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67 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A downgraded, softer, watered down Andrew Ender Wiggin rises to meet his destiny...
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...
Published 5 months ago by Maciej

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not mutireagional
The film was entertaining and followed the theme but the book was better at suspense and the mental games were tougher...
Published 5 days ago by Stephen Forster


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67 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A downgraded, softer, watered down Andrew Ender Wiggin rises to meet his destiny..., 12 Nov 2013
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ender's Game [DVD] (DVD)
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
2.0 out of 5 stars Better than the book, 18 April 2014
This review is from: Ender's Game (Blu-ray)
But only just. The book is repetitive and suspect (naked boys running around in a space station, shower fights etc.)
The movie manages to condense this middle part of the book and the political side story involving Ender's siblings was left out altogether. Waste of Ford and Kingsley...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Story had potential...., 16 April 2014
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Unfortunately, the film didn't live up to it. Very slow to take off, to say the least, then unbelievably it all ends in an anti-climax. Dread to think of the budget for this movie, doubt very much they broke even!
Honestly, cannot find anything positive to write, so best not. Best advice it to think long and hard before you buy, understand why it was such a flop when released!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not mutireagional, 15 April 2014
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This review is from: Ender's Game [Blu-ray] [US Import] (Blu-ray)
The film was entertaining and followed the theme but the book was better at suspense and the mental games were tougher...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stab at bringing to the screen one of the greatest SF novels of all time, 14 Mar 2014
By 
Marshall Lord (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Ender's Game [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
"Ender's game" 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 the 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 role 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, who are major characters in the book and sequels but minor ones in this film, are as influential in their own right in the history of the "Enderverse" as he is.

Nevertheless this film is a pretty good 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 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 at all Xenophobic, but some of the characters in the story are. One of the moral issues both address 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 will become clear, 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 this film because of views which the author of the original book expressed at one time about gay marriage. There is absolutey nothing 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.

That 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.

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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THERE IS NO TEACHER BUT THE ENEMY, 10 Nov 2013
By 
The Movie Guy "Movies from A to Z" (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ender's Game [DVD] (DVD)
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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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Harry Potter meets Spy Kids in space, 22 Mar 2014
This review is from: Ender's Game (Blu-ray)
The first hour is spent learning astro-quidditch and the rest is a video game. Ben Kingsley sounds like a South African Maori and Harrison Ford must have needed the money. Excellent special effects sadly wasted on this predictable tripe.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars “Ender’s Pain…” - ENDER'S GAME on BLU RAY..., 19 Mar 2014
By 
Mark Barry (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ender's Game [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Coming at you like a poor man’s hybrid of “Starship Troopers” without the balls while nicking bits of “Independence Day” and even using the bugs of “The Quatermass Experiment” – “Ender’s Game” has all the right bits in the trailer to sucker you in – but ends up being a crushing bore.

The world has been attacked by swarms of spindly machines and almost destroyed – but for the heroics of one fighter pilot who flew his jet into the Mothership. Now the world is waiting and preparing cadets for attack number two. Cue pubescent kids who are trained in Space Academies in the art and strategies of war. Will a leader arise who will save humanity (and get the girl)?

What makes this suck so much is that large parts of the movie are spent in a space dock training simulator where our cadets float around in natty uniforms shooting silly stun lasers at each other. It seems to go on an on and with little point. In between this there’s all manner of macho bonding and knowing smiles and fights in the shower for supremacy. Overseeing all of this old hat storyline is Harrison Ford and later Ben Kingsley who both seem to have nailed their monotone space commander droning voices to a tee. They got paid handsomely for this crap. When the final battle comes – you feel like you’ve been dragged through a child’s space romp that wants to be all grown up but just doesn’t having the chops to deliver.

It looks great of course in places (rockets taking off from Earth – the station in space) – but mostly it just feels silly – and worse none of the kids are compelling to watch or show any real star quality – especially the scrawny lead.

It’ll be in the bargain bins in weeks. A rental at best I‘m afraid - but not one to buy…
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1.0 out of 5 stars starship troopers light, 20 April 2014
By 
T. Herbert (here) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Yep, right from the start you think Starship Troopers. A past bug invasion that cost millions of human lives. We must be ready for them if they come back right?
Heck no! They started it, we're going to finish it. We're going to their planet to crush them!
Unfortunately our army, a bunch of teenagers, has been infiltrated by PETA. First, in the form of a bleeding heart psychiatrist played by Viola Davis, who thinks we are putting too much pressure on our teenage 'hero.' C'mon now, this is war; it's them or us.
Secondly our hero himself is PETA's secret weapon. Instead of wiping out the bugs, he empathises with them and does his best to see that they get another shot at us.
Who in the world thought that sane folk would feel sorry for bugs? I wanted to jump through the screen myself with some insecticide and an ice pick. Not to mention, a club to beat some sense into our 'hero' who chose bugs over a cute chick.
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3.0 out of 5 stars OK, 19 April 2014
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This review is from: Ender's Game [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Was just OK I wouldn't watch it twice so I wish I hadn't bought the DVD would of been better to rent and forget, Because forget is what I've done I can't remember much about it at all so it can't of been very good.
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Ender's Game [Blu-ray] [US Import]
Ender's Game [Blu-ray] [US Import] by Gavin Hood (Blu-ray - 2014)
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