What can I say? I love 3D! From the moment I began watching 3D content in my home I quickly discovered that I needed more content. I suspect that those of you just purchasing your first 3D hardware will acquire the same ferocious appetite. That's why I became the HTF 3D ADDICT. I personally love images that pop off the screen and come inches away from your face without becoming overly gimmicky. However, I certainly appreciate the nature documentaries that offer beautiful depth and separation. These are not necessarily reviews of the film themselves. I am not going to concentrate on story or supplements -- you can find the 2D reviews elsewhere on this forum. My job is to let you know exactly what kind of 3D experience to expect from the titles that are being released. As I will be receiving a handful of new product from the studios expect to see more title coverage.
Studio: Walt Disney
Product Release: April 5, 2011
Ratio: 2.35:1 & 1.78:1
Audio: English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French & Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
Running Time: 125 Minutes
ON A SCALE 0-5
Overall 3D Presentation Rating: 3
3D Separation: 3
3D In Yo' Face Factor: 0
As I begin this review I think it fair to warn everyone
that I was never a fan of 1982's Tron. True, the film
was revolutionary for its computer animated graphics.
However, within this fantasy world created by Disney
animators was a total lack of intelligent dialogue and
overall emotion supported by thinly-veiled storytelling.
While I was immediately captured by the visuals that
were groundbreaking for its time, I felt it a struggle to
watch. The film was all all glitz and no substance. It
never captured me emotionally and for those reasons
Tron has always ranked as one of the most boring films
I have ever seen.
With that, one would expect that I didn't have the
highest hopes for Tron Legacy. While the rest of the
world was overhyping the film prior to the release, I
already decided I would skip the sequel entirely. With
the film about to make its debut on 3D Blu-ray, my
curiosity was raised enough to ask the studio to
send over a screener copy. So, with a bit of hesitation,
I finally sat and gave this film a look.
As the film opens we find ourselves sitting through a rather
laborious 20 minute storyline featuring Kevin Flynn
(Jeff Bridges) bidding his son goodnight and then suddenly
disappearing for the next 20 years. Now at the age
of 27, Flynn's son Sam (Garrett Hedlund) is playing pranks
upon his father's company. He receives what he believes
is a text page from his father and embarks on a search
that takes him to the basement below Flynn's Arcade where
he is sucked into "The Grid," a digital land of his father's creation.
As the film shifts from 2D to 3D, we now find ourselves
in this digital landscape of bright neon-enriched colors.
This world is ruled by CLU, a hacking program who has
taken on the form of Kevin Flynn but through a mutiny,
has trapped the creator in his own digital grid for the
last 20 years. Father and son are eventually reunited
with the assistance of a program named Quorra (Olivia
Wilde). Together the trio must travel across the cyber
plains to find a way to stop CLU from executing his evil
plans to invade the outer world.
In very much the same effect as Dorothy opening
her front door and discovering Oz, audiences will
be hurled from a 2D world into a 3D filled with
dazzling colors and computer effects that include
a multi-level lightcycle track. However, though
the effect work seems mostly fresh, it somehow
doesn't achieve that groundbreaking feel of the
original film. Perhaps the best piece of CGI work
done in this film was the de-aging of Bridges for
the role of his nemesis, Clu. The effect of making
the actor look 20 years younger is somewhat
convincing though the facial features sometimes
The film's eye candy quickly fades as it has little
support from the film's thin storyline, one-dimensional
characters and third-rate dialogue. The film is unevenly
paced with action scenes sandwiched between long
stretches of dull dialogue. As with the original film,
there seems to be a lack of any human emotion here.
I am going to do things a little backwards by first
talking about the disc's DTS-HD audio track which
I found to be actively engaging. The first thing you
will notice is the pounding techno-rock track courtesy
of the musician duo Daft Punk, which carries an
amazing amount of bass. I was very surprised that
their symphonic arrangement in this film sounds
remarkably similar to Hanz Zimmer's Inception score.
Be it as it may, the soundtrack is quite enveloping
and the rear channels do a worthy job of delivering
the films effects that include a lot of cool directional
panning during the film's action sequences such as
the light cycle race.
Disney has done a superb job with providing a
transfer that is highly detailed and artifact free. The
digital landscape that is comprised of "The Grid" is
filled with vibrant orange and yellow neon colors set
across a dark backdrop. This creates a sense of
"eye candy" that is stunningly conveyed here.
The biggest disappointment I had with this film
was the 3D itself. Going into this film I had
anticipated that Tron Legacy would provide some
amazing 3D effects, but sadly, it's not very impressive.
Director Joseph Kosinski keeps the 3D effects squarely
planted within the confines of the screen. However,
because the film is mostly dark, you get very little
sense of depth. From experience, I don't find the
problem to be exclusive to a title like this. It seems
anytime you diminish lighting you lose 3D definition.
It's really a shame because this is such an incredibly
hi-tech visual film and there is no sense of a 3D window
atmosphere where you can just reach out and touch
the characters. Sadly, "The Grid" landscape generally
looks more flat than three dimensional. Nothing pops
out at the audience, which is fine as it seems to be
the director's intent, but some great effect enhancements
have been thrown to the side such as light cycle
explosions that one would expect to hurdle debris at
the audience but instead is executed with the most
minimal of impact. There were a few quick overhead
shots that looked rather neat, and I would say that the
last 20 minutes of the film which involved a light jet
chase looked probably better in 3D than anything else.
The film switches from a mixed aspect ratio of 2.40:1
in both 2D and 3D sequences to IMAX 1.78:1 during the
film's climatic action moments. The switching of aspect
ratios mostly goes unnoticed except that one feels more
enveloped with the film when shown in IMAX mode. The
overall quality of the 3D is not affected by these changes.
What really has me scratching my head is that when
considering how dimly lit this film is, there should
be a wealth of noticeable ghosting. I was quite amazed
to find no ghosting whatsoever during the entire length
of the film. Big round of applause to the folks at Disney
for accomplishing this.
Tron Legacy arrives in a 2-Movie Collection alongside
the classic original film, Tron. You get Legacy in 3D
and 2D Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy. You get Tron
in 2D Blu-ray. There are also other combinations of
these films sold individually or in a deluxe set.
Tron Legacy does very little to improve itself upon the
original film other than modernized CGI and a bigger
cast. However, the more interesting talents of Olivia
Wilde and Michael Sheen (as the flamboyant Zuse) are
terribly wasted here with the small amount of screen
time they are given. In fact, everyone in this film
gets upstaged by the effects which seem more
important than delivering a well-connected story
that viewers can retain interested in.
The 3D itself is mostly effective, though somewhat
minimized. This doesn't look close to what we have
seen in Avatar nor would I place it in any top 10 list
of the best 3D titles I have seen to date.
With all that being said, I actually liked Tron Legacy
better than the original film, though once the credits
rolled I considered it already "forgotten."
Images are for illustrative purpose only not representative of the picture quality of this disc.
LG 60PX950 THX Certified 3D display
Oppo BDP-93 3D Blu-ray Player
Denon 3808CI Receiver
Atlantic Technology H-PAS AT-1 fronts, 4400 center; 4200 rear speakers
SV Sound Subwoofer