The Ready Player One movie trailer was released earlier this week... and it made me nervous.

in #movies4 years ago (edited)

I have ADHD and a touch of OCD. As such, it is very difficult for me to... squirrel!!! Wait what was I saying? Oh my ADHD leads me to become bored very easily while my OCD means I have a very tough time leaving something unfinished. For example, I have never written half of a post and returned later to finish it. I must complete them all in one sitting. I'm pretty crazy.

Will this movie be exciting enough to keep my attention like the novel did?

The same is true of novels. If I don't finish a book in three days, I will never finish it. Even three days is a stretch.

One day in the late summer of 2011, my wife approached me with a book and said, "I just read this. I think you will like it."

I read that book three times in three days. It was the first time I had ever had the focus to read anything, aside from Timmothy Zahn's Star Wars novels, more than once (and I waited a few years in between those readings).

The book my wife very wisely chose for me was Ernest Cline's Ready Player One.

It was the first time in my life that I truly thought, "Oh my gosh. That author is psychic. He looked in my head (and heart) and wrote a book specifically for me."

When I was done with the book the first time, even though I had no idea who Earnest Cline was, I immediately said, "That dude is the exact same age as me. I know it." I was right. The references in it were too perfect. Only someone born in the very early 70s would truly understand every reference. I have had some friends that have said that they understood every reference. However, that was due to their older brothers telling them about some of them when they were young. They didn't actually play Adventure on Atari 2600 for 12 hours on Christmas day... but I did. They didn't see War Games or Blade Runner in the theater... but I did. They didn't connect a coat hanger to the UHF antenna on their black and white tv to watch Ultraman... but I did. They didn't "borrow" their stepfather's credit card to order Zork over the phone and then wait 2 weeks for it to be delivered... but I did.

I could play this game all day.

Cline and I could have been brothers. Sometimes I think maybe we actually were living in the same room in the 1980s but one of the baseball Furies knocked us out, gave us amnesia and C.H.U.D.S. dragged my brother Earnest away.

If the group of fiends I had when I was 15 sat down to write a novel together... it would have been Ready Player One.

To me, it was perfect.

So earlier this summer, I gave it to my 12 year old son Timmy to read. Before I did, I warned him that there would be some "F" words. (He gets pretty upset about those.) But I assured him that it was ok. I trusted that he could tell the difference between the book and reality. I knew he would not repeat them (at least in front of his parents).

As he read it, he continuously asked me to explain the references in the book.

This book had inspired my son to want to take a stroll through my childhood with me.

I was in Iowa heaven!

Sharing Ready Player One with my son actually made me love it even more.

But make no mistake, that book is MINE. My son was just a tourist taking a stroll through MY Tough Turf. He would have needed a Megaorce to try and make me give it up. But if he thought he could, then he clearly was drinking some Strange Brew. If anyone tried to take it away from me, I would go Berzerk and throw my Glaive at them so fast it would make them scream "get to the chopper!"

No one can take away MY book.

Except for maybe Steven Spielberg.

Spielberg is directing the movie adaptation of Ready Player One set to be released in March 2018.

This week, the first trailer was released.

It was not good.

There was something about it that made it seem like he had turned this novel intended for 40 year olds into a movie intended for twelve year olds. As soon as I saw the main character enter his "lair" I immediately thought, "Oh Shit. That reminds me of Batteries not Included" (Spielberg's 1987 lesser known children's movie about mechanical aliens helping to save a building from being torn down by evil land developers... I'm not kidding).

It did not look "adult" enough. Perhaps my greatest fear is that Spielberg will do for Ready Player One what he did 16 years ago to A.I.

A.I. was a movie that Stanley Kubrick had attempted to make for many years. His vision of it was very dark and serious. After Kubrick died, Spielberg finished what Kubrick had attempted to start many years earlier. Unfortunately, Spielberg turned it into a vapid retelling of Pinocchio. (Please see @liberosist comment below for a different take).

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is not what Stanley Kubrick had in mind. *

I get that Ready Player One is meant to be fun.... but it is supposed to be fun for 40 year old geeks. If their children want to come for the ride as passengers that is fine. But they should not be the target demographic. I am not expecting an exact replicant of the novel. I always anticipated the need to remove the "F" words in order to make sure it does not get stuck with an "R" rating. But I never thought it would degenerate into The Goonies.

Hopefully the next trailer will restore my faith that the movie will remain true to the spirt of the novel.

After all, I was all set to ditch school in March of 2018 to go to Chez Quis, then a Cubs game, then the Art Institute, then sing in a parade, and top it off by seeing Ready Player One.

Nobody, including Ed Rooney or Steven Spielberg, better try to spoil that day.

*According to @liberosist I may be a little too far out on that limb. Please see his comment below.

Images 1, 2, 3, 4


Aa friend of mine told me about the book 2-3 years ago and I decided to give it a go. As I was working as a commission painted with 65-70 hour working week i used to listen to audio books while working and the Willy Wonka's reading totally won me over. I did get A lot of the references since my closest friends are 40 years old geeks and we talk a lot about geek culture. The book easily became one of my favorites and I was really excited when I heard about the movie. I just hope they do better with the movie than they did with the trailer!

Exactly! My fingers are crossed.

Fingers crossed, but while many trailers are better than the movies, I find the opposite to be quite rare. Interesting-looking trailers are simply more abundant than interesting movies. It is possible for a good movie to have a bad trailer, but not likely. We can still hope...

Read Ready Player One three times in a row and your username is Hanshotfirst? Immediately followed.

I read it for the first time last week. Started on Sunday and finished on Monday. It felt like playing a video game and though I was born in 1977, I got most of the references. My first gaming system was the 2600. I watched pretty much everything mentioned.

How fun would that be to go through War Games and Holy Grail to test ourselves with our knowledge of the movies?! My top pick would be the original Star Wars trilogy though above all.

Anyhow, I share your same concerns, but it gives me hope that Cline wrote the screenplay too, and that he was originally a screenplay writer before becoming a novelist with RPO.

Fingers crossed.

We are around he same age (i am slightly older) and we share the same cultural dna... I get your references and your apprehension about this movie. So many cultural touchpoints from my youth have been degraded in this way. One big problem is that Spielberg is older than us, so his connection to these moments is largely commercial and seen through the lens of his career, which was already well established by the late '70s...

That is a good point. Man I am nervous. I have such high expectations.

I watched the trailer the other day, and it felt a little odd (like a revamped Tron movie). Now that I know there is a book, I'll partake of that before seeing the movie.

Is there ever a movie adaptation that meets or surpasses the book?

On the subject of om screen adaptations of novels, I recently read the first book in The Expanse novel series by James S. A. Corey. I had previously watched the first season of the SyFy show based on the books, and I was amazed at how close to the novel the show was.

I have only seen season one but I really enjoyed it. I have to catch up on my DVR. Thanks for reminding me.

No problem. If you want another good read, you should check out the first book. One other reason I think the show does the book justice is that the first season of the show only covers the first half of the first book, and there are currently 5 books with more on the way. I have high hopes for it.

Hmm, I am not familiar with that series. What did you enjoy about it?

I think the biggest thing I enjoyed was how well the universe gets set up. Many books can develop characters well, but in science fiction, establishing the setting is important because there are so many futuristic universes (books, movies, shows, etc.) nowadays to choose from. The author does an excellent job of establishing the political climate via the development of the two main characters. Because of this, the story is built on a solid foundation and takes off as the humanity of the characters is explored. There's a lot of action and things you'd expect out of other sci-fi sagas, so it's also a fun exciting read. That's my take, anyway. And the TV show is very well done. I'm excited to get through the rest of the books and check out the newer seasons of the show.

That sounds fascinating. A solid foundation of story and atmosphere make the characters come alive. Thanks for that brief synopsis!

No problem! I like it when I can recommend great material to others. Let me know what you think if you ever read or watch!

I could not possibly recommend a book more strongly. You must see it before the movie.

I think the extended versions of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy are the best adaptations I have ever seen. Aside form that...

Thought that might be your response, haha.

As a LOTR nerd, yeah, the extended versions are pretty close. I'm not as adamant as some of my friends who won't even go to a Peter Jackson movie because they are mad about LOTR.

I'm worried about Ready Player One too, but still cautiously optimistic.

A.I. was a movie that Stanley Kubrick had attempted to make for many years. His vision of it was very dark and serious. After Kubrick died, Spielberg finished what Kubrick had attempted to start many years earlier. Unfortunately, Spielberg turned it into a vapid retelling of Pinocchio.

This is a very common myth, and completely false. Firstly, let me just say that AI is a masterful film, easily Spielberg's best, and perhaps one of the finest of this century. Indeed, I'd rank it up there with Kubrick's best work. It's also totally misunderstood.

So, to set some records straight. You can search for interviews with Kubrick's chief collaborator, producer Jan Harlan, and Steven Spielberg.

  • Kubrick's the one that developed the Pinocchio storyline. Indeed, he codenamed the project Pinocchio.
  • He gave up on the project, and passed it on to Spielberg himself. He did so because he thought Spielberg would be the best director for the film.
  • Spielberg convinced Kubrick to direct it himself, and he was meant to do so after Eyes Wide Shut.
  • After he died, both Jan Harlan and Christiane Kubrick (his wife) requested Spielberg to put all his other projects and hold and do this for Stanley. He accepted.
  • Jan Harlan was executive producer, and it was co-produced under the Stanley Kubrick Productions banner. He is on record calling it a "masterpiece" and thoroughly proud of it as he would a Stanley Kubrick film.
  • Finally, all the dark elements of the film, the flesh trade etc were developed by Spielberg.

I personally love the ending - those are the best pieces of cinema I've ever witnessed. I don't understand how anyone could call that "sentimental" - if anything, the ending is classic Kubrick. It's some of the saddest moments in cinema. Indeed, we know that this was the only part of the film that was word to word from Kubrick's drafts.

Anyway, apologies for the off-topic rant. It's now over :) I do hope you revisit it.

LOL. No I completely appreciate different points of view. I don't mind rethinking my position given new information. It sometimes help to view something through a different lens.

Concerning Kubrick, I remember hearing years ago the exact opposite. But it was 16 years ago so I have no clue how reputable those sources were. They could have been completely wrong.

But Kubrick seal of approval or not, this movie was simply not for me.

I don't remember every detail of the movie but I distinctly remember being very angry that I had wasted my time. Perhaps when I retire I will have two and a half hours to spare and give it another shot.

I actually like these types of arguments because in the end it just comes own to a matter of taste. I could argue all day long that vanilla is better than chocolate... but at the end of the day I can look at the person I'm arguing with and say, "to each his own". I do wish I had a better counter argument than "It made me mad 16 years ago" lol... but it was a long time ago.

If have an ADHD maybe you are fun to be with. They are difficult to handle too.
I would be excited about the movie, Spielbergs movies are a gem.

I've been looking for a new book to read ever since I finished the Dune series. Thanks for this post, I'll keep an eye out for all the references and do my best to understand them even though I'm a 90's kid.

Also I lol'd at the crossed out Iowa you threw in there!

Now you made me want to see the movie and read the book. An awesome post can do that to a person. Thanks @hanshotfirst

Read the book first. It is awesome!

I read it too. Amazing book. Not sure Spielberg pulls it off. Saw the trailer too.

I hope it is better than the trailer.

I am looking forward to this movie and hope it's better than what the trailer portrays. I just want to this Freddy Kruger in the trailer? ROFL.

It sure is. So is the Iron Giant.

That is great. They turn into coins when destroyed too. The 80's references will more than likely be oozing throughout this film. I remember going to watch a Freddie movie when I was about 6 and we had to leave the theater because it scared the Bejesus out of me. Don't know why someone would take a 6 year old to see Freddie but the 8o's were a lot different. Still remember the station wagon with 4 40 A/C and cigarette smoke blowing like you were in a bar. LOL.

Just a couple of hours ago I finished to read this book, literally in one breath! I'm looking forward to the movie. Spielberg as a Director inspires hope for a successful adaptation.

Sweet write up- I'll have to check out the book. Trailer looks pretty generic though, ageed.

It's mine now, I'm gonna look for it, I'm gonna find it and I'm gonna read it!

I would go Berzerk and throw my Glaive at them so fast it would make them scream "get to the chopper!"

lol :d

Not from the 70s though but I could relate with having OCD because I have it too. My friend gets angry at it sometimes though. So nice to ready this post, loved it all through till the end.

I am intrigued. It looks like there are a few new books that nerd self will need to read once I finish the Jack Reacher series from Lee Child. I love these books so much .. and despise Tom Cruise for ever agreeing to be Jack Reacher. Wrong guy. Wrong size. Wrong character. Ugh. Damn Hollywood for casting a 5'6''? 140? Lb Tom Cruise to fit a 6'5'' 230+ lb beast of an ex-military man!

I hope your movie doesn't disappoint nearly as much as I was disappointed by the Reacher movies!

Welcome to the black-and-white TV club, ha ha. In fact mine was the only family in the neighborhood to own such a colorless device. I lied to the other kids, out of embarrassment, that our TV was a color one.
That’s the thing about the Hollywood industry – the majority of their production is aimed at wide-eyed teenagers, not adults.

Very true. And I am fine with most of it (I have a 12 year old) but this one is special to me.

Yeah, we never want the special one ruined, and yet it sometimes it does end up ruined anyway. Hopefully it doesn’t happen this time. Best of luck.

You called?

Oh, you probably meant another squirrel. ;-)

I was born in the 60's but I caught the majority of your "easter eggs".

I hope you're not disappointed by the final version, but I have to warn you. It's the 12 year olds who convince their parents to buy all the merchandise the movies are targeting.

Even Spielberg is powerless to resist, I fear he has been assimilated.

There you are!

I knew I saw something.

You are very right. I am still hopeful... but its tough.

My goodness, I so get what you are saying. That is why I always read the book before I see the movie. And yes, I get all those references, although I was born in 1964. I guess we were the early geeks, right? My boys would be amused to know that I was one too, in those days...

For sure. I think it is nearly impossible for a movie to ever fully capture the nuance of a book.

thanks for your great post dear @hanshotfirst ,, upvoted
I also don't finish a book in three days,and I also will never finish it. Even three days is a stretch
I love books
but I m fully tied up these days
I wish i get free and read

I hope you can.

I love the audio book. I remember a lot of fun. Will be funny to see it as a movie.
Let's see how they do the "OASIS" and if they can beat my imagination. 😊

I don't think they stand a chance of beating our imaginations... but it will be fun to see them try.

Such a great book.

Looks promising though. Would be on my checklist for the next year.

Sometimes it can feel like the book is directly speaking to you. That's the beauty of reading a book.

Very true. It is rare when it happens. But when it does, it is awesome!

Indeed it's not easy to find these kinds of books.

such an a amaizing experiecne with this @hanshotfirst

Great post I will go through it in details after my day is done. Thanks for posting. Keep up the good work.I follow you.Do not forget to vote in my post. Thank you.

You take it seriously, brilliant post, spontaneous, fun, I have to learn from you, great post

This is the next level of movies , I'm going to give this a watch @hanshotfirst

Amazing book !

It looks good and the book was great. A shame the author was a dick.

Wonderful post and cool books! Thanks for sharing!

I can't wait for it to come out

Audible version aquired. I only read internet, texts, twitter, blogs, and the occasional email!

I had a similar experince while watching the TV show Stranger things. It had so many references to how it was growing up in the eighties and nineties. Most notable playing D&D with my friends :D
It's so cool when a book/show is able to reignite childhood memories and emotions.

This is amazing! I watched the trailer quite recently, I didn't realize that it was based on a book. I'm definitely going to have to read that one. Thanks for letting me know!

Upvoted !

Now I am confused which to see first, the movie or the book? The movie easily wins it for me. Thanks for sharing your experience

Christmas day. Atari 2600. 12 hours. This book might work for guys in their 50s, too.

Thanks for bringing this novel to the attention of Community News. Whilst most here were a little too young for the Atari, we did know the Commodore 64 very well - I feel there will be some overlap here.

I was in Iowa aehhh heaven :-) lol

Nice post!