Thursday, February 02, 2012

Tron

(Disclaimer: I don't do movie reviews. That's not what this is. I hope. If it reads like a review, then I messed up.)

We don't subscribe to any premium movie channels. So when those "free previews" happen, I usually load up the DVR as best I can. Among the movies I recorded during a recent SHOWTIME free preview was Tron - not the 2010 sequel, but the 1982 original.

Why? Because it's one of those "iconic movies from years past" that everyone "just has to see", right? I don't watch many movies these days, but I try to fill in the gaps in my "seen" collection where I can.

And, besides that, it's basically a movie for computer geeks - one of the first, in fact. If I were, say, 13 years old when Tron came out, it might have ended up being one of my favorite movies ever. It's a movie about computers! And how about those revolutionary special effects! Of course, back then, I was too young to much about things such as "plot".

When I watch movies via DVR, I don't always watch the whole thing in one sitting. But in hindsight, I should have watched Tron all at once. The plot isn't exactly the strongest aspect of the film; by the end, I had actually forgotten what the point of all this was. But, that's not why you watch this movie. You watch it because you're a computer geek yearning for some computing nostalgia. Sure, video games and computers have advanced signifcantly over the past 30 years, but are our lives really better for it? Sometimes I miss the old days of computing.

Why is the movie a "cult classic"? Perhaps because cheesy and dated special effects always seem much more awesome 30 years later. Or, maybe because some of the creative elements of the movie (the light cycles, the evil MASTER CONTROL PROGRAM, the general personification of the inner workings of a computer) happened to catch on with a particular demographic (read: nerdy people). Or, maybe because computer nerds just need something to latch on to, and this is one of the earliest movies about computers that is out there. Either way, at least I can check Tron off my list now.

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