This is now my second post, so no need for a long introduction. Review time….
I have never been the biggest Steven Spielberg fan. However, over the years I have become more interested in his work, and have gained respect for easily the most famous director of all-time. Part of why I was never a huge fan is because I am not too much into some of his big blockbusters like Jaws, Jurassic Park, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Those are obviously good films, but personally not things I’m constantly popping into my hipster VHS player. I should also mention that the HBO documentary, Spielberg, is awesome. Highly recommended.
Spielberg has nearly stuck to all serious dramas for about the past decade. Most of these films, like The Post and Bridge of Spies , have been some of the year’s best.
Ready Player One was a change of pace. It’s in the vein of those earlier blockbusters mentioned, which many film fans were excited to see. I went into Ready Player One with an open mind, like someone on acid (I wasn’t).
1) THE LAST 45 MINUTES, MAYBE THE LAST HOUR: The pacing of this movie is a disaster. The ending just drags and drags and drags and drags and drags and drags (see what I did there?) The runtime is 2 hours and 20 minutes. EASILY 20 minutes should have been cut from the final hour, maybe even more like 30 mins entirely.
2) TYE SHERIDAN’S COMEDIC TIMING: Listen. Tye Sheridan is a very talented actor. Mud is one of the most underrated movies of the past 10 years. He was in The Tree of Life but I’m not sure he honestly had any lines. Tye Sheridan I know is a good actor. But, you know what, he is NOT funny. At all. His character has many funny lines, but almost none are delivered in the way a comedian would deliver them. He’s just not funny. And I know I’m not the only one who felt this way because the theatre was often quiet at a missed joke.
3) THE WEIRD SCENE OF OLIVIA COOKE RUBBING TYE SHERIDAN’S CROTCH: This was during the awesome Saturday Night Live / Airplane! parody, which started as a great scene, but then became super weird super fast.
1) VISUAL EFFECTS: Oscar. Mark it down.
2) THE SCORE: The rare film by Spielberg not scored by John Williams. It was instead scored by Alan Silvestri (Forrest Gump, Cast Away), but it was incredible throughout the entire flick.
3) BEN MENDELSOHN/T.J. MILLER/MARK RYLANCE: I am ashamed to admit I had no idea Ben Mendelsohn or T.J. Miller was in this movie. I assumed Mark Rylance was because it’s directed by Spielberg and I was right, not to brag. All three were fantastic, and had their fair share of screen time. T.J. Miller’s comedic timing was the exact opposite of Tye Sheridan’s.
1) THE SHINING SEQUENCE: One of the best scenes I’ve seen in recent memory. At the time (it takes place about in the middle of the film) I thought Ready Player One could be one of my top ten films of the year.
It just drags. There were parts of this film that were incredibly entertaining. But the last hour just takes FOREVER. I can’t believe they left some of the random action sequences in, but oh well. For the most part, it’s enjoyable. The nostalgia is necessary and, quite frankly, pretty cool. The story is actually pretty good, and the visuals are stunning. Chop of at least 20 minutes and it’s an A+, but……