Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Titan of video-game cinema Uwe Boll is not excited about Ready Player One

Illustration for article titled Titan of video-game cinema Uwe Boll is not excited about iReady Player One/iem/em
Photo: Charley Gallay (Getty Images)

Most people’s first interactions with director Uwe Boll came via a trifecta of video-game adaptations released between 2003 and 2005: House Of The Dead, Alone In The Dark, and BloodRayne. Together, they stablished the Uwe Boll style, which commingled cheaply acquired, violent intellectual properties, typically from games, with a huge roster of A-Z list actors slumming it for a paycheck, all delivered with slipshod incompetence and an almost palpable disdain for the audience. In the decade after that opening artistic salvo, Boll trained his particular skillset on a few more game properties—Far Cry, Postal, Dungeon Siege—as well as broader projects, like the real-life atrocity Darfur and the mere cinematic atrocity of his Rampage trilogy.

Despite sustained public pressure for him to retire, including a massive public petition to do so, he didn’t throw in the towel until 2016's Rampage: President Down, which finally proved that his business model—a mixture of self-financing, German tax shelters, and straight-to-video profiteering—was no longer keeping him in the black. So he quit, but not before releasing a series of videos assailing pretty much all sentient life. Today, he is mostly busy in the restaurant industry, and also coming up with conspiracy theories that Paul Thomas Anderson, one of our greatest living filmmakers, is secretly subtweeting him with promotional posters. But he cannot stay silent about Ready Player One. Although no one has asked Boll for his critical opinion on the matter, he has chosen to offer it about Steven Spielberg’s upcoming ur-nerd orgy of intellectual property cross-pollination, and it is every bit as “raw” as his Twitter handle would suggest.


You will recall that—deliciously clever as his pun-work is in the above tweet— “retard” is one of Boll’s favorite epithets, having previously applied it to various film critics and even fellow filmmakers Michael Bay and Eli Roth. His sentiment generally matches the exhausted sigh the movie received online in its promotional run-up, although now that people have actually seen it, turns out it’s another solid Spielberg sci-fi flick.

Either way, Boll, as ever, is displeased.

Clayton Purdom is a writer and editor based in Columbus, Ohio.

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