Ready Player One – A note on adaptation

You may or may not remember that I read Ready Player One about 6 months ago, although devoured is probably a better word. And after saying my piece about the book, it seems only right that I should follow up with a few words about the film, seeing as it’s arrived.

**SPOILER FREE POST**

The first thing to be said, especially for those of you who’ve read the book, is that it’s quite different to the original material. (If you need it, my brief-and-spoiler-free synopsis is in the post linked above, for reference.) The challenges that stand between player and key are significantly changed, and much of the real-world action has been doctored too. But stick with me, that’s not to say it’s all bad, far from it! The Gates that a player must pass through to obtain the keys that will eventually lead to finding Halliday’s Easter Egg in this virtual reality multiverse (I most definitely stand by my comments made in the last post – I do NOT envy the writers trying to exposition this bad boy on film) needed to be changed. They were far more complex in the book, with more stages to get through, and they were not always very visual, if at all.

Yeah that’s right, I’m praising changes made to the adaptation.

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Ready Player One – Geek-fest thriller and blockbuster in the making

This book has been on my To Be Read list for a good couple of years now, and with Spielberg’s film adaptation just around the corner, it seemed like now was as good a time as any to pick it up. And it barely took me any time at all from opening the first page to logging off at the last.

**SPOILER FREE POST**

30 years in the future, most of humanity spends all the time they can spare logged into the OASIS, a global virtual reality universe, to escape the harsh reality of their slowly dying planet. And when James Halliday, the mastermind behind the OASIS passes away, he leaves his fortune to the person who can solve the hidden riddles and puzzles he left scattered throughout the OASIS.

After years of searching, by millions of people, Halliday’s Easter Egg remains no closer to being found. That is, until Wade Watts discovers the first key in the puzzle, and the contest kicks off in earnest as thousands of players compete to be the first to find Halliday’s Egg, and the stakes are raised to new and dangerous levels.

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Film Calendar 2016

As we welcomed in the new year with fireworks, bubbly, and those odd people we call ‘family’, there was something I realised looking forward to the year ahead. This year is going to be an expensive one. But expensive in one particular area: the cinema.

There are some incredible films to look forward to this year, and I can see that cinema trips will be frequent on account of the sheer number of exciting films set for release in 2016, though my bank account probably won’t thank me for that. And while there’s such a hype about the film calendar this year, I thought I’d dedicate a post to my top films of the year, the ones I’m most excited for.

**SPOILER FREE POST** (I mean, duh)

My homemade categories consist of: Superheroes, Sci-fi & Fantasy, Disney & Animation, and Sequels.

Superheroes

  1. Captain America: Civil WarSeeing as the Cap is my favourite Marvel superhero, naturally this one’s top of the list, but even without that little bias this film looks like another epic box office hit. There seems to be a trend at the moment in cinema about epic-ness and world-defining narratives, but the audiences are loving it, and I’m afraid I’m no exception. Particularly exciting about this film, is the dynamic between Captain America and Iron Man that we see in the trailer: while we know they don’t get on all that well at the best of times, here they are actually pitted against each other. This film is certain to divide opinion, and probably the internet too.
  2. X-Men: ApocalypseFirst things first, Sophie Turner Sophie Turner SOPHIE TURNER. As you can probably tell, I’m a Thrones fan, and quite excited about seeing the young Miss Turner in the role of Jean Grey, and that’s the first thing that hits in the trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse (props to the promo team). This is another film that looks epic and high stakes, and I’m wondering where this fits on the X-Men timeline after Days of Future Past. I’ll be interested to see what they do with this one, particularly where Charles Xavier’s hair and the antagonist (who remains somewhat of a mystery) are concerned.
  3. DeadpoolA superhero film with a difference. This is the superhero for the older audience, the first of his kind in the Marvel franchise. Interesting, I hear you say. Indeed it is. But from what the trailer shows us, it looks like he’s going to be a fantastic new hero to add to the Marvel cinematic universe. Also, notably for Game of Thrones fans, Ed Skrein has the role of Ajax in Deadpool – possibly the reason for his sudden departure from the show after a measly 3 episodes in the role of Daario Naharis (if you even remember him at all); he did say that he left the show to follow a path into film, so maybe this is it.
  4. Ones to watch. Other noteworthy Superhero films for the year include: Doctor Strange, which is national treasure Cumberbatch’s next gig; DC’s Suicide Squad which is creating A LOT of hype; and Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice which promises to be a great crowd-pleaser, provided everyone can accept Ben Affleck as the Bat after Christian Bale’s ownership of the role in the recent films. Is it too soon? Perhaps. A final thing worth noting here is the edition of Wonder Woman and the promise of a female-led film of her own next year. My bets are that Marvel will feel the need to follow suit for fear of criticism. After all, everyone’s been crying out for a Black Widow film for a while now. What DID happen in Budapest…?

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