Well, there goes my summer movie hopes…

The Disney film Tomorrowland didn’t perform as well as Disney would have hoped.  Granted, it was a “tentpole” feature, but apparently there weren’t enough campers interested in it.

So because of that, the House of Mouse has decided to halt production on its other futuristic movie franchise.

No, not the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise.

No, there’s still plenty of Pixar sequels coming out.

Unfortunately for me, the film that Disney is killing off…

Is TRON 3.

According to this article in the Hollywood Reporter, Disney has chosen to go in a different direction with its summer movie schedule; as it will instead create live-action versions of its animated classics.  Those are going to be the tentpoles for the future summer movie seasons.  And according to this article in Variety, not only are there Disney films in the pipeline; there are also Marvel films, Pixar films, and a few Star Wars films.

I mean, it’s not like they haven’t tried to extend TRON as a movie franchise.  There are a couple of TRON home video games; there was a TRON animated series on one of the Disney cable channels, heck there’s been TRON references in Disney’s Once Upon a Time TV show.

I probably shouldn’t get my hopes up for a change of heart.  Studios have to spend money to make money, and if a film series can’t generate the box office funds, then there’s no reason for Disney or any other film studio to continue making new films in the series.  For example, you are aware that there are seven or eight Chronicles of Narnia stories, but only three of the stories were made into films, with the last two barely making back their budgets?

Yeah, I guess I was hoping too much.  That there might be a slim chance that this film could still be made.

I mean, it did take Disney 28 years to make TRON: Legacy after the release of the original film…

Maybe there’s hope.

Yeah, and maybe the sun will rise in the west.

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TRON 3 is being filmed right now…

I enjoy my motion picture franchises with equal amounts of anticipation and excitement.  Trust me when I say that if I had to pick my “Mount Rushmore” of modern film characters, they would include Han Solo, Captain America (Chris Evans version) and Mad Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson version or the modern Tom Hardy version, whichever the stonecutter can build).

And today, I received some very exciting news.  One of my favorite film series – which premiered in 1982 and had its second film in 2010 – is currently filming a new chapter in the series.

Yes.  Chuck is super-stoked for this.

In fact, you might remember the first film in the series.

Or maybe the second film…

That’s right.  Filming has begun in Vancouver for TRON 3.

And yes, I’m stoked.  Believe me, I was front-row back in 1982 when it premiered at the multiplex at Sangertown Square (Sangertown was the shopping center all the Hamilton College kids went to in the 80’s).  I was also front-row in 2010 when it premiered at Crossgates Mall.

So you know I’m going to be counting down the weeks and days until the premiere of this new chapter in the series.

And that fourth head on my modern-day motion picture Mount Rushmore?  Obviously, Jeff Bridges in his TRON headgear.

But I do have one request of the filmmakers.  Can they at least find a way to get Bruce Boxleitner into the TRON suit this time around?  Maybe even see if Cindy Morgan can join in as well?

And I know this is the biggest longshot of them all, but how about asking Wendy Carlos AND Daft Punk to collaborate on the film score?

Yeah.  This works for me.

Want to see the first episode of the new TRON cartoon series? Sure you do!

While we all wait for the third installment of the TRON movie series (yes, there will be a third film), Disney has chosen to whet our appetite by debuting a brand new TRON animated series on their Disney XD cable network channel.

First off, here’s a preview of the new series, which will be called TRON: Uprising and whose storyline exists between the time period of the 1982 film TRON and the 2010 sequel TRON: Legacy.

That should whet your appetite for this series, shouldn’t it?  Let’s see… it’s got the Daft Punk soundtrack, it’s got a decent voice cast (Elijah Wood, Bruce Boxleitner, Mandy Moore, Lance Hendricksen), and the animation looks stunning – almost as if TRON: Uprising borrowed a ton of design from the old 1990’s MTV series Æon Flux.

Well, if that trailer got you kinda curious about the new series… would you like to see the first episode of the new TRON: Uprising show? I’ve got it right here. One suggestion: Try to watch this episode in full-screen mode on your computer.

Yeah. I can DEFINITELY get behind this show.

TRON: Uprising premieres in June on the Disney XD channel.

Oklahoma church pays tribute to the TRON movie series

Greetings, programs.

In the original 1982 motion picture TRON, there is an underlying subplot about the computer programs treating the computer “users” as God-like creators. This was also explored in the 2010 movie TRON: Legacy, albeit at a much more subtle level.

Well, an Oklahoma church has converted its lobby, as part of a church series called “At The Movies,” into a replica of the imagery and settings in the TRON: Legacy film.

I kid you not.

The NewsOK website, powered by the newspaper The Oklahoman, tells the story of how a church in Warr Acres, Oklahoma – about 20 miles west of Oklahoma City – has participated in a series called “At The Movies,” which mixes popular films with Scripture – all in an attempt to get more parishoners to attend weekend services.  The church is part of LifeChurch.tv, a nationwide network of 16 houses of worship, including one in Albany.   The “At The Movies” series, in which a video clip is archived here, hopes to increase attendance during the summer months, in which the word of the Lord must compete with the works of the Lord’s creations – beautiful sunshiny days and the like.

I gotta tell you… as far as I’m concerned, this is pretty impressive.

Although it does make me wonder if they’ve got an Avatar-themed series set up for next year.  Who knows?

Want some TRON in 2012? Sure you do!

First there was the 1982 classic.

Then there was the 2010 sequel.

And now… Disney’s got a new TV series, which will be set in a timeline between the two movies.

The show will air on Disney’s XD channel, and is scheduled to debut in the summer of 2012.

In fact, here’s a trailer for all the action.

The actors lending their voice to this series include Elijah Wood, Emanuelle Chriqui, Mandy Moore, Nate Corddry, Lance Henricksen and Paul Reubens – as well as Bruce Boxleitner, who reprises his role of TRON from the original movie. And as you can see from the embedded clip, the show will feature a mixture of hand-drawn animation and computer-generated graphics.

Swank.

All I can say about Tron: Legacy is…

You have to see this film.

If you’ve seen the 1982 original TRON, you need to see this film.

Even if you’ve never seen the original film, you need to see this one.

And that’s exactly what happened for me – Wednesday night.  Thanks to one of my blog readers and trivia opponents (Jeff – he plays on a trivia team at Elbo Room called Get That Poison Out), he was able to score some advance tickets for Tron: Legacy at Crossgates.  These are the same advance tickets that radio stations give out, you know, be caller #5 and receive a movie pass to an advance screening…

Thanks, Jeff.  You get one answer to any question at Elbo Room – during the regular qualifying part of the  tournament.

I was allowed to bring two friends with me. Arrangements were made, and a couple of people joined me at the screening, arriving  just as the line of ticketholders started entering the theater.

Without spoiling anything for those who haven’t seen the film yet, let me say this.

It was worth the wait.  The special effects are spectacular – especially the one that allows Jeff Bridges to play a present-day Kevin Flynn, and his doppleganger computer program CLU – especially when CLU has the facial features of a young Jeff Bridges.  The 3D in the film was absolutely breathtaking, and the action scenes – while some of the fighting did border on Matrix territory, many of the digital creations and battles were awe-inspiring.

Side note – the three of us sat in the middle of the theater, about five rows up from the floor.  Behind us were a row of taped-off seats for special guests.  I found out a few minutes later that the special guests include the kid who does the “Lights, Camera, Jackson” movie reviews on YNN.  Nice kid.  Of course, he and some of his family members and guests were discussing the original TRON movie, and the topic came up about who the female actress was in that film, they couldn’t remember her name, or what other film she was in.

I turned around.  “Hi there,” I said.  “I love your reviews on YNN, it’s Cindy Morgan, and she was also in Caddyshack.”

Sorry… it’s just the trivia champion in me.

Besides, as far as I was concerned, it was a great opportunity to go out on a weeknight and have a fun time with friends.  And watching a great film helps as well.

Oh, and the one thing I wanted in the film among all else – at least one reference to the original Wendy Carlos soundtrack (although the Daft Punk soundtrack was definitely appropriate and enjoyable for the new film), I did get a quick couple of notes at the beginning of the film – in a scene where Kevin Flynn tells a bedtime story to his young son Sam, Sam sings a few notes from the original Tron fanfare.

Okay, it wasn’t a complete orchestral soundtrack, but at least it was an acknowledgment.

So anyways, go see this film.  See it in 3D, see it in 2D, I don’t care if you see it in 44D.  You will enjoy this picture.

I just hope that if there’s another sequel, that I don’t have to wait until the year 2038 for it.

Another “Tron: Legacy” movie trailer…

Okay, it’s confirmed.  I heart Tron about as much as Amanda Talar hearts John Mayer.

So every time a new trailer comes out, as we get closer to the December 17th premiere, I get more and more stoked.  Already I’m looking forward to the cutting-edge special effects that actually make Jeff Bridges look 30 years younger (his younger version is the CLU 2.0 character), as well as the upgraded lightcycle battles and the reimagined world of the Grid.  Although I wish the directors would have hired Wendy Carlos to score this film (she scored the original Tron movie), I’m starting to appreciate the work that Daft Punk has done in scoring this picture.

Oh heck. Here’s the trailer.  Enjoy.

What, that ain’t good enough for you?

How about this…

Here’s a short music video from Daft Punk, with the song “Derezzed,” as performed in Tron: Legacy.

Man oh man oh man I can NOT WAIT for this film to come out!!