~I received Enders Game on Blu-ray Combo for review. Opinions and stories are my own.~
I don’t think I have ever been so excited to share a movie review! Ender’s Game is one of my all time favorite books (series) by Orson Scott Card and my son and I were ecstatic when they decided to make it into a feature film. I remember for years I had tried to get him to read the book because he is an obsessive gamer and he always turned me down, then the trailer was released last year and that was that! He was hooked.
Ender’s Game is set in a future where children are trained at a very young age in preparation of the third invasion of Formics (otherwise called “Buggers”), an alien race that had almost obliterated humanity. The International Fleet had designed a Battle School for the most intelligent and tactical children to undergo rigorous training to become future commanders in hopes of protecting Earth. The film follows a young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, the 3rd child of a strict family during a time when there is a 2-child minimum on Earth. Being a third child opened the doors to bullying by his peers as well as his psychopathic brother Peter. You learn early on in the story that Ender was conditioned for the sole purpose of becoming the supreme commander. His best friend and companion is his sister Valentine who also acts as his protector.
After passing a ‘test’ during his educational training, Ender is accepted into Battle School where he is tested mentally, emotionally and physically in order to prepare him for command. The increased jealousy from his fellow peers exacerbates the bullying that he had been facing and so he struggles within himself; the ever warring nature of violence and compassion.
“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them…. I destroy them.” – Ender Wiggins
Throughout the story, the children are trained through ‘games’, both mental and physical to prepare them. Ender breezes through Battle School and is eventually sent to Command School skipping several years of schooling due to the increased threat by the Formics. Here Ender Wiggin and his team take their last tests with the future of Earth riding in the balance.
As with all transfers from books to film, there are some compromises. I remember my son pointing out how everyone in the theater was waiting for Ender and Petra to kiss and how relieved he was when that never happened, after all, in the books Ender is 6 years old when it begins and only 10 when he reaches Command School. Needless to say I was grateful that they didn’t manipulate the story to add a romance that didn’t exist.
As Ender’s Game is Ender’s story and is heavily centered on his emotional/mental state in the books, I wasn’t sure how they could relay that into a film. However, Asa Butterfield is a remarkable actor! He truly brought the character to life and his expressions speak for so much under the surface that would have otherwise been difficult to put on tape. I was blown away by his spot-on performance and ability to truly capture the unique mind of Ender.
There are also some great Special Features available on the Ender’s Game Blu-ray Combo:
- “Ender’s World: The Making of Ender’s Game” 8-part featurette (Blu-ray exclusive)
- “Inside the Mind Game” Special Effects featurette (Blu-ray exclusive)
- Deleted/Extended Scenes with Audio Commentary with Director Gavin Hood
- Feature-length Audio Commentary with Director Gavin Hood
- Feature-length Audio Commentary with Producers Gigi Pritzker and Bob Orci
This is a must see film, especially for those of you that are either fans of the series or lovers of Science Fiction. You don’t need to read the books in order to enjoy the film, but I wouldn’t doubt that you’d go running for them the moment the film is over! After all, Ender’s Story continues and they also have a split series that runs alongside Ender’s of his friend Bean.
You can find out more about the film by visiting the movie’s page on Lionsgate. The Blu-ray Combo is set to release on February 11th, however, you can catch the early Digital HD release which you will find in the Shop!
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