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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An impressive and intelligent SF film
This is an impressive and intelligent SF film which explores Earth's response to a repulsed alien invasion by a seemingly more advanced insect-like species known as the Formics. Through the heroic exploits of Mazer Rackham (played with dour grimness by Ben Kingsley) the earth survived, but not without the deaths of tens of millions of its inhabitants. It is accepted that...
Published 4 months ago by Alan Jones

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BORING GAME
What a bad film, i can not believe all the five star reviews, i must of seen something different, because for me this film was so boring.

I would normally do a long review, but after watching this crap i feel like giving up the will to live.
Published 24 days ago by STEVENSEAGALFAN+THE WIFE


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An impressive and intelligent SF film, 21 Dec. 2014
By 
Alan Jones (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ender's Game [DVD] (DVD)
This is an impressive and intelligent SF film which explores Earth's response to a repulsed alien invasion by a seemingly more advanced insect-like species known as the Formics. Through the heroic exploits of Mazer Rackham (played with dour grimness by Ben Kingsley) the earth survived, but not without the deaths of tens of millions of its inhabitants. It is accepted that a second attack by the Formics is inevitable and a decision has been made to launch a pre-emptive strike on their homeworld. In the fifty years since the invasion attempt Earth's International Fleet has been selecting young genius children who display the `appropriate' traits to train to become top military strategists, especially the ability to interpret complex date at a rapid speed. Ender Wiggin (an admirable performance by Asa Butterfield) is one such trainee. However, the head of the training academy, Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) believes that Ender also has the qualities which make a great leader, including ruthlessness, adaptability, an independence of mind (he displays an insolence similar to James Tiberius Kirk) and an ability to inspire loyalty. As the film progresses we observe how Ender's character develops in response to the situations he encounters. The cinematography is excellent throughout, in particular within the Training School and Battle Room where tactical skills are developed. However, it is the underlying questions presented which linger in the mind - the use of children in the military (a theme also addressed in the underrated 1999 SF film Soldier), the duplicitousness of adults and the morality behind military decisions.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars War games, 24 Mar. 2014
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ender's Game [DVD] (DVD)
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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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Toned down from the book, but overall a job well done, 26 July 2014
This review is from: Ender's Game [DVD] (DVD)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars BORING GAME, 28 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Ender's Game [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
What a bad film, i can not believe all the five star reviews, i must of seen something different, because for me this film was so boring.

I would normally do a long review, but after watching this crap i feel like giving up the will to live.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 'IT WILL NOT ALWAYS BE A 'GAME' (THE YOUNG WILL SAVE THE 'EARTH'), 11 Mar. 2014
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Ender's Game [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Would have made a great miniseries, 14 Feb. 2014
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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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80 of 98 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 
Darth Maciek "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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a load of Rubbish!!!, 16 July 2014
This review is from: Ender's Game [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Thought it might be good to start with. The first 20 mins or so looked quite promising. And I liked the premise. A bunch of kids (one in particular) who saves earth from alien invasion. I mean, how many of us 40 somethings played Space Invaders when we were kids and imagined it was ourselves saving the earth and becoming heroes? I certainly did, when I used to play it back in the day. However, this film just becomes boring after that 20 mins or so, and you cant wait for it to finish! Plus I hated the cheesy politically correct ending. Dont waste your time!
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3 of 4 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 100 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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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Missed opportunity, 24 Mar. 2014
By 
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This review is from: Ender's Game [DVD] (DVD)
Having read the book (many times) the film was a huge dissapointment.

For me the lack of any suspense or pressure killed the film cold. There was no build up, no anticipation, no sense of the desperation of the teachers or the pressure Ender was put under. The casting was terrible, at no point did Ender come across as the mix of intelligent/ruthless/empath that he was in the book. As for Bonzo I almost laughed when I saw him, He was smaller than Ender. Did they actually even read the book?

As for cutting out the whole political angle with his brother and sister I was dissapointed, but not surprised

I think there were numerous ways to present the story better, such as building up the battle school section, or the mind game. instead the film felt more like an advert for a tv series.

Very poorly done cover of a great sci-fi book. Totally missed the point. Adding some pretty special effects to a largely psychological story in no way makes up for the rest of its shortcomings
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Ender's Game [Blu-ray]
Ender's Game [Blu-ray] by Gavin Hood (Blu-ray - 2014)
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