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When Halliday passes away, he reveals a quest hidden within the OASIS, and whoever fulfills the quest wins the creator's riches and full ownership of the VR world. Your character can interact with anyone and anything in this virtual universe. The soundtrack blasts songs (Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It" and Van Halen's "Jump") to pump us way up while appearances of iconic critters/characters/movie scenes ("The Iron Giant", "The Shining", even that bad-boy Chucky) fly at us as fast as alarmed bats out of a cave.

This is the OASIS. It tricks you into thinking it has the stakes, distracting with the old razzle dazzle and hoping you don't pop open the hood and kick the tires on this story, which turns out to be a lemon. Ready Player One is all a bit silly, though there are moments that certainly capture the Spielbergian magic.

As a result, "Ready Player One" is catnip for baby boomers, who will enjoy spotting the DeLorean vehicle from "Back to the Future", Atari video games, the T-Rex from "Jurassic Park" and the Batmobile, among many other nostalgia-inducing items. And, going out on a limb, there's a pretty high probability you adore one or more of his movies from the past 40 or so years: whether it's Jaws, E.T., Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan, Minority Report, A.I., Lincoln, or Bridge of Spies - the man has something for all tastes.

The year is 2045, when much of the real world is a gritty mess. As Spielberg does, he proves me wrong and makes it seamless.

"I first saw Ben in the TV series Bloodline, which I was completely infatuated with", recalls the filmmaker. But given the importance of this particular video game to Cline's dystopian future, passing it is more or less tantamount to saving the world.

Based on Ernest Cline's massive best-seller that wants us to balance reality and escapism, "Ready Player One" is a treasure chest stuffed with golden doubloons of '80s pop culture.

One problem I wish was addressed in the film was how the transition from today's society to a dead-beat and miserable future was shaped. "I was excited when Wade's virtual avatar, Parzival, unlocks the first key and begins to solve the puzzle", said Jack.

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In terms of narrative and movement of the plot, I was satisfied.

While the film is a ton of fun, there are a few places where the story suffers, whether from a rush to get to the next exciting set piece, or a desire to make things too memorable.

Yet the film ultimately feels little more than an amusing lark for Spielberg, who only half-heartedly sells the theme that it is good to put down the video games on occasion because "reality is real".

"Life will find a way". The actors had a chance to say, "Okay, if I walk over there, there's the door and there's the DJ".

Chances are, you know one of these quotes. One, stay at home and spare us your whining; no one's forcing you to see this. This is the impact that Spielberg has made in pop culture.

He's been rather quieter when it comes to big, crowd pleasing blockbusters.

This could be a major blow to Carl's Jr.'s marketing plan, as the company has already devoted significant resources making Spielburgers-themed parodies on its YouTube account and even orchestrating an ill-fated attempt to deliver hamburgers to Spielberg at Amblin Entertainment's headquarters. The Oasis action is far more compelling than the "real world" events of "Ready Player One", which, due to the lack of substantial character development, seem fairly low stakes until suddenly they're not.


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