For this assignment, students were introduced to the concept of the film review. After reviewing the basic components of a film review, both in class and online, students were given a worksheet that outlined what each paragraph of their review should contain, and they used this worksheet as a method of taking notes during the film screening. We chose to review the action/adventure film, Ready Player One, which is based on the best-selling book by Ernest Cline of the same name. Below you will find students’ final drafts of their reviews (last names have been omitted for privacy). Ready . . . Set . . . Write!
Ready Player One, directed by Steven Spielberg, is an Adventure-Sci Fi masterpiece about a dystopian future where people don’t want to live in the real world. The movie starts off in Columbus, Ohio, which is one of the fastest growing cities in 2045. To be more specific, it begins in “The Stacks,” a housing complex made of trailers stacked onto each other. Here, we meet our first main character, Wade Watts. He was born in the year 2027, which he describes as the time after people “stopped caring.” He also describes his time of birth when the brainchild of the late James Halliday, called “The Oasis” took over the world. Before he died, Halliday hid an Easter Egg in The Oasis, which could only be discovered after completing various quests in the game and discovering three keys. The first person to find all three keys would get complete control over The Oasis and all of Halliday’s money. Along with the Gunters (Egg Hunters), IOI, or Innovative Online Industries, is not stopping at anything to get control of The Oasis so they can become richer. Who will get all 3 keys?
For me, Ready Player One did an excellent job of showing the evolution of characters. The main character, Wade Watts/Parzival, is played by the actor Ty Sheridan. In the movie, he experiences changes in his view of the rest of the world and becomes more open-minded near the end. Samantha Cook, or Art3mus, is played by Olivia Cooke. Throughout the movie, her character learns that love isn’t all about looks. Also, the characters played by Lena Waithe (Helen), Win Mosiaki (Daito), and Phillip Zhao (Sho) learn how to work together as a team. The only character in which I felt didn’t change throughout the film was Nolan Sorrento, played by Ben Mendelsohn.
Content-wise, Ready Player One nails it for me. Even though the filming and CGI is outstanding, the soundtrack takes the stage in a great way. The first song to come up is “Jump” by Van Halen, followed by Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself for Loving You.” Some tracks were specially made for the movie by Alan Silvestri, including “Ready Player One: Main Title,” “The Oasis,” and “Back to the Future.” Some other notable pieces are “Take on Me” by A-Ha and “Stayin’ Alive” by Bee Gees. Overall, the music really gave Ready Player One an 80’s vibe, while the CGI made it look cleaner and more current.
One of the biggest themes in Ready Player One is teamwork. The main characters of the film learn teamwork together throughout the movie, and use it to accomplish a major goal. Overall, this is one of my favorite movies of all time. From the soundtrack, the casting, to the effects, Ready Player One hit it out of the park. I would rate this movie 9.9/10 because they could have done a better job with showing change in Nolan Sorrento.
-Seth, 7th grade
Ready Player One is a science-fiction/action-adventure film that takes place in Columbus, Ohio in the year 2045. This Steven Spielberg blockbuster focuses on an orphaned teenager who lives in a dystopian future where everyone competes in a virtual reality world called “The Oasis.” Competitors are charged with finding three keys that will unlock an Easter Egg (a secret hidden prize). The Easter Egg is the game creator’s fortune, as well as total control of The Oasis.
The film’s protagonist is Wade Watts (played by Ty Sheridan), who is a member of a gaming team called “High Five.” Throughout the film, High Five battles the antagonist, Nolan Sorrento, the cruel and corrupt CEO of I.O.I. (Innovative Online Industries) for control of The Oasis. The creator of The Oasis was James Halliday, and it was Halliday who hid the Easter Egg prior to his death in 2040. Since then, players have been searching for the keys that will unlock the Easter Egg but no one has succeeded . . . yet. Throughout the movie, Wade evolves into somewhat of a rebel coming ever closer to discovering the Easter Egg.
In my opinion, the best parts of the film are: 1) the 1980’s music and pop culture references (examples include A-Ha’s “Take On Me”, Van Halen’s “Jump”, the Iron Giant, Chucky from the Child’s Play films, The Shining, and, of course, 80’s era video games including “Adventure” for the Atari 2600), and 2) the film’s amazing special effects. Both of these components helped to create an exciting film. Several of the film’s themes include the idea of escaping reality and perseverance. For five years, Wade and his friends attempt to beat the game without ever giving up. My personal opinion/recoomendation of the film is that it is worth seeing for it’s adventure, humor, and 80’s pop culture references.
-Warner, 8th grade