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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 18 June 2016
So-so sci-fi, about child military recruits, trained to fight an alien race.

Asa Butterfield is a fine actor, but utterly fails to convince as the lead here. Maybe it's just the part of a child becoming a high ranking leader in the proceedings, that just didn't work for me. His main expression throughout the film, seemed to only be one of a rabbit caught in the headlights.

Harrison Ford fares better, as Colonel Graff (or should that be gruff?), and seems to treat things as a warm up to his return as Han Solo.

Ben Kingsley, sports a hilarious Maroi facial tattoo, and an even more comical Kiwi accent. A total throwaway.

Very cg heavy, some impressive, some not so much.

The ending (kinda) saved the third act for me. I didn't see it coming, and things are left open for a sequel (it's the first adaptation of a best selling trilogy). It likely won't happen due to lacklustre box office though.

The picture quality was outstanding, despite the film's shortcomings.

The Audio quality surprises by not being particularly bass heavy. It features a fair bit of aerial combat, which just isn't as immersive as it should be.

Film 5.5/10
PQ 9/10
AQ 7/10
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on 28 May 2017
A very disappointing film adaptation of a brilliant book. At the same time, an okay SF film. The graphics and effects worked well enough and I liked Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham. The book is something special though and so many of the changes have spoiled things. The children were all too old. In the book, Ender is only five when he goes to Battle School and the training took years so that by the end he is only nine or ten. Also Bean was from an even later launch group. Both of these changes make the sequels I'd love to see (Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind) as well as paraquels such as the Shadow series next to impossible and that's a shame because I would love to see Virlomi's one-woman conquest of India as a film.

So... as a film it's okay, as an adaptation of the book, it's awful.
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on 31 May 2017
Usually I like I good existentialist or surrealist drama with subtitles but I do like the occassional sci fi although it is hard to find true quality in the genre. This was not perfect but was very good - maybe a 9/10 but I preferred a 5 to a 4. With a veneer of a sci fi military thriller this is really a complex ethical philosophical drama. The scenes of contact are very moving. Lessons apply to not only how we deal with other cultures and other species but how we deal with our own species in the face of the unknown. Fear is a powerful emotion and can drive very destructive forces. The militarisation of children is one of them - it happens all over the world. Recruitment in some cultures is brutal and physical with children not even in double figures in age carrying real weapons. In the west it is cloaked in war games and military recruitment advertisements. Enlistment in the UK begins before children are even legally able to vote. The very end was probably the most important and took little of the film but ideas of ecological harmony are embedded. Willful destruction of things we do not understand can often come back to haunt us but even without the idea of blowback a genuine respect and humility in the light of other beings is important. We are not the most important thing in our neighbourhood, in our fields, our mountains, our atmosphere, our planet, or the universe. We are transient expressions of life. Nothing more. Yet so often we often seem intent on being transient expressions of death.
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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'
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
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on 24 May 2017
It's hard to write a review without giving any spoilers, which truly would spoil this film....suffice to say the Ender of the title is recruited to play games to try and solve the problem of an alien species, and the film follows his progress. Yes most of the cast are children but that doesn't equate to it being a children's film. The moral aspects of the training, the decisions that are made are subtlety conveyed and certainly leaves you thinking about the rights and wrongs of our actions.
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on 8 March 2017
A bit OTT with a military scenario with children - OK the premise was that the children were good at video games and therefore could adapt tactically in a real-world scenario - but the military thing went too far.
Nice story though with 2 great twists at the end.
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on 14 March 2017
It's a good film. Exciting, not too many telegraphed twists. BUT, the UHD 4K transfer is ridiculously bad. The dynamic range is that of a poor DVD, with no blacks whatsoever, even in the top and bottom bars! People should be warned NOT to purchase this disk if what they are looking for is a picture that at least approaches adequacy.
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on 20 March 2017
My 10 year old saw the trailer and thought it looked good. 4 star rating on box doesn't do it justice. Brilliant film which kept my easily distracted son engrossed. Highly recommend.
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on 14 March 2014
This is a great film. The film as usual does not follow the book which is absolutely superb, but that is usual for films. That said I enjoyed this film tremendously it moves along at a good pace with some great action.
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on 10 March 2017
It's a slow starter, but what a finale. Everything builds up to the final inevitable twist.
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