MatthewSean Reviews

Book reviews, movie reviews, and other writing

Movie Review – Ready Player One (2018) — June 10, 2018

Movie Review – Ready Player One (2018)

Movie Review – Ready Player One (2018)


Movie Synopsis:

In the adaptation of the novel of the same name, we see the high school student Wade Watts, who instead of school would rather focus his time in the virtual reality space called “The Oasis,” trying to solve the puzzle left by deceased creator James Halliday. Whoever solved the complex set of puzzles will inherit a huge amount of money, and more importantly control over the Oasis. Wade is trying to beat others to win this contest, and most importantly ensure evil corporation IOI does not take control of the Oasis.

Movie Review:

This was a fantastic adaptation of the novel Ready Player One. Screenplay being co-written by novelist Ernest Cline, and directed by Steven Spielberg, this movie is a feast for the eyes. The visual effects are completely amazing in this film, from start to finish. Spielberg and his team have done a great job at bringing this dystopian story set in 2045 to life. The movie is really enjoyable to watch from start to finish, with many memorable scenes that are imaginative, creative, action-oriented, and colourful.

The storyline is actually quite modified from the novel, with the challenges and components of the quest being quite changed, to bring some of the more individual-oriented and computer-oriented pieces to life on screen in a more accessible manner for a visual audience. Spielberg, Cline, and others have done a great job preparing some alternative challenges and quests for the characters to push through, and the result is differences from the novel that both respect the themes and work on screen.

The characters in the film adaptation also have differences from the novel, but in a positive way. The writers have built additional details into the characterization of the characters that are working with Wade against IOI, which is interesting and helps build the storyline in new directions. There is a good amount of diversity in the characters that doesn’t come across quite as effectively in the novel, which is another credit to the film. For the most part, the changes made in this area again are an impressive example of actually taking source material and making some additions for the screen that keep the spirit of the original and enhance it.

Overall, this is an exciting and visually appealing movie, for all ages.

Overall: 4.5 stars out of 5 stars.

PS. See my review of the novel Ready Player One here.

Book Review – Ready Player One – Ernest Cline —

Book Review – Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

Book Review – Ready Player One – Ernest Cline



Book: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Genre: Science Fiction
Year of Release: 2011
Read 311-page paperback edition in April 2018.

Book Description:

It is 2045, and Wade Watts is like many other people on planet Earth, unhappy with the reality of his low income and meagre surroundings. Going to high school and being cared for by an unkind aunt doesn’t help the situation.  Wade spends most of his time in the Oasis, a virtual reality environment that is much more comfortable than the real world. Like many, he has taken on an interesting quest left behind by the creator of the Oasis upon his death. Whoever can complete this difficult and complicated series of puzzles will inherit his fortune, and more importantly control the Oasis. Wade is trying to win the ultimate prize, before a rival, including an evil corporation, takes the victory first.

Book Review:

This was an imaginative and enjoyable novel by the creative Ernest Cline. The author does a great job of utilizing his expertise of fantasy, science fiction, and the 1980s to create a book that is often paying homage to this decade, with numerous references that are easy – or challenging – to understand. Cline has a passion for this time period, and does a great job of using this knowledge and passion to create a story that is equally enthralling and fun. At times it can become almost too much, especially when the references aren’t clear, but usually it works well.

Cline does a great job creating a fast-moving plot that has elements of gaming from the 19080’s combined with the technology like virtual reality and computers one expects for a story set in 2045. The author has imagined a dystopian world that has a lot of problems, and he paints a great picture of things like the futuristic trailer park, where low-income folks live in trailers stacked on top of each other due to general lack of space and resources.

The novel is mixed when it comes to character development. Although he does do a great job with main character Wade, who is an approachable and sympathetic high school kid, there are times where the reader would like more back story to the other critical characters in the novel. For example, we learn something interesting and unique about Wade’s friend Aech late in the novel, and it is a great plot development, but unfortunately it would have been nicer to learn more about Aech in this light. Furthermore, the character of Art3mis is a strong female character, but at times the reader feels a little distant from Art3mis, and more background would have been nice as to where she was coming from.

Overall, this was an enjoyable science fiction story. Although at times dialogue can be a bit repetitive in this novel, overall it is one that has a fast-moving and exciting plot.

Overall: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars

P.S. See my movie review of the film adaptation of Ready Player One here.