Filled with 1980’s and video game references, Ready Player One appeals to gamers.
Based on the best-selling book by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One is set in 2045 where people escape the drudgery of their daily lives by escaping into a virtual universe named the OASIS. When the creator of OASIS died, he set up three challenges which led to an Easter egg and the ownership of the virtual reality world.
Wade/Parzival (Tye Sheridan) finds friends in the OASIS and an escape from his boring life. As a fan of the OASIS creator, Halliday (Mark Rylance), Wade is able to solve the first challenge and win the first key, which sets him and his friends up against the Innovative Online Industries (IOI), a video game conglomerate and manufacturer of most the virtual reality equipment. The IOI and its owner wants control of the virtual reality world and are willing to kill in order to get it.
Ready Player One movie is much different than the book which has fans of the book up in arms. Even with the book’s author as the screenplay writer, most of the favorite scenes and 80’s references are missing in the movie which has fans up in arms.
However, if you go into the movie knowing it’s not like the book (or if you haven’t read the book) you will enjoy the storyline of five kids who band together to take on the big evil corporation. The 80’s and gaming references are fun for people who understand them. After all, what movie can you see the TV show Batmobile alongside Back to the Future’s DeLorean and Speed Racer’s car? Or where the Iron Giant fights alongside Gundam and Master Chief from Halo battling Meca-Godzilla? Many of these references go by so quickly, fans will want to see it again and again to catch the ones they miss!
While not a movie for everyone, it will appeal to many fans of video games. The message of reality vs virtual reality is one for all of us who get caught up online. As Halliday states, “As terrifying and painful as reality can be, it's also the only place where you can find true happiness."
A modern-day Pretty in Pink, Love, Simon sends viewers on a roller coaster of emotions in this coming of age movie.
High school senior, Simon Spier (played by Nick Robinson) has a perfect life, a loving family and amazing friends but he’s hiding a secret. He’s gay. When a student with the alias, Blue, posts on the school blog about his own secret, Simon begins an email relationship with him.
As Simon sets out to find his mysterious classmate, another student screen shots Simon’s emails and threatens to “out” him unless he does what he wants. Up against a rock and a hard place, Simon jeopardizes his friendships and hurts those around him in an effort to keep his secret.
Love, Simon will have you laughing and in tears at times. Life is challenging enough but when you are trying to keep a secret and protect your reputation, it seems like life or death. Through it all, having people who care about you can save the day.
Love, Simon has many parallels with Pretty in Pink from the opposite gender best friend who is secretly in love with the main character to the big finale on whether or not the love interest will show up. While a little predictable, Love, Simon will draw you in as Simon sets out to figure out who the mysterious Blue is. The story keeps you guessing until the very end.
Comic relief comes in the form of a sassy Drama teacher and the awkward vice-principal. In addition, the character of Ethan, who is a gay student, has the best lines. With a deadpan face, he puts the bullies in their place. I adored Jennifer Garner as Simon’s mom. She’s the mom everyone would love to have. While Josh Duhamel as Simon’s father, comes off as trying too hard to be a part of his son’s life, he means well and is a realistic portrayal of a father who puts his foot in his mouth.
If you have any teens in your life, you will want to take them to see this movie. It’s one which you will enjoy again and again because you leave the theater feeling like everything is right in the world.
Stunning visually, A Wrinkle in Time leaves the viewer with a feel good message of love overcoming dark.
When father and scientist Dr. Murray (Chris Pine) goes missing, it’s up to his awkward and angry daughter, Meg (Storm Reid) and her brilliant brother, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) to find him. Along the way, they enlist the help of one of Meg’s classmates (Levi Miller) and three magical women- Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey).
This classic piece of literature by Madeline L’Engle has often been a favorite of children throughout the world. Turning it into a movie was a large undertaking by Disney. How do you compete with love and memories? Much like 1980’s Dune, fans will either love A Wrinkle in Time or hate it.
With beautiful cinematography and sweeping landscapes, A Wrinkle in Time feels majestic. The colors are bright and even the flowers talk in color. The star power rocks a new level with Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling to name a few. It also feels like a Benetton advertisement. Meg is mixed race. Her brother is adopted. He’s brilliant and says what comes into his mind, no filter. She’s angry and keeps people at a distance. The neighbor girl is a bully who is secretly hiding her own problem with bulimia. It represents everyone.
All the viewers should be able to see themselves in one of the characters, making this a powerful movie for younger audiences. But it’s the message which will resonate with viewers after they leave. The negative loop in our heads we hear over and over is the evil IT who is trying to take over the world, one person at a time and by only accepting our faults and embracing our whole heart can we overcome the evil.
While the message is important, it comes off as trite and heavy-handed. Most of us know how goodness and love spreads and changes the world. We don’t need to be reminded many times during the two and a half hour movie. So see the movie on the big screen for the majesty of the film but don’t spend big bucks unless you are taking your children. At the very least, it’s a good movie to lead the discussion about how everyone has their own inner dialogue and problems… so throw kindness as confetti.
A remake of the Charles Bronson 1974 movie, Death Wish with Bruce Willis entertains.
Paul Kersey (Willis), a trauma surgeon, lives in Chicago, where deaths happen every night. He’s good at his job, putting back together both the heroes and the bad guys. A family man, his daughter is leaving for college in the fall. The perfect family.
When thugs decide to rob the house, expecting no one home, things go awry. His wife, Lucy (Elizabeth Shue) is killed and his daughter, Jordan is left in a coma. Dr. Kersey does everything by the book but the Chicago PD lack the leads to find the suspects, leaving Paul frustrated.
After witnessing a couple of thugs manhandling a woman, Dr. Kersey decides to stop playing by the rules and teaches himself to shoot. Taking matters into his own hands, he becomes “The Grim Reaper”, a vigilante who sets to protect those who are victims. When a thug comes into the ER wearing Dr. Kersey’s watch, he gets the break he needs to find those men who attacked his family.
Bruce Willis is back as a kick-butt character, similar to his Die Hard one. Now bald and a little older, Willis still is able to handle a gun and witty banter before he kills someone. He carries the movie as he moves from surgeon to vigilante.
The director Eli Roth does a nice job of updating the movie for 2018 with radio stations and television shows debating the use of violence versus protecting those who are unprotected. It’s an interesting debate in light of recent events. In addition, social media and viral video show how quickly information is shared around the world. While some pieces remain the same from the original, this movie has a “new” feeling.
Although it will keep you on the edge of your seat with the violence and action, it’s not a movie you need to visit the theater to see. The cheap seats or on your TV would be just as fine. Save the money for those spring blockbusters.
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