An abysmally dull, self indulgent book of nostalgia gimmicks makes a boring movie where all you do is point at CGI easter eggs and think "Hey, there is that thing! And there's that thing! And another thing..."

Hard pass.
The OASIS is where most of the film takes place—anyone can do whatever they want there, but for reasons best described as “strained,” all these characters want to do is relive the pop culture of the 1980s and ’90s.
This is how I know the post's author didn't read the book.
@2: Is it required that one has read the book to really enjoy the movie, though? If that's the case, that seems like a bad thing for the rest of us.
I read the book, but haven't seen the movie yet.

The book is very much an homage to 1980s pop culture and early computer gaming culture; everything else about it is secondary. If you are of a certain age (I was in my 20s during the 1980s), then all the 1980s references are great fun. Several of Spielburg's 1980s movies are heavily referenced in the book (which might be what caught Spielburg's interest in the first place). But if you were born after, say, 1990, then all the 1980s pop culture is ancient history, and probably all a bit silly. Half the book's references would be missed, and it would all fall apart.

So I'm not surprised that a young Stranger reviewer didn't like the movie. I don't yet know how closely the movie follows the book. But if it is as crammed with 1980s references as the book, then the movie might be more fun for an older audience.
I actually enjoyed the book but suspect that @3 is right - there probably isn't enough about the raw egotistical power that a single man can impose upon an entire civilization through a singular technology that all embrace. The setting could just as easily been the Roaring 20s or WWII or the psychedelic 60s - get enough control and you can force everyone else to indulge you in your own fantasies.

That said - the slog through the swamp of the 1980s in the book was fun.
BTW - since I qualify for Medicare this year, the immersive technology could have embraced several different decades of pop culture and I would have been equally enthralled. Still, the overall construct - trapped in an artificial world to escape dystopia - is what intrigues me.
Nope, not necessary.

It's too bad in this case though because either Spielberg didn't make the story clear or Erik didn't pay enough attention.

The book makes the story crystal clear in the first 5 pages and reinforces it over and over. The reason everyone is obsessed with the 80's is because the creator of the simulated fantasy world and the wealthiest person ever has died and broadcast a message to everyone that he's hidden keys that unlock his fortune and control of his company, but they're all impossibly difficult to find and are all based on obscure 80's stuff. That's the point at which everyone starts obsessing over the 80's, so they can find the keys, so the people who know the most are sort of revered as being very dedicated. It'd be like if Bill Gates hid keys to his fortune that were all based on the 1920's. Millions of people would suddenly start obsessing about that decade.

That's all.
@8: You sound like quite the critic! Good to know the entire ‘80s thing is done AND Spielberg has made nothing of value since at least the “90s. Two totally dumb, knee-jerk suppositions in the space of a tweet.
I'm going to watch it just because it's in 70mm at cinerama.
The reviews of this movie display high levels of Wonder Woman/Ghostbusters syndrome: one's opinion of the movie is a shibboleth on where one stands on the gender wars (or whatever)
It seems you can't make a movie (or tv show or whatever) just for mindless entertainment anymore. Everything MUST be examined and have deep philosophical meaning and multiple layers of subtle inference that you need to pore over for months afterwards to discover the truth.

Fucking exhausting.

I mean, if the film was boring... like slow and ponderous and confusing, that's one thing, but just because it doesn't "examining what those shared stories say, what those characters stand for, and how those worlds reflect our own" it's a failure?

Sometimes it's fun to play first person shooter video games not for the in-depth story, but just because you want to watch bullets fly, blood splatter, and cars blow up.
@12: Preach it, brother. Those are the reviews I've been seeing everywhere about Far Cry 5, and as a fan of the series who grew up in MT, I couldn't care less about any societal examination it might be attempting, I just want to kill cultist rednecks.

And thank you for the clarification @7.
@13, word
The trailers convinced me this is a movie with a target audience no older than 14. I was planning to skip it. Now I'm sure I will.

Please wait...

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