The Ernest Cline book Ready Player One is a story by a pop culture fanboy for pop culture fanboys. It’s full of signifiers and not-very-deep references that make young Gen X-ers and old Millennials feel smart, just because they paid attention to the things they liked as they grew up.
Or so I’m told. I never read it. Call me a grumpy troll, but this is one pop culture nerd who doesn’t feel like he has enough time left in his life to parse through 400 pages of someone’s Facebook Likes in novel form.
Knowing this, it should be no surprise that I am not eagerly queuing up for Steven Spielberg’s movie version of Ready Player One, which manages to bring numerous corporations’ intellectual properties (IPs; i.e., The Iron Giant, Chucky) to cinematic life again — and then makes them fight. Or something.
I know this opinion flies in the face of everything this site stands for.
In fact, Pop Culture Beast’s founder Garon Cockrell, has seen the Ready Player One film and tweeted that he likes it:
I really enjoyed it. Kept the spirit of the book with some fun surprises.
— Garon Cockrell (@MyNameIsGaron) March 27, 2018
So… come at me, everybody. Garon included.
In the new episode of How ‘Bout No?, my homemade Youtube show, I offer up three movies you should watch instead of Ready Player One. The first also tackles ’80s nostalgia, but in a much more darkly funny and ambivalent way. The second explores virtual reality gaming, but in a more twisted (spoiler: Cronenberg-y) way. The third offers up another madcap race, and no, it’s not It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World; I swear.
In the “Hey, You Got Me” segment, I extol the virtues of a “new” (but kind of old) weekly Netflix comedy show which I didn’t expect would be my sort of thing.Subscribe to Pop Culture Beast’s Youtube channel to keep updated on new episodes.
More Pop Culture Beast – Movies and Music:
*Review: Unsane, with Claire Foy and Jay Pharoah
*New Music Friday: Caroline Rose’s Loner (which makes a cameo appearance in this video)
*“How ‘Bout No?” to Fifty Shades Freed
Justin Remer makes movies, directs music videos, and plays in the bands Duck the Piano Wire and Elastic No-No Band when he is not writing movie reviews. His folk-rock documentary MAKING LOVERS & DOLLARS is currently streaming on Amazon.