Along with Christmas and New Year’s, the new December tradition appears to be the release of a gigantic 3-D science fiction blockbuster. Last year, “Avatar” stormed its way into cineplexes, and today (Friday, December 17) sees the release of “Tron: Legacy,” a pricey bit of sci-fi escapism that is a spiritual sequel to the 1982 cult classic “Tron.” Costing hundreds of millions of dollars and headed up by a first-time director, “Tron: Legacy” is a big gamble but has the potential to be especially huge. With a hot cast that includes Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde and Oscar winner Jeff Bridges, “Tron: Legacy” has some of the most head-splitting eye candy you’ll see on the big screen all year, so that alone should draw plenty of curious people into the warm bosom of their local movie theater in between packing for holiday travel and doing that last-minute Christmas shopping. (Of course, “Black Swan” opens wide this week, so you should really be seeing that as many times as possible as well.)
If you need another great reason to check out “Tron: Legacy,” then consider the music. The score was handled by French electronic duo Daft Punk, and the result is a buzzing, envelope-pushing exploration of future sounds. But in order to put yourself in the right frame of mind before losing yourself in the world of “Tron: Legacy,” check out the playlist below. It’s chock full of tracks from Daft Punk as well as odes to video games (Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game,” Blindside’s “Fell in Love With the Game”) and ’80s nostalgia (Calvin Harris’ “Acceptable in the ’80s”). There’s also Dashboard Confessional’s “Stolen” (which stars Wilde) and Gwyneth Paltrow’s “Country Strong” (which features Hedlund). But let’s get things started with Daft Punk’s “Derezzed,” a blistering bolt of keyboard lightning that should get you in the mood to watch a light cycle battle.