Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, Mark Rylance, Win Morisaki, Philip Zhao, Simon Pegg, T.J. Miller
When introducing Ready Player One before its premiere at South by Southwest, director Steven Spielberg stated that in bringing Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel to the screen he was trying to make a movie, not a film. The resulting work sees the legendary director back in a fun, crowd pleasing mode he hasn’t played in for a long time, and in doing so the filmmaker who practically invented the modern blockbuster shows that he has still got it.
In the year 2045, people all over the world escape the mundanity of the real life by donning a headset and disappearing into the Oasis, a virtual universe in which you can do anything and be anyone. Before his death, the creator of the Oasis, James Halliday (Mark Rylance), devised a Willy Wonka-like scheme to find an heir. He built into the Oasis three hidden challenges. The first person to successfully complete the challenges and find Halliday’s Easter Egg would inherit control of the Oasis. Continue reading
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Starring: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, RJ Cyler, Nick Offerman, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal, Katherine C. Hughes, Connie Britton
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is a special movie. With a second time director in Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, and first time screenwriter in Jesse Andrews (adapting his own novel), the film won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Sydney Film Festival and is one of 2015’s little gems.
The ‘Me’ of the title is Greg (Thomas Mann), an invisible high school senior. The survival strategy which has successfully navigated him through school thus far is to be an acquaintance to many and a friend to none, being on first name basis with all of the key cliques without declaring an allegiance to any. One day his mother (Connie Britton) breaks some bad news to him. A girl from his grade at school, Rachel (Olivia Cooke), has been diagnosed with leukaemia – the ‘Dying Girl.’ And then as only mothers can, she demands that Greg go over to Rachel’s house to be a friend and try and cheer her up. With time, what starts out as an uncomfortable arranged friendship becomes an honest connection between them. Continue reading