When “Tron” was released in 1982, home computing was barely on the rise. The Commodore 64, the Apple IIe, and the first IBM machines were trickling out to lucky families who could afford what was then curios. Most didn’t know what bits and bytes were, and the interior of these beige bricks, with their glowing screens, held mysteries beyond our comprehension. “Tron” gave these mysteries a life of their own. It’s a goofy film, and it only gets goofier over time. Do Adobe programs get bullied on the Grid?
Jeff Bridges, absorbed into the secret world of technology, is the best guy to narrate this story for us. He’s Flynn, an eccentric computer genius who runs an arcade and plots revenge against Thieving Capitalist Bad Guy and his fancy Master Control Program computer (both played by sci-fi genre delight David Warner). Not only does Flynn win, but along the way, we delight in the neon-lit world of the Grid. It’s a comfort food classic, but you may never look at your “Force Quit” or “Task Manager” options the same way again. Are we guillotining some digital dude whenever we hit it? Maybe, but the guy keeps firing up Steam on boot whether we want him to or not, so hey.