Ready Player One: Movie (and Book) Thoughts

When it comes to writing “reviews,” I’m pretty terrible. I think being able to write a good review is a skilled art, and one that I’ve never really learned or practiced. Which is why (at least, from here on out…) when I write about a book or a movie or a show or a something, I’m going to try to avoid calling it a “Review.” Instead, you just get my thoughts. And I’ll try to keep them spoiler-free thoughts, or at least toss a POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING up before saying something. Cool? Cool.

So…let’s talk Ready Player One. 

First, the book.

I “read” Ready Player One for the first time in 2014. I use the quotes around “read” because I actually listened to it via Audible, and while I believe listening to audiobooks counts as reading a book, I’m still not sure what the correct verb to use for it is. I suppose it’s listened and not read, but it sounds weird to me. If you have thoughts on this, drop ’em in the comments please.

The brief summary of my reading experience I wrote in February 2014 on Goodreads was this:

My husband and I listened to the audiobook (read by Wil Wheaton) on our commute to work. As employees at a video game company – and huge pop culture nerds – I think our perspective on this book may have varied from others, just due to personal experience. It was a highly enjoyable, and in some ways unsettlingly believable, futuristic tale. Definitely recommend!

I don’t really have much more to say beyond that. It seems like Ernest Cline wrote this book with a very, very specific niche market in mind, and we happen to fit into that niche market, so it makes sense that we’d like it. There are definitely problems with the book. I’d never claim it to be great literature, but it’s fun. And sometimes, that’s all I want in a book. And sometimes, that’s all I want in a movie. So…

We saw Ready Player One the movie twice this past week; first in 3D IMAX, and then in 2D at the luxury theater where we got to put our feet up and sip cocktails while viewing it. Both experiences were great for different reasons (the 3D IMAX screen was INTENSE — it’s a 91’x64′ screen, nearly 7 stories tall. That, my friends, is a way to watch an action movie).

We really, really enjoyed the movie.

Two things… POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNINGS!!!… 

(You still here? Okay. Because one of these is definitely a spoiler.

First off, the second challenge…ugh. I get that there were probably a plethora of reasons that they couldn’t use War Games, but OMG I was so not ready for The Shining. The cool thing about seeing it on opening night was the fact that the theater was filled with a bunch of pop culture nerds like us, and we all reacted the same way – lots of shrieks and screams and shared nervous laughter. So, while I hated it because OMG the twins and the ball and the UGH, it was also a lot of fun.

Second, after two viewings, my husband finally pointed out a significant difference between the book and the movie – a difference, I think, that makes both exceptionally good as stand-alones (meaning, you don’t really have to read the book to enjoy the movie, and you can skip the movie if you’d rather just read the book). He said:

Ready Player One, the book, is really Wade Watts’ story. But the movie is James Halliday’s story.

And I definitely agree.

What did you think of Ready Player One? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

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