Jeff Bridges Mash-Up –Tron Legacy vs. True Grit

13 Jan

Tron: Legacy and True Grit – two colossally different film re-imaginings with one thing in common: I watched them both last weekend. Oh yeah, and they both star Jeff Bridges. So make that two things they have in common.  Most critics would probably vomit with rage at the fact that I am going to pair them throughout this review, but I can’t help it, when reflecting on each film individually I kept finding myself comparing every one of their elements. So. Here we go. Tron: Legacy vs. True Grit. It’s on.


.

Acting

Tron: Legacy: Fine. Exactly what you would expect from a live-action Disney movie. Jeff Bridges was, of course, cool—maintaining the same laid back demeanor of his Flynn-self from the 1982 original, and perfectly capturing someone who hasn’t experienced the real world since the ‘80s. Olivia Wilde did great at being an eager and curious computer program who, surprisingly, was not obnoxious at all.  Garrett Hedlund, who played Sam Flynn, was less than inspiring; in true lead-character-in-a family-action-film form (think Sam Worthington—without the oppressed Australian accent.) Undoubtedly, the best performance was by Michael Sheen, who perfectly channeled the physicality and space oddity of David Bowie.

True Grit: Matt Damon. Jeff Bridges. Josh Brolin. Barry Pepper. Nothing really needs to be added here, all of the actors were as superb as always. But, my Lord, Hailee Steinfeld who played the lead character, Mattie Ross, was amazing. She was completely genuine and, as was necessary for the character, she held her own amongst her master co-stars.

Winner:  True Grit.

Hailee Steinfeld and Jeff Bridges

Dialogue

Tron: Legacy: Cheesy. Predictable. Sam Flynn almost exclusively spoke in inane one-liners. However, most of Kevin Flynn’s lines were hilarious and/or bad-ass. Computer jargon with intermittent “dude”s never hurts.

True Grit: Brilliant and Coenesque. Even lines that were expected were faultlessly timed and delivered.

Winner: True Grit.

Mysterious Bear Man

Score

Tron: Legacy: DAFT PUNK. DAFT PUNK. DAFT PUNK. DAFT PUNK. Attempting… to… articulate… There is a scene Castor (Michael Sheen) tells the Real Live Daft Punk Robots to, “Change the scheme! Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you’d be so kind”—which they surely do. And I nearly wet my pants.

True Grit: Seriously noticeable. The Coens and Carter Burwell obviously wanted to go for the feel of an old western, for the score was grand and sweeping and over-the-top. Unfortunately, the epic melodies often distracted from the material at hand.

Winner: Tron: Legacy.

DAFT PUNK

Cinematography

Tron: Legacy: Computerized grids, black skies, and lit-up skylines—the landscape of my dreams. Honestly that “sun” that Sam Flynn kept harping on about is over-rated.

True Grit: Stunning. Shots akin to No Country For Old Men. I wanted to go to there.

Winner:  TIE. Both frontiers, be they digital or home-grown American, were stunning in their own ways.

The Grid

Plot

Tron: Legacy: Pretty good for a re-boot disguised as a sequel. The plot of the original could have been explained more carefully and clearly, but I don’t think that the filmmakers were very devoted to it. I’m not really complaining, though, cause the new additions – like, the wands that turn into light-bikes, were magnificent. The story of Tron: Legacy basically goes exactly where you expect it to: conflict after conflict after conflict after conflict. “Oh it’s about an hour into the movie, so he has to battle with the Super Bad Guy at least three more times, with one Ultimate Stand-Off! YAY!”

True Grit: It must be said that I have never read the book, nor have I seen the classic film (I try to avoid John Wayne at all times), so I don’t really known what was Coen innovated. Even if they took everything from the other sources, though, it totally fit their style: from the drama, to the character interaction, to the brilliantly anti-climactic ending. A great drama that ranks amongst the Coen Brothers’ best films.

Winner: True Grit.

TRUE GRIT

The WINNER

True Grit. Obviously. It was a Perfect Movie. Now, I feel like I’ve been too harsh on Tron: Legacy— it probably seems like I didn’t enjoy the hell out of it, which I totally did. It had me on the edge of my seat in sci-fi nerd excitement for two hours. Everyone should go see it—especially in theater and even more especially on IMAX. But know that since it is a live-action Disney movie, and with that great responsibility comes great moments of cheesiness. So while you’re at the theater paying way too much money to wear uncomfortable 3D glasses, get a ticket for True Grit, as well. Cause Jeff Bridges, whether he be in an arcade game or sporting an eye-patch, is The Dude.

I, too, abide,

Lara

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One Response to “Jeff Bridges Mash-Up –Tron Legacy vs. True Grit”

  1. Noni January 14, 2011 at 12:18 am #

    I agree, The Dude is worth the price for a ticket and even though I wasn’t too keen on seeing TRON… I will do so just for Jeff.

    True Grit was far greater remake, I prefer the Cohen brothers version over John Wayne although the original was pretty good too.

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