“Ready Player One” Draws Raves At SXSW

Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi film adaptation of Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One” premiered at SXSW on Sunday night to strong reviews, even as the screening was hit by a malfunction.

During a climatic moment, the sound cut out and then the screen froze up. Organisers replayed the scene, the same problem occurred, they tried a third time and were able to resume the screening to loud cheers. The glitches and eventual repair all took place in less than five minutes.

The crowd gave Spielberg a standing ovation as he walked across the stage. “That was probably the greatest anxiety attack I’ve ever had” the director said in regards to the technical difficulties.

Reviews indicate Spielberg has made some big changes to the material, but keeps the spirit intact and many of those changes are for the better with the first hour including “some of the most viscerally engaging filmmaking Spielberg has ever done.” Most say Spielberg has avoided the trap that many have been concerned about with the material’s over reliance and fetishisation of 1980s nostalgia. Amongst some of the quotes:

“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” – Eric Kohn

“READY PLAYER ONE: So so so much movie. Sometimes too much but what I kept thinking over and over again was “my kids are gonna LOVE THIS.” It is joyous and thrilling for the people who it’s designed to joy and thrill.” – Brian Tallerico

“Went into READY PLAYER ONE skeptical as hell. Came out largely as a joyous convert. I have a handful of issues with the structure and characters, but it improves on the book in important ways, the action is riveting, and I really bought the humor. #readyplayerone” – Tasha Robinson

Full reviews are up THR, Variety, and Indiewire but do contain spoilers. They follow on from a screening of the sex comedy “Blockers” which also defied expectations and scored great reviews.

“Ready Player One” hits cinemas on March 29th.