Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"TRON: Legacy" Preview and "Derezzed" Soup Recipe

Over the summer, I was in San Diego for the third annual appearance of the "TRON: Legacy" posse at Comic-Con and was less than enthused.

The reboot of the 1982 sci-fi flick has been like peas and carrots with the yearly geek-a-thon since it was first announced; turning up a record three times to hype the film, beginning before even a single frame of footage had been captured.

Seeing the cast there, yet again, I had to fight the urge to shout, "Norm!"

Starring Michael Sheen, Olivia Wilde, Garrett Hedlund and, of course, Jeff Bridges, digitally enhanced to look like he's been visiting Jennifer Aniston's dermatologist, back in January I wrote a post for NBC that read, "every time we see ["TRON"s] weird, dark "Speed Racer" looking trailer, we get a bad feeling in the pit of our stomach. Is it just us or is the suck potential of that movie super high?"

While I can't speak to the film's final product--it has yet to be completed and screened--as far as potential goes, I now have nothing but the highest hopes and greatest praise thanks to nine incredible minutes I recently saw.

Hey, when I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong.

This weekend, I found myself at Disneyland's new attraction/interactive marketing campaign, ElecTRONica.

Part of California Adventure, it features a techno dance party, old school games like Centipede and Pac-Man in Flynn's arcade...

...(no secret passage ways, we checked) and an exclusive preview of the film that they tout as being 3D but, thanks to timed lights and blasts of wind, felt more like 4D.

Walking out of that mini preview, I was giddier than a schoolgirl at a Justin Bieber hair-flipping contest.

Follow up films are tricky, especially when they come almost twenty years after the original, but "Legacy" seems to take everything that made the original great and amp it to eleven. Unlike the Lucas effect, where too much technology ruins a good thing ("Episode One," anyone?), "TRON: Legacy" needed to be made in the 21st Century, with all that CGI and 3D have to offer, in order to do visual justice to a story that started in the BetaMax Era.

If the film's two hour running time can hold up to or surpass what they offer in those nine minutes, "Legacy" might just land in the pantheon of great new sci-fi action flicks, alongside J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek" and Neill Blomkamp's "District 9."

December 17 can't come soon enough.

In honor of "TRON: Legacy," why not whip up some "Derezzed Soup"?

A play on the Mexican beef soup, Caldo De Rez, this bad boy has a million particles of flavor, but is healthy enough that you can still rock a skin tight, neon-rimmed bodysuit and look good doing it.

TRON: Legacy Derezzed Soup

serves 8-10

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
2 large potatoes, cubed with skins on
2 ears corn, husked and kernels removed from cob
1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
2 zucchinis, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
about 6 cups water
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 limes, zested and juiced
4-6 tablespoons hot sauce, preferably Tapatio or Cholula
½ cup cilantro, chopped
salt to taste

In a large stock pot over medium high heat, sauté onions in oil until tender and opaque, about five minutes. Add garlic, squash and potatoes and sauté another five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add corn kernels, cabbage, zucchini, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Cover with water, season with salt and cumin and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, skimming off any foam that rises, until vegetables are tender, about 25-30 minutes.

Add lime zest and juice, hot sauce, cilantro and check for salt.

Now dig into that business like you're Pac-Man (or Miss Pac-Man, whatever the case may be).

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