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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 March 2014
Earth has barley survived a war with an Alien insectoid race thanks to the bravery of one man, Mazer Rackham. Picking up 50 years on, in a more futuristic future where the united human military force have progressed further into space combat, they are now preparing for one final battle to decide the future of mankind. Through the training of potential young candidates they hope to find another hero to lead them to victory.

Ender's Game follows one such candidate, Ender Wiggin's (Asa Butterfield -Hugo) whose siblings failed the program due to his brothers extreme violence & sisters indecision flaws, yet, Ender has a perfect balance of both of their personalities. Ender goes through training with other candidates of various ages in a Hunger Games style battle of the fittest, including a Sci-Fi quidditch with laser pistols & classroom rocket science lessons. Ender himself is an extremely smart loner type with a tactical brilliance, always questioning authority. His abilities & leadership draw others to him naturally, and he uses they're strengths to fill the gaps in his own weaknesses.

There isn't a lot of attention grabbing action throughout if that is what your expecting from this movie, it has it's moments with the training dome & heated arguments occasionally getting physical for the first hour. But it's certainly more about focusing on Ender, with little depth to the other characters, as he tries to overcome bullying & the added mental pressure asserted by a desperate Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford- Indiana Jones) to see if Ender is capable of being the hero they need. The final leg of the film is a series of very well presented CGI simulated battles, with Sci-Fi techno babble that just goes over your head. It's Ender's compassion & questioning about the Alien race's motives that set's up the predicament of the ending, which should had made for an emotional & heartfelt finale, but sadly it just didn't make you care enough. The acting was more than passable from the young adult stars & the adults, also co-stars Ben Kingsley (Hugo) & Viola Davis (The Help).

In conclusion, Enders Game is visually pleasing & intriguing up to a point, but doesn't do enough with it's dystopian premise to make it stand out from the crowd. Strength of the content is similar to the first few Harry Potter films. Worth a watch.
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on 12 January 2016
Today I am reviewing a film called Enders Game. I knew I just had to watch it after I had read and reviewed the book, seeing as I loved every minute of reading. It was a bit nerve-wrecking to watch because I wanted to film to do the book justice in so many ways. Unfortunately, I don't think the movie quite did that for me.

The movie follows Ender, a teenager who is a genius. He’s as smart as an adult, but he is not the only child like this. There is a whole school of them who get sent to Battle school in space to become possible commanders. These commanders are necessary to fight a space-war against the aliens, called Buggers, who have previously fought a war with the humans and so far are being held back. But now they need a boy to step forwards and win this war once and for all… hence Ender.

What I think was the greatest disappointment in the movie was the ending. They were building up to it the whole way through but the great big plot twist didn't feel very... effectively done in the movie itself? It was interesting for the sake of watching it and if I didn't know what was going to happen maybe it would have hit me harder. But generally speaking, I was a bit disappointed.

I will say that I was very impressed with the effects. There is a lot of technology mentioned in the book and the graphics did such a good job with making them look advanced. Especially the Battle Room where they have war training. It fell right into place with how I imagined it would be in the books.

I think Asa Butterfield did a great job of acting as Ender Wiggin. I’ll admit I wasn’t so sure at the beginning of the movie, but then after we encountered any scenes including Bonzo I think he really fit the part. I think the scenes with Bonzo and Ender had to be some of my favourites. They were both great at acting their roles but it seemed like the storyline of the movie itself let it down here.

It was pretty hilarious to see Moises Arias (Rico from Hannah Montana) in the film. I was not expecting that ! He did do a great job, but he’s just as short as always, so when he was pushing around Ender it was still funny to see Ender having to talk down to him. I couldn't recall whether he was that height in the book as well?

Things I didn’t like about the movie were that they used the voice over too much to give information, in my opinion. Unlike in the book, there was no showing of Valentine’s and Peter’s ordeal with politics back on earth, which were important scenes to me. They also had to cut out a lot of the training sessions and battles but I can forgive that because they did have to narrow down a whole novel into two hours worth of filming. There was none of the depth in the movie that the book contained, which is why I can safely say that the book is many times better than the movie.

Ender’s Game was directed by Gavin Hood who also directed X-men origins. It runs for 114 minutes and is rated a 12.

This review and others can be found on Olivia's Catastrophe: http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2016/01/enders-game-movie-review.html
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An earlier reviewer mentioned that the story had been watered down, sadly
that is very often the case, it all comes down to economics, reaching a wider
audience brings in more 'dollars'
However...
Fifty years has past since an alien force was forced to withdraw from it's invasion
of earth, this was thanks to the apparent sacrifice of one man.
Based on the assumption that the aliens will return 'earth' has been preparing
for the possibility, however finding a candidate to lead has proved difficult.
'Colonel Graff' (Harrison Ford) recruits young intelligent trainee's because it
is believed that their reactions are quicker and lack fear.
They will be trained by using simulators to gauge their ability to make decisions,
training proves a tough leveler for the young recruits, however, one, is showing
real potential, 'Ender Wiggin' he appears to have many attributes for the task
ahead, he is promoted, now leading his own team.
The team progress to advanced schooling, they will learn that games are not
always as they seem.
This an absorbing watch, perhaps a little like watching a hi-tech video game
with deadly consequences.
Terrific special effects throughout, superb visual enjoyment, picture and sound
quality superb.
Worth a spin.
Special Features -
* Audio commentary by director 'Gavin Hood'
* Audio commentary by producers 'Gigi Pritzker' and 'Bob Orci'
* Deleted / Extended scenes (with optional audio commentary by 'Gavin Hood' )
* Blu-ray exclusive:- 'Ender's World' - The making of 'Ender's Game'
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on 10 November 2013
In the future Earth is nearly destroyed by an alien race of bug like creatures, but we were saved by a great hero that wasn't Casper Van Dien but Gandhi (Ben Kinsley). Children play video games to see who will become the next war leader. The overly robotic Ender Wiggen (Asa Butterfield) is on the fast track to become that leader, trained by Han Solo (Harrison Ford).

The film is magnificent in its graphics. The characters are fairly dry as in too many science fiction films which are theme driven. Written in 1985 the film looks at the "First Strike" debate. Should you attack your enemy first if you believe you are about to be attacked? This was debated in the 1980's and during the 1930's. It became policy in Iraq and is still debated today, the reason why Hollywood chose to make this film now. The film also touches on population control and structural society for the common good.

The multiple adult themes have been dummy downed for the young target audience who are surely more enthralled by the computer games than any under lying meaning. If "Ender's Game" reminds you of other modern films it is because they copied from it, or the book upon it was based. In that regard this feature is similar to "John Carter." a film that was not as popular as those it inspired.

Worth while viewing for the kids. Adults might find themselves at times bored during the formulaic plot.
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on 28 January 2016
I don't think that I have ever sat through a bigger load of crap than this film. The director ought to be ashamed of himself and should think about doing something else for a living. Harrison Ford should retire forthwith if not sooner and Ben Kingsley should make a public apology for his lack of judgement in having anything to do with this piece of dross. Giant grass hoppers attacking the earth only to be defeated by a ten year old spaceboy, after some training by Harrison and Ben together with a black man in blue overalls. The chief grass hopper had a meeting with the ten year old space cadet, post defeat. The grass hopper looked about as threatening as a baby pussy cat. It was made of papier mache and tissue paper stretched over a wire frame and was much bigger than the soldier type grass hoppers. I feared to retire to my bed on the night I watched this film. I was terrified of being confronted by a nightmare involving a giant papier mache grass hopper.
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Watched this movie on a Download and liked it very much, so decided to buy the Blu ray version.Just to mention ..it's a typical tongue in cheek movie with lots of action and great visuals...My review is not based on the film itself as this is a more personal taste...but on the disc I received....It came well packaged and in a 3D cover sleeve,which gives the impression the film is 3D...but it's Not...The picture quality and sound quality is top notch and my Blu Ray player ran at 40Mbps throughout the movie which is as high as they come...( I have the Oppo 103D )..the steering and soundstage of the sound is just as impressive...Highly recommended if you want to test out your system and also have a bit of action..Cheers
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A movie adaptation of an award winning science fiction novel from the 1980's Ender's Game (Ender Saga) Ender's game is a near future story in which the human race is still recovering from a war with an insectoid race. Who came very close to destroying humanity but who were just beaten off, thanks not least to the actions of one brave individual.

Knowing that the aliens could well be back one day, humanity is preparing to fight them again when the time comes to pass. The best and brightest from all over the globe are given a chance at military service. Starting from a very early age. Just in case the next war winning hero is amongst these recruits.

Ender Wiggum [Asa Butterfield] is one of those smart kids who really doesn't fit in. But Colonel Graff [Harrison Ford] thinks he might just be what humanity is looking for. Recruited into the international fleet, Ender has a tough education ahead of him. And a lot to learn.

Not least, what people will do to survive and prosper...

Described as 'Harry Potter meets Star Wars' simply because a lot of takes place in a military school with various different houses who compete against each other in a sports game, this does have a couple of fight scenes that don't pull their punches in depicting brutality, and isn't really for anyone under twelve.

As a piece of science fiction, it's not bad. It creates a credible near future environment and society. It tells a solid character drama, with a few plot twists along the way. And it does what all good science fiction should do. Make the viewer think about the many moral issues that the story raises.

As a movie, it's not bad. Asa Butterfield delivers a very assured performance, carrying the entire film very well. Harrison Ford makes a decent gruff military man, and the rest of the cast are pretty good. As are the visuals, with plenty of zero gravity sports and cgi starship battles.

How it rates as an adaptation of the book is a matter of opinion. It's one of those adaptations that sticks to the central narrative and gets that in, and as much else as it possibly can. Certain sub plots are lost or truncated. Perhaps it's best described as being pretty faithful but somewhat watered down.

The film ends with set up for possible sequels. Which probably won't happen since it underperformed at the box office. But all in all it's a fairly decent bit of science fiction film, and worth 4/5.

The dvd has the following language and subtitle options:

Languages: English.

Subtitles: English.

The dvd begins with several trailers, which can be skipped via the next button on the dvd remote.

Extras are:

A commentary from the writer/director.

A commentary from two of the producers.

Several deleted/extended scenes. Which can be watched individually or all in a row. If you do the latter they run for just under eleven minutes. They can be watched with or without a commentary from the writer/director which explains them and why they were cut.
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on 15 March 2014
It has Harrison ford in it,and apart from that it is average. All the main characters are child actors who all play their parts well, but it is not a film for children, because it is nearly 2 hours long and does not have enough action to hold their attention. Basically earth has been invaded, and they are using kids to build an army to repel a future invasion. It is slightly different to anything else I've seen, but has long periods where it could of been cut out of the film.

It seems to be a film with two endings. It is just about worth a watch, but only as a rental. Their is no violence, bad language or sexual content.
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The original "Ender's Game (Ender Saga)" by Orson Scott Card was first published in 1977 as a short story, and the author expanded it to a full length novel by the same name published in 1985. It is regarded by many people including myself as one of the greatest SF novels ever written. Some elements of this film are also taken from Card's parallel novel, "Ender's Shadow."

This review of the 2013 film version, which has just come out on disc, is based on watching it on Blu-Ray at home with my family.

I don't think the film is quite up to the level of brilliance of the books. Some of the most visionary aspects of the novels, such as the way it foresaw the development of online debate and discussion at a time when the World Wide Web was barely a twinkle in Tim Berners-Lee's eye, do not make it into the film. A viewer who has not read the book would have no conception that the hero's brother and sister are as influential in their own right in the history of the "Enderverse" as he is. Peter Wiggin in the books is a sophisticated if dark character and already showing in his teens the political genius which will carry him right to the top, but in this film Peter is merely one of a string of crude bullies who Ender Wiggin has to learn to deal with.

Nevertheless this film is a pretty reasonable stab at bringing to the screen the central plot of the original short story and many of the moral dilemmas and challenges of the full novels, and I don't think you could have fitted much more of the book into a film of this duration. The plotting is reasonably tight and keeps the action going, a lot of the acting is excellent, and the special effects which show space travel, a "battle school" on a giant orbiting space station, and finally space battles, are brilliant.

The premise for the story is that earth has been at war for decades with an alien race who originally attempted to invade our planet and were beaten back at great cost. The insectlike alien enemy are usually referred to in the film and in some of the more recent books in the series as "Formics" - in the original book they were usually referred to as "bugs" or by a very similar (and much ruder) word. Presumably the more polite term has been adopted to reduce charges of xenophobia.

In fact neither the books nor the film are xenophobic, but some of the characters in the story are. One of the moral issues addressed in both is whether fear and hatred are the only possible response to the enemy and whether there is a danger that mankind might be too quick to jump to the conclusion that total extermination of the enemy is the only way to survive the war.

The human government has decided, for reasons which become clear later in the story, that to win the war it is necessary to start training the best potential commanders to lead Earth's military while they are still children. The story is mainly set first at "Battle School" and then "Command School" where the children with the highest military command potential are being trained to lead Earth's fleets.

Harrison Ford plays Colonel Graff, the commander of Battle School, whose job is to pick the boys and girls who will lead Earth's forces to victory or defeat and is determined to develop the best and most ruthless commanders no matter how much pressure he puts these children under. Voila Davis plays Major Gwen Anderson, Bettle School's psychologist who is horrified by how far Graff is prepared to go.

Asa Butterfield plays Ender Wiggin, the boy who Graff is trying to turn into a new Ceasar or Napoleon - and who is sharp enough to respond, when Graff shares that aim with him, that Ceasar was assassinated by his own people and Napoleon failed. Ben Kingsley plays the older Mazer Rackam who becomes Ender's final teacher (the younger Rackham who defeated the original Formic attack is portrayed by Kyle Clements).

Aramis Knight plays Bean, Ender's lieutenant and the closest thing he has to a friend, who is the viewpoint character of the book "Ender's Shadow."

I though the acting by Butterfield, Ford, Davis and Kingsley was superb - Butterfield and Ford were both nominated for acting awards for their performances in this film, and IMHO deservedly so.

There was an attempt to organise a boycott of the film because of views which the author of the original book had once expressed about gay marriage. There is absolutely nothing whatsoever in this film which pertains in any way to that subject.

I'm trying to think of a way to give this film a fair description without damning it with faint praise. I did enjoy it, while my 12 year old son thought it was brilliant and is desperately hoping there will be a sequel. It also inspired him to start reading the books (result!)

Making a sequel may be difficult this time around - not least because the other books in the series would be even harder to film than "Ender's Game" which the author and others have been trying to turn into a film for a long time.

However, I don't believe this will be the last film version of "Ender's Game" that I shall see. Gavin Hood and his colleagues have shown that it is possible to produce an entertaining film version of this book. Sooner or later, and probably within my lifetime, another director and studio will be unable to resist the challenge to see if they can produce a brilliant one.
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I rather think this was as good as Hollywood could do with this one, particularly if aiming for this certificate (though Transformers made a 12, and with that language, I remain amazed, though it's otherwise suitable only for the under sixes). I always felt the book to be a rather adult book with kids in it, and this definitely moves more towards the kids than does the book.

However, it is a very entertaining movie. Most of the key themes from the book, including the final battle and aftermath are there, if toned down. The bullying and outsider themes that made such an impact on many of us are still there, and the effects all you could want. The battle room in particular is well-realised, though some sequences I'd have liked to see were missing.

Pretty much all of the cast and characterisation are fit for purpose, Ford and Kingsley reliable as ever, Asa Butterfield fine again, but I felt the sergeant was feeble- straight out of "The Sarah Jane Adventures" or that lost non-classic "Five Go To Boot Camp."

Still, overall, an enjoyable, perhaps languid, but never too slow, passable adaptation of a fine novel; one that will deserve another watch.

A job well done.
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