Review: Tron Legacy/Tron 5-Disc Blu-ray

Tron Legacy/Tron Five-Disc Blu-ray boxSTUDIO: Walt Disney Studios | DIRECTOR: Tron: Steven Lisberger/Tron Legacy: Joseph Kosinski | CAST: Tron: Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner/Tron Legacy: Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Michael Sheen
RELEASE DATE: 4/5/2011 | PRICE: Tron Legacy DVD $29.99, Tron Legacy Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD $39.99, Tron Legacy Four-Disc Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD $49.99, Tron Legacy/Tron Five-Disc Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD $79.99, Tron Blu-ray/DVD $39.99
BONUSES: Tron: featurettes, original DVD extras; Tron Legacy featurettes, music video, Second Screen, digital copy
SPECS: PG | Tron 96 min./Tron Legacy 125 min. | Science-fiction | Tron 2.20:1/Tron Legacy 2.35:1 aspect ratio | Tron 5.1 DTS-HD/Tron Legacy 7.1 DTS-HD audio | English, French and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Anticipated by fans of the original movie for years, Tron Legacy was a must-have DVD/Blu-ray from the moment the film hit theaters. But we can now say it’s well worth it.

Tron Legacy

Tron Legacy

The science-fiction movie is being released in multiple versions and the five-disc set we reviewed is the big daddy (not counting the Limited Edition, which is the five-disc set plus a very cool collectible identity disc). The five-disc set includes both Tron Legacy and the original Tron on Blu-ray, plus Tron Legacy on DVD and Blu-ray 3D (only good if you have a 3D TV and Blu-ray 3D-capable player) and a downloadable digital copy of the sequel.

If you’re a fan of the original film, this new Blu-ray (it is available separately) is a worthy replacement for your old DVD. Tron was last released on DVD in 2002 in a 20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition, but this Blu-ray is a definite improvement in the quality of the movie. Disney has done a great job of cleaning up the film. The colors are bright, the image sharp, the blacks deep. Other than the old arcade games and some of the fashions, the movie looks like it could be new. And the film still works today as a great David and Goliath story, a look at artificial intelligence trying to take over long before The Matrix and others.

Tron Legacy looks and sounds equally as good, but we expect that. It’s a heavily CGI movie, and those transfer well for Blu-ray’s high definition. The lights of the Grid are bright, showcasing feature film debuting director Joseph Kosinski’s stunning concepts beautifully.

If you missed the movie in theaters and you’re a science-fiction fan (even if you’re not — my non-sci-fi fan mother saw this and really liked it), definitely check it out on disc. The script does a good job of keeping to the lore of the original film and continuing the story for a new generation. The performances all around are fine (despite a little weirdness in the CG version of young Jeff Bridges), and we expect to see a lot more starring roles for Olivia Wilde. But it’s the jaw-dropping concepts from Kosinski (a former architect, we learn in the special features — more on that later) that are candy for the eyes.

The audio is awesome for both movies too, full, crisp and clear.

As well as both movies, this set is packed with special features, and they’re all top notch.

The original Tron Blu-ray disc has all the extras from the 2002 DVD (extensive and good) plus two new featurettes: “The Tron Phenomenon” and “Photo Tronology.” In the first, the stars and filmmakers of Legacy talk about their experience with the original film, when they first saw it and how it affected them. Actor Michael Sheen unabashedly gushes about his love for the movie, while writer/director Steven Lisberger and original stars Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner talk about what it was like to create this movie that was so far ahead of its time. Boxleitner admits that, at first, he told his agent to turn down the role because he didn’t know what his character was talking about. They also discuss how they got around the technological limitations. The circuitry on the Programs’ costumes was painted on with a black Sharpie, with the light effect added later.

The interviews are mixed with great production photos from the original film, and those are delved into more deeply in the “Photo Tronology,” which follows Lisberger as he takes his son to the Disney archives. They discuss their personal feelings about the movie as Lisberger shows photos of his younger self on the set, as well as old costume tests and more. It’s an interesting piece, blending the history with how this film — the most notable in Lisberger’s career before Legacy — affected a father and son.

Tron Legacy comes with its own batch of special features, and they’re all interesting. “Launching the Legacy,” “Visualizing Tron” and “Installing the Cast” go through the development and filming, and it’s obvious that the making of this movie was a thrill for everyone involved. All the stars, plus Kosinski, the producers, Lisberger and others reveal details about the script, the cool lights on the costumes (no black Sharpie this time) and lots more, giving fans a great backstage pass.

“Disc Roars” shows Kosinski and others at Comic-Con while Legacy was in production and how the fans got to be a part of their much-anticipated movie.

And the film’s story, the Tron legacy, if you will, is continued in “The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed,” which tells the story of the fictional movement that kept the dream of Bridges’ Kevin Flynn alive after he disappeared in 1989. Shot in an underground-documentary style, it’s fun and light, and halfway through, you have to put in the right arcade high score name to continue. Nice touch!

Tron Legacy also can be played with Disney’s new Second Screen feature, which was launched on the Bambi Blu-ray. The feature allows users to sync their computer with the movie and watch scene-related interviews, photos and more. It’s great for those who can’t get enough of multi-tasking, but for us, Tron Legacy is fine entertainment all by itself.

 

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.