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Wired: Best Sci-Fi Movie Effects

Wired has an article up about the Best Sci-Fi movie effects scenes of all time, which has some classics, from Godzilla to 2001: A Space Odyssey to Avatar.  To be sure, though, they missed some of my favorites:

  • Iron Man – specifically the scene when Tony puts the upgraded suit on for the first time and takes his first flight.  The filmmakers managed to make it look, if not real, then at least realistic.  Honorable mention to Tony’s holographic UI.
  • The Abyss – Some great stuff here, including the liquid breathing apparatus, aliens made of water and mini-subs.
  • TRON and TRON: Legacy – I’m surprised that no one voted up the original TRON in the original article, considering how amazing it was at the time.  The new movie had some sweet scenes as well, including the light-cycle battle.

What else did they miss?

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Featured Review

Movie Review – TRON: Legacy

I caught a 3D showing of TRON: Legacy this weekend, and I love it.  I might just be their ideal movie-goer.  I did see the original TRON at some point, far enough back that I watched it on one of these bad boys.  My Grandfather liked to buy wacky things at auctions, and came home with a couple of CED players and a bunch of disks.  Anyway, I have dim memories of TRON being good to young me, and playing the games, but not much else.  So I was the ideal not-quite blank slate.

The movie has been out long enough that if you wanted to know the story, you’ve already checked it out.  Sam Flynn, the son of Kevin Flynn, experiences his father’s disappearance, and grows up to be a brilliant but troubled young man with no interest in running his father’s company.  He pranks the board and releases the latest version of the Encom OS into the wild minutes before it’s commercial release – apparently Dad was a free software pioneer.  Alan Bradley pops in to talk to Sam afterwards, revealing he got paged from Flynn’s arcade, which has been closed for years.  Sam reluctantly investigates and finds his Dad’s lab hidden behind a classic TRON cabinet.  In what might be Sam’s dumbest move of the show, he tries the last command his father entered on his console, involving the words LASER CONTROL.  I don’t know about you, but if an unknown computer is warning me to make sure there’s nothing in front of an unknown laser before shooting, I might look to see where it is before I type ‘Y’ at the Yes/No prompt.

Anyway, Sam gets transported into the grid, and forced to fight in the games, which are AWESOME.  He is discovered to be a user and not a program, and gets rescued from the light-cycle game (versus CLU, his father’s alter-ego in the grid) by Quorra.  She’s a special sort of program that is an ‘apprentice’ to Sam’s father, who hides off grid.  They work to get to the exit before it closes (and CLU exits with an army to ‘perfect’ our world).

The battles and environments look very sweet, especially in 3D.  The Daft Punk soundtrack is every bit as good as you’ve heard and fits very well with the visuals.  The cameo appearance by them works well also.  Olivia Wilde is a vision as Quorra, the skin-tight lighted outfit is a far cray from the shape-hiding doctor’s coat on House.  Quorra has an energy about her that’s hard to describe.  Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn is hilarious, with a whole, Zen master meets Jeff Lebowski vibe.  Actually, the humor surprised me, in a good way.  I had tempered my enthusiasm after reading some other comments, but I needn’t have bothered.  Great movie.