TRON, Milkshakes and Clown Cars

No, this isn’t exactly a review of TRON: Legacy. It’s part of a conversation that happened after I saw the movie. But it’s a funny story that indicates I have collected a very odd set of friends.

First, a funny webcomic and some brief thoughts on the movie …

Penny Arcade: "It's Got To Come Out"
Penny Arcade: "It's Got To Come Out"

Yeah, TRON: Legacy isn’t a perfect movie. Most of the reviews are not kind. But it’s a good movie with a slick look. It was well produced, fun to watch and made great use of 3D. It’s also far better than any of the Matrix sequels.

Still, it’s easy to find faults in the end product. An example of this, with what some may consider to be a minor spoiler, is contained in last night’s post-movie discussion at an Atlanta area Steak and Shake.

The cast: me, Suzan (my wife), David & Sharon (50% of The Extraordinary Contraptions), Jennifer & Bill. We were in the process of ordering food, making snarky comments and watching Bill shoot straw covers at Jennifer (it must be a tradition in marriage, since Suzan did it to me later the same evening). There was also some discussion of problems in Sharon’s job as a biology lab assistant … the term ‘flypocalypse’ was used (Sharon has dibs on the trademark, I want to make bumper stickers).

Sharon: “Maybe we could have a bee apocalypse?”
Bill: “B-pocalypse?”
Me: “That sounds liek the backup plan for the Apocalypse.”
Everyone: *groan*
David (to Suzan, pointing at me): “Does he ever stop?”
Suzan: “No. He even talks in his sleep.”

Somewhere near the end of the film the digital bad guy starts monologuing like an overclocked Steve Jobs in Second Life, describing a plan that involves zapping thousands of programs (what we call “people”) from the “grid” (TRON’s version of The Matrix) into the real world. See, not really a spoiler, since you know the bad guy in a film like this has to have some grand plan (he even had a small presentation, but not in PowerPoint).

For anyone who understands conservation of matter, this is a bit of a problem. For Sharon, this has a lot of practical implementation problems …

Sharon: “Wait, so all of these bad guys are just going to materialize … like ‘poof’ … in the middle of Flynn’s tiny basement office? There’s thousands of them! How will they all fit?”
Suzan: “I think it will look like those photos from the 1950’s where they stuffed lots of college kids into phone booths.”
Me: “No, I think they have a better plan. First, a clown car appears in the middle of the street.  Then all of these TRON soldiers start piling out of it …”

At some point we actually did eat food, drink milkshakes and somehow avoid being banned from the Steak and Shake. I’ll leave the rest of our conversational topics out of this post. But it was a great time with great people who I am lucky to call friends.

Plus, Bill looks silly balancing a straw on his upper lip …

Bill's Trick For The Evening
Bill's Trick For The Evening

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