Ready Player One

Yesterday a few of our Cape Town and Johannesburg readers were treated to an early screening of Steven Spielberg’s latest masterpiece, Ready Player One. Thanks to Empire Entertainment and Ster-Kinekor, we hosted a press screening at Cavendish and Cradlestone IMAX (which is fully operational as of 29 March 2018). “Is Ready Player One any good? Does the film hold up to the book? Is it everything a gaming geek would dream of?” These are a few of the questions answered by our film critics – you, the viewers.

By the end of the evening, it was clear that Ready Player One is a modern-day geek’s dream. Spielberg has done it again. He not only manages to treat these pop-culture references with reverence, but he also brings to life a heart-warming tale like he only could. Based on some of the conversations I heard after, it was very apparent that everyone had a great time. A special thanks to all the cosplayers and everyone who helped make the evening a success.

A really brilliant film, and already one of the best movies of 2018 for me. Deserves a second (or even third) watching, not just for all the easter eggs (pun intended), but for how fantastic and fun it is. Oh and let’s not forget the great soundtrack! – Luke Coller

Classic Spielberg movie, again taking us places even we didn’t know we wanted to go… hope there will be more… watching the movie again this weekend in IMAX! – Renier & Luke Swanepoel

I enjoyed it a lot, you have to be an avid gamer to appreciate the references to pop culture and technological jargon. Anybody who isn’t a gamer won’t enjoy it as much. Looking forward to the sequel! – Craig Sables

The movie was a nerdy video game loving person’s DREAM. It literally made me go out and buy a new game this morning and also made me want to play old 80s games. And also, the Easter eggs/pop culture characters in the movie made me as excited as a kid is to open presents on Christmas! Possibly one of my favourite movies. – Azra Osman

Ready Player One is a fantastic movie. Great characters, great story and lots of laughs. There are so many awesome pop culture references, many of which are so well integrated into the story that it never feels overwhelming, a geek’s dream. Loved every moment of it. – Chris Muller

The movie was visually stunning, brilliant and all the pop culture combined into one super awesome movie just made it an awesome and thrilling experience! I also enjoyed the humour, it’s funny, adventurous and I loved the suspense. Now I can’t wait for the DVD. – Christo B


I honestly felt like it’s the Goonies movie for this generation. The effects were a spectacular viewing feast. It had just enough humour and not too cheesy at all! One of my top movies for 2018! – Nico Paulse

Ready Player One was an awesome, fun romp that pays homage to pop culture while still maintaining a traditional storyline from a decade that was infused with the magic of Spielberg. – Uzair Parker

Ermegherd! I enjoyed the living heck outta it. Absolutely NEED to watch it again. Too many pop culture references to find in just the one viewing. So, not unlike Ash Ketchum, I gotta catch ‘em all! – Gilbert

The movie was amazing in every way. The storyline was great with a good flow of action, drama, suspense and romance. Visuals were top notch. The Shining scenes were amazing and extremely well done and thought out. – Graham Samuel

I enjoyed the film a lot. The story is strong and the themes, references and commentary on gaming and pop culture was interesting and fun. The characters were really interesting as well, funny too. Overall a solid Spielberg film that is worth checking out. – Neilan Adams

Ready Player One Proves To Be Every Geek's Dream

Like a typical 90s’ movie with cool animation vfx and one-liners. Hero, damsel, adventure and comedy all rolled into one movie. I did not know what to expect. Very cool movie! – Allister

I thoroughly enjoyed this Steven Spielberg rendering. Loved all of the cultural references, The Shining being my favourite of the lot. Absolutely awesome, and I would definitely watch this a second time! – Dean


As a proper geek, I loved it immensely. I even loved finding the obscure references that most of today’s gen wouldn’t get, such as the original War of the Worlds spaceships (Spielberg directed the remake) – I had such a blast! Definitely looking forward to the next one! – Iain Behr

As a person who came with a completely open mind, and with no predisposition from reading the book, I found the movie to be really exciting and funny (my eyes were burning because I hardly blinked!). The CGI was insane – the scenes where ‘reality’ and avatars/ Oasis mixed were seamless, it didn’t feel out of place at all. Really great film! – Stacey Petersen

It was fun and exciting. A positive message to unplug at the end. The heroes were down to earth. My wife thought it was too long. A bit unrealistic that people plugged into the virtual world can move around in the real world – Phillip Gibb

I enjoyed the movie. It was a movie that celebrates the history and love of gaming. Kids of the 80s and 90s will love it. – Sachin Somers

Truthfully, I found the movie more engaging visually. Plot-wise, I felt it had quite a few unexplored narratives that didn’t make clear the stakes as well as not giving more substance to the real world in 2045. But the in-game action was superbly staged and the effects were impressive and the nostalgic easter eggs were fun. – Carlisle Johnson

Ready Player One Proves TReady Player One Proves To Be Every Geek's Dreamo Be Every Geek's Dream

I thought the movie was enjoyable, a pleasant and entertaining story, and I felt it had enough heart and diversity. The acting was great, both live action and CGI. The CGI of the Oasis was clearly meant to show it was a game, but it was a high quality. It’s a pity it’s a standalone film, even though I can see there are ways to carry on the story. I will definitely read the book! – David D Hendricks

The movie is insane! Visually stunning and very well put together. – Juan Visser

It was honestly amazing! What a great movie! – – Zach Grages

An absolute gas. I went in predicting I’d quickly grow tired of the onslaught of nostalgic ‘member berries, but I was more than pleasantly surprised. The pacing was perfect, and the easter eggs were wonderfully timed. In true fashion, Steven Spielberg doesn’t talk down to the younger audience. The teenage protagonists talk like teenagers and the adults in the audience don’t have to roll their eyes every time a scene or theme is unnecessarily censored. I’ll definitely be watching it again. – Brett Bruton

Great storyline, the CGI was amazing and even at the end of the movie you were left thinking about the creator of the Oasis… best of all was seeing the characters from all aspects of life, be it comics, games and real life. The soundtrack was just as good. Definitely recommending this movie to all family and friends. – Dale Le FLeur

A brilliant storyline that really speaks to gamers. Amazing visuals through! – RJ Louw

The movie was a blast from start to finish. All the pop culture references had me geeking out. A definite must for any fan of movies or games. – Nazeem Meyers

Ready Player One was a fun filled movie, which was a real pleasure to watch. It was straight to the point and had a great cast, 7/10. – Horatio Morgan

Ready Player One is a great visual experience which shows the beauty of video games yet finds a way to highlight its dangers as well. Prepare to be on the edge of your seat as you attempt to point out the multitude of video game icons whilst enjoying a true pop culture fan film that is captivating from beginning till end. – Byron Hendricks

Spielberg remains a great visual storyteller ( the expositiony narration, especially in Act 1, was jarring, however) All the pop culture references certainly put a smile on my face but not all of them worked for me though, it was just like a relentless ‘… remember this, remember this, remember this…’ without any context and made it feel like a fan-made YouTube video at times. Generally enjoyed it. – Arthur Bacchus

My girlfriend walked out of the movie saying that it had instantly become one of her favourite films and she couldn’t wait to see it again. I absolutely loved it too, it was so great picking out all the characters in the film. – PJ Eales

Ready Player One Proves To Be Every Geek's Dream

Thanks to everyone who attended and made the screenings a special night of fun. Ready Player One opens in cinemas today, 29th March 2018.

It’s 2045 and the world is on the brink of chaos and collapse. The people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe. When James Halliday, the creator of the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all users to find his Easter egg, which will give the finder Halliday’s fortune. Unlikely young hero Wade Watts finds the first clue and starts a race for the egg, hurling himself into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery, and danger.


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