Friday, April 12, 2024

After 2 False Starts, Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” Premieres at SXSW AND Gets Standing Ovation– Director: Greatest Anxiety Attack I’ve Ever Had”


UPDATE out of SXSW: Erik Davis of Fandango, whose opinion I trust, says: ” #ReadyPlayerOne is classic Steven Spielberg. It’s got the references, the ferocious effects and the great ‘80s soundtrack, sure, but also the charm, the heart, the humor and a fantastic Alan Silvestri score. I loved it & so did this #SXSW crowd. Be excited for it!…I don’t know if I have ever seen a crowd cheer on a movie the way they just cheered on . We haven’t seen this Spielberg in a long time – it’s just pure entertainment and it’s hard not to watch it without a dorky smile on your face the whole time”

According to reports, Spielberg appeared at end of movie and got a standing ovation. Spielberg told the audience: “This is perhaps the greatest anxiety attack I’ve ever had.”


Twice Sunday night, Steven Spielberg’s “Ready Player One” had to be stopped during its premiere screening at the South by Southwest Festival.

The sound went out each time it started, and in the same place.

Warner Bros. is counting on “Ready Player One,” as is Spielberg. His last sci-fi kind of film, “The BFG,” was very good but flopped at the box office. Since then, he’s given us “The Post,” the biggest box office movie of Christmas’s Oscar films. But it wasn’t the smash I — and others– predicted.

“Ready Player One” opens  March 29th. Now that the screening is underway, we’ll have audience reaction when it ends.

PS the whole back and forth on Film Twitter about “Ready Player One.” The whole gang there simultaneously wants this movie to fail and at the same time they want to blame the naysayers for making it fail. I can’t imagine what this must sound like to Spielberg, the man who made “Jaws,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Jurassic Park, “ET,” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” He must think, Have these people lost their minds?

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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