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|Kevin Krock, editor|
This 1982 Academy Award-nominated film was a landmark production that unfortunately never did very well in the theaters. Only on its release to video has it developed the appreciation and recognition it deserves.
The story follows a computer game designer (Jeff Bridges) who suspects a company of stealing his work and ideas. While attempting to prove his theory right, he is transported into the computer where he teams with Tron (Bruce Boxleitner) to ultimately defeat the Master Computer. The story is a bit weak in places, though as a whole, it works. Some of the premises seem laughable today, while other remain remarkable prescient. Although, I kept thinking Microsoft whenever I heard the words "Master Control."
Photo from the
Tron El Capitan Theater special event - May 14, 1999
For Babylon 5 fans, it is also the first time Bruce Boxleitner (Tron / Captain John Sheridan) worked with Peter Jurasik (Crom / Ambassador Londo Mollari).
To say that the complete lack of extras is disappointing would be an understatement of Titanic proportions. The void of special material is utterly indefensible, especially when you consider that the material was already available and had been included with the earlier laserdisc release. Disney's handling of this release makes you wonder if they aren't embarrassed of the movie, and released this half-baked DVD simply to draw a few more dollars out of the purists.
The Video, Audio and Interface...
The transfer quality is pretty good though there are several defects and scratches visible. The sound quality is excellent with clear dialog and good sound effects. The interface is utilitarian though nothing special.
The Final Evaluation...
Tron as a movie is still magical and amazing. It set the stage for the later work done on The Last Starfighter while proving the viability of computer animation. Its age shows, but is easily overlooked for the way the story draws you in.
As for adding it to your collection, it is probably worth buying if you do not have a VHS copy already. For those who have a serviceable VHS edition, don't waste your money. I'd hold out for a new release that includes more bonus material and put the money towards a copy of The Last Starfigther.
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