Ready Player One

Foremost, be warned I am struggling with this one. I have spent the last 18 hours wondering what rating to give it. I’m concerned I’m in a bad mood but don’t think so, I’m just puzzled by this film. But first, there are routines to get through.

I went, on a glorious sunny day, to sit in the dark at the Cineworld cinema in [not] Rochester. I now comment on the tide, as the river is tidal, at this point. The tide was in and I took a pretty picture to confirm that. If you look carefully you can see the historic Rochester castle and cathedral.

High Tide Rochester
High Tide Rochester

I rated this film on IMDB and you should read this communication about the scoring system. This is where the controversy starts I think:

So, I should now go ahead and explain my rating and thoughts.

Bad Thing

This film started by playing “Jump” by Van Halen. This is a good song, it’s iconic, but I was instantly reminded that a good soundtrack does not make the film. Suicide Squad was a shit film but had a great soundtrack of classic 80s songs that everyone knows. So, let’s ignore the music.

Bad Thing

I don’t think the voice over was necessary. Films are made better without exposition. Build your explanations into the film, release the details slowly. Make the audience earn the story. Let’s ignore that.

Good/Bad Thing

There were so many 80s cultural references, along with a glaring one from 1991 and Terminator 2, that these were unsubtle. They were rammed into your retina. I guess I missed many as I’m not a massive 80s whore, but my mate Pom would get more. I think he’d like that part of the film. This film is like a greatest hits of popular culture.

An Aside

If pop-culture is the stuff that is popular does culture mean all that upper class shit that critics like? The stuff that isn’t popular? Should that be called culture?

Impressive Thing

The CGI was hugely impressive. We have been at the point of photo-realism for years now and there are many parts of films that are CGI but I don’t think people realise. It’s a cheap way to lend credibility to a film by adding small details. So, the virtual world looked and felt fantastic. Well done [although it’s not outside the realms of technology or new].

Annoying Thing

The avatars of the characters were remarkably like their IRL characters. Their facial features were quite Cameron’s Avatar like. This is probably to avoid the uncanny valley. The oriental characters were played in-game by oriental builds. The large kid chose to be an over-modded large character and the lead turned out to be white kid. They all played their own gender and they all kept their real life features. This was bollocks. It was Hollywood.

More Annoying Thing

All the clan in the game came from pretty much the same area of the USA?? What utter rubbish. The idea that online players in this game would be anywhere near each other was appalling.

While We Are At It

The girl didn’t think she was “pretty” in real life. She didn’t want to meet the lead character. Well, it turns out she IS pretty. All she has is a birth mark that covers here eye. IT’S NOT EVEN A BAD BIRTHMARK. What bollocks, this was very annoying.


The futuristic slum area was essentially just a trailer park made futuristic. Do you know what? I’m happy with that. I liked it.


There has to be a point where developers decide whether to include force feedback into suits and movement or not. I suspect it will go ahead because: porn. So, the IRL people have walkways so that their movements are mimicked in the game. But, how does the flying and dancing work? What about INERTIA? Why are people in the streets playing the game? Are they walking form one place to another? Can they see the real world while they are in the game? I don’t understand.

Being in a computer game doesn’t give you superhuman reactions. You just can’t run, race, fight, fly, drive at those speeds and still react as a human. It might be that the apologetic is that the game avatars have extra modifications that allow them to react within the game to threats. This I guess is a good explanation but the speed of the gaming and fight scenes along with the driving section was implausible.

Beating The Game

When you are facing a bigger opponent in a game and you are going to lose all your coin why don’t you just quit and leave the game. That makes sense to me.

Story Arc [SPOILERS]

White american kid takes on a corporation with his friends. He gets the girl. Wins riches beyond his dreams and frees the world. Such bullshit.

It was nice to see Hannah John-Kamen again.


Now, I’ve been writing this stuff down I can see that I just wasn’t impressed. Yes, there are great songs and brilliant references to other films but once you remove that stuff the overall story and ideas are just pretty poor.

Maybe you can understand my struggles.