Ready Player One (2018)
March 31, 2018 4:26 AM - Subscribe

When the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune.
posted by Stanczyk (40 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Saw it last night and enjoyed it in spite of its obvious weaknesses. I've never read the book but given that Cline co-wrote the screenplay, I assume that the movie sticks pretty close to the original and boy is the screenplay pretty terrible. The super heavy-handed exposition and the dialog are some of the worst that I can remember in a major action film. I can't remember rolling my eyes harder than when the Art3mis character yells something like "Look it's Mecha-Godzilla!", as if we might miss that little detail. The basic plot is such a cliche of "white boy from nowhere saves the world" tropes that if I didn't know better, I'd think that it was an intentional parody.

On the other hand, it's an action film from Steven Spielberg and he managed to make a fun movie out of a ridiculously clunky screenplay. You can almost hear him crack his knuckles in anticipation before each big set-piece and it's hard to not sit back and just enjoy the flashy things happening on the screen. I think that I'd have enjoyed it more if I couldn't speak english and could just watch the pretty picture and still wouldn't have much trouble following the plot.

I was pretty wary when I heard about the Shining sequence but I think that was my favorite part; you could so feel Spielberg's love for his friend Kubrick's film. The dance scene was fun too.

Other than the lead, the acting is fun and generally just enough over-the-top to know that most of the actors were having fun with it. The big exception would be Tye Sheridan who did OK as a pouty knucklehead but he never managed to give anything like a Harrison Ford acknowledgement that he was in on the joke. Ben Mendelsohn on the other hand was having a great time playing the big-bad as every evil principal/dean from 80s movies.

Not much of the world-building of external world makes much sense; what do these people do for a living to afford internet connections? Who would build giant rickety towers of house trailers in the tornado prone midwest? Why do the civilian police not show up until the very end?
posted by octothorpe at 7:48 AM on March 31, 2018 [7 favorites]


The best thing I can say about the movie is that it's shorter than reading the book.

I hated the book, and if anything the movie simplifies it and exposes it's plot flaws and tropes even more.
posted by Catblack at 9:16 AM on March 31, 2018 [3 favorites]


Saw this last night and even the overstuffed reclining seats couldn't stop me from fidgeting in boredom. This movie should have been right in my wheelhouse (80s pop culture references! MMORPG melees! Plucky rebels vs megacorp! Dystopian SF!) but it felt hours and hours and hours long and loud and pointless.

The CGI'd avatars had far more life than their fleshy counterparts, now I fear for Solo. The real life action scenes had so much Spielbergian glitter on them that they felt more stage-y than the completely CGI'd Oasis scenes.

In my packed theater, one of the few spontaneous laughs from the techy-heavy audience was over the placement and content of a Post-It note. The Shining sequence was the only one with any tension, where you felt the characters actually might have something to lose.
posted by jamaro at 12:37 PM on March 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


I just realized this movie about finding an "Easter Egg" is opening on Easter Weekend. Groan.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:11 PM on March 31, 2018 [3 favorites]


I can't remember rolling my eyes harder than when the Art3mis character yells something like "Look it's Mecha-Godzilla!", as if we might miss that little detail.

Wife and I saw it with 3 kids between 11 and 13, and there were definite things they just DID NOT GET, because they didn't live through them. I thought that yes, they didn't have to announce things, but I think it was a good idea to keep the people who didn't live through it a little extra insight.
posted by mikelieman at 3:59 PM on March 31, 2018 [4 favorites]


So, I'd started RPO the book and made it just as far as the dance club scene. I'd figured out by that point that Aech was going to be a girl. But as a queer nominal-girl who spent most of my teens and twenties (and okay a chunk of my 30s) playing male characters in online roleplay, I was really shocked how nice it felt. Even if it's not the deepest relationship in the world, Wade's best friend is a non-femme queer WOC and representation for that sort of thing is so rare. I had to go back to look, but I'm pretty sure Aech is supposed to be presenting as white online in the book, and I liked that the character onscreen was definitely male but much less coded as "pretending to be white on the internet". (I say this despite having spent probably tens of thousands of actual hours playing incredibly white dudes on the internet, though.)

Mostly I wouldn't recommend it to anybody who wouldn't find any other generic explosion movie fun, though. I do, and this was basically a notch above the average because it felt more personally relevant to my life experiences. But like--if I wanted a great exploration of the potential of an adventure through virtual realities, I'd want an adaptation of Otherland, not this. Or something else, you know, written by someone more socially-conscious but also more recent.

The coolest part of the whole thing, actually, was that my Alamo had two actual Deloreans outside. I'd never seen one in person before.

Who would build giant rickety towers of house trailers in the tornado prone midwest?

Ohio's not really that part of the midwest. I mean, there are some tornadoes, but drastically fewer than someplace like Nebraska or Kansas. Not that it isn't still silly, but in general I saw a lot more trailers in Ohio than I see in Nebraska, and trailers in general are terrible if you're actually concerned with anybody inside them surviving a tornado. Still far worse if you stack them on top of each other, but this felt, if not accurate, at least true to the spirit of the way Ohio tends to try to solve affordable housing problems by stuffing people into the least safe arrangements that technically still count as having a roof over your head, grumble.
posted by Sequence at 8:39 PM on March 31, 2018 [4 favorites]


Oh, also, still kinda mad about the Iron Giant thing, but less so having known it was being piloted by a person and that it wasn't an AI Iron Giant character who'd been summoned to this particular battle for help. I have now twice made myself cry, the first time thinking about Iron Giant--and the second time about Fionavar Tapestry's pacifist giants that made Iron Giant so much worse for me to watch the first time.

...apparently let's make that three and just call it both. I wish the film had at least addressed that in some tiny way somewhere.
posted by Sequence at 8:47 PM on March 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


> Who would build giant rickety towers of house trailers
> in the tornado prone midwest?

Ohio's not really that part of the midwest. I mean, there are some tornadoes, but drastically fewer than someplace like Nebraska or Kansas.
I believe this has been changed for the movie but in the book Wade Watts starts out living in "the stacks" on the outskirts of Oklahoma City.
posted by Nerd of the North at 1:41 AM on April 1, 2018 [2 favorites]


Saw it last night, and thoroughly enjoyed it. This is, imho, not a movie for deep analysis (are the stacks in Ohio? Oklahoma?). It's fun and nostalgic and, well, Spielbergian. Doesn't disappoint, fun entertainment, will be forgotten.
posted by parki at 4:10 AM on April 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


Ah, see, I didn't remember that, thanks, Nerd of the North! I mean, no, it really doesn't warrant that much of a deep dig into it, which is I guess ironic given the subject matter, but sometimes overthinking things is entertaining.
posted by Sequence at 11:51 AM on April 1, 2018


Yah, the stacks in the book are in Oklahoma, in the movie, it's Ohio. Everyone wins!

I enjoyed the movie, but I think I'm dead zero in the demographic targeting computer, too. One of the best parts about the film was that it did make changes from the book that were beneficial to improving the story and some of the characters. At the same time, there were still problems that persisted and were carried over from the book, be it Wade's infatuation with Artemis (they toned it down, but there's one part where he reaches out and touches her the first time they meet and it bugged me a lot), or times where they left something in the book that had no clear context or introduction in the film (reference to the Oasis educational system).

It may have simply been a mistake to keep Cline on as someone to work on the script, versus letting Kal Penn and maybe someone else cut and slice away without the creator of the source material being present. I don't know enough about the writing process to know if this would have helped or not, but the more areas they toned down the quintessential aspect of the book "LOOK WHAT I KNOW AND REMEMBER IN ENCYCLOPEDIC DETAIL" the better it went. A rough part was Wade and Artemis testing each other's knowledge of Halliday (boring and kind of nerd ragey - As someone who's gone into the deep end on trivia for a single topic - I'd never try to show off how much I knew to someone else - it's weird, bullyish, and stupid). As someone pointed out above, I loved that it was knowledge of something in context, not the ability to simply regurgitate it (which in a way, mirrored the IOI attempts to win), that important - no recitation of Monty Python.

Daito and Shou were still pretty much one dimensional characters - a major problem from the book. I had no idea that Hannah John-Kamen was in this, and it was a gosh darn delight to see her pop up and for the most part, carry a rather one dimensional Spielberg villain/henchperson for at least a little bit of the film.

I appreciated how they retained the quarter's aspect and use in the film.

Also, the most cringeworthy line may have been, "A fanboy always knows a hater." Fanboy is just not a very positive word these days. It's use felt very awkward and I wouldn't be shocked if that was Cline, who, incidentally wrote, Fanboys. Not only was it a poor word choice, but the way it was delivered definitely came across some of that gatekeeper type arrogance that is kind of toxic.

Tye Sheridan....was okay. Jamaro's opinion that the avatars had more life than their actors was definitely accurate for Sheridan's portrayal. I actually got a little less interested when he was on the screen instead of Parzival. Sheridan was fine, but he didn't have a lot of charisma, or at least, not compared to his online equivalent.
posted by Atreides at 7:22 AM on April 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


I'd never try to show off how much I knew to someone else - it's weird, bullyish, and stupid

I have no idea if this is how the scene was originally intended, mind, but I do think it works, sort of, if you think of it in the sense of a secret handshake: They're proving to each other that they each individually care enough about this to know all of that off the cuff and establish that while they're competitors, they're at that stage honorable rivals and more trustworthy for it than someone who had to wait to get that information fed to them or look something up because they weren't as personally invested.

I don't really like the whole thing about needing to have an encyclopedic knowledge of Halliday's life in order to win, though, in the first place, especially when Halliday himself clearly wants a successor with a better idea of life priorities. Like, he wanted someone who could do the lateral thinking to go backwards, and yet he set it all up to require less "lateral thinking" and more "obsessive video watching". So the recitation is less stupid in the context of the contest itself being stupid? I guess that doesn't help it much. Like, this is what the contest has reduced them to, using up their brain cells on Halliday's favorite things to put on toast, so what else do they have to bond over.
posted by Sequence at 11:39 AM on April 2, 2018 [3 favorites]




Why do the civilian police not show up until the very end?

Somebody brought the confetti; I assume it was them
posted by kurumi at 10:32 PM on April 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


It was pretty fun to my 00s era kids, and a vast improvement over the book (though admittedly that’s not a high bar). I mean, beyond the book being a giant listicle of stuff of the 80s, the movie had decent internal consistencies. The book did not, and that drives me crazy beyond everything else going on with it.

Reminds me of watching BBT (which I just realized we stopped doing two years ago) ... it’s the *only* nerdy thing out there, even if we don’t “like” what we are supposed to about it (laughtrack is all wrong on BBT).
posted by tilde at 12:27 AM on April 3, 2018


I used to have to drive a lot, and I listened to a ton of audiobooks. I have to say that the Ready Player One audiobook was great fun and I enjoyed it immensely. It's fluff, it's cheesy, it's a great romp.

I saw the movie today. It's fluff, it's cheesy, it's a great romp. It's not great art and people will not be discussing the meaning behind it at cocktail parties for years to come, but I don't think it set out to be that. It was a perfectly delightful way to spend a few hours of a snowy afternoon.

There were changes from the book - Art3mis was in the detention center, Art3mis and Parzival met in person prior to the second to last page of the book (or thereabouts), about a zillion side-events were taken out...and that's okay. Ernest Cline crammed an entire lifetime of minutiae into one book - which I found kind of charming, like a kid who just learned about something new and just can't stop telling you everything they know about the new thing - and it would have been excruciating in movie form.
posted by Elly Vortex at 6:28 PM on April 3, 2018 [1 favorite]


The one thing I hated hated HATED was at the very end. They're going back to the stacks and calling out "everyone who can help us, PLEASE COME HELP!". All of the stacks-folk show up and make a big crowd around Nolan Sorrento so he can't get to the van. Then Sorrento holds a pistol up in the air and everyone's just like "oh man it's A GUN! Uh okay we'll all peacefully part like the red sea so that the man with THE GUN can go kill the hero. We were all set to make a stand until THE GUN showed up. Our freedom to game in the OASIS is on the line but he's got A GUN so uh no"

Like...nobody else there has a gun? Or a baseball bat? Or a plank with a rusty nail hanging out of it? Or a cast iron pan? I really was not impressed by watching a crowd of semi-reasonable people suddenly turn into deer-in-headlights when the evil dude brandished a pistol that he was going to use to kill the hero. He didn't even point it at anyone, just held it in the air. Everyone moves aside with wide eyes and zero argument. The gun ends the conversation.
posted by Elly Vortex at 6:35 PM on April 3, 2018 [15 favorites]


See, I was "yelling" at it from the other way. I didn't expect anyone to have a gun, but nobody thought "Hey, let's make this dolt run out of bullets."
posted by tilde at 6:25 AM on April 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think the crowd and the gun was Spielberg essentially trying to shade the Stack people as good guys who don't resort to that type of violence, and Sorrento's own surrendering of that power denoting he wasn't even THAT bad or alternatively (more likely), not that strong willed to personally kill someone. For sure, he sends off a security team to blow up and kill dozens of people, but he can't do the deed himself. His whole job at IOI is built off of getting others to do what he can't, after all.
posted by Atreides at 7:29 AM on April 4, 2018


Also adding a scene with a white guy whose sense of entitlement is being threatened going and unloading his full magazine into a crowd of bystanders would have opened up conversations that would have distracted from the movie's main message of embracing reality and the connections between people.
posted by radwolf76 at 10:33 AM on April 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


/Film's very negative review (Go ahead and read it, though while I didn't love the movie and I agree with many of the reviewer's points, the review mostly comes across as overly bratty and backlashy) mentions a couple of times that Ben Mendelsohn (Sorrento) was wearing "a giant, inexplicable set of false teeth" in the movie. Did I just completely miss that and I'm crazy, or is that not the case at all? I can't find any reference to it outside of that review.
posted by doctornecessiter at 10:47 AM on April 4, 2018


I don’t recall seeing false teeth guy in anything even after IMDbing him, but I just thought it was a speech impediment.
posted by tilde at 7:12 PM on April 4, 2018


Mostly I wouldn't recommend it to anybody who wouldn't find any other generic explosion movie fun, though. I do, and this was basically a notch above the average

This is exactly how I felt. I saw it in IMAX 3D and it was an awesome fun escape from reality from a couple of hours. The plot, characters, and dialogue were eh and the romance subplot was cringeworthy, especially the reveal of Hollywood Homely Samantha. But what a fun audiovisual adventure! What a technical achievement. I was really impressed by the lack of uncanny valley feelings I had when so much of the movie was a mostly photorealistic animation.

I'm kinda surprised at comments like this:

I hated the book, and if anything the movie simplifies it and exposes it's plot flaws and tropes even more.

Why would you see this movie?! Didn't you know going in that you would not enjoy this?
posted by grouse at 5:06 AM on April 5, 2018 [5 favorites]


I kind of wanted to hate on this movie. Spielberg is so good at manipulating emotions that I tend to resent him for it (a formative experience was getting mad at E.T. for making me cry, jerking me around by killing him, but nope he's not really dead). But he was really the perfect choice for this. He's so good at surfing cliches and making them look good. He's king of the rosy nostalgic view of the past (and fuck me but the the release of Raiders of the Lost Ark was 37 years ago, and the end of WWII was only 36 years earlier than that).

But its faults and flaws seem so minor and ubiquitous that it was impossible for me not to get in on the fun. Yes, it centers the undeserving white boy as hero, but sort of cinematically shrugs apologetically for doing so. I mean, he's no worse than Harry Potter in that regard.

The love story is so by-the-numbers and Art3mis is set up as a "prize" in a way that makes me uncomfortable. But she also maintains her agency throughout and is more a partner than a sidekick. I can't help but think that this would be a way better story told from HER point of view.

As a former nerdy 80s teen boy it's still disorienting to me that the same culture that beat me down at the time for not fitting in caters to me, lionizes me in retrospect, now. I think it handled well holding both concepts that the online world can be a godsend to people who feel alone and disconnected, but that the intimacy of the real world is irreplaceable.

And what perfect villains for our time. Very Spielberg on-the-nose, but you know Facebook WOULD clutter 80% of our VR view with advertising. They'd just disguise it so it didn't look so much like advertising.

So, yeah, mark me down as guilty pleasure. But not TOO guilty. I feel like it tried to overcome the limitations of its source material in pretty much legit ways while catering to the Blockbuster Action Movie crowd. And it's not even a franchise broken up into 3 series of 3 trilogies!
posted by rikschell at 7:53 AM on April 5, 2018 [2 favorites]


As a former nerdy 80s teen boy it's still disorienting to me that the same culture that beat me down at the time for not fitting in caters to me, lionizes me in retrospect, now.

I remind people that we used to get beat up for liking Doctor Who...
posted by mikelieman at 9:38 AM on April 5, 2018 [3 favorites]


I don’t recall seeing false teeth guy in anything even after IMDbing him, but I just thought it was a speech impediment.

Mendelsohn's been breaking out in the US in the last few years, off the top of my head I've seen him in 5 other movies lately, and nothing about his teeth or his voice in this one (other than having an American accent) stood out to me as different than usual. I'm wondering if the reviewer just hated the movie so much that he hallucinated.
posted by doctornecessiter at 10:17 AM on April 5, 2018 [2 favorites]


I thought the movie improved on the book by not being quite so deliberately up its own ass with the 80s pop culture stuff and moving the Aech/Art3mis reveal to the middle of the story.

Almost thought they were going to make a bold choice to move past the birthmark thing without having some explicit NO ITS OK YOU ARE STILL PRETTY dialogue, but nope.

The Shining sequence was fun.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:57 PM on April 5, 2018 [3 favorites]


The plot, characters, and dialogue were eh and the romance subplot was cringeworthy, especially the reveal of Hollywood Homely Samantha.

Hahaha that was easily one of my favorite parts. "You wouldn't like me in real life, I'm different, in that I have this birthmark that does nothing at all to mar my beautiful face. I hide it behind my also beautiful hair."

I didn't like the gun scene at the end because I felt like it feeds directly into our culture's fear and respect for the all-powerful gun.
posted by graventy at 11:48 AM on April 8, 2018 [4 favorites]


The Shining sequence was fun.

Someone pointed out how meta a joke it is to have a sequence about a movie that was changed greatly from the book inside another movie that was also hugely changed from the book.
posted by octothorpe at 7:00 PM on April 8, 2018 [5 favorites]


Just saw this today and didn't care much for it. The backstory/relationship between Halliday and Morrow was confusing. Halliday and Kira go on one date, it doesn't work out but apparently Halliday keeps pining for her, and Morrow ends up marrying her. And then, what, Halliday forces Morrow to sell his shares in the company and becomes lonely and bitter? But Morrow doesn't seem to bear Halliday any animosity, so if, as Wade says, Halliday's greatest regret was losing his only friend (Morrow), it was just up to Halliday to reach out at any time, and it's on Halliday that he didn't, even after Kira died. But then, after Halliday dies, Morrow inserts himself in the game as the Curator...because why? Not that the two of them planned it together, as they were still estranged, so Morrow did that on his own...how? Taking over what seems to be an NPC?

Also the first time (in the film) Parzival comes to Halliday's Journals and meets the Curator is one of the worst bits of exposition ever..."Oh, hello Parzival, you have been here hundreds of times before, so let me explain in detail how we have captured and archived everything known about Halliday here."

I'm not sure I consider it a happy ending that the Oasis is only open five days a week instead of seven. I was kind of hoping Wade would push the "shut down the Oasis forever" button as soon as it came up. (My thoughts on this matter may be colored by the recent Facebook/Cambridge Analytica revelations.)

I took a lesson from this movie, but probably a different one than Spielberg or Cline intended. That lesson was expressed well in another (much better) recent movie: "Let the past die. Kill it if you have to."

To any of my Millennial friends whom I have ever bombarded with GenX pop culture references, I apologize.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:35 PM on April 8, 2018 [4 favorites]


I liked the book - it was a light fluffy popcorn read - but I didn't think it would make a good movie, given how the plot worked. So I'm actually kinda' impressed with the adaptation. They changed a lot of things - including fairly fundamental things about the plot - and made those changes in a way that preserved the essence of the book.

So, good job on that screenplay adaptation, Cline and Spielberg.

As for the rest of it, if you went in expecting something deep and profound, or even some well-rounded characters, what were you thinking? There may be a place for a movie that investigates our virtual and real lives, how interactions in one relate to the other, how people deal with fluid identity and gender and ethnicity - you know, the bigger questions. This was most definitely not that movie!

But it was fun.
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:38 AM on April 11, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think Richard Brody's review in the New Yorker did a good job of encapsulating what bugged me about this movie. I know that IP is a real issue (both from getting permission and the licensing costs), but what I loved about the book was how much of it was glorifying more obscure and indie geek culture (Monty Python in particular - which I know wasn't indie, but in the US during the 80s you still had to do some work to watch it and it really wasn't on everyone's radar the way it's assumed to be now). I think the article would also work as a critique of the book - it still leaned heavy on John Hughes and mass culture over indie art - but at least there was Zork and Joust and War Games and the things that (as someone who feels like the Gen-X geek target of the book) mattered culturally to our subset well out of proportion to how much they were even noticed by the overall public. Saturday Night Fever and The Shining and King Kong (!) were far more mass-cultural touchpoints, and I think a lot less relevant. I wanted it weirder.

Then again, I'm glad they included Atari games and particularly Adventure, and maybe its primitive graphics made the game impossible to capture in a film, but it felt like they took this thing that I remember playing obsessively and feeling triumphant about solving (and yeah, I was 10 or 11 at the time, and I know that as an adult it would be a different experience) and made it into a "you won't get this, so I'll just talk exposition over it and cut away a lot and maybe people won't mind that I had to include it" scene. It left me feeling cold, where in the book it was like revisiting an old friend. Not sure how Spielberg could have solved it differently, but it did make me feel let down. So maybe there's no winning.
posted by Mchelly at 10:35 AM on April 11, 2018 [2 favorites]


The Shining scene was also easily my favorite of the entire film.

It was the only pop-culture reference that felt like it was more than a name-drop, and demonstrated more than a superficial understanding of the source material. The core conceit of the scene (Aech doesn't get the reference) is also an amusing inversion of the rest of the film.

If the rest of the film had been constructed in the same way, it might actually have been enjoyable. Otherwise, it felt a little like a begrudging attempt by Spielberg to direct a Michael Bay screenplay.
posted by schmod at 8:42 AM on April 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


I don’t recall seeing false teeth guy in anything even after IMDbing him, but I just thought it was a speech impediment.

Mendelsohn has turned up in quite a lot in the last 5 years. He is basically Hollywood's go to shit. I can't recall seeing him in anything where he wasn't one. Occasionally, he might not look like one to start with but he soon comes bad.
posted by biffa at 3:16 AM on August 27, 2018


A kid coming of age in 2045 wouldn't give two shits about EVERY hit-me-over-the-head 80's pop culture reference. My kids now would yawn their way through Ferris Bueler. Star Trek constantly referenced 20th century people, places, and things, and conveniently skipped the hundreds of years in between. We can't be trusted to use our imagination. This movie dials that babysitting up to 11 (can you maybe at least have an avatar named Sephiroth69?). It feels like it was written by someone who has never experienced entertaining science fiction, preferring instead to have it described to them by Reader's Digest. This movie embarrassed me by blissfully reinforcing the notion that every fun 80's adventure required a white male protagonist and a POC sidekick. This movie has zero imagination and assumes we don't either.
posted by Brocktoon at 6:45 AM on September 15, 2018


A kid coming of age in 2045 wouldn't give two shits about EVERY hit-me-over-the-head 80's pop culture reference.

The level of the protagonist's interest is considered niche for the time, but the whole point of the interest, societally speaking in the film (and book) was because someone offering nearly half a trillion dollars as a reward for solving puzzles based on the 80's. The rest of your criticism is otherwise pretty fair.
posted by Atreides at 10:48 AM on September 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


The point of the interest was blast-from-every-orrifce nostalgia designed to please the author or rope in an audience, or both.
posted by Brocktoon at 1:30 PM on October 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


One good thing has actually come out of this book: GUNSHIP - Art3mis & Parzival. Probably a better adaptation than the film.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:57 AM on November 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


The Shining scene was also easily my favorite of the entire film.

This is so weird, because for me that sequence is where the film lost me; it kicked me out so hard I never did get back into it again. It just felt so wrong. Look, Spielberg is saying, look at my loving recreation of the Overlook! Look at my loving recreation of the twins! Of the elevator scene! Of room 237! Of the hedge maze! This is fun, isn't it? And the whole time my gut was screaming: no, I don't care Kubrick was your good buddy. It's not yours. It's not your playground to mess around in. It's his; leave it alone.

Also, goddamn but that final act went on forever.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:02 PM on December 25, 2018 [3 favorites]


Most of the criticisms I have about the film have been mentioned here before-the white boy from nowhere trope (grits teeth)-the clunky exposition-the avatar of the leading character being more charismatic than the actual actor etc

One of the more annoying parts of this film is it references films that are better almost every minute of screen time. All that does is make me wonder why I didn't watch Hot Tub Time Machine, which did a better job of unifying a lot of 80s pop culture tropes and didn't pretend to have some huge message.

But the philosophical point of the film is painful. Reality is better because it's real? Well how real is it if Sorrento can so easily be duped into thinking he's in reality when he's still in the Oasis? Apparently all that reality has, according to the inventor of the Oasis, is food. That's the one thing reality has over a world with dance clubs where you can fly. The leads get their happy ending (apparently fixing the world is super easy) and so hey reality is cool again everyone!
posted by miss-lapin at 6:01 AM on June 1


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