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TMP Reviews: TRON The Original Classic on Blu-ray

The Movie Pool breaks down the release - finally - of the Disney classic TRON on Blu-ray!

Tron

BLU-RAY SPECS
ASPECT RATIO: 2.20:1 enhanced for widescreen TVs
RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes
RATING: PG
AUDIO: English 5.1 DTS-MA, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
SUBTITLES: English for the hearing impaired, Spanish, French
AUDIO COMMENTARY: Participants include Director Steven Lisberger, Producer Donald Kushner, Visual Effects Supervisors Harrison Ellenshaw and Richard Taylor.
SPECIAL FEATURES: The TRON Phenomenon Documentary, Photo Tronology (Blu-ray only), The making of TRON, Development, Digital Imagery, Music, Publicity, Deleted Scenes, Design, Storyboarding, Galleries.

THE SET-UP

A computer hacker is pulled into a digital world where he must fight a powerful program obsessed with power.

THE DELIVERY

For most people, either you're a TRON fan or you aren't. Some people never "got" the original film, while others loved its mature take on the emerging computer culture. As a kid, I loved the look of the film, but didn't quite understand the themes involved. Yes, it does drag a few times, but fans find the flaws easy to forgive. As the years have passed, I, like so many, learned to appreciate how ahead of its time TRON was. The special features, which detail the process the film had to go through just to be made, will only make you appreciate it more. It's hard to deny now what a unique and classic film it is.

Tron

VIDEO AND AUDIO

I owned the original DVD release of TRON, which featured a non-anamorphic laserdisc master. It was nice, but it pales compared to this. Disney has done an exceptional job in presenting TRON with a clarity that has never been seen before. I doubt the film looked this good in theaters. Colors, especially in the digital world, are incredibly vivid, and the picture is amazingly sharp. There is a visible amount of grain present, especially in the digital world, but that can be attributed to the processing each effects shot had to go through. Those scenes will never be crystal clear. Scenes in the real world are very crisp; the shot of Dillinger riding in a helicopter to ENCOM at night (with TRON-like day-glo colors) was particularly impressive. This is a movie meant to be seen in high definition.

The audio, a 5.1 DTS-MA mix, gives you a rich, full auditory experience. Voices are very clear, and all the channels get a decent workout considering this was not the original mix. The special effects and music certainly get a boost here. It isn't as good as some modern movie mixes, but it's fine considering its age.

EXTRAS

Disney did the smart thing here by including all the special features from the original special edition DVD released several years ago. In addition, a number of new features have been added, including a "TRON Phenomenon" featurette including new interviews wherein the actors and filmmakers talk about the production. A particularly nice extra is the "Tronology" mini-doc in which director Steve Lisberger takes his son to the Disney archives to look over the photos taken during production.

The special features carried over from the previous special edition are extensive, and include a number of vintage interviews, storyboards, galleries, and clips. The deleted scenes are also nice additions.

Tron

BUY IT, REDBOX IT, OR NETFLIX IT?

RATINGS
MOVIE: B
VIDEO: A
AUDIO: B-
SPECIAL FEATURES: A-
OVERALL GRADE: B+

If you're any sort of fan of TRON, this is a must buy. The movie has never looked this good, and the extras, especially the new ones, are excellent. It's nice to see a good movie get the right treatment on Blu-ray, with the extensive special features we all want. By the way, I love the fact that Disney is doing Blu-ray and DVD combo packs. It's smart and I wish more studios did it.

TRON: The Original Classic Special Edition is available in a 2 disc combo pack (Blu-ray and DVD), or in a 2 disc standard DVD set. It is available April 5 in stores, online, or by digital download.

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