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Copernicus on TRON LEGACY and COWBOYS AND ALIENS

 

I had a great time, as always, at BNAT12, but rather than reviewing all of the films, I thought I’d just focus on TRON LEGACY and the first 40 minutes we were shown of COWBOYS AND ALIENS, because one is a cautionary tale in failure despite good intentions, and the other is shaping up to be a dramatic counterpoint.


TRON LEGACY

TRON LEGACY is not terrible.  It is just a massive disappointment.  It is in the same league as THE PHANTOM MENACE and INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL – an overblown, over-marketed, decades-in-the-anticipation, soulless zombie of a film.  It is an exquisite corpse, but a corpse nonetheless.  

BNAT is quite possibly the perfect, most receptive audience for such a film.  This is a festival that played the original TRON, unironically, at the very first gathering.  At this year’s BNAT, when it was announced that we were getting on a bus to go to another location to see the last film, everyone was buzzing that this could only be a trip to an IMAX theater, and this could only be TRON LEGACY.  The crowd was punch-drunk and giddy with anticipation.  Yet during the film there were no squeals of glee, no cheers.  And afterwards, while some enjoyed it, mostly I sensed feelings of sleepiness and disappointment – the disappointment of a missed opportunity and a dream deflated.

There’s plenty to love about TRON LEGACY.  It has absolutely stunning design, costumes, and CG work.  And getting Daft Punk to do the soundtrack is one to the greatest decisions in the history of film scoring, right up there with Williams + Star Wars. And this is a film perfectly suited to IMAX and 3D.  In fact, if there were a no-dialogue, score-only IMAX performance, something akin to the old laser light shows at planetariums, where you could do your drugs and just trip out for two hours, I’d be there.  But alas, in the version of TRON LEGACY that I just saw, the actors open their mouths.  And when they do, they seemingly reel off five pages of exposition with every camera move.  That may be an exaggeration, but it feels like an understatement.  In fact, here’s a non-exhaustive list of some of the things the characters explain – not show by action, mind you, just crank out in words: 

  •  The relationship between Bruce Boxleitner’s character, Alan, and Sam Flynn.
  • What ENCOM is and does.
  • What Kevin Flynn was doing years ago when he disappeared.
  • The world that Kevin Flynn built.
  • What happened to Clu?
  • Who is this Zuse character?
  • Who is Quorra?
  • Why do we have to get from here to there in X amount of time?
  • What do all these vehicles do and how do they work?
  • What is the grid?
  • Who is this Tron guy anyway?


And that mostly doesn’t count the endless parade of supposed character moments where characters (always in pairs) confide in each other either their dark secrets or their role in this ecosystem in monologues.  For example, we have Sam + Kevin, Sam + Alan, Quorra + Sam, Sam + Kevin again, Zuse + Sam, Clu + Sam, Kevin + Sam again, Clu + Kevin, etc.  This was exactly the problem with THE PHANTOM MENACE – it was all wooden characters explaining something to one another to get from point A to B to a CG set piece that never felt engaging because someone had to tell you the stakes.

Sadly, Garrett Hedlund joins, Hayden Christensen and Shia LaBeouf in the grand tradition of charisma-challenged leads crushed under the weight of a stultifying dialog-challenged effects extravaganza.  He’s not terrible, just vanilla and worse, forgettable.  That doesn’t cut it will hundreds of millions of dollars and a future franchise on the line.  Thankfully, Olivia Wilde is anything but forgettable, and even with a disposable role, somehow (possibly having something to do with glowing latex and owl-sized eyes) manages to be simultaneously sexier, cuter, and more charismatic than her opposite numbers in the thinly drawn female lead department:  Megan Fox and Natalie Portman.  And finally, while I have my issues with Jeff Bridges’ old Kevin Flynn performance, like an inappropriate injection of Dudespeak, and the unconscionable selling out mid-scene (see below), seeing a young Jeff Bridges believably realized on-screen is breathtaking.  Others have complained about a bit of an uncanny valley effect when he opens his mouth, and I see what they mean, but it didn’t derail the sense of awe and potential I saw in such a technological feat.  And yet, while he looks amazing, the Clu character himself is hollow and useless.  He seems to be by-the-numbers sinister with no motivation at all.

While most of the film is a mixed bag or awe inspiring glory and wince-inducing inanity, there is one utterly unforgivable, atrocious, BATMAN AND ROBIN – level failure in TRON LEGACY.   Remember how Batman pulls out the Bat-credit-card, and it seemed staggeringly out of place and just so wrong it made you ashamed to not just be watching the film, but to even know about a country where something like that is possible?  The same thing happens here.  After Sam Flynn gets off his motorcycle, the camera lingers a beat on the perfectly centered DUCATI logo.  It just seems strange, unnecessary, and ridiculous, but that’s only a tiny warm up of the soul-melting travesty to come.  Sam then parks his bike basically right in the middle of what amounts to his living room so that you can see the DUCATI logo, perfectly in focus, over his shoulder as he’s having one of his epic wooden expository conversations. With every cut, we see DUCATI, DUCATI, DUCATI, DUCATI, like a machine gun.  To say it takes you out of the film is an understatement.  For a little while you are no longer in an epic fantasy film – the blinders are off – you are now in the middle of an unseemly motorcycle commercial in drag.   But that’s just a warm-up for the coup-de-grace:  during the final confessional at the climax of the film, right in the middle of the goddamn in-computer TRON world, Jeff Bridges mentions the DUCATI motorcycle by fucking name brand, apropos of nothing.  It is as if a record screeched and the film stopped.  

All the sudden, I got it – so that’s how a total unknown like Joseph Kosinski could get handed the keys to this potentially billion-dollar franchise.  He’s pliable.  The studio can bully him into doing insane shit like this because he has no choice.  But Jeff Bridges?  I would have though he’d have had more sense.  He’s one of my favorite actors working, and it just breaks my heart to see him whore himself out like this.  I hope his dignity didn’t come cheap.  I think in any possible Oscar consideration for his excellent work in TRUE GRIT, voters should also consider the negative work he is doing here to his own reputation, to the craft in general, and to film as an artistic medium by agreeing to shill for products in the middle of a supposedly dramatic scene.

In fact, the product placement was so galling in TRON LEGACY that it became a running joke among some of the assembled film geeks at BNAT.  People just started randomly inserting “DUCATI” into the middle of sentences, as if afflicted with product placement Tourette’s.  How much did Disney get for this product placement?  A million?  A few million?  I’m pretty sure it wasn’t worth it, given that the outcome is relentless ridicule and the undermining of any potential credibility the film could have had.  Filmmakers should remember that when you sell your soul you do get cash, but you have to trade something in return, and sometimes that cost is too high to bear.

Man I wanted TRON LEGACY to succeed. But with emphasis on all the wrong things – effects instead of plot and characters, clunky exposition instead of revealing by showing, and subverting storytelling to product placement, it is a major missed opportunity, and that just makes me sad.



COWBOYS VS ALIENS


Consider for a second the vast gulf between TRON LEGACY and COWBOYS AND ALIENS.  TRON LEGACY started as effects in search of a story, was shaped by a corporate machine, and sold unceasingly by a marketing empire.  COWBOYS AND ALIENS, on the other hand, had the first 40 minutes brought into BNAT by Jon Favreau and Ron Howard.  Here are a director and producer, as opposed to corporate overlords, who are firmly in control of the property, but who also go the extra mile – coming straight to the fans themselves early in the process to get their feedback.  The bits we saw were almost all character work, featuring leads with charisma and acting skills to spare.  There is no exposition at all, to the point where the mystery surrounding the lead character becomes part of the narrative drive.  And to top it off, the effects were almost completely done practically.  That isn’t easy when you are talking flying alien ships in the old west.  The wire removal and most of the CG had not yet been completed, but it didn’t matter one bit.  You could see the difference in the performances.   The characters, story, and acting were front and center, and everything else clicked into place because of it.

I had been most worried about the tone of COWBOYS AND ALIENS.  The Western / Sci-Fi mashup has exactly two entries I’m aware of in the post-H.G. Wells era:  the playful BACK TO THE FUTURE 3, and the genre-ending WILD WILD WEST.  While those had comedic overtones, COWBOYS AND ALIENS seems to be playing it straight.  It is hard enough to sell space aliens as legit, and doubly so while trying to preserve the illusion that we’re in the old west.  Favreau pulls it off though.  It is essential to the story that this works, because Favreau understands implicitly that we have to care about the characters first, and be convinced of their plight before we’ll buy into the action.  Just as he spent the first half hour of IRON MAN building credibility and selling us on this fanciful universe and characters, he starts off here bootstrapping up the world one character beat at a time.

The filmmakers asked that we not reveal plot points, so I’ll stay away from that, but I will say this – the cast is perfect.  Daniel Craig has all the charisma borne of mystery and badassery that he brings to Bond, which is perfect for the western hero stranger archetype.  I didn’t see enough of Olivia Wilde to be able to judge her performance, but she’s dirtied up enough to be believable in this setting, while still remaining stunning.  Paul Dano is also hitting in his wheelhouse as a spoiled wild west ne’er-do-well.  But the real excitement comes from seeing Harrison Ford return to form.  He’s not phoning it in here, and his character is such a fire-breathing, sawdust-chewing asshole, that it’s a thrill to watch.  He would be right at home in an episode of DEADWOOD, which is the highest compliment I can pay to anything in the western genre.

There is still plenty that could go wrong in COWBOYS AND ALIENS.  We never got a look at the aliens, for example, so some bad CG or a muppety practical look could spell disaster there.  Nor we do know their motivation, something as an astronomer I hope we get at least a glimpse of.  Still, I have faith in Jon Favreau, both based on his past work, and his dedication to getting it right.  He brought a seriously unfinished piece of film straight off the Avid into the geek lion’s den just to get our feedback.  That counts for a lot, but the truth is he didn’t need our help at all – he’s knocking it out of the park all on his own.  I was lukewarm on COWBOYS AND ALIENS going in, but now I can’t wait to see it.

 

- Copernicus

-  e-mail Copernicus

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 16, 2010, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Copernicus...

    by PatientZer0

    "All the sudden"... Really? And you go by the nick Copernicus? Wow...I...Just... Wow.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Cowboys and Aliens...

    by loafroaster

    ...looks fucking awesome

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Going to see both...

    by vettebro

    and so are you.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 9:35 a.m. CST

    NEWTRON Bombs!

    by Grace_Panda

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Very good write-ups of both films

    by James_Camera_On

    Or part of a film as in the case of C&A. For the first time I understand what went wrong with Tron. It's not terribly surprising and lord knows it has happened before and will continue to happen, but still it is depressing to read about. Tron could have been a contender but now at least we have a new word "ducati" in the language. Share with your friends. "The script looked good but then it 'ducatied' when the suits took over." "I wanted to like the movie, but from by the second act, it went 'ducati' all over me." "I hated the movie. It was just a pile of 'ducati.'"

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 9:56 a.m. CST

    Cowboys and Aliens sound amazing...

    by Mark

    ...but not sold on Favreau as director yet. Iron Man was merely ok, despite the ridiculous over-the-top reaction to it. And let's not forget who wrote the script... <p> As for Tron, it was obvious it was going to be a disaster as soon as they hired the writers of One Tree Hill.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 10:14 a.m. CST

    WESTWORLD?

    by theKRELL

    Western / Sci-Fi mashup?

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 10:20 a.m. CST

    TIL what apropos means

    by estacado1

    DUCATI

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Lets be honest the First Tron

    by eric haislar

    Has hardly any plot what so ever, In fact it's a piss poor excuse for a film. But the visuals at the time where freaking incredible. If Legacy has at least a plot, even if it's just father and son finding each other it is a hundred times more interesting then anything that happens in original film. I will be happy do i wish they did more and took it more seriously "yes" but what can you do, we are lucky to even be getting a sequel at all.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Ducati Lightcycles = Batman Creditcard?

    by Koborover

    The worst thing about the movie is very obvious product placement? I'll live. At least there is a link between Ducati and futuristic motorcycles. Batman having a Batman-branded creditcard is the dumbest combination of unrelated things ever.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Sigh...

    by Mo_Rephus

    Ok...let's see if I can make this clear to yet another forgetful person... "by the numbers sinister" Hmm...ok, well perhaps if you'd go back and actually watch the original film again instead of relying on your feelings of nostalgia, you'd notice that both the MCP and Sark are also "by the numbers sinister". Makes perfect sense to me...after all, they're COMPUTER PROGRAMS and not people. Clu is not only a program but a corrupt one at that. The fact that he's a program would also tend to explain one of the physical traits that some have thought odd about him. His face's symmetry. As for characters explaining everything, well, Disney is hoping to draw in more than the geeky fanbase of the original and, not to dis any of those fine people, they most likely would be quite lost without a little explanation, especially in this film. It's amazing & shocking how many people, especially "fans" of the original film, don't get it. It all goes right over their collective heads. Harry gets it. Anyone starting to have doubts after reading some of the negative reviews out there should read Harry's. Your confidence will overflow.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 10:41 a.m. CST

    Favorite comment so far on "Cowboys and Aliens"

    by epitone

    On the Deadline Hollywood post about Favreau leaving Iron Man 3, one of the commenters said something like: "Favreau has no talent. Cowboys and Aliens will suck, but if it's good, it will be because of Spielberg." Absolutely effing priceless. That person should be in politics.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Firefly/Serenity

    by Wally_West

    I hate to have to be the Whedon-dork to point this out, but love or hate the Firefly/Serenity universe, it is the most recent mash-up of the Sci-Fi and Western genres. How can you work for this site and not know that?

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 11:17 a.m. CST

    As for the Ducati...

    by Mo_Rephus

    The way you were talking, I thought surely I was going to read to my horror that the main characters had to put a coin into a slot to play on the game grid or some other campy ridiculousness. A Ducati placed in frame? A reference to a Ducati? That's your complaint? I'm afraid that does not even come CLOSE to the abominable travesty of a Bat credit card.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 11:26 a.m. CST

    wally_west

    by BadMrWonka

    Copernicus doesn't work for the site, he's just a dude.<p> Well, he's an astrophysicist...but still, you know what I mean.<p> and not for nothing, but I don't know what Firefly/Serenity is...does that mean I can't ever work for a website?

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 11:29 a.m. CST

    so jeff bridges lost his dignity, huh?

    by RedHorseVector

    SHUT THE FUCK UP STUPID. god, this site should be renamed to "ain't it faggot news (reported by manboys who can't tell when movies are made by children) dot com".

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Wooden acting and western mashups

    by MAD_MIKE

    Reading the things written here on delivery of dialogue, all characters working in pairs and heavy exposition, Makes me think of the setting of the film. It takes place inside of a computer. computers run on BINARY CODE(why characters are paired) Computers are about Information (long exposition scenes) Computers contain no emotional resonance. (wooden delivery of lines) remember, all of those characters are machines, algorithams running along a GRID(Circuit Card) Look at the matrix films. People complained about the acting and line delivery in those also, but it needs to be remembered that all of those characters were also MACHINES with no emotions progressing along by way of logic. Delivering information. Western Mashups are not limited to what has already been listed by Copernicus also. How about A town called Oblivion with Rutger Houer. That was cowboys and Aliens 15 years ago. Before that you had Yul Brenner and Peter Fonda in WESTWORLD. More recently you had FIREFLY. Though less so that WESTWORLD which created an actual western setting and eventually led to the idea of The Terminator.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Daniel Craig should make a good cowboy

    by rev_skarekroe

    Dye his hair black and put him in The Dark Tower.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 12:32 p.m. CST

    First Tron Was Awesome!

    by kevinwillis.net

    You people who diss it aren't watching the film. You're watching 2001 and wondering why it isn't Full Metal Jacket. It is beautifully what it is. I've seen it (literally) over 100 times. How will Tron Legacy be, I dunno, but it looks like it's going to be great, and like it mostly gets it. But all this "lets admit the first film sucked" . . . It didn't freakin' suck. It's a great film with some great performances and some pitch-perfect dialog. Is it a better film than Top Gun? Yes. Tron is in my pantheon of favorite films, up there with the campy (but equally perfect) Flash Gordon, Back To The Future, 2001, the Matrixes, Lord of the Rings, 2001 . . . and, if I must, frickin' Gone with the Wind, It's a Wonderful Life, Wizard of Oz, The Quiet Man, Casablanca and so on. It wasn't just insanely, mind-bendingly, early-80s-pitch-perfect sci-fi, it was a great film, period. I could (and have) re-watched the argument between Walter Gibbs and Ed Dillinger just to savor it. Ditto David Warner telling them to "bring in the logic probe". Any question about how perfect Tron is? It's now the template for child rearing by all responsible parents. http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2010/12/everything-i-know-about-parenting-i-learned-from-tron/

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 12:34 p.m. CST

    BTW, Full Disclosure, My Favorite Part in Any Matrix Film . . .

    by kevinwillis.net

    Is in Reloaded, when Neo meets the architect. Also liked the first encounter with the Merovingian. And let's not forget the freeway chase. But the debate between Neo and the architect--it is to be savored, not barely chewed and swallowed! Pearls before swine. <i>Pppttthhhhttt!!!</i> :)

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 12:52 p.m. CST

    The problem with the Cowboys and Aliens premise...

    by Chewtoy

    ...is that it forces audiences to examine how ridiculous alien invasion films are. You can't help but think about it... We tend to be impressed by our modern technology, and so don't imagine our movie aliens to be so far beyond it despite knowing they'd have to be... so they tend to just have flashier versions of what we already have. They shoot lasers that aren't significantly better than guns or missiles. They have shields, but there's some way around them. They don't just blow up all of our defenses without ever coming within sight, let alone weapon's range. By contrast, we *know* how shitty our technology was 130 years ago. Aliens would have to be less advanced than we are today to have any kind of trouble fighting people with six-shooters... and so the conflict that people imagine after seeing the trailer just looks goofy, not exciting.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Wow! It's as good as Indy & The Crystal Skull???

    by TheFifthCylon

    ...then we're in for a treat!! Can't wait for Tron!

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Tron: Legacy > Iron Man 2

    by cinemixtape.com

    I had fun with Tron: Legacy. Might the sleepiness from the BNAT audience come from 24 STRAIGHT HOURS OF FILM WATCHING?!??!

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 1:14 p.m. CST

    Don't forget about Firefly/Serenity as sci-fi/western

    by TheUltimateMathTeacher

    Cowboys sounds like it's going to be great. Over the past month Tron started out as getting the wife to clear our schedules, find babysitting, and gathering our friends to go on opening night. Then after Moriarty's review, we were going to go next Monday in the middle of the day. Now, with the multitude of negative reviews, we're going to wait for the blu-ray. Too bad...

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Wally_west remembered about Serenity...

    by TheUltimateMathTeacher

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 1:15 p.m. CST

    The Tron synopsis here alone put me to sleep

    by Citizen Sane

    I've changed my mind and I'm skipping it. However, CaA has me stoked.

  • Star Wars, Star Trek and Firefly all were envisioned as "Sci-Fi Westerns" to some degree... where as actually setting sci-fi elements into the past, especially the old west, is relatively rare.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 2:24 p.m. CST

    Everybody's doing the NewTron Dance: Ducatti!

    by Zardoz

    Shit! Well, I already bought my IMAX 3D tickets, so I guess I have to go see this apparently hugely disappointing eye-candy. Oh well! Better luck in 25 years with T3ON: The Apology.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 3 p.m. CST

    Here's the problem with AICN reviews...

    by Timelord-2112

    ...and Tron Legacy in particular You guys just seem so above the average movie watcher, and most of you have little or no knowledge or feeling for the original movie. Now I understand most of the time when you review movies it is as critics who see 95% of the movies produced by Hollywood and, as a result, you are always focused on how the movie compares to the top movies ever made. Quite a few of us who are going to this movie at midnight tonight have a different perspective. Of course we love movies, or we wouldn't be talkbackers. However there are quite a few nerds that are AICN regulars. We geeks dont have to have a Citizen Kane or Raiders of the Lost Ark or Empire Strikes Back every single time we see a movie. If the source material (i.e. the original movie) is respected (which is seems like it is with older actors being involved as well as the fan favorite vehicles and the like), that will be more than enough to make most of us very happy fanboys. I know it won't be a perfect movie but I would bet a million dollars it will satisfy most of what I would be looking for in a 2010 Tron movie. I loved Harry's review because he spoke of what he felt in 1982 with the original and I felt the same way. I think without that strong feeling about the original that this movie could be lost to you...AND THATS FINE BY ME! I'm sick of all this "we must appeal to the broader audience" crap. Movies like the Star Trek: TNG movies sucked for 100's of reasons but not giving a crap about the fans is a big part of it. So what if it means it may not get another sequel. In my mind we were lucky as hell to get this one.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 3:05 p.m. CST

    I enjoyed Skyline better than Tron:Legacy

    by joshua

    I know, I know. Call me a retard. Yes, they were both stupid as shit with terrible acting, but at least there wasn't 45 minutes of exposition in Skyline. After what seemed like an hour on ths Solar Sailer, I was praying for Grid Bugs that had turned into giant monsters to attack. Nope, just Clu gathering his Attack of the Clones army to do, what? I'll take bad intresting over bad-boring any day. Oh, and active shutter glasses suck. They look great, but i need a nosejob after bearing that weight for 2 hours plus...

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 3:40 p.m. CST

    Serenity sucked??

    by Timelord-2112

    Name one thing that sucked about Serenity and I'll tell you why you're completely wrong.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 3:44 p.m. CST

    Serenity didn't suck

    by joshua

    It just didn't re-up on the promise of the show. It was like an OK episode, not the A+ entertainment it needed to be to break out to the mainstream.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 3:44 p.m. CST

    by joshua

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 5:13 p.m. CST

    badmrwonka

    by Wally_West

    "Copernicus doesn't work for the site, he's just a dude. Well, he's an astrophysicist...but still, you know what I mean. and not for nothing, but I don't know what Firefly/Serenity is...does that mean I can't ever work for a website? " Um... yes? That was mostly a joke because this website loves Firefly/Serenity. Or at least Herc does.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 8:10 p.m. CST

    You had me at "not terrible"

    by ReportAbuse

    I'm sold.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 8:13 p.m. CST

    zzjjj36

    by ReportAbuse

    Dude, nobody here wants to buy your shit. I give you credit for persistence but you gotta realize this ain't your demographic.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 8:14 p.m. CST

    Oh, and how come when I click on "Latauro vs TRON LEGACY"

    by ReportAbuse

    It goes to a blank page that reads "You don't have access here" ??

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 8:37 p.m. CST

    So it seems that it's Unanimus

    by D o o d

    Tron Legacy is supposed to be shit. :o( I was really looking forward to watching this!

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 8:39 p.m. CST

    I like the 'DUCATI' meme as well, but I would use it thusly:

    by SkinJob69

    "Where'd you put DUCATI the other XBOX controller, man? "I went to the fucking burger king on Fuller Road earlier? Those fuckers made me DUCATI wait 10 minutes to get some cold DUCATI fucking fries!" I think more random, meaningless insertion of the word better reflects the DUCATI intrusive product placement (apparently) seen in the film.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 9:31 p.m. CST

    BNAT Reviews

    by leisuredrummer

    Can we please get a review of Tron Legacy on this site where the reviewer wasn't half asleep when they saw it? Pretty sure your judgement is skewed after watching movies for 24 hours straight. I went to a screening Monday in 3D IMAX and it was hard to keep up with what was happening on the HUGE screen when I was completely functional. I can't imagine what I would have thought had it been the last movie of a 24 hour film binge.

  • Dec. 16, 2010, 10:26 p.m. CST

    Still Can't Wait to See Tron Legacy

    by kevinwillis.net

    None of the negative reviews have been compelling to me, thus far. I think I'm going to like it.

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 2:55 a.m. CST

    Negative reviews are wrong.

    by OandA

    This movie is so much better than crystal skull, and phantom menace. Sorry but this review is way off base. The story was great, the idea behind it was great as well. And frankly they answer every damn question you wanted an answer for IN THE MOVIE. PERHAPS YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION TO THE MOVIE YOU ARE WATCHING. ANSWERED: # The relationship between Bruce Boxleitner’s character, Alan, and Sam Flynn. ANSWERED: # What ENCOM is and does. ANSWERED: # What Kevin Flynn was doing years ago when he disappeared. ANSWERED: # The world that Kevin Flynn built. THIS IS LIKE ASKING WAS INCEPTION ALL A DREAM. YOU WANT CRAP SPELLED OUT FOR YOU? # What happened to Clu? ANSWERED # Who is this Zuse character? OH MY GOD DID YOU NOT WATCH TH MOVIE THEY EXPLAIN LIKE 3 DIFFERENT TIMES. # Who is Quorra? ANSWERED. JESUS YOU'RE AN IDIOT: # Why do we have to get from here to there in X amount of time? REALLY iF YOU WERE WATCHING STAR WARS YOU WANNA KNOW HOW TIE FIGHTERS WORK? SERIOUSLY?: # What do all these vehicles do and how do they work? ANSWERED IN THE OPENING CREDITS. FUCKTARD# What is the grid? ANSWERED: # Who is this Tron guy anyway?

  • Ducatti. You clearly don't know shit about motorcylist and brand loyalty. EVERY MOTOERCYCLIST REFERS TO THEIR VEHICLE BY BRAND. DUMBASS. Seriously find another job. Worst review ever.

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 4:14 a.m. CST

    You doth protest too much....

    by arjaybee

    The Ducatti thing is no big deal...wouldn't have given it a second thought if you hadn't fixated on it for most of your review. I liked Tron Legacy and thought its main drawbacks were that Clu isn't as good an antagonist as the Master Control Program was in the first Tron. The climax to the first film was better executed in my opinion. This film was visually stunning, though. The 3-D was outstanding, Daft Punk's score was perfect and I was entertained as much by these elements as I was sitting in the theater wondering how it was possible that 25+ years later Disney actually made a new Tron movie...

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 5:46 a.m. CST

    Tron Legacy loser apologists...

    by AbramsPRIME

    ...are the WORST kind of geeks (Jabba The AICN Head Slobbering Tubby One included)...If it's got the nostalgia, the logo/name ("Star Wars, Tron, Indiana Jones etc) and the "smell"/stamp of 'official Canon", you morons lap it up like it's manna from heaven or the new 10 Commandments sent down from the mountain and defend it like crazed religious zealots (not forgetting you Trekkies who STILL defend ST5, any TNG movie after "First Contact" and trash the reboot Trek" as "non Canon blasphemy"). I remember the original "Tron", was looking forward to seeing it, and have the (out of print) DVD, so I've rewatched it recently. It was a BAD movie (pretty visuals, BAD script/story/acting) when I saw it in '82 as a teenager (the same year I LOVED ET, Khan, The Thing etc) and is still a bad movie. It now exists as a curiosity in my DVD collection of a "pretty visuals but misbegotten movie" (kind of like the legendary "Star Wars Holiday Special" although the visuals in that disaster sucked). "Legacy"is equally pretty in a bland way (KEWL when you first see it but has a droning "sameness" to it and the "eye candy thrill" wears off in 20 minutes or so). While sharing the sheer lack of character development or a compelling movie story as it's progenitor, it's also bad in a different way: a case of the Stupids. While the original was soooo slow and dull in plotting and somewhat inert in theme, made by a techno fetishist who didn't know how to make an emotionally involving movie, at least it wasn't like "every other formula Joseph Campbell pseudo mythmaking" script out there post "Star Wars". "Legacy", also made by a techno fetishist with no idea how to make a logical OR emotionally involving movie, is also hamstrung by a Rote "Campbell Mythmaking 101 formula template" that any 18 year old freshman film student can recite from memory verbatim AND also plagued by a terminal case of the deadly "telling not showing" syndrome (which is SOO ironic for a movie that spent so much time, money and effort on the "new world building" and attempted "eye dazzle never seen it before" factor). It's a cheap whore dressed up in dazzling but ultimately gaudy clothes. "Legacy" is as bad as any of the SW prequels, "Crystal (Numb)Skull" the worst of the TOS/TNG "Trekflicks", and any other dead eyed franchise "Zombified sequel" trading on the memory/name of the far better predecessors (though NOT in"Tron's case; more like "nostalgia rose colored glasses syndrome") to the mindless drooling fanboy throng. While a 2 year, $150 million saturation, carpet bomb marketing campaign by the Mouse House will guarantee a good opening weekend and probably give it enough inertia to coast through the holiday season to a strong enough gross(with international and pumped up IMAX 3D pricing) to end up in the black to cover it's $300 million plus production and P&A costs, it's not a "success" by any measure other than perhaps the "whew! we didn't lose a bucket of cash on it" (and the admitted one single triumph of the Daft Punk score) factor. It's many times the cost/scale as "Scott Pilgrim" but the result will be the same: an AWFUL movie that ONLY appeals to the relatively tiny, intellectually undemanding, emotionally immature, socially retarded Geekazoid population with hygiene issues. A few minutes of giddy, misplaced "wet your pants virgin Fanboy arrested development nostalgia" does NOT make for a good movie.

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Somehow fitting

    by The McPoyle Clan

    I only vaguely remember the thin story of the original Tron since I was young, but from the sounds of it, Legacy is an apt sequel--pretty to look at, but could use something more upstairs.<br><br>So what truly lets it down? The story or the writing from a pair of the weaker writers on Lost?

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Ron Howard is one of the biggest corporation whores

    by AsimovLives

    ... there is in Holywood. Copernicus acessment that he is a true filmmaker sand this him presenting this goffy COWBOYS VS ALIENS movie is beyond hillarious, not to mention naive. And least we forget, this movie was "writen" by Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman.

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Really wanted to DUCATI see this ...

    by Lamerz

    ... but now I am really conflicted. Oh well, too much shit going on right DUCATI now anyway. I'll stick it in the Netflix queue. I CANNOT FUCKING WAIT FOR COWBOYS AND ALIENS! That shit is going to kick ass next summer. How can you go wrong with Bond and Indy, together in the same film directed by "Iron Man" Favs? Oh, and I liked Iron Man 2 quite a bit. Didn't quite hold up to the first one, but I felt there was plenty to enjoy.

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 12:10 p.m. CST

    What the fuck is an acessment?

    by Lamerz

    Just kidding ... giving you a hard time.

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Sounds like a good candidate for a fan edit...

    by SK229

    Just leave tons of shit out and let people use their noodle to connect the dots... like Blade Runner. Makes me wonder if Pixar, despite good intentions, might have counseled on making it more apparent what exactly was going on and so you have all the dialogue exposition... cause it sounds to me like it was tacked on and the more you make this movie about a visual and sensory experience less than a story-driven/plot experience, the more the audience seems to enjoy it.

  • Dec. 17, 2010, 7:40 p.m. CST

    Asimovlives

    by AbramsPRIME

    Wow...2 years later, still can't help but take any shot you can at anyone attached to New Trek(a massive critical and audience hit BTW) and which, moving forward, has buried your campy, "beloved" TOS and left in it's triumphant wake a tiny bitter "canon/continuity obsessed militant geekloser brigade". You're sad and funny at the same time. Really, Get Over it dude. 1960's allegories don't work anymore, the original cast is slowing dying off and any "franchise" property spanning decades HAS to reboot/adapt to continue to exist.

  • June 9, 2011, 2:44 a.m. CST

    What the fuck is Ducati?

    by IEatHippies

    Didn't notice it once. I'm not a motorcycle nerd so as I search through my holographic memory of my Tron Legacy viewings (all 3 of them) I do come across the occasional "Ducati" image. But it went right past me because like the rest of the world.... I don't fucking give a shit.

  • June 14, 2011, 6:43 p.m. CST

    Just go through the BluRay version, it's there

    by orcus

  • It took what the original Tron started and built by huge leaps and bounds all over it! I can't wait for part 3!!!