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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Ender's Game, the movie

Ender's Game is the Star Wars (original series) of literary SF. It has impeccable dramatic timing. Both are so well constructed that you get sucked in. Ender's Game has the advantage of evoking thought as well, posing difficult dilemmas about war, bullies, and childhood.

Having loved the book, I hoped it would succeed but feared it would fizzle--from the moment they announced it. I thrilled to hear Harrison Ford was acting along with Viola Davis and Ben Kingsley. When they released the teaser trailer with Ford's voiceover. I thought either Ford had lost it, or the director failed because it was dry, brittle as winter leaves. Worse, it was just a bunch of ships flying around, hinting at no story.

Still, a buddy and I searched for its appearance in Honduras when it was to be released but we must have missed it. I recently caught it on video.

It tells of Ender Wiggins, a young boy who goes Battle school with other children to defeat the Buggers, an alien race that tried but failed to destroy the human race. Now humans have sent out ships to destroy the aliens, but the aliens are growing the war fleets, larger than ever.

The movie captured the book's dilemmas early on. The acting was well done (except that one voiceover introducing the aliens), and I was swept into the story.

It'd be nice to hear what those who haven't read the book have to say. They might have missed a few points due to trying to get all of the book's highlights in. Even the cut scenes are interesting.

The problem in eliminating the zero-g battles is that we don't get to build our admiration and know morea about the characters enough to be thrilled when they gather for the finale. The final battles are cool but compressed. Is it too fast?

Hood's instincts are good as evidenced by even the cut scenes. These could have given the movie needed breathers between action sequences. This might have been better to have had two movies, or a mini-series.

It's worth seeing, but I wish Hood had more money to develop more scenes. Hopefully, it inspires new readers to check out the book and wonder at what might have been. If only...

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