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Yukle

Am I Ready, Player One?

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On 4/5/2018 at 7:27 PM, Aemon Stark said:

Saw it in IMAX 3D on Tuesday. It was enjoyable, but I felt it was heading down a dark path early on when that first race scene made me think of the pod race. Not good. 

But it improved and held my interest. The references ended up being a fair bit subtler than I expected too. I liked Alan Silvestri's numerous callbacks to his Back to the Future scores. 

All the same, I don't really get why anyone in 2045 would remember anything about Atari...

That's one thing that the tone of the movie didn't relate. The book made it clearer that 80s culture underwent a dramatic return directly due to people suddenly analyzing everything 80s, knowing the keys would be related to that decade. So in real-world 2045, 80s music, dress and culture were hip again.  The movie just kind of blurs everything into Nerd Culture is cool again. 

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I mostly enjoyed the movie as light entertainment.  But you would think that IOI would be able to tell what employees or serfs are logging in where.  I guess we're supposed to overlook that because what they went with is, other than that, a lot easier to tell on screen than infiltration in the book.  And now that I think about it, sure we're Japanese, but we were in the neighborhood because Cleveland Rocks!

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3 hours ago, mcbigski said:

I mostly enjoyed the movie as light entertainment.  But you would think that IOI would be able to tell what employees or serfs are logging in where.  I guess we're supposed to overlook that because what they went with is, other than that, a lot easier to tell on screen than infiltration in the book.  And now that I think about it, sure we're Japanese, but we were in the neighborhood because Cleveland Rocks!

It was awfully convenient that everyone lived within walking distance of one another. :P 

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I just saw it last night; never read the book. It was... okay. There was enough dumb fun to make it worthwhile (especially since I was using MoviePass), but the number of plot holes and inconsistencies hurt my brain. I also took issue with a lot of individual moments (e.g. celebrating the use of the Iron Giant as a weapon seems to badly misunderstand the source material) and thought the references were somehow both underwhelming and overwhelming (there were so many of them, but most didn't mean anything).

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On 4/21/2018 at 11:17 PM, Fez said:

I just saw it last night; never read the book. It was... okay. There was enough dumb fun to make it worthwhile (especially since I was using MoviePass), but the number of plot holes and inconsistencies hurt my brain. I also took issue with a lot of individual moments (e.g. celebrating the use of the Iron Giant as a weapon seems to badly misunderstand the source material) and thought the references were somehow both underwhelming and overwhelming (there were so many of them, but most didn't mean anything).

I agree with the fact they completely misused the Iron Giant. The most emotional moments of the entire film are when he says, "I am not a gun!" and "We are who we choose to be... Superman." Now I have all the feels for remembering that. :crying:

The references weren't done very well. The book makes two points that the film neglects: firstly, most "gunters" are kind of mocked for so obsessively following a long forgotten era. In the five years throughout which no one has made any progress, the Easter Egg is regarded as a bit of a hoax or a fantasy that no one takes too seriously any more. Except IOI and the gunters.

Similarly, the references are tied into why they are special, they're not just there without cause. The search for the keys is very different in the book. The first key wasn't found in a race, but a recreation of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Parzival reflects on how Halliday loved reading the various campaigns but, since he didn't have any friends, he didn't have anyone to play with. Then Og saw him reading them on his own, invited him to join the his friends when they played and therefore Halliday had friends for the first time.

The film does a good job of showing Halliday as having autism, while not making it a caricature. It's just evident in his strange social habits and his obsessions. The book shows how, growing up as a child with autism, he used Dungeons and Dragons to talk with people confidently - including his only positive interactions with a woman - when he would've otherwise had great difficulty.

Each of the references tends to be done like this: there's an explanation of how the subcultures helped Halliday to cope with various aspects of his life that he found difficult, such as his father's alcoholism, his lack of friends in adulthood (except Og) and his continuous retreats into a world he could control instead of the real world he didn't understand very well.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/16/2018 at 2:04 PM, Darth Richard II said:

 I Think we read different books.

Must have done. Cline is not a subtle author by any means, so you can't really miss his thematic allusions.

It literally spells out that people are neglecting the real world due to living in a fantasy. It shows Samantha's reluctance to engage with someone she only met online, only for her to start to do it anyway. Then she withdraws; it's contrasted to

 

Daito and Shoto, who say they are brothers and then haven't actually met, yet believe that their shared experiences in a virtual world are enough to replicate a real-life connection.

And then Wade, in case the audience missed the parallel, muses on this.

There must be about 1,000,000,000 mentions of the poverty that people live in, and how they spend their time in the OASIS so as not to think about it. There's the joke that elections don't mean anything - in the real world. But people do vote in the OASIS.

I don't expect everyone to like the book, of course. But the themes are absolutely there, they're just not well written. I don't mind that the writing is sloppy and there's too much telling and not enough showing, as there are still enough well-done moments to make up for it. And I enjoy the plot, despite how it's presented.

He also goes into great (too much) detail about why the pop culture matters to specific demographics. It's not just, "Star Wars! How quirky is that?" It's explained time and time again that the OASIS was created by a very flawed man, who kept using his fantasies to escape the real world rather than face up to the problems he had. And then

 

 

it concludes with Halliday showing Wade the means to destroy the OASIS forever, concluding that his decision to live in fantasies was ultimately the wrong decision to have made.

It's not dissimilar to lots of sci-fi that I've read: intriguing plot and not so hot writing.

Edited by Yukle

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