What do you buy a millionaire for Christmas? Someone who has everything already? Not an easy task. And what kind of film do you make for nerds? I mean, no offence, but your average comic-con nerd prides themselves, almost to a snobbish level, in knowing a gamut of knowledge about almost any cult subject. They will reward fellow nerds with whimsical references and nods of knowing on the most extraneous of details and hidden facts, reminiscent of some of the games they play. I recently saw an old Spaced clip where Simon Pegg (also in this film) relishes in explaining how the entire events of the first 3 Star Wars films can be attributed to the gunner on the star destroyer in the first film – and then proceeds to smugly explain his far flung theory. Basically if you’re gonna engage with nerds then don’t bring a knife to a gun fight!
If there’s one director however who knows their audience it’s Spielberg. And if there’s one man to direct an adaptation of Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel of the same name, tis he. The result is a nerds wet dream – a movie packed to the hilt with references to cult and popular culture. So many in fact I lost count. Nor would I want to spoil it for anyone. But the obvious ones are Back To The Future (which is heavily referenced in the score as well as containing the deLorean) The Iron Giant, Terminator, Godzilla, Transformers, Power Rangers etc…. hundreds!
From the posters I was worried this film was animated. It is computer animated to the hilt but also requires “real” life scenes – also helped along by computers mind. It includes great performances from Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Simon Pegg and Mark Rylance. I watched the film on Netflix on a 4k. Parental responsibilities meant I had to watch the film in instalments but like a good book, I looked forward to seeing the next bit. The last scene ends with a bit of snow so good enough reason as any to make this your main Christmas feature!