Rand’s review published on Letterboxd:
Thank God I had rock bottom expectations for this movie, for I was staggeringly surprised by how enjoyable it was. I feared it was going to be reaching so hard for nostalgia by being just an endless string of references with a super weak and super dumb plot holding them all together. The story is stupid, but it is totally nostalgic, and not solely in its references, but in the feel and tone of the film. Props to Ernest Cline for getting Steven Spielberg to basically make a movie about himself, it oddly worked in my opinion. I really think this movie was not taking itself seriously, and I genuinely had a ton of fun. Very glad I saw it in the theater also.
I think everyone giving this movie bad reviews feels like it is trying too hard, where as I kind of felt like it wasn't trying at all to be anything other than what it was: a feel good, teens-take-on-the-bad-guys, movie. I don't know, I could be totally wrong, but hey, this perspective allowed me to wholly enjoy this movie, so who cares.
(HINT: Please see The Shining before you watch this movie, if even between fingers over your eyes, or you aren't going to find about 1/5 of the movie as amazing and funny as it truly is)