Tron: Legacy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 and 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. No, it doesn’t provide two separate renditions of the film. Instead, ala the Dark Knight Blu-ray, the framing occasionally opens up from the standard 2.35:1 to go to 1.78:1 and come closer to the IMAX dimensions for certain scenes.
Did this create a distraction? Not to me. The varying aspect ratios of Dark Knight could be a bit jarring because they’d happen so much; we’d go to 1.78:1 for only a few seconds and leap back and forth too frequently. That’s not an issue here; Legacy went 1.78:1 mainly for extended action sequences, so it didn’t present the jumpy feel of Dark Knight. I thought it was a smooth presentation.
Whatever aspect ratio we saw, the image looked great. Sharpness was consistently tight and distinctive. Virtually no softness ever appeared during this crisp, well-defined picture. I witnessed no signs of shimmering or moiré effects, and the image suffered from no edge haloes, artifacts or other distractions. Source flaws failed to appear at any time.
Legacy opted for a stylized, often virtually monochromatic palette. We got a mix of colors – primarily blues, reds and oranges – but they didn’t interact a whole lot; instead, whole sequences would go with one or another. That made sense for the film’s dynamic, and the colors always seemed full and rich.
Blacks were deep and dark, and shadows appeared full and well-developed. If the whole movie had stayed 2.35:1, it still would’ve been terrific, but those 1.78:1 elements were even better. They took the transfer to another level and made this a consistently excellent image.
Don’t expect the presentation to sag with the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack. The soundfield used all five channels to a terrific degree, as the film presented almost no periods in which the entire spectrum wasn’t activated. The forward dimensions seemed accurately spaced and well-delineated, with audio that moved cleanly from speaker to speaker and that appeared realistically placed. The surrounds kicked in with a tremendous amount of information that created a convincing and immersive auditory environment.
Audio quality also seemed terrific. Dialogue sounded warm and distinct, with no signs of edginess or problems related to intelligibility. Effects were appropriately loud but they appeared accurate and clean, without any distortion. Music was similarly dynamic and bold, as the score and the various songs appeared fairly well-presented. Legacy is the kind of film for which you spend big bucks on an awesome home theater, and the track earned its pay.
Despite the movie’s fairly high profile and reasonable box office success, the Blu-ray lacks a strong roster of extras. The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed offers additional backstory for Legacy, as it provides info from the period between Flynn’s 1989 disappearance and the movie’s events; it also throws in a coda. The latter provides exclusive footage of some Legacy actors as well as Dan Shor, RAM from the original.
When the main program ends, an image of an arcade game “high score” screen appears. See those initials listed? Enter any of them and you’ll find more “Flynn Lives” footage. Or just submit “ALL” and you’ll get the whole package of them. These are clever and fun attempts to expand the movie’s story.
A few featurettes look at the production. Launching the Legacy runs 10 minutes, 20 seconds and provides comments from Tron writer/director Steven Lisberger, producers Jeffrey Silver and Sean Bailey, director Joseph Kosinski, writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, co-producer Justin Springer, and actor Jeff Bridges. “Launching” looks at the development of the sequel, getting different elements off the ground and a test trailer, script/story issues, and technical topics. “Launching” provides a basic take on the franchise’s reignition. A few decent details emerge – and it’s good to see that concept trailer – but there’s not a lot of meat here.
During the 11-minute, 46-second Visualizing Tron, we hear from Bridges, Kosinski, Bailey, Lisberger, Springer, production designer Darren Gilford, additional costume designer Christine Bieselin Clark, VFX art director Ben Procter, lead concept artist Neville Page, Quantum Creation FX’s Christian Beckman, Quantum FX costume department head Justin Raleigh, VFX supervisor Eric Barba, head of animation Steve Preec, motion capture production manager Robert Keychobad, and actors Olivia Wilde, Garrett Hedlund, and Beau Garrett. We get information about set, costume and prop design here along with thoughts about effects and shooting 3D. Some of this tends to tout the wonderful nature of the work, but we still get a lot of nice notes, and the instances of concert art help.
Installing the Cast goes for 12 minutes, four seconds and features Bridges, Wilde, Hedlund, Kosinski, Lisberger, Bailey, and actors Michael Sheen and Bruce Boxleitner. This one discusses actors, characters and performances. Though we hear a few interesting notes about challenges of working in such an effects-heavy world, mostly this one exists to praise the cast.
Finally, Disc Roars goes for three minutes and takes us to Comic-Con. We get remarks from Kosinski and Bridges and watch as the audience at Comic-Con tapes crowd chants for use in the film. It’s mildly interesting.
A Music Video for Daft Punk’s “Derezzed” lasts two minutes, 58 seconds. This offers unique Tron-styled visuals – and a cameo from a movie actor - paired with the electronic song. The tune’s not memorable, but the video itself is fun.
Promotional material provides a First Look at Tron: Uprising. This one-minute, 15-second clip acts as a trailer for the upcoming animated series. Don’t expect any information or insight; it really is just a promo.
The disc launches with ads for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Tron: Uprising and Prom. These also show up under Sneak Peeks with clips for the Tron: Evolution video game, Cars 2, African Cats and The Incredibles. No trailer for Legacy appears here.
A second disc offers a DVD copy of Legacy. This offers a nice bonus if you haven’t gone Blu yet or if you just want a spare to watch on the road.
Although I like Tron: Legacy quite a bit more than the original, that doesn’t make it a good movie. It has enough positives to keep us with it but it suffers from too many weaknesses to jump to a higher level. The Blu-ray presents excellent picture and audio but skimps on supplements. This becomes a stellar technical presentation for an occasionally entertaining film.