Monday, February 25, 2013

My review of "Tron: Legacy"

I got the chance to see Tron: Legacy recently.  I have to say, I was rather impressed with how much better the look and feel of this sequel was when compared to the original Tron.  The original movie was considered revolutionary at the time, but I don't think it holds up very well.

Fans of the original movie will be pleased to see that the new movie features updated versions of the classic disc battle and light cycle scenes... one of my favorite moments came when the two things were combined, something you never saw happen in the original.  The 2010 light cycles are capable of operating on multiple levels, going up and down ramps, and even jumping over people, leaving behind a deadly ribbon of light everywhere they go.  (The 1982 light cycles are practically two dimensional by comparison... they never go through the air, and while on the game grid they can only move straight ahead or turn exactly ninety degrees to either side.)  There are updated version of other classic vehicles too, along with a few entirely new ones... there's even a dogfight between light jets at one point.

Another thing the new movie has that the original doesn't: an awesome musical score by Daft Punk.  Their music breathes life into the movie in ways that are difficult to explain... the special effects (and Olivia Wilde's cheekbones) are nice to look at, but it would all feel pretty cold and dead without the music.  By the way, the musical duo has a cameo in the movie; they appear as the two DJs playing music at the End of Line Club.

It was a bit tough to make sense of the plot at times, but you could easily say the same of both films; however, the filmmakers did such a good job of making Tron: Legacy feel like it was happening in a real place that it made the absurd premise of the movie a bit easier to swallow, and it somehow allowed the film to skate around gaping plot holes by calling them "miracles" and "biodigital jazz."  It also helps if you like Jeff Bridges, which I do... his own personality really comes through quite a bit in his role as the older Kevin Flynn.  (It might help if you like Garrett Hedlund, too... but I really don't know him from Adam.  One of the problems I had with the movie was that Kevin Flynn's son Sam actually isn't very likable when we first see him as a grown man, and so a lot of the real-world stuff at the beginning of the movie ends up feeling kind of pointless.)

One other thing I'll add, without trying to spoil anything too much, keep an eye out for one villain in particular who bears some very distinctive markings upon his chest.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Council Has Spoken!

This week's results for the Watcher's Council vote are in, they've been posted over at Watcher of Weasels.  The winning council entry for the week was "So, You Bought a Gun, Huh?" by The Right Planet, and the winning non-council entry for the week was Daniel Greenfield's post "It’s Not Easy Being Red and Green" over at Sultan Knish.  Congrats!

Update: Last week's winners can be found here, and winners from the week before can be found here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Presidents' Day!

Senator Ted Cruz took to Twitter to ask his followers who their favorite Presidents were... so of course lots of folks started flipping out and calling him a birther for no reason.  (Protip: Grover Cleveland was both the 22nd and 24th in office, so don't freak out too much when someone says we've only had 43 presidents... that's technically true.  FDR was a couple of months into his fourth term when he died, but he only gets counted as one president... Cleveland only served two terms, it just so happens that those terms were interrupted by Benjamin Harrison's single term.)

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Council Has Spoken!

This week's results for the Watcher's Council vote are in, they've been posted over at Watcher of Weasels.  The winning council entry for the week was "How The UK Sunday Times Observed Holocaust Memorial Day..." by Joshuapundit, and the winning non-council entry for the week was David Mamet's post "Gun Laws and the Fools of Chelm" over at The Daily Beast.  Congrats!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

More idiocy from Ron Paul

If your response to the news of Chris Kyle's death is to spout bromides like "he who lives by the sword dies by the sword", then you should probably just shut the hell up... but that's the thing about Ron Paul, he never seems to know when to shut the hell up, especially now that he's not running for office anymore and no longer feels the need to pretend he's sane.  When he was rightfully called out for his disgraceful statement, he issued a clarification that didn't really sound any better.

Rand Paul must be giving a presidential run serious consideration, since he made a point of publicly disagreeing with his father on this... but Ron Paul will always be saying this kind of crazy shit, so unless Rand is willing to completely disown his father, he's never even going to have a chance.