Books Into Movies: Ender's Game

So, this Sunday night I convinced my bud Jenee to see Ender's Game with me. I've been waiting for this movie to be made for years. I remember reading it for the first time in middle school, then again in college. This was around the time when huge movies were being made for YA series like it was going out of style: Harry Potter, Twilight, etc. I thought for a long time how peculiar it was that though Ender's Game had been just as popular, had just as devoted a fan-base, and had been out much longer that it somehow hadn't gotten it's own movie - until now. (I'm still not even sure I understand why it's taken so long - and I usually don't really care all that much about movie adaptations, unless it's a book I really loved.)
Okay - Ender's Game was never a book I looooved. Both times I've read it, it was to impress boys, but I still enjoyed it (and never once got the boy).

One of the reasons I wanted to see the movie for such a long time (and why I had such a hard time loving the book) was because Card puts a lot of effort into describing the training battles, and I had a difficult time visualizing them. At least with a movie, that issue gets resolved. Maybe this isn't such a huge deal to the male readers. I initially thought Ender's Game was somehow based off of the MegaMan video games (and if you look at that cover, I don't think you could really blame me) and though I was off the mark, it's still a great book for gamers and I assume many men who love this story are gamers. With that said, if they're reading this, they're most likely scoffing with disgust because I had a hard time picturing the training scenes without the help of the movie. And that is a lot of the story.

Ender is a, as Jenee put it, total Gary Sue. Training Ender up and watching him go through the ranks and be perfect and amazing and never fail at anything (because failure implies that he is becoming his worst fear - his brother, Peter. By the way, where was Peter for the entirety of this movie except for a single scene?) is a little tiresome and excruciating to watch. I seem to remember more vulnerability and self-doubt with Ender's character in the novel - hard to translate into a movie, but it gave his climb up the latter more depth and interest. The movie did get more interesting and watchable very quickly towards the end, though.

An extra plus is that there were prominent, strong female characters and a lot people of color. Petra, for example, is Ender's friend - but check this shit out - THEY AREN'T A COUPLE! Whaaaat? Yeah, turns out it's possible to be a cute, smart, kick-ass, an never-the-less important girl that plays a role besides love interest. I haven't necessarily read any of the other books in the series, so I don't know if this changes. But if left as it is, I think it's an encouraging thing to note.

I'm glad they finally got around towards making this movie. It was beautifully made movie, though it wasn't perfect (it's imperfections were a slow start.) As always, I hope that this movie draws in some new readers in the wide-world. I've never been able to convince my teenaged cousins to read these books myself, but maybe this movie will light a fire under their butts (and the butts of others life them)

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