Friday, November 8, 2013
Ender's Game movie review
So, before I write this review, I want to make sure everyone knows I disagree with the author of the book on several subjects- he is very homophobic, which is something I absolutely don't tolerate(homophobia is one of the biggest cruelties in our world, along with sexism and racism), so I don't support anything the author says- I enjoy his writing, since he has talent there, but I denounce his very wrong and hurtful views, since, while I am not a member of the LGBT group, I do support them in their endeavors for equality. I know a lot of people were boycotting this film, but, since it is a movie, and only a portion will be going to the author, and many people really worked hard on this film, I decided not to boycott it. Most people involved in the movie making don't hold his views(I know Harrison Ford doesn't), so I think it would be wrong to boycott the film. Plus, the author has lost his battle, since, as we speak, the movement to LGBT equality is making large strides and they can marry in many states(sadly, not all of them, but I believe we are getting there, at least in the first world countries; many countries in Europe, for example, don't make it illegal, which is really good). I guess you can call this one of those times where you love the art, but not the artist.
Okay, onto the review of the movie! Back when I was twelve years old, I was at the library and one of the librarians noticed that I had a science fiction book(it was a Star Wars one, I believe) with me and she asked if I liked the genre. When I said yes, she told me about this book she'd loved as a kid called "Ender's Game" and that I had to read it. She then asked how old I was and, when I did, she told me "That's the perfect age to read it!" So, I ran over to the adult science fiction section(where the Star Wars books are as well) and ended up checking the book out. And I really enjoyed it- it was a very interesting, exciting read and I loved the setting(I didn't care for the dated views on women that popped up, but it was written a while ago, so I can get why). I've also read the second book(when I was fourteen), called "Speaker for the Dead", which, just possibly, might be even better(I'd have to re-read both back to back to make an actual statement on that, however). Overall, though, the Ender series(I've only read the first two- and I am currently reading the third, "Xenocide") is one of the best science fiction stories I've come across and I was, of course, very excited to hear that they were making a movie out of it! :D
So, does the movie measure up? I would say, yes, in fact, it does and quite admirably. Of course, it wasn't able to include everything(though I did recognize several things in the movie that were in the book- like the ending the mouse game, and the battle room). Plus, the last ten-to-twenty minutes are a joy to watch- especially as an actor, a movie fan, and a science fiction fan; the moral of the story is a wonderful, important one and thankfully the filmmakers didn't whack the viewer upside the face with it, but instead let them figure it out for themselves, which is an example of good writing. It's been a long time since I've read the book, but the plot line appears to be the same- and even though I knew the ending, it was kind of cool knowing it since I bet most of the people in the theater with me (if they hadn't read the book) wouldn't have guessed it.
Oh, and I have to say, I'm very glad that the filmmakers left out some of the outdated sexism that was in the book; As a feminist, I definitely appreciated that.
The movie has it's flaws, sure, but it has all the makings of a good story and most of the problems are understandable. They mostly stem from differentiations from the novel(which I get since the book is very hard to adapt to film-form) and one of the casting decisions. Though, they didn't add any unneeded romance to the film, which was a huge plus!! :D
First off, the acting in this film, for the most part, is top notch. Asa Butterfield has always been one of my favorite child/teen actors(along with Dylan Schmid) and I loved getting to see him in a role again; he has a skill level beyond his age and he was the perfect actor to play the titular role of Ender- even if he was older(all the kids are supposed to be six, but I know why they couldn't do that) than his book-counterpart, he played the positive and negative attributes and characteristics with a gravitas one would expect from someone much older. Pretty much everyone else in the film is wonderful as well.
Harrison Ford is, of course, perfect in his role and it was really interesting seeing him play a character so different from Han Solo or Indiana Jones. It was also pretty neat seeing Ben Kingsley in another role, after having seen him in Iron Man 3 earlier this year(though they probably should have cast someone of the right ethnicity). Most of the other children(teen actors), and other adults, all do a good job and it was nice to see different races shown(since the characters were of those ethnicities in the books, as well, if I remember correctly), especially with one of the highest ranking officers being an African(American?) woman.
My only complaint is the casting of Hailee Steinfeld as the character Petra; I never really like her(since, I just so happened to go to a True Grit audition*it wasn't an audition exactly since I didn't read anything; it was more of a looking for who looked right* and I had been hoping that, even if I didn't get cast, someone from my region, who might not get a chance otherwise would get the role; but no they had to get a girl from California who had done a couple of small things which I found very unfair ; but that's not her fault, it's the people who made the film) and after seeing this, I really don't understand why everyone likes her acting so much. I found her performance off from the character's personality and when she said her lines, it sounded like several other teen actors I've worked with in children theaters, not like someone out in the professional world(in fact, I personally know teens who are better actors); It's a mystery to me how she got nominated for an Oscar- she isn't bad, but she's not amazing or anything.
Besides the acting, one of the best things about this film was the visuals; seriously, they were beautiful! All the high-tech science-fiction stuff was soooo cool looking, and the battles(simulations and the combat in the battle room) are so stunning they look real and make you wish you could go there too. I usually don't pay much attention to how the special effects look in films/TV shows, but these were truly amazing.
Now, would I recommend this to others? YES!!! As a fan of the book, I would definitely recommend watching it(and reading the books), especially if you enjoyed the book as well. Also, several people I know who hadn't read the book (my sister and a few other people I know) watched the movie and they loved it; in fact, now they want to read it for themselves!
To close this review(sorry if it was a little rough) I hope you all check the movie, and the book, out and that you all have a great weekend!
And hopefully I can go see Thor: The Dark World over the next two days!! :D