Ready Player One (2018)
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Everything But the Kitchen Sink
Favorite Movie Quote: "Reality is the only thing that's real"
This is a simple tale of a guy, a gal, and a realm where if you can dream it, you can live it. Unfortunately, greedy corporations want to monetize this virtual playground, unless the gut and the gal solve the mystery set by their dead Creator, or all is lost.
A pop reference nirvana, as only Steven Spielberg could afford.
READY PLAYER ONE, a misnomer of a title in this reviewer's opinion, is a pop cultureist's wet dream, and an ILM nightmare. This virtual playground called the Oasis, for a better description, present-day holodeck ("present', meaning 2045), where you can be the Iron Giant battling Mechagodzilla, and you can be in a race to avoid King Kong. Since the film is PG-13 AND directed by Spielberg, salacious material had been tastefully omitted from the storyline.. If you want THAT fantasy, go see EYES WIDE SHUT.
But I digress.
Halliday (Mark Rylance) hs died, and in ihs legacy, grants one person literally the "Keys to the Kingdom," complete control over the Oasis, to do as they please, providing that person can find the three keys hidden in the realm. That could essentially make that one person a trillionaire, and CEO of one of the biggest games in the world. Naturally, this prize is sought after by everyone, notably the evil Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), head of the sinister IOI Corporation, who sees the game to complete his quest for World Domination. Our heroes, Wade (Tye Sheridan), orphaned as a child, now in the care of his Aunt and abusive stepfather, his virtual girlfriend Art3mis ( Olivia Cooke), and his virtual best friend Aech (Lena Waithe), who is a technical wizard, go about finding the clues set by Halliday,
With all this in place, it is now up to the movie viewer to spot the hundreds of pop references scattered throughout the film. If you haven't been to the movies in awhile, don't worry. Most of the references are a bit dated so most won't get lost.
On my personal rating scale of with "5" being drop everything and see the movie now; if you're female, bear the producers' children and "0" being burn down the theater, murder the movie staff, and violate their dog, this movie earns a "5," This is rare, even for Spielberg, who usually lets the story carry the film. READY PLAYER ONE is the special combination of an engrossing story, combined with dizzying visual effects. This reviewer had forgotten how great a storyteller Spielberg is. Try and find the role played by Simon Pegg, who is also key to the story. Finally, as the Ultimate Drinking Game, find as many pop culture references as you can in the film; extra points if you can name the movie it's from.
READY PLAYER is rated PG-13, for sequences of sci-fi action violence, bloody images, some suggestive material, partial nudity and language. The film stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance, Philip Zhao, and Win Morisaki Written by Zak Penn, and Ernest Cline, and directed by Steven Spielberg.
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