Blu-ray Review: TRON/TRON LEGACY
When TRON LEGACY hit theatres in December, fans knew it would only be a matter of time before TRON would get the high-definition treatment on blu-ray. That time is now. Not only do we get Steve Lisberger’s ground-breaking 1982 film, but we also get it with the much argued-about neon spectacle that is TRON LEGACY. Is this April’s biggest must-have double feature?
TRON makes the transition to hi-def very well, with the real world scenes scrubbed sparkly clean. The scenes that take place on the grid suffer slightly, due to the fact that they used so many elements to put a scene together. One shot might contain computer graphics, hand-drawn animation, and human actors all in the same frame, so it’s to be expected that the quality wouldn’t be as flawless. Now, that being said, it’s never, ever looked better than it does here. Contrast and the color are deep, rich, and satisfying, and the re-mastered sound alone makes it a must for those with a decent sound system.
The special features are mostly a carry-over from Disney’s out-of-print 2-disc DVD, which is fine -- the making-of doc on the original set is still one of my favorites. New features include a useless segment on the original TRON through the eyes of TRON LEGACY’s young stars and filmmakers and a worthwhile, introspective visit to the Disney archives with Lisberger and his son.
I was disappointed by the skimpiness of the TRON LEGACY features. I reviewed the four-disc set, and was surprised that all of TRON LEGACY’s features were loaded onto the standard 2D blu. There are a handful of perfunctory making-ofs that cover costuming and casting and such, but the main feature seems to be Disney’s Second Screen -- a picture-in-picture approach that requires an iPad or iPhone app (one that I couldn’t seem to find in the iTunes store). The tech sounds gimmicky and impractical, but I would have liked to have been proved wrong on this. Too bad.
What the film lacks in features it makes up for in hi-def razzle dazzle. TRON LEGACY is an eye-popper, with key scenes shifting from 2.35:1 to an open frame IMAX-esque format ala THE DARK KNIGHT. Live-action 3D seems to suffer from ghosting on my television, more so than 3D animated fare, but TRON LEGACY holds a better 3D image than any live-action film I’ve tried out, with minimal ghosting issues. This is a LOUD movie, so if you’re looking for a new film to rattle the walls, TRON LEGACY will fit the bill quite nicely.
It’s a great package to be sure, but both films are a little draggy and more interested in big time visuals than compelling storytelling and interesting characters. For those qualities, I’ll be picking up TAXI DRIVER and THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT, also released today. Those dramas may lack the production design punch of TRON and its sequel, but man can’t live on junk food alone.