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Tron: To DVD or Not to DVD?

  Tron, with special features!  What more do you need?

Technology is advancing at a rate that would make any character in Tron's head spin. Ordinary consumers are now enjoying the stunning quality of such great films as Citizen Kane, the Godfather series and Tarzan and the Lost City (starring Casper Van Dien) on DVD, including hours of informative special features. With the release of the 20th Anniversary Special Edition of Tron falling mere days before this year's party, we thought it would be an added treat to screen the digitally enhanced feature, as well as the entire second disc of bonus material.

The movie itself looked amazing. The animation was much sharper than I've seen on any VHS copy and the letterboxing allowed every shot to be seen in full. The surround sound added an "I really am in the computer!" feel to the animated sequences. Unfortunately all the remastering didn't get rid of Jeff Bridges' sweat stains in the beginning of the movie, or make the plot any clearer, but part of the fun of watching Tron is just sitting back and enjoying the purely visual experience of the Master Control Program spinning around really fast.

Riding a light cycle is way cooler than taking the subway.  

The added features also looked really cool... but that didn't make them any less boring. The DVD was advertised as having five hours of bonus footage. Unfortunately, about four and a half-hours of that is The Making of Tron, which painstakingly recalls every aspect of the production of Tron. It was interesting to hear the origins of the story, but the detailed explanations of the animation technique went a bit over our heads. The interviews with the cast were informative, but I would have preferred more footage from when the movie was actually being made. The deleted scenes, which were pretty much a waste of time to watch independently, didn't add anything to our understanding of the movie. The DVD does include the legendary (and very brief) Tron love scene, but don't get your hopes up -- it's creepy and strange. They made the right choice when that scene hit the cutting room floor.

If you're trying to decide which format to screen at your party, I recommend buying (or renting) the Special Edition DVD. While it may seem frivolous to spend the extra bucks for features you'll probably never watch in entirety, the remastered film feels like a whole new Tron. -- Meredith Riley

Want to check it out for yourself?
Get the Tron 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition DVD.
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Photos: From the collection of Sarah Feuquay