Monday, April 16, 2018

These days, reality is a bummer.

Read any of these posts. Talk to me for more than five minutes. Fine, three will probably do, too.

Chances are, I'll make a reference to something else, typically a movie from my youth. I (used to?) do it so frequently, even my own material is often met with a polite laugh and the question...

...Is that from something?

Hell, I don't even know anymore, I'm in so deep sometimes. Can it get annoying? Of course, my horse. But the way I look at it, even if I miss on one or two (...dozen), there's always a chance you'll like whatever I can come up with next.

And if not, well, up your butt, Jobu.

I'm not sure I fully understand the virulent backlash aimed its way, but I had a really good time with Ready Player One. Based on the (hugely?) popular novel from Ernest Cline, Steven Spielberg's latest flick is a chaotic flash mob ofr  eighties and nineties pop-culture references. While the moves might not be for everyone, you have to at least admire the effort, you know?

See, as a 38 year old man/large boy, who came to be in this surfeit of awesomeness (every reference is plucked straight from the best time of my life), Ready Player One is pitch after pitch directly in my wheelhouse. To hate this film would essentially be to hate my youth, and that's like me failing English. Unpossible.

If you don't know, Ready Player One imagine if in the not-too-distant future, The Matrix vigorously dry-humped Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The world has essentially gone to Hell, resulting in the entire population, rich and poor, spending every waking hour online in something known as the OASIS. The OASIS is basically a fully immersive internet, where users don fancy VR rigs and and live their lives as hi-res avatars. You can basically do whatever you've ever dreamed of, which since this flick is PG-13, includes becoming Hello Kitty, not...well, something else to do with Japanese, uh, pussy...cats.

Anyway, the creator of the OASIS - James Halliday (Mark Rylance, channeling comedian Steven Wright, uh, minus the jokes) - dies, and holds a contest to bequeath the entire thing to one lucky winner/super nerd. But instead of Wonka Bars and Golden Tickets, the search is on for three virtual keys. The keys are buried deep inside the OASIS and if found, would seemingly make the winner the most powerful person on the planet. But remember, die in the game...die in real life. Okay, not really. But do well in the game, and motherf--kers might try to kill you in real life. So, there's that.

If only Parzival had access to a Nintendo Power Glove...
Look, the book was a giant circle-jerk of what used to be the nerd culture of the eighties and nineties, and the movie is more of the same. But dearest reader, I'm a thirty-eight year old movie blogger. Pass the Vaseline over here and I'll take care of you while that fat guy does me (see kids, in the eighties, if you found Vaseline in your friend's room, that was the scarlet letter of a chronic meat-beater).

Speaking of taking matters into your own hands, lets check in with the Yays and Boos. Our dreams consist of not only making the perfect reference, but one day, getting perfectly referenced. That, or piloting Airwolf.

Her number should have been 8675309/
  • Few songs make it instantly feel like the mid-eighties faster than Van Halen's Jump. I could probably name that tune in one synthesized note. 
  • I'm gonna do all I can not to just rattle off all the cool shit that is crammed in here, but the initial race scene was bananas. The Mach 5? The DeLorean? And what the Hell is King Kong doing here? And why are my pants soaked?
  • Go to your room, Rick.
  • I don't remember it from the book (there's a lot of that, but f--k it), but that flying dance challenge was kind of fun, right? You kind of can't go wrong with the Brothers Gibb, even in the future's version of the past.
  • The Zemeckis Cube is all kinds of brilliant. If only it erased Polaroid pictures, too.
  • In what world, the real one or otherwise, is Art3mis not totally f--king hot? Goodness. The birthmark only exacerbates how sexy she is, dammit. 
  • All references and no play make Parzival a dull boy. The f--king Overlook Hotel never looked so good. If only I could say the same thing about my son's face during this scene...
  • And finally, that final battle scene was so much fun. Yeah, it all happens too fast, but any time they're blaring Twisted Sister over an epic digital battlefield, I'm going to go ahead and throw my hat in the this is the coolest shit ever ring. I wasn't even a fan of Mobile Suit Gundam (in the least), but I might have clapped my actual hands together I was so stoked to see such wonderful nonsense. It reminded me of my older brothers turning the sound down on some video game when we were kids and blaring the Hell out of some hair-metal band. Kinda lame? Indeed. But also kinda awesome. Which might sum up this movie perfectly, when you think about it...
Where's Grape Ape when you need him?
  • Let's just get this out of the way now: the avatars look kind of stupid. Especially Parzival's. He looks like an edgy Na'vi driving around in his van selling bongs made out of unobtanium. 
  • Ugh, I probably could have lived without Auntie White Trash and her toolbox boyfriend, Dusty Mechanic.
  • Did anybody else think those flashbacks to Halliday's youth were one extra-hairy ball sack shy of being actual 70's porn? What the shit is this? 
  • T.J. Miller simply won't go away quietly, will he? (I'm still hoping Christopher Plummer somehow ends up in Deadpool 2). 
  • Why does someone seemingly doing nefarious things think a giant f--king face tattoo is going to be anything else other than how we identify your dead body.
  • This might actually be a Yay, but was there a whole segment here that felt like it was lifted straight out of Minority Report? I guess if we're going to directly reference a million different movies, might as well as indirectly a reference some while we're at it.
  • Dude, Main Bad Guy is basically a lamer version of the principal from The Breakfast Club. Oh, and why does he grow a conscience at the end? No, Dad. What about you?
  • I've heard some of you bitches have a problem with the Iron Giant laying waste to droves of (imaginary) people, as if that's against what the cartoon robot stood for.
  • What was with Simon Pegg's look at the end? F--k the OASIS, I half expected him to hand Parzival a kite string with a key tied to it.
  • And finally, whilst writing this post, I looked up the synth part from Jump on YouTube and my son, from the other side of the house...hey, that's from Ready Player One. Aw, jeez. We've reached peak reference/pop-culture orgy insanity. My eight year-old thinks a song from 1984 is from a movie made in 2018. That takes place in the 2040s. And in 2040, he'll probably hear Jump, and think, yes! that song totally reminds me of when I was a kid. Good thing I'll be long dead by then.
Ultimately, I've forgotten much of Ready Player One already, and I really don't have a problem with that. Yeah, it will never amount to anything near the films it so perfectly references, but for me, nothing ever will. Seeing Cline's book brought to life on the big screen was kind of like looking through a giant box of old pictures with my son. Yeah, I was there when it happened. but that doesn't mean he can't enjoy them, too.

And imagine when he finally sees The Shining?

That movie will warp his fragile little mind.


  1. I'm one of those people who hated the book. I was really into it at the beginning, then I started getting annoyed with it. I'll probably watch this on DVD or TV if it's on but it's not something I plan on rushing out to the theaters to see. I'm glad you liked it, though!

    Clearly this bot that commented before me did too. I saw the word "penis" in there a few times. lol

    1. Really? I'm impressed with your disdain actually, as just about everybody I know who read it (two people who are, like me, huge nerds) absolutely adored it. I thought it was awesome early on, but it eventually wore me down a bit, too. Overall, though...I'm a fan.

      I don't think you need to rush out to the theater bu any stretch, but unless your home theater is bananas, I can't help but think that some of the magic will be lost. A big screen is damn near required, but pausing the shit out of it at home might be fun, too.

      That bot loves penis.

  2. I scrolled down to say something meaningful but that bot just took the words right out of my mouth...!
    "The Matrix vigorously dry-humped Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" had me spit out my drink, you're bloody hilarious!

    1. Damn that word-stealing, penis-loving bot! I terminated that f--ker.

      Ah, thank you Allie! So sweet of you. No, no. Bloody sweet of you!

    2. I cant believe I missed the words of penis loving bot

  3. Would you like to watch my Q&A videos?

  4. I am sitting here during seminar so finally i have the time to catch up

    I know nothing about this one other than it has some sort of The Shining scene (again good job bringing ur kid to this) and now tbis:" one extra-hairy ball sack shy of being actual 70's porn?" so clearly it is a must see

    Also Matty is 8 already?! He is almost old enough to see stuff u take him to

  5. Didn't read the book so I really had no idea about this movie other than what I saw in the trailer. I had a fun time watching it because of all those references. And that scene in the Overlook. Wow. Glad your son liked it, but yeah, he's completely lost on Jump. Hopefully, you'll still be kicking come the 2040s. Only 22 more years, man.