Retro Frankenfight: Short Circuit Vs. TRON

We like technology because it's "cool". But you know what? If it weren't for the brave tech-loving men and women of Hollywood, technology wouldn't be something you spoke of in public. Imagine a world where white earbuds weren't reason for a rough mugging, but a brutal wedgie instead.

That's why this week's Franken is between the two iconic movies that were arguably inarguably paramount in coaxing the masses to accept two of the dorkiest technologies (robots and software) as their rightful, hipper overlords. We took reviews from Ebert, the NY Times, Rotten Tomatoes and the scholarly IMDB community, and we converted them to fact through means of bar graph after the jump. Read the reviews, and then let us know the movie that convinced you that technology was not evil.

Retro Frankenfight: Short Circuit Vs. TRON

"The interior of a computer is a fine and private place, but none, I fear, do there embrace, except in TRON...The movie addresses itself without apology to the computer generation, embracing the imagery of those arcade video games that parents fear are rotting the minds of their children. [1]

Retro Frankenfight: Short Circuit Vs. TRON

[Short Circuit] was great from scene one, with the strange "computer" music, to the near hypnotic assembly of one of the robots... [3]

At a time when we're all too aware of the fatal failures of advanced technology, this robot is also reassuring. [2]

Retro Frankenfight: Short Circuit Vs. TRON

[But] What if a movie could capture the very spirit of a computer toy and make it last not just for a few quarters' worth of time, but indefinitely?...'TRON'' means to be a gloriously puerile movie, the full-fledged screen embodiment of a video game. It even means to go to the heart of video gamesmanship, and its premise is very promising in its way. [2]

Retro Frankenfight: Short Circuit Vs. TRON

There is a robot in "Short Circuit" that is really cute, if "cute" can apply to a robot. Its name is No. 5, and it moves and talks and even seems to think like something that is alive, even though we can see, clear as day, that it's made of tubes and wires and photoelectric cells...Too bad that robots, unlike humans, cannot be discovered in one movie and go on to star in another. I'd like to see No. 5 in a film more suitable to its talents. [1]

Retro Frankenfight: Short Circuit Vs. TRON

Sick, sick story of robot-lust. Avoid this film unless you seek moral corruption. [3]

For the record I give [Short Circuit] an official rating of green crap and banana sandwich. This is the worst comedy ever made. Ever. [3]

Retro Frankenfight: Short Circuit Vs. TRON

Tron is no doubt in my mind, the worst movie ever...Everyone I know who has seen it agrees with me...all it is is a bunch of guys throwing little, electronic frizbees. [3]

Winner: TRON
Even without NYT numerical scoring in the graph, TRON wins by a landslide. We recommend the DVD for its fantastic bonus features, for any late adopters out there. Surprisingly, Short Circuit actually made $13 million more at the box office, and Johnny 5 seems to be widely accepted by critics, even though his movie (and its sequel) were panned.

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Short Circuit [rotten tomatoes]
TRON [rotten tomatoes]