Told you it was geared for a younger audience. That means it has to keep to that "Avatar" IQ level. It's a very sad omen for the future with everyone so addicted to VR.
Nah. I mean the target audience has about that level of emotional maturity, and the source material is maybe cracks into the kind of quality you'd expect from the YA genre, but the target audience for it was in their 30s. Specifically it's geared to the "I am self defined purely by the commercial media I consume" capital G Gamers subset.
The whole "and now we fellate saturday morning cartoons" and other such sections of the film aren't ironic or cheeky references, but dead serious. The movie is better about it than the book, but it's kinda a testament to spilberge that he managed to turn out something watchable.
I devoured each of what Halliday referred to as “The Holy Trilogies”: Star Wars (original and prequel trilogies, in that order), Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Mad Max, Back to the Future, and Indiana Jones. (Halliday once said that he preferred to pretend the other Indiana Jones films, from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull onward, didn’t exist. I tended to agree.) I also absorbed the complete filmographies of each of his favorite directors. Cameron, Gilliam, Jackson, Fincher, Kubrick, Lucas, Spielberg, Del Toro, Tarantino. And, of course, Kevin Smith. I spent three months studying every John Hughes teen movie and memorizing all the key lines of dialogue. Only the meek get pinched. The bold survive. You could say I covered all the bases. I studied Monty Python. And not just Holy Grail, either. Every single one of their films, albums, and books, and every episode of the original BBC series. (Including those two “lost” episodes they did for German television.) I wasn’t going to cut any corners.
That's from the book. That goes on for 10 pages. It's not the only time something like that happens.