Marshall McLuhan said the medium is the message. I am not so sure about the message but I know that the medium makes a big difference about what we take in. More on this thrilling topic in a moment.
Being a card carrying geek of course I had to go see “Tron –Legacy” as soon as it came out. I loved the original and somewhat understood it. Of course I had to see the sequel in the IMAX 3D experience. So I bribed the long-suffering wife with a promise of a dinner and pointed the family truckster to Dickson City and the closest IMAX theater. This experience, as we shall see, is an adventure in high finance.
This is not so much a movie review as an accounting lesson.
Round trip to Dickson City – 60 Miles – figure 3 gallons of gas @ $3- $9.
Tickets for “Tron Legacy: An IMAX 3D Experience?” $14 including mystery “surcharge”, so $28 total. At that price the seat should wipe your butt and spray Chanel No. 5 up your…oh, never mind.
Medium drink and popcorn. $10. And when did they do away with the artificial butter-like spray? I miss it.
Bribe dinner at medium price chain restaurant. With two drinks and tip $50.
Babysitter – I checked with Facebook friends who need such things…going rate $10 an hour-so $50 for five.
Median family income for Northeast Pa is $43,000. So if you go on one of these adventures a month you will have spent 5% percent of your total income. Better hope the movie doesn’t suck, huh?
This is of course assuming that the babysitter doesn’t invite her classmates over to empty your liquor cabinet, sell your children into slavery and burn the house down.
Back to Marshall.
The message of the “Tron Legacy: An IMAX 3D Experience?” Loud is good. Threshold of pain loud is better. At some point on the screen while I was hiding under my chair I saw something about 12,000 watts. Now that may have been hyperbole but it was plenty loud.
3D evidently is all about bright colors and fast moving projectiles. Things poke you in the eye and hurtle towards you at very high speed. Often. Between the intense sound and the 70 foot high screen using you for target practice it’s a bit over the top.
Subtle it’s not.
As I held my hands to my face to staunch the flow of blood from my ruptured ear drums and ducked another spear thrust at me I thought about how this would translate to some of my favorite classic movies. “Citizen Kane”, “Casablanca”, and “Gone with the Wind.” How would they benefit from this medium? Somehow “As Time Goes By” at 120 decibels just seems wrong.
But “Tron – Legacy” is a perfect vehicle for this IMAX 3D Experience. What it lacks in plot and in-depth characterizations it makes up for in audio and video noise. You don’t even notice that it makes less sense than the original. And that is saying a lot.
All in all a pretty good experience. I may regain some hearing soon. Not so sure it was a movie as we know it. Oh. A small reviewer note: there are least two too many Jeff Bridges.