Tron

TronKevin Flynn, a former top-notch video game programmer, has been hacking his way into the mainframes of his ex-employer, Encom, attempting to unearth the evidence that Encom executive Ed Dillinger stole his code and passed the games off as his own, leaving Flynn to eke out a meager existence as owner of a video arcade. Dillinger begins locking every Encom employee out of their projects at the behest of his artificially intelligent management program, MCP. Programmer Alan Bradley is denied access to his work in progress, a security program called Tron. Alan and his girlfriend Lora, another Encom employee, decide to enlist Flynn’s help. Lora sneaks Flynn into Encom and into her lab – the home of a potentially hazardous teleport experiment. The MCP detects Flynn’s attempts to hack into it, and activates the teleportation equipment, sucking Flynn into its circuitry.

Flynn finds himself in a world where people’s bodies glow in circuitry patterns, and the people aren’t people at all – they are programs, each of them bearing their creators’ likeness. Flynn encounters Tron, Alan’s security program, fighting its ways through numerous video games whose deadly opponents are controlled by the MCP. Tron, imbued with Alan’s desire to override the MCP, is already planning its escape, and in the course of its resistance Tron has earned itself a formidable enemy – Sark, Dillinge r’s program which herds the rest of Encom’s programs into the MCP’s domain and keeps them there. Tron, Flynn and fellow program Ram escape during a light cycle tournament and begin working their way toward the MCP. Ram is killed en route, deleted from memory by the MCP’s video game warriors, and Tron has to abandon Flynn at one point. Determined to follow and help Tron, Flynn could use a lot of help, but receives only a bit. Though Flynn is only a trespasser in the electronic realm, he discovers that what d eletes programs will kill him too, and surviving his many challenges and defeating the MCP is the only way to work his way back into his own body in the real world.

Order the DVDscreenplay by Steven Lisberger
story by Steven Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird
directed by Steven Lisberger
music by Wendy Carlos

Cast: Jeff Bridges (Kevin Flynn/Clu), Bruce Boxleitner (Alan Bradley/Tron), David Warner (Ed Dillinger/Sark), Cindy Morgan (Lora/Yori), Barnard Hughes (Dr. Walter Gibbs/Dumont), Dan Shor (Ram), Peter Jurasik (Crom), Tony Stephano (Peter/Sark’s Lieutenant), Craig Chudy (Warrior #1), Vince Deadrick (Warrior #2), Sam Schatz (Expert Disc Warrior), Jackson Bostwick (Head Guard), Dave Cass (Factory Guard), Gerald Berns (Guard #1), Bob Neill (Guard #2), Ted White (Guard #3), Mark Stewart (Guard #4), Michael Sax (Guard #5), Tony Brubaker (Guard #6), Charles Picerni (Tank Commander), Pierre Vuilleumier (Tank Gunner #1), Erik Cord (Tank Gunner #2), Loyd Catlett (Conscript #1), Michael J. Dudikoff II (Conscript #2), Richard Bruce Friedman (Video Game Player), Loyd Catlett (Video Game Cowboy), Rick Feck (Boy in video arcade), John Kenworthy (Boy in video arcade)

Bruce Boxleitner as TronNotes: Bruce Boxleitner and Peter Jurasik would appear together again in the 1990s SF series Babylon 5, which, much as Tron did for movies, forever changed the landscape when it came to television’s use of computer-generated effects. Vince Deadrick would late become Patrick Stewart’s full-time stunt double for Star Trek: The Next Generation and the movies that features the Next Generation crew; Stewart would face off against David Warner in that series as well. (By that point, Warner had also appeared in Star Trek V and VI as different characters.) Dan Shor also appeared in Star Trek: TNG and Voyager as a Ferengi.

LogBook entry and review by Earl Green Read More

Tron Legacy

titleSam Flynn, the rebellious son of legendary (and now missing) ENCOM video game programmer Kevin Flynn, spends his time fixing up his father’s motorcycle and finding new ways to cause grief for the current generation of ENCOM executives. The only member of the ENCOM board that Sam can tolerate for even short amounts of time is his father’s old friend Alan Bradley, who reveals that he received a mysterious page from Flynn’s downtown arcade – which has, like its owner, been out of commission for 20 years. Sam goes to investigate, and finds a hidden office full of unusual computers and other equipment, including a laser which activates the moment Sam queries the computer about its function. Sam finds himself inside the computer, in a digital realm known as the grid. Forced to compete in deadly winner-takes-all games on the grid, Sam learns quickly that he must win to live – and to lose means death. He comes to the attention of the seemingly all-powerful digital dictator Clu, who looks like his programmer, Kevin Flynn (circa 1989). Clu takes a personal interest in challenging Sam, who is then rescued by a female program named Quorra and taken to meet his real father. Now grizzled and isolated, Flynn’s custodianship of this experimental digital world was long ago usurped by Clu, in a coup that also marked the last time Flynn saw his friend, the warrior progeam Tron. Now Clu has plans for both the world inside the computer and the real world as well. Two generations of Flynns, with Quorra’s help, might just be able to save both worlds.

screenplay by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
story by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz and Brian Klugman & Lee Sternthal
directed by Joseph Kosinski
music by Daft Punk

Cast: Jeff Bridges (Kevin Flynn / Clu), Garrett Hedlund (Sam Flynn), Olivia Wilde (Quorra), Bruce Boxleitner (Alan Bradley), James Frain (Jarvis), Beau Garrett (Gem), Michael Sheen (Castor), Anis Cheurfa (Rinzler), Serinda Swan (Siren #2), Yaya DaCosta (Siren #3), Elizabeth Mathis (Siren #4), Yurij Kis (Half Faced Man), Conrad Coates (Bartik), Ron Selmour (Chattering Homeless Man), Dan Joffre (Key Security Guard #1 – Ernie), Darren Dolynski (Young Man on Recognizer), Kofi Yiadom (Disc Opponent #2), Steven Lisberger (Shaddix), Donnelly Rhodes (Grandpa Flynn), Belinda Montgomery (Grandma Flynn), Owen Best (7 year old Sam Flynn), Matt Ward (Iso Boy), Zoe Fryklund (Iso Girl), Dean Redman (Light Jet Sentry), Mi-Jung Lee (Debra Chung), Christopher Logan (Nervous Program), Sheldon Yamkovy (Destitute Program), Dale Wolfe (Culpepper), Joanne Wilson (Reporter #1), Catherine Lough Haggquist (Reporter #2), Thomas Bradshaw (Security Guard #2), Shafin Karim (East Indian Taxi Driver), Rob Daly (Lead Sentry), Mike Ching (Blue Gaming Program), Michael Teigen (Green Gaming Program), Brent Stait (Purple Gaming Program), Shaw Madson (Reporter #3), Amy Esterle (Young Mrs. Flynn), Cody Laudan (End Of Line Club Bouncer), Jeffrey Nordling (Richard Mackey), Christine Adams (Claire Atkinson), Kate Gajdosik (News Anchor), Jack McGee (Police Photographer), Dawn Mander (Crying Program), Cillian Murphy (Ed Dillinger Jr.)

Review: An unexpected surprise from beginning to end, Tron Legacy is a far better movie than I was expecting – and bear in mind that this comes from a huge fan of the original who was predisposed to like whatever Disney finally followed the 1982 original up with. Read More

Beck’s Beginning

Tron UprisingFollowing the fall of Tron and Flynn, Clu begins to take over the entire Grid. A mechanic program, Beck, watches as one of his friends is derezzed for merely questioning the legality of Clu’s coup, and takes action: altering his appearance to look like Tron, he destroys a huge statue of Clu, drawing the attention of one of Clu’s generals, Tesler. As striking any blow for freedom is considered an act of terrorism under Clu’s regime, Beck’s career choices rapidly narrow. He’s capture by Tesler’s lieutenant, Paige, but manages to escape, landing in the middle of nowhere – but not alone. Beck is interrogated by another program who wants to know why he has chosen to impersonate Tron. And Beck’s interrogator has reason to ask, since he is Tron.

written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
directed by Charlie Bean
music by Joseph Trapanese

Tron UprisingCast: Elijah Wood (Beck), Bruce Boxleitner (Tron), Emmanuelle Chriqui (Paige), Mandy Moore (Mara), Nate Corddry (Zed), Lance Henriksen (Tesler), Reginald VelJohnson (Able), Paul Reubens (Pavel), Tricia Helfer (voice of the Grid), Charlie Bean (additional voices), Elizabeth Ho (additional voices), Meeghan Holloway (additional voices), Sam Riegel (additional voices), Keith Silverstein (additional voices), Fred Tatascione (additional voices), Keone Young (additional voices)

Notes: Originally broadcast in 10 mini-episodes, Beck’s Beginning garnered enough interest to be edited together to serve as a “prelude” to the series proper. Tron is shown to be in an extremely damaged state here, a condition that will presumably worsen until he becomes Rinzler (this animated series takes place Tron Uprisingbefore Tron Legacy). Bruce Boxleitner is the only cast member to have appeared in the live-action Tron franchise, starring as Tron (and his real-world alter ego Alan Bradley) in 1982’s Tron and 2010’s Tron Legacy. Elijah Wood is best known as Frodo Baggins from the 21st century big-screen Lord Of The Rings trilogy as well as the two Hobbit movies. Mandy Moore was the voice of Rapunzel in Disney’s all-CG movie Tangled, and has had recurring roles in Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs, and Entourage, all while maintaining her career as a recording artist. Wood and Moore co-starred in 2002’s All I Want. Lance Henriksen’s genre resume could almost fill a book, with big-screen appearances in Aliens and several of its sequels, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, The Terminator, and The Right Stuff, and countless TV roles (including a three-year stint as star of the X-Files spinoff Millennium). Reginald VelJohnson will forever be known as Urkel’s dad from Family Matters, just as Paul Reubens will forever be associated with the character Tron Uprisingof Pee-Wee Herman. Tricia Helfer probably needs no introduction to genre audiences after starring as Number Six in the 21st century reboot of Battlestar Galactica. Director Charlie Bean worked on Batman: The Animated Series, Samurai Jack, Powerpuff Girls, Hercules & Xena: The Animated Movie and early episodes of Ren & Stimpy. Joseph Trapanese assisted Daft Punk on their soundtrack for Tron Legacy and takes over music duties here.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Renegade, Part 1

Tron UprisingSecurity has tightened across the Grid after Beck’s acts of rebellion in the guise of Tron, ironically making it harder for Beck to sneak away for further training at Tron’s secret hideout. Spotted as he leaves, Beck tries to evade the Recognizers and hides inside what appears to be a cargo container, only to discover that its cargo consists of fellow programs being taken to fight on the Grid. En route to battle, Beck discovers that some of his fellow prisoners regard Tron as a hero – and others see him as a nuisance.

Tron Uprisingstory by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
written by Kamran Pasha, Adam Nussdorf & Bill Wolkoff
directed by Charlie Bean
music by Joseph Trapanese

Cast: Elijah Wood (Beck), Bruce Boxleitner (Tron), Emmanuelle Chriqui (Paige), Mandy Moore (Mara), Nate Corddry (Zed), Lance Henriksen (Tesler), Reginald VelJohnson (Able), Paul Reubens (Pavel), Lance Reddick (Cutler), Kate Mara (Perl), Ben Schwartz (Rilo), Tricia Helfer (voice of the Grid), Charlie Bean (additional voices), Elizabeth Ho (additional voices), Meeghan Holloway (additional voices), Sam Riegel (additional voices), Keith Silverstein (additional voices)

Tron UprisingNotes: Storyboard artist Ricardo Delgado has been either an illustrator or storyboarder for numerous productions, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to seaQuest DSV to Avatar: The Last Airbender to Star Wars: Clone Wars. His movie credits include Apollo 13, WALL-E, Star Trek: First Contact, Men In Black, The Matrix Reloaded, The Incredibles, and Wreck-It Ralph. A Bit, similar to the one first seen in 1982’s Tron, appears in this episode; also seen here is the ENCOM 786 Light Cycle, later seen to be in Flynn’s possession in Tron Legacy.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Renegade, Part 2

Tron UprisingBeck and Cutler refuse to fight each other, so Tesler encircles them with a force field that will contract until they’re both crushed. They begin fighting, but Cutler forfeits, and is sentenced to derezzing by Tesler. In the guise of Tron, Beck breaks Cutler out, but Paige, Tesler’s most fiercely devoted underling, is not far behind. Elsewhere on the grid, Zed has to ask for help in recovering the stolen ENCOM 786 light cycle.

Tron Uprisingstory by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
written by Kamran Pasha, Adam Nussdorf & Bill Wolkoff
directed by Charlie Bean
music by Joseph Trapanese

Cast: Elijah Wood (Beck), Bruce Boxleitner (Tron), Emmanuelle Chriqui (Paige), Mandy Moore (Mara), Nate Corddry (Zed), Lance Henriksen (Tesler), Reginald VelJohnson (Able), Paul Reubens (Pavel), Lance Reddick (Cutler), Kate Mara (Perl), Ben Schwartz (Rilo), Tricia Helfer (voice of the Grid), Charlie Bean (additional voices), Elizabeth Ho (additional voices), Meeghan Holloway (additional voices), Sam Riegel (additional voices), Keith Silverstein (additional voices)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Blackout

Tron UprisingTron is unsatisfied with Beck’s training; the younger program is too cocky and careless in Tron’s simulated freedom-fighting scenarios. A sudden blackout, affecting the entire Grid, catches their attention. Tessler is overseeing a drilling project to tap directly into the energy that powers the entire Grid. Tron knows that this dangerous operation has to be stopped, so training time is over for Beck: he must become the Renegade in a real crisis. But Beck can’t trust anyone, not even his own friends, with his secret identity – not even when he needs their help to survive.

Tron Uprisingwritten by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz
directed by Charlie Bean
music by Joseph Trapanese

Cast: Elijah Wood (Beck), Bruce Boxleitner (Tron), Emmanuelle Chriqui (Paige), Mandy Moore (Mara), Nate Corddry (Zed), Lance Henriksen (Tesler), Reginald VelJohnson (Able), Paul Reubens (Pavel), Donald Faison (Bartik), Paul Scheer (Hopper), David Arquette (Link), Tricia Helfer (voice of the Grid), Charlie Bean (additional voices), Elizabeth Ho (additional voices), Meeghan Holloway (additional voices), Sam Riegel (additional voices), Keith Silverstein (additional voices)

LogBook entry by Earl Green