Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn
Release Date: July 24, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 9/10
In the year 2045, the real world is a harsh place. The only time Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) truly feels alive is when he escapes to the OASIS, an immersive virtual universe where most of humanity spend their days. In the OASIS, you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone—the only limits are your own imagination. The OASIS was created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance), who left his immense fortune and total control of the OASIS to the winner of a three-part contest he designed to find a worthy heir. When Wade conquers the first challenge of the reality-bending treasure hunt, he and his friends—known as the High Five—are hurled into a fantastical universe of discovery and danger to save the OASIS and their world.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
Get ready for an out of this world adventure where the only limits are those of the imagination. ‘Ready Player One’ tells the story of young Wade Watts (Sheridan), a lonely student obsessed with the 1980’s but living in the year 2045 whose only escape is the Oasis; an endless virtual-reality universe where you can be whoever you want and the limits are endless. But when the creator of the Oasis passes and reveals a postmortem challenge within the world offering up full control of the Oasis as the final reward, everything changes. Intent to make sure the virtual world remains that which they all know and love, Wade and his online friends must fight against the well-funded and equipped mega-corporation determined to win the competition by utilizing their endless resources to secure the Oasis for themselves and change everything in order to maximize profits.
Directed by the legendary Steven Spielberg (The Post, Jurassic Park) from a screenplay that was co-written by Zak Penn (The Avengers) and author Ernest Cline and based upon Cline’s own novel of the same name respectively, Spielberg does a wonderful job at the helm of ‘Ready Player One’ capturing this expansive and visually challenging tale like no other filmmaker could have managed to. The film also owes a tremendous amount of credit to the well-chosen individuals that comprise the cast including Tye Sheridan (X-Men: Apocalypse), Olivia Cooke (TV’s Bates Motel), Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Mark Rylance (Bridge Of Spies), Simon Pegg (Star Trek: Beyond), Lena Waithe (TV’s Master Of None), T.J. Miller (Deadpool) and more, nearly all providing highly capable performances in each of their respective roles and helping a great deal to make this very human tale work as well as it does.
‘Ready Player One’ is a gorgeous, moving and wildly entertaining good time that showcases Spielberg’s capability at its most carefree level, adapting Ernest Cline’s beloved novel for the big screen as only this master filmmaker could manage to do. Beautiful and at times surprisingly emotional, it’s a splendid and visually outstanding good time littered with 80’s references, familiar characters and properties from decades past and present and a tense, extravagant adventure that still has plenty of heart and passion to spare. Fellow fans of the novel by Ernest Cline of the same name which serves as its basis will undoubtedly be mildly disappointed by some of the changes as well as the oodles of absent content (a big budget blockbuster can only be so long after all) yet the film still does a pretty great job capturing most of the heart and essence of the book, as well as the splendor. Perhaps the biggest issue with the film is how much of the real world activity is scrapped which tends to take away from some of the more intimate connections and details of these characters that is so helpful in defining and understanding them; one area in which the movie is undeniably lacking. I would strongly encourage anyone out there even the slightest bit interested in this one to try and make a point of giving it a shot whenever you have the chance, odds are you won’t be disappointed that you did.
Overall, ‘Ready Player One’ is a gorgeous, exciting and just flat out grin-inducing ride that’s well worth taking. A visually remarkable adventure and all out good time that’s overloaded with fun references, tidbits and throwbacks around every turn; all guided along by acclaimed filmmaker Steven Spielberg at the helm and further complimented by a wisely selected and highly capable cast. ‘Ready Player One’ is definitely highly recommended, especially to fellow fans of the novel which it’s based on and pop culture geeks who are sure to only appreciate it all the more. Yet that’s not to say this one won’t appeal to a vast audience because it certainly will. It’s a well-made, visually spectacular and surprisingly heartwarming journey that should have no trouble at all grabbing hold of your attention and keeping you thoroughly entertained for its duration.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Ready Player One’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty wonderful as a whole and provides a sharp, detailed and often richly colored presentation from start to finish. It holds up impressively even during the numerous heavily populated, fast moving and occasionally darkly lit sequences, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a pretty fantastic high definition video presentation that should have very little trouble satisfying both fans and first time viewers.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack makes a spectacular compliment to the onscreen fun and delivers a crisp, clean and hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send constant audio effects whipping throughout the various speakers (particularly on scenes occurring within the Oasis) including cars, explosions, debris, storms of people charging and plenty more, and all the while making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is one magnificent Dolby Atmos (TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack that delivers in every conceivable way and contributes a great deal of additional fun to the film.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Ready Player One’ includes a noteworthy collection of extras in the form of nearly two hours of Behind the Scenes Featurettes that take you deeper into bringing numerous aspects of the film to life and featuring interviews/comments with the cast and crew, behind the scenes footage and more; guided along by Director Steven Spielberg. The included Featurettes are: ‘The 80’s: You’re the Inspiration’ (running approximately 6 minutes in length), ‘Game Changer: Cracking the Code’ (running approximately 57 minutes), ‘Effects For A Brave New World’ (approximately 25 minutes), ‘Level Up: Sound For The Future’ (8 minutes), ‘High Score: Endgame’ (10 minutes) and ‘Ernie and Tye’s Excellent Adventure’ (12 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 9/10