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Ready Player One Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack Review

 By Paul Rudoff on Oct. 11, 2018 at 11:28 PM , Categories: Home Video
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Normally I cover non-Ghostbusters stuff on The Corner Penthouse, but Ready Player One (2018) is an exception because there IS a Ghostbusters connection present on the Blu-ray disc, and the movie itself is tailor-made for the audience that loves Ghostbusters. Read on to find out more...

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Ready Player One (2018), which is based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Cline, takes place in the year 2045, wherein 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 time. The OASIS was created by the 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 treasure hunt, he and his friends are hurled into a fantastical adventure to save the OASIS and their world.

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Wade's OASIS alter ego is Parzival, who is supported in his quest by Art3mis (Olivia Cooke), Aech (Lena Waithe), Sho (Philip Zhao), and Daito (Win Morisaki). Aech is his sidekick/buddy, Art3mis is the love interest, Sho and Daito have their moments, but are mostly side characters that you'll forget are even there most of the time. Art3mis is Samantha in the real world, and I actually found myself liking her more than the somewhat bland Wade character. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Olivia Cooke is super cute, and those eyes...ooohhhh, those eyes. With her red hair and the birthmark coloring over her right eye, Samantha instantly reminded me of Fox from Gargoyles.

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Director Steven Spielberg imbues the film with tons of heart, as you would expect, and that helps give the romance between Wade and Samantha all of the "feels" to balance the action. By the time the movie is over - with an ending that feels like it's straight out of The Goonies - you can't help but to have a smile on your face, and be left with that good "everything is right with the world" feeling.

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Composer Alan Silvestri provides a rousing score for the film, which includes hints of his work on Back to the Future. That's only fitting considering how much love Spielberg pays to the film series he executive produced, directed by his "protege" (as Spielberg calls him) Robert Zemeckis. The whole movie, like the original novel, is one big love letter to gamers and Children of the '80s. Parzival's vehicle of choice is the DeLorean from Back to the Future, albeit retrofitted to include the red-light grill scanner from Knight Rider. In the novel, it also has the Ghostbusters' No Ghost logo on the doors, but Sony would not permit its use in the movie. I heard a rumor that it was because, at the time, they had their own Ghostbusters movie in the works (you know the one). I guess they thought there would be some confusion between the two movies or something. I don't know. Seems rather stupid, even more so now because they allowed an appearance of the logo on the DeLorean doors in the bonus features. More on that later. Rather than rattle off all of the video game and 1980s references, go check out Den of Geek's list when you get done here.

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At a runtime of 2:19:58, Ready Player One is presented in its original 2.40:1 aspect ratio with an 1080p transfer. On the audio side, there are three English tracks - Dolby Atmos True HD, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, and 5.1 Descriptive; along with French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. The film includes English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles. The first print run includes a beautiful slipsleeve.

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The almost two hours of bonus features that can be found on the disc are all in HD. The back of the case describes the bonus features as such: "Journey alongside Steven Spielberg and the cast for over 90 minutes of bonus content loaded with Easter eggs, '80s nostalgia and how they achieved the impossible." There are no Easter eggs on the disc, nor are the ones in the film really discussed, so I have to wonder why they would even use the phrase "Easter eggs" in the description.
  • The '80s: You're The Inspiration (5:38) - Ernest Cline and the film's cast and crew discuss their love for the '80s.
  • Game Changer: Cracking The Code (57:22) - An in-depth exploration of the entire movie. I suspect that this was originally meant to be five separate featurettes.
  • Effects For A Brave New World (24:39) - A comprehensive exploration of the film's challenging and complex visual effects.
  • Level Up: Sound For The Future (8:03) - A quality examination of the film's sound design.
  • High Score: Endgame (10:04) - This piece focuses on Alan Silvestri's work on the film's score.
  • Ernie & Tye's Excellent Adventure (12:00) - Ernest Cline and Tye Sheridan sit down to discuss the film in Ernest's Texas home on March 5, 2018 just ahead of its Austin premiere.
Also included in the Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack is a second DVD disc, which only contains the movie (no bonus features). The movie on the DVD is presented in its original 2.40:1 aspect ratio with an anamorphic widescreen transfer. On the audio side, there are 5.1 Dolby Digital audio tracks for English, English Descriptive, French, and Spanish. The film includes English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles.

A Movies Anywhere/Ultraviolet digital copy code voucher is also included in the standard two-disc Blu-ray case.

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As previously stated, the Ghostbusters references found in the novel are not present in the movie. I can understand not including the logo on the DeLorean doors, or having the Ecto-1 itself in the race scene, or even a Ghostbusters character (like Slimer or Stay Puft) avatar be seen somewhere, because Sony would need to give permission for any of that. What I don't understand, is why there couldn't have been some other kind of Ghostbusters reference, like maybe a dialog reference, in the movie. Ghostbusters stands out as the one big 1980s property missing from the film. With that said, it isn't missing from the bonus features on the Blu-ray disc. (All images below can be clicked on for the full 1920x1080 image.)

The '80s: You're The Inspiration - A photo of author Ernest Cline in front of Hook & Ladder #8 is shown at timecode 0:47.

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(frame grab at timecode 0:47)

A photo of author Ernest Cline in front of a Back to the Future filming location with his DeLorean, bearing an "Ecto88" license plate, is shown at timecode 5:27.

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(frame grab at timecode 5:27)

Ernie & Tye's Excellent Adventure - Ernest Cline and Tye Sheridan are sitting in front of Ernie's near-book-accurate DeLorean, complete with No Ghost logo on the doors. At the end, credit is given: "Ghostbusters 'No Ghost" logo- Courtesy of Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures".

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(frame grab at timecode 0:28)

A ghost trap is seen in the back next to the Flux Capacitor.

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(frame grab at timecode 10:27)

Thankfully, Warner Bros. did not blur the No Ghost logo on the doors.

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(frame grab at timecode 11:18)

You can even see two Proton Pack wands (on the left side of the image, one behind the back window), Ecto Googles, and Ghost Trap sitting in the back.

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(frame grab at timecode 11:33)

Ready Player One is available on Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack, 4K/Blu-Ray Combo Pack, 3D Blu-Ray Combo Pack, and 2-Disc Special Edition DVD. Of course, the novel by Ernest Cline is available, too.

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Final Verdict: Ready Player One is VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to all gamers and '80s aficionados.


The Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack has been provided by Warner Brothers for review on this site. More images can be found on Warner's Flickr gallery, where you can find 77 high-resolution images that you can download. Those images have also been uploaded to The Corner Penthouse Facebook page, though they are smaller and have been recompressed. A few images have been pulled from the IMDB gallery, and all of the bonus features Ghostbusters reference images have been frame-grabbed by me (Paul Rudoff).

1 comment

Comment from: Alex Newborn [Visitor]

I own the Blu-Ray but somehow missed the featurette that had them driving around in the Ecto-88. I popped it in and watched it just now. Very cool.

It also looks like he has an Oscillation Overthruster from Buckaroo Banzai hanging above/in front of the Flux Capacitor.

Oct. 15, 2018 @ 15:32

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