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Author Topic: Ender's Game
D.W.
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quote:
A promising if risky start to what is intended to be a blockbuster franchise ...
________________________________________
Say what? Franchise?

They went out of their way to torpedo the possibility of continuing the storyline! They would have to torture Speaker for the dead even more than they did Ender’s Game to keep pushing it forward. I hope they can resist the temptation of dipping in for more cash. Wait a couple years and give it the mini-series treatment it deserves.

LoJ is right, the lack of exhaustion in Ender and his team as they were pushed to their limits was a mistake in my opinion. Bring back one of those old school montage scenes for it.! [Big Grin] Also the scene on the raft where Ender and Val talked about knowing an enemy to the point you love them right before you defeat them, while true to the book, was not in evidence at all in his behavior. We get one quick “Your father would be so proud.” To show how he understands Bonso? We got what regarding the buggers aside from remorse after?

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by LoverOfJoy:
Must be a different committee for this list because it includes Ender's Game. Interesting to note, this is a younger age bracket (9-14). It is also more recent (2013 vs 2012). Perhaps people pushed to get Ender off the no-no list.

That's great news. Hey LoJ! Glad to see you. We were just wondering if this news would bring back old timers.
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rightleft22
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Ender’s Game pokes at shadows that many don’t want to look at and the best way to do that is by preventing anyone from looking.

As I left the theater I wondered if the movie conveyed the tensions and hard questions that the book did and to which the reader has to find their own answers to. As I crossed the street I overheard a young boy, maybe nine, ask his father if Ender was good or bad and I smiled.

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Pete at Home
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I quoted you on facebook. Best review I've read so far.
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LoverOfJoy
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Even if they had a couple of scenes where Petra or others suggested how he respond to Bonzo and he corrected them by describing how Bonzo really sees things it would help to show he "gets" Bonzo and has compassion on him. Something similar with the formics ... maybe a conversation with Mazer that really conveys that he is starting to really understand them better than Mazer and may have some affinity to them. Maybe have his thinking like a bugger play out in at least one battle.

As for the exhaustion, a montage could help, but even just some make-up and good acting could help show that he's been feeling stretched to the limit for way too long. Instead they have him writing an email to Valentine that the games are getting more intense and they're working him hard. That verbal description doesn't convey much when he visibly looks fine.

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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
That's great news. Hey LoJ! Glad to see you. We were just wondering if this news would bring back old timers.

Hey Pete, thanks. It's good to see so many names I recognize and a few I'm less familiar with.
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Pete at Home
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Someone on my fb page said, of Ender's Game:

"Last night I ended up compairing it to The Shawshank Redemption in its comparatively innefectual ability to make us believe the character is emotionally evolving and that sizable chunks of time - possibly years - are passing by as we watch. A good sense of time would have helped this movie."

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scifibum
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I think they did a great job with the movie. The downsides/problems are real, but I can see and forgive reasons for all the trade-offs.

A few scattered, spoilery thoughts:

****spoilers****

I think once you make the choice to use 12-14 year old characters instead of younger kids, the slight sexual tension between Ender and Petra is an appropriate choice.

I was pleased they included the mind game (aka fantasy game). The connection with the formics doesn't make any sense otherwise. I loved how they handled the encounter with the Queen. It's hard to pretend I don't know how it goes from the books, but I felt like they gave neophytes a good chance to understand what was happening.

Butterfield was great.

I think Ford did a good job showing the weariness and determination of Graff, and the tension between his approach to his duty as he sees it and Anderson's approach to her own job was quite well done.

Nearly all of the flaws and problems come down to time or money constraints, I think. I think it's likely that a lot of the stuff that would have been better with some extra screen time was cut in editing (although I have no idea how much was due to hitting an arbitrary length budget and how much was due to test screenings and audience feedback) or was deemed too expensive (SFX mainly - I bet every battle room scene added a few percentage points to the budget).

Given that they certainly had significant budget limitations and only a few directors seem to get to put out 3+ hour theater releases, I don't have much basis left for criticizing the tradeoffs.

So I'm writing off all these things that I would have wanted:
* Much more time spent on the battle room and how Ender and Bean innovated and changed the rules, and how the game was continually rigged against them. I thought they got the message across decently considering it was extremely rushed.
* Much more time spent on the Giant's Drink and the subsequent events in "Fairyland" and the confusion this causes for the adults.
* More time spent on Ender analyzing past battles and trying to understand the formics.
* More time spent on how Ender was overstretched and exhausted by Command School "simulations".


Things that I think were flubbed:
* Post-final-battle reactions from adults. I think we were meant to see them conflicted over the human losses even though the war was won, but instead we got to see not much at all.
* The lunchroom scene where Ender is winning over everyone - OF COURSE Ender should have invited Barnard over. Sigh.
* Ender isn't supposed to be happy-triumphant after the last battle. He's supposed to be screw-you-adults triumphant.

So yeah. If they'd had twice as money to spend and could put out a 3+ hour result, I'm sure I'd have loved it even more. But they did a fantastic job considering constraints, IMO.

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Pete at Home
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In the book, there's initially this hole where Ender's getting popular and Bernard is on the outs, and I think the table scene is better to set up the later scene where Bernard is surprised that Ender is including him.

That like about Bernard's mother cheating, that's why he looks like a plumber, that was obviously put in by someone who had read the book and mastered the style of the battle school lingo. Nicely done.

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Pete at Home
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHZyzvLxEpU#t=171

One point that I think they should have addressed, even assuming the world view of the speaker:

That it is POSITIVE political action to REWARD A GOOD ACT, even if we judge the actor to have done wrong elsewhere.

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Pete at Home
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Forbes re repression of Enders Game http://www.forbes.com/sites/jerrybowyer/2013/11/13/the-repression-of-enders-game/
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D.W.
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quote:
He has supported this position publicly, though not vociferously.
quote:
Basically to be a Mormon is to be ban bait and Hollywood and Broadway have had no end of fun at the expense of Mormons.
I’m not sure either of these are particularly balanced opinions. The calls for boycotts are ridiculous but this makes it sound like his religion alone is the reason he was targeted rather than it being the force that influenced his stated and supported position which got him targeted.
quote:
Plus, almost none of that material is in the movie. That’s right, that religious stuff is censored out of the film.
While his take on the symbolism was very interesting, and I admit I hadn’t picked up on all of it on my many readings, to make it sound like this was clear cut suppression is bull. With so much other stuff that is good movie making safe for box office fodder that was ALSO cut, why can’t this have been sacrificed for time budget as well? A good article even if I don’t agree with his conclusions. (or at least would say my conclusions are much more toned down versions of his own)
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JWatts
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I finally had a chance to see this with my wife. Excellent casting and the battle room was done well.

However, it was too long a story to cram into 2 hours. I was searching for what felt wrong about the tone, when my wife spoke up and said the movie failed to portray Ender as an underdog. And I agree.

They tried to declare him the underdog with dialog, but you never really got that impression. There was never any feeling of a struggle. My 2 cents worth.

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