Movie Review, Part 2 – Ender’s Game

On Friday I went to see Ender’s Game again, this time on an IMAX screen.

Click here to read my full review of the film.

I want to admit that despite having worked at a major motion picture studio for over five years, I still don’t really get what IMAX is. Is it just a really big screen and great sound? (While we’re talking about what I don’t know, I also don’t know the difference between 3D and Real 3D. And to date, the only 3D movies I’ve seen are: Captain Eo, Jurassic Park, and Harry Potter #8.)

I’d initially (and erroneously) assumed that Ender’s Game would be filmed/shown in 3D, so I was actually quite disappointed to discover that it’s only being shown in 2D or IMAX. It was good in 2D, which is how I saw it last Sunday, but man was it GOOD in IMAX.

The sound was so immersive – my seat rumbled during the shuttle’s takeoff, and hearing chatter and explosions from literally all around me made me feel like I was there IN the Battle Room. And the visuals were crystal-clear, making the experience feel as though I were watching it in 3D.

Which leads me to my conclusion that seeing something in IMAX is the best option of them all. Well, for an action film, at least. I doubt it’d make much difference to a rom-com or a documentary.

Other things that stuck out this time around:

  • Sergeant Dap – played by British actor Nonso Anozie (you might recognize him from Game of Thrones or NBC’s Dracula), the character of Dap is a great example of how to do a lot and make an impression (both on the characters and on the audience) with a small role. Also, I really loved the timbre of his voice. I’d love to see him in a starring role.
  • South African influence? Director Gavin Hood is from Johannesburg and got his start directing educational dramas for the South African Department of Health. And there were a lot of things in Ender’s Game that reminded me of the movie District 9, which was directed by Neill Blomkamp, who is also from Johannesburg. I know that there are probably more than just two directors in all of South Africa, but the fact that the two films are similar in style and moral themes makes me curious about life in South Africa and how that influenced the two directors.
  • Pacing – the pacing, as I noted in my previous post, was generally rushed. This second viewing revealed parts where it wasn’t rushed at all that in my opinion could have been trimmed or cut altogether. Maybe I just really want to see another Battle School game, but I still wish Hood had given us more of Ender’s time in Battle School.

I probably won’t see Ender’s Game a third time in theaters, but I am definitely looking forward to a director’s cut and special features.

Have you seen the film? What did you think?

So what do you think?