Ender's Game Movie – Thoughts????

Ender’s Game finally made it to our theater out here. Ender’s Game is in my top 5 favorite books of all time (so long as we can count all of Harry Potter as one book – otherwise, things get complicated). This was the book I gave to Terry to read when I started having a crush on him way back in the day. (Clearly, books are my love language. “Oh I really like you and have strong feelings inside me. Here – take this book.” Terry, bless his heart, does not share this love language, but read it anyway. He loved it too. 🙂 )

My much-beloved copy of Ender's Game. You can tell by the pages coming out of it that it's seen a lot of love. Naturally, I brought it with me to China.
My much-beloved copy of Ender’s Game. You can tell by the pages coming out of it that it’s seen a lot of love. Naturally, I brought it with me to China. Also, Terry has my phone for the day for repairs so I had to take the picture with Photo Booth. Nice, huh? 😉

You guys, I have been waiting for this movie for . . . a very long time. I mean, I’ve been waiting for it so long that I wanted to audition to play Valentine. Clearly I’m too old to play Valentine now. That’s how long I’ve been waiting for it. So you can understand my excitement when the movie finally came out.

Despite all that, I went in very hesitantly and with much trepidation. I mean, there was major potential to screw this up with those kind of expectations. And when the first preview for the movie came out I was . . . underwhelmed. I waited all day by the computer for it to be released and then felt disappointed when I saw it. This weekend then, I was worried that the movie would suck and I would be sad.

But you know what? I actually really liked the movie! In fact, I’d go so far as to say I LOVED it! Granted, the book is still better. Really, stories just tend to work best in the medium they’re first created in. The book gives you so much more details on Ender’s struggle for friendship and the stress, oh man the stress that he feels through the whole thing! And the loneliness. Not to mention Valentine’s and Peter’s whole Demosthenes and Locke subplot.

But it was sooo cool to see Battle School and the war games and simulations played out on screen. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the best at picturing in my head the things I read – it all comes out kind of blurry and I pay more attention to the emotions and character dynamics than the play-by-play action. So seeing it on screen – with rumbling sound – was amazing.

Terry suggested we get suits like these for our rollerblading outfits. I wholeheartedly agree. Then we just need to find a 0 gravity space battle room to 'rollerblade' in.
Terry suggested we get suits like these for our rollerblading outfits. I wholeheartedly agree. Then we just need to find a 0 gravity space battle room to ‘rollerblade’ in.

I think they did a fantastic job of getting across the importance of each of Ender’s friends, even if they each only got limited screen time. And in getting across Ender’s motivations for everything – whoever that actor is that plays Ender was perfect. I wasn’t sure about him at first, but they picked exactly the right person. I absolutely believed in both his kindness/understanding and his logical ruthlessness.

Also, the soundtrack. Awesome. So awesome. I’ll have to purchase that one. I love movie soundtracks. 🙂 It sounded so epic!!

And that ending outburst – knife to my heart! Poor little used and abused Ender! I cried. 🙁

Suffice it to say, if you haven’t seen it yet then shame on you, because it’s been out for months in your country, and go see it immediately. I can’t wait to find it at the video store. 🙂

As a side note, all the movies here are, naturally, shown with Mandarin subtitles (at least, I think they’re Mandarin. I suppose they could be Cantonese. I really would have no way of knowing). Usually subtitles bug me cuz I can’t help but try to read them. But when they’re written in Chinese characters I don’t even notice them! They’re so far beyond what I could even try to understand that I seriously don’t even register they’re on the screen. More than once we’ve been at the movies and I’ve asked Terry “where are the subtitles?” and he has to assure me that they’re there even if I haven’t been paying attention. (Obviously this conversation takes place between lines. I’m not such an idiot I can’t see the characters while they’re on the screen.)

Did you see Ender’s Game yet? What did you think of it? I’m dying to talk about it with someone and you’re all on the other side of the world!! Someone humor me, please.

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  1. Ok missy! I mostly Loved it, but felt a little but disappointed only that they would not split it into at least 2 movies… I was so excited, and eve giddy during the battle room scenes. It was INCREDIBLE and the effects were flawless. It was so beautiful!!
    And then he left for command school and there was so much, it felt so rushed. People who haven’t read the books could not have fully understood why he was so upset, and I was honestly worried for Ender that they would judge him for it. I WILL pick a fight with anyone who disses Ender Wiggins.
    So, Love and also disappointment. But not in the actual movie, more in the lack of MORE movie. Ya know?… 🙂

  2. Having not read the book, here are my thoughts. It was a decent movie. There was no getting around the shortcomings of child actors, but those shortcomings were glaringly present at times. The special effects were pretty good. The black sergeant character was unfortunately more comical than scary. As far as story telling goes, I was unimpressed. The movie REALLY needed to build up the accuracy of Ender’s empathetic insights. Some heretofore unheard of rule that victory is made possible by understanding and even loving one’s opponent is too absurd. It had to be a unique trait of Ender, and I didn’t think the accuracy of Ender’s insights was adequately shown. It was simply stated. Hence, I felt kind of unsympathetic towards Ender’s plight. The aliens are not human and there was no guarantee that they had values even remotely similar to ours. I was left with the nagging question, How would we know that Ender wasn’t being manipulated yet again? What if its simply part of these aliens’ nature to expand and conquer, even to annihilate? Wouldn’t human society be justified in fighting that fight rather than just rolling over? In short, I appreciate what the story was getting at on several levels. I just thought that it was poorly crafted.

  3. Hi Caitlin! I finally got around to seeing Ender’s Game today. I actually just finished the book not knowing you love it so much. My mom mentioned your blog post a few days ago when I told her I was almost finished with the book, so I thought I’d join the party! I don’t know how there aren’t more comments. 🙂

    I really enjoyed both the book and the movie. By far the best part of the movie was their depiction of the battle room. I had a hard time picturing it while reading the book and it was WAY cooler in the movie than I had imagined. I also liked seeing the final battle of the war because I couldn’t really picture how his strategy was carried out.

    That said, I thought a lot of things in the movie were severely underdeveloped. About halfway through the movie I thought it should be called “Best of Ender’s Game” because they were rushing from success to success without any of the deeper development in between. I recognize that not everything can be in the movie, and I agree with their decision not to include the Demosthenes/Locke subplot, but the movie wasn’t even 2 hours long! I wish they would have shown him working with his army to develop new, fluid strategies and watching old war videos to get new ideas after the other armies adopted his strategies. I also thought his friendships were far too simple in the movie. He was never torn from his friends or pitted against them as enemies like he was in the book.

    There were lots of other nit-picky differences between the book and movie (e.g. Bonzo’s name being pronounced wrong by everybody even though Ender got flak for that in the book; Ender failing a mission in command school; Mazar being seriously upset with Ender after he lost some ships instead of agreeing with his response that he can’t be so concerned about losing ships that he can’t take risks, etc.). I’m always curious to know what the thinking is behind these types of changes when a book is adapted to the big screen.

    Anyway, the short of it is that I liked it…enough that I wouldn’t mind seeing it again before it leaves the dollar theater…enough that I might want to own it someday…and enough to change my avatar for this comment to Ender Wiggin. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I loved it, but I liked it.


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