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Ender's Game [DVD + Digital]
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Yes, I'm a fan.
So, as you can imagine, I have been looking forward to an Ender's Game movie long before I ever thought it might happen. For me, it had the potential to be the best science fiction movie ever made, if done well. After assembling a strong cast, my expectations could not have been higher as I sat down to watch the IMAX version today.
The basic premise is that an alien race, known as the Formics or Buggers, invaded Earth fifty years ago. The invading fleet was defeated, but another attack is expected. In order to be ready to face a species that learns from its mistakes, the International Fleet has come up with a strategy: A program was established to observe the behavior of young children, hoping that the best young geniuses of the time would be able to become the top military strategists by the time they were needed. Ender Wiggin was chosen as one of the trainees.
The movie deviates considerably from the book, but it's necessary. I am not here to tell you why the book is better, I'm here to tell you whether Ender's Game works as a movie. However, I must explain some of the key differences. In the book, Ender begins his training at the age of six, while all of the trainees in the movie appear to be 15 or older. I understand that it would be impossible to find dozens of 6-year-old actors capable of carrying this story.Read more ›
Looking at Ender's Game as a movie and not just as an adaptation of the book, it actually holds up very well. Asa Butterfield manages to subtly portray both a ruthless and compassionate side to Ender. The rest of the actors generally do a good job bringing their characters to life, which is no small accomplishment give that most of them are kids. Even though the kids are older than their counterparts in the book, they still look, feel, and act like kids. Ender's voice even cracks a bit, like a kid going through puberty. While Ender and Petra do have quite a few scenes together, I was very pleased to see that Hollywood didn't try to insert romance into their relationship.
Gavin Hood, the director, obviously realized that he wasn't filming the book and the script makes some significant but smart changes. The arc of Ender's siblings - Peter and Valentine - is drastically curtailed (even in the book, it was only peripheral to the main plot). More importantly, Ender's character arc isn't quite as exhaustive or exhausted as in the book. I appreciate that Hood implicitly acknowledges that movie Ender hasn't been at Battle School nearly as long as book Ender and the movie doesn't try to cheat and shortcut that experience.Read more ›
An alien species called the 'formics' or in the book, 'the buggers', are threatening earth's existence and desperate moves are needed to be made. “Ender's Game” does have elements that are similar to two films in my opinion, but seeing as though the book came out in 1985, those films appear to be inspired by the book. Those movies are “Full Metal Jacket” (1987) and “Starship Troopers” (1997). The film focuses on the training of military recruits preparing for war against bugs and it makes a broad statement about war and its effect on the human condition.
This is easily the best thing that Harrison Ford has done in years and his performance is only bolstered by the performance of sort of unknown Asa Butterfield. Butterfield encompasses everything needed to portray a complex and challenging role. Maybe his previous performance in a rare gem like “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” prepared him for such an emotional and deep character. Much is placed upon the shoulders of the teenager Ender Wiggin and Butterfield was flawless at bringing you into an inner-turmoil that many times can only be described in a book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game is still as relevant now as it was when he wrote the original book. This is one of my favorite movies. Read morePublished 1 day ago by D. Rickard
Too unexpected of an end.
You expect the continue but there is none.
A great sci-fi story. Perfect cast, very well done acting, editing, and just about everything else. So sad this movie got caught up in political incorrectness unrelated to the... Read morePublished 8 days ago by vich