Ready Player One (seen it)

Well that was fun.
Speilberg and crew must have had a blast making this movie. Really glad they made the changes from the book (plenty of them). Even though the wol movie is silly itself at least the challenges weren’t of the eye rolling type from the book (i.e. play a perfect game of Joust, recite the lines from Back to the Future word for word). The challenges were more fun and more believable.
No spoilers but the setting for the second challenge was an absolute trip.
Still kind of a cop out that VR dream girl was still hot in real life. The attempt to make her “ugly” in some way was so lame it’s embarrassing for Hollywood. Like your just not allowed to make a non-attractive female love interest.
Still an awesome trip that I’ll probably catch again while still in the theatres.

I understand the changes needed to make it a movie, but it lost the emotional depth of the book, which is crazy because the book wasn’t all that deep to begin with. They didn’t establish any of the personal relationships and that removed a lot of the emotional stakes, so stuff just… happened. Also, the avatars annoyed me. It’s significant to the character that Art3mis’s avatar looks pretty much just like her, with her birthmark removed and Aech’s avatar is a computer rendered white guy version of her actual face, so she’s not really hiding who she is while “gaming the system” by sidestepping prejudice. And in both cases the characters are overweight, and it’s annoying that Hollywood couldn’t allow that even a little.

Along with the lack of emotional depth is the huge lack of background detail. Art3mis says “Welcome to the Resistance.” but we’re told or shown nothing about said resistance and they offer no aid or support when the heroes need it later in the film. And a major theme of the film is how isolated the OASIS has made humanity but we see crowds of people on the streets accessing it together, which counters that argument and is just plain dumb (using VR outside, surrounded by desperate people?).

In terms of spectacle, it does well, though - crammed with references.

I hate to be that guy who just says “this” but this is everything I think about the movie, almost word for word.

One of the few interpersonal things about the book I really liked was the relationship between the two owners and the girl that came between them. I got none of that in the movie and I think the movie suffered for it.

I agree that it was an absolutely ridiculous example of fake-ugly-girl, something I would have thought a filmmaker as talented as Steven Spielberg would be better than.

Other things I disliked:
-The first clue at least (driving backwards) seems way too obvious for no one to have found in 5 years
-The Oasis is a worldwide phenomenon! Fortunately all the main characters live within an hour’s drive of each other!
-No way that someone could be fooled into confusing real life and VR as long as the VR still involves wearing goggles
-So a private corporation now has the right to arrest people and haul them away and make them slave laborers with no legal representation and no legal recourse?
-So how does Og (was that his name? Halliday’s partner?) being the docent work? Was he the docent for everyone, or just our heroes? How did he take an interest in them in the first place? And I was assuming that he was performing the role of Halliday’s avatar near the end (can’t remember if that’s what happened in the book), but then that wasn’t made explicit
-How is “here, sign some papers” a meaningful trap? Is the moral that no one should ever sign papers? Didn’t our heroes go on and sign papers later on?
-I can’t imagine a game economy functioning in a state when, at any point in time, any player can randomly be killed and lose EVERYTHING they accumulated. Once you’d been playing for a while, you would just leave everything at home, or sell it all and convert it to real money, or trade it all to a secondary character and not carry it around, or something. That would be like poker players who were required by the rules to always put their entire bankroll on the table at all times and couldn’t fold, or something.
-OBVIOUSLY you’re not supposed to win Adventure. Come on.

Things I liked:
-General look and feel. And there can never be too much Iron Giant
-I liked that the nerdy IOI employees were NOT just faceless goons, and were clearly openly cheering for Wade at the end.
I definitely felt a need to freeze frame some of the big scenes and see how many different characters/spaceships/whatever I could recognize. Presumably the internet will come to our aid.

Everyone conveniently living in the same city as IOI HQ really bothered me too. Good point about the goggles; the headgear should’ve been a major clue right away Sorrento was still in OASIS. :dubious: He could obviously still feel it since he reached up felt it after he saw the glitch. It’s not clear just how realist OASIS feels, but even the top of line equipment doesn’t appear to directly interface with the user’s central nervous system. As for the giant corporation being able to force debtors into indentured servitude that’s probably the most plausible thing about the movie.

Probably taking this conversation more seriously than it deserves, but… I can definitely see situations where big corporations have leaned on various lawmakers to strip various consumer and employee protections away. I can certainly imagine new versions of indentured servitude in the future. But that’s a LONG way from a corporation with its own private snatch force picking people up off the street and throwing them in the salt mines because those people owed someone ELSE money… with no chance to talk to a lawyer, no identity verification, etc. I get the vibe they were going for, but that one moment just went too far over the top, imho.

I just saw the movie and really enjoyed it. I do understand some of the changes that were made from the book but others were glossed over or not mentioned at all.

The biggest disappointment for me was the under utilization of Ogden Morrow/ Simon Pegg.

Loved The Shining bit. I wish they used Jack though.

Saw it tonight (on Easter, naturally!) and it wasn’t as good as I could have dreamed but much better than I feared. My wife, who cares little for 80s nerd culture and never read the book, loved it. Which was much to my relief. At times I thought it felt like the book with every third chapter removed and was worried that she would be lost but I guess the stuff I felt was missing wasn’t important to the clean slate viewer.

Obviously a lot was different and it had to be since watching someone go through a dungeon that’s 95% traps or play through Zork would be tedious. Lots and lots of Easter eggs. The couple modern things like Tracer from Overwatch were thankfully sparse. I don’t know if there’s really much to say or explore about it but I had fun.

They took something fun and kinda shallow and made it mildly amusing and paper thin.

I’m sure there’s lots of fan service and lots of Easter eggs that will become apparent once it makes it way to HBO on constant repeat, but as an adaptation it’s a failure, and not just because of the plot changes. They scrubbed all the most compelling futurism and social commentary as well.

My main issues:
[li]They cut out Ludus and the entire school story line. This sucks because Ludus really emphasizes why control over the Oasis is so damn important. It’s not just popular entertainment, it’s the key to society at it’s most fundamental level. [/li][li]They prettied up the IRL characters too much. This is predictable Hollywood whitewashing, but it’s actually a really important element of the message of the story. [/li][li]The economics in Oasis and how they tie to the real-world was lost. Wade is poor outside of the game and poor inside of it. Aech and Art3mis are relatively famous and well-off in-game as a result, the imbalance of power isn’t well communicated. [/li][list][li] Being poor inside of it echos the threat of loot boxes in gaming today, it’s no surprise that the old-codgers making the movie handwaved that away. [/li][li]The entire plot line where Wade finding the key leads to IRL sponsorship deals that allow him to rent a secret refuge and gear echo eSports and the trappings of fame.[/li][li]Aech is a legit celebrity because of his e-Sports prowess. They dumbed it down to him just being a builder/modder which was lame. [/ul][/li][li]Not killing off Daito. IOI killing him is probably the “Luke I am your father” moment of the books. It set the stakes much higher than the movie ever does. The attack on the stacks felt neutered in comparison. Plus is makes Shoto’s final attack on Sorrento a major moment. [/li][li]Downplaying Og and how he was reclusive and very powerful in Oasis kinda sucked. It also made the IRL meeting of our heroes feel way sillier in the movie without him being the facilitator. [/li][li]Changing i-R0k from a asshole troll into basically Boba Fett was fucking lame. It was probably necessitated because they cut out the school and the private chat rooms/social networking altogether, but IOI and Sorrento wouldn’t need that type of help. They found those artifacts by infinite grinding or buying them, they didn’t get them from mercenaries on their payroll. Such a stupid trope. [/li][li]They reduced the 3-way relationship between Halliday, Morrow and Kira into something too juvenile.[/li][li]IOI was made into a cartoon villain instead of a more authentic corporate mega-monopoly doing the usual corporate things. This undercuts the social commentary there as well. [/li][/list]

Some of the stuff I’m okay with. A lot of the challenges in the book wouldn’t have translated well and the licensing rights I’m sure were a battle, so simplifying it or changing the icons (Ultraman becomes Gundam) is acceptable. I’m mostly pissed that they dumbed it down. It’s supposed to be a cautionary tale.

The movie looked great though.

One more complaint, book Wade ended up being a great gunter for a couple reasons. He was a poor loaner and obsessed with Oasis and the Egg because it was his only way out. Lots of people were like this, but he was extreme and didn’t waste any of his Oasis time just playing. He was basically the equivalent of a current day sports prodigy coming out of the projects.

The more important factor was that he was so poor in game and travel within Oasis was expensive, quests required credits and you risked all your gear every time you went out, so the only thing he could do was spend all his time reading the almanac and practicing all the old games and watching the old movies. While your average gunter was out exploring or out playing for artifacts, Wade was doing homework.

So, in the book it made some sense that Wade was the one who could figure things out. He had a better chance than most anyone to win it so it didn’t feel like random luck. In the movie, Wade is basically just a god-level player for no obvious reason. He was Aech and Art3mis’ equal or better when it came time to race and shoot and fight even though he didn’t have the advantage of power ups and practice.

I saw it, it was OK, fun and entertaining. I’m glad I saw it on the big screen in 3D.

What distracted me most was the bad guys being incompetent in convenient/inexplicable ways. IOI having a single locked door between the [del]debtors prison[/del] loyalty center, gunter army area and even the CEO’s office. IOI drones following people to their van and photographing the van but not even trying to follow the van. IOI even allowed an outsider to log in to the OASIS using one of their rigs. And had such poor network security that Wade could hack into and take control of their CEO’s terminal.

I agree about the role of the OASIS - the movie essentially makes it a game everyone plays, when it was really the foundation of the world economy. It’s where everyone works, socializes, goes to school. Which makes the ending even more nuts! Shutting down the OASIS for two days a week - weekdays no less - is just plain impossible for the world the movie is set in.

The world building felt very sparse to me (the importance of the OASIS beyond pew-pew, the reach of IOI, etc) which is part of what I meant by feeling like chapters were removed. My wife (sample size: one) didn’t seem to mind so maybe it felt like more of an absence if you already knew about it. I’d be interested to hear more opinions from people unfamiliar with the book.

However, speaking of sparse, the theater we were in was maybe 50% full and it wasn’t a large capacity theater. Granted it was Easter night but I have the feeling that most of the people seeing this are people who already know the story.

My brother (42 y.o.) never read the book. He thought it was fantastic.

It did pretty well, but hardly incredible business.

It’s the biggest opening for Spielberg in 11 years, but he hasn’t really attempted a blockbuster since Indiana Jones 4.

It will make money, but like the book, I wonder if it will leave any cultural footprint in a few years. We have talked on the Dope about how Avatar was huge and made no impact. I wonder if RPO is the same.

I certainly enjoyed the book(have not seen the movie yet), but as soon as the book was over, I thought…“Uh, no one in 20 years will care about this much.”

I wonder if the movie is fun enough to enjoy without caring about the 80’s references. The book, to me, was not.

The movie doesn’t need to clobber you with references since it can show, not tell. Which I think is a benefit since everyone bitches about the lists of 80’s trivia and references in the book.

There’s a couple spelled out “That’s the motorcycle from Akira!” bits but it’s mostly left for the viewer to be like “Heh, Artemis is using the pulse rifle from Aliens” or “That’s a Commodore 1570 drive on the floor”. And there’s so much of it that you’re bound to catch some stuff even if it’s obvious “Oh hey the Batmobile” and “That’s the T-Rex from Jurassic Park”. So you can feel clever for getting something depending on your knowledge of old pop culture and also enjoy Artemis shooting guys whether you recognize the gun or not. I thought it largely worked.

Saw this with family yesterday, we decided it would be our Easter Egg hunt. Youngest daughter had not read the book and thought it was kind of fun and a decent movie but was much more excited for the Avengers trailer beforehand. Not a good sign when a movie with teenage protagonists doesn’t resonate with teenagers. Older daughter, wife and I have all read and deeply enjoyed the book. I was in high school in the 80’s so I’m right in Cline’s target demographic and have been eagerly looking forward to this film. Two of us (including me) actively dis-liked the film. I think on repeated viewings when it hits HBO I’ll warm up to it more, enjoying it as its own creation rather than an adaptation of the book. But for now, after the first viewing, no. Just no. Almost walked out of the theater. The changes to the plot are jarring and took me out of enjoying that world, but that I can live with. What heart there is in the book and its characters is ripped out and replaced with visual stunts and mindless jokes, that’s my major problem. If you care about the book (and I know there are a lot of people who don’t), this movie is hard to watch.

Good changes:
Holy Hand Grenade- Great reference, would have been better with a 1, 2, 5 countdown. This seemed a good trade-off for pulling out the movie-video game challenge.

Charm of Making Spell from Excalibur- Movie is referenced several times in the book so this was great, especially without explaining it.

The Halliday character- Obviously Mark Rylance kills pretty much every role and was great here, but particularly the end where he’s taking care of his younger self and his status in the OASIS is left as a mystery. Bravo!

The Halliday Vault- Parts of this were problematic, but the footage of Halliday and Morrow interacting were a good addition. Especially with their attitude towards Sorrento. “The only thing Sorrento knew about James was how he liked his coffee.” Snerk

Bad Changes: (there’s a lot more, these are the ones that really bugged)
Art3mis- Her book character is completely gutted. She’s presented here as a gamer rather than an elite Gunter with even more Halliday knowledge than Parzival. Book Art3mis would never have thrown away her chance of winning to let Parzival win. Plus she’s all over Parzival right after they meet, at the dance club, that’s not her character. Her avatar is all wrong, it’s supposed to look real-life without the birthmark. It’s specifically described as “short and Rubenesque. All curves.” In the movie she looks like a bird.

Rebellion- didn’t add anything to the plot. Not a very effective rebellion either. Did they just want to be rebels like in Star Wars? What were they trying to accomplish, just winning the contest? Other clans do the same without being a rebellion. Take down IOI, break people out of Loyalty? Do they ever do any of that? All they really did was allow IOI to track down Wade, thanks to tattoo man.

Columbus- Wade doesn’t travel from OKC and see how ravaged the country is outside the OASIS? the whole movie takes place in C-bus? Daito and Shoto aren’t in Japan? I question whether Spielberg understands the implications of a virtual world and how that can be leveraged in story-telling.

Sorrento- Seems like they wanted him to be the Asst Principal from Breakfast Club. Was there a “mess with the bull you get the horns” reference I missed, because it really wanted to be in there. He comes off as an idiot blowhard with no real plan. Why is his password written on a post-it note in a world with retina and voice verification? Should have been far more menacing to Parzival in their initial convo, culminating with the explosion in the Stacks. Sorrento should be pressing the detonator button as he watches Parzival’s avatar log-out, gloating over killing Wade. Also, if the people in the Stacks know what he did, are they really just going to let him walk through the angry mob at the end? Wouldn’t they be taking justice into their own hands and getting vengeance for their murdered neighbors?

I-Rok- I think they just wanted to use TJ Miller’s voice as much as possible and created this bizarre character. The I-Rok/Sorrento relationship is as cartoonish as their respective avatars.

Aech- Soooo poorly handled. The big payoff of Aech’s reveal works in the book because it happens near the end. We’re already invested in hischaracter and think we know him. So we get the same shock Wade does. The movie drops the whole dialogue about having to present one’s avatar in a certain way to avoid discrimination, not to mention the deeply held prejudices from Aech’s own mother. Is Aech’s sexual orientation ever even mentioned? There’s not a lot of emotional high points in the book, but this was a compelling one and it would have made a much stronger movie. Also, Aech’s relationship with Parzival, competing over everything, arguing about Ladyhawke, constant trash-talking and nicknames, etc. is just presented as a pre-bundled thing, we never experience it.

Daito/Shoto- What a missed opportunity! We trade the bonds of virtual brotherhood and the grief of real life mourning for cute kid jokes. Shoto’s meeting with Parzival after Daito’s death is one of the great moments in the book that emphasizes the importance of real human relationships and emotional support even in a virtual world. “My relationship with Daito is difficult to explain. … We were not brothers. Not in real life. Just in the OASIS. Do you understand?”

The Contest- Wait, what the hell happened to the gates? Now we only have to find three keys? No Gate challenges? I get leaving out the WarGames and Holy Grail bits, because a movie of people in a movie doesn’t work, but come on now - Nothing hidden in the trash on the deepest level of Daggorath? No Voight-Kampff test or Black Tiger or Temple of Syrinx? No FREAKING SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK?!?! The movie contest was a joke, none of the keys were hard to find or solve. All of the answers were right there in the Halliday Vault. Why is Parzival is the only one looking there?

Adventure- Really, Oology division doesn’t know that the Easter Egg in Adventure inspired Halliday’s contest?

OG the Great and Powerful- Not really so much of either. Having Og give the quarter artifact on a bet cheapens Parzival’s accomplishment. This feels like cheating in the Contest, as opposed to how he helps in the book by giving shelter from real world threats but refusing to help in the OASIS. Is he really hanging out in the museum all the time for everyone or is he just helping Parzival? What about all the great work Og and Kira did after leaving Gregarious, their love story? Completely missing.

The major theme of the book, alienation in both the dystopian real world and its counterpart utopian virtual society and the necessity of human connection to survive in both worlds gets completely ignored for 90% of the movie and is then just brought up by Halliday at the end and topped off by the High Five shutting down the OASIS 2 days a week so Wade and Samantha can have make-out sessions. Too bad for all those people relying on OASIS based businesses for food and shelter and healthcare on those days I guess. I agree with many of the criticisms in previous posts, especially Omniscient’s point on removing the Ludus planet plotline and its importance in showing the potential the OASIS has for benefitting humanity and how much of life in 2045 occurs in the OASIS rather than in the “real” world.

When my wife saw the real Aech, she made a happy excited sound. I guess that, as a woman and a minority, she didn’t need it explained to her why a black woman would want to present as someone else on the internet. She immediately got it. Again: Sample size of one.

I actually appreciated that Artemis was given MORE to do by being the person inside IOI and the one who takes down the sphere rather than Wade doing pretty much everything in the book.

I actually agree in principle with most of the complaints here although I sort of feel like “don’t care, had fun” even if they’re technically correct. While I agree that they didn’t present the OASIS as the economic/educational/cultural hub and I would have preferred that they did, I can’t get worked up about the “Tuesdays and Thursdays” line at the end because they didn’t present the OASIS as that sort of hub.

Here is an article on the changes to the ending.

Do you guys agree with this article? I’ve not seen the movie yet, but have read the book.