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Ready Player One       review by Bobby Blakey

There is no denying that Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest directors of all time. He has delivered some of the biggest films of all time and shows no signs of slowing down. His latest film Ready Player One looks to bring the popular novel of the same name to the big screen and features a great cast including Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance, and Lena Waithe, but does it capture the fun nostalgia as the book or will it fail to beat the level to win?

​Ready Player One follows a young outcast named Wade Watts in the near future, who escapes from his daily drudgery by logging onto an MMO game called 'The Oasis'. When the game's billionaire founder dies, he offers players his fortune as the prize in an easter egg hunt within The Oasis. Watts gets in on the action then after five years finds himself facing off against corporate foes who will go to any lengths to get the money -- in both the real world and in The Oasis. Going in I was in love with the trailers, but had never read the book. I was a bit concerned with all the Easter Egg references that were included were going to start feeling forced, but I was so happy to see them flowing within the main story to perfection. The film kicks off much like the trailer explaining how we’ve gotten to this future with a bit more backstory without bogging it down with more than needed. From the opening moment when you hear Van Halen’s “Jump” cranking out you know you are in for a great fun ride and it delivers.

A big portion of the movie obviously takes place inside the Oasis making it feel like a video game from beginning to end complete with the proper rules you usually have to follow. Careful attention was paid to keep you grounded in this virtual world while allowing the over the top insane fun to be unleashed at a fast pace. The visual effects here are excellent bringing in so many different visual treats that you will not only likely have an overload of the senses, but your inner geek will lose its mind. This is the kind of film that offers something special for everyone in regards to the Easter Egg inclusions and will likely have a lot of fans cheering numerous times throughout which in turn makes the film a whole lot better. The cast are all great and offer up enough heart and soul to these virtual characters that you still care about them despite them clearly not being in the real world most of the time.

In movies like these often times the real world stuff ends up slowing things down, but here there is a great transition to both sides and while it may not be as exciting it still offers up great stuff to watch and anchors the rest together. I figured I would love this movie, but ended up loving it even more than I thought I would when a Hall & Oates song played to cap it off. This is the kind of movie that needs to be seen more than once for the visuals a lone, because despite seeing so much I know there are just as many, if not more that I missed. Spielberg has outdone himself once again and took something that could have been a jumbled mess of references and delivered a film that not only offers heart, fun and overload to the senses, but a nostalgia overload of fun like only he can. If it all possible check this out in 4K Ultra as it adds an insane level of detail to it al that is perfect for this kind of film. 

In addition to the film this release also includes bonus content including numerous featurettes taking you behind bringing this epic flick to life. Step into the Oasis and grab your copy of Read Player One available now on Digital HD and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on July 24th from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

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