Ender's Game

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Re: Ender's Game

Postby IrisBrandybuck » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:41 am

I haven't seen it yet, so I'll ask those of you who have: what if they had made two films, allowing them to build the emotional storyline as well? Would it have worked?
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby Elmtree » Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:14 pm

No, I don't think two films would have worked. I'm not sure where they could have broken them and still had a story for each film. I think they tried to keep as many events in the story as they could, but in doing so they lost the heart of the story . I think the storytelling choices they made didn't work that well... they worked okay but you had a far shallower story that wasn't really about the Ender I read about in the books. I really didn't care that much about anyone in this story.

Don't get me wrong. It was an okay movie. But it had been a great novel.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby eliana » Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:57 pm

i think it works as a movie if you've never read the book, or don't care that much about it. it was well done and visually stunning. but, if anything, i think graff comes off as the one with the most depth. don't get me wrong, he had plenty in the books. i love the character, but the story is supposed to be about ender, and i think the movie really is more about the war than anything else. they took a character driven book and made it a plot driven movie.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby hamlet » Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:00 am

I just saw it yesterday as part of a company . . . .thing.

Anyway, having read the book many years ago, I will defer how it compares since I can barely remember the details of everything in the novel.

I will say that, overall, it was a very good movie, all things considered. It was balanced enough that it appealed to the young adult audience that it was originally aimed at and fits well, I presume, with the Burning Games crowd. It was accessible to a young audience I'm saying. At the same time, though, they've managed to infuse it with enough depth that grown ups aren't going to feel like they're sitting through a kid's movie and just suffering. It spends some time talking about subjects that are fairly in depth and approaching "grown up think" so to speak. I like that balance. It means that those kids who like it today are likely to find new value in it again 10 years down the road, which I think is important.

I do think, though, that it was a little too fast paced. It struggled in that regard, moving from one scene to the next as fast as possible to fit everything in, and in the end, it might have benefited from being a two part movie, or even a mini-series instead. It would have allowed the movie makers to spread things out a bit to let them have maximum impact on the audience rather than just ushering them along to the next cool scene.

The special effects were fantastic. I'd love to know how they managed the weightless scenes. They were done flawlessly compared to so many that I've seen that struggled. The tech was believable looking, which is always nice. Didn't look, like the new Star Trek, like they raided an Apple store, but looked like it followed on from tech trends today.

Don't remember if it was in the first novel, or not, but I would have liked to have the explanation for why the Formics/bundle invaded in the first place (I know, water) but then backed way off and never returned. As I recall, there was an actual explanation for it and it was quite an interesting one all things considered. Just don't remember if it was in the first novel, or if it waited for a couple later.

All in all, a very good movie for what it is. Definitely worth the $10 to go see it in 2D.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby Minardil » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:18 am

As I recall, the Formics - who were essentially a single hive mind - did not understand that Humans were individuals, so they falsely assigned blame to ALL Humans for a human incursion on the Formic homeworld, and then hey underestimated the ferocity of the Human counter-attack. Or something like that, it was a long time age for me too.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby portia » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:44 am

Yes, that Min is essentially correct. The Formics didn't understand that whatever set them off was not a race-wide attack, and then they realized they didn't need to exterminate us. The Irony is that WE needed to exterminate them. We did miss out on what was going on with Ender, but I suppose that the movie works without it.
I think that two movies would have been too many, even as a mini-series, Another 45 minutes might have done it.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby hamlet » Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:27 am

portia wrote:Yes, that Min is essentially correct. The Formics didn't understand that whatever set them off was not a race-wide attack, and then they realized they didn't need to exterminate us. The Irony is that WE needed to exterminate them. We did miss out on what was going on with Ender, but I suppose that the movie works without it.
I think that two movies would have been too many, even as a mini-series, Another 45 minutes might have done it.


Maybe 45 minutes would have done it. Dunno.

That sounds about right.

It actually reminds me of one of my absolute favorite sci-fi stories from long ago that I can't actually remember the name or author of. Essentially, astronauts land on a planet with a fancy sort of . . . "agression meter" or something to that effect. They scan a few native life forms and find that they are quite agressive, but since they're predators, so so. Then they scan a badger or wolverine and it pegs their meter and they begin thinking that maybe this planet isn't the one for them. Then they scan one last life form and immediately beat feet when their meter practically blows up. The last creature was a human just walking down the road.

Don't know when it was, or who it was, but that story has always made me smile.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby portia » Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:14 pm

Yeah; that sounds like a Twilight Zone episode!
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby Frelga » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:28 pm

Saw it. Haven't read the book, and I have to say they did a very good job of making the movie accessible. I never had to wonder who was who and what their relationship was. Possibly too many close-ups on Ender's eyes, which I suspect replaced some internal monologue from the book. Even when my book-loving friends try to tell me, "Well, in the book, they actually..." I was always able to say, "Yeah, I got that."

The weightless scenes blew my mind so much that I did not even question until the next day that I saw actual weightlessness.

Emotionally, however, I did not connect. Possibly it was because Ender was so clever, he was sure to ace every challenge.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby IrisBrandybuck » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:22 am

Whereas in the book there is always a question, especially as things really start wearing on him. :)
Hopefully will get to see it soon myself.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby basil » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:28 pm

I saw it over the weekend, and notwithstanding the controversial baggage it's carrying these days, it was a good film with a solid moral message, viz., Niceness and Co-operation goes much further than Nastiness. The 9/11 theme is obvious.

I also saw Thor 2, and I have to say, I'm astounded at the quality of the visuals and artwork in these movies.

Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley did good turns as the 2 antagonists in the shadows.

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Re: Ender's Game

Postby hamlet » Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:32 am

Actually, the 9-11 theme is largely coincidental since the book had the same setup decades before that event.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby portia » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:37 am

Coincidental is one word, but it is more general: What do you do if you are attacked by an enemy that you do not understand?(and who probably does not understand you?)
Ender seems to feel, at least in the book and it is hinted at in the movie, that you should try to communicate and understand. But that is somewhat wishful thinking because how do we know if communication would have been pssible with the "Formicks?"
(If we cannot understand what Dolphins and Elephants are trying to tell us, how can we communicate with extraterrestrials?)
9-11 related issues are similar as we have enormous differences of point of view with Islamists.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby earendil81 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:29 pm

It is interesting for me to read after seeing the movie a couple of weeks ago on BluRay. I have never read the book so I was not comparing anything. I enjoyed it and to be honest I had to watch it twice to realize all of what was going on. I'm usually quick at picking up things but on that one there were a couple of things I had not seen.

The one thing that left me wondering to be fair was that it seems that during the first formic "attack" they have our current war machines (particularly jets) and then less than what? Twenty years later? they are in space with far more advanced technology.

I tend to be extremely open emotionally to movies (or books or live theatre really :P ) and I found that though there might be room for improvement in term of connecting emotionally, I did.
I found that the rendition of the struggle between cleverness and emotion that many a clever teenager goes through is good enough. The brain's maturity not always matching the heart's or that struggle to make it fit. And the little ways to rebel against authority - through a game at first and then by making the conscious decision of not going back. It was interesting for me. Not perfect but convincing enough for 2h movie ;) .
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby portia » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:30 pm

I think the "jump" in tecnology was the result of a sort of panic that "we" were almost destroyed the first time.

I suggest reading the story. It isn't very long, but (btw it is a good example of a book being able to tell a story faster and more completely than a movie) it covers more of Ender's thoughts and shows more of how he worked his way through the issues in Battle School. I felt it showed how Battle School conditioned him to think about battles a certain way, and suppressed other thoughts that only came to him, later.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby BagginsGirl » Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:58 pm

I recently watched this movie, and I kinda have a few questions I was wondering if someone could answer? I haven't read the book, so that may be why I'm confused. But anyway, at the beginning of the movie while his family is eating the TV shows that the Formics are attacking, but then when he's on that planet training, he's told they haven't attacked in 50 years. Why were they being told they were being attacked, if they weren't ? Also were all of the 'games' they 'played' were Ender controlled the battle actually battles or was it just the last one? And my final question: is the movie based on a book series or just one book. Sorry about all the questions, thanks for any answers:)
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby IrisBrandybuck » Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:30 pm

Okay, B-girl, I can answer some of those questions. :)

First, the movie is based on the first book in a series. There are actually two series based in the Ender world, one that follows Ender and one that follows his friend, Bean. I've only read Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, but Wikipedia has a lot of information on the books.

I haven't seen the movie, but in the books, when Ender is moved to the asteroid with his friends, that is when the real battles begin. He just doesn't know it until the very end...none of them do. They all think they'll be sent to the Formic planet to fight, not realizing that the ships are already there, they're just controlling/commanding.

I can't answer your first question very well, having not seen the movie. I assume, and this is just an assumption, that the people of Earth have been told for decades that the Formics are returning and will attack again. It's propaganda. This is visited in the book...they've built their entire lives around the idea that they will be attacked, it's why they do everything they do, including testing children for battle school and letting them leave at such young ages, etc.

Seriously, get the book. Even if you go to the library and borrow it.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby portia » Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:28 am

I think that the repetition of the battle scenes on TV were part of the conditioning that people were being put through to keep their enthusiam up. Contrary to what was actually true, the government was presenting the "Formics" as a continuing threat.

Ender's repeated battles in Battle School were to test his inginuity and willingness to find tactics outside the box. He was also being taught to not treat the results of his battles as "real." Only when they went to the asteriod were they being prepared for real battle. I was impressed by the way the real consequences of Ender's fights with Bonzo and the other bully in school were concealed from him. He was not allowed to understand that his fights had real consequences, because--I think-- they didn't want to stir up his conscience. That way, he could go into the real battle without attacks of conscience about the consequences (if he realized that he'd killed Bonzo and the other guy, it might have had an effect on his behavior in the real battle).

Yes, read the book. The movie is a pale shadow.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby BagginsGirl » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:59 pm

Ohhh, okay that makes more sense now.
Thanks Iris! :)
Thanks Portia! :)
Sounds like I should really read the book.I'll check it out on Wikipedia too. I actually hadn't ever heard of the book until the movie came out. Thanks again!
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby IrisBrandybuck » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:23 pm

Remember, Wikipedia only gives you an overview...the book is fantastic!
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby portia » Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:32 pm

Yes; one result of raising a science fiction fan is that he gives good ideas of what to read to his out of date mother.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby Spirit_of_the_Willow » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:04 pm

A bit late, but I had to ask: Did no one else find Bonzo's casting ridiculous? I don't know how he's supposed to seem like he was a genuine threat to Ender, when he's three inches shorter than Ender is. :roll:

Overall I found the movie mediocre. It lacked the depth of the book, which I was kind of unavoidable since so much of the depth is from Ender's internal struggles. As someone said, they took a character driven story, and made it plot (and special effects) driven. Some of the visuals were very stunning.

Eari wrote:The one thing that left me wondering to be fair was that it seems that during the first formic "attack" they have our current war machines (particularly jets) and then less than what? Twenty years later? they are in space with far more advanced technology.


The "jump" in technology came in large part because they studied what was left after they defeated the first two Formic invasions. They used the Formic technology to advance their own, and then improved further on that.

And definitely everyone should read the book. Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow at least. The rest I enjoyed, but none of them have the same impact as those two.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby IrisBrandybuck » Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:47 am

I rather liked the movie, keeping in mind of course that they were going to cut a lot. But I didn't like the ending...just going out and finding the queen after the battle. :roll: But I guess the other book ending just took too long for them.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby portia » Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:22 am

Yes, found the Bonzo casting wrong. The actor needed to be bigger and more of a threat. It lacked the depth of the book, and I do not know if that was inevitable, or not. The movie could have been longer, but whether that would have helped is unclear. to me.
I loved the graphics of the battle rooms, etc, but that is not the appeal of the book.
I hope non-readers of the book will now read it.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby Gungnir » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:27 pm

I finally watched it about two weeks ago. I thought it was pretty good and far closer to the book than I had been expecting based on comments here and in other places. Recommended.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby GoodSam » Tue May 27, 2014 8:30 pm

Yes, the Bonzo casting was ridiculous. The whole point of it was that Ender had to be brutal to beat Bonzo. That didn't come through with a tiny Bonzo.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby earendil81 » Thu May 29, 2014 8:38 pm

And yet many would tell you that more often than not the most dangerous guy is not the big one but rather the small one who has a lot to prove ;) ;) (to himself or others I couldn't know :P )
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby ercaerca » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:49 pm

To be true this is a movie for kids not for adults. This is a cartoon movie where kids are given extra ordinary importance in place of professional adults. Avoid
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby IrisBrandybuck » Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:19 pm

I'm willing to guess you haven't read the book then.
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Re: Ender's Game

Postby portia » Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:19 pm

I agree; this is not a book for kids.
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