Ender's Game (2013 Film)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Starbreaker, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Location:
    California
    Just a big miss all around. Might have worked better as two films (but not three, like the Hobbit). But then you run into the issue where if the first bombs, the second doesn't get made.

    Part one where Ender goes to Battle School, ending with his promotion to Commander of Dragon Army, would have been a compelling story on its own. Part two beginning with his first three weeks in Dragon Army and his daily battles, then going to Command School for the conclusion. With two films, you can flesh out the battles in the battle room, and really drive home the point that Ender is tactically gifted where others are not. With the compressed timeline of the film we got, he just comes off as lucky. We also don't see how stressed out Ender gets from the daily grind.

    They only show two battles, and both are combinations of other battles. That disappointed me.

    I'm curious if the lack of box office draw has more to do with the film itself, or the controversy of Card.

    May have been better as an HBO miniseries.
     
  2. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Yes, that's actually shown.

    In the movie, the original attack from the aliens was only 50 years earlier. Although it is impossible to tell on account of there being a face obscuring helmet, the flashback scenes to the battle feature another actor playing a younger Mazer Rackham. Ben Kingsley is 70, assuming the character is meant to be in his 70s, that would make him in his 20s at the time of the attack.
     
  3. OdoWanKenobi

    OdoWanKenobi Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Location:
    Ysmault
    I haven't read the book, so based on previous posts I expect to get flamed for even daring to give my opinion.

    I felt it was a good film, but the reveal at the end didn't have the impact it might have. I guess that's the nature of film. You don't put a massive amount of special effects and an epic score into simulator battles. The adults speaking in hush hush tones made it clear they were up to something. I had the simulators pegged as real long before the reveal was made. This is something that I'm sure would be made better in the book, where visual cues are denied to the reader.
     
  4. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Location:
    California
    Indeed, in the book, the simulator portrays the ships as "dots". In fact, they spend months practicing on the simulators against computer opponents, which are due to their nature as simulations easily destroyed by Ender. Rackham tells Ender that to make him better, he'll compete against him so Ender can face a human opponent that can learn. It's not until the end of the book that we discover Ender is actually fighting the Formics that whole time.

    Also, all the transport carriers had the Doctor Device, not just the one Petra controls. In Ender's Shadow, he commands all the ships to deploy in the hopes that one will hit the planet before burning up in the atmosphere. Although, I did like the way they portrayed it in the film, with Ender abandoning the fleet.
     
  5. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Location:
    Rhode Island, USA
    although that definitely makes it a dick move by the adults. If they knew they were real, could have told them to flee once Ender decided they weren't useful anymore and he abandoned them.

    Either way, movie was decent, just felt really rushed/compressed.
     
  6. Foxhot

    Foxhot Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    Foxhot
    I thought that also with, ahem, Bonzo. I looked at him, trying to figure out hios actual age, then thought ''John Turturro had a kid?''

    Today's sensibilities can definitely neuter the point of an original work. Personally, I think the name of Bonzo has absolutely no sensibility here. It doesn't bring on the serious. But bedtime for him anyhow....
     
  7. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Location:
    California
    They explain that in the book, too. All the soldiers who went to the Bugger home world knew it was a one way trip. They sacrificed their lives, and would do whatever Ender asked of them, even go to their deaths.
     
  8. Scout101

    Scout101 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Location:
    Rhode Island, USA
    I know, have read the whole series plenty of times. Still doesn't mean that one of the adults couldn't have had the ships disappear from the simulation and make a run for it. Prepared to go to their deaths doesn't mean excited to die for absolutely no reason other than a kid is bored with a video game. They'd have been onboard for a suicide run, less excited about just being thrown away for no gain.
     
  9. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Location:
    California
    I just meant the book explains those things, but the movie fails to.
     
  10. marillion

    marillion Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    Workin' in a coal mine...
    I couldn't figure out where I had seen him before.. Then my wife reminded me that he was the main protagonist for Hanna Montana's brother on the tv show... Yes, having a young daughter, I became well versed with the show.. gag...

    Having not read the books or knowing the story, I was highly impressed with the movie... Great little twist at the end, but I'll agree with the tought that the ending was rushed... Sent a good message at the end.
     
  11. Tralfaz

    Tralfaz Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Location:
    London, ON, Canada
    Hope to go see the movie this week. My son got me to read Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow when he was younger. Really enjoyed the books and am looking forward to see the movie. I know movies rarely follow the book precisely and from what I have read here, there are both good and bad views on it. Oh well. Will go with an open mind and see what it's all about.
     
  12. CaptJimboJones

    CaptJimboJones Vice Admiral Newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2002
    Location:
    Hotlanta
    I enjoyed it quite a bit more than I expected. I liked the book but was never an over-the-top fan (never bothered with any of the sequels/side stories, etc) so my expectations weren't particularly high, which probably helped.

    I walked away thinking it was a decent military sci-fi tale with excellent effects and a bit more substance than your average action movie. That was enough for me.
     
  13. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Same here. I never read the novel, but guessed the last simulation was the real battle anyway. Rather fitting with all the controversy over drones. A better story about that was included in the MOON DVD Blu-ray offering.

    I liked the movie. The only problem is that the entry way would have zero gravity as well--being near the hub. Go straight and if no one tackles you, you drift to the far gate if they don't think to build that wall.
     
  14. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2000
    Location:
    South Pennsyltucky
    Do they not show the "formation" battle in the film, where Ender "kills" his soldiers and uses them as a "dead" human flying wedge to attack the gate straight on?
     
  15. Snaploud

    Snaploud Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2001
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    The book is one of my all-time favorites (along with the sequel Speaker for the Dead). By comparison, the movie is a B minus, imo.
     
  16. Star Wolf

    Star Wolf Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Location:
    ciudad de Los Angeles
    I had originally read a novella version in Analog magazine before reading the full novel and liked the shorter version better. But the movie still missed the point about what a burden the kids were put through.

    My partner at the movie had no knowledge of Ender's Game going in but commented during the battle about Ender's sacrifice of the fleet as being similar to his battle school fight.
     
  17. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Location:
    California
    The book explains that the hallway leading to the gates is fitted with gravity plating, reverse engineered from Bugger/Formic technology. Ender asks the same question you do. The battle room also has a random configuration of cube "stars" suspended for cover and strategy... except when the teachers start screwing with Ender and giving him unfair star configurations.

    There's also supposed to be 9 battle rooms, not just one, and because of this, I pictured the Battle School space-station being much larger. The barracks have 40 soldiers each plus a commander, and there are 21 armies, and an unknown number of "launchie" groups (I think 20 soldiers each). That's at a minimum 900 students, likely over 1000... Plus teachers and support staff.

    The Armies (except Ender's when he becomes a commander) practice formations so no one can just go straight for the gate (also, in the book you're required to open the gate by touching all four corners simultaneously, so it requires 5 soldiers anyway, otherwise the game ends in a draw). Most armies neutralize all opponents first so they can safely open the gate. The way he describes formations, they come across as analogous to the stupid way the Redcoats fought in the Revolutionary War. Ender shows his tactical genius by abandoning them in favor of a guerilla approach, giving broad discretion to his platoon leaders instead.

    In Ender's last battle (against two armies), he says screw it and just goes for the gate immediately, ignoring the enemy. He launches a decoy formation and sends 5 others to head for the unguarded gate. The other armies didn't know you could even do that, because no one had ever tried it before. This actually foreshadows the ending of the book: the only reason Ender tries it is because he gives up due to the fight not being fair.

    They totally whiffed on the significance of "The enemy's gate is down" in the movie.
     
  18. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006

    Agreed. I felt with the compressed timeline of Ender's training, you really lost the grind that he went through. Years of training, sometimes fighting two battles in one day and somehow finding ways to win every time. He barely could get himself out of bed for the final battle. I don't think we got the full grasp of just how much pressure he was under.

    For the record, I wish they would have used the term buggers because it's a lot more memorable than Formics. Not to mention calling them buggers instead of a more formal name is supposed to be an effort to dehumanize the enemy. Which is clearly what Command wanted.
     
  19. TremblingBluStar

    TremblingBluStar Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Location:
    Fort Dodge, IA
    I think you got the idea that he was under a great deal of pressure, just not on the same scale or as well described as in the book. That simply was not going to happen.
    I'm split on this. I agree that "bugger" is a lot more memorable, but think it sounds really stupid, and is not a very imaginative racial slur. Plus, it would have really confused British people!
     
  20. DarthPipes

    DarthPipes Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    If the military brass used Formics and the cadets used the term buggers (kids would use this term) then I would have been fine with it. Buggers is silly I won't disagree with that. But Formics is just dull and uninspiring.
     

Share This Page