Will Watch | Ready Player One (DVD) Review

If you love movies, watch them. If you love TV shows, watch them. If you love easter eggs, look for them. If you love pop culture in general, get to know it. The DVD (or more specifically, the Blu-Ray) for Ready Player One released a couple of months ago. So, have you watched Spielberg’s latest blockbuster hit yet?

If not, you need to get to know it too. 

dvdRUN-DOWN: Adapted by Ernest Cline’s book, Spielberg takes us through a journey back into the OASIS.

Set in the future (2045, to be specific), Parzival/Wade Watts (played by Tye Sheridan) beats the odds and wins the first of three challenges set by OASIS creator James Halliday (Mark Rylance).

This follows a quest to complete all three challenges in order to get access to rights and ownership to the virtual reality world.

Ready Player One‘s 4K Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray 3D and Blu-Ray features include:

  • Game Changer: Cracking The Code (go on a journey with Steven Spielberg, his cast and his creative team as you’ll be given an insight into the movie-making that bought RPO to the big screen, a must watch!)
  • Effects For A Brave New World (visual effects)
  • Level Up: Sound For The Future
  • High Score: Endgame (10 minutes of Alan Silvestri’s contribution to the movie)
  • Ernie & Tye’s Excellent Adventure (Tye Sheridan quizzes the author on ’80s movies, should be a good watch!)
  • The ’80s: You’re The Inspiration (a tribute to Ernest Cline as well as the collective ’80s nostalgia from cast & crew, another must watch)

REVIEW: The first race scene is absolutely fantastic. It’s five minutes of gripping action packed with plenty of movie homages, whether it’s the T-Rex from Jurassic Park or Kong from any of the King Kong movies. There’s even a fair amount of the iconic DeLorean from the Back To The Future trilogy.

Ready Player One dinosaurThis scene is one for the movie goers. Visually, this scene is stunning and it is one where you simply cannot take your eyes away from the screen. This is where we really see the action flow through the movie and one that makes you think whether or not Spielberg is back to his very blockbuster action self.

Spoiler Alert: He is.

When I’m looking at this part in the movie, I don’t where to focus my attention. I mean, did you see the DeLorean going under that truck? Or the moving building reminiscent of those in Inception? It’s no wonder that this proved to be a very difficult movie to visually make.

Ready-Player-One-The-Shining-sceneThe Shining

Well, I think you know what I’m going to talk about next. The entire sequence in the cinema was both superbly executed and another stand-out in the movie for me. I recently watched The Shining (terrific movie, by the way) for the first time and Ready Player One back-to-back. I was just blown away by how the scene had so much content from Kubrick’s 1980 horror classic in just a limited space of time. This part in the movie is filled with homages to the movie. You could go as far to say that it’s basically an animated version of The Shining but with the characters from Ready Player One.

This five-minute scene in the movie pays homage to many iconic moments in The Shining, such as: The Two Twins, the overflow of blood from the elevator, the axe breaking down the door, the chase in the maze, and the naked woman in the bathroom that turns out to be an old woman (kinda reminds me of that Melisandre scene in Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 1 which is a completely different review but I just wanted to mention it for any of the Game of Thrones fans reading this review).

It’s safe to say that the entire sequence is one of the movie’s best scenes, and one of my  favourite movie scenes of the year.

What stood out throughout this “Pop Culture Movie” is the Easter Eggs and References.

These are the heart of the movie. Everytime The Iron Giant appeared on-screen, or I saw the TARDIS from Doctor Who in the background, King Kong, T-Rex or Chucky I smiled. It’s what I love about this movie because it puts together all these different aspects from all these different movies and, as a movie fan, it’s just so great to see.

iron giantI would list all the times I saw something I recognized from a movie, TV show, or even a video game but that would be an entirely different article.

Although it was great to see all the characters from various sides of the pop culture world, I did think having all of these Easter Eggs in most of the frames of the movie was a distraction to see. This, for me, was a slight negative and a hindrance to the main story because instead of focusing on the plot I was partly focused on whether or not I found any-and-every easter egg or I got this reference or that one. I just thought Spielberg could’ve dialed down on this aspect of the movie a bit.

An honourable mention in this review for the club scene in which Art3mis and Parzival are looking for the next clue and they end up going out on the dance-floor where they have a ‘dance-off’, leading up to a homage to Saturday Night Fever. I thought that it was superbly executed and actually quite funny as well as developing a love story between the two characters.

I think the big negative that I found in the movie was Mark Rylance and his portrayal as Halliday, the owner of the OASIS. I just did not connect to this character at all and it just felt like Rylance was trying to be Willy Wonka (although thinking about the story, it feels like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where the keys resemble the golden tickets and the fact that whoever wins has ownership of the business).

He seemed sad although he was very wealthy and quite a few people looked up to him. Even Wade Watts says in the movie “He’s [Halliday’s] a God.” Finally, I’m not saying it was a bad performance from Rylance, it just wasn’t for me.

REFLECTION: I loved Ready Player One. It’s nostalgic, it’s visually stunning, it’s incredibly creative, it’s lengthy and there were scenes that just blew me away. It’s a great movie and one of my favourites of the year. Movie-goers, TV show watchers and video game players: watch this movie!

Will-Watch Rating: 80%

(Images courtesy of Amblin Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures)

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