Ready Player One 4K Blu-ray Review
By Chris Heinonen on
Summary: In the year 2045, the real world is a harsh place. The only time Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) truly feels alive is when he escapes to the OASIS, an immersive virtual universe where most of humanity spend their days. In the OASIS, you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone—the only limits are your own imagination. The OASIS was created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday (Mark Rylance), who left his immense fortune and total control of the OASIS to the winner of a three-part contest he designed to find a worthy heir. When Wade conquers the first challenge of the reality-bending treasure hunt, he and his friends—known as the High Five—are hurled into a fantastical universe of discovery and danger to save the OASIS and their world.
Ready Player One Movie Review
I never read the book Ready Player One, but it seems to have been designed to appeal directly to me. Focusing on 80’s and 90’s pop culture and video games, with references to everything we loved to play and watch growing up. The Iron Giant, The Shining, Back to the Future, Godzilla, Gundam, the Atari 2600, and far more are referenced throughout the film. It seems as though it is a love letter to everything we loved as a kid.
But as the film goes on, it is less a love letter to that time than a warning sign. The people that created the Oasis, the vast virtual world full of these pop culture touchstones, have done so in a way that keeps you separated from the real world. While most of my best memories about that pop culture involve watching it with friends or playing the games together in person, in Ready Player One you’re playing a game with people but never truly in the same place as them.
While the film tries to address this a bit at the end, it doesn’t give it a great ending. It still leaves us with a world where most people are spending their time by themselves, in a world where they are doing most of their interaction virtually. It offers you some sort of escape from the downsides of the real world, but it is just a temporary relief and offers no solutions or fixes for the real problems. Maybe the book offers more of a happy outlook in the end, but at the end of the film I just felt depressed about what it said about us and where we were going, despite my love of movies and games.
Ready Player One Technical Review
Ready Player One was shot with ARRI cameras at 2.8K resolution for the Oasis scenes and on film for the real world scenes. It only has a 2K DI, but given that a majority of the film is rendered CGI which will only be at 2K resolution, this isn’t a surprise. Watching the Dolby Vision version, the film looks incredible. Shadows are dark but detailed, bright highlights look fantastic, and you wish all video games looked as good as this movie does. Aside from knocking it a half-point for not having a full 4K DI to get the full resolution, there isn’t anything to complain about with this transfer.
The Dolby Atmos soundtrack for Ready Player One is nothing short of spectacular. Video games are only starting to use Dolby Atmos now, but none of them sound like this does. During racing sequences, you hear every sound effect around you, and during certain scenes, the subwoofer gets a workout beyond what it is used to doing. Vocals are clear and anchored to the center channel, and there is nothing to complain about when it comes to audio quality. While the movie might have been a bit of a let down for me, the disc for Ready Player One never disappoints as it looks and sounds fantastic.
Ready Player One Special Features
- Game Changer: Cracking the Code
- Effects for a Brave New World
- Level Up: Sound for the Future
- High Score: Endgame
- Ernie & Tye’s Excellent Adventure
- The ’80’s: You’re The Inspiration
Sony Z9D LCD, Sony UBP-X700 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver, SVS SB-4000 Subwoofer.
Fantastic looking Dolby Vision image and Dolby Atmos soundtrack that shows off what your home theater system can do.
A story and ending that left me feeling depressed about the world.
Filled to the brim with pop culture references, Ready Player One is the kind of film I should love but just left me feeling depressed at the end. The disc itself is fantastic, with video and audio quality that is first-rate.