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TRON: Legacy Blu-ray Review

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Reviewed by Cas Harlow, 20th April 2011.
TRON: Legacy has received a fair amount of flak from ardent fans of the original movie and I suspect even some newcomers went into it expecting a lot more than it delivered. Sure, it's not the next Matrix, and it was never going to live up to the rose-tinted nostalgic memories of Tron fanboys, but as far as I'm concerned it is one of the best movie experiences that I have come across recently. The narrative may just skim the surface of something more deep and philosophical; and the performances may fluctuate between average and grating, thankfully bolstered by the undisputed talent of Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges; but Legacy remains a tremendous audiovisual trip, boasting outstanding, imaginative visuals and one of the best scores that I have ever come across, provided by none other than French duo Daft Punk. I really wish I'd seen this baby at the cinema, with the volume turned up to 11, it would have been an absolute blast.

On Region Free US Blu-ray things get even better, with perfect video and a thunderous audio track which helps recreate the cinematic experience within the comfort of your living room. And with a nice selection of extras to round things off this is a must-have for fans, and, in my opinion, a blind-buy for anybody even remotely interested. At the very least, it will give you something outstanding to show off your equipment with, and you'll more than likely find this a hell of an experience, and one which you'd like to return to. Recommended.


Read the full review...
 

iainoco

Well-known Member
Excellent review Cas. I haven't experienced a movie for a long time that integrates music and visuals to such a harmonious level :clap:

I can't comment on the Blu-Ray yet as mine should be delivered today but from reading your review I'm in for a treat.
 

lucasisking

Distinguished Member
Wow! I hadn't expected this to get good reviews, but reading yours makes me want to buy this immediately- even having never seen it.

Im particularly interested now in hearing the soundtrack- electronic mucic and sci-fi scores are a passion of mine.
 
Thanks Cas, great review as always and pretty much sums up my feelings for it too. Managed to get to grips with this at the cinema, which I am glad of, and now eagerly await my multi disc import from the US. Damn my cheapness at not selecting expedited shipping :laugh:

Be interesting to see how the 3D appears as well, thought it was a bit 'flat' at the flicks but never detracted from what were stunning visuals backed up by an absolutely rocking soundtrack.

As for Michael Sheen's role, well I've made it clear on these forums when this discussion was being had that I loved him camping it up big style, and I look forward to seeing his brief portrayal again.

On first viewing I too thought... wow Cillian Murphy, an all too short appearance. One of my current favourite actors, I can only surmise that they have him waiting in the wings should they ever kick off a sequel to this sequel. Personally I hope they do.

KH
 

Casimir Harlow

Blu-ray Reviewer
Excellent review Cas. I haven't experienced a movie for a long time that integrates music and visuals to such a harmonious level :clap:

I can't comment on the Blu-Ray yet as mine should be delivered today but from reading your review I'm in for a treat.
Thanks! :thumbsup:

I'm sure you won't be disappointed by the release, I'd say it's arguably the best video and audio I've come across on a Blu-ray, although I was hesitant to make such a statement review, after watching it 4 times in a week I'm pretty sure now.

Hope you enjoy,
Cas
 

Casimir Harlow

Blu-ray Reviewer
Wow! I hadn't expected this to get good reviews, but reading yours makes me want to buy this immediately- even having never seen it.

Im particularly interested now in hearing the soundtrack- electronic mucic and sci-fi scores are a passion of mine.
You can taste the soundtrack on iTunes, as stated in the review it only took one viewing to make me immediately download it. I haven't tried the remixed versions, but the original soundtrack is excellent to listen to as a standalone album. If you like electronic music and sci-fi scores it doesn't get much better than this particular combo.

If you do pick it up, let us know what you think, it's the highest praise being told that your review makes somebody want to purchase a movie. :thumbsup:
I too didn't realise this movie would be this good, and was pleasantly surprised to say the least!

Thanks :smashin:
 

Casimir Harlow

Blu-ray Reviewer
Thanks Cas, great review as always and pretty much sums up my feelings for it too. Managed to get to grips with this at the cinema, which I am glad of, and now eagerly await my multi disc import from the US. Damn my cheapness at not selecting expedited shipping :laugh:

Be interesting to see how the 3D appears as well, thought it was a bit 'flat' at the flicks but never detracted from what were stunning visuals backed up by an absolutely rocking soundtrack.

As for Michael Sheen's role, well I've made it clear on these forums when this discussion was being had that I loved him camping it up big style, and I look forward to seeing his brief portrayal again.

On first viewing I too thought... wow Cillian Murphy, an all too short appearance. One of my current favourite actors, I can only surmise that they have him waiting in the wings should they ever kick off a sequel to this sequel. Personally I hope they do.

KH
Thanks Keith, glad you liked the review mate, am very envious of your having seen this baby at the cinema!!

Michael Sheen's contribution has clearly worked for some, and not for others. It just went too far for me - I didn't feel it fit in with the overall (relatively dark) sentiment of the rest of the narrative, and I also didn't understand who his character was supposed to be. Was he really an ex-resistance fighter turned bartender/black market dealer/'fixer'? There were even nods to Humphrey Bogart's character from Casablanca, only a very camp variation, and that just didn't work as a mix for me. Perhaps if he was a different character, his over-the-top behaviour may have worked, but it just didn't vibe for me.

You're right about Cillian Murphy, he must have been included to set things up for a sequel, but I'm really not sure why they included him at the beginning. If he'd have popped up at the end as the new 'VP' or something, it might have been a nice nod to a possible sequel, and possible future opponent for Sam (both in the real world and The Grid), but they wasted him early, with just two throwaway lines and an utterly pointless character who is simply no more than a reference to the villain from the previous movie.

I'm not sure about another Tron movie. I loved this one - as is clear from my review! - but I just don't know whether there's anything more fitting than this as a conclusion. Were they to go on to do others, I'm not sure the production would work without (spoilers)
Jeff Bridges / Kevin Flynn AND Tron returning,
(end spoilers) and I'm not sure either is likely to happen given the ending...

Nice to hear from you chief, thanks as always for your kind comments,
Cas
 

Pulse1

Well-known Member
Hi Cas,

Good review :) What kit are you evaluating this review on and is it all properly setup/calibrated ? Did you listen at reference level or much lower ? It's just that there are alot of reviewers out there that don't state if there reviewing on an ISF calibrated display and have the kit setup correctly for playback at reference level to which sountracks should be listened at. These are the most important factors which make either a true review of the A/V or a somewhat unbiased review of the A/V. Looking forward to your own personal thoughts and comments on this Cas. Just to add that i do agree with your score for A/V as i watched this the other night and have to say it's my new demo disc :devil:
 

Casimir Harlow

Blu-ray Reviewer
Hi Cas,

Good review :) What kit are you evaluating this review on and is it all properly setup/calibrated ? Did you listen at reference level or much lower ? It's just that there are alot of reviewers out there that don't state if there reviewing on an ISF calibrated display and have the kit setup correctly for playback at reference level to which sountracks should be listened at. These are the most important factors which make either a true review of the A/V or a somewhat unbiased review of the A/V. Looking forward to your own personal thoughts and comments on this Cas. Just to add that i do agree with your score for A/V as i watched this the other night and have to say it's my new demo disc :devil:
It's a Hyundai display, ISF calibrated (the reviewers all went on a course, so the least we could do was calibrate our own sets), with an Onkyo amp set to play at reference level although I've seldom achieved this. Tron Legacy was no exception, at reference level it risks offending the neighbours. Across the road! Speakers are Wharfedale Diamonds (fronts and rears), with a Cambridge Audio centre channel and a SVS PB12 Ultra downfacing sub. Playback through either a Region A-locked PS3 or a Panasonic DMP-BD60.

Hope this helps. And yes, defo demo quality, absolutely top notch disc.
Cas
 

gadget man

Active Member
I am just not impressed with this movie at all,in fact found it quite boring and not in the same league as the excellent inception. The music was too boomy which drowned out the dialogue, i had to turn the centre channel way up a problem i have not had with other recent movies on blu-ray. The picture quality totally agree it's excellent.
 

Pulse1

Well-known Member
It's a Hyundai display, ISF calibrated (the reviewers all went on a course, so the least we could do was calibrate our own sets), with an Onkyo amp set to play at reference level although I've seldom achieved this. Tron Legacy was no exception, at reference level it risks offending the neighbours. Across the road! Speakers are Wharfedale Diamonds (fronts and rears), with a Cambridge Audio centre channel and a SVS PB12 Ultra downfacing sub. Playback through either a Region A-locked PS3 or a Panasonic DMP-BD60.

Hope this helps. And yes, defo demo quality, absolutely top notch disc.
Cas
Thanks for the confirmation Cas :thumbsup:

I am just not impressed with this movie at all,in fact found it quite boring and not in the same league as the excellent inception. The music was too boomy which drowned out the dialogue, i had to turn the centre channel way up a problem i have not had with other recent movies on blu-ray. The picture quality totally agree it's excellent.
If you have a problem with the dialogue with this movie then that tells me you have a setup problem. The dialogue is clear an intellagible even when the music is pumping away at reference level :)
 

Jim Di Griz

Distinguished Member
Great review yet again and I have to admit that for movie/blu-ray reviews Im checking here, blu-ray.com and IMDB far more often than anywhere else. :)

Whilst I will definitely be picking up the double-pack (big original Tron fan!) I have to admit to being a bit disappointed with Legacy at my local (not very good) cinema. Maybe that will change though on repeat viewings. Id give it a 7/10 - so far anyway.
 

Geoff_D

Distinguished Member
Lovely review Cas. You've pretty much summed up the actual movie as I did in the Legacy thread. It's not great, heck, it's not even good when looked at in total movie-making terms.

But Tron Legacy is what it is; two hours of your eyes and ears getting ****ed by some of the most delicious visuals and score you're ever likely to encounter. And it's the latter which really does it for me, as I'm a big fan of movie music and it pains me to hear the sonic wallpaper which populates films these days.

That's what makes Avatar such a crushing disappointment, for as pretty as the pictures are, James Horner's astonishingly bland score dulls their impact.
 

Casimir Harlow

Blu-ray Reviewer
Lovely review Cas. You've pretty much summed up the actual movie as I did in the Legacy thread. It's not great, heck, it's not even good when looked at in total movie-making terms.

But Tron Legacy is what it is; two hours of your eyes and ears getting ****ed by some of the most delicious visuals and score you're ever likely to encounter. And it's the latter which really does it for me, as I'm a big fan of movie music and it pains me to hear the sonic wallpaper which populates films these days.

That's what makes Avatar such a crushing disappointment, for as pretty as the pictures are, James Horner's astonishingly bland score dulls their impact.
Thanks! :smashin:

Totally agree about scores being of paramount importance, and yet they are still so often neglected these days. Only a few truly stand out for me - Sunshine, Inception and Shutter Island spring to mind as relatively recent excellent scores, ones which get the hairs on my arm tingling during all the most intense moments.

And spot on about Avatar, the score was one of the things I most criticised in my review of either the first release, or the extended edition. Did you find it reminiscent of anything? Because I felt Horner totally ripped off his own Enemy at the Gates score for Avatar but I still haven't found anybody else who can see the same similarities.

Cheers for your comments, Cas
 

MrHopeful

Active Member
Seriously? 9, when the original gets 6, what did you do ignore that it's actually a story telling medium and just rate the shinies?

The story in Legacy was little more than a cardboard backdrop for a special effects buffet and at that it succeeded very well, but if you actually want to rate story and acting that's a completely different ball game. The acting, of what there was of it was stunted and wooden, if it hadn't been for Bridges and Boxlitner it would just have been yet another kid mush film with absolutely no weight to it at all... and the less said about the ridiculous ending the better.

At least the first Tron, which I have no delusions about was, for what it had, a cohesive story with no gaping plotholes or downright expedient logic betrayals, if you forget the whole 'people in a computer' thing which they were both guilty of.

Seriously, in your Tron classic review, you worded it as if you were going to sit back from all the rose tinted nostalgia... which you did, although if you'd sat any further back from it you'd probably not have been in the same room as the screen... but then you come and rate an obviously inferior fluffpiece as if it's the second coming, and I can't help feel that you've been entirely distracted by the effects of the piece.

Nope, I can't really take any of your stuff very seriously after this,
 

cmdrmarc

Well-known Member
Seriously? 9, when the original gets 6, what did you do ignore that it's actually a story telling medium and just rate the shinies?

The story in Legacy was little more than a cardboard backdrop for a special effects buffet and at that it succeeded very well, but if you actually want to rate story and acting that's a completely different ball game. The acting, of what there was of it was stunted and wooden, if it hadn't been for Bridges and Boxlitner it would just have been yet another kid mush film with absolutely no weight to it at all... and the less said about the ridiculous ending the better.

At least the first Tron, which I have no delusions about was, for what it had, a cohesive story with no gaping plotholes or downright expedient logic betrayals, if you forget the whole 'people in a computer' thing which they were both guilty of.

Seriously, in your Tron classic review, you worded it as if you were going to sit back from all the rose tinted nostalgia... which you did, although if you'd sat any further back from it you'd probably not have been in the same room as the screen... but then you come and rate an obviously inferior fluffpiece as if it's the second coming, and I can't help feel that you've been entirely distracted by the effects of the piece.

Nope, I can't really take any of your stuff very seriously after this,
I doubt he'll lose any sleep over it. He justified all his comments within the review, and at the end of the day, it's a review based on his opinions. Yours are clearly different but there's a more appropriate way of expressing that on here without coming across as arrogant.

For the record, I'd give the same scores - watched Tron again last month and it's a 6 at best for me. Has not aged well. And who knows, maybe in years to come Tron Legacy will suffer the same comedown. But right now, it's a 9.5 for me in terms of sheer movie making extravagance.
 

davisa

Active Member
While I appreciate the very detailed and well written reviews (of both Tron's), I'm with MrHopeful.

Watched Tron on Blu and it is incredible. After 30 years it still has a unique look and feel that is as fresh today as it was back then. Yes, parts are dated and it is paced differently than today's films but no worse for that. Highly recommended. 8/10.

Tron Legacy on the other hand is a technical treat, but not much else. The plot is plodding and boring and the visuals disappoint - firstly the aspect switching is annoying and secondly (and I cannot forgive this) the effects just aren't appropriate for the virtual world they are attempting to portray and that constantly pulls you out of what little story there is. 3/10.
 
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BrynTeg

Distinguished Member
Totally agree with the review, what a superb disc, and i can tell you why.....Mrs Furious noticed how superb it looked and sounded and she doesnt notice anything normally:D
 

ewell

Novice Member
I do not get how you can give the package an overall 10 when going by your scores with simple mathematics it averages a 9.:confused:
 

Casimir Harlow

Blu-ray Reviewer
I do not get how you can give the package an overall 10 when going by your scores with simple mathematics it averages a 9.:confused:
The overall score is never really as simple as averaging out (otherwise Jennifer Aniston Romcoms may get surprisingly high scores!) - I always feel it is biased towards the video, audio and, of course, the main feature itself. Since I thought the video and audio were deserving of at least a 10 (the audio, imo, deserved an 11, as I wrote in the review), and since the extras were pretty good (even if nowhere near a 10) I decided the package deserved a 10 - it's a great movie, absolute top notch demo video and audio, and basically an amazing experience which has great rewatch value.

Hope that helps explain my thinking, although I'd have hoped that the review spoke for itself in justifying the score...
 

Pulse1

Well-known Member
Yeh have to agree with Cas on this movie it's a blast. You just switch off and enjoy the Stunning A/V :D Afterall no movie is real, ok some are based on real events but at the end of the day a movie is for to entertain in some way and Tron Legacy does just that like no other :smashin: But each to their own eh :)
 

Scooby2000

Distinguished Member
whilst the visuals are stunning and sound amazing, the film is shallow compared to the original.
The original also has a better look, a masterpiece of its time IMO. The new films good but not ground breaking, this level of CG work has been around a while and all but Bridges charactor were paper thin and very generic.
 

Smurfin

Distinguished Member
Clearly this one's controversial :D

For the record, I agree with your review Cas, at least in everything except the movie score. For me, Legacy was mediocre, though I still enjoyed it. Nudging 7/10 in my book, but 9/10 is an insult to every other 9/10 movie you've reviewed ;) :devil:

btw...you hit the nail on the head with the score. Phenomenal :thumbsup: - especially the part when the 4 women dress him for the games :devil:
 

Casimir Harlow

Blu-ray Reviewer
Clearly this one's controversial :D

For the record, I agree with your review Cas, at least in everything except the movie score. For me, Legacy was mediocre, though I still enjoyed it. Nudging 7/10 in my book, but 9/10 is an insult to every other 9/10 movie you've reviewed ;) :devil:

btw...you hit the nail on the head with the score. Phenomenal :thumbsup: - especially the part when the 4 women dress him for the games :devil:
It's the first time I've bought a film score in a decade and now I've got so many best bits in this movie.

Highlights (music and film-wise):
- slo-mo shot of Sam first using a lightcycle
- everything in the nightclub right through to the elevator ride
- rinzler enters the games at the beginning

And yeah, it's tough giving a non-traditional audio-visual-biased movie like this a score so high, but I just loved the whole damn experience so much it trumped the plot and acting (which I still enjoyed).

Cheers, Cas
 

BRW

Novice Member
Brilliant review!
Have seen the movie 3 times now and it is very much an amazing experience. Great visuals, great music. I think the CG is still a little off, young Jeff Bridges was awful. Very unrealistic facial movement which almost took me out of the movie. Surprised that hasn't been more of a sticking point for others...
 

Casimir Harlow

Blu-ray Reviewer
Brilliant review!
Have seen the movie 3 times now and it is very much an amazing experience. Great visuals, great music. I think the CG is still a little off, young Jeff Bridges was awful. Very unrealistic facial movement which almost took me out of the movie. Surprised that hasn't been more of a sticking point for others...
Thanks for the comment, yeah I know the CG is far from perfect but I guess I thought it was better to have the younger Jeff bridges than not in terms of the story. And at least technology has come along so far that it can actually be done - even if it'll probably be the best part of a decade before it's seamless.
 

drummerjohn

Well-known Member
Movie - 5 - found it quite boring, I can see kids loving it though as there's nothing to stretch the mind as such.

Picture - 9

Sound - 9 - not the best 7.1 experience I have had.

Music - 8. Oddly the CD soundtrack sounds much better through my system than through the film. The way they have put some of the bass of the soundtrack through the LFE doesn't work very well. If you flatten it into stereo (as it does with the CD) the sub and bass are much more coherent and tighter.

Using JVC HD1, Sony STRDB820, Sony BD760, Behringer DCX2496 & Behringer EP4000 for the two 15" AE AV15X subs. EQ'd with REWv5.
 

BRW

Novice Member
casharlow said:
Thanks for the comment, yeah I know the CG is far from perfect but I guess I thought it was better to have the younger Jeff bridges than not in terms of the story. And at least technology has come along so far that it can actually be done - even if it'll probably be the best part of a decade before it's seamless.
Sorry I've taken so long to reply. Yes, I take your point over the technology and necessity for CG in the story, I just think it took me out of the movie a bit. Still, the visuals and great soundtrack always brought me back. And yes, it will be interesting to see what happens when it does become seamless...
 

drummerjohn

Well-known Member
Brilliant review!
Have seen the movie 3 times now and it is very much an amazing experience. Great visuals, great music. I think the CG is still a little off, young Jeff Bridges was awful. Very unrealistic facial movement which almost took me out of the movie. Surprised that hasn't been more of a sticking point for others...
CG has a long way to go before being realistic. As you say - it can be offputting. Reminds me of Neo fighting the hundreds of smiths. CG just isn't upto the job of perfectly replicating anything living we know of. If it's anything else ie fantasy\non living then it works ok.
 

BRW

Novice Member
drummerjohn said:
CG has a long way to go before being realistic. As you say - it can be offputting. Reminds me of Neo fighting the hundreds of smiths. CG just isn't upto the job of perfectly replicating anything living we know of. If it's anything else ie fantasy\non living then it works ok.
Absolutely! As proven be avatar. Maybe if they'd made Jeff bridges blue...lol. That bit with the smiths was just silly. Hopefully they'll get it right eventually
 

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