Thursday, August 9, 2018

Bang - Right in the Childhood

I was all set to write an entirely different article for today’s publishing. Then I watched a couple movies that blew that plan entirely to smithereens. Boom. Right in the feels. I honestly couldn’t decide which one I’d rather talk about. Rather than choose, I decided to touch on both and the commonalities between them.

Which two movies sent me into an overload of nostalgic giddiness? None other than Ready Player One (2018) and Christopher Robin (2018).

I am seriously lamenting the fact that I didn’t catch Ready Player One in the theaters. Seeing that on a giant IMAX screen must have been something else. It is currently available on DVD and On-Demand, however. We did get to see Christopher Robin a local multiplex, and it was entirely worth it. Most of the audience we attended with actually applauded during the final credits.  (Just as an extra note, there’s fun stuff in the Christopher Robin credits; but nothing extra is mixed in with Ready Player One’s lengthy scroll.)

If I were giving you a traditional review for these films, I’d be assigning each of them a 5/5 stars. Both movies certainly deserve every accolade they’ve received thus far – and I hope the list of honors keeps growing. Steven Spielberg (Minority Report, War Horse, The BFG) proved once again why he is one of my favorite directors of all time, and Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Quantum of Solace, World War Z) is steadily creeping up on that list.

Now I know I’ve recently used the phrase “nostalgia bandwagon” in a context that would generally indicate that it’s not the best thing ever. In the case of these 2 films, however, let’s just throw that out the window. Ready Player One is actually based on a novel by Ernest Cline. (My to-read list just gets longer by the day.) I have learned that there are some differences between the movie and the book, to be fair. Though, since I haven’t read it yet, I’m unable to weigh in on that. What I can say is that the spectrum of pop-culture goodies present in this movie was fan-flipping-tastic. There’s a little something for everyone thrown in there. The whole premise of the film is finding the ultimate Easter Egg – while experiencing a bazillion little ones along the way. I mean seriously – the light bar from KITT’s hood on the front of the DeLorean had me pointing at the screen while saying ‘look! Look!’ to my family.

At its heart, Ready Player One reminds us that it’s ok to escape on flights of fancy but we should remain grounded in reality.  Christopher Robin delivers an equally important message, if coming from the other direction. It’s great to be responsible and work hard, but at the end of the day don’t forget how to have fun and use your imagination. Both movies touch on the importance of our real-world relationships.

Let me tell you – the blend of illustration plucked from A.A. Milne’s books and the ‘live action’ for Pooh and his friends was something else. While this movie wasn’t focused on Easter Eggs in such a literal way as Ready Player One was, it was meant to take you on a meandering path down memory lane all the same. Bears with balloons and the morose ramblings of the clinically depressed donkey spoke directly to my childhood. Bring some tissues along when watching this one, though. My eyes did some leaking so it’s possible that could be a standard side-effect of this movie’s ‘feels.’

Whether you’re staying in and in the cozy atmosphere of your own home or going out to get the big screen experience, either of these movies will serve you well on an emotional and entertainment level.

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