It feels as though it were yesterday when I was a kid growing up in the 80’s and watching Steven Spielberg classics such as Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., and more. It seemed for a time that he decided to put the adventure flicks on hold for more serious fare such as Bridge of Spies and other films, but I’m glad he decided to revisit his roots in Ready Player One. After watching this in 4K with HDR color, it’s clear that this movie represents all of the action-adventure he was bottling up for so long, and is bursting at the seams with video game characters, pop culture and Easter eggs for all.
Looks like I’m not the only one who loved the movie, as our own Travis Seppala enjoyed the “geekgasm” goodness as well in his review of the theatrical release. You can check it out for all of the in-depth plot details and his take on the film as I go into mine and the features of this 4K UHD release. I found myself being hooked by this movie as soon as it started, as it reminds me heavily of James Cameron’s classic hit, Avatar. Ever since seeing that movie along with various anime that touch on avatars (the .Hack franchise and Sword Art Online spring to mind), I’ve been a sucker for shows or films that focus on people being one thing in the real world while being another in a different one.
Like most Spielberg films, this one doesn’t disappoint as it’s one of the most ambitious and fun pieces I’ve seen this year (or any for that matter). It was awesome seeing a lot of 80’s and 90’s nostalgia all over the movie, which had me rewinding and pausing it a lot to catch it and confirm what it was (there’s literally a ton of video game characters and other fun stuff). It really helped watching it in 4K UHD with HDR color, as the super detail and colors made finding these fun bits a lot easier. The Dolby HD audio also makes you feel like you’re part of the action, especially when things heat up and it’s coming from all sides.
While the film is epic, the special features are a bit of a letdown. They’re not bad, but I definitely expected more like audio commentary from Spielberg and such. Instead it starts off with the nearly hour long “Game Changer: Cracking the Code” that comes off like a documentary featuring interviews with some of the cast and crew on their experiences filming the movie with loads of behind the scenes footage tossed in.
“Effects for a Brave New World” focuses on the cool visual effects featured in the film, “Ernie & Tye’s Excellent Adventure” has star Tye Sheridan and Ernest Cline, writer of the book the movie is based on, reminisce on working on the film while also getting ready for the premiere.
“High Score: Endgame” has legendary composer Alan Silvestri discussing his music for the film while also talking about working with Spielberg for the first time (which has been a long time coming), “Level Up: Sound for the Future” goes into getting the right sounds to complement the visuals, and lastly “The ’80s: You’re the Inspiration” has the cast and crew discuss how the pivotal decade influenced the tone of the movie as well as its story.
If you’re a child of the 80’s and/or a pop culture geek, chances are you already have Ready Player One in your collection. Even if you’re none of those things, you’ll still want to pick up the 4K Blu-ray of this and strap in for one of the most fun film rides ever.