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“TRON: Legacy”
a review by Darby O’Gill

It’s finally here! After years of waiting… Flynn lives! I, like may others, have been looking forward to the release of TRON: Legacy for quite sometime. And, now that it’s here, it’s time to answer the million-dollar question… Was it worth it? Ah… Yes?! It’s not an easy question. Look, the first TRON is a classic! It was the birth of computer animation as we know it, and yet it’s not really that great of a movie. It was slow, and the story didn’t always work. When you look at it today it looks like a caveman chiseling a wheel, but then again that’s exactly what it was. TRON: Legacy is much like it’s predecessor in that aspect. It’s not really that great of a movie, but it’s not bad either. It’s just not the greatest movie ever made, and yet that kind of makes me like it even more. Confused? Don’t be. This movie has more in common with its first film, than most sequels do these days, even if that’s not a good thing, it still kind of works.

The story begins with the disappearance of software and game developer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), and then picks-up again 26 years later when his son Sam (Garrett Hedlund) finds his father’s old workshop in the back of the now closed Flynn’s Arcade. Sam, much like his father before him, finds himself unintentionally transported to the Grid, a living environment inside of a computer system, where programs live and work. They’re also forced to play games, and if they lose they will find themselves derezzed and erased from the system. So, you know… No pressure. Now, not to give anything away, but we do get to find out what has become of TRON. But to be honest, the filmmakers seem to try and throw in some surprises for the viewers that just don’t work. It’s not that they’re bad, it’s just that they don’t really fool anyone. And if you haven’t seen it yet, don’t worry I’m sure you would have figured it out on your own, even without my little hint.

I don’t think TRON: Legacy lived up to my expectations, but then again how could it? I mean, when you have years to look forward to a movie you almost always over hype it for yourself. I did enjoy myself though, and would gladly see it again. One of the things I thought could have been better was its use of the 3D. I love that the 3D experience didn’t begin until Sam was in the Grid, but I would have liked some more in your face 3D. I know, in the past I’ve always praised 3D movies for not using the cheesy in your face approach, but I think it would have been great here. I really wanted Identity Discs to be flying straight at me. The 3D gave some really nice depth, but overall it was just under utilized. The CGI recreation of Jeff Bridges’ younger Clu character was at times, amazing! However, to be honest there are a few times, if not more, where Clu’s CGI is painfully obvious. But, if you want to be really nerdy about it, you can justify it by saying Clu is a computer program, so he should look computer generated. Don’t judge me! The music by Daft Punk is outstanding! Add that to the mind blowing visual effects, and it all really helps to immerse you into the world of TRON. The costumes have an outstanding sense of the original look, and manage to make silly looking tights look rather bad-ass. Never the less, TRON: Legacy, much like TRON, may not be a good movie, but I’m sure it will be just as beloved.



a review by Darby O’Gill

Okay, so I finally got around to seeing Avatar. Ah, well… It was definitely… I think… You know what? Let’s come back to that. Avatar is the story of human beings doing what they do best, taking what they want. It’s the year 2154 and groups of people from Earth have traveled to the distant planet of Pandora to harvest a rare mineral called Unobtanium. Don’t worry. We’ll come back to that too. The only thing standing in the way of our obtaining the Unobtanium (God, even I want to punch me in the face.) is the natives of Pandora, called the Na’vi. They’re basically giant blue cat-monkeys. Sorry if anyone thinks that’s racist. I don’t want to aggravate you’re Pandora Blues Syndrome. We’ll get back to that as well. So, before the conflict started getting out of hand, the humans tried to negotiate with the Na’vi, by using Avatars. An Avatar is a bioengineered life form that is a mix of Na’vi DNA and the human controller’s DNA. It’s like virtual reality, but you’re not in a simulated computer system. Instead, your consciousness is uploaded into the Avatar body in the real world. When Jake Sully, a paraplegic war veteran, played by Sam Worthington, who’s twin brother is killed, the opportunity presents itself for Jake to step into his shoes… Well, metaphorically. Jake’s brother was set to work on the Avatar program, and since his DNA make-up matches that of his twin brother’s, Jake is able to operate his brother’s Avatar. Once in the Avatar program, Jake is met with the promise of getting his real legs back, if he would be willing to spy on the Na’vi for Colonel Miles Quaritch, played by Stephen Lang, and provide him with some inside information from behind the enemy lines. However, once on the inside, Jake finds himself questioning his loyalties, and will soon need to choose a side.

Well, okay. I guess I’ve got a few things to get back to here. First, it took James Cameron twelve years to make this movie, and I really find it hard to believe that in twelve years he couldn’t come up with something better than Unobtanium. I mean what the fuck! Are you kidding me?! You could have called it Shitanium, and even that would have been better than Unobtanium. James Cameron you’re better than that. I do have one request though James. Please do not pull a George Lucas, and make a new Terminator series that claims the Terminator’s exoskeleton is actually made of Unobtanium. That would be even more unforgivable than Titanic, which brings us to our next callback point, the Pandora Blues Syndrome. People are claiming to find themselves dealing with depression symptoms after seeing the film, because Pandora is not a real place. I’m not even going to touch that. Let’s move on.

I didn’t really care for this movie. Let me clarify, I didn’t find myself getting emerged in this world at all. When you see a movie like this, like Jurassic Park or Harry Potter, I think it’s really important to care about the world the film is trying to sell you on. At no point during Avatar, did I find myself immersed or excited to be experiencing this world, and in 3-D no less. Don’t get me wrong, the world of Pandora in Avatar is well imagined, but there’s just something missing that I can’t put my finger on. Once again, I have to point out that this movie took twelve years to make! In this day and age, I think we are just not as easily impressed with ground breaking effects these days. In the last decade, we’ve seen so many amazing leaps in special effects, and it’s hard to see what took twelve years to achieve in this film. It’s the kind of thing where you really need to see the behind the scenes footage to fully appreciate what they’ve done.

With that said, let’s talk about the story. Did you ever see Dances with Wolves? Great! So, we’ve talked about the story. I’m not kidding; this is Dances with Wolves in space. I understand that every story has been told before, but come on! It’s really hard to enjoy a movie when you don’t care about the world you are in, and you know every twist and turn of the story, because you’ve heard it before. Avatar is so not the best picture of the year! I can’t believe it won the Golden Globe for Best Picture Drama. It shouldn’t even be in that category. It’s more of an animated film than anything else. I would say 80% of it is CGI generated. With all that said, I think it’s an okay movie. At no point did I want to stop watching it, I just wished I could have enjoyed it more.