Tron: Legacy

For those that simply look at domestic box office numbers (and who really does that?), it might appear that Tron Legacy was a failure. Of course, it was a failure in the sense that it didn’t kick the door to the theaters around the country right off its hinges, but it was still a success considering that it pulled in $300 million-ish worldwide and probably sold double that in video games and plastic toys that young children can throw at each other while chanting, “De-rezzzz!” Tron Legacy needs a sequel, and Disney might be in agreement with that statement if the rumors are to be believed. The film itself almost seems secondary to the largest beast – the toy creating machine – but with another sequel, everyone involved has a chance to create something that works on the story level as well as for the soundtrack and flashy images. That would be something to look forward to. [Aint It  Cool]

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The internet may collapse under the sheer weight of my rage, thanks to the major internet provider who continues to give me crap service and charge me handsomely for it each and every month, but that won’t stop us from doing the news this evening. Not when Stephen Sommers, Johnny Knoxville, Edgar Wright and Chinese Bigfoot are all making headlines on the same day! Lets get right to it, dear readers. You know you want to…

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A swift kick in the pants is all you need to get your midnight juices flowing, that’s an ideal that I’ve always held to be true. If you don’t have anyone to kick you, you can always simply read Movie News After Dark. It will either get you pumped up and ready for that late-night fast food run or put you to sleep, or both simultaneously. How did he do it, you may wonder after wrapping your car around a telephone poll while stuffing your face with an extra large gordita. Run for the border my friends, it’s time for movie news…

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The Reject Report

It’s not necessarily a high one with Little Fockers (read our review), a film with deservedly little recommendation coming from critics, topping the box office charts. With less than a 15% drop from its first weekend, it was able to snake its way over True Grit, which did anything but bow out its second go at a weekend take. Both films led the charge on the final weekend of 2010/first weekend of 2011.

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There are two reasons why looking at the best movie posters is fascinating. The first is the inherent interest that all advertising brings. It’s art that’s meant to sell something that can’t admit it’s trying to sell anything in order to succeed. The second is that rating the best of the best in the poster world has the most potential to showcase films that never end up on lists this time of year. This is a celebration of the beauty and effect that movie posters can have. It’s for the films released in 2010, and it’s the posters from the studios (or else Tyler Stout and Olly Moss would completely dominate). The awards are broken up into five categories in order to recognize the wide array of styles and concepts, and because there were a lot of great posters this year (among the absolutely terrible photoshop jobs that still haunt us). See if your favorite made the cut.

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The Reject Report

With the year drawing to a close this very weekend, there isn’t much in the way of new releases to talk about. Only two films are opening this weekend, both of them in limited, and only one of those really worth mentioning in any amount of detail. The rest of the cards have been set. Many of them will be falling into the same slots where they were dealt last weekend save for a few shakeups here and there. The Fockers might get knocked down a peg or two. Rooster Cogburn might fill those theaters, you son of a bitch. The King’s Speech could hold onto its numbers just well enough to squeak onto the charts. All in all, it seems like good weekend for some Four Loko, a few friends, and a dropping ball that may or may not hold Snookie inside.

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The Reject Report

Those Little Fockers and the way they can pull in the coinage. Sure the latest outing from Gaylord Focker and his overbearing father-in-law didn’t muster up the same type of business as the last entry in the Focker franchise. Meet the Fockers made $46.1 million in its opening, Christmas weekend. It was able to hurdle just over the debut of 2001’s Meet the Parents, which made $28.6 million in its first three days. Despite this lack of bravado when it comes to opening numbers, Little Fockers is doing just fine, already at $80.4 million worldwide against a reported $100-million budget. Fockers Four might be in our future, and whether the cinematic world is rejoicing or not is yet to be seen.

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It’s that time of the year again: that brief span of time in between Christmas and New Year’s when journalists, critics, and cultural commentators scramble to define an arbitrary block of time even before that block is over with. To speculate on what 2010 will be remembered for is purely that: speculation. But the lists, summaries, and editorials reflecting on the events, accomplishments, failures, and occurrences of 2010 no doubt shape future debate over what January 1-December 31, 2010 will be remembered for personally, nostalgically, and historically. How we refer to the present frames how it is represented in the future, even when contradictions arise over what events should be valued from a given year. In an effort to begin that framing process, what I offer here is not a critical list of great films, but one that points out dominant cultural conversations, shared trends, and intersecting topics (both implicit and explicit) that have occurred either between the films themselves or between films and other notable aspects of American social life in 2010. As this column attempts to establish week in and week out, movies never exist in a vacuum, but instead operate in active conversation with one another. Thus, a movie’s cultural context should never be ignored. So, without further adieu, here is my overview of the Top 10 topics, trends, and events of the year that have nothing to do with the 3D debate.

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The Reject Report

Fill your hands, you son of a bitch! Sure, it’s the Christmas season, and everyone in the family is huddled around the computer reading this. Sure, you probably don’t abide by adult language when the kids are around, but this is the Old West, people, and raw dialogue is the least of your worries. Besides, sons of bitches is the least of your worries when you’ve got Little Fockers roaming the cineplexes, and that movie will probably come out on top here.

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Getting hired to pen the 28-year-later sequel to TRON must be one of the luckiest and also one of the most nerve-wracking writing gigs a writing duo could get. You’re asked to help invent a gigantic franchise, build a unique and detailed world on page, and walk a fine line of avoiding cheese. Light cycles and body-splitting light discs are badass, but if done wrong, they could be total camp. A lot of this deals with execution, but also depends heavily on writing. Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis are the (very friendly) duo that got this cool, but also seemingly scary gig. A TRON sequel has been talked about for years. A lot of ideas must have been thrown around, but according to Kitsis and Horowitz, they started anew with a fresh story. Both writers are mainly known for their work on Lost, and now they’re putting their mark on features. I talked to both of them on Friday, and they seemed both nervous and excited about the release, and understandably so. Disney has a lot riding on this release. Ever since the film was announced there was a polarized reaction, and that response remains the same. Both Kitsis and Horowitz talk about the critical response below, as well as building a world on paper, handling the character of TRON, and the writing process in general. Note: This interview contains what are commonly known as spoilers.

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The Reject Report

Audiences got derezzed, went into the grid, and disc warred all the way to end of line this weekend. And, if you followed all of that, you were probably among the masses. While TRON Legacy jumped to the top of the pile, its weekend take wasn’t up to expectations, and the future of the franchise could very well be called into question. It just depends on the legs the film has, Olive Wilde’s legs notwithstanding.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, the always energetic Scott Weinberg drops by to drop a metric load of sea salt onto our naturally cut fries. We take a short detour to Superlativeville where Cole becomes the mayor in a heated run-off election, discuss the most heart-warming horror films of the year, and find time to politely yell differing opinions about The Fighter. Plus, we find time to review Rabbit Hole and Tron: Legacy. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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The Week That Was

You know the drill, dear readers. A bunch of stuff happened here in Reject Land. Some movies came out and we reviewed them. We talked to famous people and posted the evidence. We write stuff about movies here. You probably missed it. Thus, the existence of our end-of-the-week column, The Week That Was. Read on and prepare to battle for digital glory!

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr enters the grid (which is what he likes to call his local IMAX theater) to try and find an old and hairy Jeff Bridges amidst a bunch of young-looking sexy-time people in tight body suits. Afterwards, he has a pic-i-nic at Jellystone Park and faces a bear attack. It’s a good thing he had his hunting rifle with him… but he still wonders why that grizzly he shot was wearing a hat and tie. Finally, he hands out some grades on two limited release award flicks that really don’t jazz him as much as a big, dumb IMAX 3D movie.

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Even though I gave the movie a rather lukewarm review yesterday, there’s no denying the fact that I’ve gone a little batty for Tron: Legacy this week in the Gift Guide. First the Tron Headphones, and now the Tron iPod dock, and soon the Tron: Evolution video game (spoiler). The marketing for this movie and all of the gizmos and gadgetry that go along with it are just too cool to avoid. Heck, I’m planning on hanging a Tron: Legacy poster in my office. And the movie wasn’t even that good. But I do like the toys…

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In 1982, Steven Lisberger gave Tron to the world. It was an ambitious project with visual effects that were unlike anything ever attempted before. The result was a film made for $17 million dollars, a lot at the time, that flopped to a $33 million dollar box office take. For all intents and purposes, that was the end of the road. But here we are, 28 years later with a new Tron that Disney has spent north of $200 million dollars on. Lisberger has handed off the reigns to producer Sean Bailey and a young commercial director named Joseph Kosinski, leaving them with the task of bringing back Tron in a high-resolution way for a new generation of users. When we caught up with the three men at the recent TRON: Legacy press junket for a roundtable discussion, they were eager to talk about the journey of Tron, the technology of Legacy and why the world of cinema has been flooded recently with so many sequels and remakes.

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You’ve read the interviews and read our take on the film, but all of that falls to the wayside to explode into millions of pixels now that you’ve seen the film yourself. Or haven’t seen it. There have been three years of hype, Comic-Con carnival barking, and a huge wave of expectations. Now that Tron: Legacy has been laser beamed from the real world into the theater, what did you think? Rant and rave away.

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Tron: Legacy is a thing of beauty. This is what everyone seems to be ignoring this week as Disney’s latest titan of budget and marketing roars into theaters, hell bent on whipping the masses into a consumerist frenzy just before ‘Oh holy night.’ But it’s true: Tron: Legacy, born of concept footage from young director Joseph Kosinski and a Comic-Con crowd who, at the time, had zero expectations for such a project, is a beautiful experience. It may be remembered as a beautiful disaster, but it’s beautiful nonetheless. The great problem is that after several years, three Comic-Cons and millions of dollars in marketing later, it’s hard for heavily invested fans to accept that a concept so cool could yield a film so mediocre. That’s a hard notion to swallow. What we saw on that fateful July day at Comic-Con in 2008 was The Grid, fully realized in a new and exciting way. It was bold and sleek, fast-moving and exciting. It also included Jeff Bridges, our own champion du nostalgia. This final version has all of those things. It’s what’s been added that becomes problematic.

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Mere hours stand between the world and a digitized re-entry into the newly realized, 3D world of Tron with Disney’s high-action sequel TRON: Legacy. And with that in mind, global interest in the film seems to be reaching a fever pitch. So while you sit around and wait for my review (I know you are…), we’ve got plenty of interviews left to share. The FSR team was able to get rezzed into the Legacy junket in Los Angeles a few weeks back, participating in a number of roundtable interviews with cast and creators. In this installment, we got some time with Olivia Wilde, who plays Quorra, a program who bands together with Kevin and Sam Flynn to fight the power on the grid. She’s sexy, mysterious and she’s got some grit. Her character is pretty interesting, as well.

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The Reject Report

The weather has turned cold, the end of the year is soon approaching, and the last bastion of Holiday films are coming our way. This week, we have a number of dollar-earner pictures hitting as well as a couple of heavy awards contendors expanding into wide release. The light cycles are sure to have an edge over a couple of talking bears, especially since one of those bears sounds a bit like Ray Stantz. The other bear isn’t exactly bringing sexy back, but he might be cute enough to pull in some decent money.

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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