Friday, April 4, 2014

Ender's Game: If you didn't read the book, screw you! Stay confused.

I finally got a chance to take a shot at Ender's Game. I am a huge sci-fi buff. So much that I am currently working on a novel in that genre. I love both Star Wars and Star Trek. I hate very little and love a lot. Ender's Game is a popular novel series by Orson Scott Card and is heralded by many as that one story that came before the Hunger Games about the controversy of kids being trained as killers.

So I do have Ender's Game on my Kindle and its on my to do millions of other books. However I had a trusty expert with me that has read the series, so I can ask all the annoying questions during the movie, like the asshole reviewer I am. And boy were there so many questions...its hard to keep up.

First Impressions:

If you haven't read the book, you are literally screwed in every sense. The scenes are very
disconjointed and moved so quickly, no scene seemed significant enough for me to cling to the plot or the characters. The movie just flipped from scene to scene with little emotional connection. There was barely any foreshadowing [even though it desperately needed it] and half the shit I was confused about was never fleshed out or explained. So basically the entire movie was just a collection of scenes, leaving you wondering so much about Ender's violent behavior, the world he lived in and the connection between him and the bugs.


Why is home girl dressed and the others are not?
The acting was all right. I would say half and half. Asa Butterfield was an interesting Ender Wiggins and I enjoyed his performance, but he seemed a bit stiff some of the time. I am not sure if that is how his character is or what. Harrison Ford is awesome of course and so is Ben Kingsley [I love you Ben!]. Nonso Anozie is an amazing Sergeant Dap [for those who don't know who he is, he is Renfield in the Dracula TV series] and I probably like his character the most. He had the strongest emotion out of all the characters that existed in the film.

However the rest of the squirt brigade? Sub par. There were way too many characters introduced in these scenes for me to care about them. Bean? whatever. Commander Bozo..or whatever his name is? Don't care. That one chick that took a liking to Ender? Yeah, I already forgot her name. by the way, I was glad Bonzo died. Yup..the rest of the characters just didn't get enough time for me to develop that connection with them and its sad that had to happen.


Barely passable. This was the section that I have to say was the worst. I've seen amazing animation and green screening before. This was not it. You could tell when there was a green screen present. The CGI on the ships looked like they were from a computer game. I think Mass Effect had better CGI, which by the way they stole the look of the citadel from the game. The production value of this was low when it came to the graphics. Probably Ben and Harrison sucked all the money up so the graphic flunkies had to work for peanuts.
Are we playing dominos, yahtzee or vegas lights? I can't tell.
Director: I want Harrison Ford. Get him for me right maow!

Casting: Right away, sexy director, sir!

Graphics Flunkie: "Uh, if we get Harrison Ford, that means we have to downgrade the battle school gravity room sir."

Director: [in regal voice] "Make it so."


As I stated previously...if you didn't read the book, you were missing out on a lot of back story. The whole story by itself is epically confusing. I don't really feel for Ender until the very end where a twist just blows me out of the water. If only the story up til then wasn't so shitty that I could appreciate how epically brilliant the ending was. And it IS brilliant. It just would have been more so if the rest of the story was fleshed out a bit more. I would have been OK with an extra 45 minutes of movie time if it resolved all the confusion and developed the characters, situations and story to make this more satisfying. The Hobbit did it...and even though it was WAAAAYYYYY too overdrawn, it really invests in the whole story and not just part of it.

What Ender Should have Destroyed:

1. Teenage Angst -

I honestly don't remember high school being this brutal. Or teens being this angry. Ender has a lot of angst underneath his cold, reptilian composure and the movie barely explains why besides him being terrorized by his brother. If Ender uses the tactic of beating the living shit out of his school mates to prevent them from never screwing with him again, why isn't he doing the same with his brother Peter? He could easily kill him....which by the way...we never learn that both the boys that Ender fights actually die in the book. Even Ender didn't know until after the fact when they lied to his face that they are going to survive. I'm really disappointed they did not include that!

2. The Shitty Security at Battle School - 

Cindy soon realizes that she will never get her threesome...
NOBODY is watching these kids! And when they are watching them, they aren't stopping them fromtrying to kill each other either. Who is seriously running this school? Why were a group of bullies able to corner Ender in the showers. WHY was Ender the only kid that was showering in the first place?

You know how many people escaped from Basic Training when I was at Lackland AFB? NOBODY. You know why? MTIs were stalking the halls waiting to attack and consume trainee blood, that's why. You could not escape from that prison even if you wanted to. They will find you, they will catch you, and then you will be punished into the ground. The fact that a military academy for kids in SPACE has barely anybody watching the kids is really absurd.

3. Who Runs This Joint?

This goes back to the serious stupidity of Battle School. Sergeant Dap is running the yellow training who the hell is running the salamanders? Doesn't every group get a Sergeant? And who is running the school? Harrison Ford could not possibly be running the High School on Earth, Battle School in space and the Commanders School way out yonder in bug country. So what knuckle dragger is keeping this place in shape? There are literally no adults running around. Ever. EVER.

4. Who Are You Playing Again?

Don't worry son, we are going to ruin your life.
OK. I never got the low down of what Harrison Ford's character was supposed to be because he keeps switching positions on me. Was he a talent scout for the chosen one? Was he our Morpheus in this movie? Was he just a high brow officer just hanging around until some one with a killer instinct showed up? Yet again, I get peanuts for explanations here.

5. Major Anderson Departs -

And I still don't know the reason why. My assumption is that Harrison Ford told her he's going to trick Ender into killing all the Formics [the bug aliens], but we never got that satisfaction in the movie. I barely got to know her character before she departed and I was really interested in seeing more of her rather than all the testosterone flying around. So I wonder if this is just like, "Don't be a Menace"? "Sorry, baby: you know there ain't no positive black females in these movies"

6. The Manual Sweep Guys on Planet 'Who the Heck Cares?'

I realized this was different in the book, but in the movie this blew me away. No more than literally a
mall parking lot walk across the way was a cave with the dying Queen bug and her eggling. How did no one ever find this? You would figure if you slapped a base on a nearby planet, you would do a pretty clean sweep before you allow humans to inhabit it permanently. And as usual....where are the guards? Seriously. Why weren't there an assload of guards preventing Ender and his girlfriend from running outside and off the compound? Why wasn't there a perimeter fence? CAN WE GET AN ADULT TO CHAPERONE IN THIS MOVIE?
Everything the light touches is your kingdom, you murderer.

7. Fake Privacy Rights - 

When Ender left his family, he got all of his privacy rights restored. Except for the fact that they are monitoring him and nobody else 24/7. What was the point of giving him his rights back if they were going to observe him in secret any way? This is just like the NSA..."We are totally not listening to your phone calls, just recording all of them to use against you in the future, peon." Did they do that with every other kid? NOOOOOO. I mean if they monitored all the kids they would have seen Bonzo and Ender duke it out. In fact, they would have seen Bonzo about to attack Ender in the shower any way if they were watching Ender's every move. And if they were watching Ender in the shower, does that mean they are watching child porn???

8. Whoever Thought of Using Kids to Kill Aliens was a Dick -

This whole kid concept was confusing to me and was barely explained in the movie. I understood the Hunger Games use of children. Retribution for defiance....sacrifice the kids...make it like a sick television show...bla bla bla. The premise makes sense to me. Raising kids in a video game/war environment and training them to fight a war as children has no real foundation to it. I would understand if you were training these kids into adulthood to become leaders and killers, but the movie made me feel like they thought kids would be a much better choice. Like as if little thought was put into the concept of WHY children rather than why not? Big difference. Also I wasn't exactly sure of the selection process of who goes to Battle School and who doesn't. Peter was too angry, Valentine was too compassionate. However Bonzo was an angry prick, how did that get past the over omni-present Eye of Sauron.

Damn, you should have stayed dead.
9. Mazer Rackham: The Definition of Total Shithead - 

I love Ben Kingsley, but I hated his character. Not only was he a fake causality that was part of the propaganda war machine, he also caused a butt load of damage from all of those falling space planes that fell back to Earth. He also invaded Ender's space during his first night [creepy...] and beat him down like a mysterious Jedi/Ghandi/Ninja just to deliver a cryptic message. Thanks bro, now I will have nightmares of creepy men hiding in corners of my room. Holy shit sticks, Mazer, you are an inconsiderate bastard.

1O. That Guy that was Filming the Final Battle of Mazer Rackham vs the Formics - 

Who the hell was filming Mazer Rackham? I mean the video shots were cool, but who the hell was getting the footage? Was it a drone? Another fighter? You got to know that footage was fake just due to that alone.

11. Lockheed Martin's Shitty Future Version of the F-22 Raptor -

Screw your planes, they still don't work and I hope the alien bugs take a steaming pile of poo all over them so they all crash into the ground.

They always look so peaceful before they die....
12. The Creator of that Creepy Ass Game -

Whoever made the fairytale game is totally twisted. So the first set up of the game is two is supposed to have poison and one does not. The giant insists you must pick one. So Ender tries both options and they are both poisoned. So instead of drinking the poisoned glasses, he screws the giant's skull instead. That's DARK AS SHIT. Satan would approve.

13. Ender's Screwed up Family - 

Duuuuuuuude, Ender's family is super angry face dramatic. Peter goes out of his way to try to choke Ender to death, the sister is a helpless little girl, the father is clearly an angry Republican [Damn bugs, get off my lawn!] and the mother seems passionless. No wonder Ender wants to beat other kids to death, I would to in a family this crazy. Actually I'm surprised Ender isn't a psychopath, except those two times he killed a man. His song should really be "Killing in the Name Of" by Rage Against the Machine.

15. They Have No Vocal Chords! -

This whole no vocal chords argument is a crock of shit. If we couldn't communicate with them how in the world did we know they were looking for water on Earth? How did we know anything about them at all? How did we even find out where they lived? There are too many I don't knows around here for me to believe we could not communicate with them at all and figured out what their species was about. I have a feeling this is often how wars get started...

Indigenous People: "Welcome to our homeland. We have plenty of food for everyone."

Invader Leader: "Whats he saying?"

Shitty Interpreter: "I think they want to eat us."

Invader Leader: "Send the small pox blanket! And then chop off their heads, rape their women and eat their babies. They are CLEARLY all savages."

*Everyone starts raping, pillaging and ethnically cleansing the land*

Indigenous People: *collectively shits their pants*

And then we get to learn the luke warm reality through history! Kind of like Thanksgiving.

15. The Crew Follows You - 

So Ender's friends just magically show up at Commanders school, obviously not to become Commanders but to help Ender beat the simulations. So as my expert tells me, Ender specifically requests these people. In the movie...its more of a  "SURPRISE" Birthday Party with the worst gift saved for last [the death of an entire race. SURPRISE!]. Yet again....if I need an expert with me, this movie sucks.

16. This won't hurt at all - 

That nurse that pulled Ender's wire tap thing in his neck. Seriously...that's the same as getting a endoscopy where the doctor said "you will feel minor I shove this tube up your virgin ass." You are RIPPING something out of his neck. Can you seriously not be a tad bit more gentle, you psycho?

So my conclusion is, unless you read the book, you will clearly be lost. The whole movie depends on the viewers just getting it and I feel like there were a lot of scenes missing that could have made this a much better movie about the horrors of war and the manipulation of powerful people. What started as a thought provoking premise became a nightmare of trying to keep up and a mountain of questions stacking against the ceiling. I say don't go into this movie hoping it would be well rounded. It has plenty of flaws and very little character development.


Ender Cupcakes...choose your favorite loser!
Where the hell were the rest of these groups? The rats, snakes and other units? What was the point of having all 6 of these units displayed for marketing when you only end up introducing two of them? AND I WANT CUPCAKES....

DnD's Rating: 4/1O

Judgment: This movie is just a metaphor for my first Vegas apartment. Except I didn't cry when I killed them all...I rejoiced in their dead little carcasses and feeble murdered spawn screaming for help as I pump acid into the walls to eat their flesh away.

Yes, I am the Harrison Ford of Roach Killing.

P.S. What the hell is this?
Mmmm home-made mystery meat. My favorite.

No comments:

Post a Comment