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Just Saw It: ‘Ready Player One’.

Photo from BBC.

I’m writing this at 10:15 pm on Wednesday night, after getting home from seeing the first showing of “Ready Player One”, Steven Spielberg’s creation based off Earnest Cline’s best-selling novel.

This was just the movie I needed to see.

I read the book last June, and I loved it. The funny thing is, it fell into my lap at a time when I was searching for an escape… sort of like right now. Since closing the book last summer, I’ve been counting down the months and the days for this movie to hit the big screen.

All book lovers know that when a great book hits the theatres, it’s a gamble. The story might be completely changed, the characters may not be how you imagined, and in general, the movie just won’t do the book justice.

But when the trailer for “Ready Player One” hit the internet a few months ago, two things caught my attention: the main character, Wade, was exactly how I’d imagined him, and his raggedy life within the stacks was built just how I saw it in my mind. Success.

Before I go any further, let me give you the run-down. “Ready Player One” is the story of Wade, a teenager living in Ohio during the year 2045. It’s a time when most of the population is so fed up with life, they seek refuge in a video game called The Oasis.

Everything happens inside The Oasis – work, school, nightclubs, and well, fighting demons. In 2040, the creator of The Oasis, James Halliday, died. And he left his legacy to the first player to find all three hidden keys that unlock a golden egg.

The best parts of The Oasis? You can be whoever you want, do whatever you want, and no one has advantages over anyone else. There are no rules, and anyone can win.

I won’t go into too many details, but the movie is a little bit different from the book. However, it’s only in the ways that needed to be embellished for film’s sake – the kind of things people want to see, even if they didn’t read the book. There’s a little more love and a little more real life scenes than in the book, but it was seamless. Naturally, the movie capitalized on all of Cline’s 80’s references (and added several), but it was very fun.

There were so many great lines in the book that I noted in my book review, but none of my favorites made it into the movie. However, there were several lines worth noting:

  • People come to the Oasis for all the things they can do, but they stay for all the things they can be.
  • Like many of you, I only came here to escape, but I found something much bigger than just myself.

Truthfully, this movie has it all – the drive to fit in, family trials, loss, love, heartbreak, and friendship. It’s half-VR, half-IRL… and it’s eerily meta. Bravo, Mr. Cline.

I’ve already seen reviews giving Spielberg too much credit for the world Cline created – I’ll keep saying it, you’ve got to read this book. I have also seen a few comparisons to “Willy Wonka”, and sure, that’s loosely an argument to be made. But Charlie Bucket does not make for a Wade or Parzival.

As soon as the credits rolled, I noticed I’d been grinning for the entire 2+ hours, and immediately had to send a text telling someone just how good it was. This is one for the books.

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I finally watched ‘The Breakfast Club’…

See you next Saturday.

See you next Saturday.

That’s right, before this weekend, I hadn’t seen “The Breakfast Club” in its entirety. I knew the general plot, and had seen parts of it, but never actually paid attention to it.

So on Saturday morning, I started watching it before I headed out for the day. I was excited to see it, given it’s written by my FAVORITE screenwriter John Hughes (“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Home Alone), and after all, it’s a classic.

After watching it, I can tell you a few things:

  1. It’s no “Ferris Bueller”.
  2. Emilio Estevez never looked so cute.
  3. It does capture the teenage spirit like no other.

If you aren’t familiar with the movie, basically, five high school students in Chicago (Hughes based the school off his high school experience) show up for an all-day Saturday detention. They are all from different social circles, and all got in trouble for different reasons. After sitting in the same room for 8 hours, needless to say, they break down a few barriers.

I particularly liked the essay they wrote… because of course I did.

Helloooo, Heath Ledger!

Helloooo, Heath Ledger!

I’ll be honest, there’s a ton of movies I haven’t seen that I definitely should. So, over the last few weeks, I’ve kept my eyes open for movies to record and watch when I can actually sit and enjoy them.

So,  aside from “The Breakfast Club”, I also watched “Brokeback Mountain” and “Bad Words”…not really sure why all of the movies I watched this weekend start with a “B” but whatever.

I watched “Brokeback Mountain” late Saturday night as I was editing a 100-page essay of Shakespeare symbolism (no, seriously). I didn’t know much about the movie going in, other than the fact that two cowboys fall in love and can’t be together. Here’s what I gathered:

  1. Heath Ledger looks fine as hell. I repeat: fine as hell.
  2. The scenery; the landscape is absolutely beautiful.
  3. We haven’t come as far as we think when it comes to the 1960’s view of homosexuality.

Here’s the plot scoop: two complete strangers meet when they get jobs as sheep herders on Brokeback Mountain. They become friends, and eventually fall in love. However, they both have families and lives back home, so they part ways after the summer ends. Their story continues over the years, and eventually returns to the mountain in an unexpected way.

I watched “Bad Words” Sunday evening – it’s a movie I wanted to see in the theatre but it just never happened. It’s the story of a middle-aged man (Jason Bateman) who is determined to FINALLY win a spelling bee, even if it means being a complete dick to do so. And it is pretty funny; not so funny that I regret not paying $15 to see it, but it’s worth a watch if you’re looking for a laugh.

kiteDon’t worry, there’s a ton more random movies in my queue, so get prepped. But, I also didn’t stay indoors all weekend; I’m happy to report I did my fair share of stomping around ATX.

Truthfully, I had a rather nasty argument with my most recent fling (I will be able to fully unpack this next week), so I was happy to have a distraction with my very full calendar.

The highlights? Took a new dance class (feeling a little sore from it), discussed major blog moves over delicious pizza at Pinthouse, tried liquid nitrogen ice cream at SPUN, whizzed through IKEA for a few cute things, and went to Zilker Park for the annual Kite Festival, where I watched the kite contest, and had a scrumptious crab roll from Garbo’s Lobster…okay, and part of a funnel cake, too.

I also completely left my cell phone on the ground at the park, and amazingly, someone turned it into the lost and found, so I got it back… and I even found the person who turned it in and was able to thank them! Luck was on my side this time!

The Kite Festival has roots in Austin dating back to 1929, and it has always served as an event for the community to celebrate family. The festival is presented each year by the Exchange Club of Austin, an all-volunteer organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse.

I wasn’t sure what to expect; I just knew there would be a kite contest that involved homemade kites. But, the site was really beautiful! There had to be a hundred (at least; I’m not good at guessing) kites in the sky dotting the picturesque downtown buildings. It was windy, so the kites were really soaring! I loved it, and I also learned that the Kite Festival is the official kickoff of spring events in Austin. Bring it on!

It really was a fantastic weekend… is it sad to say I’m ready for this coming weekend to begin already?

My week ahead is super busy at work, but I’m excited to bring you another exciting, HONEST, round of content right here!