I’m curious about it for sure. I read the book a few years ago and am wondering how faithful they stayed.
Mainly, I am wondering about the ending.
Maintain the extended ending where Ender learns the Buggers were not evil and that they had retreated once they learned humans were sentient. To me, this was the best part of the book and I hope they kept it in…instead of ending with his victory over the Buggers.
I really don’t want to see it, but for me it’s because I have really really fond memories of the book, and would be very grumpy if they were spoiled by the movie. I’m already grumpy that the kids are all way too old. I just don’t know if I could step away from the book to enjoy it properly, and I don’t want to be that grinch who spends the post-movie coffee get-together bitching about how everything was just all wrong.
I saw it last night. To make it a 2-hour movie, they had to make some concessions:
All of Ender’s training and elevation in rank took place over the course of weeks or months, not years, as in the book. Unfortunately, this had the deliterious effect of making him seem to be some kind of vunderkind like Anakin Skywalker (though not quite that egregious). Truthfully, Ender is a bit of a savant of strategy in the book, but there’s a lot going on in the book that is part of his training
They truncated the “mind game.” It’s in there, and I wondered how they would handle it, but I think it was handled more elegantly in the book.
They had to leave out most of the Valentine and Peter sub-story, which I found interesting in the book and hope to explore further in some of Card’s other books.
Due to time constraints, it’s not made plain that Ender understood that the Buggers (“Formics” in the movie) regretted the invasion and withdrew once they determined humanity was sentient. Rather, they paint it more as if Ender develops an empathy for the Buggers with a “they don’t deserve total extermination” mindset after he wipes out their planet. Unfortunately, not enough time is spent in the movie explaining how he has learned about the Buggers, as he did in the book. It weakens the movie compared to the book, but not disastrously so.
Considering that the movie is aimed squarely at the 12-18-year-old demographic, points 1 - 4 don’t horribly cripple the movie and it’s an entertaining story taken on its face, separate from the book. It is also plain that they’re hoping to build a franchise with this movie, much like “Hunger Games.”
I saw Dean Richards’ review this morning (WGN Chicago) and he gave it a B+ and said it was his favorite of what was opening this weekend, for what that’s worth. I find that his reviews can be hit or miss as far as aligning with my tastes but he had a lot of nice things to say about it.
Saw it this weekend. It was better than I expected, which is kind of saying a lot.
For starters, I wouldn’t advise boycotting the movie just because of the author’s petty homophobic rants. There’s no homophobic propoganda in the movie at all, and as mentioned already, OSC isn’t getting any money from ticket sales. Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me if the pre-release controversy actually bumps up the box office totals – that tends to happen for some reason.
As for the movie itself, a few thoughts:
The Battle School scenes are VERY rushed, and as a result there’s practically no character development given to anyone at all, except for Ender and (to a lesser extent) Petra. The movie does include the key plot points, including the shower fight, but I really wish they had spent more time getting to know the characters and what was at stake. As a result, once Ender graduates to Command School and meets his former classmates, I couldn’t help but wonder, who ARE these guys???
On the other hand, the movie does an excellent job of maintaining Valentine as a relevant character, despite having virtually no scenes in the movie at all. (The Locke/Desmothenes subplot is entirely gone, not even hinted at.)
Regarding the “big reveal” at Command School:
The film does keep secret the reality of Ender’s battles being real and not a simulation, despite the trailers hinting that it’s revealed earlier. However, I think the filmmakers made a HUGE mistake in the final battle. In the novel, Ender chooses to destroy the Formic home planet as a blatant attempt to get kicked out of Command School, thinking that the generals would surely dismiss someone who would do something so murderous. (Instead, it turns out that’s exactly what they were hoping he would do!) It’s a small but crucial detail, although I don’t believe it ruins the movie as a whole…just a big disappointment.
Yes, the scene is there, though it’s handled a bit differently.
It wasn’t great… although I think it was about as good as a big-budget hollywood adaptation of a complex book was likely to be. Certain we can imagine a version directed by Michael Bay and how disastrously bad that could have been.
I wanted more of the battle school battles, but the parts we did see were decent.
I saw it this morning. If I didn’t know the book and was in that crucial 11-14 age group, I’d probably have liked it. As it was, my main issue with it is that it was so incredibly rushed. I understand that this is because of condensing years to weeks is going to result in some changes.
I was most bothered by all the points that had Ender and Petra holding hands. They’re clearly trying to hint at a romance subplot that I have zero recollection of actually being in the book - I don’t think I’m misremembering, but could be.
Mostly, by the end I was just waiting for explosions and to see how they’d handle the Doctor Device. That was fine - but should they expand this into more movies, I won’t care enough to see them.
I have no problem paying to view the work product of the output of artists/authors/actors, etc., that hold views or commit acts I find distasteful, repellent, etc. (I don’t mind everybody making they’re own choice and don’t hold it against them but in the circles I run in I am surprised by how many people say NOM is reason enough not to see a movie that may indirectly benefit Card but happily look forward to a new Roman Polanski film from which he’ll directly profit; as do I, even if I would happily haul him back to LA myself.)
Unless I see the work as trying to propagandize me in favor of those acts/views.
It was a middling film. As a standalone thing I’d have been fine with it but not over the moon by any measure, but many of the changes from the book did annoy me. They had to age the kids (I just don’t see getting a bunch of 10 years who could remotely convey the necessary gravitas). They had to compress the events. Fine.
But they made other changes I can’t figure out, especially if they had any remote hopes of dong Speaker of the Dead or additional sequels. But my wife was fine with most of that as she isn’t familiar with the books though the big reveal and follow up was so rushed I don’t think the significance of it really played.
Oh, I know. But I can only share my reaction as someone pretty familiar with the book and could therefore see things hinted as but not really fleshed out for the unfamiliar viewer.
Though one thing that that doesn’t make much sense in the movie itself and contradicts the books for no reason is
They apparently have fast but non-relativistic interstellar spaceships that still require some kind of suspended animation. I can figure out no practical film reason for them to have moved Battle School from the in-system asteroid once occupied by buggers to a different solar system ones occupied by formics.