Okay, so I was 10 when this movie came out and I remember having a friend, Richard, who always wanted to play this game on a piece of graph paper. Each person had a little goal post and a different color pen and you could draw a line one square at a time, alternating turns and the idea was to get your line all the way to the other guys goal while trying to block his path at the same time. He called the game TRON.
The story involves three brilliant computer programmers who have to save the world. Alan and Lora (Bruce Boxleitner and Cindy Morgan) work for one of those huge faceless corporations, Flynn (Jeff Bridges), we discover, was fired from said corporation under shady circumstances. Since they are all wunderkinds with computers and are of course, over-worked and under-appreciated, they decide to partake in a little creative hacking into the Master Control Processor (MCP), the Big Brother of all computer systems, in order to clear Flynn's name. MCP has developed a life and a will of its own and is therefore pretty defensive about being hacked. So, he "digitizes" and sucks Flynn into the system, where he finds himself being used as a pawn in MCP's war games. Within the system Flynn discovers another world ruled by a caste system of programs. A program's status in the system seems to be linked to the status of the user that created him. Flynn meets Tron, Alan's security program, who is the only one capable of bringing down the MCP. And the race is on!
The plot is predictable and the dialogue is so lame that I actually felt sorry for Bruce Boxleitner (who seems to get most of the crummy lines). But the special effects were the first of their kind back then and honestly, I was surprised by how well the movie has stood the test of time.
The color and clarity of this DVD is remarkable. There is no way that this movie could ever be watched on VHS again after viewing it digitally. Very sharp, very vivid. The effects are funny, in much the same way as watching Star Wars was before they airbrushed out the shadows of the little model X-Wings, but they still manage to delight nearly 20 years later.
The only extra here is the Theatrical Trailer, which was pretty dang funny to watch. The voice over sounded like the intro to the Incredible Hulk and there were bits of scenes that didn't even make it into the movie. The fact that you can watch the movie in French or Spanish is a testament to how popular this flick was in 1982.
If you haven't seen this movie in a long time, rent the DVD. It's completely nostalgic and funny. If you're a serious collector or the kind of person who watches something over and over again, then you should buy the DVD. I will not buy the DVD, only because it will probably be another 20 years before I feel the need to relive TRON. By then, they'll probably have figured out how to scan it directly into my brain.
(It should also be noted that Disney has since released a much more extras-laden Anniversary disc to replace this now Out Of Print edition. - ed)
Amy Morrison, 4/25/00