Ready Player One ★★★★

Second time around, I still had a blast, the opening 45 minutes to an hour are pure dynamite for the senses.  It’s hard not to be in awe of Spielberg’s craftsmanship, especially during that first race scene.  It’s so phenomenally filmed and edited, it makes you wonder what our future will hold in the entertainment department. 
        It was fun re-watching, knowing what was coming, because it freed up the viewer to find the Easter Eggs we’d missed the first time around.  One of my favorites was the Terminator 2 homage.  Pure gold.  
        That being said, there are flaws.  I thought Tye Sheridan was underwhelming as Wade — something not as noticeable the first time around, given that there’s so much visual eye candy to take in.  The role just really needed someone of Olivia Cooke’s caliber to match her.  
        Also, in between the mind-blowing sequences, the expository scenes are not very strong at all.  
        These flaws are pretty forgiveable given how damn entertaining the whole picture is.  And also just stunning to behold.  
        It’s also like a gift from Spielberg to his fans.  I realized this time around that he is Halliday.  He is just as much a lover of film and pop culture as all of us, and this was his chance to show us that.  There’s also an implied awareness of his own mortality.  He knows he’s got limited time left, and who knows — this could be his last.  Hopefully not, but...who can say?  So this was his chance to thank us for tuning in all these years, or as Halliday said...”Thank you for playing my game.”

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