Friday, November 15, 2013

How Not to Turn a Book into A Movie

Sorry I missed last month I was really sick, and this month I am a day late. Originally I was going to talk about Doctor Who because it is celebrating it's 50th Anniversary in 8 days time now. But I am literally launching three books today. Davey Beauchamp's Amazing Pulp Adventures RPG, Amazing Pulp Adventures the Short Stories and Writers for Relief vol. 3. So it has been a crazy week getting ready for the launch.

So what I give you is a spoiler free review of Ender's Game aka how not to turn a book into a film.


Ender’s Game was not Ender’s Game and I am not sure where to begin. First the movie should have either been at least a half an hour to hour longer. People aren't afraid of a three hour film; just look at Lord of the Rings. Or it should have been two films; the first part being Battle School and the second Command School, which they could have easily had done. 

Then I remembered this movie was made by Summit. The movie company that loves to rip the heart and soul out of the YA books they adapt. For me this was the Hunger Games all over again. I felt like they had mutilated the Hunger Games with the base character interactions and why they should even begin to trust one another in this horrid situation they were placed in. It was one of the things Hunger Games the books did well and it was lost to the filmmakers.

They compacted and distilled Ender’s Game into nothing more than a special effects film. And when we do get the little special effects we get in this film; it is handled decently. If you expect a favorite scene from the book to be in this movie; don’t get your hopes up. The characters, their heart, the reasons why they were the way they were was ripped out of this film. Again like I said this is a Summit Film. I think I could have easily have adapted this book into a movie without compromising everything they compromised to make this film.

I barely recognize the story in the movie and I feel like they are assuming that everyone who is watching the film has read the book. Or at least that is the only way I can even begin to reconcile the films creation.

They had so much to work with and they just tossed it to the side and made this film. I can’t even call it a good film. It is a good mess asking the audience to make some wild jumps in character development. And if you expect any sort of a sequel to this movie; don’t. They mutilated the end of the book, which I was looking forward to seeing at the end of the film.

And I am not one of those that thinks the movie should follow the book verbatim. I don’t. I understand thing have to be changed it is a different medium then words on paper. It is an adaption, but I barely saw the book in this film. I guess it could be compared to World War Z where large liberties were taken, but at least I enjoyed World War Z a lot more.

Summit shows us how it is not done. So I hope other movie companies take note. I can see Ender’s Game flopping in theaters. And I hope it does, not because of Card or his beliefs; because it is a bad, bad film that felt like it was just thrown together. I am just glad I have Thor next week to watch to get this bad tasting movie out of my mouth.

I know some people are going to love this film and more power to them. I am glad they liked it or loved it, but I am not going to be able to get my 7.50 back anytime soon. I wouldn't even waste my time down loading it. And if anyone of you really knows me; I am the guy who likes about everything he sees in the theater as long as I don’t feel like I have wasted my time or was entertained in the slightest. And I love a good special effects film, but this film boards on me feeling like I wasted two hours of my time.

The only good thing I got out of this trip to theater was some great trailers of coming of attractions including the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Trailer, which people looked at me strangely when I squeed over it.

In the end make up your own mind about the film, but I was disappointed on so many different levels and I am not one of those diehard fans of the book. I just read it for the first time in September and found it a lot of fun.

1 comment:

  1. Book to film adaptations are almost always disappointing. I keep a list of films that are as good or better than the book they're based on, and it's a very short list....