Tron Night: Something to Feast Your Eyes On

Geek Buzz has really become important for movie marketing. Last year’s Avatar was the first film to actually preview around twenty minutes of footage for audiences several months before the film’s release in the hope of building up a positive word-of-mouth vibe for the film’s release (a strategy that seemed to have worked; even though audiences on the whole weren’t too thrilled about the preview footage). The maker’s of Tron Legacy, a late sequel to 1982’s Tron, tried the same tonight.

They did a good job. Even though the storyline for Legacy looks as preposterous as that of its predecessor, the preview footage shows that the new film will definitely be something to look forward to for lovers of excellent imagery. As could be glimpsed in the trailer, Tron Legacy stays true to Tron‘s original backlit, “black theatre” look while adding some more CGI-cool. This world of dark grey tones, nerved by fluorescent lights, is really something you haven’t seen for a while. It manages to conjure up 80s nostalgia while still looking pretty nifty by today’s standards.

In addition, director Joseph Kosinski and his team really seem to get 3D and use it in the narrative way Alice in Wonderland inexplicably didn’t. The non-computer-world is 2D, making the 3D world of the computer system (ironically, the “simulated” world, of course) exquisitely hyperreal. However, they go beyond that: The preview footage included the scene in which Sam (Garrett Hedlund) discovers the old lab of his father Flynn (Jeff Bridges) but left out the actual transition scene from Earth to Grid. However, when Sam discovers the secret door behind the “Tron” video game and descends into the lab, i.e. gets closer to the computer world, the image slowly but steadily gained depth while staying 2D, cleverly anticipating and foreshadowing what’s to come. The only other movie that used 3D in this psychological way so far, was the amazing Coraline.

The verdict: “Tron Night” worked for me. I am definitely looking forward to Tron Legacy, at least for a good two hours of fun in the cinema.