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Subject: Finally watched Ender's Game rss

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Erik D
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No spoilers, but seriously, is there anyone on BGG who hasn't read the book?

I finally got around to watching Ender's Game. I enjoyed it for the most part--an impressive feat given it's one of my favorite books. Some thoughts:

1. Pacing was way too fast. There's only two battle school battles. I would've loved to see more of Dragon Army and how Graff does everything in his power to screw with them. I feel like they could've split this into two movies: one for Battle School and one for Command School.

2. Benefits of two movies: more Giant's Drink, more battles, inclusion of the Demosthenes/Locke subplot, more character development for Mazer, Bean and Alai. (Especially Alai, he's basically an afterthought.)

3. Did anyone else notice exactly one character pronounced Bonzo's name correctly?

4. Who doesn't like super grouchy Harrison Ford? Especially with Viola Davis yelling at him.

All in all, it's not the masterpiece the book is, but it's not the disaster it could've been.
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Matthew M
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It was good enough to make me unhappy that it wasn't great. It was so close!

How do you f-up "the enemy's gate is down"?
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JessA
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I went in expecting to hate it so I was pleasantly surprised. I agree that two movies might have served the book better but I can't imagine a studio agreeing to that.
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David Bush
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erak wrote:
No spoilers, but seriously, is there anyone on BGG who hasn't read the book?

I have not, but I read Watership Down, does that count?
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Paul DeStefano
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During the bus scene, I would have really appreciated driving the point home if Graff was filmed Vertical while he was talking to students suspended on a wall.

Battle room was amazing.

I understand there's only so much you can do, but Formics were way too Starship Troopers in design.
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(Chuck Singer)
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Octavian wrote:
It was good enough to make me unhappy that it wasn't great. It was so close!


This.

Also, I felt Ford wasn't at his best, but really liked the kids.
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I liked the movie, but I found the kid who played Ender extremely unconvincing as a kid. One thing I liked about the book was that Ender while "gifted" was a "child" playing in the big boy arena. They either wrote Asa's lines too mature, or he just played it too mature. But I was unconvinced.
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I mostly enjoyed the movie, although I agree with many of the points above. It did feel a bit too fast-paced for me, and I think that hurt by removing some of Ender's feelings of frustration - being pushed to the brink is usually what made him lash out in his overly-extreme ways.

SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!

I think this was especially noticable (in its lack) during the last battle. In the movie, it seemed like he was just making a legitimate strategy to win and pass his test. In the book, he was just fed up with all the unfair battle "simulations", and when he saw that one, he was like "screw this, you aren't going to play fair, I'll play dirty too", and was fully expecting to be relieved of command after the trick of destroying the planet. For some reason, with me that was more powerful when he found out he had wiped out the home planet for real; in the movie, he was playing "war" with honest intent, and while he didn't know it was real, it was strategy that won. In the book, he acted out of frustration and desperation, and because of that, he once again caused more damage than he really wanted to, just like he did with the kid at the beginning and with Bonzo. He gets pushed to his limit, and he kills - and he hates that about himself.


I think the movie worked OK as a film, and I think overall it did keep relatively true to the point of the book (as much as film could). I would watch it again, but I do think just a few things could have moved it from "decent flick" to "awesome movie".
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Erik D
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Geosphere wrote:
During the bus scene, I would have really appreciated driving the point home if Graff was filmed Vertical while he was talking to students suspended on a wall.

Battle room was amazing.

I understand there's only so much you can do, but Formics were way too Starship Troopers in design.


How so? None of the formics reminded be giant vulvas.


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Erik D
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MWChapel wrote:
I liked the movie, but I found the kid who played Ender extremely unconvincing as a kid. One thing I liked about the book was that Ender while "gifted" was a "child" playing in the big boy arena. They either wrote Asa's lines too mature, or he just played it too mature. But I was unconvinced.


He was just too old for the part. The book starts with Ender at 6 and ends when he's around 10 or 11. Asa Butterfield was 14 when they filmed it. I can understand the change, but the story had more impact when it was a bunch of murderous grade schoolers rather than a voice-dropped freshman.
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Paul DeStefano
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You would never get a dozen convincing actors for those parts under the age of 10.
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Steve Wagner
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My wife and I just watched this for the first time also. I have read the book, she had not.

The lack of the Battle Room is my biggest issue. It was pretty much the focus of the first half of the book, the movie made it into a side story.

I also agree the pacing was too fast. It was probably perfect for the mainstream audience. It felt the same as Hunger Games, rushing through story and the character development.

I didn't mind them taking out the side story with his brother and sister. It is awesome, but it isn't needed.

My wife loved it. I told her that she needs to read the book, which she probably will now.
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Moshe Callen
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I've not read it but then I tried out Card on another book and found it too sexually explicit for my tastes. So I avoid his work.
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Moshe Callen
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erak wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
I liked the movie, but I found the kid who played Ender extremely unconvincing as a kid. One thing I liked about the book was that Ender while "gifted" was a "child" playing in the big boy arena. They either wrote Asa's lines too mature, or he just played it too mature. But I was unconvinced.


He was just too old for the part. The book starts with Ender at 6 and ends when he's around 10 or 11. Asa Butterfield was 14 when they filmed it. I can understand the change, but the story had more impact when it was a bunch of murderous grade schoolers rather than a voice-dropped freshman.

Yeah, and Dorothy is 6 when she goes to Oz. What's your point?
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Erik D
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whac3 wrote:
I've not read it but then I tried out Card on another book and found it too sexually explicit for my tastes. So I avoid his work.


Not the case with Ender's Game, so it's a safe read. (Just out of curiosity, which one? The only Card books I can think of that get a bit blue are Songmaster and the terrible Treasure Box.)


whac3 wrote:
erak wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
I liked the movie, but I found the kid who played Ender extremely unconvincing as a kid. One thing I liked about the book was that Ender while "gifted" was a "child" playing in the big boy arena. They either wrote Asa's lines too mature, or he just played it too mature. But I was unconvinced.


He was just too old for the part. The book starts with Ender at 6 and ends when he's around 10 or 11. Asa Butterfield was 14 when they filmed it. I can understand the change, but the story had more impact when it was a bunch of murderous grade schoolers rather than a voice-dropped freshman.

Yeah, and Dorothy is 6 when she goes to Oz. What's your point?


Didn't know that about Oz. As for Ender's Game, there are much darker themes at play. The military is training children starting at age 6 so they can command entire armies... at age 10. The reason is so that they play to win because they don't fully understand the consequences. It's a slightly harder sell the older they get.

Imagine if the characters (if not the actors) of The Hunger Games were all 19-25 rather than 12-18. Changes the approach, doesn't it?
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Moshe Callen
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not read Hunger Games either.

EDIT:
IIRC the book was The Worthing Saga.
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