quorra drives is awesome, makes me want to install EL panels in my car.  Hey, maybe I should do that.  I will keep you posted.  Anyway, they show Flynn's light cycle (again, really cool looking) and Quorra states that it is the "fastest thing on the grid".  With a line like that, you would think that we are going to see a kick-ass chase seen involving Flynn's light cycle.  No, Sam just 'borrows' it and rides into town...barely breaking the speed limit.

They have books in the grid...and roasted pig
How does a human, uh "user", stay alive in the grid?  I am willing to believe that there is some sort of electron ray gun that can zap you into the grid.  But how does he survive for twenty years in there? And, that is twenty years our time...it is way longer in the grid.  The scene at the dinner table answers the question of how/what he eats to stay alive.  But, there is a roasted pig on the table.  A ROASTED PIG!!!  Where did that pig come from?  Wait, so among all the cool video games that Flynn created...he also created Farmville?  This is what I call "The Click Loophole", based on the movie click.  I am willing to believe that there is a remote control that can allow one to stop time, even travel through time...but no way can I believe that Adam Sandler can get together with Kate Beckinsale, no way.  I wonder if Flynn's toilet glows.

Talk about suspension of disbelief
Tron:  Legacy was nominated for one Academy Award, Best Achievement in Sound Editing.  Rightfully, it did not win.  It should not even have been nominated.  The sound editing in this film was one of the worst I have heard.  Hold on, tangent rant:

Daft Punk totally jacked rifts from this single
As much as I dislike Daft Punk, I think the soundtrack was amazing.  Why do I hate them, you ask.  Just listen to Daft Punk's Around the World.  Tell me it does not sound like Depeche Mode's Never Let Me Down Again.  Total rip off if you ask me, or anyone with at least one working ear.   Not sure about their newer stuff, but when Daft Punk first came on the scene, a lot of their stuff sounded like Depeche Mode, yet they were praised for having a new sound.  Yeah, new as in every DM remix on a loop.  By the way, Depeche Mode:  Remixes 2 is out 6 June.  Now, back to my movie rant.

I did not see this in the theaters.  I watched it on the next best thing, Blu-Ray.  So, the sound should be pretty damn close to what I would have experience in the theater.  I found myself constantly adjusting the volume just to not blow my speakers/ears out with music and action scenes versus the dialogue scenes.  What tells a story?  Right, the narrative.  Which means dialogue is very important, especially when you create a world with your own rules.  You as a filmmaker, you need to inform the audience through dialogue, narration, visual ques, etc., as to what is going on.  Well, that is hard when the music and action scenes are loud as fuck and the dialogue is inaudible.  Heck, I had to turn on the subtitles just so I can read the dialogue that the sound editors should have cranked up to better match the rest of the movie.

Four disc set.  The 3D means 3 discs that are useless
A quick review of the Blu-Ray set.  It comes with four discs...but really one disc that you will actually use.  Again, great Disney marketing at work.  "Oh, I get four discs?  Wow, that is a lot of content!  Tron viewing party at my place".  Wrong, you get one average Blu-Ray disc, with minimal content.

Disc 1 - Blu-Ray 3D:  Unless you have a 3D TV and a 3D Blu-Ray player, this disc is useless
Disc 2 - Blu-Ray:  This is the only useful disc in the set.  Standard movie and minimal special features.  I was hoping to see more behind the scenes content on production design.  Also, no director commentary.
Disc 3 - DVD:  Manufactures have been including a DVD with their Blu-Ray releases.  The main reason is to have the Blu-Ray at home and the DVD in the portable player on the go for kids.  Good marketing, but pretty much a waste of plastic.  I would rather have more special features.
Disc 4 - Digital Copy:  Again, great marketing but a waste of plastic and money better spent on more behind the scenes content.  Anyone can with a computer can rip a DVD or Blu-Ray to a digital copy.  That same computer can 'acquire' a digital copy...even before the movie comes out.

If you can tolerate the "Academy Award Nominated Sound Editing", I recommend checking out Tron:  Legacy.  The visuals alone are worth watching.

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