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Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ Is A 1980s Cinematic Nostalgia Trip

WARNING – SPOILERS!!! Pac Man, Back to the Future, and Blade Runner are only a few titles that make up the 1980s cinematic nostalgia trip in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, now playing in theaters. Based on the novel by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One follows a young man named Wade Watts who lives in a dystopian United States in 2045. Humanity, as Wade knows it, is plagued by a failing economic system, an ominous corporate-governing body, and a tainted outdoor environment, all the result of an energy crisis caused by global warming, corporate greed, and the depletion of Earth’s fossil fuels. Since the real-world is no longer a pleasant place to spend your time, Wade, like most people, spends his days in the OASIS, an interactive virtual reality comprised of games and puzzles from every video game, movie, book, or television show made primarily between 1980 and 1990, although there are a few exceptions. The OASIS is the mind-child of James Halliday (obviously Cline’s own doppelganger) who, prior to his death, left a hidden Easter Egg inside the OASIS that, if found, provides the winner with his massive fortune and control of the corporation running the OASIS, and that’s where Wade’s (or Parzival as he is named in the OASIS) story begins. Continue reading

Will Disney’s Bid For Fox Properties Mean Another Monopoly For The Cable Industry?

disney fox merger

Walt Disney Pictures has come a long way from making full-length animated features like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, and Peter Pan. In the 21st century, the company has reinvented itself with live-action blockbusters like Pirates of the Caribbean, state-of-the-art computer animated films like Cars and Frozen, and adaptations of children’s literary classics like Roald Dahl’s The BFG and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time (out in theaters this March). In recent years, Disney has expanded into more lucrative markets like comic book blockbusters (ie. Marvel comics) and, of course, the Star Wars franchise. The latest Star Wars entry, The Last Jedi, hit the $1 billion mark in worldwide box office sales barely three weeks after its US theatrical release. With a plethora of material to work with, and plenty of money coming in, one would think Disney is far passed its tipping point, but that might not be the case at all. Continue reading

This Week In Movie History…

On September 13, 1916, children’s author Roald Dahl was born in Cardiff, Wales. Although his career was focused mainly in print, Dahl’s career has made a significant contribution to popular film. The author is behind such classics as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Witches, and Fantastic Mr. Fox, all which have seen big-screen adaptations. His career in the film industry includes several screenwriting endeavors. He wrote an early script for the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice, and another for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, although both of these scripts were later reworked by other screenwriters. As if his scripts being thrown out and reworked wasn’t enough to make him steer clear of the film business, Dahl also wrote the initial script for the film adaptation of his book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Paramount Pictures, however, brought in a second screenwriter, David Seltzer, to write another version with the character focus falling on the magical chocolatier Willy Wonka instead of the young boy Charlie in Dahl’s novel. The title of the film was also changed to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to reflect the importance of the character. Continue reading