I had the childhood-fantasy-fulfilling, special-effects-sploding, Daft-Punk-rocking, Geek-tacular pleasure on Friday of seeing the (nearly thirty years in the making) Tron: Legacy movie, and surprisingly the first thing I wanted to do was write this post!
Why, you might - rightly - ask yourself, would I want to write about a Disney special effects computer geek movie on my weight loss and mindfulness blog? Well let me tell you....
First off, I held off writing this until a fellow meditating-mindful-blogging-geek-buddy of mine had a chance to see it simply because I know he reads this and I didn't want to spoil it for him or anyone else.
That said, I have read TONS of reviews all over the web, and all my geekiest friends have seen it now, so I feel free to write briefly about it here. Don't worry, I will not be telling anything at all about the movie EXCEPT for one thing....
FLYNN IS A BUDDHIST!
For all you normal folks out there to whom "Tron" doesn't stir childhood memories and excitement, you can stop reading after the next line and you'll be just fine. If you are about to stop reading at this point, I have only one thing to say - GO SEE TRON LEGACY, because it's just a great, fun, excellent movie!
Now...for the rest of us...
I don't have a ton to say, again because I don't want to ruin anything for anyone, but I want to tell anyone who has an interest in both Tron AND Buddhism to be prepared to LOVE the sequel far more than you might have realized you would. Personally, I was not terribly excited about the Tron movie other than at the prospect of a new Daft Punk Tron Soundtrack! I felt that Hollywood was going to royally screw this one up. I had a bad feeling it was going to be Highlander all over again, where they take an iconic movie, years later, and bastardize it in to something you're embarrassed to say you watched.
Boy was I wrong. First of all, as you would expect, the technology for making a movie like this is PERFECT right now. The computer generated images that were a DREAM in those days, are a common reality today, so the look - we all knew - was going to be great. What scared me was the story. I was worried it would be horrible.
Suffice it to say that they came up with some really good, plausible stuff (stop laughing - I mean plausible with regard to the implausible movie idea). I won't get in to any details, but I sat in a full theater watching this movie and laughing at all the spots they expected us to, along with everyone else. I dropped my jaw in amazement at all the same things everyone else did, and uttered all the same "YEAH!"'s as everyone else when one of the bad guys got turned in to so many tiny blocks of bad data.
What was strange though was how often I laughed out loud at something in the movie when NO ONE else did. I kept seeing things pointing to a very Zen story line and it just made me chuckle at the irony, the well thought out story, and the GREAT delivery mechanism for the Buddhist plot. I kept laughing - incredulously and happily - because I saw so much of myself and my friends in this movie, and because Flynn is such a Badass Buddhist!
Jeff Bridges, who plays both Kevin Flynn and CLU, actually worked with Zen Master, Bernie Glassman to bring Flynn's Buddhism to life in the movie in the most realistic applicable way possible. You can find tons of interviews with Bridges discussing this, as well as Glassmans' site ZenPeaceMakers.org.
I'll leave it at that, but please - do yourself a favor - go see it. It's chock full of the Buddhist way! You will appreciate it for that regardless of your geekdom!
It's all summed up for me by old man Flynn when he says "It's BioDigital Jazz, Man!"
PS - One more thing....if you are a man of an age to have been mad about Tron when it came out, but you're still a kid enough to enjoy toys that you're probably too old to be enjoying....then you really need to check out the Tron Merchandise! There's some serious toys for big boys and there's kids toys that will have you pretending to shop for your nephew at Toys'R'Us! Dig it: