Ready viewer one

This week's new movie releases clear the way for Ready Player One

You can't tell because of the VR goggles, but in the OASIS, he's totally making the Spielberg Face.
  • You can't tell because of the VR goggles, but in the OASIS, he's totally making the Spielberg Face.

For a while there, it looked like Steven Spielberg had spun his last spiel — or was getting close to it, anyway. Three years between Munich and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, perhaps to adequately shift gears. Then another three, perhaps to reflect on his sins against the franchise, before the one-two punch of Tintin and War Horse. (Maybe "slap" would be more accurate?) Of course, then he made the prestige pic Lincoln the next year and everyone got excited again. A career capper? No: enter actor Mark Rylance, three years later, for Bridge of Spies and The BFG. More prestige with The Post, and now more Rylance, as the most nearly human thing about Ready Player One. It's a helluva spectacle, but it goes and tries to be more than that, which was a mistake. There are moments that are supposed to be meaningful but just...fizzle.

Still, it'll probably be huge, because it shows people the stuff that they loved, and people like that. Maybe that's why both Journey's End and Foxtrot moved over to next week. But not the denizens of Isle of Dogs. Those guys are scrappers, and hooray for that. It was great fun talking to the voice behind one of them, Bob Balaban.

Also reviewed: The China Hustle.

Also unreviewed: Paul: Apostle of Christ.

IN OTHER NEWS, Scott Marks has taken over the Reader's [email protected] section, and will be using it to edify and entertain by exploring the world of home. The man knows things; give him a read. This week: the short comedies of film pioneer Harold Lloyd.

And speaking of comedy pioneers: Laurel & Hardy are back this Saturday!

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