Monday, February 10, 2014

Movie Review and Giveaway: "Ender’s Game," Coming to DVD and Blu-ray on February 11th!

Susan Heim on Parenting is pleased to be a stop on the tour for Ender’s Game, available on Blu-ray combo pack, DVD, video on demand and pay-per-view on February 11th! I asked my adult son, a huge science-fiction fan, to review this movie. After reading his review, be sure to enter to win a DVD copy of the movie!

I feel that, in order to be fair, I must start this review with the truth: I am slightly biased. I read the book and loved it. In this same fashion, I will tell you the exact truth of what I thought of the movie; its successes and failures.

I will start by saying that if you read the book, you will not be disappointed by the movie. This is one of the few times that I have ever admitted this. The movie stays very close to the central story of the book (probably because Orson Scott Card, the author, was one of the producers for the movie), and he brings the book to life in ways that I personally didn’t imagine before. The story, simply put, is about a boy. Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is one of many genius children who have been selected to join in an elite, military program. Earth was attacked, many years in the past, by a race of bugs named the Formics. In preparation for another war with these insect extraterrestrials, the nations of the world have unified and created a military program to train young, malleable minds to be the best military commanders possible. Ender is one of those chosen children. The movie sees him through the end of his training on the planet and onto the “Battle School,” a unique space station orbiting the planet where these genius children compete in mock battles in order to win the great promotion to “Command School.” Here, Ender demonstrates his intelligence in a series of battles and makes his way onto Command School, where he hopes to defend the human race from ever being attacked by the Formics again.


All the while, Ender is constantly wrestling with himself. He has two siblings, which has been outlawed except under special circumstances set by the powers that be. As “a third,” he is an outcast on Earth. In addition to this, his emotional identity is a sort of balance between his two siblings. His brother, Peter, failed Battle School training because he was too violent. His sister, Valentine, also failed, but for the opposite reason: She was too compassionate. Throughout the movie, Ender struggles with the fear of becoming violent like his brother, but also with the fear of becoming too compassionate and, as such, becoming weak. In the end, Ender finds that this balance may be his downfall, but that in breaking it, he may doom many others instead. Ender constantly fights to find a true balance that can aid everyone.

The movie itself has top-of-the-line special effects and headlining actors such as Harrison Ford (Colonel Graff) and Ben Kingsley (Mazer Rackham). It also introduces many younger actors such as Asa Butterfield (Ender Wiggin) and Hailee Steinfield (Petra). It is a unique combination of acting talent. That being said, one of the chief complaints about the movie was that Asa Butterfield creates a very rigid and mechanical main character. Sometimes, this does make him hard to watch, but it portrays Ender perfectly as he is seen in the books: strong, intelligent, and constantly calculating, with a knowing command of the situation. Another small complaint was that the backstory is not completely explained. It is hard to relate to this insect species that affects the world so much, or even understand how they communicate, which is more or less not explained in the movie. They retain a mysterious aura that can be aggravating to the curious, as not all the questions about them are answered as they are in the book. The movie also uses them and its phenomenal special effects to create some very odd and unsettling landscapes at times. The zero gravity battle room, the sweeping spires of the Formic home world, the odd and disturbing fantasyland portrayed in Ender’s video game, and even the space age cars definitely set the watcher apart from reality. All of these make for a serious sci-fi world that may not tailor to everyone, namely those looking for a funny movie. However, it does not detract from the entertainment value of the movie at all. The story has its moments of humor, many periods of clever revelations, heartfelt emotional scenes, and fast-paced action sequences.


As a word to the wise, the movie also follows its PG-13 rating closely, with a couple of potentially unsettling moments which do not, fortunately, show exposed flesh or even a lot of blood, but involve physiological concepts that are not pleasantly imagined.

Overall, the movie is an excellent experience, and again, nowhere near a disappointment to someone who read the book. My one suggestion: if you like an interesting and intelligent story, or you like science fiction, definitely watch it. If you don’t, give it a chance. The acting, the action, and the special effects may yet grab you and bring you in to enjoying this excellent movie.

Movie Trailer:


GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a DVD copy of Ender’s Game (a $29.95 value)! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Monday, February 24, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


91 comments:

  1. Elizabeth Drake6:56 PM

    I love sci-fi media and Ender's Game has been on my list for a while.

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  2. I am reading the book right now and am already hooked. If your son's review holds true, then why Wouldn't I be excited to see this film!?

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  3. I actually read the book and enjoyed it a lot -- so I'm excited to see how things are highlighted on the scene -- plus I love Harrison Ford. - H.e.

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  4. I really liked the previews I saw for it'

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  5. I have heard lots of good reviews about the book and the movie. Plus, Harrison Ford, come on ;)

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  6. I am excited to see Ender's Game because I am a hugh fan of Harrison Ford. I just love all of his movies.
    ayancey1974(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. I'm excited to see Ender's Game because I read & enjoyed the book.

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  8. I really enjoyed the book, so I'm excited to see it translated to screen!

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  9. I saw it in theaters it was really good, I love the boot camp type part before they go to war!

    ssgsweeps @ gmail.com

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  10. This sounds like a really good movie to see, sounds like some really good action in it too.

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  11. Darlene Jones-Nelson7:54 PM

    My Husband has been wanting to see this the moment he seen the review.

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  12. it is my favorite book series

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  13. It looks like it's got some name people in it and that it may be a good movie.

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  14. I'd like to see it because it looks interesting. :)

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  15. It looks like a great cast.. I didn't see it when it was in theaters.

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  16. I remember the previews and it looked like a good movie. I'm interested in seeing it.

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  17. It looks like some good action in it.
    Brittney House BBrittBrat1398@yahoo.com

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  18. I am excited to see this movie because I loved the book and I'm interested to see how they translate it :)

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  19. We are Sci-Fi lovers in my house and love to watch mo vies on our Family night!
    j1man1r66@etex.net
    Jennifer Rogers

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  20. I liked the book, and am excited to see the acting!

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  21. my favorite actors Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley

    tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

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  22. because i really enjoyed the books and i want to see Bean!

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  23. My husband read the books as a kid and loved them. I read them as an adult and it was great to connect with him like that! I'd love to watch the movie together as well! :)

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  24. We love this genre of movie and it is something that even my teenage boys would watch with the family.

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  25. I love Harrison Ford and would really enjoy all the special effects

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  26. Ender's Game is one of my favorite books. I loved both the Ender's Game series and the Ender's Shadow series. It would be great to see the movie.

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  27. I know that my daughter would enjoy this movie. We need to watch it.

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  28. Daniel M1:21 PM

    because i'm a HUGE scifi fan! - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

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  29. I have heard great reviews.

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  30. Loved the book and loved the movie. I think they could have done more with battle school and battle scenarios, there was definitely time, I would have been happier with a longer movie.

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  31. Actually, my family & I saw this movie in the theatre and loved it! I'd love to own it, though, especially because my hubby enjoyed it the most of all of us…and it's one of his favorite books of all time.

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  32. because people are talking 'Enders' and I want to be in the know!

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  33. I'm excited to see this movie because it looks really good.

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  34. Anonymous8:31 PM

    I am excited to see Ender's Game because the previews look like it is our family's kind of movie

    Jeana O'donnell-Murphy

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  35. I want to see it again, because I saw it in theaters and really enjoyed the story, the cast, the special effects, and of course, Harrison Ford's performance was/is great!


    Ronald

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  36. I enjoyed the book, I'd like to see the movie adaptation.

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  37. This is a good movie and one of the better scifi movies that has come out.

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  38. I haven't seen it and my husband and I love to watch movies together.

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  39. Erica Barnes11:59 PM

    I am a big fan of the Ender book series, and I thought this movie was absolutely brilliant and well done.

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  40. Well I guess I should hurry up and read the book looking forward to having the movie,thanks for the giveaway

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  41. My boyfriend is the one who is real excited to see this. He has read the book three times and really likes the story.

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  42. I am excited to see it because I like Harrison Ford. BWallace1980(at)Hotmail(d0t)com

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  43. My husband and boys are really excited to see and have promised me that I will love it

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  44. Ive seen it and liked it!
    jessicawedwards@gmail.com

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  45. I'm definitely excited!

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  46. My husband has been wanting too see it I always want to see anything harrison ford is in

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  47. I am anxious to see this because I love Harrison Ford movies. My boyfriend has been wanting to see this for quite awhile now and I would love to be able to give it to him so her can rewatch it as much as he wants

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  48. Can't wait to see this because I love sci-fi movies & Harrison Ford :o)

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  49. I can't wait to see this movie because it is something that would interest my older son, my husband and me.

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  50. It looks interesting and I think my fiance would really enjoy it too!

    sugarsweet7202@yahoo(dot)com

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  51. I like Harrison Ford and it looks like a good action movie

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  52. I love these kinds of movies, and Harrison Ford is one of my favorite actors. I'm wondering if I shouldn't read the book first before watching the movie.
    heymissvirginia at embarqmail dot com

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  53. megon burkit8:50 AM

    I love Sci-fi, so I'm sure I would enjoy this movie.

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  54. I am excited to see this sci fi movie because it looks interesting, I can't wait to see it.

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  55. Loved the books, so I'm sure I'd love the movie.

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  56. I really liked the book so would love to see the movie!

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  57. I'm excited because it's a sci-fi show which is my family's favorite genre of movies to watch
    annabella @ centurytel dot net

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  58. I enjoy sci-fi movies. I've tried to read the book, Endr's Game, but just never finished it. Mabye the movie will inspire me to re try

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  59. Anonymous5:10 PM

    I'm excited because I've heard so many great things about the movie. Christine Reyes. :D

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  60. My husband and I like Harrison Ford and science-fiction movies. Since this movie is both, should be pretty good!

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  61. I am excited to see Ender's Game because I love Harrison Ford :)

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  62. the story looks very interesting to me

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  63. Anonymous8:01 PM

    Love the books

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  64. Ford and Kingsley

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  65. i haven't read the book but i love harrison ford and since this is a genre i enjoy i think i would like the movie

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  66. Loved the book but never got the time to see the movie!

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  67. I want to see it because it looks like a great movie.

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  68. I want to see it because I like Harrison Ford and it looks like a good movie.

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  69. It sounds like an interesting movie and my uncle saw it and said it was really good

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  70. id love to see this because I love Harrison Ford and it has been awhile since I have seen him in a movie

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  71. Because the book was good

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  72. I am a big Harrison Ford fan and I love sci-fi movies.

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  73. i would love to see this because hubby wants to see it. i am tony l smoaks on rafflecopter.

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  74. We saw this in the theater and it was EXCELLENT. It actually did the book justice. I would love to own it so my boys could see it when they are older.
    thanks

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  75. The trailer was very intriguing! I'm very interested in seeing it! (lilbittypanda at aol dot com)

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  76. I loved the books, so I really want to see the movie.

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  77. It looks like it will be a great movie to watch with my grandson!
    vikki.billings@yahoo.com

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  78. I'm excited to see this movie because it looks so action-packed.

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  79. It sounds like a great sci-fi movie. II love the cast.

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  80. I heard the acting is really great in this one actually. Thanks so much for the chances to win.

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  81. I've heard the movie is great and I would love to watch it with my brother

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  82. I'm a librarian and I want to read the book and see the movie!

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  83. I'm excited to see it because I've heard great things about it.

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  84. I am excited to see the movie because I love Harrison Ford!!!!

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  85. love the actors in it so it has to be good!

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  86. I really like Harrison Ford as an actor! (Leah S on rafflecopter)

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