It lived up to my expectations and more so. Last week I reviewed the book; yesterday, when I saw the movie, I was pleasantly surprised to see how closely Steven Spielberg’s vision matched my own. That’s really a tribute to Ernest Cline, whose description in nothing but words managed to create a world that I could visualize “correctly” — that is, as he intended. That’s a rare occurrence. I’m sure it helped that Cline was co-author of the screenplay, but that doesn’t account for the visuals. And I’m sure it helped that I saw the Imax 3-D version, but still it continues to surprise me.
Being a realist, I recognize that of course at least 75% of the novel had to be cut in order to make a movie of reasonable length. But they did a good job of that, even though anyone could quibble with their choices. I’m not going to bother listing what was cut, partly because it would be a spoiler and partly because I’m sure it has already been done. I’m a little puzzled at some of the unnecessary changes (some of which were jarring), and the battle scenes were unnecessarily long (thereby increasing the need to cut important scenes), and the ending was unnecessarily peculiar (though they had to foreshadow the sequel) — but all in all the positives vastly outnumbered the negatives, despite all those “unnecessary” things.
I didn’t spot any of the Easter eggs that ILM put in there (according to Spielberg), so maybe I’ll just have to see it again.