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Movie Review: Ender's Game

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the enemy's-gate-is-down dept.

Movies 732

Ender's Game is the quintessential classic military sci-fi book. It ranks near the top of virtually every list of good sci-fi novels. When Hollywood decided to finally go forward with a movie adaptation, the initial reaction from most fans was one of skepticism. (After all, we saw what they did to I, Robot.) But there was reason to hope, as well, because Ender's Game is more action-friendly than many sci-fi stories, and the filmmakers had a big budget with which to make it. The movie was finally released last week; read on for our review. In short: the film tries too hard to straddle the line between assuming viewers are familiar with the details and bringing new viewers up to speed. The cuts to the story were both too much and not enough. It left us with only brief glimpses at too many characters, and introduced themes without fleshing them out enough to be interesting.

Note: in the lead-up to this film's release, a boycott was organized in response to Orson Scott Card's efforts as an anti-gay-marriage activist. If you find your desire to see one of your favorite stories clashing with a desire not to support Card's political views, an organization called the Equality Initiative has offered an alternative. They suggest going to see the movie, if you want, and then simply donating the ticket price to any of several related charities.

First, let's get the obvious out of the way: they cut a lot from the novel. Really, quite a lot. As a book, Ender's Game is not terribly long, and it's a very quick read. That makes it sound ideal for a movie interpretation at first blush. But part of the reason it's such a quick read is that it's dense with plot, character development, and internal narratives. The movie is dense as well, but mostly with events. What makes the book great is not so much what the characters do, but why they do it and how. So while the movie conveys the majority of what happened in the book, it fails to convey the reasons behind the facts. I don't know that they could have done any better within a two-hour time limit, but it leaves us with a question: is this film for people who have read the book, or for people who haven't?

Since the book has been out since 1985, I'm going to assume most of you are familiar with the story. I won't reveal the major plot twists, but minor and intermediate spoilers may follow. If you aren't familiar with it, then here's the bottom line: go read the book! It's good.

Right from the beginning we see how deep the cuts go. Central to Ender's time at home is the whirlwind of conflicting emotions running through him about his monitor, his family, and his status as a Third. The film rushes through these, hitting each only briefly enough to show the viewer that there exists something deeper. Ender mentions being a Third, but doesn't explain what a Third is, or why it's a point of shame and embarrassment. They introduce Peter, but fail to show that their relationship is more complex than your typical sibling rivalry. In the book, Peter is brilliant, sadistic, intuitive, and a hell of an actor when adults are around. In the movie, he's just a jerk for a few seconds before Ender rockets off toward the plot.

Even Ender's early fight with Stilson loses much of its impact. In the book, it really isn't much of a fight; Ender immediately has Stilson at his mercy. The point of the scene was to show Ender's deliberate use of brutality and intimidation to secure safety from the larger group of enemies. He's reluctant, but not hesitant. In the movie, this is distilled down to a command for Stilson to "stay down" before the fight has concluded and a shaky warning to the others.

So, even just 10 minutes into the film, we see the film is not taking the time to illustrate these characters to a new audience. That trend continues: most of the minor characters are cardboard cutouts of their literary counterparts. Bean is somehow in the same initial launch group as Ender, and simply serves as an ally. Peter and Valentine just serve as occasional spurs for Ender's development. (Yes, that means the entire secondary plot was scrapped. I'm not too sad about that; there's no way they could have given it enough time to do it justice. And it was always the least believable thing, for me, in a novel about space battles and insectoid aliens.) Alai makes mention of peace, but he doesn't have a role as a peacemaker. The contrast between his connection with Ender and the constant violence surrounding them is lost. Petra has more interaction with Ender than most, but it has some bizarre romantic overtones.

Well, then, what about the scenery? If the movie is for fans of the book, it should at least be awesome to see expensive CGI of the scenes we imagined in our heads when reading it, right? And it is.. sometimes. The space battle sequences are impressive, and seeing the students fly around in zero-g was neat. But it was also jarring, at times. Take the Battleroom at the school, for example. In my head, it was an approximation of space, with a dark background interrupted only by the simple "stars" and the gates. In the movie, there's an awful lot going on, visually. The walls are windows dominated by a view of Earth. Everything's polished and shiny. The light pistols shoot bright, Star-Wars-like laser bolts that flash dramatically when they hit something. All the ships in the battlefleet look fancy and brand new, instead of hastily constructed and out of date. Ender's interface in command school is far more graphical and pretty than is sensible. It's cool to see, and I suspect viewers who are unfamiliar with the book won't think twice about it. But it's clear that this interpretation is not straining to be as faithful to the book as possible, which is mildly disappointing.

The movie's acting was decent. There won't be any Oscar nominations, but they didn't have a whole lot to work with. As I mentioned earlier, most characters had their subtleties stripped away. Asa Butterfield does a respectable job with Ender, using glances and body language to supplement some of the situations where the story was simplified from an internal narrative. The casting director definitely made the right decision going with kids in their early teens rather than the much-younger ages from the book. Harrison Ford played Graff well enough, but it'd be more accurate to say he played Harrison Ford. If you tend to like his characters, you'll enjoy the role. If not, you might like Viola Davis, who played a surprisingly good Major Anderson. Those two characters were tweaked a bit in order to separate out their conflicting emotions about training Ender, and they pull it off. Ben Kingsley does a fine job in his abbreviated role as Ender's adversarial mentor.

A few other random notes:

  • They gave up the biggest plot twist ahead of time; there were at least two obvious references to what was going to happen. Ender is kept in the dark, but the audience is not, which is too bad for new viewers.
  • The fantasy game was represented pretty well. Like most other plot elements, it was stripped down to its essentials, but I was surprised by how well they integrated it into the story. I was expecting it to be cut altogether.
  • Due to the trimming and simplifying of the story, the movie's dialogue was largely original. It mostly paraphrased the book. However, they occasionally threw in direct quotes from some of the more stylized lines. It happened infrequently enough that it broke immersion.

It's inevitable that a successful book won't fit within the confines of a movie script. We knew this going in. Nevertheless, some adaptations have succeeded by being as faithful as possible to the ideas behind the book. Ender's Game doesn't manage this. Other adaptations have been successful by reimagining the work for a new medium, thus drawing in new fans. Ender's Game doesn't quite manage this, either. It straddles the line, and in doing so, leaves us with a sequence of events that seems entirely arbitrary, when it should instead seem inevitable. If you're thrilled about the possibility of seeing expensive CGI for one of your favorite stories, go see it. Otherwise, give it a pass.

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Hitchhiker's Guide (4, Funny)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#45348101)

Hopefully they can make it as good as the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. That movie was excellent.

Re:Hitchhiker's Guide (0)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about a year ago | (#45348109)

trololo

Re:Hitchhiker's Guide (5, Funny)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#45348339)

Agreed. Hitchhiker's Guide was almost as good as Matrix Revolutions or Alien Resurrection.

Re:Hitchhiker's Guide (5, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#45348429)

What do you mean there was a sequel to The Matrix? Perhaps you are confused. [xkcd.com]

Orson Scott Card (1, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#45348111)

Enders Game could be the best movie ever, Orson Scott Card is not getting a dime of my money.

Re:Orson Scott Card (2)

Z00L00K (682162) | about a year ago | (#45348125)

The book has some potential, but I wonder where all the need for action comes. A lot of Science Fiction would make a great adventure.

Re:Orson Scott Card (5, Interesting)

Teresita (982888) | about a year ago | (#45348183)

I'm not much interested in Hollywood versions of classic books, ever since Peter Jackson took a book that is much shorter than any of the books in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and stretched it out to what promises to be a trilogy in it's own right. The Will Smith "I, Robot" has almost nothing to do with Asimov's stories. If Hollywood brought the notoriously talky Foundation Trilogy to the screen it would have nine films, be crammed with CGI fleets slamming into one another, the Mule would be more physically intimidating than Sauron and Arkadia Darrell would have bigger tits and ass than Beyonce.

Re:Orson Scott Card (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348353)

To be fair, Jackson cut a massive amount from the Rings story. Just adding the actual journey from the Shire to Bree would have been a film it it's own right, then add in what should have happened with Saruman, plus the sacking of the Shire. The Hobbit, although a short book, had more than enough to stretch into three two hour films without Jackson adding pointless cameos and back story. Perhaps you need to read them again after being familiar with the films?

Re:Orson Scott Card (1, Offtopic)

JustOK (667959) | about a year ago | (#45348451)

You're suggesting RTFB? On /. ?

Re:Orson Scott Card (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348371)

If Hollywood brought the notoriously talky Foundation Trilogy to the screen it would have nine films, be crammed with CGI fleets slamming into one another, the Mule would be more physically intimidating than Sauron and Arkadia Darrell would have bigger tits and ass than Beyonce.

I need to see a fan made trailer of that STAT.

Re:Orson Scott Card (4, Insightful)

occasional_dabbler (1735162) | about a year ago | (#45348461)

And yet, in and of itself, "I Robot" was not a bad movie. It just didn't have much to do with the book. A movie can only really hold a short story with any fidelity - the great successes being "Minority Report" and of course, "Blade Runner" both Phiip K Dick stories that you can read in a couple of hours...

Re:Orson Scott Card (4, Insightful)

reve_etrange (2377702) | about a year ago | (#45348561)

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, aka Blade Runner, is a whole novel.

Re:Orson Scott Card (5, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#45348507)

I agree with you on I, Robot, but there was a method to Jackson's madness in The Hobbit.

As the story goes, Way back when, Tolkien decided to write a sequel to The Hobbit, and the sequel "got away from him" and became a lot longer and darker and more adult than the first, children's story. Years later, Tolkien wanted to rewrite The Hobbit in the same adult tone as Lord of the Rings, rework some of the inconsistencies, and fold it into the same overall story arc. He apparently spent a lot of time on this. Some of his notes are in the appendices of Return of the King. Tolkien died before he could complete it.

His son Christopher completed the story, renamed "The Quest for Erebor", posthumously.

You'll notice, perhaps, that Thorin called their journey "The Quest for Erebor" in the first Hobbit movie.

But there are legal tangles. Tolkien sold the rights to Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, which eventually came into Jackson's hands, but not any of the materials he had written since, and the Tolkien estate (read: Christopher Tolkien) has refused to consider selling the rights to any other Tolkien works. So Jackson has access to The Hobbit, and he has access to parts of the story that are in Return of the King. He wanted to do The Quest for Erebor (for whatever reason, imagine dollar signs if that works for you) as two films (later three) but couldn't get the rights to Tolkien's other notes on the rewrite, because Christopher Tolkien wouldn't deal. So basically, they did what they could with the materials they owned, and basically pulled the rest of the story out of their collective ass.

So, how well or ill the final product was, is as always up to the viewer to decide. But my POINT is, the INTENTION was to tell the larger story that the author had imagined it becoming. As described in the appendices of Return of the King (which are for the most part worth reading) a very key part of the War of the Ring, and Gandalf's own personal goals, were: (a) the elimination of Smaug, (b) the reestablishment of a dwarf stronghold under the mountain, and (c) driving the necromancer out of mirkwood. One could say that a side goal was to get the Mirkwood elves engaged for the coming war. These are all important preludes to the War of the Ring.

Sorry to be so long winded, but the point is, there is actually an author-inspired reason to make The Hobbit a trilogy, although I'm sure money had a lot to do with it also.

But don't bother asking these question in rec.arts.tolkien. They hate hate HATE Jackson over there, and any discussion of the movies rapidly gets incoherent.

Back on topic, I remember all the furor on Usenet back in the eighties when Ender's Game first came out, (you can probably still find it in the Google Groups archives) but never got around to actually reading the books. I really liked the film, but I went in being familiar with some of the story's plot points from reading the discussions all those years ago. I can't speak to how someone who had never heard of it might like it, EXCEPT, my daughter, who had never heard of the story, went in cold and really really liked it. She considers the film a keeper. To put this in perspective, she hated Avatar.

Re:Orson Scott Card (4, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#45348575)

I don't want Christopher's money grabbing bastardization. I wanted the Hobbit. A fun story with Epic bits about a hobbit./
Not Oakenshield's really, really, really serious adventures about really really serious stuff with serious people who seriously want to be serious.

Plus the movie had bits that were outright stupid.

The Ending of Enders is pretty lame to anyone with a lot of reading experience. It's great for kids; which then remember it with overly found memories of their past.

Re:Orson Scott Card (4, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | about a year ago | (#45348447)

It had great potential back when it was written. But now the training "games" that Ender goes through cannot have the same impact.

***SPOILER***

It's one thing to realize that the little green dots you've been sending to fight the little red dots are really ships with people on them. And you've been ordering them to their deaths and getting petulant about it because you had to get up early. It's entirely different when the dots are now fully rendered ships.

Hold it! How are you ordering them to their deaths? It's already been established that FTL does not exist in this universe. Inter-stellar operations are, effectively, suicide missions because by the time you return everyone you left behind will be dead. So FTL does not exist for ships but it does exist for communications. And that had to be hidden from everyone? Why? Why not let the families of the people on the ships talk to them?

It had to be hidden in order to preserve the ending and the characterization. But it had to exist to provide the ending.

Re:Orson Scott Card (2, Insightful)

dpidcoe (2606549) | about a year ago | (#45348133)

Famous entertainer holds opinions some people disagree with, more news at 11.

Re:Orson Scott Card (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348289)

"Mediocre painter holds opinions some people disagree with, more news in 1933." Some level of shit is just too dangerous to shrug it off. If he wants to pull off "Mein Kampf" style crap, that's reason enough not to fund him.

Re:Orson Scott Card (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348139)

why? I guess he pays you for a quickie behind the movie theatre.

Re:Orson Scott Card (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348175)

Enders Game could be the best movie ever ...

I hear it's crap ... and that's the nicest thing I've heard about it.

Re:Orson Scott Card (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348181)

So wait till it comes out on DVD, and get it from your local library.

Re:Orson Scott Card (0, Troll)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#45348195)

+1 Will watch when a DVD/BR rip hits TPB. He can be racist and homophobic with somebody else's money.

Re:Orson Scott Card (2)

uncle brad (1989490) | about a year ago | (#45348223)

Card has probably had is payday already, whether you see the movie or not.

Re:Orson Scott Card (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348469)

Card owns 50% of Taleswapper, the production copy. He's getting a big taste of the box office, even though the studio isn't writing checks payable to his name.

Re:Orson Scott Card (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45348503)

So?
I for the same reason will not be voting for this with my dollars. People who associate with him are not people I want to encourage to continue to do so.

Re:Orson Scott Card (3, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#45348237)

From what I've been told [schlockmercenary.com] , Card will not get a dime of your money regardless of whether you see the movie or not.

Unless you've been living in a vacuum, you know that there are people boycotting the film in protest of Orson Scott Card's very public political positions. There are also people seeing it as a show of support. It's been pointed out that Card is not in for producer money--he got paid when the option was exercised, and won't see more money regardless of how well the film does. On the other hand, judging by Ender's Game's position on The New York Times Bestseller list (#1 on November 10th for mass-market paperback) this movie has sold some books, and those will cut Card some royalty checks.

Re:Orson Scott Card (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#45348295)

Rewarding those who rewarded OSC is bad enough. The less money this movie makes, the less likely OSC will get movie deals in the future.

Re:Orson Scott Card (0)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about a year ago | (#45348247)

I once bought one of his books on audible.com. The book was aimed at a much younger audience than me and was somewhat juvenile. At the end of the narration he put a screed about Clinton and how he was going to ruin America. Fortunately, audible.com let me return it for a refund.

Re:Orson Scott Card (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348265)

It's definitely not.

And I'm betting he sold the movie license for a flat fee, so your ticket payment would go to the studio, not to Card.

Also, support the theme of the movie, which is inclusiveness and understanding. Card may have gone off his own reservation, but that doesn't mean his books don't have great messages that it would be a shame to miss because the author became a jerk in his old age.

Re:Orson Scott Card (2)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#45348593)

Also, support the theme of the movie, which is inclusiveness and understanding.

Inclusiveness and understanding of what exactly? Genocide? [diaryland.com]

Re:Orson Scott Card (5, Interesting)

crashcy (2839507) | about a year ago | (#45348267)

While I disagree with the guy's views, I wonder about the zealotry against him. Did you to see Midnight in Paris? How about The Piano? If you are that concerned with the character of those who benefit from your entertainment consumption, should I take your choice to watch those as an endorsement of child molestation? And if you haven't seen those, give me any list of 20 movies you like, I'm sure I could find others.

Re:Orson Scott Card (2, Informative)

occasional_dabbler (1735162) | about a year ago | (#45348415)

This. Plus I never rated the whole Ender trilogy. I trudged through it but found it shallow, unimaginative and dull. (The Great Enemy are called "Buggers" - so they destroy your planet and then they sodomise you?) Where are the movies of books by Banks or Niven, or even the more modern Reynolds and Asher. Action and plot aplenty amongst any of those and (apart from Niven, alas) proper character devlopment too. OSC is grade C at best, then you hear he's got some nasty politics and for me too it's a no f... way am I going to waste my life to put a cent in this man's pocket.

Re:Orson Scott Card (2)

khasim (1285) | about a year ago | (#45348499)

Where are the movies of books by Banks or Niven, or even the more modern Reynolds and Asher.

This! If you want swooshing space battles then start with The Culture series by Banks. And it even makes sense in those books.

Re:Orson Scott Card (1)

Deadstick (535032) | about a year ago | (#45348531)

TFA offers a countermeasure to that: just make an offsetting contribution to the pro-GM charity of your choice. Same advice I used to give to people wanting to visit Knott's Berry Farm, back in the days when Walter Knott was paying the Santa Ana Register to feature his right-wing rants and hosannas to the John Birch Society.

Re:Orson Scott Card (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348547)

So what I get from your comment is your bigotry outweighs all else. After all, if it was the best movie ever, you would still refuse to watch it because you are intolerant of an idea.

Re:Orson Scott Card (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348581)

http://www.thewrap.com/orson-scott-card-boycott-enders-game-box-office-book-instead

Ahhh, the idiot liberal activist who doesn't understand the consequences of his actions. Bear in mind, I'm generally for a lot of liberal causes, but there are far too many liberal people who don't understand how to really make change due to ignorance.

Boycotting the movie does nothing to hurt Card. Paying to see the movie does nothing to support Card. The licensing rights for Ender's Game's IP for a movie was paid out nearly a decade ago, bought and sold by various movie studios until it finally got produced. Card got paid for it already, 10 years ago, and the deal does not include one single penny from revenue or profits.

Meanwhile, calling for a boycott of the movie hurts the producers and distributors. The producers were Digital Domain (James Cameron's studio), K/O Paper products (ROberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman's Studio, Star Trek, Amazing Spider Man), and Oddlot Entertainment, Drive, Prada to Nada, etc.). None of those people could be considered anti-gay. A boycott hurts the actors in the film, most of which are too young to be considered even political, let alone anti-gay. So basically you're using a broadsword where a scalpel is called for and swinging it wildly; what you suggest would only cause collateral damage to people who have nothing to do with your ire while simultaneously doing nothing to take a stand for your cause.

If you want to hurt Card, don't buy his books. That's how he makes money. The film deal was done a LONG time ago.

Re:Orson Scott Card (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348587)

Card was paid outright for the movie rights and doesn't get any more money if it does well

It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (5, Insightful)

metrix007 (200091) | about a year ago | (#45348123)

Firstly, homophobic is a ridiculous word -- inaccurate as hell. You can be against homosexuality (generally due to religious beliefs) and not have a phobia about it.

Secondly, it's a shame so many people will reject this movie because the author doesn't share their views or beliefs. Separating art from the creator is all too often a very important skill, that too many people lack.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (1, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | about a year ago | (#45348165)

it's a shame so many people will reject this movie because the author doesn't share their views or beliefs.

I "reject" this movie - in that I won't go see it - because I read the book and thought it was not very good.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (1)

Chubby_C (874060) | about a year ago | (#45348209)

Agreed, I just did not understand why it is so highly rated as a sci-fi book. I found it an enjoyable read, but far from the best thing I've read in either sci-fi or military fiction.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about a year ago | (#45348433)

I liked Ender's Game until I read Ender's Shadow. Then, I *loved* Ender's Game. Ender's Shadow explains so much about why and how things happened, that it actually made the "twist" ending feel new again, even though you knew it was coming. I can only assume the author intended Ender's Shadow all along since it fit so well.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (1, Funny)

occasional_dabbler (1735162) | about a year ago | (#45348489)

The first book was "meh" the following two of the trilogy were utter crap. I got all three as a job lot at a bookstore for £1 and I could use that £1 now for 0.25l of beer.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348173)

Fine, what term would you use? Gay hating? And what about his racist views?

And as far as rejecting this movie, this is a wise move. If this movie fails, then he won't get additional money from film rights on the sequels. This will reduce the amount of money that he has to donate to organizations that are designed to deprive citizens of their civil rights.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (3, Informative)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#45348261)

Why does hate for others have to enter into it?

Christ taught that we should love our neighbours as ourselves, but also told sinners to stop doing so. As one who professes to be a Christian, Card has every right to regard sins as sins without hating anyone over it.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (1, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a year ago | (#45348475)

but also told sinners to stop doing so.

Then maybe God shouldn't have given us free will or made us so fallible that one of our sexes succumb to eating forbidden fruit and screwed all her offspring to eternal damnation.

If we have free will, then God can't complain about the outcome. If we don't, then it screwed up in our creation. Which is it?

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#45348543)

I couldn't be less interested in debating religion here. I only bring up what Christ taught on the subject because Card professes to be a Christian, making it relevant to the topic at hand. If you want to get into a deep philosophical debate, this is the wrong venue.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (2)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about a year ago | (#45348563)

There's only two things it is socially acceptable to judge people for in present society: Smoking, and judging people for things, including those in this list.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348275)

Maybe you should learn something before deciding what others beleive or not. My guess is you're completely wrong. Also, he's not making any money off it anyways. But hey, lets not let little things like "Fact" sway the pro " if you don't agree with me your a racist gay hater" crowd http://sciencefiction.com/2013/11/02/orson-scott-card-wont-make-money-enders-game-movie/

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (3, Insightful)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#45348187)

The true irony is that they are being intolerant in the name of tolerance.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (0)

lisaparratt (752068) | about a year ago | (#45348249)

I'm not going to lose much sleep over being intolerant to bellends. They don't *have* to be dickheads.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348259)

And you just made the grandmother off all stupid, derpy ass arguments.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (1, Troll)

spike hay (534165) | about a year ago | (#45348377)

Not tolerating my intolerance is intolerant!

Fundies are the biggest bunch of persecution-complex crybabies. However, Card goes way beyond that though. He is truly loony.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (1)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#45348505)

With the exception of the book (not series), Card is an awful novelist. Whether he's a loony is barely relevant when you consider how bad his writing is most of the time. Ender's Game was an accident if it was anything.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348495)

There's a name for what you just did: playing the Orson Scott card.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (4, Insightful)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#45348537)

Oh jeez not this shit again *facepalm*

The political definition of tolerance is not the same as the mechanical one, synonymous with "allowance." It means being against discrimination, this is why you can't make the idea collapse on itself with this childish attempt at a logic trick.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (1)

fightinfilipino (1449273) | about a year ago | (#45348585)

are...are you suggesting we be tolerant of a person who actively promotes intolerance?

how do you function with those mental acrobatics?

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (4, Informative)

fightinfilipino (1449273) | about a year ago | (#45348211)

it's not about separating art from the creator, it's about not giving money or publicity to someone who still actively fights against equality. Card was on the board of the National Organization for Marriage and is still (afaik) a member.

quite bluntly, i don't want to give him any of my money, because that money is being used to deny human rights to millions of people merely because they love someone of the same gender.

And that is your perogative sir/madame/girlfriend (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348401)

Ender's Game is anawesome story. I loved it and I hope the movie does it justice - and I am glad the GollyWeird is actually doing a movie based on decent Sci-Fi for once in a long time.

I am torn my dear girlfriend. I love awesome sci-fi movies but yet deplore assholes.

I want to support Gollywierd in making decent Sci-Fi (i.e. Hugo science awards winners being made into movies).

Then again, to punish someone for their ignorance? If that were the case, I should be burned at the stake for my ignorance on many things - including my own bigotry on some things: I think all rich people are crooks.

To Orson Scott Card - or whatever his fucking name is - I love your novel, I disagree vehemently with your personal views.

What's the problem?

When do we draw the line at punishing people?

I agree with limited Government, but the Tea Party has gone Ape shit - should I be punished in all aspects of my life for that? - Regardless of your views on either side?

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348569)

I wonder how you feel about funding our one-party-scam in Washington DC if you're going to get in such a bunch over something like the NOM.
 
You want to talk human rights violations? Look no further than the Democrat and Republican parties.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348219)

It's not Card's beliefs, it's his desire to force them on others that's offensive. Anyone should be free to practice their religion, as long as its not destructive or doesn't interfere with the freedom of others to live as they see fit.

I've read the series and found it quite entertaining and provocative (especially Speaker for the Dead), but I'm not inclined to feed the coffers that will facilitate an anti-gay agenda of the sort Card promotes.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (0, Troll)

occasional_dabbler (1735162) | about a year ago | (#45348541)

Anyone should be free to practice their religion, as long as its not destructive or doesn't interfere with the freedom of others to live as they see fit.

Unfortunately, by their very nature religions do not fit this description; they are without exception memes whose ultimate aim is 100% indoctrination.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#45348273)

You can be against homosexuality (generally due to religious beliefs) and not have a phobia about it.

What new word would you like to be used for people who are only effectively but not technically homophobes due to the source of their desire for oppression? I'd consider using it, even though it would be a useless distinction.

Separating art from the creator is all too often a very important skill, that too many people lack.

I can separate art from the creator just fine and will eventually enjoy the movie. I can't separate my ticket purchase from his profit though.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348463)

If you want to describe people in some way, you come up with the word. And if it's not an accurate term, it will only hurt your argument. I will await a better term and hope people can come up with better arguments than ad hominem attacks.

People who describe people with religious views that oppose something they favour as "phobic" just demonstrate themselves to be fools. Sure, there are "phobic" people out there, but it's not universal among those who oppose homosexuality.

Words have meanings. If you can't use 'em right, don't use 'em. You only hurt your cause.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348277)

If you are against homosexuality then you are as much a bigot as if you are against miscegenation.

Pray tell, why should we give any quarter to bigots? Is there any reason whatsoever that we should respect their beliefs and admit them into decent society?

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348279)

Secondly, it's a shame so many people will reject this movie because the author doesn't share their views or beliefs.

Especially since there are so many other reasons to reject the movie.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (4, Insightful)

swimboy (30943) | about a year ago | (#45348303)

First off, why be so pedantic about the word homophobia?I don't see you or anyone else complaining that the word hydrophobia doesn't mean that someone has a phobia about water, it just means that their throat is becoming paralyzed and it's becoming difficult to drink. There are lots of words in the English language that don't mean exactly what you'd think they mean by comparing them to other words.

Second off, the people boycotting this movie don't just think that OSC doesn't share their views or beliefs. He's gone on the record saying some outrageous things about LGBT people, not the least of which is claiming that homosexuality should be made a felony, and concentration camps should be set up to imprison them. Even the National Organization for Marriage, an extremely anti-gay organization, has tried to distance themselves from him, and he used to be a prominent member of their board of directors.

I have no difficulty separating art from the creator. I *loved* reading Ender's Game, it was a brilliant book. But I can't abide putting one cent into OSC's pocket no matter how much I may want to see it, and if I had known at the time what kind of person OSC was, I never would have purchased any of his books either.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348589)

The guy writes stories, not laws, his hyperbole is unbounded. How many people do you financially support who are setting up real concentration camps for straight men if they try to have sex with a woman in a bar, or if they can't support a woman who "chose" to get pregnant? The LGBT bunch are experimenting on real children by using hormone treatments to stop puberty, and I doubt Card can top that chamber of horrors.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348305)

That's why you should just torrent it. You can appreciate the art, while screwing over the creator.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348341)

The iPhone screen is "Oleophobic." It is not, clearly, afraid of oil. It simply repels it.

In that sense, the term is perfectly appropriate. Get over it.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (2, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | about a year ago | (#45348381)

Firstly, homophobic is a ridiculous word -- inaccurate as hell. You can be against homosexuality (generally due to religious beliefs) and not have a phobia about it.

You're right, but not for the reason you stated.

Homophobia is a ridiculous word simply because it's not a phobia. It's just someone being an arrogant jerk because of something they dont like.

If you're a straight male (such as me) how does homosexuality or homosexual people actually affect you? Well they dont, if you're straight and dont like gays it's extremely easy to avoid them.

Personally I cant give two shits about whether someone is gay or not, the more sensitive ones have confused this with homophobia but the reality is I couldn't care less and dont see why they need to be treated any differently.

Secondly, it's a shame so many people will reject this movie because the author doesn't share their views or beliefs. Separating art from the creator is all too often a very important skill, that too many people lack.

You're also very wrong here.

I will boycott this movie because I cannot in good conscience support the authors beliefs, even if he's only being a complete jerk I still don't want to be party to that and that is a good enough reason as any to avoid this film.

BTW, you shouldn't separate the art from the creator because to do so removes a lot of the meaning from the work. Its like saying we should never consider why an artist painted what they did and only accept that they did paint it.

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348391)

Bullshit. You're the kind of person who glorifies people like Roman Polanski. People like you ask what does it matter that Polanksi drugged and anally raped a thirteen year old girl if he makes movies? It matters a lot to a lot of people.

OSC is in the same damn boat. It matters that he wants to deny people basic human rights. Why give him any excuse to gain a soapbox?

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year ago | (#45348479)

Separating art from the creator is all too often a very important skill, that too many people lack.

There a very poignant or very funny Hitler as (failed) artist comment to be made here - somewhere ...

Re:It's a shame homophobephobes won't see it (1, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#45348525)

How hard is it for you to grasp that I don't want to support a bigot?

I will be happy to separate the artist from the art when he is not being paid for it.

no (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348147)

Send $15 to a homeless gay teen charity and torrent Ender's Game in a couple of months.

Don't give assholes like OSC money.

Re:no (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#45348205)

what does a "homeless gay teen" charity do that a "homeless teen" charity wouldn't? have the shelter manager offer to bugger him?

Re:no (4, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#45348343)

what does a "homeless gay teen" charity do that a "homeless teen" charity wouldn't?

Have counselors on staff who won't try to "cure" his orientation, and other teens around that not only accept him for who he is, but actually share the trait that too often alienates him.

I know your question wasn't serious, but it is actually a serious problem. A significant number of homeless teenagers are on the streets because their families rejected their sexual orientation. Homeless shelters generally try to be comforting and understanding, but with tight budgets they don't always end up with the most sensitive staff, or even enough staff to protect the guests from each other if there's a conflict.

Re:no (1, Interesting)

spike hay (534165) | about a year ago | (#45348423)

Wow, you're a fucking blowhard.

Gay teens make up around 40% or more of homeless youth, usually because their parents kick them out for being gay. They are discriminated against at many homeless shelters by both staff and other homeless.

Re:no (1)

nhat11 (1608159) | about a year ago | (#45348385)

Well you're still supporting his work by watching it. Also OSC doesn't get any royalties since he was paid for the license.

That's too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348201)

I really enjoyed Ender's Game the book. All of the nonsense about the author aside, it was interesting, made sense, flowed well, and kept my attention (which is admittedly short). It's too bad the movie seems like it doesn't live up to that, but I guess that's all too common in movie adaptations.

No way to make a good movie out of that book (3, Insightful)

js3 (319268) | about a year ago | (#45348207)

Ender's Game is all about being in Ender's world, you are in his head you experience things the way he see and experiences it. That's why the ending of the book was shockingly good.

However this is difficult to translate into a movie especially with the Captain American/Iron Man style they chose to make it in.

Ender game might be (is IMHO) Hitler/Nazi apolegia (0, Flamebait)

aepervius (535155) | about a year ago | (#45348227)

http://www4.ncsu.edu/~tenshi/Killer_000.htm [ncsu.edu]

http://peachfront.diaryland.com/enderhitlte.html [diaryland.com]

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2005/5/28/22428/7034 [kuro5hin.org]


And a few other article insunuating that actually the book was a group/commityn produce, which explain the disparity of quality, and style with the follow up book.


My opinion is that Orson scott card was always an asshat, and the whole book was *very* itnentionally a disguised nazi apologia.

Re:Ender game might be (is IMHO) Hitler/Nazi apole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348411)

Agreed 100%

If I had mod points I'd mod you up

overrated, anyway (-1, Flamebait)

cas2000 (148703) | about a year ago | (#45348231)

I always thought that Enders Game was over-rated crap, anyway from the time i first read it back in the 80s. Never could understand why it was so popular.

It's just a little boy's anti-bully revenge fantasy - "i'm gonna be meaner and smarter than you and them you'll be sorry for beating me up. and i'll justify whatever i do to you - even murder - by classifying you as sub-human coz you were mean to me. so there!"

actually, that's probably exactly why it was so popular.

and the rest of the series was just dreary rubbish.

Re:overrated, anyway (5, Insightful)

flogger (524072) | about a year ago | (#45348365)

So you were the type of student in school that "read" the assignment but failed to "understand" what he read. Never once did Ender seek "revenge." Never did Ender want to make them "Sorry" for beating him up. He wanted them to stop, and he was willing to hurt them enough so they would never hurt him again. This is very different than revenge.

I really don't understand where you come from in thinking that this is a revenge novel. In the Ender makes sacrifices because he is going through is for the betterment of humanity.

Survival is a large theme in this novel. not revenge. There is a huge difference.

I'm glad I was not your teacher for a literature class.

Re:overrated, anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348425)

In the '80s, decent fiction was commonplace, compared to now where finding a good author is difficult.

Card's fiction was average at the time, but because the bar is so low now, average back then is excellent now.

Of course the books after EG were "meh" at best. The overarching plot regarding Jane just seemed so anti-climactic after the what was at stake with the first book. The other books should have been one, perhaps at most two volumes.

Re:overrated, anyway (4, Interesting)

thegreatemu (1457577) | about a year ago | (#45348457)

You completely missed the point of the book if that's what you got. What made Ender the supreme commander wasn't his intelligence; he was brilliant, but not significantly more so than many of the other kids. Ender's gift was his empathy: what allowed him to overcome his foes was exactly that he DIDN'T see them as less than human, but that he respected, maybe even loved his adversaries, even as he set up to destroy them.

I won't argue about the rest of the series though

Re:overrated, anyway (3, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | about a year ago | (#45348493)

You must have gotten the book mixed up with another book. But it has been 30 years since the 1980s so that makes sense. Not sure where you got the revenge thing or the sub-human thing.

Ender's Game is about a reluctant hero, torn from his family and forced into the military where they required him to make brutal decisions to survive. He succeeds over his rivals and predecessors because his humanity made him a better leader. The irony of the story, and Ender's torment through the remaining books, is that he was seen as a killer when he, in fact, was not.

Re:overrated, anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348545)

It's just a little boy's anti-bully revenge fantasy - "i'm gonna be meaner and smarter than you and them you'll be sorry for beating me up. and i'll justify whatever i do to you - even murder - by classifying you as sub-human coz you were mean to me. so there!"

I think you must have read a different book. Ender just wanted to be left alone. Any harm he caused to that end he deeply regretted, and he fretted hard about how to avoid it in the future. And..who did he classify as sub-human? He didn't even classify the buggers as subhuman. He was the only (or first) human that didn't.

Re:overrated, anyway (1)

occasional_dabbler (1735162) | about a year ago | (#45348571)

My sentiments entirely. In fact I'm begining to think the film only got made because of his reactionary friends. It certainly wasn't because of talent or artistic merit.

British kid will ruin it. (0)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | about a year ago | (#45348293)

Call me a hateful bigot, but casting that Asa Butterfield as Ender will be the downfall of this film. He ruined Hugo, ruined The Boy in Striped Pyjamas, and probably everything else he's touched. I have already promised everyone I know that I will not be seeing this in the theater, and not renting it.

Some disgreement (3, Informative)

mcmonkey (96054) | about a year ago | (#45348325)

go read the book! It's good.

If you're a teenager (or younger), yes, give it a read. If you're an adult, meh. There are worse ways to pass a rainy afternoon, but it's not a must read. It's young-adult fiction that does not hold up well for adults.

As for the movie, this is rare movie I thought could be longer. You get one hit of every major plot point--one fight with the bully in the first school, one interaction with Peter, one training battle with each team, etc.

What gets lost is why Ender thinks the way he does. In the movie, he's just born this tactical prodigy. In the book, he's a gifted kid, but we get to see how he learns to use those gifts.

And I didn't think the give-away for the final twist was that bad. Over all, I left not feeling angry for the money spent.

Re:Some disgreement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348533)

If you're a teenager (or younger), yes, give it a read. If you're an adult, meh. There are worse ways to pass a rainy afternoon, but it's not a must read. It's young-adult fiction that does not hold up well for adults.

We're talking about Ender's Game, not Atlas Shrugged.

Quintessential classic military sci-fi book? (4, Insightful)

invid (163714) | about a year ago | (#45348351)

Ender's Game is the quintessential classic military sci-fi book.

I have to disagree with that quote. Ender's Game is an anti-war book. If you want the quintessential classic military sci-fi book, read Starship Troopers.

It's OK, but not great. (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#45348375)

First off, they paid for Harrison Ford, so they had to let him talk too much. In the book, Col. Graff doesn't say much. Also, Graff with his little aluminum thingie on his hand pulling in the kids in the battle room ("Use the force, Ford!") doesn't fit with the rest of the movie. Nowhere else do they have gravity control or tractor beams. Or magic.

We don't see much of Ender's development as a tactician. Ender is presented more as the Chosen One than the one who claws his way up to be the best. There's a flavor of M. Night Shyamalan ("The Last Airbender" and other overproduced turkeys) here.

As is typical of space battle scenes in movies today, the CG effects are great and the tactics are wrong. Battles are in way too tight a space, and everything is turning too tight and going too slowly. It's the George Lucas WWII biplane school of space battle. Big tactical idea: line up all the little ships as armor around the big unarmored ones. That dates back to the Roman legions, and went out when machine guns were developed.

Very close to my take on it (4, Interesting)

rotor (82928) | about a year ago | (#45348405)

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie version of Ender's Game, but agree wholeheartedly with the reviewer's take on what succeeded and what failed. In fact, I probably enjoyed it so much because I expected much less. The glaring failures were all necessary to make a successful movie, but they still managed to indicate the most important philosophical points. Yes, Graff was harder than in the book (and Anderson's softness was used to make up for this), Bean was introduced too early and wasn't adversarial at first like he should have been, and what were they thinking with the romantic overtones with Petra... But we know why Ender did what he did and how it affected him, and that didn't change from the book.

My one sadness about this movie is that it didn't inspire my son to read the book (he started it last year, read the first paragraph of Graff's pre-chapter conversation, and decided he didn't want to read it). But at least my copy is now on loan to one of his friends who was inspired to read it.

Must have... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348409)

Does it have the off the shelf obligatory love story tacked on?

Every movie has one of those now. it's standard.

Had a hard time getting into it (0)

Crash McBang (551190) | about a year ago | (#45348421)

Every closeup of Ender's face resulted in me thinking "Hey, what's Sheldon Cooper doing in this movie?!?"

Really? - Slight spoiler (1)

AcesDnied (2542270) | about a year ago | (#45348427)

I can't believe I wasted my money on this movie. I download 99% of the movies I want to watch, and I just had to support Card for this movie, and I was completely let down.

Having Bernard in Ender's army, and one his squadron leaders had me questioning whether or not the guy who wrote the screenplay had ever read the book!

In short, don't waste your money!

...too much and not enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348449)

This review reads like that audio book The Stanley Parable, but not really at all. I'm pretty sure I saw the meaning of life in there somewhere, but then that begs the question, why is the meaning of life what it is? ...And, is life the most deadly thing in the universe? Probably not, in all honesty. I mean, viruses aren't alive and those are quite deadly, but then again, why would the virus exist in the first place if it were not for life to be something to consume? All of this being created by God and what not, the most living of anything, more living than existence itself. Probably. Not. Maybe. Really, life couldn't even be extinguished by a six mile diameter chunk of space iron. I seriously doubt a stellar singularity could do any more harm than that. Eight. Eight. Eight. Eight. Eight. Eight. You look so flattered you're now flat. And a bit chubby to spare. Your number is twenty-8.

top of good sci-fi? I beg you pardon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45348595)

" It ranks near the top of virtually every list of good sci-fi novels. "
if you actually knew about SciFi you'd find that Ender's Game is a marmite novel: half of the readership love it, the other absolutely hate it.
Independently though it lacks of literally anything from character development, world building to actual writing style. And most critics agree with that.
The only thing that speaks for it is a potentially new and controversial idea. If that makes it top of the list, then help us...
If you don't belive what I am saying, just check goodreads out...

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