You knew this was coming, didn't you?
Suffice to say that in the past two years I've made no secret of my affection for either 'Tron: Legacy' or its predecessor, 'Tron.' But the thing about a movie or franchise that begins during one's childhood or some impressionable stage of one's moviegoing life is that often nostalgia overwhelms any sense of objectivity, such as is possible, regarding its merits. At the same time, a generational divide emerges between viewers who loved it when it was first released, and who didn't see it until their older counterparts assured them emphatically that the damn thing was nothing short of a masterpiece. And the question is: who's right?
The answer is both and neither. It's as impossible to relinquish that subconscious attachment to a text or film as it is to ignore the expectations one gets from hearing something's good. (This is also why I recommend that anyone interested in 'Tron: Legacy' ignore Twitter, Facebook, or other social media until the film comes out so that they can judge the film for themselves.) But all of that's also why 'Tron' seems like one of the most worthy candidates for a "Shelf Life" column – namely, because its pedigree remains as controversial today as when it was first released.