After seeing Tron: Legacy, I have been wanting to see the 1982 version of Tron for quite some time. Interestingly enough, I always thought that it was ridiculed for its special effects, but the acting and story line was what made it such a cult classic. However, I know now that it’s the exact opposite. The entire movie was essentially a green screen, and the effects that made it so video game-like were astonishing for its time. My personal favorite was when a young Jeff Bridges first becomes part of the game: his entire body turns into a blue grid, and piece by piece he is digitally sucked into his own game. I do wish I had seen the original film first, because I felt like I wouldn’t have as harsh a critique on it if I wasn’t already used to Joseph Kosinski’s digital world of Tron. Once you get used to the graphics of the 1982 film, it really is quite spectacular because you forget what the technology of today can use and you truly appreciate how great the effects were for that time. It was also semi-nostalgic, even though I was not born in the 80’s, I could still tell that the 3-D world of the grid still maintained its classic arcade game style.

On the other hand, it was very hard for me to get “old school Power Rangers” out of my head. Between the clunky costumes and the awkward interactions between all the video game characters, I wouldn’t have been surprised if they made up a couple of one-liners like “Go go Power Rangers!” while jumping through a digital explosion. The bad guys weren’t very believable, because they couldn’t really keep an eye on their opponents for long, and they were easily beat.

When comparing the 1982 and the 2010 version, I personally don’t think that Tron: Legacy blew Tron out of the water. Obviously, people might prefer the newer one because it’s more modern, but there are only a couple of differences that make the newer one a bit more enjoyable, despite the 1982 film being a cult classic. First of all, the soundtrack in the old one reminded me of cartoons, like when Elmer Fudd is going after Bugs Bunny. It was partly childish, like there was no threat of death or defeat going on. Daft Punk did the entire soundtrack for the 2010 version, and I thought it was perfectly in sync with the Tron world. Also, the story line was a bit easier to follow in the newer version. Even with seeing the 2010 version before, I still had difficulty following along in the beginning in Tron. It took me a while to figure out what was what and who was who, while in Tron: Legacy, it was clear from the start, even for somebody who didn’t know much about it beforehand. Overall, I believe both versions are worth seeing for different reasons. The 1982 version is known for its special effects for that time, and I feel like it is one of those films that you have to see in your lifetime, while the 2010 movie is just a good time, with up-to-date graphics and an interesting plot.

One thought on “Tron

  1. Nicely done. Video accompanying the piece would have helped. The scene you cite about Jeff Bridges being converted into the game world is available on YouTube. (This I know because it was posted on this page a few months ago for a week.)

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