Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendehlson, Lena Waithe, Philip Zhao, Mark Rylance and Simon Pegg
Written by: Zak Penn and Ernest Cline (screenplay), Ernest Cline (story)
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Studio: Warner Bros.
Run Time: 2 hr, 20 min
Let’s start with this: I liked Ready Player One a lot. While saying that, you can probably assume that I didn’t read the book. The biggest divide in the critics of this movie falls between those that read the book and those that didn’t. Readers (at least the majority of them) walked away disappointed with the movie because it wasn’t the book put on screen. I think this debate ends here.
During one of the few special features on the Blu-Ray and DVD release of Ready Player One, author and co-screen writer, Ernest Cline, had this to say about the movie: “they’ve moved a lot of things around and amalgamated a lot of things, but the heart of my book is there and the heart of my story and the whole theme and everything that I was trying to touch on is there but in a way that’s cinematic and engaging."
Though the movie was not a direct adaptation of the book, the author believes that they captured the movie in a way that made it better for a film. That’s the trouble with adapting any book into a movie, some things are difficult to translate directly and need a different approach.
For those that weren’t sold on the movie when they first watched it in theaters, you will be sold when you see how this movie was made in the special features on the at-home release; it is truly a technical marvel. Evidence of this is in the 24-minute feature: Effects for a Brave New World.
Sixty percent of Ready Player One takes place in the Oasis. All of this was filmed with the actors in motion capture suits in a blank white room. The awesome aspect of this production is that they created all of the digital sets as they filmed (or before), so the actors could always look over at a monitor to see what they were pretending to see. Not to mention all of the new technology Steven Spielberg learned to make the movie. He took a lot of care to make this movie right, though it may not feel like a classic Spielberg movie, you see in the special feature, Game Changer: Cracking the Code, that he was involved in everything. The video runs about an hour and is not one to miss.
Steven Spielberg is a legend. It’s almost pointless to say, but after so many years of making movies it’s clear that he still loves making them; he loves learning and always brings a positive energy to every scene. That’s what everyone had to say about him during the shoot. One of the best examples of what one of the actors has to say about Spielberg is Tye Sheridan explaining his first interaction with the director on set, in Ernest and Tye’s Excellent Adventure. Your argument of “it’s not really a Spielberg movie,” is half wrong. It may not be E.T. or Jaws, but it is undoubtedly Spielberg.
Another point the over an hour and a half of special features made obvious was that Cline was part of everything as well. He was there for almost all of it, watching and seeing his book being turned into a Steven Spielberg film. He never expected it, but people that he has revered his whole life, the people he celebrated in his book, were fans of him as well.
I wasn’t planning on rewatching the movie for this review; I only wanted to cover the special features. However, after watching them all, I had a new respect for the film and had to see it again.
(One final note to whoever designed the title screen: and slightly different shade of blue on a blue background is difficult to see. I had no idea what I was clicking on. That was pretty bad.)
Own Ready Player One on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on July 24, or Own It Now on Digital!
BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS
“Ready Player One” 4K Ultra HD 3D Blu-ray and Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following special features:
· Game Changer: Cracking the Code
· Effects for a Brave New World
· Level Up: Sound for the Future
· High Score: Endgame
· Ernie & Tye's Excellent Adventure
· The '80’s: You’re The Inspiration
“Ready Player One” Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:
· The '80’s: You’re The Inspiration