Warner Bros. Pictures was going all out tonight with the SXSW premiere of Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One. They even brought Spielberg out to talk about the movie before it started, so they showed utmost confidence in it.
However, something interesting happened during the production. Marcelo “SXSW” Pico noted on Twitter that the final battle in the film got so loud, it actually created audio problems and the movie had to be restarted – not from the beginning, but basically it had to be booted back up. Think an NES cartridge getting blown out.
Even with technical setbacks, however, it appeared that the crowd was truly into the movie. By its end, there was a standing ovation for the film, along with some chants for “STEVEN! STEVEN!” You can see this in the tweet below.
Standing ovation for Spielberg after the #ReadyPlayerOne premiere. “That was probably the greatest anxiety attack I’ve ever had,” he said, alluding to the screening’s technical difficulties (truth is, it actually only made the crowd more excited) #SXSW pic.twitter.com/FxYMfk7LZf— Bryn Elise Sandberg (@brynsandberg) March 12, 2018
Now, while legitimate reviews for the film aren’t set to drop until sometime later this morning, “hot takes” for it have already begun appearing online – and for the most part, they’re very favorable, comparing it to some of Spielberg’s more “fun” work, and not, for instance, The Post, which came out a few months ago.
Eric Vespe, who serves as a senior entertainment writer for The Know over at Rooster Teeth, absolutely loved the film.
So yeah, I LOVED Ready Player One. It’s perhaps the geekiest movie ever made. So so so happy right now!— Eric Vespe (@EricVespe) March 12, 2018
Frank Pallotta, who works for CNN as entertainment/media reporter, also got into the film, calling it “Pure Spielbergian joy.”
Erik Davis, managing editor for Fandango, noted that people will love RPO.
#ReadyPlayerOne is classic Steven Spielberg. It’s got the references, the ferocious effects and the great ‘80s soundtrack, sure, but also the charm, the heart, the humor and a fantastic Alan Silvestri score. I loved it & so did this #SXSW crowd. Be excited for it! pic.twitter.com/xwPOGwXDxd— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) March 12, 2018
Eric Kohn, deputy editor and chief critic for IndieWire, also added praise.
READY PLAYER ONE feels like Spielberg watched a ton of Luc Besson movies and decided to outdo them. In terms of pure spectacle, it’s the most astonishing thing he’s done. Never underestimate Steve. #SXSW— erickohn (@erickohn) March 12, 2018
Letterboxd also posted some quick impressions and gave the movie four stars. “For those worried about it simply being a nostalgia trip, what Spielberg said introducing the film is right, the story is front and center with the nostalgia and pop culture only on the periphery. “
There were some slightly mixed reactions, though not nearly as many as the positive ones. A Twitter user by the name of @marrythedarkk, for example, noted that it was a “fun, enjoyable film,” but also had a script that “has a LOT of convenient plot devices” and doesn’t “make you care about the characters.” But, again, that’s one minor opinion out of what appears to be strong praise for the film.
#ReadyPlayerOne hot take review: a fun, enjoyable film with some amazing set pieces and references (THAT scene). However, the film suffers from a script that has a LOT of convenient plot devices and never really manages to make you care about the characters... 7/10 #sxsw— love, maurizio (@marrythedarkk) March 12, 2018
Again, full reviews will post in a few hours, and then we’ll see just how strong a positive reaction the film will garner. But thus far, it sounds like it could be one of Spielberg's best films in years -- and packed with nostalgia overload.
Ready Player One arrives in theaters on March 29.
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