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In bringing TRON ($30) to the silver screen, the Walt Disney Studio created one of the most unique films in the history of the cinema. TRON is an intelligent, high concept film that was beautifully executed by Disney, and stands as one of the studio’s finest achievements in live action filmmaking. This 1982 film takes the viewer into the universe that exists inside the computer system of a large corporation, a realm where programs are alive and have personalities. These living programs believe in "the user" with a religious fervor that makes them outcast to the system’s Master Control Program.

The Master Control Program or MCP is an all encompassing program that replaces the functions of all the smaller programs on the system with its own. Left unchecked, the MCP intends to take over every computer system in the world. TRON stars Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn, the computer programmer whose designs for a number of popular video games were stolen by a rival programmer. Flynn hacks into the system for proof of the theft, but ends up being digitized into the computer system where he is forced into combat on the game grid. Once on the game grid, Flynn joins forces with Tron (Bruce Boxleitner), the one program capable of stopping the Master Control Program.

Standing between the film’s heroes and the Master Control Program is Sark (David Warner), the MCP’s number one warrior. The cast of TRON also features Cindy Morgan, Barnard Hughes, Dan Shor and Peter Jurasik. TRON is a visually impressive film that was produced in 70mm to allow the realm inside the computer system to be realized at the highest level of quality available in 1982. Early computer animation is blended with a simulated computer realm in which the performers can interact. The highly stylized look of TRON is truly unique and completely absorbing.

Walt Disney Home Video presents TRON on DVD in a Letterboxed transfer, which restores most of the film’s 2.20:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The Letterboxed transfer is faithful in reproducing the film’s intended look. Colors reproduce as naturally as possible, but TRON is unlike any other film ever produced. Detail and sharpness are good, but the film’s special look keeps it from being judged the same way as other movies. Digital compression artifacts were seldom detectable on this DVD.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack is good for an early eighties offering, but the mix does not deploy the surrounds as aggressively as a new soundtrack. Music, dialogue and sound effects are re-mixed effectively and shouldn’t disappoint the film’s many fans. Other soundtrack options include a matrixed Dolby Surround compatible track, plus a French Dolby Digital and Spanish Dolby Surround tracks. English subtitles and captioning are available on the DVD.

The interactive menus offer access to a theatrical trailer, plus the standard scene and language selection features.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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