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I’ve had advance tickets for tonight’s screening of Tron: Legacy for weeks now, but when the call came down this past Monday afternoon that there was a free screening in Downtown Disney, I dropped everything and put the pedal to the metal! It wouldn’t be in IMAX, but to see a movie four days early that I’ve been waiting to see since it was announced several years ago at San Diego Comic Con, well, I wasn’t gonna wait with the masses for Thursday midnight! So after a three and a half hour wait outside the Downtown Disney AMC, I sat down in the theater, Pole Position, dead center. After sitting through a promo for the new season of ABC’s “V” (No movie trailer was shown, so looking forward to the Pirates 4 trailer tonight, and hopefully, a teaser for THOR), the audience was informed that only certain scenes were shot in 3D, so while you could wear your glasses now, don’t expect the entire flick to be in 3D. The fact is, the real world scenes are in 2D, but everything on the grid is 3D, and thankfully, most of the film takes place in the computer world. After that brief disclaimer, you hear the familiar tones of The Dude himself, Jeff Bridges, telling his young son Sam about being on The Grid. You’re then treated to some pretty amazing CG effects work, because you’re looking at Jeff Bridges, circa 1989. While the effects aren’t totally perfect (1989 Kevin Flynn appears to have had recent Botox injections), it’s still phenomenal to see that CG effects have advanced to the point where you can put a younger version of an actor we all know and love into a film and have him interact with live human actors, and it’s believable. Impressive, even.

I’m keeping this spoiler-free for now, so let’s just say that this 28-year TRON fan was more than pleased by what followed. It’s a long wait for a sequel, even the last two and a half years was hard to get through, but it’s totally worth the wait! I’d say that the filmmakers have made a movie that will not only please hardcore fans, but should also electrify new audiences and create many new fans as well. There are plenty of nods to the original film and us old-school fans. The film is funny and heartfelt as well as exciting and action-packed. The action scenes, with amazing visual effects, are original and creative. The games on the grid blew my mind, as I had hoped they would. The disc battles are so cool, they had me and everyone else screaming with joy. Then you get light cycle action that is every bit as awesome as you’ve been hoping for. The action continues as our heroes make their way across the grid, and you’ll definitely see some familiar stuff (Solar Sailer, anyone?) as well as everything that’s new in Tron City. New characters such as Sam, Quorra and Castor absolutely delight. The return of Kevin Flynn is most welcome.

The cast is amazing. You get great new actors in Olivia Wilde and Garrett Hedlund, both supremely likable and sure to be big stars in the future as a direct result of this movie, as well as Jeff Bridges, of course, who amazes, as usual. The supporting cast features plenty of great actors as well, including Bruce Boxleitner, James Frain (True Blood) and Michael Sheen, who kills in every scene he’s in.

So to sum up, here you have a fantastic new science fiction film, featuring great actors, wonderful characters, amazing action, humor, emotion, phenomenal visual effects, awesome story, and great direction. That’s not even counting how great it is for longtime fans of TRON. So what are you waiting for? Do yourself a favor and catch this one this weekend! Then you can start your long wait for the next sequel!