Ender’s Game (2013) and Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)

Yesterday, I got around to seeing some movies as you can see in the title.So be warned there will be some spoilers to follow.
Ender’s Game is based on a book of the same name by Orson Scott Card. There had been a long when Card had called the book unfilmable but he relented more or less when Gavin Hood came up with a faithful screenplay. Ender’s Game is a decent adaptation of the book but of course it isn’t perfect as in the book Andrew Wiggins is like 7 and in the movie he’s a teenager but movies take liberties with the source material and it world have made a much longer movie to show the years that he is at Battle School.

In case you’ve been trapped under a rock for the past 28 years Ender’s Game is the story of Andrew “Ender” Wiggins a young boy who has the future of all mankind place on him. The Earth was attacked by an alien race the Formics in the past and the Earth doesn’t want this to happen again so they send the best and brightest children to be trained in Battle School to lead the army. Since children make better decisions and sort through more information quicker than adults can or something to that effect. So Ender and his eventual rag tag team in time become one of the most successful team at Battle School and they are promoted to Command school and other things happen as well.

The movie is a faithful adaptation and there are some stand out performances. Harrison Ford does a great job playing the gruff Colonel Hyrum Graff, and the kids Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld and most of the rest also pull of some good performances, it is a shame that it seems likely that this will be the only book of the saga adapted to film. Best of all the film uses both real and computer generated special effects and the use of 3d printing to make props as well. It’s well acted and the script is decent it is just a shame that the movie has to compete with Thor and Catching Fire at the box office.

The book is very popular it in fact won both the Hugo award (86) and the Nebula award (85) two prestigious awards in science fiction writing. Ender’s Game is also required reading for the US Marine Corp University. Besides the military it is also popular at the high school level where it is featured on many independent reading list\summer reading or assigned. I was introduced to the book as a sophomore in high school and it was required reading. The book is popular as it looks at children as people who have complex emotions just like adults.  I guess I might write some about Orson Scott Card soon.

Jack the Giant Slayer is a movie version of the classic stories of Jack and the Beanstalk and Jack the Giant Killer with a princess added for some reason. In the movie adaptation Jack lives with his Uncle and he has to sell his horse instead of his cow. In this world there is the fabled tale of how monks were trying to reach God that they produced a vine witch inadvertently became a bridge for giant to come down to our world. Now King Erik had a crown fashioned witch granted him the power to control the giants and he defeated and banished the giants to their home in the sky, the King then had the beanstalk chopped down and the seeds and crown were buried with Erik when he died.

So Jack sells his horse for the beans and the Princess runs away from home and stops at Jack’s house due to a rain storm. Soon there after the house is in the middle of a giant beanstalk, the Princess goes on an adventure and Jack goes to save the Princess. Since there has to be a Princess in the movie and as luck wold have it Jack and the Princess fall in love and they get married unlike in the original tales. However an interesting part is at the end where it is implied that the crown of King Erik is a part of St. Edward’s Crown the Crown of the Monarch of the United Kingdom. The other cool bit about it was at the end as well as the story changes over the numerous tellings of the tale. The movie is a CGI fest and is something that you don’t need to think about while you watch it.

 

 

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