While jmaynard has appeared at a few special showings of TRON in theaters, this weekend was the first time he did in the Twin Cities or indeed anywhere that was reasonably close enough for me and sistaur to see what he does at such things. Jay and I drove up to the Twin Cities on Saturday afternoon, picked up my sister, and had supper at Lindey's. To my pleasant surprise Lindey's had a porter on tap, and Summit Porter on tap seems far better than the bottle I had a while ago (After that bottle, I decided not to get any more Summit porter). Sister and I split a steak (don't tell Orvan!) and that was about right for the both of us. After supper we went back to my sister's place and took it quite easy. I think we all napped some.
At 11:00 PM we left for the Uptown Theater and got there about 11:30. I had my first caffeine in weeks before we left. Jay changed into the Tron Guy outfit while the two of us waited in the theater lobby. As folks left from one movie, a few took pictures of Jay or with him. At least one person waiting for the box office to open for the TRON showing asked about photos as well. Jay found a spot out of the main traffic flow for photos while the theater filled. Not only were there folks taking photos, but a few had him sign their tickets.
When pretty much everyone was seated and things were almost set up (the band, such as it was, was still fiddling some of their audio gear) Jay took the stage and there was a good crowd reaction. He did a brief introduction saying how TRON was, of course, meant to be seen a theater and that folks were in for a treat. A question session followed and it went on for a while and between time limits and his not being able to hear every question at once (I know I didn't hear a few directly) a couple went unanswered - but more were asked and answered than I had expected.
Jay mentioned or introduced the band and left the stage. The music, went on for some time and I was glad I my earplugs. It wasn't really bad, just louder than I care for. The midnight showing actually started rolling film closer to 1 AM. I think I saw TRON in the mid or late 1980s as a video rental, but this was the first time I'd seen it in a movie theater. And perhaps surprisingly, considering all the times Jay watched for making the costume and such, only the second time I've ever watched it. I really wasn't expecting too much.
The setup seemed to happen a bit too fast, as I would expect a bit more initial resistance from at least one person, but that was about my only real complaint. The premise of being digitized that way was the One Big Thing the film needs and so in science fiction fashion that's the one stretch allowed. The stark settings in the computer world work now as they did when the film first appeared. The characterizations might not be all the great in the computer world, but any at all seems a bit strange, at least for the time the movie was made. As Jay has said many times, the idea of programs fighting might have seemed odd then, but with viruses and antivirus programs, and spyware and anti-spyware now, it actually makes more sense than when the film was made. The plot seems simple, but then recall how simple the plot of Star Wars is ("Knight has to rescue Princess from dragon," sums it up fairly well.) and the film does seem to move along reasonably well. It is certainly a "show off the effects that make this world" film, but it's not just that. There is a bit more to it, even a bit of philosophy or commentary on religion, but it doesn't dwell on that or get preachy about it, which is just as well.
There was glitch with the projection system near the end, just before the big climactic battle scenes, but I'm told I didn't miss all that much. When the film was over, there was another photo session (I took a few pictures so folks could be in their photos) as people left the theater. Tron Guy was not the only costumed character there. A couple people were also dressed up some. I didn't recognize The Green Lantern (I never followed the comic or any other incarnation of The Green Lantern, so I didn't recognize him or the symbol) and another fellow who didn't have the whole Tom Baker thing going but did have the signature scarf or close enough.
Overall there was very good reaction and folks running the theater seemed pleased. Those getting photos and autographs were certainly pleased. I heard a lot of compliments, and some expression of surprise or appreciation at how Jay's dealing with the notoriety that he has. What I didn't hear was anything bad. I think someone did ask a about particular Twin Cities science fiction convention that neither us of plans on returning to, but that's as close to anything negative as it got.
It was after 3 AM when things truly wound down and Jay changed clothes back to normal. He was a bit surprised at the time, not having realized how long the music and after-show photo sessions had taken. At that time of night, pretty much the only vehicles on the streets are taxis and the Cities are eerily navigable. We made out way back to sistaur's for the rest of the night and a good chunk of the morning. She wasn't up to moving around when we were ready to leave, which simplified things in a way: we didn't have to bring her home after breakfast, but just went on our way.
Breakfast was at a Mexican place, Sunny Side Up, in Uptown not all that far from the theater. I've now had huevos rancheros and cactus paddles (they're mildly spicy). I also had caffeinated coffee, so I didn't take the nap this afternoon like I thought I would. Instead, I walked a couple miles while there was still some sunlight left in the day. I might still be going to bed early. Stimulants only go so far, and I don't plan on having any more caffeine until at least Thursday at MFF.