Escape to the Movies: Ender's Game

Remus

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Nov 24, 2012
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This is where movie reviewers will split off. There's reviewers who read the book, and reviewers who didn't read the book. The way most instances of this go, is the readers hate the movie for it not being 4 hours long and covering every nuance of the book's plotline. The non-readers will like or even love the movie for the way the big epic scenes are shot and the great, albeit compressed story. No surprise, this is exactly what's happening with Ender's Game. Jeremy Jahns in particular stated flat out that he did not want to read the book beforehand because he wanted to review the movie based on its own merits, and not on what was missing from the book. I myself haven't read the book since grade school which was XX years ago so it's not even remotely fresh in my mind. I plan on enjoying the movie as is when I see it, so no re-read for me.

On Orson Scott Card and his prejudice leanings, he's an old white male. That's to be expected. Most old white men are set in their ways and no matter how wrong their thinking is, they will never change. They simply do not have the malleable opinion that young or even middle-aged adults have. I have a neighbor that could very well be a distant relation to Card. When he starts spouting political opinions, I set my mind to sleep mode, grin and bear it because I know nothing I do will change his mind. We have this same problem with our political system, but that's a topic for another forum. Point is, if Card was paid a singular sum of cash for the movie, then not seeing it is taking cash away from the studio, not from Card himself. Unlike most modern artists, Card does not infuse his works with his political or religious leanings (I'm looking at you, Melissa Rosenberg and C.S. Lewis). This makes it really easy to separate the writer from his works. So, in my opinion, if you would like to see the movie because it's a good movie, then do that and forget the background noise for a couple hours.
 

MCerberus

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Axolotl said:
MCerberus said:
So wait, they got rid of the whole 'invented personalities pushing politics to the extreme for attention and gain, poisoning the well of public discourse' plot line?

You know, the one that's extremely relevant right now?
I guess they needed more time for CGI wanking.
That plot line is about a guy taking over the world via blogging.

It was silly in the 80's and time has not made it any less so.
Silly yes, but human grounding for the book and serves to explore two competing parts of the main protagonist's personality pulling against each other. There's also the matter that right now US politics HAS been taken over by ridiculous pundits.

Point is, it's relevant.
 

LysanderNemoinis

Noble and oppressed Kekistani
Nov 8, 2010
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Remus said:
This is where movie reviewers will split off. There's reviewers who read the book, and reviewers who didn't read the book. The way most instances of this go, is the readers hate the movie for it not being 4 hours long and covering every nuance of the book's plotline. The non-readers will like or even love the movie for the way the big epic scenes are shot and the great, albeit compressed story. No surprise, this is exactly what's happening with Ender's Game. Jeremy Jahns in particular stated flat out that he did not want to read the book beforehand because he wanted to review the movie based on its own merits, and not on what was missing from the book. I myself haven't read the book since grade school which was XX years ago so it's not even remotely fresh in my mind. I plan on enjoying the movie as is when I see it, so no re-read for me.

On Orson Scott Card and his prejudice leanings, he's an old white male. That's to be expected. Most old white men are set in their ways and no matter how wrong their thinking is, they will never change. They simply do not have the malleable opinion that young or even middle-aged adults have. I have a neighbor that could very well be a distant relation to Card. When he starts spouting political opinions, I set my mind to sleep mode, grin and bear it because I know nothing I do will change his mind. We have this same problem with our political system, but that's a topic for another forum. Point is, if Card was paid a singular sum of cash for the movie, then not seeing it is taking cash away from the studio, not from Card himself. Unlike most modern artists, Card does not infuse his works with his political or religious leanings (I'm looking at you, Melissa Rosenberg and C.S. Lewis). This makes it really easy to separate the writer from his works. So, in my opinion, if you would like to see the movie because it's a good movie, then do that and forget the background noise for a couple hours.
You know, I take offense to that, saying that all "old while men" are the same and all think alike. And the fact that probably no one on this site (except me) would be upset by it is even more troublesome to me. Because if you said all black men or hispanic men think alike and you have to turn off your brain when they start talking, you'd be banned from The Escapist. And everyone would call you a racist. Bigotry is bigotry. However, it is most certainly your right to say whatever the hell you want, because I don't have a right to not be offended. And much like Card, so long as your words are just that (no matter how you spend your money), then I don't believe you should be censored or discriminated against because of your views.
 

PsychedelicDiamond

Wild at Heart and weird on top
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Jan 30, 2011
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You know, terrible personalities seem to be quite common among famous scifi authors. Wonder why that's the case.

I'm probably going to skip the movie. The premise doesn't really sound interesting enough for me and now that i know the twist there's even less of a reason for me to watch it. Though, granted, it's a pretty good twist.
 

The Deadpool

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CriticalMiss said:
HardkorSB said:
LysanderNemoinis said:
So it's okay to like his movies! But Orson Scott Card isn't overly fond of gay people (but hasn't physically hurt anyone, just their feelings), and that's horrible.
Actually he gave tons of money and support to anti-gay organisations and he still continues to do so.
Didn't he also say that he would fight to violently overthrow the government if gay marriage became legal in the States (you know, until it actually happened)?
He has talked about it since it WAS legalized. Yeah, he's still against it, but he's in that "You won. Enjoy it and deal with the (I obviously think they will be totally negative) consequences."

I'm not a big fan of Card's personal views, but he is being a normal human being about it. He disagrees with something and he fights against it. I understand disagreeing and fighting against him, but I don't understand the sheer hatred the man gets. Maybe he's said something awful I didn't read, or maybe it's because he is relatively famous. I don't know.

I do know that the jerk mayor of jerk town seems a bit of a big title for him. I would reserve that for one of the Koch brothers, or Rupert Murdoch or something...
 

Ryan Hughes

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I agree with Bob that we should try our best to separate the artist from their art when it comes to politics. Artists are often eccentric people, and this is sometimes the source of their talent. Mr. Card may very well be a homophobic and bigoted person, with strong militaristic leanings, however, this does not diminish the book in my opinion.

Look, Card isn't even the worst. On the other end of the spectrum, Oscar Wilde -for all his brilliance- likely hired 16-year old boy prostitutes. Dostoyevsky wrote 'Brothers Karamazov,' one of the most brilliant works of its time, but was also likely at least a mild anti-Semite. T.S. Elliot and Ezra Pound were two of the greatest poets of the 20th century, but were also sympathetic with Nazism, even after the holocaust became apparent. (Though, in their defense, they both voluntarily committed themselves to mental asylums, so they probably knew they didn't have it all together.) I could go on and on. Even if their politics are not messed up, great authors are often addicts, and not to be emulated.

On and on. And soon, we would be left with very few authors to read, inspire, and to make us think. It is tremendously sad that Card makes the statements he does, but the answer is not to mirror his intolerance with our own, but to tolerate him for who is his, rather than ostracizing him.
 

LysanderNemoinis

Noble and oppressed Kekistani
Nov 8, 2010
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Oh, since it was mentioned before, Jeremy Jahns is a great movie reviewer. Unlike Bob, he doesn't inject his politics into every other review and talks about movies from the point of view of a normal moviegoer and not an absolute snob. Out of all the movies Bob has reviewed, I can only think of a couple where we both agreed the movie was good: Kick-Ass, Pacific Rim, Drive, and Warm Bodies. The rest of the time I pretty much treat him like I used to treat Roger Ebert, only watching the movies he doesn't like and avoiding the ones he says are great. Though the Transformers movies are pretty boring.
 

Seracen

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Nice reference to "Wargames" there. But by current Hollywood standards and reasoning, I doubt we will get another blockbuster movie with such an "understated" finale setpeice. I use quotes because the ambiance and tone of that final scene was so laden with drama and suspense.

It was good storytelling, and good filmmaking. Watching a bunch of people stare at a screen to dramatic music was actually filled with tension and action. Conversely, such a scene in "Battleship" came across as just plain stupid (as did the whole movie).

The way scripts seem to be greenlit, I doubt most production companies are willing to invest the time required to make these things smart, as well as action packed. That's why "Inception" blew everyone's minds away. Not that "Inception" was some great unsolveable riddle, but to many, it seemed to be "heady."

Let me repeat that, the concept of the dreamscape was considered "heady," which is fine, but it shouldn't have been considered "unfathomable," any more than "Matrix" or "Nightmare on Elm Street." That says something about movie watching culture in general, I feel. Not knocking "Inception," it was a great film. But we've been asked and "challenged" by films long before this.

On a sidenote, they should drop Abrams from the Star Wars films. Nobody should have that much influence over pop culture by themselves. Having said that, I doubt they'll drop him, because "Hollywood reasons." Even still, I don't think Abrams will do a BAD job, I just don't think he'll have the sense of urgency that Blomfkamp (sp?) might.
 

LysanderNemoinis

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Nov 8, 2010
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Ryan Hughes said:
I agree with Bob that we should try our best to separate the artist from their art when it comes to politics. Artists are often eccentric people, and this is sometimes the source of their talent. Mr. Card may very well be a homophobic and bigoted person, with strong militaristic leanings, however, this does not diminish the book in my opinion.

Look, Card isn't even the worst. On the other end of the spectrum, Oscar Wilde -for all his brilliance- likely hired 16-year old boy prostitutes. Dostoyevsky wrote 'Brothers Karamazov,' one of the most brilliant works of its time, but was also likely at least a mild anti-Semite. T.S. Elliot and Ezra Pound were two of the greatest poets of the 20th century, but were also sympathetic with Nazism, even after the holocaust became apparent. (Though, in their defense, they both voluntarily committed themselves to mental asylums, so they probably knew they didn't have it all together.) I could go on and on. Even if their politics are not messed up, great authors are often addicts, and not to be emulated.

On and on. And soon, we would be left with very few authors to read, inspire, and to make us think. It is tremendously sad that Card makes the statements he does, but the answer is not to mirror his intolerance with our own, but to tolerate him for who is his, rather than ostracizing him.
Yeah, but you have to remember how the world works. It's okay for an an artist to be an anti-Semite and hire underage hookers (as long as they're the same sex). If it's opposite sex, then it's wrong...unless your have the "correct" political ideology, then you can get away with anything. I mean, no one bats an eyelash when Sean Penn and other actors pal around with horrible communist dictators (who actually systematically kill gay people). At absolute worst people treat it as a joke (ha ha, Dennis Rodman hangs out with Kim Jong-Un) and nothing more. So yeah, Orson Scott Card is almost as bad as Hitler by today's standards.
 

Makabriel

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Coruptin said:
eck, just reading the synpsis of the book is enough to make me cringe, even now. the super miracle caucasian genius boy genre is just not my cup of tea
That's a very... generalized view of the series. His whole family is actually gifted. His brother and sister actually became more famous and influential than he ever did. Ender played a couple of key roles, but for the most part he isolated himself after Ender's Game.

The series is actually really good all in all.
 

Axolotl

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Ryan Hughes said:
I agree with Bob that we should try our best to separate the artist from their art when it comes to politics. Artists are often eccentric people, and this is sometimes the source of their talent. Mr. Card may very well be a homophobic and bigoted person, with strong militaristic leanings, however, this does not diminish the book in my opinion.

Look, Card isn't even the worst. On the other end of the spectrum, Oscar Wilde -for all his brilliance- likely hired 16-year old boy prostitutes. Dostoyevsky wrote 'Brothers Karamazov,' one of the most brilliant works of its time, but was also likely at least a mild anti-Semite. T.S. Elliot and Ezra Pound were two of the greatest poets of the 20th century, but were also sympathetic with Nazism, even after the holocaust became apparent. (Though, in their defense, they both voluntarily committed themselves to mental asylums, so they probably knew they didn't have it all together.) I could go on and on. Even if their politics are not messed up, great authors are often addicts, and not to be emulated.

On and on. And soon, we would be left with very few authors to read, inspire, and to make us think. It is tremendously sad that Card makes the statements he does, but the answer is not to mirror his intolerance with our own, but to tolerate him for who is his, rather than ostracizing him.
There's a big difference between Card and Wilde, Pound, Elliot, Dostoyevsky. And it's that he's alive and funding hate groups while they're all dead. If I buy a volume of the Cantos then I won't be supporting fascism, If I go see a performance of The Importance of Being Earnest I won't be funding paedophilia on the other hand the more I consume Card's work the more resources and reach I'm giving him to spread his hate.
 

ForumSafari

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I know it's not exactly on topic for a film review but the whole brouhaha around the author does amuse me. Did you think that because he wrote a book he'd be a nice guy?

It's amusing when contrasted against the Internet and nerds generally and their "ermahgerd curtherler omg lervecrerft" attitude. I guess some people haven't been reading the books they supposedly love. Maybe this is something that as a Burzum fan I've just have to come to terms with but you can like a product without liking the producer.
 

Mr. Omega

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Jul 1, 2010
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My thoughts on Card are simple. He can have all the horrible bigoted views that he wants. That's fine. But he uses money he gets from stuff like this to try and promote and enforce those views. And that's where I draw the line. If giving him my money gives him resources to try and push views saying that a certain group of people are evil, then he will not be getting my money.

That's not censorship. That's capitalism.

As for the movie, it sounds like it was exactly how I was expecting it to turn out.
 

Zachery Gaskins

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Mar 29, 2011
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Reminds me of the "Chris Brown - No Stars Ever" review.

TL;DR - sometimes you're a big enough douchebag that no amount of precious talent is worth supporting.
 

Piorn

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Wait, THAT'S the twist?
When I read the book, I basically more or less assumed that.
The bigger shocker to me was
the bugs were just one big hivemind that didn't realize they were killing sentient creatures because of the scale difference, and had long since moved on living their own life, until the fleet that was sent decades ago by the humans arrives, and Ender is having these strange dreams because the hivemind is begging him to stop, as the bugs finally realize their errors as they all die, and leave a temple of apology imprinted with telepathic memories for ender to find in the future.
To me, THAT was the twist ending, not the stupid "gotcha" at the test.
 

Merklyn236

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Jun 21, 2013
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Never read the book, but already had the twist spoiled for me. Might go see it, might not. Meh.

On the Star Wars issue though, love or hate JJ Abrams the idea that Disney is willing to risk a franchise (that could been at the very least as troubled) is worrisome. I'm not going to disagree that, even with post-production work, they should be able to make this movie and get it out in the time allotted right now as long as they don't try to focus more on spectacle (i.e. post-production time consuming CGI). However, the rumors speak to trouble on the timetable because of script issues and disagreements over casting. I think all of us would agree casting played a big part of the problem (*cough*Christansen*cough*) with the prequels, and if Disney is pushing what they think are more marketable stars (or God forbid, stars they already have contracts with for movies and shows) this REALLY could blow up in everyone's face.

Disney has to know that while the fan community might be glad to see George's hands off the controls, they are also wary of a company that has only a flirting relationship with quality. Rushing the product to the screen screams cash-in, not an attempt to re-invigorate the franchise.