Ready Player One review - Poster

Vic’s Ready Player One Review (Non-Spoilers)

What would be the easiest way for me to express my feelings for a Ready Player One review? Go see the movie and remember that Steven Spielberg is a Director of some renown? Sure. I feel you will be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t make it out to an actual movie theater and see it? Maybe. Nostalgia is not the be all and end all for the film? Definitely a truth, and in addition a valid point. No, the easiest way for me to sum up a Ready Player One review is that Spielberg has delivered a very fun film.

Obviously as I have already stated in previous posts, I admit I am one of the target audience. Of course I would be woefully inept if I didn’t mention the Retroist summed up the problems facing the film better than myself. But the truth is this. Ready Player One while not a perfect film is the closest we’ve come to seeing the Spielberg that brought us some genre-forging films. Similar to the likes of Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

Furthermore, I truly feel that not only Spielberg but Zak Penn have taken the core of Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel. I don’t want to stay improved it, but perhaps brought other elements of the story to the forefront. Case in point, Art3mis, wonderfully played by Olivia Cooke. Many critics have lashed out at Cline…and with reason…that her role in the book is something akin to a prize to be won. I am happy to say that in the film version that couldn’t be further than the truth, yes, it’s still a love story but no one is being ‘won’.
Ready Player One review - Olivia Cooke

Tye Sheridan does a very good job of portraying the main protagonist of the film, Wade Watts aka Parzival. To be fair the film’s beginning might be considered a little heavy on the exposition. On the other hand this is a case where the audience needs to get caught up on the fly. So I think it’s honest to say that the filmmakers didn’t make a mistake in this regard. Lena Waithe, Ben Mendelsohn, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, as well as Simon Pegg do great jobs with their roles too. Although I felt that Mark Rylance stole the show, in his scenes as the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday.
Ready Player One review - James Halliday

Of course as has been seen in the trailers, in fact too much so, is the pop culture celebrated by the film. In that superior post by the Retroist, he wisely mentions that the marketing for the film. Had indeed slightly missed the point of the film itself. The nostalgia that those of us of a certain age will feel while watching the film…isn’t the film. It would however be fair to say that it is used as something akin to window dressing. In fact Cline’s 2015 follow up novel Armada goes way, way too far with the nostalgia. I want my main takeaway from this Ready Player One review to be this. In no way is the pop culture nods or nostalgia ever rammed down your throat or the like. It is most CERTAINLY celebrated but Spielberg yet again knows this isn’t what the movie is about.
Ready Player One - Bigfoot

Naturally since this is my Ready Player One review, I reckon I better tell you the synopsis. It is 2045 and Wade is like practially everyone on the planet. Just trying to find some relief from the oppressing life he was born into. It does appear that every Man, Woman, and Child find escape by way of a staggering virtual reality universe known as the OASIS. Which had been created earlier by Halliday and his best friend Ogden Morrow (Pegg), before a falling out saw Halliday becoming sole owner of the technology. The creator of the OASIS was literally loved by the World…and why not?
Ready Player One review - Parzival and Art3mis

This virtual reality paradise, assuming you can afford it, lets you do anything. With the right equipment you can even have physical contact, for good or ill. Many aspects of pop culture have been given literally their own planets. For example, Planet Doom, which appears to be a free-for-all. Especially when artifacts are up for grabs. Think of these as incredibly rare and powerful power-ups, to be used and hoarded by those throughout the OASIS.
Ready Player One review - Planet Doom

James Halliday has died several years before the start of Ready Player One. While the World mourns the loss of such a genius, the eccentric has a little game to play still. That is the fact that he has created the greatest Easter egg hunt. Somewhere in the overwhelming vastness of the OASIS are hidden three keys, the player that finds them will inherit Halliday’s fortune. As well as the OASIS itself I should add – which would make them the most powerful person on the planet. Which is of course why the IOI, an telecommunications empire wants to make sure they are the ones who find Halliday’s Easter Egg.

Obviously, Wade and his fellow Gunters, those who hunt for the keys and aren’t employed by IOI – find themselves in the crosshair of that powerful corporation. It becomes a race to see who will gain control of the OASIS…and Halliday’s dream of a better world.

Ready Player One, friends…it is an incredibly entertaining film. A joyride that sums up why I so dearly love movies. Many of those films that I hold so dear, were of course directed and produced by Steven Spielberg. It is an absolute blast to see him rekindle the ‘spirit’ of some of his earlier work. A film which understands the delights of all pop culture and most importantly, has a lot of heart.

That 80’s feeling is helped by a score composed by the legendary Alan Silvestri. So the last thing in this Ready Player One review is the opportunity to hear the main theme from the film. Enjoy!

[via] WaterTower Music

Ready Player One - Back to the Future

New Ready Player One Trailer Brings The Retro!

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, was a book that celebrated its love of retro pop culture. Perhaps it went beyond celebration and into proudly flaunting it. So many references to 80s films, TV shows, and video games are in the mix. It should come as no surprise that I fell in love with it upon picking it up. And now we have a live action film set to debut in 2018. Ready Player One is directed by Steven Spielberg who knows a thing or two about 80s movies, right?

[Via] Warner Bros. Pictures

Ready Player One received a quite lengthy teaser earlier this year. Even then it was giving retro fans a glimpse at what was in store. Quick shots of everything from The Iron Giant, Joust, The Road Warrior, and many more. All of these elements are the digital representations of those people living in the online world of the OASIS. As you saw in the trailer it is basically the ultimate virtual reality simulator. Furthermore it is mixed with an advanced version of the internet. Certainly the dystopian aspects of the Ready Player One universe make it clear why people would spend all their time in the OASIS.
Ready Player One - The Stacks

Earlier today the full trailer for Ready Player One dropped. It too -like the teaser is full of Easter eggs. So I decided to point out a few of the worthy tips of the hat to some of the pop culture goodness. However…as a matter of fact we are going to start with a mystery. While the symbol on Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) backpack certainly looks familiar. I am afraid I can’t place it. How about you?
Ready Player One - backpack

Ready Player One - Backpack Symbol

Here is a better look

Far easier to spot in the Ready Player One trailer is the ’66 Batmobile. Which is located in the bottom as well as the Speed Racer‘s Mach 5. Of course we shouldn’t forget the fact that Ryu is walking past the legendary vehicle!
Ready Player One - Mach 5

The digital avatar of Wade Watts or Parzival as he is known in the OASIS – is decked out in some awesome retro gear. It was in fact Owen Treolo on the I Grew Up Star Wars Facebook page that pointed this out. Parzival is sporting the holster from none other than Han Solo of Star Wars fame. In addition his belt buckle is sporting the Thundercats insignia. To say nothing that he has wisely chosen Doc Brown’s DeLorean from Back to the Future as his ride. Wade obviously has good taste in pop culture!
Ready Player One - Thundercats

In this digital night club scene, we have none other than Lara Croft from Tomb Raider. I wonder if she is working there or just getting herself some digital liquid refreshment?
Ready Player One - Lara Croft

And while this motorcycle scene is exciting it also features the monster truck known as Bigfoot. As well as an almost hidden reference to 1987’s Robocop. You can see the Delta City billboard in the background!
Ready Player One - Bigfoot

Obviously around the same scene, it appears that King Kong is making his presence known. I can’t help but wonder if the mighty ape won’t try to stop the racers as they attempt to win the copper key?
Ready Player One - King Kong

In this scene we have a mighty charge of characters. I was certainly surprised to see who was leading the rush into battle. We have 1991’s Battletoads. Behind them appears to be one of the ostrich riding knights from Joust!
Ready Player One - Battletoads

Not to be outdone in the call to battle of course. We have Tracer from Overwatch who appears to be backed up by Chun-Li from Street Fighter.
Ready Player One - Tracer

While The Iron Giant makes an appearance in this full trailer. It looks like he is joined by someone piloting a Gundam. While I am not positive I assume this is a reference from 1979 Mobile Suit Gundam series?
Ready Player One - Gundam

So there you have it, friends. Just a few of the pop culture nods that made me excited. I’m very much looking forward to Ready Player One when it hits theaters next March. While I’ve drunk deeply of the Kool-Aid, it’s safe to say that there are many who are less than impressed. Which is understandable. Naturally. In fact the Retroist wrote a fantastic article about it all.
Ready Player One - Poster

Did I mention that in the new Ready Player One trailer – Chucky from Child’s Play shows up?


Who knew that Chucky had such mad ninja skills?!

Update: I totally missed a glaringly obvious nod to the 1992 Mortal Kombat series. When in the trailer we are told of the hidden Easter Eggs we see what certainly appears to be a shrine to the gaming series. Including in the shot are statues of Raiden as well as Scoprion and Sub-Zero. This I should add is all courtesy of Bloody Disgusting and I obviously feel like a fool for not catching it!
Ready Player One - Mortal Kombat

First Atari - Missile Command

Celebrate Atari Day With…well…My First Atari!

It is once more the 26th of the month. Which of course means that it is time to celebrate Atari Day! Furthermore I felt that perhaps a more personal recollection would be in order. Case in point the memories of how I got my first Atari.
First Atari - Vic Sage

As you can certainly see I was rather excited to unwrap this particular Christmas gift. In addition I should say that it certainly wasn’t a bad holiday up to that point. If you look closely behind me you will spy the likes of Imperial Troop Transport as well as the remote controlled R2-D2.

[Via] Sarlaac Pit Podcast

Of course if you keep checking out that late 70’s photograph. You will likewise see a few more equally important toys in my youth. I will direct your attention to the then desired Mortimer Snerd ventriloquist dummy sitting…patiently…in the decorative chair behind me. Bear in mind this was before I was instilled with an overwhelming fear of dummies. This was naturally before Steven Spielberg delivered 1982’s Poltergeist!
First Atari - Poltergeist

Besides a collection of wind-up toys, something I will admit I was totally captivated by in my youth. We have some of those faithful blue friends, The Smurfs. Going off my memory I want to say that it the three present were Doctor Smurf, Lion Tamer Smurf, and possibly Hang Glider Smurf.
First Atari - Lion Tamer Smurf

Which I am sure you will be more than glad to hear leads us to my first Atari. Finally. So as I have already stated this was a good Christmas. It was all done or so I thought. My Grandmother asked what was that in the Christmas tree. I will admit to not being able to remotely find what had captured her attention. At this point my Father had joined in – trying to direct me to behind the tree where one wrapped gift remained hidden, nestled in the branches. It was small and box shaped, I literally had no idea what it was. Moreover when I ripped off that wrapping paper I discovered I was an owner of Atari’s Missile Command!
Missile Command

I think you can imagine how excited I was, right? The dawning realization that this obviously meant I got my first Atari! In the nearly seven years I have written for The Retroist have I ever let on I was remotely that sharp? I can vividly recall looking at the box and just shrugging my shoulders. I mean this gift was wasted as I of course didn’t own an Atari VCS.

That is when my Grandmother opened a closet door and pulled out a much larger wrapped gift. Heady with the joy of not just the Holiday but the thrill of civilized destruction I tore into the wrapping paper. You can see the absolute joy on my face in that photo, which was snapped by my Grandfather by the way. As much as I loved all of my Star Wars gifts and other presents…my first Atari was the best thing in my eyes.

In addition to Missile Command there was another Atari cart hidden in the tree. That was Adventure, a game I still love to this very day. Very quickly I was sitting in the middle of the living room floor with my Grandmother. After my Father had set up the Atari 2600 to that large television of course. But as you can see from this photograph of my Father and myself…even though he disliked video games in general. The fun of my first Atari was enough to coerce him to join me in game or two of Missile Command!
First Atari - Missile Command

Image courtesy of Atari I/O’s Facebook page.


To learn even more about the fun of Atari Day be sure to hop on over and check out fellow Retroist writer Atari I/O/s site by following the link here!

Now that you have learned about my first Atari featuring Missile Command. Perhaps you would like to know another fan of that classic Atari game?


That would of course be none other than Steven Spielberg. Yep. The man responsible for many of our most cherished films as well as instilling a lifelong case of Automatonophobia was also a fan of the 1980 arcade game!

spielberg barrymore