Flynn Lives… a pretty boring life.

Tonight I went to the Metreon and saw an early screening of Tron: Legacy. I had played the Flynn Lives ARG for around 9 months, getting a cool Encom employee badge, a Flynn Lives tee shirt, a Space Paranoids button, a couple of Arcade Aid buttons and earned 26 online badges in the game. The game with its series of immersive events and cool online puzzles and actual video games, was a lot of fun.

I missed out last Wednesday in being camped out at a local Starbucks with a bunch of Tron fans. Instead, I worked and watched them solve puzzles remotely via the Unfiction Unforums.

In the end, we all got invited to a free screening of the movie, with a first-come first served line. No tickets. No passes. I sensed a lot of doom and disappointed fans.

I wasn’t planning on attending the screening. I did however need a small break from work, so I decided on Friday after a series of frustrating workdays to leave a bit early today and try to get a place in the back of the line.

The goal wasn’t just to see the film, but to also get any cool swag they gave out at the screening.

I got to the Metreon around 4:05, after reading that they weren’t going to allow a line to form until the Disney rep got there, which was scheduled to be sometime after 5. I changed into my Flynn Lives shirt and Encom badge. I saw a guy walking by with a badge on and he gave me a knowing nod. I walked upstairs to find a GIANT line had formed…

No, not really. There were less than 20 people there. The unofficial line quickly moved and became the official line. We stood there for a couple of hours. I played some Golden Sun: Dark Dawn on my DS and waited for the line to grow.

It grew a little bit.

A few minutes after 6, the Disney rep and a rep from 42 Entertainment came through and passed out wristbands and Flynn Lives buttons. The button is shiny and cool. I’m glad to have earned it by waiting in that line. I just wish there was a puzzle or some acknowledgement of the end game.

We were let in around 6:15. They literally bagged our cell phones in paper bags and gave us tickets to pick them up afterward.

Everyone filled up the bottom few rows of the theater. We were all apparently expecting more swag.

The guy behind me had a cool Daft Punk hat. I liked it a lot. He said there were only around five of them and he earned it by helping one of the guys in Daft Punk transfer the title of his car. Apparently there was a bit of a language gap and he helped translate between French and English.

Before the movie, they showed a preview for the new season of V, a Disney by way of ABC property.

Then they showed a graphic of a lightcycle with the normal PUT ON YOUR 3D GLASSES NOW line.

So I put on my 3D glasses.

The next twenty seconds or so were the highlight of the movie and it was actually BEFORE the movie. I’m not going to spoil it for you. Go see the movie or download it or wait for it to show up on Netflix or whatever. Then watch the pre-movie sequence. It is worth your time and money. Trust me.

After the sequence that I’m not going to spoil, they show a monochrome PC screen with typed out words that say that a lot of the film is in 2D. It was shot that way and intended to be that way. Please leave your 3D glasses on throughout the duration of the film.

So I left them on.

The first few minutes of the film, where we are introduced to Sam Flynn, are really well done. They introduce a bunch of cool seeming characters. Sam visits his dad’s arcade and there’s a lot of great nods to the original 1982 film.

The rest of the movie, which reviewers have described as almost a remake of The Phantom Menace, isn’t really much of a movie at all.

There are a few action sequences scattered throughout the film. These sequences are few and far between. They are like the podrace in The Phantom Menace.

There’s a Darth Maul dual-wielding identity disc character.

There’s a Watto.

There’s a Mos Eisley Cantina.

There aren’t enough chicks in this film.

I liked how they incorporated bits that were introduced in the ARG in the film, or rather how the ARG incorporated bits from the movie.

I liked how the crowd cheered for Daft Punk, because Daft Punk definitely deserved their cheers.

I didn’t like that the movie wasn’t very good.

To me, this film was in a lot of ways like James Cameron’s Avatar. Except instead of a Utopia beautiful forest planet with a bunch of giant smurfs, Tron: Legacy is set in a computer world grid populated by programs.

The CG characters were impressive. They used some cool technology to make this film. I just wish it had at least a little bit of substance.

The first ten minutes or so showed so much promise. It was almost like the writers had a good idea to start the movie and then had no idea what to do to finish it.

I was most disappointed in Kevin Flynn’s character. I’m trying hard not to spoil the film in this review, but Flynn disappointed me. As did the film.

This doesn’t stop me from seeing it again Wednesday at the Norelco 3D Shave screening. I can always use more swag.

Postscript:
In a rather odd turn of events, a guy that resembled Kevin Flynn turned around, saw my Flynn Lives shirt and commented about how he loved Tron in the 80s on the BART platform.

He then proceeded to throw a baton out in front of him which turned into a lightcycle and he sped off down the BART rail causing a delay.*

*-I may have made that last part up.

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