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Kevin Krock, editor
DVD Review
Tron
(1982) | Approx. 96 Minutes | Rated PG | Reviewed by Tony Phoenix
Cover Art
Click to Buy
Ratings Summary
(Scored out of a maximum of five)
Audio Video
Goodies    Interface
Value
Advanced Home Theater - MCP wreaks revenge

The Movie...

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

[Left to right] Stars Morgan, Boxleitner, host Solomon, staff Kroyer, Taylor and Lisberger
For more photos of this unique reunion visit Al's Archives

For Babylon 5 fans, it is also the first time Bruce Boxleitner (Tron / Captain John Sheridan) worked with Peter Jurasik (Crom / Ambassador Londo Mollari).

The Goodies...

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 Advanced Home Theater...

After the rather spectacular laser disc box set - which was admittedly an exhaustive endeavor - this bare bones, non-anamorphic edition of the film on DVD is simply a disaster. Too bad the DVD can't just be de-rezzed. ;)

Word is that Disney will be releasing a special edition of this title in the future - but don't get your hopes up. So far they've been only including portions of the laserdisc box set contents in other films which had the deluxe treatment that they've transferred to DVD.

- Al Lutz

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.  

Click for Last Starfighter review - Promotional art  Disney
Click above for Last Starfighter review
Promotional art Disney

DVD FEATURES

Goodies

  • Theatrical Trailer

Technical Specifications

  • Region 1 Encoded
  • Single-Sided
  • 28 Chapters
  • English 4.0 Dolby Digital (Stereo)
  • French 4.0 Dolby Digital (Stereo)
  • Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital (Surround)
  • Widescreen Letterbox (2.20:1)
VHS FEATURES

Technical Specifications

  • English Surround
  • Full-frame (1.33:1)

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