To 3D Or Not To 3D: Buy The Right Ready Player One Ticket

Ready Player One Mark Rylance James Halliday showing off the first OASIS headset

A quest of mythic proportions is about to unfold on theater screens far and wide, as Ready Player One is now booting up Steven Spielberg's latest adventure for all to see. And saving the Oasis never looked this good on paper, as Ernest Cline's best-selling novel is about to cross the threshold from the printed word into a major motion picture. But does this movie deserve the extra 3D gloss, or should you be saving your money for a sweet Oculus Rift rig and treadmill?

Leave it to us at To 3D or Not To 3D to collect the keys of knowledge, and deliver sound judgement as to whether the extra ticket money is worth your while. If you're curious about how we liked the film itself, you can head over to our official review and find out. But here and now, we're about to slip on our glasses, and jump into the 3D evaluation of Ready Player One!

3D Fit Score: 5/5

Quite frankly, watching Ready Player One on a 2D screen is the best proof that this film needs to be seen in 3D. With the visuals already positioning themselves to be thrown at the camera, and a lot of the action and effects just begging for some third dimensional attention, this concept fits like a hand in a well crafted haptic feedback glove. If you can film a movie in such a manner that the 3D conversion is less a suggestion, and more an essential / demand, you've got the touch.

Planning & Effort Score: 4/5

Steven Spielberg and his 3D conversion team not only knew what they were doing on the conversion for Ready Player One, they purposely tweaked the visuals in ways that they felt conveyed the difference between the real world of Wade Watts and the world of the virtual OASIS. This attention to detail shows throughout the film's 3D presentation, but there's still one slight problem and it's the brightness factor of the picture. Other than that though, this is damned impressive work.

Before the Window Score: 5/5

When it comes to objects being thrown off the screen, and into your face, Ready Player One is the most impressive 3D conversion I've seen this year. From the race for the Copper Key in the first act of the film, you're assured a level of eye-popping thrills that doesn't let up. Coins scattered to the winds, cars getting wrecked up, and even the debris from collisions fly out at the audience, and this level of detail remains throughout the rest of the film. By time the movie's over, you're almost hit by a mail truck, even more afraid of zombies, and have to resist grabbing a pen to sign a contract.

Beyond the Window Score: 5/5

The 3D experiences is only half encapsulated in the art of projecting the action into the audience. If you're gonna play the game, you need to show the folks in the seats that there's a world beyond the window as well, full of depth and obstacles. Thankfully, Ready Player One is just that type of movie, as there is boundless depth in the images shown on the screen. Between both the more subtle real world scenes, and the "deep 3D" that Steven Spielberg aimed for with the OASIS sequences, there's a lot of distance for the eyes to drink in with every frame. And the characters are properly spaced between each other, and their environments, with all aspects shown in living, breathing motion.

Brightness Score: 4/5

A consistent problem with 3D films has always been the brightness factor. With a pair of black / grey tinted glasses that automatically dim the picture in front of you, the brightness of the picture being shown needs to compensate such a dampening effect. Now part of this lies within the hands of the folks crafting the conversion of a film like Ready Player One, but part of it also lies in the theater management's hands. If their rig isn't properly maintained and/or calibrated between shifts from 2D to 3D features, this will play havoc with how a 3D film is shown. For the most part, the brightness on Ready Player One isn't horrific, as the colors of the OASIS shine bright and true. Still, there are select sequences that are so dark, they're a bit eye straining.

Glasses Off Score: 5/5

Should your eyes need a rest from the 3D action, and they will during Ready Player One's almost two and a half hour running time, you'll be able to take in the level of blur that the picture is displayed in. That blur is there in order to manipulate the 3D nature of the image you're watching, and usually the more there is, the more complex the effect is. And just as true as the fact that the 3D in Ready Player One is shown in various, complex shades of third dimensional magic, the blur that winds up on the screen is intricate and plentiful. Even better, it feels like this 3D conversion is designed to ease the viewer into total immersion, as the film starts with a more subtle degree of blur, only to scale into the level of blur that winds up overtaking the film's visuals by the end.

Audience Health Score: 4/5

With all of the action packed, eye-popping visuals that Ready Player One has in its cannon, one would think that there'd be a ton of jumpy visuals that mess with your eyes. That couldn't be further from the truth, as there are some insane panning shots in the OASIS, and even with the camera jumping in rapid succession from angle to angle, you don't lose a step with your senses. The only reason the audience health score gets a slight ding is the fact that since it's an almost two and a half hour movie, and the brightness factor isn't where it should be, your eyes get a little bit strained over time.

Ready Player One

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Steven Spielberg has shown time and time again that he understands filmmaking to a tee. The 3D conversion to Ready Player One is a prime example of just that, as the 3D presentation isn't merely something implemented to squirrel away revenue. Quite honestly, this is a film that's more exciting when you can see it in a fully immersive medium, such as the IMAX 3D presentation that's in theaters now. Besides the brightness factor dampening the experience ever so slightly, I can't recommend this IMAX 3D experience any higher. If you're going to see Ready Player One, you need to see it in 3D - no questions asked. (And if you're not quite sold just yet, take a look at Spielberg and his crew explain how 3D fits into the Ready Player One experience!)

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Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.