Review: Ready Player One (4K)

So, if we rewind the clock and fall back to the first time I saw the trailer for this movie, I knew it was going to be awesome. All the trailers were amazing, the concept art behind all the posters paying homage to some of my favorite movies were top notch… plus you get Spielberg behind the camera! I was going into this film with the highest of standards and not only were they met, they were surpassed. This film was a blast in the theater, and now it’s a blast on 4K UHD.

The movie grossed over $580 million worldwide and the fandom pushed it to a higher level. This can be seen in the hundreds of videos uploaded with the focus on easter eggs and everything you could have missed if you blinked an eye, down to theories, ideas on what different aspects could mean, etc. It’s a nerd’s dream and I think this movie will live on for a long time. No need for a sequel, this was spot on.Plot: 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.

Director: Steven Spielberg

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Runtime: 140 min

Rating: Rotten Tomatoes 73% & IMDB 7.7/10

Unboxing (see below)

Review:

There is moderate level of grain can be seen in all the “real-life” scenes. Everything that you see outside of the Oasis dips in quality, it doesn’t mean it’s bad, but when you dip from reference quality to more of a “standard 4k,” it really shows. There was still high quality and super clear shots in those “real-life” scenes, but some made it feel like you were watching the Blu-Ray. It’s a small note, but trust me when I say, the Oasis scenes were so outstanding, it didn’t even matter. There is so much reference material is on this disc, I can’t talk about it enough.

I jotted down a few of highlights during last night’s watch — some of the things that caught my eye.

In Chapter 2 & 3 you get both of the car race scenes. The detail is insane from the moving landscapes, the setting sun over the track, the amount of destruction and the sheer fact that this entire scene holds up start to finish. It’s jaw dropping. During the second race, they pan in on Parzival’s face and the amount of detail is amazing down to the texture of his skin to the glare in his eyes.

Then, when he finishes the race you get color galore from the fall colors in the trees to leaves over the green grass. It’s a great use of HDR. Wow!

In Chapter 5 Parzival and Artemis visit the Distracted Globe. During this scene all of the characters and lights jump right off the screen. The colors are demo quality once again and it all pops magically. This rolls through the dance scene down to Artemis’ flowy red dress. So much detail.

In Chapter 9 the Orb of Osuvox of is activated and you get a glow of the orb encapsulating the entire area. Here you get hues of white and blue creating the forcefield, red from the lava in the background, plus deep blacks bringing out all the color throughout the entire area. This continues to be seen until the end of the film.

In Chapter 10 & 11 you get the final battle scene for the last key, one of the best scenes in the movie. There is so much going on, with different avatar’s ranging from famous movie characters, video games, heroes, etc. The amount of detail on the screen at once is amazing, especially since it’s all at demo worthy quality. The colors, the highlights, the HDR, the clarity. It’s amazing what is all on the screen at once, I can’t say it enough. Amazing.

This continues with the Iron Giant hanging over the lava filled pit. You get a variety of colors from red and orange on the bottom to the green bullets hitting the metal on top. Another example of a vibrant scene like many other scenes seen throughout the Oasis.

I found myself wanting to constantly note scenes in the Oasis, but there are so many! More scenes that were impressive include The Shining sequence in the maze where you get deep blacks and even furthermore, the dancing in the ballroom with that magical green glow, plus the blood filling the hallway, etc, etc….

Another good look was the shots of the “final (Gold Treasure) room.” You get a lot of up close detail of Parzival’s face along with panning shots of the room. Not only is it a pivotal scene in the movie, but another reference shot on the disc. There is so much detail, sparkle and shine — you can’t notice it all at once.

Did I mention the Mechagodzilla & the Iron Giant fighting scene with Gundam! That was ridiculous!

Conclusion:

I absolutely loved this film, it’s ride from start to finish and it has a high replay-ability factor as well. To go along with that, you also get a demo worthy disc in the UHD format. Everything in the Oasis is demo worthy from the colors enhanced by HDR, the black levels hitting just right and the clarity being super sharp. It truly is amazing how much detail is on the screen in certain scenes of this film. (I know, I said it again.)

Whenever someone gets a new 4KTV and asks me “what’s a must own disc,” my standard answer is Planet Earth II or Blue Planet II. If it were a discussion on movies, I would mention movies like The Revenant, Blade Runner 2049, Lucy, Logan… but now, Ready Player One is part of that discussion and enters the ‘Best Disc’ conversation. It’s a must own in the UHD format.

Not to mention; if you love 80’s nostalgia, action movies, video-games, pop-culture — it’s already a must buy anyways, before even knowing the ‘demo-worthyness’ of this disc. It’s an all around gem.

I highly-highly recommend you pick up Ready Player One on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on July 24, or Own It Now on Digital! You won’t be disappointed.

On that note, I’ll be watching this movie again this week.

Cheers,

Matt.