In an effort to place movies I enjoyed in my youth in their proper perspectives, I have decided to rewatch some of my favorite flicks of yesteryear through the critical eyeballs of adulthood. This is not a malicious attempt to invalidate anyone’s childhood, but I hold, if you are old enough to give your life for your country, you’re old enough to know the truth about some of your movies that just don’t hold up as well as you remembered now that you’re all grown up.
TRON Reviewed: by Joe Oesterle
It’s fun to find a TRON fan, and tell him the movie sucks. (Trust me, I’m not being chauvinistic, if you find a TRON fan, you have also found a him.) The truth is it only kind of sucks, but only in the way all-live action Disney movies after 1978 sucked. They still have some measure of charm, but it kind of feels like Disney films had been fighting a losing battle of making wholesome entertainment for a couple decades since the Beatles made long hair on teenage boys fashionable and hadn’t figured out how to produce films that the public would enjoy and still not compromise their family-friendly values.
This movie owes everything to the success of Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, and while some scoffed at the special effects at the time, especially when compared to the aforementioned George Lucas classics, what should be noted is TRON is probably more visually compelling now than when it originally hit the theaters.
CGI was barely in it’s infancy in 1982, but the artists and designers for this film truly deserve most of the credit for making this movie stand above some of Disney’s other efforts of the time (see Herbie Goes Bananas.)
Every single frame of film during the “inside the machine” sequences is a work of futuristic minimalistic art, and visually, comparisons to Fritz Lang’s classic silent sci-fi, Metropolis, are well warranted.