Monday 26 March 2012

Tron Review:

“The Original Classic”

As proclaimed in large capitalised text on the blu-ray cover, Tron is indeed a classic that was no doubt not fully appreciated upon release, but more on that soon.

Tron stars Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn a young enthusiastic programmer who worked extensively to create some of the most popular video games released. Unfortunately his work is stolen from him by Ed Dillinger (David Warner) who then uses these stolen games to propel him to the head of the company whilst Kevin Flynn is simply removed from the picture and left to scrape what money he can through his arcade. In spite of this Flynn remains determined to clear his name and return to his rightful place and so starts Tron which sees Kevin enter a computer world by accident which is populated by users which essentially are virtually representations of people in the form of programs.

As previously mentioned Tron does not seem to have been appreciated on release however nearly thirty years later and I imagine it has become more appreciated as some of the ideas and concepts present have become a reality. The most obvious of which being ones second 'life' in the computer world which is indisputably occurring with such wildly popular websites as facebook and twitter. Whilst it is true that many ideas are more hinted at rather then fully explored they remain none the less astonishingly present for a film that was made before terms like bit or program where common knowledge.

The acting throughout much like the film is fittingly campy and Jeff Bridges enthusiasm practically oozes of the screen and provides for a particularly fun performance that helps mask the films several shortcomings. The other actors are for the most part just as impressive and give this film a heart it so could easily have not had and saves the film from being nothing more then what today still remains a visual splendour.

Some may argue that the computer generated imagery (CGI) of Tron hasn't aged well, but to do so would to not understand the film makers intent. It is true in Tron Legacy the film-makers wanted the world to look real, however in the original Tron they wanted the world they created to look digital which they successfully created and realised, often with more standard techniques although a heavy amount of CGI is none the less present which is particularly impressive given that Tron is thirty years old at the time of this review.

As I previously mentioned Tron is a classic but it is not without its flaws, but when a film is as overwhelmingly good and interesting as it is in this case, the minor issues are easy to forgive.

Highly Recommended.

-  Gabi

Saturday 17 March 2012

What I have been watching recently:

Having not seen any films recently that I hadn't already viewed numerous time I decided I would post some reviews for films I have recently seen, although they are not necessarily the most recent films.  As expected as these are films I have watched numerous times I am rather positive regarding them.

Bright Star:
Bright Star is a slow paced love story which features several strong performances which were unfairly snubbed at the Oscars in 2009.  Most notable is Paul Schneider as Mr Brown and Abbie Cornish in the role of Fanny Brawne.  Fans of John Keats and poetry in general will likely enjoy the film more than those with no interest in such things, however even those who can’t stand poetry will still see a beautifully shot, emotionally engaging and satisfying film that few recent films (especially period drams) have been able to compare favourably to.  Highly recommended.

As one of the many legions of Cameron fans who waited for Avatar with baited breath it is fair to say my opinion is biased.  However it is just as impressive that I, and countless others who had been waiting years for Avatar where in no way disappointed with the film as it easily surpassed the expectations that had been in development for years.  Most obviously Avatar is a beautiful film to watch, both the world and the cinematography being absolutely stunning to look at.  The story more importantly is extremely well told with excellent acting.  Some may complain about the simple story told, but I personally have no qualms about a simple story, what matters to me is how well it is told and the emotional attachment that is created, and Avatar excels in both areas.  Hence Avatar comes with my highest recommendation.

Crazy Heart:
Crazy Heart is a film about a once famous washed up and alcoholic country singer.  Whilst Crazy Heart in many ways follows a predictable path, it none the less is a joy to watch.  This is no doubt helped by several strong performance, including the Oscar winning role of Jake Blake which may be Jeff Bridges’ best role thus far.  Sadly Crazy Heart feels as if it only half ends (no doubt a result of the director having filmed and wanted to including an extended end to the film, but not being allowed).  It none the less is an emotionally strong film despite its flawed ending.  Highly recommended.

-  Gabi