This Rotten Week: Predicting Ender's Game, Last Vegas and Free Birds Reviews

By Doug Norrie 2013-10-27 17:12:16discussion comments
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This Rotten Week: Predicting Ender's Game, Last Vegas and Free Birds Reviews image
Getting a late start this week, but believe me itís worth the wait. Well at least one of the movies is worth it. The other two? Not so much. This week Ender plays his game, old dudes go to Vegas and birds go free.

Just remember, I'm not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting where they'll end up on the Tomatometer. Let's take a look at what This Rotten Week has to offer.

Enderís Game
A few yearís ago I read Enderís Game by Orson Scott Card and loved it. It was like Harry Potter, if the scarred-one was a military and strategic genius rather than a dopey kid who lucked his way into Hogwartsí history (I kid, I kid). Scott Card created a character in Ender Wiggin much different than the standard child hero. First of all, the book retains elements of violence, especially on the part of the titular hero, not often seen with a child protagonist. Like the Harry Potter novels, Enderís Game offers up the power of friendship and family as the constants by which we can ground ourselves in no matter the situation. But Scott Card also posited a world in which our children arenít reluctantly thrust into situations of power but rather asked (begged really) by adults to lead humanity. As a bonus, though written in the eighties, it had some predictive power over the nature of our technological advances (the kids basically use iPads while training, thereís the internet as a global uniter). Like I said, I loved it.

And itís taken absolutely forever for this thing to become a movie. That may have been for the best, as many of the technological advances in our real world have finally caught up with Scott Cardís ideas (though we havenít faced global annihilation from an alien species...yet). With Asa Butterfield (Hugo-94%) as the reluctant leader, and ways to visually imagine (on screen) the intergalactic world in which Ender is thrust, we probably had to reach a point of consciousness in which our children are able to commit acts of egregious macro and micro violence on screen (thanks Hunger Games) without getting too prude about it. Because Ender is no saint, believe me.

Directed by Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine-38%, Rendition-47%), Enderís Game is already receiving positive marks from critics. Though they are far from blown away by the movie, and most agree it misses a few chances at greatness, the collective body likes what they see. Sitting at 71% through almost twenty reviews (the earliest tending to be the kindest) I see this sitting above the halfway mark but maybe not by much. It took a while, but hopefully itís worth the wait. The Rotten Watch for Enderís Game is 59%

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