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3.7 out of 5 stars
Ender's Game [Blu-ray]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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'
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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
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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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.

They're 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 upto 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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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 mosty unsophisticated 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 ruder, similar 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 addresses 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 set 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.

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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It may still become a miniseries. At least they need to make "Speaker for the Dead"; then we can see a better balanced rendition of what Orson Scott Card is trying to say to us.

As with many movies there is not enough time to portray or even imply what the book tells us. Tee best we can hope for is a good reflection and not let the movie change the story for its own ends. This is one of those movies that tried in the time allotted to give you not only the feel but to put in as many details as possible.

The choice of actors did a pretty good match to the characters. The graphics did not overwhelm the story. The background music did not washout the dialog. Unfortunately the version I watched did not have a voice over commentary to add to the experience. We view the story as a third party and never really get into anyone's mind.

To many readers it will never be justified. To people that have not read the book it may be obscure. But at least they did not try to make a different story out of it. I am trying to restrain myself from comparing this film to classic sci-fi stories. To the movie's credit they did not dwell on the technology. The story here is about people and societies that just happen to take place in the future.

Basic story is that it looks like we have been attacked a nearly annihilated. Our only recourse is to do unto others before they do it unto us. We do not know their intentions but take no chances. In the military we are always taught that no two wars are the same; we can train but must be flexible and initiative. The primes here are that children are more flexible and amendable to new environments.

We are left with a moral question. This question will be better developed in the next book and hopefully the next film.

Ender's Game and Philosophy: The Logic Gate is Down (The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series)
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on 14 March 2014
So, I think that the product of Ender's Game is interesting because I did not see the film in cinemas last year and I am intrigued to see what the plot is about.
Also, I have pre-ordered this product since New Year's Day (Wednesday 1st January) because I like Harrison Ford as an actor since many years ago he was the main character in the Indiana Jones films and as a colonel in Cowboys and Aliens in 2011 with James Bond actor Daniel Craig. Sir Ben Kingsley is great because correct if I am wrong but he does tend to the roles of super villains in different films though last year he played the notorious Mandarin in the Marvel Comics film Iron Man 3.
Do you remember him at all, folks?
But, since I have been waited very patiently, I am going to rate my review for this film today as four stars out of five. Why?
Well, it is because that the amount of money that I have paid for this DVD is £9.49.
Again, this is regarding my student discount on certain products. Don't you see?

Well, then, I am afraid that is all of my information that I can tell you for now, folks.
Thank you for your hard-working and reliable service.

Please feel free to share your comments, folks and tell me your thoughts about this product. Bye for now!

From Richard Hill.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
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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80 of 98 people found the following review helpful
I liked this film and I am glad that I watched it, although it is definitely significantly INFERIOR to the book. Below, more of my impressions, with very limited SPOILERS.

As probably everybody already knows, this sci-fi war film is situated in the future, years after a failed alien invasion of the Earth. Fearing that another, even deadlier invasion can take place, humanity created a powerful space fleet and trained hundreds and hundreds of thousands of soldiers and officers. But in order to lead this huge armed forces, it was decided that a new kind of generals and admirals was needed, one able to learn and adapt faster when faced by complex and always varying alien tactics of space fighting. This film tells the story of a very promising recruit, young Andrew Ender Wiggin, who may just be the future war leader of the whole humanity - if only he manages to survive the excruciatingly difficult, increasingly painful and sadistically cruel training in which complex war games play a great role...

We learn those things in the first minute of the film and about the rest I will say no more. Young Asa Butterfield who plays Ender is simply AMAZING, as good as he was in "Hugo". Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley give a great show as his teachers, with Viola Davis and Nonso Anozie supporting them valiantly as respectively war academy main psychologist and the hulking drill sergeant. Young actresses Hailee Steinfeld and Abigail Breislin play also important roles, those of Petra, Ender's friend in academy and Valentine, Ender's older sister.

Now, this film is an adaptation of an archi-classic of Sci-Fi letters, written in 1985 by Orson Scott Card. The book "Ender's game" made quite a splash when first published and got all the yearly awards a SF book can get and it didn't age at all - in fact it is still a DARN GOOD READ. But I understand that it was not possible to make a big budget Hollywood adaptation without significant changes - and also it was probably not possible to ask the young actors to do on screen some of the things that are done in the book... For that reason, Ender from the film is a quite different character than the one from the book - he is softer, gentler, weaker, more vulnerable and lacks most of the ruthlessness described in the novel. Also, at the very end of the film, his actions are not motivated by pity and mercy as in the book but by guilt and remorse - and THAT is, I believe, the one change that was not necessary and it REALLY hurt this film.

For the needs of the film many of topics were also completely abandoned and the whole training was shortened, with especially the number of fascinating war games significantly reduced.

Still, I can not find it in my heart to take away one star from the rating, because notwithstanding all the changes, the director and the actors did a hell of a job and this film is a very pleasant watch! Excellent actors, great CGI, good action scenes, a tense and dramatic narration, very honest dialogs, all this makes "Ender's game" a good, solid Sci-Fi film - and there is not so much of them around. I warmly recommend to see it in the cinemas as long as it still play. I certainly will buy the DVD when it is available. Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 June 2015
A disappointment the name of the film depicts a great war of fight against evil, but turns out to be far from it. a tale of war with aliens having won it bets on young cadets to win the next one in case it happens again.
more of a teenage film as the film closely centers on.
but supported by Ben Kingsley and Harrison ford still couldn't save it..
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