I wanted to like this movie. I have such fond memories of the original TRON. It was ahead of its time in many ways back then, and probably a little cheesy too… It was wrapped up in religion a bit, which wasn’t bad— it gave programs a “culture,” a “faith.” TRON: Legacy has kept up with the digital explosion in movies and taken it to grand heights, but it abandoned good writing and good characters along the way. I found it hard not to roll my eyes, and even with such great visuals, found myself bored during the last quarter of the film. How did they fumble such a beautiful opportunity? I don’t know, but I have some ideas. I offer these up for consideration. I’m no Roger Ebert (but I’m a huge fan, Roger) but I think most critics have already agreed that the plot lacks something. The original TRON received 69% on the tomatometer from Rotten Tomatoes, the new Tron 49%. Though, oddly the audience seems to like the second one more. Critics agreed the light show and “glitter” are fun, and who can beat that soundtrack? I loved the light show, the competitions, the music, but the plot is an epic fail.
2012: The Last Movie Explosions and the End of an Era
Well, just saw a clip from the movie 2012, out in theatres in November. After this movie, there will be no bigger explosions. Hurray!
I remember when Independence Day blew up the White House, and much of New York. It was a cool special effect. I remember when the Titanic split in two. Wowzers! But now, there’s not gonna be a special effect left to do using real places after 2012. We’ll have seen the Eiffel Tower destroyed so many times, seen a realistic crumbling of the Rio Jesus, seen California being pushed into the sea, or dribbling into it as is the case here.
I mean, after that, the real end, when and if it does come, will seem like a rerun. I bet when an earthquake hits California, one day, God forbid, but if it does, people will say “It looked just like 2012.”
Now, imagine filmmakers discussing options after 2012 comes out:
“Well, there goes my next volcano film. Can’t get more realistic than that!”
“And they just sunk Iowa into the ground.”
“We can’t redo the crumbling of the Statue of Liberty–we’ll be copying!”
“Exactly, boys.” They’ll sigh. Nod their heads. “You know what this means?”
They’ll look around nervously.
“We go back to plots and characters. People won’t expect it.”
“What you mean is–they’ll yawn through another White House implosion. No,” someone will shake his head, “we’ll go back to those all right—there’s nothing left to blow up, or blow up more realistically. There’s nothing left but characters. Damn.”
And this will be the END OF SPECIAL EFFECTS DRIVEN MOVIES. Relief.
It’s like the last ten years–post Jurassic Park–that directors have been like little boys with a new Chem Set and a set of bottles—what can we blow up? Or Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy in Wargames, playing “Global Thermonuclear War.” “What will we nuke first?” Broderick asks Sheedy. “Las Vegas! Seattle!”
So many films destroying highways and bridges and houses and monuments…like Godzillas of the Green Screen. Well, we’re all done with that! Who can follow 2012? The special effects people will be looking around for things to do and they’ll have to morph bodies on screen or something else….cause we’ve seen every conceivable iteration now. Reality won’t be half as good!
Either we move on now to plot/character driven movies whose special effects serve the moment, or this really is the end of the world….
God: “Well, they’ve blown up everything they can on screen. If I don’t cash in my chips, and call my peeps home, they’ll get bored…”