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In which I am underwhelmed by Tron - Tactical Ninja

Jan. 3rd, 2011

10:34 am - In which I am underwhelmed by Tron

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So the other night we were in need of non-demanding media. Since there's been a lot of hype around Tron Legacy and two of us hadn't seen the original version, we decided to watch that.

This is the movie that inspired a generation of geeks, RPers, costume makers and video gamers. I figured there must be something special about it, so was quite excited to see it.


First, I've seen the trailer for Tron Legacy and I have to admit it looks shiny. However, it also makes it seem as if any female part in the movie is purely for decoration, and this makes me feel conflicted. I mean, a movie doesn't have to be full of women to be a good movie, but at the same time it'd be really nice for us to be at least represented in the numbers that reflect reality. And perhaps in a way that reflects reality too. Or even perhaps as three-dimensional beings. Or is that too much to ask? *cough* Anyway, there are a LOT of movies out there that do this, and it seems the more blockbuster they are, the less women feature in them as anything other than sideplots or eye candy. And this is a problem for me. Like I said, it doesn't prevent a movie from being good, but it rankles and detracts from my enjoyment because I notice it.

So yeah, not sure whether I'll shell out actual money to see Tron Legacy. On one hand, prettyshiny! On the other, *muttermutter*.

It would be nice not to be faced with this choice so often, you know?



Anyway, Tron the original. Looking at the movie poster, you'd think the female character plays an equal part, right? I think it's safe to say that yes, there was only one female character, she was hot and supposedly intelligent yet always deferred to the men (who made up the entirety of the rest of the cast) in any decision, was a bit pathetic and needed help with physical things, and swooned into the arms of the dashing hero on the flimsiest pretext. Yes, apparently even female computer programs can't be trusted. She in no way contributed to the movie except to facilitate the adventures of the male characters, wear tight clothes and provide something for the male characters to snog (and possibly for the 12 year old geeks who got off on this movie to wank over).

Anyway, I shall now take off my feminist woman hat because this movie had so much more to offer, right? Right?

OK, the pretext was actually pretty cool. Imagine if programs were self aware, and if you could digitise yourself and go into the system to interact with them. Imagine what sort of culture might develop within a system. Imagine..

Sadly, the execution was just silly. Yes, I realise it was 1982 and the special effects, for the time, were probably state of the art. The iconic bike-game scenes are certainly pretty damn awesome. But the movie itself? Formulaic, predictable and full of holes. Also, I had some trouble suspending my disbelief. I mean, saving the (computer) world from the evil dictator by throwing a frisbee disc into its inner workings? And how come even though the movie is called Tron, the actual hero is, um.. whatever the other guy's name is? Swashbuckle gamer dude? Like, Tron barely features and has no character development compared with Swashy, who we're all supposed to like even though he's busy trying to get into Femtron's pants behind Tron's back. And succeeds. Because who dares wins, right? Or maybe it was his leet haxxor skills that made him irresistible to female software. *cough*

Something I did like was the games they were using to kill the programs - I think this should have featured more in the movie frankly, because it was the best bit. All that pointless climbing around on shiny blocks of plastic and flying through canyon scenes - not so much. All I can say is I hope the inside of my machine doesn't look like that.

At the end of the movie I found myself going "That was it? That's what so many of my cohort were inspired by? I am disappoint."

Don't get me wrong, I can see the appeal - if you like to think about the possibilities around self-aware, self-learning software and virtual worlds, and you like shiny things, it has a lot going for it. If you happened to be a 12 year old boy in 1982 I can see how it'd be eye-poppingly awesome. But for me, it missed the mark. It was entertaining and pretty but this is 2011, I'm 40 and a woman and we have Avatar now - which has a simplistic plot and prettyshiny too, only better executed.

I'll leave you with this:



Inspired a generation. Dunno how.


Yes yes, clearly I'm a plebeian to not see the brilliance that is Tron. But based on viewing the trailer and now the original movie, someone would have to do some convincing before I'd part with cash to see Tron Legacy.

Comments:

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From:rivet
Date:January 2nd, 2011 10:08 pm (UTC)
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Don't bother with Tron Legacy. The plot is incoherent with strong elements of (original) star wars and the Matrix, and you can listen to Daft Punk on your own.

Also, please pass the brain bleach for that image?
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From:megapope
Date:January 2nd, 2011 10:58 pm (UTC)
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Nobody _you know_ considers Tron brilliant or inspiring. I have to constantly remind myself that I'm hugely privileged to spend most of my time with liberal, intelligent, awesome people and that's millions of idiots out there who also get to vote. ;-)
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From:megapope
Date:January 2nd, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC)
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*that there's meant to go in there...
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From:cicipsychobunny
Date:January 2nd, 2011 11:40 pm (UTC)
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Not having seen Tron, I'd have to at least assume it doesn't have the painfully archaic White Messiah Saves Primitives And Marries Hot Exotic Chick plotline of Avatar which by all rights *should* be relegated to shitty 80s sci fi.
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From:tatjna
Date:January 3rd, 2011 08:08 am (UTC)
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Nope, no white messiah (cos everyone's white), no hot exotic chick (unless catsuit-wearing pretty fluff counts), and everyone except the protagonist is a primitive, but not in the Avatar sense. Still, at least they had the excuse of it actually being the 80s...
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From:helianthas
Date:January 3rd, 2011 01:51 am (UTC)
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The new Tron looks like a bunch of folks at burning man running around with EL Wire placed pleasingly on their black catsuits.
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From:wildilocks
Date:January 3rd, 2011 12:04 pm (UTC)
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I didn't expect anything more from Tron Legacy than an awesome extended Daft Punk music video. And it delivered. Thus, I was pleased with it :)

Plus, the hair is EXCELLENT, and of course this for me was worth the price of admission - YMMV.
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From:explicitreality
Date:January 3rd, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC)

TRON Legacy

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I am too young to have been inspired by the original in the same way that /slightly/ older folk were; however, I appreciate the brilliance of it.

The remake? Meh. I went to see it b/c the husband creature is old enough to have been inspired by the original and was dying to see it. He wasn't blown away, either.

Are we just jaded because of Avatar, Iron Man (and II), etc.? That's a good question...But, now I kinda hope that they update "The Last Star Fighter" because I really liked that movie, and yes, I like to get my geek on.
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