[box cover]

Tron: 20th Anniversary Edition

When Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) is shut out of his computer program because he isn't given high enough clearance by the Vice President of Encom, Ed Dillinger (David Warner), he tracks down Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges), a disgruntled ex-programmer and more than likely culprit, through Flynn's ex- — and Alan's current — girlfriend Lora (Cindy Morgan). Flynn tells them both the truth: He concocted the now world-famous video game "Space Paranoids" and an entire line based on it, only to have his ideas stolen by Dillinger; his breaking into the system is only to try and find proof that he is the creator. And when Lora and Alan help Flynn break in via a forged higher clearance, Dillinger's master control program (or MCP) uses a laser to draw Flynn into the computer world, which is lorded over by the MCP and kept under the watchful eye of Sark (Warner). It is in the computer world where Flynn meets Tron (Boxleitner) the possible savoir of the programs, and a believer in the "users" (the idea that sentient beings control the destiny of the programs, i.e. Flynn). Forced to play video games until he dies, Flynn partners with Tron and the two break out of the game grid hoping to make contact with Alan, discover a chink in the MCP's armor, and find a way back to the real world. Tron follows the big-budget action-movie formula pretty much by route, yet because the movie is so quirky and not committee-made, it rises above the limitations of its genre. But what makes Tron so fascinating is not its plot, but the look of it; one can watch the digital effects in T2 and exclaim "Oh, that's so 1992," but nothing about Tron has been recycled — the consistent and colorful vision of the cyber-underworld is such of its own piece that it's truly a marvel to look at. Though rushed over almost too quickly, the marvelous set-pieces in the gladiatorial section of the film (the deadly disc battle between Flynn and the newcomer, the lightcycle races) made for some great video games and have not aged as poorly as one would think. Buena Vista's Tron: 20th Anniversary Edition trumps the original DVD release, and even improves on the Laserdisc box set. Presented anamorphically in its original aspect ratio (2.20:1, as per all 70mm films), with audio in Dolby Digital 5.1. The major add-on from the LD box is an all new 90-minute "making-of" documentary with comments from Lisberger, Bridges, Boxleitner, Morgan, Dan Shor, Barnard Hughes, producer Donald Kushner, and visual-effects supervisors Harrison Ellenshaw and Richard Taylor, director of photography Bruce Logan, artists Steve Allers, Andy Gaskill, Tia Kratter, Disney Chairman Dick Cook, and John Lasseter of Pixar fame. Also included as overlap from the laser is the audio commentary by the Lisberger, Kushner, Ellenshaw and Taylor; deleted scenes (with new introduction by the crew); still galleries of the prep work; on-set photos; storyboard-to-screen comparison; early computer-graphic demos; circa 1982 interviews about pre-production and post-production; alternate music cues; and trailers. Dual-DVD keep-case.
—DSH

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