thehefner: (In the Mouth of Madness: Blue)
[personal profile] thehefner
I spent two hours last night composing a list of the three things that happened over the past week which left me feeling very, very depressed as a comics fan. The post, long-ass as it is, remains unfinished. Maybe I'll get back to it if the bad mood hits again. And it might, depending on if anything happens next in regards to the whole debacle with a famous Spider-Man writer clashing with Henchgirl on her LJ.

For today, I was distracted by all that. First, by seeing Tron: Legacy (full review forthcoming, maybe. I'll say this much: for better or worse, that was definitely a faithful Tron sequel), and then by having a fight with Henchgirl, during which I ended up making her cry. In the Safeway. In the frozen foods section.

As punishment, she forced me to watch Frank Miller's The Spirit. I had it coming.

In the meantime, while I formulate my Tron: Legacy thoughts to post here or at [ profile] box_in_the_box's review (where is it?! WHERE?!), I'd like those of you who've seen it to rewatch the awesome teaser trailer that premiered in July 2009:

Notice any major differences in that trailer vs the final film? Notice Flynn's location in the scene and the design of the programs' suits and faces in particular. I'm curious as to what happened between the making of that trailer and the making of the film. Bear in mind, if you've seen the action figures, they're more closely modeled on the characters here than in the film.

Date: 2010-12-18 05:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What happened was that this trailer was simply a proof-of-concept demo that they made to convince Disney that the movie should be made, so yeah, there were gonna be some significant changes between this and the final product.

I'm still mulling over my own thoughts on TRON: Legacy. For one thing, I think I'd like to see it NOT in 3D, because I feel like the dimming of light and colors and the loss of resolution that occurs with 3D made me miss a lot of the visual richness in this film.

It didn't help that de-aged Bridges ... really looked off to me.

Which leads to an unexpected reaction, in which I find myself more impressed by the story than by the visuals. Bridges delivered solid performances in both his roles, but Olivia Wilde was the real standout. I've always had a fetish for alien girls who delight in that which we take for granted, and Quorra was very much that.

Date: 2010-12-18 06:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lydia thinks that about 10% of the film at most was actually in 3D. I thought there was more of it, and that it was just really immersible and not in your face. But looking back, I think she might be right. Which would lead me to think that, against all common sense, the film wasn't meant to be 3D from the start.

So yeah, watching it in 2D might actually be the best way to go. I'm curious to see how it'd look in comparison.

De-Aged Bridges, as we've noted earlier, looked PERFECT for Clu. But not for actual Young Flynn. Dear god, if they can bridge the Uncanny Valley gap with the new Arkham City trailer this well...

... then how the hell could they have made young Bridges look so off? I mean, hell, I recall the young Xavier and Magneto effects in X3 to be vastly superior!

As Ebert noted, Bridges actually plays THREE roles: himself as a young man, himself as he is now, and the dark mirror of himself. It's damn impressive that even though he's not the lead actor, he's immersed in every aspect of the story.

As Lydia will note better than I, Sam Flynn and Olivia Wilde's characters both suffer from serious Mary Sue syndrome. Every time Sam did something AWESOME, I was reminded of how Geoff Johns writes Hal Jordan. It didn't ruin my experience, but it certainly nagged at me.

What really seals the story for me is that final confrontation, with Clu lashing out at Flynn, and Flynn owning up to his mistakes. There was real emotion behind Clu's words, giving his speech about "I will never betray you" a greater weight.

All that said, Lydia didn't care for it, and the critics are tearing it apart. This is not a film for all people. I'll be amazed if it doesn't fall short of expectations for Disney, if not outright flop. But while I found it slow, I also found it fascinating, and I've been thinking about it ever since we got back.

Date: 2010-12-18 06:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If I get too far into replying to your other points, I'll wind up doing a full review, but its midnight sneak preview cleared $3.5 million (the same as Avatar) and after I came out of the late afternoon matinee showing, I found a line literally around the block waiting to see this film.

Date: 2010-12-18 06:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Not surprising, for how much it's been hyped. Let's see how many reports we get of people walking out halfway through, and what kind of drop-offs it gets over the next couple weekends.

Date: 2010-12-18 06:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I seriously doubt there will be ANY walk-outs, since there weren't any for Clash of the Titans, which had far worse reviews. What I think a lot of people who are predicting that this film will bomb are overlooking is that this film looks like NOTHING that moviegoers have seen in close to 30 years.

Date: 2010-12-18 06:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Here's hoping that'll be enough. There were points when I could easily predict certain audience members wanting to stab themselves in the heads out of sheer boredom or apathy.

It's doesn't look like anything they've seen, but the story is also not like anything they're used to seeing in the average popcorn movie. Heck, the closest thing the film has to comic relief is Michael Sheen's character (who proved to us that he'd make an awesome Jervis Tetch). It's a very, very, very serious film, which is making it come off as ponderous or pretentious to many a reviewer, and--thus I imagine--many an audience member as well.

Date: 2010-12-18 06:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's doesn't look like anything they've seen, but the story is also not like anything they're used to seeing in the average popcorn movie. [...] It's a very, very, very serious film, which is making it come off as ponderous or pretentious to many a reviewer, and--thus I imagine--many an audience member as well.

But enough about Avatar. ;)

Date: 2010-12-18 06:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Avatar, underneath all the special effects, was the same comforting fluff plotline with over-the-top characters that audiences pay good money to see over and over and over again without thought. The story in Tron: Legacy was far from that, and I don't know how much awesome visuals can keep the average Avatar-loving audience member interested.

ESPECIALLY if the 3D only makes up a fraction of the film, which right away would take away from the pure immersive effects of Avatar.

Date: 2010-12-18 06:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The director confirmed that all the virtual world scenes are in 3D, but they shot them with a relatively shallow depth of field. And maybe it's just me having grown up with Spielberg, but "wayward son searches for absent father" is pretty much the ultimate overused plotline I can think of in the modern era of film. Beyond that, it was basically The Matrix with the added threat of Agent Smith manifesting in the real world. I'm stunned that so many otherwise smart reviewers consider the story so oblique, especially in the wake of the success of far more layered material like Inception (yes, I know you don't like it, but you can't deny that TRON: Legacy had a far simpler plot).

Date: 2010-12-18 06:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can't deny that, no, but I also can't believe that people think Inception was a hard film to follow, with so much going on that it must be viewed multiple times. We understood everything that was going on the first time. It was frickin' easy and straightforward. I heard the same "it's sooo complex, it must be seen twice!" crap from people about The Prestige. I saw it twice, realized that I totally understood it the first time, and didn't like it any better the second time.

The "wayward son" plot was the *impetus* of him going into the Grid, yes, but the resulting mythology over the next 85% of the film might just turn tons of people off the same way the subsequent Matrix films causes the general public to just check out and stop giving a shit. Again, I liked it, but I already know one person who understood the film just fine, and still didn't care about it.

Date: 2010-12-18 06:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was actually starting to expect this film to perform poorly, but I've noticed that a number of folks have hastily revised their predictions to show it performing much better than they'd previously predicted. Hell, I was even worried that it'd pull a Scot Pilgrim at the box office, but given the overperforming of its midnight showing coupled with the goodwill of the audience I saw it with and the size of the crowd waiting to see it after me, I'm wondering whether the nostalgia hounds might not make this into the sort of box office success that Scott Pilgrim and Kick Ass wish they could have been. If so, it's going to send some very interesting messages to a number of folks in film.

Date: 2010-12-18 07:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I saw it in 2d. It is both visually quite stunning, and a very fun movie over all. But i worry that it might think it's a smarter movie than it actually is. There's some creator vs. creation, the problem with god type of stuff going on in there that... well, it's hard to give a rat's ass about computer programs being mad at humans.

Bridges is awesome, and quorra looks like marisa had a baby with my ex-girlfriend meg. I am happy i spent 11 bucks.

Date: 2010-12-22 11:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just got back from watching it with friends. I went into it without much baggage, not having seen the original, and for the most part I enjoyed it - Avatar, it certainly wasn't. If this does end up being part two in a trilogy, I'd definitely see the third.

When Flynn mentioned the miracle that happened in the intro, I whispered "Sam's the miracle, calling it now," and was pleasantly surprised by the Isos / Digimon.

Oddity: The fact that the CGI Yogi Bear is in 3D makes me roll my eyes more than anything else in the trailer.

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