Monday, April 2, 2018

Spielberg Takes us Back in Time with Kubrick... Ready, Player One?

Room 237
If you're planning to see the latest Spielberg movie (and I highly recommend you do) please be aware there are spoilers in what I'm about to write.

Spielberg pays major homage to Stanley Kubrick by reconstructing, in meticulous detail, pivotal scenes from The Shining (1980). The original book that 'Ready Player One' is based on, has references to Blade Runner and not The Shining. Apparently, it wasn't even in the original script for Spielberg's film at all, but was added in later, believe it or not.

It's known that Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark was partly filmed on the left-over sound stages that Kubrick used for his movie. In a recent documentary Spielberg talks about this, and the fire that burnt down part of Elstree studios.

The dizzying SFXs of 'Ready Player One' are choc-full of 80s references, and from the onset it's clear that this movie has a lot to do with time-travel, as well as the future of VR (Virtual Reality). Saying this however, it hides a lot more of its true meaning in VR/AR. There is obviously a high synchromystic element to this, that others will probably decipher better than I can.

The Delorean that Parzival drives in The Oasis AR (Alternative Reality)
'Ready Player One' is supposed to be very much aimed at a new young audience. Also, the young-at-heart, who can appreciate contemporary gaming and new technologies, as well as 80s pop-culture they grew up with.

However, the film seems to disrespect a lot of the audience, by cramming in a myriad of very fleeting references, and illogical gaming 'mechanisms' that don't make sense,  or as some IT guys I know have told me, have no place in VR/AR . The media is currently full of stories by tech engineers and gamers saying exactly this. The film then must be viewed from a different angle it seems.

If 'Ready Player One' is not satisfying the tech-savvy gamers, then who is it working for? At a superficial level, it's probably gaining worldwide attention, and huge box-office numbers, due to the brilliance of Steven Spielberg, the master storyteller.

On the surface, the film works fabulously as an adventure with a heart, full of great action sequences, and stupendous visuals ramping up the nostalgia for the 80s. Twitter is in overdrive talking about all the great arcade games, and X-Box, and Play Station, and so on that appear in the movie, as well as the soundtrack and iconic film characters.

All of this has no relevance or relation to Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining'. Spielberg is also pumping up his ego by referencing his popcorn hits at the same time. Which makes his choice even more strange. Why Spielberg didn't choose to recreate a teenage mainstream horror from the 80s, say like The Evil Dead, and the likes - which would be more in line with the rest of  'Ready Player One' - seems odd without knowing his views on Kubrick.

Steven Spielberg clearly loves Stanley Kubrick, and he wants to pay homage so takes us back inside the Overlook Hotel, with all its horrors. The vehicle he chose to do this in, allowing his indulgence to be seen by a very young audience, is out-of-place and highly suspect to me.

Why did Spielberg recreate Kubrick's 'Room 237/The Shining' in 'Ready, Player One'?
Blood on the dance floor? Let's not go there!


Brizdaz (Darren) said...

Sounds like it might be worth seeing and I see that an untitled Ready Player One sequel (TBA) with Steven Spielberg is already in the works.

... said...

I think its worth seeing for the Kubrick homage alone! Depending on how much you like Spielberg, gaming, or high-octane action, and /sci-fi/sfx movies, you might like it even more!

I'm pretty sure there is something else going on here with this movie - very subliminal - maybe let me know your thoughts after watching it?


Brizdaz (Darren) said...

I saw it today Marie and I liked it a lot, even though I'm not into gaming and motor sports that much.
I kept seeing IOI as 101, as in room 101, the torture chamber in the Ministry of Love out of Orwell's '1984', in which a prisoner is subjected to his or her own worst nightmare, i.e. his or her greatest fear or phobia.
Of course room 237 out of 'The Shining' is pretty much a similar room to room 101 when it comes to your fears.
There is so much in this movie that I would need to watch it frame by frame almost to see what went over my head...and I bet there was heaps.
I couldn't help seeing the main girl character's avatar as a hybrid alien, with her green eyes (similar to mine BTW:-) and shape of her head.
Plus there was that scene where the alien hand puppet pops out of the costume she is wearing and she cuts her way out of it with the alien's teeth.
Anyway, great movie, so thanks for the heads up and I'm sure I'll be seeing it again at the cinema again soon and maybe buying a copy of the DVD when it comes out.