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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Movie Review - Ender's Game

Ender’s Game   $$$$

114 Minutes
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, and Ben Kingsley.  
Director: Gavin Hood.

            From the trailer, you might think that this movie was an action-packed space opera. But you would be wrong. While the action scenes are spectacular the heart of this film is the story itself. And what that really means is that this is a film about people in a difficult situation. It is about character.
            Fifty years ago, Earth was attacked by an alien race known as the Formics. Tens of millions of people died in the attack and humanity won by the sheerest of margins. Since then the top military people have started a program to take the brightest children and turn them into military strategists, in the hope that their young minds will be able to forge new tactics that will be effective against the aliens.
            Ender (Asa Butterfield) is a gifted young man. Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) believes he is the one that will bring victory to the humans and save our race. Ender is transferred to a battle school orbiting Earth and begins his preparation to become commander of the Earth military force. However, it is relationship with a series of bullies that is at the heart of this story’s conflict and what makes this film really stick out as a shining example of what Hollywood can accomplish when it sets its mind to it.  

            I found myself immersed in this movie right from the beginning. Don’t be surprised if it receives a couple of Oscar nominations at the end of the year. Ender’s Game earned a top rating of 4 Movie Bucks. 

            1. Fun – The film moves at a slower pace, but one that I think fits the nature of the subject. I wanted to find out if the Earth would survive another alien attack. Even more so, I wanted to find out what was going to happen with Ender. I give a full MB for fun.  

            2. Story – Excellent. A brilliant young man who should be going to school and hanging around malls with his friends is instead forced to prove himself to the military and his peers. It also deals with the nature of war in a way that I found refreshing. I’d like to give this more than a full MB, but that would be breaking the rules. A full MB will have to be enough for the story element of this film.  

            3. Technical – Good. The special effects were outstanding. The scenes in the battle room were exciting and best seen on a big screen. I give this aspect of the film a full MB.  

            4. Acting – Spot on. Asa Butterfield was a good choice for the main role in this film. He brings a vulnerability to the character of Ender that I think really gives the story an added dimension. Harrison Ford gives the performance that you’d expect from a veteran actor of his quality. The entire cast turned in performances that added to the quality of the film. I give a full MB for acting.   

            Add it all together and you get a perfect score of 4 Movie Bucks for Ender’s Game. If you are in the mood for some silver screen entertainment and like science-fiction then don’t hesitate to go out and catch this movie at your favorite cinema. 

                        Randy’s Rating System 

$$$$   = Full Price    See this movie right away and pay full price, it’s worth it.
$$$     = Matinee      Catch this as a matinee or other discounted showing.
$$        = Discount     Wait until this movie reaches a discount theater near you.
$          = Rental         Wait until this movie reaches your local video rental outlet.
0          = No Sale       Don’t see this movie at any price.


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