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Review: READY PLAYER ONE is a Nostalgic Good Time

Ready Player One brings back what we enjoyed the most about watching Steven Spielberg’s films of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. The action and adventure and just plain enjoyment of watching movie magic happen. That’s the thing with Spielberg. He just knows how to grab your attention, and he did so plenty of times, most memorably with his Indiana Jones films, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. And those are only the ones he directed. He was executive producer for countless others, including Gremlins, The Goonies, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and of course, the Back to the Future films.

So, you see, when it came to getting this movie made, it just made sense to have Spielberg be behind the director’s seat. It wouldn’t surprise me to know that Ernest Cline wrote the book with the thought of it being optioned and then having Spielberg sign on to direct.

Because of it, we were able to see a future that doesn’t look like it changed all that much, but changed a lot at the same time. Of course, there are certain things in Ready Player One’s future that aren’t real, but they could be.

And there isn’t a VR/AR game that’s so taken in by the majority of the world…but it’s possible.

Spielberg created a world that seemed to really come right out of the pages of Cline’s novel, from the Stacks where Wade lived to the Oasis where anything is possible.

One of the big draws of the movie were all the pop culture references, particularly from the 80s and 90s, including the music and the movies that dominated those decades. The movie didn’t disappoint there, despite the minimal amount of references to any of Spielberg’s previous works, which, although slightly disappointing, does make sense for the director to not toot his own horn.

Besides, there were quite a few other references to things not related to Spielberg and are much loved by many, so it wasn’t too hard to find alternative references and still feel the nostalgia of growing up to many wonderful games and movies.

Add to that the gratuitous splendor of the visual graphics, CGI and motion capture, and we mean this in a good way, Ready Player One is just one of those fun-filled popcorn movies that we love to watch in between the serious, dramatic, obscenely graphic, or wildly independent movies.

There were some pretty cool scenes in the movie, including the race scene and the battle scene. But one in particular had to do with a popular horror movie, and that’s all that should be said about it, but just know it’s both hilarious and ingenious.  

As far as the acting goes, the actors were perfectly fine, but I can’t say there’s anything that stands out about their roles. From our interviews we’ve had with the cast, they certainly had fun working with Spielberg, and I think it shows on the screen.

The joy in watching Ready Player One is feeling like a kid again, but also in knowing that we lived in that age. It’s amusing to know that a movie about the future makes us so pleasantly nostalgic about our past.

And for those who really didn’t get a chance to live through those decades, well, you’ll get to make your own memories, too.