One major sequence sees Wade and his friends searching an OASIS recreation of the Overlook Hotel from The Shining. This movie is much more than that. Full of garbage and poverty, Earth has become a Wall-E-like world where most people, including Wade, spend all their time playing a virtual reality video game to escape their actual reality. Spielberg has shown audiences time after time that film is something to have fun with while also telling a story; that is art. I can't wait!" And Lena [Waithe] would say, '"Throw anything at me. But that's part of the fun, as is the briskly told story that features a sympathetic group of teens fighting an oppressive corporation bent on taking over the infinite world of virtual reality.
The film is loaded with a chock-full of pop culture references, all of which, surprisingly, help drive the plot forward as opposed to being there for the sake of being there. And then there are probably dozens I missed.
It's somewhat surprising that we didn't get a Goonies reference (or not an obvious one anyway) and inevitably, the absence of most Spielberg Easter Eggs is a shame, but you can understand his reluctance to date himself.
Remember the first time you saw "Jurassic Park" and Doctor Grant grabbed Ellie's head as she was rambling in a truck to face a brontosaurus reaching for leaves and branches in a tall tree while John Williams' legendary score played? This effort is a muddle, and the central thread of the film has an inherent contradiction that goes unnoticed by its creators. Citizens the world over plug into a virtual reality called the Oasis which, by virtue of having been invented by a GenXer named Halliday (Mark Rylance, looking like a cross between Bill Gates and Garth from Wayne's World), is heavily influenced by all things '80s. The only misstep is Mark Rylance as Halliday, who simply isn't convincing as the addled boy genius who never grows up. He's presented as a benevolent, withdrawn genius who invented something billions of people love.
With VR technology already upon us, "Ready Player One" postulates a universe a lot closer to our lives than in those films, and yet it's noticeably deficient in bad vibes.
Unfortunately, we have to experience this conceit-a malleable virtual universe limited and perhaps poisoned by mass-distributed pop culture-from the view of our hero, who in The Oasis appears as a creepy elven Marty McFly type and continues to lack even a shred of self-awareness.
What a thrill ride Steven Spielberg has created! Can the CEO of Facebook be beloved while the CEO of Apple reviled? The movie carries a reported budget of between $150 million and $175 million. Much of "Ready Player One" also promotes a tiresome gamer culture where "real" fanboys outrank "haters", geeks vie with suits, and tech wizards are slavishly worshipped. There's also this comment from Cline he tells The Hollywood Reporter: "I'd always meant to write more in the series, but I never imagined the movie would get done before I finished writing them". "I felt I was, not imitating that, but I felt like I was in that world again". In the second act, there is a scene in which Watts as Parzival and his gang go through a classic horror movie that had me hooked once the film was first mentioned. Many, many more. Nothing is as insufferable as anything the book does, but that's down more to differences in media than actual quality. The movie runs long (two and a half hours!) and the writing is still poor, but overall Ready Player One is watchable.
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