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  • Ender's Game

    Can't wait to see this one tomorrow night. I only read about half the book (had other books to get to first), but I expect it to be good, and going to see it in IMAX 3D! Will review asap.
    -Chuck

  • #2
    Oh, man, Chuck, if you only read half the book, the big plot devices are still a mystery to you, then! That's cool. I just naturally assume the movie will retain the same plot turns, as they are some of the things that make the story so powerful.

    I'm really excited for this too, as it's one of my 3 to 5 all-time favorite books. They darn well better do a good job of it, though. I don't want to see such a masterpiece get screwed up on film. I'm going to wait a bit, though, and from reviews see if it's good enough for me to go see it in the theater. There's a good chance I'll wait until Blu Ray.
    CHRIS

    Well, we're safe for now. Thank goodness we're in a bowling alley.
    - Pleasantville

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    • #3
      I am pretty excited about this movie. I've read 11 out of 13 of the novels in this series. Earth Awakens and Shadows Alive aren't released yet.

      I've read them all several times and listened to all of them multiple times too on audible... I'm quite enthralled with this series and the characters. I have my expectations relatively low, but am hoping it's better than that. My favorite character in the younger years of Ender is Bean. I can't wait to see how they translated his character to the script, and how much background they change/reveal about him.

      I'm disappointed the bugger starships are as different as they are, and the weapons are lightning like instead of how they are in the prequel novels, but that's cosmetic and for audience effect.

      Here's to hoping!

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      • #4
        Wow, I had no idea there were so many. I've read maybe 7 in the Ender series. I would say none as good as the first, but some of them did blow my mind, though. Card is an awesome author.

        I've heard that this movie does incorporate elements of both "Ender's Game" and "Ender's Shadow", including Bean.

        So it's the day prior to release right now, and Rotten Tomatoes is sitting at 62% on this one. Not too good. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/enders-game/
        CHRIS

        Well, we're safe for now. Thank goodness we're in a bowling alley.
        - Pleasantville

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        • #5
          Yeah, Card originally wrote the script to mesh Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow into one to resolve the issue of inner dialogue. They stripped a lot of it away though, and we're left with what is current in theaters. I will be seeing it in the upcoming weeks.

          As for favorite one in the series? I think they're all gems in their different ways, but I'd narrow it to Earth Unaware and Speaker for the Dead.

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          • #6
            Saw this last night. Was a bit disappointed to find out they didn't even shoot the movie in 3D, but no biggie. Saw it on IMAX and thought it was awesome! From what I did read of the book, they did leave some stuff out: Like Peter's political conquesting, and actually most of Peter's role in the entire story). I did really enjoy it though, thought the actors did a great job, and enjoyed learning the rest of the storyline! Definitely two :T :T from me!
            -Chuck

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            • #7
              Good to hear, Chuck. I'm looking around, and finding mixed reviews.
              CHRIS

              Well, we're safe for now. Thank goodness we're in a bowling alley.
              - Pleasantville

              Comment


              • #8
                While it was entertaining, it was more or less seeing the entire story, from a distance, in dim light and a medium density fog.

                Major issues changed or left out of movie storyline: geopolitical issues (Demosthenes, Locke), Bonzo (4' tall, not spanish or handsome child), Bernard (supposed to be French), army sizes, combining significant battles in battle school, the gameroom in the first few days of battle school, command school 3 month travel, Eros an asteroid for Ender, he finds the cacoon on his first colony at Shakespeare, he leaves with Valentine at the end, no mention of Ender's Jeesh whatsoever, etc..

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                • #9
                  Inside every man there’s a boy. The older you get the harder it becomes to rediscover that boy. This film helps to achieve that rediscovery. It kept me engaged for most of its 2 hour duration.

                  The plot is straightforward. An alien race called the Formics has attacked Earth and killed millions of people. The brave people of Earth have successfully fought them off but now it’s time to stop the Formics from attacking us again by going after them on their own planet. Has anyone spotted the parallel with Afghanistan / Iraq here? That made me a bit uncomfortable but it made a pleasant change from the Israeli parallel that pervades Hollywood (a small group of brave attractive people surrounded by hordes of cowardly ugly people intent on inflicting violence on them). ‘Nuf said.

                  Most of the film involves the training undertaken by young Ender and his fellow recruits before they go into battle against the Formics. This means that most of the combat is simulated and no-one gets hurt, which makes it a very family friendly movie. The actual fighting is over very quickly, which will disappoint some viewers, but it didn’t worry me. The fighting phase involved similar computer graphics to the training phase, which were excellent in both phases to my untrained eye.

                  So overall I have to give this film the thumbs up. There were numerous occasions where I wished I was the script consultant because it would have been easy to make small improvements that greatly improved the film (a big part of my job involves improving other people’s writing so I just can’t help myself) but I don’t want to nitpick.

                  My advice is to pretend that you are between 11 and 14 years old when you watch it because it will make it that much more enjoyable.

                  Nigel.

                  PS I tried to avoid spoilers in the above.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bigburner View Post
                    PS I tried to avoid spoilers in the above.
                    ...and you did a good job of it.

                    I had not read any of the books and wasn't sure I had any interest in seeing the film, but you changed my mind, Nigel. I'll rent it when it comes to video.
                    My Homepage!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bigburner View Post
                      Has anyone spotted the parallel with Afghanistan / Iraq here?
                      Not sure if you're just noting a coincidence or actually think that was purposefully a theme behind the story line, but the book was first published in 1985. So it's definitely not the latter.
                      -Chuck

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                      • #12
                        Card's work definitely makes an allegory for how one chooses to view an enemy during war in general, so that might be what raised that thought.
                        CHRIS

                        Well, we're safe for now. Thank goodness we're in a bowling alley.
                        - Pleasantville

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by impala454 View Post
                          Not sure if you're just noting a coincidence or actually think that was purposefully a theme behind the story line, but the book was first published in 1985. So it's definitely not the latter.
                          A new slant on an old theme perhaps?

                          "The great defence against the air menace is to attack the enemy's aircraft as near as possible to their point of departure."

                          ~ Winston Churchill

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                          • #14
                            I think Chris nailed it. It's the theme for pretty much any war, especially when the attackers get defeated. You follow them home and make sure they don't attack you again. I agree with that theme wholeheartedly.

                            The Iraq / Afghanistan thing is us following them home not only to make sure they don't attack us again, but to try and "improve" them and democratize them and such, which I completely disagree with.
                            -Chuck

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                            • #15
                              A similar theme existed in Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" masterpiece as well, which was captured very well in the Starship Trooper film too. By dehumanizing the enemy, (in both stories, they are even depicted as "bugs") it becomes more palatable to kill or even try to wipe them out. Without giving away spoilers, Card even explores this theme further in the Ender saga sequels, which are highly recommended. Goes to the basic morality and ugliness of the nature of war.

                              Ender's Game is on Dish Network's PPV next week, and I plan on watching.
                              CHRIS

                              Well, we're safe for now. Thank goodness we're in a bowling alley.
                              - Pleasantville

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                              • #16
                                Just finished downloading the bluray from the Kaleidescape store. Plan on watching it this weekend.

                                Kevin D.

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                                • #17
                                  Watched it on PPV. (Fracking Dish Network made it so frustrating, though) Very good, but not nearly as good as I hoped. As I've said before, this story is a masterpiece and one of my top 3 or so books, so they needed to do it right. Therefore, I'll nitpick some.

                                  I liked that it was generally true to the book in both story and themes. But I don't quite understand why Card and the writers decided to "embellish" the film with Bean stuff, and especially why, at the end of the film, they started incorporating both plot and themes from the Ender book sequels. As it was, they had to chop out a lot of back story of Ender, Peter, and more, and as noted, combine parts of the story. If you're cutting it down for time, why would you "fluff up" the film with extra stuff from other stories, unless those things were really needed to make a complete film? IMHO, I think adding those things blunted the power and theme of the original "Ender's Game" story. Yes, the exploration of "Xenocide" and Ender's eventual regret are wonderful and powerful themes in the sequel stories. But the original Ender's game saves those themes for later. Don't forget that the Formic War is set up (again, much like Starship Troopers) as the ultimate extreme of TOTAL WAR. This is defined as two warring factions, where each have total dedication of every aspect of society, towards the singular purpose of complete eradication of the other party. Here on Earth, we have not seen anything approaching this on a grand scale since maybe the dark threat of the Cold War up to the mid 80's, and not seen in active massive war since 60 years ago in WWII. (this is not intended to diminish attempted genocides like we've seen in Rwanda and Bosnia, however) But I think many world societies (especially first world in the West) have wrongly developed a perception of war as being a sterile, segmented entity with limited impact on the rest of a nation. (or the surrounding world) We live our lives at home, greatly unaware of combat going on overseas except for images on television that may have little more impact to some than last week's episode of Law and Order. We complain about the economy, our wardrobe, and what Justin Bieber did last night, and occasionally armchair quarterback how soldiers and leaders fight a war that we most of the time pay little attention to. We have come to expect that any war will be fought with zero civilian and infrastructure impact, surgically carving out the ubiquitous "bad guys" with remote weaponry. If a war goes more than a few months, we pompously conclude that those in charge are inept--why would any conflict take so long? Then we neatly wrap things up with negotiation and diplomacy, and everything is hunky dory. Unfortunately, the true nature of war just doesn't work like that. It's brutal, horrific, ugly, and dirty.

                                  How quickly we forget even the reality of 9/11 on our own soil!

                                  Back to the movie plot, based in TOTAL WAR. The Formics came to Earth to ruthlessly, completely, without hesitation or consideration, wipe out humanity. The Formics as a species were 100% dedicated to the extermination of humanity. They would have succeeded if not for Mazer Rackham. Earth had no choice. Either roll over and die, or mobilize the complete entirety of humanity to resist, and eradicate the Formics in order to survive. There was no diplomacy options. No possibility of "sanctions" or Nazi-appeasement. Try to comprehend this as reality. So, after learning he just blew up all the Formics for real, for Ender to INSTANTLY pivot to "we didn't need to kill them! We could have tried to communicate!" and then the movie shift right to a conclusion of new developments of Formic telepathy and desire for peace, I think got away from the strong impactful theme of the book, and introspective exploration of the sequels. To me, it felt like Card was trying to be apologetic for presenting the event of Xenocide in the story to begin with. What if Bill Pullman, at the end of "Independence Day", had instantly said, "we didn't need to kill the Aliens! We could have talked to them! We wiped them out--maybe we could have saved some!"

                                  I'm sure I'll think of more. I thought the big climax plot device was foreshadowed too much in the film, particularly by specific scenes, and should have been left as much a strong surprise as in the book. In fact, I think it should have been set up even more fully. The book emphasizes how Ender first sees the final battle scenario, and sees how few his ships are, and how old. How he is suddenly just so tired of playing this "game". I also question how the pilots are supposedly drones, removing the human cost of these Ender attacks that end up being real, making it even more horrific. And immediately, when the war is won, the book talks about how the leadership behind Ender break out in cheers and celebration, which confuses him since he doesn't yet understand the truth. Yet in the film, the leaders react almost devoid of emotion as humanity is saved and their lifetime of desperate survival struggle ends. Bean should have been left a character in the background, maybe present on screen, but not named until the end of the film, foreshadowing his own powerful story yet to be told. I thought the acting was surprisingly strong. (a weak actor for Ender would have ruined it) But overall, the power of OSC's masterful story still shines through, and creates a very good film as well. :4: out of :5:. But, I don't think it was powerful enough for me that I'll end up buying it, actually. I'll probably stick with the book on my shelf.
                                  CHRIS

                                  Well, we're safe for now. Thank goodness we're in a bowling alley.
                                  - Pleasantville

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Chris D View Post
                                    I think many world societies (especially first world in the West) have wrongly developed a perception of war as being a sterile, segmented entity with limited impact on the rest of a nation. (or the surrounding world) We live our lives at home, greatly unaware of combat going on overseas except for images on television that may have little more impact to some than last week's episode of Law and Order. We complain about the economy, our wardrobe, and what Justin Bieber did last night, and occasionally armchair quarterback how soldiers and leaders fight a war that we most of the time pay little attention to. We have come to expect that any war will be fought with zero civilian and infrastructure impact, surgically carving out the ubiquitous "bad guys" with remote weaponry. If a war goes more than a few months, we pompously conclude that those in charge are inept--why would any conflict take so long? Then we neatly wrap things up with negotiation and diplomacy, and everything is hunky dory.
                                    Holy moly, that's not a nitpick Chris, that's a beautifully summarised, sad but true indictment of our Western society.

                                    I'll give you a real nitpick. Mazer Rackham is supposed to be a Maori i.e. a native of my country New Zealand. He has a South African accent. They are our sworn enemies on the rugby field. I was offended.

                                    Now that's nitpicking!

                                    Nigel.

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                                    • #19
                                      I got a good laugh out of that one, Nigel.

                                      Totally unrelated, have you seen the Lego Movie? (there is a "realm" there called Middle Zealand, and I didn't quite understand the reference. Perhaps because "Middle Earth" of LOTR was filmed there?)
                                      Last edited by Chris D; 17 February 2014, 15:42 Monday.
                                      CHRIS

                                      Well, we're safe for now. Thank goodness we're in a bowling alley.
                                      - Pleasantville

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Chris D View Post
                                        Totally unrelated, have you seen the Lego Movie? (there is a "realm" there called Middle Zealand, and I didn't quite understand the reference. Perhaps because "Middle Earth" of LOTR was filmed there?)
                                        I haven't seen the Lego Movie Chris but Middle Zealand must surely be a reference to LOTR.

                                        Nigel.

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                                        • #21
                                          I read the novels decades ago, was surprised to hear a movie was being made, and have bought it, but saving it for having enough time to savor it.. that's not right now! I appreciate the spoiler protectors in the posts above, as I'd like to come to the movie with my somewhat foggy memory of the books, and then perhaps go back and read the books again...
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