Movie Reviews 101 ABC Film Challenge – Ready Player One (2018) – Encore Review


This review is part of the Monthly ABC Film Challenge over at Movie Reviews 101.  This month’s theme is Favorite Films of 2018.

If you’re interested in taking part, feel free to contact Darren.

Tnx for letting me take part Darren!

Here‘s the link to the original post.

“In the form of my avatar, Anorak the all knowing. I created three keys. Three hidden challenges test worthy traits, revealing three hidden keys to three magic gates. And those with the skill to survive these strengths will reach the end, where the prize awaits.” – Anorak

Number of Times Seen – 2 (2 Apr 2018 and 13 Jan 2019)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – In the near-future where most people in the world spend their time in a virtual on-line world, a teenager tries to win a complex contest created by the now deceased creator of the virtual world.

My Take on it – When thinking of my favorite films from the year, this is the first one that popped into my head and I immediately knew that I wanted to revisit it again both by re-reading the novel and re-watching the film.

I was once again blown away by both because they do such a great job of translating Ernest Cline’s superb novel to the screen.

The fact that the novel and the movie are the same story yet choose different paths to reach the same place is amazing.

The tasks in both are different but that has so much to do with the fact that some of the scenes in the book would be quite tedious on screen but were riveting on the page.

Both storylines run parallel to one another and manage to give us something so unique and complex that it remains poignant in either format.

The characters are great and the manage to build such a great visual platform for us to envision this future world that they created for us.

This film is filled with lots and lots of 80’s and 90’s nostalgia and they are able to get us into the mindset of that era so easily.

The music used on the soundtrack does just that and gives us the pure 80’s beat even in a science fiction futuristic world while keeping the viewer still waxing for 80’s nostalgia the whole way through.

Love the way that the message of the film builds so much on the message of the book and finds a way to personalize it for the viewer.

There is no question in my mind that this film will be quite high on my Top Ten Films of 2018.

Bottom Line – Such an amazing adaptation of Cline’s novel.  The fact that the novel and film are so much the same, yet very different is amazing because they are able to build a visually sound storyline that runs parallel to the written version which could possibly never be made due to its complexity. The characters are great and they get the entire pop-culture nostalgia of the 80’s and 90’s so right.  This is done via references but also via the music used n the soundtrack that helps the viewer wax nostalgia for the days of the 80’s. The film has such a poignant message that builds on the message of the book and in some ways even brings it more personally t the viewer.  One of the best film of the year by far. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia –  Ready Player One, as in the book, pays homage to popular culture from various time periods, mainly the 1970s and 1980s but also extending to the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s; reviewers have identified well over a hundred references to films, television shows, music, toys, video games, anime and comics from these eras. Cline did not have any issues with these copyrighted elements when he published the book, but was aware that securing all necessary rights would be a major obstacle for a film adaptation. This task was eventually made easier thanks to Spielberg’s reputation in the film industry. Spielberg and producer Kristie Macosko Krieger spent several years securing the rights for the copyrighted elements used in the film long before filming began, knowing that some scenes would not be possible without certain copyrighted elements. In the end, Spielberg estimated that they managed to get about 80% of the copyrighted elements they desired, noting that in some cases, the filmmakers were able to secure rights for some but not all the characters they wanted. In negotiating with Warner Bros., they could not secure Close Encounters of the Third Kind from Columbia Pictures, despite the latter being one of Spielberg’s first films as director. Blade Runner, which was integral to the plot of the book, was off-limits as Blade Runner 2049 was in production at the same time as Ready Player One; as a replacement, the creative team had the players play through the events of The Shining, which Spielberg was able to secure the rights to as an homage to his friend Stanley Kubrick. While Cline’s original work heavily used the character of Ultraman, the rights over the character were still under legal dispute, requiring them to replace Ultraman with the titular robot from The Iron Giant and RX-78-2 Gundam. Spielberg recognized that his past films were a significant part of the 1980s popular culture cited in the book, and to avoid being accused of “vanity”, he opted to remove many of the references to his own work. Cline stated that he believed Spielberg wanted to avoid self-references to films he directed, due to the criticism he received for his film 1941, which lampooned his own previous works Jaws and Duel. Cline said he had to convince Spielberg to include some iconic elements, such as the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future, which Spielberg conceded as the film was one he produced rather than directed. Spielberg also allowed the Tyrannosaurus rex from his own Jurassic Park to be included. Cline also asked ILM to include a reference to Last Action Hero, one of Penn’s first screenplays, without Penn’s knowledge. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (slight downgrade from original review)

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5 thoughts on “Movie Reviews 101 ABC Film Challenge – Ready Player One (2018) – Encore Review

  1. This film disappointed me. (I haven’t read the book). It’s funny that you mention “The Last Action Hero” in this article, because that’s the closest analogy I found to this film: a great story concept that, on paper, probably looked like the most fun movie ever made, but which became aggressively mediocre as it got made in reality. I couldn’t connect with the characters, and their quest seemed unable to surmount the “so what?” barrier. There were some good and funny bits, but overall this film lacks something fundamental it needs to succeed. I’d be very surprised if it manages to scrape up more than one or two Oscars in purely technical categories.

    Liked by 1 person

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