I’m not surprised at this article. What made the original Tron a cult classic was the fact it was an original story idea for the time, and that it had cheesy special effects, even for the time.
Today it seems that the movie and TV entertainment industry is pushing special effects for everything as a way of cashing in on mass hysteria. It must be easier for them to throw special effects money at a weak story and market it to death rather than working harder to come up with a good story led by a good director and carried by good acting.
Unfortunately, this reliance has led to an "arms race" of special effects – today it is 3D technology, who knows what it will be next – feedback in the chairs? Maybe the added scent of burnt flesh and destruction in the air???
In general, the overuse of special effects by the entertainment industry has led to a decline in the number of truly good, solid movies. Yes, the occasional “independent” blockbuster arises, but today’s après movie water cooler discussions tend to revolve around explosions and action sequences rather than how compelling the actual message that was being delivered.
In a short-sighted quest to cash in on the quick turnaround and fast buck that society seems ruled by today, the industry has failed to realize that humans have thrived on folktales and myths for many thousands of years. We evolved listening to the chronicles of others, and we know a good one when we hear it. I doubt few modern movies will be remembered with the same respect and reverence as past masterpieces like Citizen Kane, Casablanca, To Kill a Mockingbird, or 12 Angry Men (the original and the remake!). These movies were based on great stories and were carried by intelligent direction and great acting.
Like everything else that is new, eventually the shine will wear off 3D and it will become the norm. Once that happens, people will still need a good story to keep them interested.