The best films of 2018 so far

Conventional wisdom holds that the best movies of any given year tend to arrive sometime between Labor Day and Christmas—those few weeks annually and unofficially designated as “awards season.” But while the major studios and their indie subsidiaries do tend to hold their big prestige titles until at least early…

Ready Player One’s real nostalgia trip is to an era when critics didn’t hate pop culture references

Get ready for a blast of crazy pop-culture nostalgia: Remember when pop culture references weren’t considered a creative cheap shot? There was a time when a well-timed zinger about an old TV show or a recent movie was considered refreshing, rather than about on par with the band name-checking the town that they’re…

Exclusive: It's game over when RiffTrax alums take on Ernest Cline and Ready Player One

For the first season of their podcast 372 Pages We’ll Never Get Back, RiffTrax head honcho Michael J. Nelson and writer Conor Lastowka decided to lay off of riffing on movies for a bit and focus on the local library by taking on Ernest Cline’s 2011 sci-fi ode to ‘80s pop culture and all things geeky, Ready Player One.

The 25 best set pieces of Steven Spielberg’s career

Broadly defined, a set piece is a thriller within a film, a self-contained showstopper-slash-showcase whose success depends in large part on a director’s chops. Since the 1970s, Steven Spielberg has reigned as its Hollywood master; regardless of what one thinks of his sentimental or narrative instincts, it’s hard to…

Steven Spielberg finds fun, and maybe even a soul, in the pandering pastiche of Ready Player One

Is it possible for a Hollywood blockbuster to look both soulful and soulless, depending on where the light strikes its gleaming surfaces? Ready Player One, based on the bestseller of the same name, is a pandering, crassly commercial victory of intellectual property law that’s also, in its best moments, grand popcorn…

Lena Waithe talks Emmys, Ready Player One, and getting Jimmy Kimmel to slip Jennifer Aniston her email

Lena Waithe was no doubt booked on Tuesday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! to plug Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Ready Player One (she plays Aech). But the conversation between Waithe and Kimmel quickly revealed how much more the Chicago native has going on right now. Sure, a meaty role in a likely Spielberg blockbuster is nothing…

Ready Player One to have its world premiere tomorrow night as the "secret" showing at this year's SXSW

Attendees at this year’s SXSW are about to go from one overwhelming confluence of brands, entertainment properties, and general pop-culture loudness to another, with Variety reporting that Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One will make its world premiere at the Austin-based festival this Sunday night. The film has been…

Things really escalated after those Ready Player One fan-art posters were released

Ready Player One has a lot going for it, namely the involvement of one the greatest science-fiction filmmakers of all time, a masterful practitioner of spectacle who has cannily updated his techniques to fit the project and the times. The heartfelt sci-fi fablist of the ’80s worked up into awe-inspiring scale in the…