Tag Archives: Ender’s Game

Ender’s Game – After the movie

Okay, so I actually went to the late night showing of Ender’s Game on Halloween night. I was expecting to see full theaters and lots of buzz. I wasn’t expecting Twilight levels of enthusiasm but I was expecting that when we arrived at 10pm that we would be quite a ways back in the line. Instead, we were the first ones there. I looked at my best friend and the only thing we could come up with between the two of us was that due to the poor choice of premiere date, they theaters were just going to be slow for this one. We decided to see it on IMAX because it was epic space battles and seemed necessary for the subject matter being explored, so we paid the extra cash and the decided that since there were very few people there, we would get dinner.

We returned only a few minutes before the movie was going to start and were still able to get the exact seats we wanted (right in front of the metal bars so you can put your feet up without annoying the people in front of you). We sat through a ton of preview trailers (I swear they add more and more of those things every time I go to a movie). Then finally settled in for the feature presentation.

By the time the movie was over I felt somewhat vaguely satisfied but very much thinking exactly one thing. I wanted much more than there was. The movie was much shorter than it should have been. There was so much story that that simply glossed over or didn’t bother getting into at all. It felt incomplete and rushed. I think the most painful thing for me was not being able to seethe progression of the character develop in an even semi-logical way. Being a fan of the books and having read them numerous times, I know exactly how long Ender was at each stage of battle school and how many battles they fought. They left entire sequences that shaped who Ender was completely out of the equation and didn’t give enough cause to the issues that caused Bonzo to finally snap. Also, the fact that Bonzo didn’t die on that bathroom floor felt cheapened the depth of his eventual death and it’s impact on Ender seemed to make less sense. Overall, I felt that there was far too much action and so little character development that the story felt like a shadow of the original, paling to almost nothing in comparison to the impact of the books.

While it was definitely gratifying to finally see this movie hit the big screen, it almost felt like someone was trying to sabotage it from every having much success from the rushing the telling of the story to the poor choice of debut weekends. I feel like they could have done so much more and it would have been so much better and that will probably keep me form adding it to my shelves when it is all said and done.

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Books that need a movie!

Okay, we’ve all read books that simply would make amazing movies and yet for some reason or another, no one has bothered to invest in them. With the amount of poorly written plots that have invaded cinema today, I wish they would turn to books for inspiration more often. If I worked in the film industry, the following books would be my pet projects.

  1. The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolni – I know some of you are thinking that they already made a movie version of the first book and it flopped. It flopped because they didn’t stay true to the book and the casting was HORRIBLE. I would love to see this whole series done well and put on the big screen. I would just tell them to feel free to change the ending to the last book.
  2. Cinder by Marissa Meyer – I think this would be a huge hit. A cyborg version of Cinderella. Yes please. I am also slightly afraid that not done right, it would come out incredibly cheesy, which would be a HUGE disservice to a great book.
  3. Eve by Anna Carey – I can’t say enough good things about this book. The main character is well written. This dystopia is even more frightening than The Hunger Games and the show of what true love really is, is a message that teens need to understand.
  4. The Lost Gate by Orson ScottCard – While they are just now getting around to turning his Ender’s Game into film, this one I think might be a better movie. With a unique setting and original magic system, it would bring a breath of fresh air to the screen.
  5. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – This series started out so strong and was never finished! I want to see the completion of this series. It could be picked up where it left off with little problem since the original four children don’t make an appearance until the final book as adults. Of the books I would be most anxious to see The Horse and His Boy and The Magician’s Nephew.
  6. Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford – Jane Austen as a vampire on the big screen joined by other famous authors. Enough said. I also think they would have to do the whole trilogy. Darn 😉
  7. The Wizard of Oz series by L. Frank Baum – I know I’m going to get some huge objections, but just hear me out. I absolutely love the original movie. I don’t think they should touch that. I think this Oz series needs to stay very true to the books, not be a musical and have a much darker tone. I don’t want something to replace the classic. I want a more accurate telling of the story along the lines of the new Alice in Wonderland directed by Tim Burton and I want a whole series of movies, including the story of Ozma.
  8. The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan – This vampire story was simply written for the big screen. We are in desperate need of good horror and this one completely fits the bill.
  9. Glitch by Heather Anastasiu – This book hits shelves August 7th. I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC (advanced reader copy). A whole society forced underground by lies and a desire to control mankind through chips. This tells the story of one girl who has a chip that malfunctions and her journey to the truth. I honestly think that if this book gets enough notice, we will be seeing it on the screen in the near future.
  10. The Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind – I know this will never happen simply because the books are far too long and have too much action. You would never be able to do a book by book retelling like they’ve done with most series. The TV show however, was a massive flop as well because they strayed too far for the original storyline. Still a girl can dream can’t she?

What would be on your list of books that should make it to the movie screen?

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Books that shouldn’t hit the big screen

Okay, I like a great movie based on a book just as much as the next girl. I can’t tell you how much I love the current trend of turning much-loved YA books into film series. I currently can’t wait for Cassandra Clare‘s series to make it to film, starting with The City of Bones. I’m also eagerly awaiting November and the final Twilight movie. Not to mention Catching Fire!

Even when a book doesn’t follow the book exactly, many movies based on books are enjoyable. Some eclipse the popularity of the book (Gone with the Wind or The Silence of the Lambs are good examples).

However, just because a book is wonderful, doesn’t mean that it always belongs on-screen. For one reason or another, these books should never make it to film:

  1. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway – If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that there is no love lost between me and anything related to fish. This book however is mostly a guy sitting in a boat by himself thinking and trying to catch a fish. Might be interesting reading to many (not me but many others) but it makes for some of the most boring stuff ever put onto a reel of film.
  2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – I’ve seen the movie. It was entertaining. Then I read the book and realized how bad the movie is in comparison. While Hitchhiker isn’t among my favorites, the book has far too much to ever make sense in film!
  3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett – While my review of this book isn’t up yet (it’s coming soon), I was writing the review and realized that I really didn’t want to see the movie. This book is a whole lot of people sitting around talking and the action sequences wouldn’t make much sense. I have a feeling that a lot of the depth would be missing as well. I just don’t see that one going well.
  4. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas – I love this book. It is an amazing read. I accidentally read the abridged version first and was appalled when I found out how much I was missing! There is simply no way to condense this story for film without losing too much of the story!
  5. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – Again, far too long to condense down without losing too much of the story. Plus so much of the emotion in this piece would be too hard to translate into film.
  6. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy – 300 characters. Do I need to say any more?
  7. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – Okay. I love this book. I am going to go see the movie. My problem is that there is NO WAY they are going to find kids that are smart enough and young enough to play these parts convincingly. Plus the chance that it is going to be very cheesy is extremely high.
  8. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce – I know you haven’t heard about this one on my blog yet. I have two reviews scheduled for this one because it is just that good! This one is all about a guy taking a very LONG walk. Definitely not something that I think will translate to film well. Internal dialogue books rarely do.

What books do you think should NEVER be turned into films?

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Notable Character: “Bean” Julian Delphinki

The boy who will play Bean in the upcoming movie!

Ender Wiggin. The boy who sparked a series of books making Orson Scott Card famous. The hero. The boy who saved the world. Not nearly my favorite character from the Ender universe.

Bean is Ender’s second in command. The little boy with the brilliant mind who is virtually ignored past a few brilliant decisions and teasing him for his small size. Bean makes some strange decisions through the course of the first book, decisions that don’t make sense to the reader but seem simple to brush aside.

Cover of the comic/graphic novel series 🙂 Bean is the little one 😉

Bean first makes his appearance in Ender’s Game but Card found this character so intriguing that he spawned his own series, which I find arguably even better than the original. Bean is child who was engineered to be one of the smartest people on the planet. He was a failed experiment. While brilliant, he and the others like him, were cursed with a tragically short lifespan. All the other children were destroyed but something made Bean leave before they could kill him. Bean ends up on the streets of a large city, starving and far too small to be useful to anyone except for his brain.  The section of the book where Bean is trying to make it as a homeless toddler, never fail to effect me. I usually end up in tears, simple because it is so intense. He is found by a nun who helps him get into battle school, where he becomes the man behind Enter Wiggin, ready to take his place should he fail. While Ender thought it was a game, Bean knew the truth. It never had been a game.

Orson Scott Card with the book that made him famous

Bean is a very interesting character because he has to deal with very difficult situations that are unique to the experiments they did on him. He also has a bit of inhumanness that he struggles with, due to the genetic manipulation forced on him before birth. Bean also is interesting because he must deal with his mortality at a young age.

I think one of the reasons I find Bean’s story so compelling is that , unlike Ender, Bean returns to Earth and gets thrown into the world’s politics. Ender never goes back home and by the time the reader reaches the second book, everyone thinks that the real Ender Wiggin died thousands of years before. Bean has to deal with a world that considers him a hero, military asset and danger all at the same time. Through Bean’s story we see what happens to the rest of the former students at the Battle School.

Latest book in the series

For me, Bean is the most complex character of the series. Dealing with his emotions, falling in love, trying to have children, and realizing that he will never see 30 makes him compelling to read. Bean always feels apart in a way that is easy to connect with, as the reader. We have all had those moments where we feel like we are different from everyone else and Bean is the literary embodiment of that. Bean also has to deal with knowing more than anyone ever should and how to handle the fact that no one in the world can see what he does. Throw in multiple world governments trying to sue him for their own agenda, and Bean literally leaps of the page.

In the latest book of the Bean series, I cried when it ended. The end of a hero. The end of little Bean who grows until he becomes the giant. The giant with a heart that won’t support his size.

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Another book about Bean

Author: Orson Scott Card
Book: Shadows in Flight
Recommend: If you’ve read the series…

This book is the 5th book in the Shadow series a companion series to Card’s Ender series which begins with his most famous book, Ender’s Game. The story is about a group of children who are forced into military service and spend their time playing war games. These children will eventually be the salvation of the human race.

I was so excited to see that he had FINALLY come out with the next book in the Shadow series. I thought that he was going to have to follow Bean into space with his children that had inherited his genetic manipulation.

At first, I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like the book. Bean’s three children were almost too inhuman to be appealing but after a few pages, you started to understand their motivators and it becomes a very enjoyable read.

I don’t want to say too much about the plot because it would spoil it for everyone who is an Ender fan, but let’s just say that Ender doesn’t have the whole story. I can’t wait to read more. I hope that Card takes this further and follows this for at least another book because I want to know what happens to his children. I have a sneaking suspicion that they show up in Ender’s world again.

If you haven’t read any of the Ender series of books, I would recommend starting with the Ender Wiggin series and then moving to the shadow series. It is well worth the time,

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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