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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Spoiler-Free Ender's Game Reviews (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Spoiler-Free Ender's Game Reviews
Aros
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Not too good so far.

http://www.basingstokegazette.co.uk/leisure/general/10754349.REVIEW__Ender_s_Game/

http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/Whats-On-Leisure/Movies/ENDERS-GAME-12A-114-mins-20131021163343.htm

http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-reviews/enders-game-12a-2470086

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Sa'eed
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2 of those 3 reviews are positive.

Don't scare us, Aros.

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Lyrhawn
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Positive with reservations.

What I took from those reviews is that one guy didn't like it, and the other two liked it for the same reason people liked the latest Star Trek films - Flashy but no substance. Read between the lines and you see them praising the speed, intensity, and special effects, but none of them seem particularly impressed by the story, which one of them describes as a mix of Starship Troopers and the Last Starfighter, which I have to admit, has an amusing grain of truth to it.

What I think these reviews say is that it's a fun ride. And that's great. But a lot of us might be expecting more than a popcorn thriller.

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Marlozhan
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Why, why, why, why can't Hollywood produce a decent sci-fi with a real heart to it?

The whole 'fun ride' thing is getting old. Yes, I love a beautiful film with great effects. But it can't be that hard to incorporate both heart and effect, can it?

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Aros
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I only think one of the three was positive. And it was one of the most shallow, tag-line heavy reviews I've ever seen.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
I only think one of the three was positive. And it was one of the most shallow, tag-line heavy reviews I've ever seen.

Duh. That's why they farm advanced copies out to these hacks in the first place. Not one of these reviewers has read the novel (not that it's a requirement), and not one of them appears to be a sci-fi fan of any description. The studios are careful about who gets to write the first reviews. And these writers have spent years furnishing tag lines for the pimps who run the studios. Old news that.
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Aros
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Oh, I'd missed the other bad review . . . .

http://www.movies.ie/Articles/Reviews__New_movies_opening_October_25th_2013

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FoolishTook
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quote:
The rest of the cast of kids is made up of Hailee Steinfeld, who had her breakthrough in True Grit, as the love interest/inspiration for Ender, Aramis Knight, Jimmy Pinchak and Abigail Breslin as Ender's sister Valentine.
[Wall Bash]
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Lyrhawn
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That's a pretty scathing review.
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scifibum
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I actually find that last review quite promising.

quote:
The dialogue is often corny, and the twists and turns of the plot become so twisty turny and needlessly complicated, that at times it is hard to keep track. Oh, and the film opens with a quote from the protagonist, written across the screen. Is it just me, or is that weird?
If a reviewer who isn't familiar with the source finds it "weird" and "needlessly complicated", that's probably a good thing.
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Aros
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Den of Geek's review is a little more promising. . .
http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/enders-game/27870/ender%E2%80%99s-game-review

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Aros
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http://entertainment.ie/movie-review/Enders-Game/222085.htm

Hmm....

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Aros
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Wow. I'm shocked that nobody has pointed out the irony of avoiding spoiler-y reviews. It's not as though people on this site know what is going to happen. . . .
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DustinDopps
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I got passes to a screening next Tuesday (10/29). I'll try to remember to post a review here.
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Jeff C.
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IGN gave it a 7/10. It's from a fan of the book, too. He praises Asa butterfield and Ford's performances, but says the guy who plays Mazer hams it up pretty bad, which is surprising when you remember who the actor is and how good he normally is.

All that being said, his review is quite positive and says the ending will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.

I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy it.

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Samprimary
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the gorilla dies, the ship sinks, the jews kill mel gibson but he is resurrected, ender blows up the bugger planet but it turns out the buggers weren't actually trying to destroy earth it was all just a huge misunderstanding!!
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Samprimary
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also, mockingly predictive presumption: spoiler alert, ha ha you thought a blockbuster movie wasn't going to try to water down political implications
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ScottF
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Saw it today, liked it lot. That's my review. Full disclosure, I also watched Bad Grandpa the other day and laughed a lot, almost to the point of tears in a couple places. That's two reviews in three sentences - you're welcome.
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Ginol_Enam
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I just saw it. My thought was "they tried." It probably is not as good as many of us were hoping, but its definitely nowhere near as bad as we were fearing. They are several parts where I could tell the film makers really understood and were trying to do the book justice, but some other parts where they just fell short. There was only one part where I was actually kind of upset at a change they made.
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Wingracer
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tor.com review.

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/10/the-enemys-gate-is-down-enders-game#more

She liked it right up until the end.

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Lyrhawn
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Disappointing that they punk out at the most important juncture.
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Ginol_Enam
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quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
tor.com review.

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/10/the-enemys-gate-is-down-enders-game#more

She liked it right up until the end.

I agree with this 100%
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Wingracer
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This reviewer rips it a new one:

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/ender-game-movie-review-article-1.1502822

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777
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The author called it unfilmable, but he also tried to get it filmed... I guess it was doomed to not do as well on screen as it did in print. That really is one of the shortcomings of film: the inability to project or present deep, internal, brooding thoughts.

I mean, they could probably (were they to ever film the sequel) portray Jane as this wisecracking sidekick or whatever. But I don't know how they could possibly portray the layered intensity of when Ender shuts her off, in that split second of silence, or the existential crisis that emerges from it, triggering the events that lead to the climax.

OSC's books aren't made for the screen. They're too internal. This isn't a bad thing.

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Wingracer
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I think it's tough to make most any novel into a really good film. It seems like most of the really great film adaptations from literature are based on short stories or novella's. Movies just aren't long enough to properly portray all the content of a long novel. They are better suited to a TV format like Game of Thrones.
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Miro
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quote:
Originally posted by Ginol_Enam:
quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
tor.com review.

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/10/the-enemys-gate-is-down-enders-game#more

She liked it right up until the end.

I agree with this 100%
Odd. I had almost the exact opposite reaction.

Edit: Interesting interview with Card about the movie (http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/10/cardqa/).

[ October 31, 2013, 11:18 PM: Message edited by: Miro ]

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Jeff C.
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I just got back fro watching it and I thought it was fine.


SPOILERS

They changed the ending so that Val doesn't go with Ender, but I guess I understand it. Although, I seriously doubt the I.F. would just give Ender a ship and let him leave with no one to help him. That part doesn't make much sense.

The part with the queen was pretty cool. I liked the art and battle room. It was a nice movie, all in all.

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vineyarddawg
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Just got back from the movie (No Spoilers!), and I have to say that I think it's pretty much as good as they could have done in the medium with which they were working.

To me, it felt like they were trying to fit 500 pages of material into 50... but seeing as that's exactly what they were doing, it's not that unexpected.

I, for one, was very impressed with the ending. I didn't think they would be able to pull that off effectively, but I think the final scenes of the movie were successful.

Having just seen Gravity a couple of weeks ago, I think it's unfortunate that Ender's Game will inevitably be compared (unfavorably) to that movie. Gravity is a thin, predictable storyline surrounded by the most incredible special effects and realistic-looking space-effects I've ever seen in a movie. Ender's Game is, really, pretty much the exact opposite: a deep, idea-driven storyline that has some neat special effects along for the ride.

Unfortunately, movie audiences today want to see the former, not the latter, so I don't expect Ender's Game to do very well at the box office, and I don't imagine the reviews will be overly effusive about it. As for myself, I found it very satisfying; a far more satisfying movie experience than Gravity.

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Jeff C.
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Harrison Ford was amazing, by the way. This movie shows he has serious acting chops. He's brilliant as Graff.
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vineyarddawg
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
Harrison Ford was amazing, by the way. This movie shows he has serious acting chops. He's brilliant as Graff.

Absolutely! Old Harrison Ford was the perfect Graff.
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RivalOfTheRose
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Not that they can really help it, but the movie was too short for the book in multiple key areas. I don't mind the plot changes at all, and the visuals were great. Overall... Eh.
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vineyarddawg
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quote:
Originally posted by RivalOfTheRose:
Not that they can really help it, but the movie was too short for the book in multiple key areas. I don't mind the plot changes at all, and the visuals were great. Overall... Eh.

Neh? [Smile]
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Jeff C.
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I didn't like how they condensed so much of the Battle School time into what felt like a few short weeks. He moves up to Dragon Army so fast I had to pause and look at my phone to see how much time had passed. I get why they did it, but for someone who has read the book seven times, it was hard to get around.

Still, a solid film.

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PSI Teleport
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
Harrison Ford was amazing, by the way. This movie shows he has serious acting chops.

Wouldn't it be hilarious if this was the movie he finally got an Oscar for?
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ScottF
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Can anyone name a highly acclaimed novel who's movie version is generally considered equal or better than the written version? I can't.
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Amanecer
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I saw it and I liked it. It's not the book but it clearly tried to be faithful to the heart of the story and I think the final product is something that fans can appreciate.

I do think that if I was unfamiliar with the story,there were many things that would have been very difficult to follow.

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vineyarddawg
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quote:
Originally posted by ScottF:
Can anyone name a highly acclaimed novel who's movie version is generally considered equal or better than the written version? I can't.

Well, The Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me both leap to my mind, but those were short stories, not novels.

I've never read Fight Club, but it's one of the examples I frequently hear cited of the movie being better than the book.

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Ginol_Enam
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quote:
Originally posted by Miro:
quote:
Originally posted by Ginol_Enam:
quote:
Originally posted by Wingracer:
tor.com review.

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2013/10/the-enemys-gate-is-down-enders-game#more

She liked it right up until the end.

I agree with this 100%
Odd. I had almost the exact opposite reaction.

Edit: Interesting interview with Card about the movie ( http://www.wired.com/underwire/2013/10/cardqa/ ).

In what way? Do you disagree with specific points she brought up, or just the overall tone of the review?
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Strider
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quote:
Originally posted by vineyarddawg:
quote:
Originally posted by ScottF:
Can anyone name a highly acclaimed novel who's movie version is generally considered equal or better than the written version? I can't.

Well, The Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me both leap to my mind, but those were short stories, not novels.

I've never read Fight Club, but it's one of the examples I frequently hear cited of the movie being better than the book.

Fight Club is definitely one of the best book to screen adaptations I've ever seen. I don't know if I'd say it was better, but likely equal.

As for better, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas comes to mind. Not only is the movie incredibly true to the source material (line for line much of the way), the acting and direction is just so superb that I don't ever see the need to read the book when you have the film.

The Road was also incredibly well done.

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scifibum
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Somehow I missed that The Road was also a movie. I'll have to watch that sometime. Sometime when I can immediately emerge into sunlight and eat a strawberry.
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PSI Teleport
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quote:
Originally posted by ScottF:
Can anyone name a highly acclaimed novel who's movie version is generally considered equal or better than the written version? I can't.

Twilight. >_>
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Hobbes
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Huh. I couldn't stand The Road adaptation. I had to turn it off 15 or 20 minutes in.

Hobbes [Smile]

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Hobbes
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I don't know what's generally considered but, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest I thought was better than the book. Though really the two were only tangentially related. 2001: A Space Odyssey I think is considered better by the majority of people, but it wasn't an adaptation (they were written at the same time). The Godfather maybe, though that's at best a toss-up. Personally I thought No Country for Old Men (to return to Cormac McCarthy) was better in movie form than book. But my guess is that most people who are the kind of people who read the book would be the kind of people to prefer that over the movie.

Which is always the problem: people who prefer one medium over the other tend to stick to their medium. At least to some degree. So you can't get a truly unbiased sample.

Hobbes [Smile]

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Hobbes
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Oh, and on the topic of Stanley Kubrick movies, I really hope there's a consensus that The Shining was a better movie than book.

Hobbes [Smile]

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dkw
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quote:
Originally posted by ScottF:
Can anyone name a highly acclaimed novel who's movie version is generally considered equal or better than the written version? I can't.

Contact

Julie and Julia

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millernumber1
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To Kill a Mockingbird? I'm curious what you mean by "highly acclaimed," though.
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Lyrhawn
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There Will be Blood

Though it's a looser adaptation.

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TomDavidson
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I actually thought Contact the movie was considerably weaker than the book.
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Hulgren
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The movie effects were great. Loved seeing the battleroom, and the final battle played out better than I had imagined it.

though a 13 hour audio doesn't translate into a 2 hour movie well. Instead of hollywood I think this book would have done better as an anime or cartoon epic story. You could have more depth in character developement in a series of stories with more time. Maybe a couple chapters at a time. Not all of the content would have to be included. The movie just felt too rushed.

all in all I hope it makes enough to call it a success, though better audio plays or visual methods without editing out as much content would much be preferred.

Love your world. It always gives me plenty to dwell on in my long drives.

6/10

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Emreecheek
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Sense and Sensibility.
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