- 4K Disc Released
- HDR10 | Dolby Vision
- Sound MIx
- Dolby Digital | Atmos | DTS:X
- Aspect Ratio
- 2.39 : 1
- IMDB Rating
When something comes with the Steven Spielberg stamp, you know it that it’s going to be great, that has pretty much become the industry standard. This is in no way exaggeration of this legendary creator who is responsible for Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, and the Last Crusade, to the classic Schindler’s List, one of my all-time favorites Catch Me If You Can, Jaws, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The king of the Sci-Fi world makes blockbusters in Action, Adventure, and Sci-Fi at regular intervals. Spielberg did it again in 2018 with the blockbuster “Ready Player One.” Which is a 2-hour 30-minute film in which the creator of a virtual reality world called OASIS dies and releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune.
The film is based on a novel by Ernest Cline, and Zak Penn and Ernest Cline wrote the screenplay.
The movie stars Tye Sheridan as Parzival / Wade, and the lovely Olivia Cooke plays Art3mis / Samantha, Ben Mendelsohn plays Sorrento. The film comes in Two-Disc UHD Combo Pack, UHD-100 Triple-Layer Disc / BD-50 Dual-Layer Disc, Region Free. The video quality for the film is top notch with 2160p HEVC/H.265, Dolby Vision HDR available. The aspect ratio for the film is 2:39:1. In the audio department, you get nothing but the best with English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1.
The special features that you get with the film are just mouthwatering. Game Changer: Cracking the Code is an hour-long EPK-like documentary made of cast & crew interviews touching on various aspects of the production with tons of BTS footage strewn throughout. You also get Effects for a Brave New World which is 25 min long and like the title implies, it is a piece dedicated to the visual effects, from concept art and the practical effects to the CG images and the use of motion capture. If you thought that is all, then you will be pleased to hear that there is more, much more. I am still not done with the special features that the 4K pack has in store for you because they are that many and let me assure you that they are quality, not just quantity. Level Up: Sound for the Future is also included which is 8 min long change at the sound design and the amount of work that went into complementing the visuals. Last but certainly not the least, the 4K edition also includes The ’80s: You’re the Inspiration which is a 6-minute long cast & crew talk about how the decade played an integral role in the movie and profoundly influenced the story.
Ready Player One is a very strange species with a complete hodgepodge of obvious allusions that are there to give the viewer a nostalgic feeling, which it does brilliantly.
To crudely explain the movie, I would say that the whole film is a Christmas-wrapped in a tale about saving a virtual saving a virtual reality game, and the rest of the world by an extension called the OASIS from falling into the hands of a greedy corporation controlled by self-centered businessman Nolan Sorrento. While being a high-concept, it is relatively straightforward, and that is on purpose because the genius mind behind the movie does not want cultural references to interfere with the plot, which is wise because, in all honesty, the references are the main attraction for this film. The script is based on the book with the same title by Ernest Cline, who introduces very few challenges and a moderate level of complexity in the path of would-be hero Wade Watts.
Ultimately, audiences want to go through this journey filled with adventure and fantasy pure for the sake of wistful escapism. This is precisely what makes this Spielberg’s adaption an attracting yet strange piece of entertainment. In a voiceover, Wade explains that many of the world’s economies are going downhill, which leads too much of the society trying to survive in the overcrowded ghettos or congested cities where trailer homes are piled on top of each other like skyscrapers. Rather than dealing with this crisis, the people chose to put their head in the sand by escaping reality through OASIS where players can be whoever or whatever they want. This part is a powerful one because in a way it is commentary being done on the world that we live in today and throughout the movie, you get this sense of attachment to the story. Because while it is fictional, it is still relatable, after all, to take help from Mark Twain in making this point, who said: “Truth Is Stranger than Fiction, But It Is Because Fiction Is Obliged to Stick to Possibilities; Truth Isn’t.” Most of the participants choose fanciful, futuristic looking characters. However, in reality, the world is a combination of time that most of the people never experienced because it was well and true before their time, making the pop-culture references throughout the meaningless.
The future in the film seems to be very relatable beyond the apparent point of escapism through social media and video games.
It’s the obsession with pop-culture of the past that adds to this feeling of relatability, to add further to this point, we see that society has failed to create something new and unique. It is because of the pointless abstractions that it becomes more and more troublesome to live in the present which in essence is the plot’s central theme. The real punch of relatability that the movie delivers is running a commentary on us, the viewers who are seeking an escape from the reality that they don’t like and do very little to change it, it is really genius that they do it through the story showing characters who are doing, in fact, the very same thing. However, of course for the characters, there are no real consequences as it’s just a story, but for us, that is our life, which has real consequences. If this feeling sinks into you while watching the film, then you are in for a real philosophical journey through the plot. You see your life being lived by the characters in the movie, which for me only added to the respect that I have for Steven Spielberg. One of the funny things about the plot is that it is a subtle reference to Willy Wonka’s efforts on passing on his legacy.
I know this isn’t a Spielberg appreciation post, but you cannot comment on the movie without praise for the legendary filmmaker who has done it again. The legendary filmmaker uses his magical powers of film creation to make this whole spectacle entertaining rather than surrounding doom and gloom. He uses irony to perfection and even revels in it, a man partially responsible for creating much of what is seen on screen in the first place. The sweet smell of grandiose and child-like wonderment that Steven Spielberg leaves in his classics are very pungent in this film. Ready Player One is about the fun of being immersed in pop-culture references of the past.
This is a perfect film in many ways, with excellent video and brilliant audio, add to that the magic of Steven Spielberg.
Someone rightly said about the movie “Spielberg wants us to drop the techno-gadgets and join hands, but it’s the VR world that juices him. He’s the ultimate fanboy making a movie about the need to move beyond being a fan.” It’s been a while since I first saw this film, but I’m still waiting for the safe return of my optic nerves. If you haven’t seen it yet, then you are missing out on something special here, and it must be said that to do justice with the film, it is highly recommended that you watch it in 4K.