Friday, December 10, 2010

I want "TRON," dammit!

As many of you know, "TRON: Legacy" is slated to hit theatres next week. That's pretty damn soon. I haven't seen the original in 5 or so years, and (like many of you, I'm sure) I know some folks who are interested in the sequel but haven't seen the original yet. So two days ago, I saunter into my local Best Buy and try to find it. Nothing. This is odd, because I swear I saw copies of it six months ago for ten bucks on the shelves. I try searching for it on their computer: still nothing. The next day, at FYE, I try the same thing, to no avail. I figure, "Whatever, I'm sure it's because all the other "TRON"-lovers and newcomers caught in the hype are buying all the available copies." So I go to Amazon, and fond that a used copy of the movie costs $65. SIXTY-FIVE DOLLARS. "Holy shit," I think to myself. New copies? In the hundreds. What is the deal?

I go to some other retailers and find similar results. The quoted price on Barnes & Nobles' page was $200 (though I thought that was normal for them). So finally, I go to and try finding "TRON". I click the "Buy" link, and am promptly taken back to their main page. This sucks. What the hell happened here?

I start to scour the brain-trust of the internet and find several possible explanations, most of which are based thoroughly in conspiracy theory. They report the same things I've found: high prices online, out of stock everywhere, Netflix doesn't have it, etc. Some have claimed that Disney is withholding the DVD/Blu-Ray for a 2011 release, which makes no sense at all. It's studio nature - nay, policy - to "double dip" a DVD and/or release a Blu-Ray in sync with the sequel/prequel/whatever to that film's theatrical release. So why wait until next year to do it? According to Blue Sky Disney, "Word has it that earlier this summer the original Tron was screened at one of the theme parks and was laughed at by people who had not seen the original film and mocked it for its now-outdated effects and silly attire of leotards and hockey helmets parodied by the infamous 'Tron Guy.' Rumor has it that some Disney execs witnessed their reactions and it made them very, very nervous."

So wait a fucking second: The same company* that decided to bring back "Captain EO" for an extended run in several theme parks doesn't want to put out something that looks dated and slightly corny? I know, I know, Disney's only reason to re-release "TRON" would be to generate more advance hype for the sequel, whereas re-releasing "Captain EO" did nothing (except cash in on someone's death), but seriously. I think the "TRON" marketing machine is past having to worry about crossing the decency line.

I don't really see any reason for Disney to be nervous or worried about how the original film is going to affect ticket sales of the sequel. You've done a fine job promoting the living hell out of "Legacy", and I'm pretty sure anyone unfamiliar with the film's predecessor who planned on seeing it won't have their minds changed this late, or - better yet - won't be turned off by watching the original.

I have doubts that the situation is as dramatic as some people are trying to make it, turning Disney into an Alan Moore-esque government trying to hide the fact that "TRON" ever existed. But keeping it completely off of shelves this close to the sequel's release is, no matter what the reason, a really dumb move. It's an amazing movie, and I would really like to watch it again.

So please, Disney: fucking give us "TRON" back.

*I know, Disney Parks and Disney Home Entertainment are two totally different divisions/entities. But you'd imagine there'd be some sort of cohesion here, right? ....Right?