Ep. 04-12: Ready Player One (2018)

In 2045, the earth is in chaos and collapse, but people find salvation in the OASIS: an expansive virtual reality universe created by eccentric James Halliday. When Halliday dies, he wills his immense fortune to the first person to discover a digital Easter egg that’s hidden somewhere in the OASIS. Wade Watts joins the contest and becomes an unlikely hero in a reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical world of mystery, discovery, and danger.

Episode 12 Ready Player One

We’re back in Spielberg country… in a virtual reality grab-bag of pop and video game culture. Join us as we discuss this ambitious, yet flawed, project from the legendary director, its cast, script, and state-of-the-art special effects. Listen as Johnny Has the Keys enters the OASIS, where infinite references are housed… pop culture, movies, games, and all—an overwhelming world where character development is often sacrificed for spectacle.

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Note: Ready Player One references an insane amount of pop culture. Therefore, any keys below are more thematic to the film itself, as opposed to an infinite list of cute cameos!

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Ep. 04-08: Dune (1984)

It is the year 10191, and a spice called melange is the most valuable substance known in the universe. Its only source is the desert planet. Arrakis. When a royal decree awards Arrakis to Duke Leto Atreides and ousts his bitter enemies, the Harkonnens, the Harkonnens violently seize back their fiefdom. It is up to Paul (Kyle MacLachlan), Leto’s son, to lead the Fremen (natives of Arrakis), in a battle for control of the planet and its spice.

Episode 08

Based on Frank Herbert’s epic novel, David Lynch’s vision of Dune (1984), is a mess. Terribly truncated from its source material, the film would have been better off as a series or, perhaps, multiple films than the two-hour mish-mash of bizarre visuals and ridiculous overdubs present in this version. Join us as we discuss the journey from the novel to the screen, its talented but terrible choice of directors, and also briefly touch on the current version (in production). Listen as Johnny Has the Keys journeys to a desert planet with a great cast, beautiful costumes, lovely scenery, and not much else going for it.

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Ep. 04-06: Serenity (2005)

Picking up where the television series Firefly (2002) left off, a group of rebels travels the outskirts of space aboard their ship Serenity, outside the reach of the Alliance, a sinister regime that controls most of the universe. After the crew takes in Simon (Sean Maher) and his psychic sister, River (Summer Glau), whom he recently rescued from Alliance forces, they are pursued by the Operative (Chiwetel Ejiofor), an Alliance agent who will stop at nothing to find them.

Episode 6 Serenity

Space, where the rare sci-fi television series is sometimes revived into a successful movie franchise. And though Serenity (2005) will probably spawn no further sequels, it is a substantial and enjoyable revisit in the world of a show that was canceled too soon. Join us as we discuss the series’s roots, its talented showrunner Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1997-2003), the cast, and their noble attempt at closure. Listen, as Johnny Has the Keys boards Serenity, on what begins as a rollicking pirate adventure but quickly evolves into a mission of humanity’s endurance against the evil alliance.

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Ep. 03-37: Galaxy Quest (1999)

The actors of an old sci-fi TV show—now barely scraping a living through re-runs and sci-fi conventions—suddenly find themselves mistaken by an alien race for their TV counterparts, believing that the cast’s heroics are historical documentation of real-life adventures. The aliens turn to the celebrities for help in their quest to overcome an oppressive regime in their solar system.

Episode 37 Galaxy Quest

Welcome to the fifth of six genre hybrids (comedy) we’re covering this year. Galaxy Quest (1999) is what many fans refer to as an unofficial Star Trek film… and rightly so. Aside from the laughs, this film touches on many of the elements that made Trek successful including production details, the actors themselves, and behind-the-scenes gossip. Join us as we discuss these many attributes and the obvious love and respect that went into this homage to the granddaddy of all space operas. Listen, as Johnny Has the Keys blasts into space with a novice crew, going where no man has gone before in order to discover that which makes us human.

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