Sunday, November 03, 2013

Brief Thoughts on Ender's Game

I never ended up posting anything on this old blog about Ender's Game, but on Facebook I encouraged people to go see it this weekend. I wanted people to see it (and still want people to see it) because I feel the Orson Scott Card backlash is counterproductive. Admittedly Brother Card has not been very tactful in expressing his views on gay marriage and I in fact don't entirely agree with him in his views. But we can't boycott everything we dislike some portion of. This is hyperpartisanship 101. I don't want to try to avoid any media, activity, group etc because some person involved in it doesn't entirely agree with me. And I don't want people to avoid something I might be involved in because they don't match with me 100%. Yes, if I'm throwing a Let's Pour Pain in the Ocean Party and you're an environmentalist, I understand that you'd not want to go. But I don't avoid movies because the writer is a Democrat or the star is a Jehovah's Witness or the food services guy is a hipster.

Anyway, that has nothing to do with the movie. Thoughts on the movie:

People seem to be upset that the movie is not the book. These people evidently have never seen a movie based on a book. It's a different format. You expect it to be simplified and streamlined. That's what happens. Deal with it.

The movie had a serious bias towards telling us versus showing us. I think this was partially in the interest of time, but also because I think the intended audience of the movie is 10 not 30.

I actually thought the kid playing Ender did an ok job. However the pacing of the movie stripped away a lot of what I liked about Ender. He needed to face struggle after struggle, coming up with new and different ways to deal with each. Instead we had him try a dozen new things in one battle. We didn't get the tenacity and ingenuity I would have liked. He seemed capable which was good, but he didn't seem as triumphant because there wasn't enough progression.

I would rather have had a 2 hour movie with more of this progress, but I don't think every movie needs to be 2 hours. They could have shortened the scenes on earth and the scenes in Command School and given us more Battle School.

But on the whole, I liked it. It was good for what it was, which was not exactly what I wanted. I want the movie to be successful but I don't especially want them to make any sequels. Speaker for the Dead would be interesting, but if they did it I'd rather have them just animate it. And none of Ender's sequels would be more adult (not R necessarily, just mature) so it would make for a disjointed movie series. The Bean books might work better, but also would be a bit difficult tonally. I'll see any of them they try to make, but I don't think they're destined for the big screen.

Anyway, it's pretty good. Go see it.