Thursday, September 20, 2018

Short Attention Span Review: Ready Player One

Short Attention Span Review: Ready Player One (2017)

Ready Player One is such a treat for the eyes.  It's also maybe the biggest love letter to pop culture of the 80s and 90s that we've ever seen (sorry, Stranger Things), and it also gives both video games and gamer culture a lot of love.  With all that in mind, it's easy to overlook the two biggest reasons to make time for this whimsical thrill ride.  First, it's Spielberg at his very best, and in my humble opinion, it may be the most impressive motion picture he has directed since his heyday in the years this sci-fi marvel  holds in such high regard.  Secondly, it's a quality story that somehow manages to honor all the various forms of media at the forefront of the tale while underscoring how reality trumps fantasy.  The effects are absolutely stupendous, and all the pop culture icons that litter the screen are represented well.  Those of us who treasure the 80s and 90s will be awed by the multitude of easter eggs in the mix, and spotting these loving little shoutouts is almost as much as fun as enjoying the riches of the tale itself.  Some of the various love letters amount to much more than cameos, and the sequence where the characters enter a legendary horror film may be the highlight of the show.  Honestly, while this picture seems tailor-made for those of us who lived through the 80s and 90s or children whose parents have educated them well on the folklore of our youth, it is so vibrant and exciting that even those who don't grasp many of the references will be delighted.  Some may claim that it's more of an homage to pop culture or video games than it is an original story, but I think that's unfair.  It's a powerful tale (I thought it was roughly akin to Willy Wonka for this generation) that uses these elements to fabulous effect while clearly presenting viewers with a thrilling vision that enthralls and entertains in equal measures. 

Final Score: A

It's not just a love letter to video games and the pop culture of the 80s and 90s, it's also Grade A Spielberg.

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