Ready Player One is a visually intensive “blast.” Stephen Spielberg pulled off many amazing stunts and scenes, utilizing the latest special effects technology. The look of the film, which seems to have an unlimited budget, is designed to capture gamers and video game lovers attention. Lots of virtual reality weapons, car and truck racing, explosions, and many movies playing a part like a Disney theme park come to life. (The Shining was particularly effective and fun.) My favorite scene was when Chucky and a emoji attack players. The real world is broken, and depressing. Slum trailer parks and mansions, little in between. Based on the novel by Ernest Cline (narrated on audio by Wil Wheaton of Star Trek fame), it features a USPS van driven at the climax by the heroes, who are being attacked by corporate killers. The message of the film is that “VR is not reality, only reality is real.” So in a way it takes the path of Avatar, drama and romance and war, ending with food for thought. The switch from first person shooters to adventure games with puzzles may get some fans to switch from thinking “Reality is Broken” as an escape to thinking “Reality can be fixed. Let’s do it.”
Narcissism is viral in America especially. We value audacity and power, while “success” means money. It really doesn’t matter how you “earned” your money: on the backs of others is fine. Slave labor, like Nike. There are scenes about this in movies, and it is the theme of Blade Runner 2049. Also watch The Rundown movie: great film, with satire, guns, a slaver with whips, and good ole American Greed. Tom Cruise played an amoral hit man in Collateral, and summed it all up nicely. See HERE for quotes. We voted in a narcissist President, believing all the Fake News spread by InfoWars and Facebook. Both had ads saying Hillary was dying, and had something to do with murdering children. Whatever Hillary did or didn’t do, supporting the torture and murder of kids while eating pizza was not one of them. Now Assad is in denial, as is Putin, for doing it. Denial and counter-attack is a tactic of sociopaths. Narcissists are charming liars, too. They manipulate other people, the media, and actually believe their own lies. So some might even pass a polygraph! “Worship me,” is their message. The entire world is their stage. No trick is left unlearned. Goal? World domination, like Stewie on Family Guy, his head the shape of a football. Trump is attacking Comey for his new book. He said Comey should be jailed. Comey (a Republican) got Trump elected in the first place by making his last minute statement about Hillary’s emails. Now he says Trump should not be impeached: “People voted their values, and we should let this play out.” WW3? We shall see. Alex Jones of InfoWars, who also helped Trump get elected (and whom Trump called to thank him) went “ballistic” over Trump firing missiles at Assad, and said “F—-Trump!” many times over on his show. Jones, also a narcissist (and Sandy Hook denier) said WW3 is coming soon, adding that Russia and Syria were trying to fight ISIS in “a good fight.” He too waves flags, despite Einstein once saying that “Nationalism is the measles of humanity.” (Who are you going to believe: a college dropout selling male enhancement products or the Pulitzer Prize winner in Physics who was named “Person of the Century.”) Olympics and the Spartans, who forced kids to kill each other? We could go on and on, here. The point is that narcissism is delusion, including self delusion. No one is King of the World or universe, or will ever be. Other narcissists and sociopaths won’t allow it. Or as Vincent in Collateral said, “We’re a dot in the universe. Who cares?” The Vincent character is a sociopath, not a narcissist. He has no delusions. He wants no one to know who he is. His past is unknown, never mentioned. Which is why he’s so fascinating, and why I wrote a prequel.
Whatever you think of Tom Cruise regarding Scientology, he does make some terrific movies. (L. Ron Hubbard once wrote science fiction, too.) Just finished watching Edge of Tomorrow again. It’s one of the few films you can watch repeatedly and still enjoy. The character is stuck in a Groundhog Day scenario, and the graphics are superb. It’s like Omaha Beach repeated endlessly, with subtle humor and a mind bending plot. Guns blazing, which is what America loves. The good thing about it, as with Arrival, the military is outgunned, and only ingenuity and bravery can save the day. I love the line where he meets the general who killed him countless times before, and Tom is so battle weary, all he can say is, “you aren’t mentally equipped to beat them.” It’s such a bizarre thing to say, the general believes him. Where the aliens come from, or why they would want to conquer worlds, is unknown. Arrival is superior in that case. In the book “Stories of Your Life and Others” by Hugo winner Ted Chang, basis for Arrival, we learn that language is the key to manipulating time (a theme of Edge of Tomorrow.) The aliens have not escaped their bodies, as in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and so they can die. But their technology is so far advanced from ours that all the tanks and jet fighters we’ve assembled would have no effect on them. When they leave, they simply float up and disappear. Other scifi movies with Tom include Oblivion, War of the Worlds, Minority Report, plus he narrated IMAX Space Station 3D. One of my fav movies Tom did was with Jamie Foxx, Collateral. Not scifi, but a psychological thriller about a sociopath who rents a cab for a night so that he can kill the witnesses about to testify for the prosecution the next day. It’s Michael Mann’s best film, set in Los Angeles. Great music score, perfect script, apt for today’s headlines as well. Can’t be a sequel with someone from Breitbart or Cambridge Analytica killing off Russia Probe witnesses, since Tom’s character Vincent dies. But imagine a prequel, telling who “Vincent” was…where he came from, and what made him into the killer he became. “I do this for a living!” he shouts to Jamie at one point, as if he should just give up, he’s outgunned. Enter Judge Jury. Half screenplay, half story, switching off. With a twist. There is scifi too, involving AI.