Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) is a bright
boy that the military has taken an interest in for his intuitive strategies. They
put them through a couple of tests before accepting him to Battle School where he makes friends
with Petra and Bean, but he finds an enemy in child Commander Bonzo. The military is putting kids through Battle School
to find a great military mind that might make decisions that an adult might not as Earth is waiting to combat another invasion
from the alien Formics who humanity defeated once before with the sacrifice of great head Mazer Rackham many years ago. Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) sees Ender as the answer to ending the all future
conflict with the Formics. Graff wants to isolate Ender while his fellow
colleague Major Gwen Anderson (Viola Davis) wants to try a more human approach.
Time is running out as Graff changes the rules and increases the competitiveness between the child battle teams to
prove Ender is the one the military needs.
ENDER’S GAME is one of those sci-fi
classic novels. It took several years and even screenplay attempts by Orson
Scott Card before they finally settled on director Gavin Hood who ended up writing his own screenplay for it. As a two hour movie, the movie provides an impressive adaptation that focuses more on Ender and Graff’s
shaping of Ender. They don’t push the moral issues too much even
though it is very present in the film because the main thrust is Ender and Gavin Hood has made it Ender’s story. In the end, ENDER’S GAME is one of the better sci-fi movies of the year
and it makes up for Gavin Hood’s previous outing as the director of the mediocre X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE. Hood has created what will probably be the best adaptation of the novel without making it into a
three hour film or TV mini-series. Asa Butterfield was a good choice for
Ender while Harrison Ford makes you wish he was in more sci-fi films. The
special effects and production design are impressive while Steve Joblonsky creates a sci-fi score on the same level as Marco
Beltrami and David Arnold. Everything just clicks with ENDER’S GAME which
makes me wish they could make a sequel to it which might be a long gamble given the movie was a bomb at the box office.
Audio commentary for the film with screenwriter/
director Gavin Hood and an audio commentary with producers Gigi Pritzker and Roberto Orci
ENDER’S WORLD: THE MAKING OF ENDER’S
GAME- a multi-part documentary (JOURNEY TO THE BIG SCREEN/ RECRUITING THE TROOPS/ ENDER IN ZERO-G/ BATTLE SCHOOL REVEALED/
THE MIND GAME/ BEHIND ENEMY LINES/ THE ALIEN WORLD/ ENDER’S MISSION COMPLETE) that goes in the origins of how the movie
finally got made, the casting, the wire rig they created for the zero gee Battle Room sequences, the production design, the
boot camp they put the kids through, and the visual effects (created by Digital Domain who were big fans of the novel).
INSIDE THE MIND GAME featurette- a before
and after of the computer game within the movie showing the motion capture footage and the animation.
Six deleted and extended scenes with optional
audio commentary by Director Gavin Hood features redundant material (which is better covered in other parts of the finished
film) and other scenes that would have slowed down the pacing.
Also included on the Blu-ray are two theatrical
trailers for ENDER’S GAME and previews for other releases from LIONSGATE including THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE and
DIVERGENT (in theaters on 3-21-2014).
As part of the combo pack is a code to
download and/ or stream a digital HD Ultraviolet copy of the movie and the movie in standard definition on DVD.
FINAL ANALYSIS: ENDER’S GAME is one
of the better adaptations of a novel which focuses on the main plot, but it may disappoint some fans of the book when many
of the subplots had to be sacrificed to make it into a two hour movie. The
making-of documentary is excellent while the deleted and extended scenes were thankfully cut.
This review is ©2-18-2014 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to email@example.com
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