Wednesday, January 12, 2011

TRON, What's In A Name?

A picture resembling a screenshot from the Tro...
First of all, be aware that there are spoilers ahead.  If you like to be surprised and haven't seen both TRON movies stop reading now.

My wife and I recently re-watched the original TRON in preparation for seeing the sequel, TRON Legacy.  It had been several years since I last saw TRON so I'd forgotten a lot of the details.  The story in the original was a flimsy pretext to get Kevin Flynn, the Jeff Bridges character into the computer world.  While it was certainly a revolutionary movie for its time, and one I recall fondly; it was not great cinema.  Finding a copy to view was difficult as it is currently out of print for some odd reason.  Possibly somebody at Disney thought it would be counter productive for people to see the original.  We weren't going to see the sequel until we saw the original though and I kind of doubt we were alone in feeling that way.  Disney likely lost an opportunity to sell a bunch of TRON DVD's and Blue-Rays.  Taking into account the age of the original it's possible that they are working on cleaning it up in preparation for a 30th anniversary HD release next year.  I guess we'll have to wait and see.

The title of the original is odd in that the character of TRON, played by Bruce Boxleitner was not the lead.  This left the people who made the sequel with a problem.  It would have been difficult to call it "Flynn: Legacy" as many non fans would have had trouble connecting the two movies.  This meant that they had to somehow include the character of TRON in the sequel.  The real world analog of TRON, Alan Bradley was easily and effectively worked into the opening and closing sequences but his inclusion in the computer world portion was perfunctory and confusing.  It didn't help that so far as I recall he was masked the whole time.  They could have dropped the whole TRON sub plot and I would have been happier and marginally less confused.  Likely they would have also had people complaining that the namesake of the film wasn't even in it.

The story the producers chose to tell exacerbated the problem in that not only wasn't TRON the secondary character, he was behind Flynn's son Sam and Quorra as well.

My business related point is that mistakes in branding can stick around for a long time.  The naming of the first film was an odd choice which in turn led to an even odder naming for the sequel.  Based on the box office results for TL it's kind of questionable that there will be another sequel but if there is, are they going to retain the TRON name?

OK, yes; weird and esoteric things pique my interest.

Image via Wikipedia
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment