Inspiring Ingenuity

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Ender’s Game

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Ender's_game_coverFirst, let me say that I am aware of Orson Scott Card’s politics and in no way do I agree with them.  John Scalzi said it best.  I may never had read any of his works had I known his views before I read them, but it would have been my loss.  Great art is great art.

I 1st read the Ender’s Game short story sometime as a young teenager.  Sometime after the novel came out, I read it, and then I read it again.  I have read it to both of my daughters.  I am uncertain how many times I have read either the novel or the short story, but it is certainly more than I have read any other book.

Having the mixed education that I do, I am sure my opinion carries little weight, but I think it is one of the finest novels of the 20th century.  If they can make me read Lord of the Flies in school, they certainly should have kids reading this.  The book is both deep and entertaining.

Speaking so highly of the book, it was clear I had to go see the movie, even though it is getting somewhat mixed reviews.  Today was the day.  To be honest, I really can’t understand why the reviews are mixed at all – it was quite probably the worst movie I have ever seen.  If you haven’t seen it, good, don’t.  You will wish you could have that 2 hours of your life back.

It is clear the filmmakers wanted to make the movie more approachable.  There are not many violent scenes in the book, but the few that are there are brutal.  Clearly after Hunger Games they felt the world didn’t need more kid on kid violence.  The problem was that the violence is pivotal in the book and by changing the nature of it, it no longer served any purpose.  They made the scene with Bonso look like an accident that he got hurt so bad.  The entire point is that it wasn’t an accident.  Nothing Ender ever does is ever an accident.  And besides, what’s the deal with Ender being a head taller than Bonso?  It just made Ender look like the bully.

There was no character development.  Ender & Graff didn’t change at all from the beginning to the end.  Bean showed up in the wrong year and was WAY too big.  Important quotes from the books were thrown in at random and totally out of context and often said by the wrong character.  All the subtlety of battle school was lost.  In fact there was no subtlety at all.  By the time you get to the big plot twist, you really can’t care and the outrage was totally forced.  The bigger problem is that it wasn’t an entertaining shoot ‘m up either.  In Star Wars you got to know the characters well enough that you really cared.  When Han Solo came back to save the day, it mattered.  There was none of that.  A movie has to be either deep or entertaining.  Ender’s Game, the movie, is shallow and confusing.  Oh well, there’s 2 hours of my life I will never get back.

Thanks for reading,

ned.

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One thought on “Ender’s Game

  1. I think that it is a universal rule that the book is always better than the film. The more you love the book, the more you will hate the film…