31 Oktober 2010

TRON Night - a 23min sneak peek at TRON Legacy

Two days ago I had the chance to see some scenes from the first half of TRON Legacy. Disney was calling for “TRON Night” and seven cities throughout Germany, and even more around the globe, got 23 minutes of footage. For free. This publicity event mimics last years’ “Avatar Day”.

After the introduction by an annoying radio film critic the more than half-empty cinema went silent and this totally nerdy event began.

The course of events of the film seem to be very similar to the 1982 original. Without revealing too much, Flynn’s son Sam is being dragged into the digital world of The Grid, gets captured, is taken for a rogue (disc-less) program and has to compete in the games, namely Disc Wars and Lightcycle Races. Four tantalizing programs, the so called Sirens (one of them is Jem, played by Beau Garrett), cut his clothes off his body and he’s treated with the black light armor (was white in the original) with those neat blue glowing, vertical running lines. As well as an own Disc, which is not only a weapon, but a memory, that gathers and stores all the experience a program, and now Sam, gathers while on The Grid. They are now modern frisbee discs, with a hole in the middle.

After the games, respectively the lightcycle race, he is saved by Quorra (Olivia Wilde), who is the apprentice of Flynn, and brought into the wasteland. Here, within the walls of Flynns’ refuge (“The Safehouse”), father and son reconnect.

The following is a more detailed description of the scenes, shown to us. Don’t go further, if you don’t want to be spoiled.


This is where Sam lives, goes to after some risky bike stunts. This is hardly an apartment. It’s a storage container or warehouse compartment next to a bridge into the city, but it’s got a nice view. In this setting we meet Alan (Bruce Boxleitner) speaking of a page he got from the old arcade “Flynn’s”, which should not be possible, since that number is disconnected for several years. Furthermore we get a little insight into ENCOM, which is supposed to be Flynn’s company now and Sam shows no interest in it, which is why “they” (the board) can do whatever they want. Whatever that means. Sam also show no interest regarding the possibility of meeting his father again, but still, he drives off to …


After switching on a fuse, the lights go up and all the  games and 80s music start playing. As he discovers the ENCOM Tron Lightcycle game at the far end of the hall, Sam grabs for a coin. The coin falls through and onto the floor, which shows scratch marks from moving the machine. So he moves the machine and finds a door behind it, leading into the cellar. Of course he goes down, finds the laser and the good old touch terminal activates both and gets sucked onto …


We didn’t get to see the transition from the real to the digital world. Sam stands now under the light of a Recognizer (those floating things with he two legs), is being arrested by two guard programs and secured on board the flying machine. There he stands next to other rogue or damaged programs, being flown towards the center of The Grid, a huge arena. Upon exiting the vehicle all programs are scanned and either being incarcerated or deemed fit for “games” (“The Life of Brian” came to mind ^^). One program clearly did not want to partake in those games and jumped off a cliff, shattering into a million pieces hitting the ground. Sam is placed on a platform, which descends into the ground, beneath the arena. There he is held in some kind of preparation room, where four programs (the Sirens), redress him with the fighting suit and disc, so he can fight the …


We got a nice opening shot over the arena and the rotating capsules in its center, which hold the fighters. Two programs are to fight each other, until one of them is terminated, either directly by disc or falling through a hole, which a disc created. Sam wins his first round rather by chance. Cut to the …


We only get to see the last bit of what obviously takes more time in the finished film. Sam and Quorra, who saved Sam from some situation, are sitting in the new Light Runner – a two seat, four wheeler – fleeing The Grid. After they left the arena behind, they’re driving through a dark and gritty wasteland, off to Flynn’s …


There he sits. Aged and cut off from The Grid, within some kind of light shower or data stream tinsel. Quorra talks to him about their guest and father and son finally hug. In one corner stands one white and rather special lightcycle.

This concludes the new footage. It was followed by a new cut of the trailers.

There was another rather interesting element, but I’m not able to say, if this will be – by choice - the same in the final cut or if they just were not finished converting the material. All scenes in the real world were shot in 2D and presented in 2D as well. This will make the transition into the digital world (the 2D-3D-transition effect when the laser is in use should be nice) even more cunning.

Go to YouTube and look out for “Derezzed”. A nice music video for Daft Punk that doubles as trailer for TRON Legacy. This video mirrors the described chain of scenes  best.

The big phasedrei raffle!

Over at phasedrei they are having a big October raffle, with a ton of cool Apple-swag! I’d love me a brand new iPod Touch or AppleTV, so I’m taking the time here, to answer their little questionnaire:

1. What was the biggest problem, you ever had with your PC or Mac? Were you able to resolve it? If so, how?

If I remember correctly, the biggest mechanical problem (besides dropping my MacBook from two meters and the ensuing hard drive replacement) was the death of the cooling fan of my previous desktop PC. The system did not have any sensors, so this fan went out and I did not notice. This culminated in the overheating of the processor. Solution: buying a new one.

2. Which is your favorite program, for either PC or Mac, and why would you recommend it?

I guess this would be iPhoto of the Apple iLife suite. I love how easily it lets me organize my photos and it is perfect for the little retouching I do. I’m not a pro photographer and anything more expensive (Aperture/Lightroom) would be a waste with me. Furthermore: iLife comes free with every Mac.

3. Which functionality of your PC or Mac don’t you want to miss and why?

I have both, so for every device in that category, this is practically the same. Their ability to hook up to a network and go online is essential for me. I wouldn’t want to miss that for any reason. Searching stuff, getting news, communication. Another one is of course the ability to store and process all my digital life. Music, photos and videos.

4. Which (Apple-) product would you love to get as a gift?

For being the newest to the family, I’d really love one new MacBook Air, those are just gorgeous. As for the raffle: I really would love to get the iPod Touch (but the AppleTV is just as hot of a product).

Go over to http://www.phasedrei.de/blog/gewinnspiel-ipod-touch-shuffle-itunes-guthaben-und-vieles-mehr and get in on the raffle before midnight!

15 Oktober 2010

A mobile love story.

The guys over at the German LG Blog are giving away one of the company’s Optimus smartphones. All we have to do, is answer a small questionnaire and link back to the blog.

Here goes:

  • How important is the design of a mobile phone with your purchase decision? 

With the technical specs reaching an equilibrium throughout all the manufacturers, the design of a mobile phone becomes more and more important, but if those specs are not up to par, no award winning design would enthrall me into buying it.

  • Which feature, in your opinion, should not be missing in a mobile phone?

The use of fast data transfer standards (3G and up), that lets you use the expensive data plans, we’re paying for. GPRS is a thing of the past. Furthermore, I’m still a fan of hardware keyboards.

  • Before buying a new mobile phone, do you look up information in forums, blogs and test reports?

Absolutely. I’m not buying a pig in a poke.

  • Do you write SMS or email with you mobile phone?

Yes, I do.

  • Are you interested in Apps and/or games?

Of course, the ability to easily get those small third party applications onto my mobile phone has become most important.

  • Do you have flat rate plans for voice calls, messaging or data?

I have a weird combined plan, which is a flat rate for data, voice calls within the carriers’ network and a certain amount of free short messages.

  • Do you surf the internet with your mobile phone?


  • Do you use social networking services like Facebook and Twitter on the go?

Sure. They’re a major reason for me, to own a smartphone.

  • Would you be able to survive a month without your mobile phone?

For better or worse, my whole life is concentrated within my mobile phone, so it would definitely be hard, but not impossible. As long as I still have my other ways for communication. ;D

02 Oktober 2010

Maybe I'm in luck? Blog parade on m4gic.net!

Over at M4GIC.net they're giving away one new, 6th generation iPod nano and all you gotta do is answer some questions about your use of MP3 players in general and so will I:
  • Which devices did you use - before your very first MP3 player - to listen to music on the road?
Well there were three different Walkmans (tapes) and one MP3-CD-capable Discman. Those Walkmans were from AIWA and really good, esp. the last one.
  • When did you buy your first MP3 player (if you already own one)?
I dug out my Amazon invoices and found, what you're asking me here. I bought my very first MP3 player (flash based) on August 31st, 2001. Nine years and one month ago!
  • Which MP3-Player was your first (brand/model)?
It was, of course, a Sony (not knowing any better) "New Walkman NW-E 3/s" (see Amazon link for picture). It had 64MB of storage for 60minutes of music (or less, if files had higher than 128 kbit/s bitrates).
  • How many MP3 players have you already owned?
Only two actually, four years ago I bought my first (and still in use) iPod and in between my mobile phones doubled as MP3 players (as they do today, when my iPods' battery is drained).
  • Which features of a MP3 player are important to you?
It should hold most of my music collection, for I'm not big on 'intelligently' syncing playlists all the time and I don't know, what I might want to listen to. Furthermore, navigating this library should be hassle-free (which it can be, if the control scheme is all wrong).
  • What feature of the new iPod nano does appeal to you most?
Its wearability ;o)

in answer to: http://www.m4gic.net/blogparade-mp3-player-ipod-nano-g6-mit-touchscreen-gewinnen/