02 November 2013 @ 06:36 pm
The movie was... decent. It was probably as good an adaptation as they could do, and in a lot of respects, I do think it's better than the book. The cast was very diverse; it very much felt like an international effort. They did a lot to fix the characterization problems I see in the book-- Ender actually has to learn how to do things and is not instantly perfect at everything, and they show him doing a decent job at building rapport and leadership skills, which were completely absent from the book. Graff is definitely portrayed as a crazy guy with a vendetta that makes no sense, and gets called out several times for his tactics, especially at the end with the "simulation" victory.

Stilson is not in fact killed, and Bonzo's fate is left ambiguous, but I suspect the movie intended for him to live as well. But at least the conflict is better set up than just "Graff decided it was ok to let somebody attempt to kill Ender to build Ender's character."

They entirely cut the subplot involving Peter and Valentine taking over the world through blogging. Which is good, because let's face it, that is completely ridiculous.

The main flaw in the movie is that the time frame is completely condensed. Instead of Ender spending 5-6 years between arriving at battle school at age 6, and fighting the final battle at 11-12(?), he gets promoted to Dragon army after a month or so of training, and then is shipped off to Command School maybe 4-6 months after that (because the human fleet is arriving in Formic space). The amount of time is unclear, but Dragon jumps from being a new army to being #1 in about one scene and a few lines of dialogue. Most of the time is spent on the command "simulations" and the final battle, but even that is pretty quick.

Basically, because everything happens so fast, the emotional impact of all of it is completely blunted. I didn't feel any emotional connection with the characters at all until maybe the end. The actors do a good job playing the characters, but the plot just moves too fast. So they fixed a lot of problems, but created others by squishing the entire plot into maybe a year of movie time. Also, the whole child soldier aspect makes even less sense, since now not only are you using a 12 year old to command your armies, but it's a 12 year old with maybe 6 months of training. Because that sounds like a great plan.

Also because things are moving so fast, there's a lot of telling instead of showing, where Ender voiceovers about how stressed he and the other trainees are, but don't appear any different from their previous scenes.

A number of the lines felt very forced to me. When they use 'the Enemy's gate is Down" it felt much more like something they knew they had to include rather than something that felt natural and flowed within the story. Same with Valentine's lines at the lake, and Alai's "salaam" moment. And a lot of the stuff that Graff says seems to come out of nowhere with no real explanation or reasoning behind it.

There were enough Speaker for the Dead references that made it clear they wanted a sequel, which I kind of cringe at the thought of.

The big draw of the movie: definitely the visuals. The special effects were lovely, and the computer controls for the "simulation" games at the end were gorgeous and immersive; it felt like I was watching them play the most epic version of StarCraft ever. It was a lot more exciting than just having those scenes described in the book.

Overall: a decent sci-fi movie with pretty effects, but nothing amazing. Much like the book, it brings up some interesting questions, but doesn't really address them very well. It solves some problems the book had, but creates others in doing so. Entertaining, but not really worth a rewatch.
18 May 2013 @ 04:54 pm
So I saw Star Trek: Into Darkness

Spoilers AheadCollapse )
So I saw this post on Tumblr:

Cersei vs. Alanna

Someone please write a giant meta essay on how Cersei Lannister and Alanna of Trebond both

dressed up as their twin brother
wanted to be a knight and
are called lioness

Like, what if Alanna had not gone through with the switching places? Would she have ended up as bitter as Cersei?

And what if Cersei had said a big “fuck you” to her father, cut her hair, dressed as a boy and run away? Would she have turned into a big damn feminist hero like Alanna?

Are they two sides of the same coin or am I imagining things?

And I started thinking, and then I did write an essay that is probably entirely too long. But it was an interesting diversion.

Cersei and Alanna, OR When Life Gives You LemonsCollapse )
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: "King and Lionheart" -Of Monsters and Men
24 December 2012 @ 11:36 pm

Hope you all get awesome presents, eat delicious food, and spend time with people you love. :)
Current Music: "12 Days of Christmas" -Straight No Chaser
26 August 2012 @ 04:09 pm
Right, so, Gen Con!

I meant to write this up on Monday, which I took off from my job at Curtis so my brain didn't melt from 10 straight days of work. However, as it turned out Monday turned out to be, instead of a restful, chillaxing day, a day where I did all the chores it had been impossible to do the week prior, which included tackling the massive, massive pile of dishes that result when no one does them for a week. Fortunately I had more energy on Sunday/Monday than I'd expected, so this wasn't too much a problem.

Anyway, the recap:
Read more...Collapse )

We also saw lots of cool cosplay, which I made more of an effort to take pictures of this year:
Cosplay PicsCollapse )
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
04 August 2012 @ 04:30 pm
#9 - The SecretCollapse )

#10 - The AndroidCollapse )
Current Mood: blahblah
03 August 2012 @ 04:23 pm
Ax"s book! Woo!Collapse )
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
31 July 2012 @ 10:37 pm
#7 - The StrangerCollapse )

Megamorphs #1 - The Andalite"s GiftCollapse )
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: "Alligator Arms" - Gaelic Storm
28 July 2012 @ 09:32 am
Hey, this title is actually relevantCollapse )
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful