Many probably remember the early video games that they played in arcades; "Tron" was certainly one of the most popular games out there, although I never really got its appeal. I was more of a "Star Wars" fan(there was a great "Star Wars" aracde game, I don't know how many have played it), and I also loved pinball. "Tron" may not have sounded like the best story to translate into a movie, but the final product offered some of the most impressive visual effects and animation of its time.
The film stars Jeff Bridges as Flynn, a programmer who finds himself sucked into the virtual world of the film. Headed by the Master Control program, all of the players must engage in virtual video games where they battle one another for their freedom.
Yes, the effects seem primitive compared to films like "The Matrix", but if you were around at the time that this picture was released, you'll remember how remarkable the virtual worlds that were created were. Performances are good; the script is a little shaky at times, but the movie's arty-looking effects make for an entertaining time.
VIDEO: This is one of Disney's earlier titles, and while it's fairly watchable, it contains some problems that become distracting. The non-anamorphic transfer is letterboxed at about 2.35:1, and while there are positive aspects of it, there's also some flaws. Sharpness is generally very good, and detail is pleasing, as well.
There is a fair amount of grain in many scenes, though. This is noticable, but not distracting enough to take the viewer out of the movie. Slight pixelation is evident, but only in minor amounts. Shimmering sometimes shows up, but these are only isolated incidents. Print flaws appear now and then with moderate marks, but this isn't a constant problem.
Colors are film's strong suit, with the bright reds and blues showing up boldly here, looking nicely saturated and without flaws. This is probably the best that "Tron" has ever looked at home, but it still could look even better than how it's presented here by Disney.
SOUND: The Dolby Digital 4.1 soundtrack is actually suprisingly good for a film that's now about 18 years old. Bass is considerable, and the soundtrack has a very pleasing warmth and richness to it. I actually like the film's electronic-ish score, and it sounds excellent, as well.
There is a mild amount of surround use throughout, and the audio remains fairly agressive for a film of its age. The action scenes are more impressive, but the soundtrack as a whole is fine, with no distortion or other problems. Dialogue is clear as well.
MENUS:: Basic, non-animated menus with film-themed art.
Final Thoughts: The flaws with the image quality are irritating at times, but the sound is really quite good. Extras are definitely limited, but for fans of the movie, this is unfortunately the only choice available on DVD.
The Film B+
Video 81/B = (324/400 possible points)
Audio: 86/B = (344/400 possible points)
Extras: 65/D = (195/300 possible points)
Menus: 70/C- = (140/200 possible points)
Value: 78/C = (234/300 possible points)
FILM GRADE: B+
DVD GRADE: C