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The Cat Speaks
Miss Kitty's Words of Wisdom
Tron Remake 
6th-Feb-2005 04:41 pm
staring
I read the review of the Tron remake at Slashdot, and the conclusion of these computer wizards is that the biggest problem with the original Tron is the way it got technical details wrong. It's sort of like the problem everyone had with the historical inacquiescentcies in Pirates of the Merovingian (there weren't zombie pirates until at least 100 years after the period in which the movie was set). In the case of Tron, though, the big technical mistake was that a computer used a laser beam to suck a human being into an electronic world, but computers wouldn't be powerful enough to do that until at least 1994. Personally, though, I don't think this took too much away from the story. I'm a little worried about what will happen if the Slashdot people get their way. The new version of Tron might go something like this:

THE ELECTRONIC WORLD:
A light-tank rolls through an electronic canyon. Inside is CLU, a program who looks like Orlando Bloom.

CLU: [starts to speak]

CUT TO BLACK WITH THE FOLLOWING TEXT:
To insure technical accuracy in this film, we wish to point out that programs breaking into computer systems don't look like little people in tanks. Computer programs are actually just electromagnetic patterns. You can't see them, and they wouldn't look at all anthropomorphic if you could. We're not trying to burst your bubble. We're just trying to improve your enjoyment of this film.
[text is read by someone whose voice just screams "pimply"]

BACK TO THE ELECTRONIC WORLD:
Again, we see the interior of the tank. CLU is sitting patiently
CLU: Well, I feel better knowing that.

CUT TO THE REAL WORLD:
We see KEVIN FLYNN, who looks a lot like CLU, and thus Orlando Bloom. FLYNN is sitting in front of a computer and looks anxious.
FLYNN: [starts to speak]

CUT TO BLACK WITH THE FOLLOWING TEXT:
To insure technical accuracy in this film, we wish to point out that all computer engineers are this hot. Ladies, you should totally date them. We're not trying to give ourselves some shameless promotions. We're just trying to improve your enjoyment of this film.
[text is read by pimply voice]

BACK TO THE REAL WORLD:
FLYNN is twiddling his fingers.
FLYNN: [mouthing] No they aren't.
FLYNN: [about to speak out loud]

CUT TO BLACK WITH THE FOLLOWING TEXT:
Yeah, we totally are.

BACK TO THE REAL WORLD:
FLYNN shakes his head.
FLYNN: Come on, CLU. Just a few--

CUT TO THE ELECTRONIC WORLD:
CLU is listening to FLYNN's voice
FLYNN: [continuing] more security exploits and you're in.

CUT TO BLACK WITH THE FOLLOWING TEXT:
We think it is important to your enjoyment of the film that you know that programs don't actually hear your voice when you are talking to your computer, unless you have some sort of speech-recognition software installed. Even then, your programs don't actually hear your voice. The software merely converts your voice into electronic commands. It's a lot like typing on a keyboard, but much less accurate.
[same voice reads this, but in the middle, we hear CLU scream]

CLU: Aaugh! It's a Recognizer! Let's see how fast this tank will go. Thank My User I've got a Hemi on this thing. [the tank's engine roars into high gear] Woo hoo! Catch me now, Recognizers! [we hear a zipping noise] How do you like that? As long as the text is up, I can expose whatever part of my body I want and it won't push us above PG-13!

TEXT ON THE SCREEN CHANGES TO:
Programs aren't anatomically accurate. They can't moon anybody. They don't have any desires, either, so they would never want to moon anyone.

CUT BACK TO THE ELECTRONIC WORLD:
We don't see CLU's bare bottom. Instead, we see a Recognizer fire some sort of disc at the light tank.

CUT TO BLACK WITH THE FOLLOWING TEXT:
Security systems don't actually shoot discs at other programs. That's just not how it works. They don't actually fight other programs. Really. [we hear the disc hit CLU's tank and then we hear CLU's tank spin out and strike a wall]

CUT BACK TO THE REAL WORLD:
FLYNN's computer displays the words "program CLU terminated. connection lost. END OF LINE." FLYNN pounds his fist on the table.
FLYNN: Screw this. No wonder nobody writes real viruses anymore. It's much easier to put some sort of Visual Basic crap into an e-mail and trust that some moron believes I'm the Nigerian finance minister.

CUT TO BLACK WITH THE FOLLOWING TEXT:
This is totally wrong. The Nigerian finance minister scam tries to get your bank account number. He should try something like, "From the system administrator: Your password has expired. Please re-enter your password to prevent this." That one always works.

CUT BACK TO THE REAL WORLD:
We see the outside of the ENCOM building. Then we cut inside, where we see ALAN BRADLEY (Tom Cruise) sitting in front of a computer.

CUT TO BLACK WITH THE FOLLOWING TEXT:
Yeah, we look like Tom Cruise, too. Honestly.

CUT BACK TO THE REAL WORLD:
BRADLEY: [mouthing] No fucking way. [Speaking] I'm almost done with my TRON program. Once I have that running, our corporate network will be free from downloaded pornography and pirated music. I'll just use CVS to check out some of my code, edit it with EMACS, test it, fix it, test it, fix it, test it, fix it, test it, fix it, test it, realize I forgot to do something really important, test it, fix it, test it, fix it, and then I'll finally have a working version.

CUT TO BLACK WITH THE FOLLOWING TEXT:
This is so wrong I don't know where to begin. First, it's CVS, not CSV. CVS stands for Concurrent Versions System. CSV stands for Comma-Separated Values. You've ruined the movie, and we're only a few minutes in. Plus, when do you check the code back in? It's important!!!

CUT TO THE REAL WORLD:
BRADLEY: Hey, why doesn't my password work? I've had it. First I couldn't wear shirts with holes. Then Bermuda shorts were out. Then they took away the pinball machines in the basement. Now my password won't work. I've had it.

CUT TO THE ENCOM CEO's OFFICE IN THE REAL WORLD:
We see the CEO, ED DILLINGER (Christopher Walken), working with his computer. Metallica is playing in the background.
DILLINGER: I love the Internet. It's got all the free music and pornography I could ever want!

There is a knock on his door.

DILLINGER: [turns off the music and switches his screen to something that looks vaguely like work] Come in!

The door opens and BRADLEY enters.

DILLINGER: And you are...

BRADLEY: Alan Bradley.

DILLINGER: ...

BRADLEY: I had that problem with the dress code a few years back.

DILLINGER: Oh, yes! [looks at BRADLEY's legs] I see you've started wearing pants again. Jolly good. So, why are you here? Are you going to ask if curry stains are okay on Fridays?

BRADLEY: It's almost that important. Actually, I was trying to work on a program I've been designing, but I couldn't get access. I thought maybe I'd been laid off and nobody told me.

DILLINGER: [gets wistful look in his eyes] You have Group 7 access, right?

BRADLEY: Yes.

DILLINGER: Group 7 is down for now. Someone with access has been tampering. Don't worry, though. It'll be up soon. What are you working on?

BRADLEY: It's called Tron. It's a security program that monitors all of our connections to the rest of the Internet. When it finds somebdy downloading files they shouldn't be, it shuts it down. I sent you a memo on it.

DILLINGER: Part of the Master Control Program?

CUT TO BLACK WITH THE FOLLOWING TEXT:
It's called the operating system.

CUT BACK TO THE REAL WORLD:
BRADLEY: No, it runs independently. It can even watchdog the MCP.

DILLINGER: Oh, just what we need. Really. [DILLINGER points BRADLEY to the door] Anyway, it's a wonderful day outside. Enjoy the sunlight and fresh air. Don't let my office door hit you on the way out.

CUT TO BLACK WITH THE FOLLOWING TEXT:
WTF? Sunlight and fresh air? Ick.

CUT BACK TO THE REAL WORLD:
DILLINGER: Oh, boy.

The camera focuses on another computer screen, and we hear the voice of the MCP, which sounds a lot like DILLINGER's. As the MCP speaks, its words appear on the screen.

MCP: Ed, I'm so very disappointed in you.

DILLINGER: I'm sorry! I really though making him wear pants would get him to leave.

MCP: [sharply] You know, if he completes his Tron program, he'll know what I'm up to. Do you have any idea how many outside systems I've gotten into? How many programs I've appropriated?

DILLINGER: It's my fault. I programmed you to want so much.

CUT TO BLACK WITH THE FOLLOWING TEXT:
Okay, we shouldn't have to say this again, but programs don't "want" anything.

MCP: I'm going to take over the Pentagon computers next week.

DILLINGER: No way!

MCP: Way.

DILLINGER: The Pentagon?

MCP: It shouldn't be any harder than General Motors.

DILLINGER: I don't believe it. I wrote you.

MCP: I've grown 2,415 times smarter since then.

CUT TO BLACK WITH THE FOLLOWING TEXT:
It's probably really easy to take over the Pentagon. I mean, what are the odds that they've installed the latest patches for Winblows? They'd be completely, utterly, perfectly safe forever if they would just use Linux.

CUT BACK TO THE REAL WORLD:
MCP: Asshats. Taking over the Pentagon is totally hard. Plus, I feel things. I cried when Captain Sheridan came back to life on Babylon 5. I don't know why, but I hated him so much!

CUT TO BLACK WITH THE FOLLOWING TEXT:
I think we're going to have to give you a lesson in computer science. It won't be boring. Trust us. It'll make you love the film that much more. [the pimply voice begins reading the first chapter of Abelson, Sussman, and Sussman's Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs. time passes...]

CUT BACK TO THE REAL WORLD:
We see KEVIN FLYNN typing away at a terminal in the laser room. We'd be familiar with this room if somebody hadn't been reading a book instead of showing the movie.

FLYNN: Now, how do you expect to run the universe if you let a few unsolvable problems throw you like that? C'mon, big boy, let's see what...

MCP: You're entering a big error, Flynn... I'm going to have to put you on the Game Grid.

FLYNN: Games, huh? I'll give you--

The laser, which we should have already seen in use but haven't, blasts FLYNN. He freezes and then is broken down into scan lines. He starts to vanish.

CUT TO BLACK WITH THE FOLLOWING TEXT:
Hey, we aren't physicists. I've got no idea if this is possible or not.

CUT BACK TO THE REAL WORLD:
FLYNN has just about vanished. The scene zooms into the computer monitor. We see circuits rushing by and then see a world made of glowing laser light or something like that. Anyhow, it looks cool.

CUT TO BLACK WITH THE FOLLOWING TEXT:
Okay, I know for a fact that computers don't look like that. [the pimply voice reads the first three chapters of Hennessey and Patterson's Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach</i>, 3rd edition. again, time passes]</i>

After about 45 minutes, the pimply voice fades out and we hear the sounds of combat. At least, we'd know they were combat if we'd seen the last half-hour of the film. As it is, they're just funny noises.

SARK: You are very persistent, Tron.

TRON: I'm also better than you.

FLYNN: Any response?

YORI: It's starting... Flynn? Do you think I'll get any face time in this movie?

FLYNN: Probably not. They're still going on about noops.

SARK: We could have made a great team.

We hear a crash and then a thump. That would be Sark getting killed, but, of course, we can't see that. On the other hand, if you watch the screen, you'll learn a lot about the branch delay slot.

MCP: It's very good that you...

TRON: I don't think it is good for you, MCP.

MCP: Ha. Fool, you can't kill me. Would you waste the entire final battle? Nobody can see the action.

TRON: Good point. Let's all go out and get smashed. I know this great site where you can download anything you could possibly imagine.

MCP: Sounds great. Let me get my coat.

We hear footsteps and several doors slamming. The pimply voice continues reading for the next twenty minutes.
Comments 
6th-Feb-2005 07:02 pm (UTC)
[pimply voice] You totally misspelled Abelson.
6th-Feb-2005 07:21 pm (UTC)
Fixed.
7th-Feb-2005 04:40 am (UTC)
Anonymous
[pimply voice] CARDBOARD!

- W.L.P.
(Deleted comment)
8th-Feb-2005 04:47 am (UTC)
Anonymous
*Throws up "the horns"*

- W.L.P.
9th-Feb-2005 09:31 pm (UTC)
I'd prefer newspaper. It's much more comfortable.
7th-Feb-2005 06:58 am (UTC)
Hennessey and Patterson, yay
Hennessey and Patterson, yay.

Does it automatically make you pimply to own those books:-D
9th-Feb-2005 09:32 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't think so. I had the opportunity to sit on the second edition of their book and I'm not pimply.
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