Ready Player One was a very divisive book, and now it's a very divisive movie. We are no exception. While my colleagues Beth and Evan didn't care for it, I'm a fan of Ernest Cline's love letter to pop culture, although I fully admit it has problems. So I was excited that Steven Spielberg would helm the movie adaptation, though I knew the two would differ. What I didn't know was how much the film was going to challenge and recontextualise my feelings about the book.
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The history of motion pictures is full of iconic lines. Some folks, frankly, don't give a damn. Others remark on how life, uh, finds a way. Then, there's this gem from Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One, which will go down as the greatest grouping of words ever uttered on the big screen: "A fanboy knows a hater."
From Back to the Future and The Iron Giant, to Akira and The A-Team, Ernest Cline's Ready Player One is absolutely jam-packed with pop culture references. However, despite the efforts of arguably the most famous and powerful director of all time, one kind of big property isn't in the movie adaptation.
The early reactions to Ready Player One after its screening at SXSW were mostly positive, but don't count ours among them. It isn't so much a movie about loving old video games and other cultural artifacts. It's about loving to love those things, which makes Steven Spielberg's film adaptation of the bestselling novel feel hollow despite - or maybe because of - the relentless pop culture references it throws at you.
Steven Spielberg's latest flick Ready Player One had its world premiere at SXSW yesterday, and many critics are in love with what they're calling a touching tribute to pop culture and nostalgia. However, there are those who see it less as a love letter and more as pandering to a very specific subset of fandom.
Video: The previous trailers for Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One have been heavy on the Oasis. Why wouldn't they be? It's the virtual world of the film where literally anything is possible. But, in this latest look, those scenes are much more balanced with action in the real world. Which is pretty surprising.