single person who visits this site fancies themselves a film
fan.  From the nameless readers who don’t interact to
the regular Chewers on the Boards to every single person on the staff –
we love film.  We live for it.  We watch as much of
it as we can.  But, sadly, we’ll never be able to see
everything.  We’ve missed a lot over the years and
sometimes we’ll miss one of the big ones.  One of the
classics or cult favorites that has had everyone talking and
proclaiming their love for years.  That’s what this
column is all about – the big ones that we‘ve
missed.  Every week a different member of the CHUD Crew is
gonna play their own little game of catch-up and tell you about it
here.  Maybe it’ll get you to rewatch an old favorite
you haven’t seen in years, maybe it’ll get you to
catch up on your own list of shamefully neglected films. 
Either way, we hope you enjoy it.

Tron (1982) – Buy it from CHUD

I bet I’m not the only one either brushing up on this movie or seeing it for the first time this weekend.  Tron is one of those movies that I just never got around to catching for one reason or another.  Don’t exactly know how I missed out on it in ’82, because, being a 10-year-old video game junkie, it would have been one of the movies I definitely would have wanted to see.  Seeing it now, I wish I had seen it back then, because I’m sure it would have been one of the fonder movie-going memories I would have had.  And I find it humorous that the Motion Picture Academy refused to grant it a Best Visual Effects Oscar nomination because the filmmakers “cheated” by using computers.  Silly rabbits….

Unfortunately, one of the beta testers for the new site wasn’t quite up to snuff…

My impression of the movie now is that I think it deserves all the accolades that it received both 28 years ago
and through the years for its look.  As dated as it is now, I nevertheless remember special effects from back in the day. And, as essentially the first computer-generated
movie, it looks like hardly anything I’ve seen from back then.  That being said, however, seeing it now for the first time, Tron just didn’t grab me.  I went in with no preconceptions or expectations, and still I only slightly enjoyed it. 

“Heh, Jeff, you think this is how people will dress in the new millennium?”
“Come on. Who’d be that big of a loser…?”

Jeff Bridges gave Flynn even more of the exuberance than he has many of his other characters, and he was the (human) highlight of the film. 
Also, David Warner was his usual nicely evil self.  The rest of the
performances though, even Bruce Boxleitner’s rather wooden portrayal of Tron, were generally serviceable at best.  I hate saying that because I like Boxleitner, going back to Scarecrow and Mrs. King (yeah, I watched it, sue me). 

Actual footage from a staff meeting with Nick…

But Tron
wasn’t a movie that relied so heavily upon the performances.  This is a
visual spectacular by intent.  And, especially for the time, it
delivered in that regard.  The movie succeeded in pulling you into a
video game and making you actually feel part of it.  Hell, being a fan
of Automan
when it was on, I realize now how much that show scammed from this
movie.  I mean, holy shit, how did the producers of that show not get
ruined by an intellectual property lawsuit?  Even down to the neon chopper.  Amazing. 

There’s a Johnny Five sees Ally Sheedy in the bathtub joke that’s appropriate here…

The production design by Moebius, Syd Mead (who had a double home run with Blade Runner
the same year) and Peter Lloyd was also distinctive and memorable. 
Doubtless there wasn’t a kid who saw the film back then who didn’t want a
lightcycle.  Tron also had larger implications about Big Brother, freedoms that are snatched away in a society and deity worship that are still relevant today. Overall, I think the legacy of Tron is easily bigger than the movie itself.  Just look what it started and where we are today. 

It’s a film for which I regret being late to the party.  Because I think the younger me missed out on something that the current me can’t fully appreciate.