Screen Talk

Screen Talk #2: Ender’s Game

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Screen Talk is my space to chat about films and television, ranging from reviews, to recommendations and everything in between.

Today I want to talk about the film adaptation of the novel Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card.

Enders Game

I had been meaning to watch this for a while, but somehow managed to miss it at the cinema and just never got round to it. Until I was browsing through Netflix, remembered it was there and thought it would be a good thing to watch for Sci-Fi Month! I really enjoyed the novel it is based on, despite the author being a rather disgusting human being, so I had to give the film a shot some time.

The good:
  • The visuals were great. The Battle Room looked so fantastic, as well as the suits of the cadets and all their technology.
  • The soundtrack, composed by Steve Jablonsky, was an absolute wonder.
  • The casting – Harrison Ford! Viola Davis! Ben Kingsley!

The bad:
  • The film cut out way too much of the book, such as the sub-plot involving Valentine and Peter, set on Earth.
  • Instead of focusing on the camaraderie that Ender develops with Bean, Petra and the other cadets, the film ignored all of these friendships in place of a potential romance that never actually blossomed.

The ugly:
  • Without the sub-plot set on Earth, it didn’t feel like there was any real threat to humankind. The chapters in the book with Peter and Valentine kept it feeling more ‘real’ and grounded, literally and metaphorically.
  • Why is Ender so special and talented? We don’t see a single moment of the reason why on screen. The film missed out so much that it in fact just cut out all the important bits. There is no real explanation as to why Ender gets promoted again and again. Sure, we see him win one battle. But why does that make him so much more worthy than the other kids who have won tens, hundreds of battles?
  • We’re told that Ender is a mixture of his brother and sister, and that’s why he fits the academy. His brother is on screen for all of five seconds, and Valentine not that much longer. Therefore, this means nothing. We don’t know what this combination would be like.
  • Ender was so… bleh. He lacked any real personality. I had no reason to like him.

Overall Rating:

Have you watched Ender’s Game? What did you think?

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Screen Talk

Screen Talk #1: Currently Watching

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As mentioned in my post a few weeks ago, I am making a few changes to the blog – one of which is involving films and television. Screen Talk will be my space to chat about these topics, ranging from reviews, to recommendations and everything in between. However, books will still be the major focus of the blog.

Today I want to discuss the television shows I am currently watching.

Arrow

Arrow

I started watching Arrow on Netflix after a recommendation from a friend. After marathoning the first season in a weekend when I was unwell, I’ve slowed down a bit since and am currently only halfway through season two. However, I really love the show – I’m just trying to finish some others first. I’m enjoying learning more about DC heroes, and will be picking up The Flash when I start season three of Arrow, as recommended. Felicity may well be my favourite, but I also have a soft spot for Diggle. And it doesn’t hurt that Oliver is an archer superhero, I kind of have a thing for archery…

The Borgias

The Borgias

Oh, the Borgia family, you do fascinate me. With their scheming, nepotism, backstabbing and hints other unsavoury practices, they make damn good television. I watched the first few episodes of this series years ago, and somehow never got back round to it. Lately I’ve picked it up again, and have just finished season one. Since it got cancelled after series three, I know I only have twenty or so episodes to go and I’m trying to catch up on this one first. The costumes are beautiful, as is the soundtrack – that opening theme!

Community

Community

One of my absolute favourite shows, I started watching it a couple of years ago. It somehow makes me want to go to community college, but I don’t think I’ll find one like Greendale. When it got cancelled I was heartbroken, and then ecstatic when Yahoo picked it up for season six. I got one of my friends here at university into it, and we’ve been watching it together – him for the first time, and the millionth time for me! However, we’re both watching season six for the first time. As we tend to marathon episodes, we’ve waited for the series to finish (for good :() before carrying on. Although by the time I post this, I may have finished…

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

It may be taking a completely different path to the books at this point, since it’s pretty much overtaking them now, but I’m still watching. I’m just too invested in all these characters to give up now. The show also reminds me that I really need to re-read the books at some point. I’m not worried about it spoiling the books because they have pretty much confirmed that things will be different. I can’t wait for more Arya, Brienne and Tyrion, but it’s hard to believe that season five is nearly over already. And I even got to sit on the Iron Throne recently.

Orphan Black

Orphan Black

THIS SERIES. SO GOOD. I was pretty slow watching season one, and then I suddenly hit season two and marathoned it like crazy. I’ve just lately caught up completely with season three after getting behind by about six weeks. It is somehow very complicated yet easily understandable, and season three has brought in even more characters and mystery. It’s just so tense and exciting pretty much ALL the time, and Tatiana Maslany is absolutely fantastic. She pulls off every clone perfectly, they all seem so individul. If you haven’t given Orphan Black a watch yet, I urge you to do so as soon as possible!

I also recently finished Outlander, The 100, Plebs and The Casual Vacancy, plus I have a million shows currently on hiatus.

What shows are you currently watching?