Ready Player One

ready-player-oneThere are very few immutable truths in this world, but here’s one: if you don’t like Steven Spielberg’s movies, then you don’t like movies. The brilliance of Ready Player One (and it is brilliant) is that it’s a Spielberg movie through and through, only because its source material references Spielberg repeatedly, the result is something exponentially more Spielberg than you could ever have though possible.  Ready Player One is a true blockbuster and a worthy addition to Spielberg’s list of classics.

All the references contained here, not just to Spielberg’s past work but to every pop culture thing ever, are essential for this movie to work, and Spielberg clearly knows it. Moreover, he embraces it without reservation. After all, the book (which should be read immediately by anyone between ages 30 and 50 who grew up playing videogames) is the perfect vessel for 80s nostalgia. The movie clearly is trying to top the book’s reference count, and it may have succeeded (the totals are way too high to accurately count).

What is great about the book remains great in the movie. And yet, the movie and book tell significantly different stories, which is greater still because there are all sorts of some amazing surprises to be found in the film even if you’ve read the book repeatedly. At tonight’s SXSW world premiere, Spielberg introduced the film by stating he approached it as pure fan service and his mission was to give the people in the seats exactly what they wanted, and I can confirm he accomplished exactly that. Oh, yes, that’s right, WE GOT TO WATCH READY PLAYER ONE WITH STEVEN SPIELBERG. It was every bit as mindblowing as it sounds.

Also mindblowing: one particular sequence in the movie that pays homage to a classic film (incidentally, it’s not an homage to a Spielberg film; rather, it’s to a film directed by someone who influenced Spielberg – and it’s not something that was in the book).  I do not think I am exaggerating to say it is one of the finest sequences that Spielberg has given us, which obviously is a big deal because we are talking about STEVEN FUCKING SPIELBERG. You will know this sequence when you see it, and as soon as you do you will want to immediately see it again. And again. And again.

That amazing sequence is a standout but it’s not alone. There are several other incredible set pieces in Ready Player One, containing some of the best visual effects we’ve ever seen. Of course, the effects are only window dressing. What makes the scenes so great is Spielberg. As the camera swerves and dodges, and as avatars fight monsters, drive cars through obstacle courses, and traverse epic battlefields by leaps and bounds, the viewer is never lost for a second, because we are being guided through the chaos by a master. I loved this movie and I bet you will too. I’m just sorry to have to wait two weeks before I can watch it again.

 

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36 thoughts on “Ready Player One

  1. Pingback: Ready Player One — ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES | Fantasy Gift Sources: Book Reviews, Article Resources, News

    1. Sean Post author

      It’s a niche book but the movie stands on its own. It’s such a spectacle, definitely best as a big screen experience, and I think “well Spielberg” is all the reason anyone should need anyway!

      Liked by 1 person

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    2. Jay

      Spielberg was quick to point out that he wanted the movie to be accessible to non-gamers as well, and I think it is. I certainly don’t get all the little homages to 1980s videogames. Sometimes the audience chuckled and I had no idea about what. But I still enjoyed the movie.

      Liked by 2 people

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  2. Christopher

    The book was so much fun because it was talkin’ about my generation, and while that could have been distracting or given me nostalgia fatigue the story was also very compelling.
    The funny thing is I kept thinking, how could they possibly make this into a movie? But you summed it up in two words: Stephen Spielberg.

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. Sean Post author

      That’s it exactly, Spielberg and co-screenwriter Zak Penn have made this story into an epic Spielberg blockbuster. Compared to the book the movie is more accessible, more lean, and more mainstream. But I think there are still more than enough niche references to satisfy fans of the book.

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  3. Tessa

    Sean introduced Chris to the book Ready Player One and I have been hearing about it ever since. Chris will be pumped to hear that the movie is just as good!

    Liked by 2 people

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  4. Pingback: SXSW: A Vigilante | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

  5. Arionis

    The book is one of my all time favorites. I’ve read it three times. When I saw the trailer I was a little worried, but now your review has gotten me excited again. I’ll definitely be seeing it.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Sean Post author

      I wasn’t sure how it would be either, but I figured Spielberg would get it right, and he delivered a really fun movie. The scenes from the trailers looked way better in the movie, especially the race scenes from the first trailer which suddenly made sense!

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. Paul S.

    That is awesome that you got to see that SXSW premier ! Really wish I was part of that crowd. The book was phenomenal in my opinion and after reading this review, my fears of the book to movie plot change are wisked away! Thanks !

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  7. Lloyd Marken

    Glad to hear you loved it Sean, the trailers haven’t excited me and there are different opinions about the book. Still I’m a big Spielberg fan too and your report is not the only one coming out of SXSW that is giving the film a big increase in buzz.

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  8. jennysdatingadvice

    It’s really really really good. I mean The Shining scene and then Chucky shows up. At Th very least it was so much fun to watch…and I’ve never played a video game in my life…I kinda feel like I missed out 😕

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  9. Netflix&Tea

    Nice review, feel the same way about the film. Check out my review if you have a minute let me know what you think. Love the part about being guided through the chaos by a master.

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  10. Pingback: Ready Player One | ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

  11. John Atom

    You’re right in that the movie was a spectacle and an amazing one at that. Not 1 second of it felt boring. What disappointed me, however, was the it failed to provide any insightful commentary regarding its subject matter. I would have liked to see more of the actual sociological consequences of OASIS – other than just seeing people on the streets dancing with their visors on.

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  12. Pingback: ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIESSXSW: Blindspotting

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