Have I told you lately that I think Tron Legacy is the movie of the decade? It’s the first thing I tell The Wife when I wake up in the morning. In any case, in preparation for an increasingly likely Tron 3, there’s Tron: The Next Day, a shortfilm about what happened between Tron and Tron Legacy. Now there’s also this squirmingly awesome little DVD easter egg which seems to confirm the Tron 3 villain. Delicious!
Beware of light spoilers in the above video.
Please watch this film in the cinema while you still have a chance. I absolutely loved it, and I want a sequel.
It’s CES time, which means a plethora of new slightly improved gadgets to hold us over until the next time we get slightly improved gadgets. For fans of Android and fans of UI design, Google dropped a bundle of joy in this video introduction to Android 3.0 “Honeycomb”. Here are screencaps and anecdotal commantary.
This must be Matias Duarte’s art style. Or perhaps the movie Tron Legacy designed the new Android?
No matter, I loved Tron Legacy (please go watch it so I can get a sequel!), I’ll learn to love this as well.
Nice lock screen. It’s still “something you drag from A to B”, but it’s probably not something Apple’s patented this time. Also, there’s a good chance this won’t unlock in your pocket (if you could fit a 10 inch tablet in your pocket, that is). That font though… It’s very 1993. The wallpaper is very 2001 though, which is actually not bad, just very techno.
New homescreen still shows select app shortcuts and widgets. So that’s classic Android with a new coat of paint and a nice new ubiquitous app launcher button (so you can launch a new app without going to the homescreen first).
The three buttons in the bottom left reveal potential awesomeness. We’ve been told (at one point) that Android tablets won’t have any facing physical buttons — no permanent context buttons — which in itself is a step forward. But these buttons, to me, look like “back”, “home” and “switch between apps”. Which, if true, spells the not-soon-enough death of the infamous “menu” button. Why is this good? It means that lazy Android app authors can no longer hide settings and help links in a mystery-meat hidden context menu. If they want their apps to be tablet compatible, that is.
Hey, that almost looks like Google Chrome, doesn’t it? Does that mean improved speed, standards support, bookmark sync, tabs and extensions? Oh my. I can see myself wanting one of these tablets now.
Overall, this looks really nice. Some of it is a bit off, but the sharp diagonals and mostly flat colors aesthetic seems to land in a good place between the delicous but spartan Windows Phone 7 UI and the overly textured and glossy iOS UI. It’s got some growing to do, but this a good place to grow from. The best thing: this UI feels like a serious jab at skin vendors like HTC and Motorola. People are going to want this UI, not “Sense” or “Blur”.
In 1982, Kevin Flynn succeeded in creating a virtual computer world which he could physically enter. In 1989, Flynn disappeared, leaving his 8 year old son, Sam Flynn, heir of his Encom computer empire. As adult Sam inadvertantently gets digitized into Flynn’s “digital frontier”, he finds things are no longer quite as rosy as the childhood stories he was told of The Grid.
Tron Legacy is a visual and musical get-together in your prefrontal lobe. Within the first five minutes, the remarkable Daft Punk soundtrack will be blasting at you as Sam rides his Ducati through the city. This is the soundtrack Daft Punk were born to make, and this is the perfect movie to go with it. Just a few days ago, I finished re-re-watching Interstella 5555, the Daft Punk anime musical that accompanied their fantastic Discovery record; I kept thinking I wanted another Daft Punk musical. As it turns out, you can consider Tron Legacy to be such a musical — a visual interpretation of the dark house tones of the tunes.
A nice point of note on the 3D — this is the best use of 3D I’ve seen; because most scenes aren’t in 3D — it even says so before the movie.
While the music propels this movie to greatness, the film itself is a delight. Jeff Bridges is great as usual, and the director understands his mannerisms. There’s even the occasional trademark Bridges “man” uttering thrown in for good measure, and it’s all such a perfect fit. Jeff Bridges, gorgeous techno-world designs, booming sound-design. Light-cycles. Olivia Wilde. A reference to “Sweet dreams” by Eurythmics. Daft Punk in soundtrack and canonized in situ. This film has got it going. I was absolutely and exhileratingly entertained for two hours, more than I’ve been in years. I completely love this film.
Okay, so the story isn’t over the top great. There are moments — most of them — when Clu, a.k.a. digital Flynn, looks mostly rubber. At a couple of points, the pace of the film grinds just a little bit, and let’s face it the concept itself isn’t terribly deep. In fact, if you didn’t enjoy video games in the eighties or early nineties, you’re probably — most likely — going to find Tron Legacy to be confusing.
If you did enjoy videogames in the eighties or early nineties — even if you just like Daft Punk — Tron Legacy is absolutely something you should watch.