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Posted on Apr 22nd 2018 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under rf cinema, ready player one, movies


I read Ernest Cline's dystopian, reference-laden young adult novel Ready Player One in 2015 after it was recommended to me by my wife. Though I enjoyed the book, I felt that the reliance on references of 80's pop-culture was a little overwhelming. When I heard that the book was going to be adapted into a film, I was intrigued. What would it be like to have the many intellectual properties referred to in the novel seen on the big screen together? Even with Steven Spielberg at the helm, and the original author contributing to the screenplay, could a coherent story be told with all the pop-culture overlaying the action? I recently checked out the film with my wife, and here are some quick, spoiler-free thoughts.



Ready Player One is the story of Wade Watson, a young man who spends most of his time in a virtual-reality world known as The Oasis. In the future society in which Wade lives, conditions are so unfavorable in real life that many of his fellow citizens are also addicted to spending time in The Oasis. Many of the participants in The Oasis spend their time trying to discover an "Easter Egg" which the creator has left in the game. Whoever discovers this Easter Egg will gain control of The Oasis, and thus a vast fortune and near infinite resources and fame.

It is emphasized in both the book and the film that in The Oasis, users can be whatever they want to be. This ability gives rise to aforementioned plethora of references present in both works. Part of the viewing experience of the film, at least for me and my wife, was wondering which intellectual properties made it into the film. However, this was not as distracting as we thought it would be. In the end, the deluge of references present in the book was toned down enough so as not to be such a distraction in the film.


In a presentation appropriate to the source material, the world of The Oasis and the characters therein are completely computer-generated. Perhaps, like me, you lament the overuse of CGI in popular cinema. Does it make a difference, though, if the source material warrants the heavy use of CGI? It does, but only if done correctly. Sadly, I can't say the film was made in a way to take advantage of this "loophole" in the best way. The movie falls into the trap of having overly flashy action where it can be hard to focus on what is actually important in a shot or scene. Add to that the reference hunting that you will be doing (subconsciously or not) and the movie can really fail to leave a lasting impression.

A friend asked me if he should see this film. He has read the book, and had the same reserved optimism that I did. I'll tell you, dear reader, the same thing I told him. The movie adaptation of Ready Player One is worth seeing at least once, despite being miles wide, but only inches deep. I predict that this movie will not hold up over time, especially when standing for comparison amongst Steven Spielberg's other films. The references and CGI will both grow stale over time and ten years from now, I believe the movie will seem extremely dated (and in many ways, it already comes off that way).

Have you read the book? Are you excited for the movie? 
______

And now a brief word from zophar53:

So with the first of the three major video game movies of 2018 in the bag, things aren't off to a great start. Like GrayGhost, I read and loved the Ready Player One book, and I liked the movie even less than he did. Will Rampage and Wreck-It Ralph 2 do better? I have pretty high hopes for the latter, but we'll have to wait until November for the next adventure from Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz. In the meantime, I've just returned from watching Rampage and will have my thoughts ready for next month's edition of RF Cinema. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on both of these films.

RF Cinema Discussion Thread: http://www.rfgeneration.c...m/index.php?topic=18271.0


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Comments
 
i watch the movie yesterday, i found it pretty boring, like it was a fanboy movie with too much easter eggs about pop culture and the 80's and zero plot, however there is an italian movie with the same concept and almost the same plot released in 1999
 
I have yet to see Ready Player One yet, though it will happen sooner or later.  Regardless of the faithfulness to the source material, I am excited to finally see it.  Hopefully on the big screen, but I will settle for my basement (I guess I just want it to be loud).

The 80's references don't really get to me, though I have heard your observation on that echoed more than once.

@pacco:What was the name of that movie, just our of curiosity?
 
I cannot even begin to describe how disappointing this film was for me and my family. I got the audio book a few years ago as a gift from a friend and we've listened to it on a few family road trips and it has become a favorite that my wife, son and I have bonded over and discussed many times afterwards. When we found out there was going to be a movie made we were all hopeful, yet skeptical. Once we found out that Cline and Spielberg were involved we got a bit more hopeful.

Once they released the first trailer I was a bit nervous, but my wife and son were as excited as ever. We knew lots of content was going to have to be cut and/or changed to make it work at a movie so we had a really awesome discussion about if there was one scene that was our favorite what would it be?

Flash forward to 2 weeks ago and we were away from home on a family trip visiting in brother in law and his family. He was kind enough to watch my toddler daughter so we could have a family movie night and check out Ready Player One. We made a big night of it and went to an oldschool style pizza parlor to discuss how excited we were for the movie while jamming out to Rush 2112 in the car during the ride to the pizza place and theater. It's a pretty blatant lie to even say this movie was based on the book. Other than character names it was a completely different experience in almost every way. Not one of the 3 of us saw the scene or even had it referenced that we were hoping to see. My son who loved the book was mortified during the 2nd challenge. There movies used used in the book were fun adventure type things nothing even close to horror and he was asking us during that whole challenge if he was allowed to watch or if he should watch.

From Ogden to the Oasis to H to iRock to the Key Challenges we kept scratching our heads as to what we were watching. Especially the first challenge. To try and explain how silly it is without spoilers. Imagine you have a significant portion of the worlds population trying to solve a challenge in that game over many many months. Why would it take that long for someone to figure out the first thing any 10 year old would try? It was so ridiculous. And that Odgen essentially cheated to help Parzival. Why a whole corporation full of "experts" can't figure out the most obvious of challenges even after plenty of attempts. Why H who should be an expert in most things Halliday hasn't seen his favorite movies? Why change the name of only one character and it just happens one character of a set where their names are actually of strong importance to their relationship. Why not a single Rush song during the whole movie!!! I could go on for so much more.

I'm not a book snob. I've seen plenty of movies based on books I've read and loved and been able to enjoy both versions. This film adaptation was a disgusting mess of a movie regardless of the source material that they completely ignored. Could not have been more disappointed and it was the ONLY time I've ever been to a movie with my 9 year old son where he was actively asking me a lot of questions during the film as well as pointing out things he thought were "dumb". All 3 of us give it 2 huge thumbs down
 
I haven't even read the book, but have had huge reservations about seeing the movie, based on the premise alone, and how I felt they might have difficulty executing it in a way that made sense and wasn't a mish-mash.  This is one I'll wait to see when I can do so for free, via a friend, rather than paying to see in the theater, or later to rent.  Thanks for the review.
 
I feel I would have like the movie, if I didnt already read the book 3 times.  Its got an ok premises, and the store was ok.  But it was nothing like the book, it was definitely a movie inspired by the book not based.
 
I've read the book and while good it does smash you over the head with references even when they weren't needed.

The film... It was OK. It's so different from the book but then so many films are (Harry Potters for instance). As was said above some of the challenges were stupid some of the acting was terrible (especially Simon Pegg) and the whole bit where the characters meet was just crap. Overall I don't think it was a bad film but yes I also think it will age badly and soon be forgotten. That said my wife who's not 'into' game/films etc liked it so who knows.

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