109th Air Operations Group – Chief of Combat Operations, Lt. Colonel, Hawaii Air National Guard, F-15 Pilot
Where and with whom did you see the movie? I watched Ender’s Game at Consolidated Theatres Ward 16 with Miss Sarah Cho.
Overall what did you think? Ender’s Game has a well-designed storyline with significant levels of development and intricate character relationships that show the development of a young, challenged boy into a supreme military commander. Unfortunately, this movie dumbed it down so much that it required the actual characters to literally explain what was going on throughout the movie. On the surface, the storyline (mostly told by the literal explanations) is very good, so it is an entertaining movie, but it takes away from the tremendous potential that movies provide to take the viewer down visual realities to see the story build, versus having it told to them. The viewer’s pleasure of observing things and piecing them together is cut short by lack of storyline support. Harrison Ford or another character must then interject, telling you what you’re supposed to have deduced from a scene. It’s obvious the director tried to address all of the intricate details of the plot in too little time.
Without giving away the ending, what was one of your favorite scenes? Ender’s (Asa Butterfield) interactive game/dream scene - it was rendered in an anime graphic style, which presented a surreal visual experience. I thought this was an excellent director choice, as it led into the connection between Ender, his sister and the attacking alien race.
On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this film? ★★
What did you think of the cinematography? Decent. Although not of the level of Avatar or Gravity, I was engaged in the movie and did not feel like anything “looked fake,” so it was enjoyable.
Was the message/theme clear? It was actually very clear because the characters told it to the audience!
Did it remind you of any other works of film? Star Wars Episode I - similarly, the challenge is to take the paradigm of a diminutive, inexperienced child and illustrate the progression through prodigy to military leader of a civilization … at least in Star Wars Episode I, Anakin had “the Force” to explain his supernatural progression.
To whom would you recommend this movie? Children and younger adults, probably those who have not read the book, as they may be disappointed by the story development.
Did any of the actors stand out? Asa Butterfield (Ender Wiggins). Despite his boyish appearance, his realistic movie presence does a convincing job of portraying a variety of emotions, from meekness, to brute arrogance, to silent empathy. There were times when I found myself trying to doubt the reality of his role (because of the amount of power and significance given to him), but he kept me engaged in the plot very well.
Did you identify with any of the characters? Well, like Ender Wiggins, I did go through rigorous military training with diverse competition and challenges, and I was a scrawny little kid. However, I did not have the luxury of knowing from the start that I was “the one,” destined to be the master leader of the entire galactic army in a battle against aliens trying to annihilate the human race … THAT certainly would have helped my confidence.
What’s your favorite movie snack? Definitely butter! The added popcorn is a nice touch, and when dashed with arare and furikake, it’s the bomb.
On a different note, what’s new with you? As a volunteer member of the Slopes of Diamondhead HUI, we just finished hosting Crazy, Sexy, GHOUL - a fundraiser costume event supporting Make-A-Wish Hawaii and our local keiki. With the Hawaii Air National Guard, we are continuing to make great strides integrating with the active duty Air Force. “Total Force Integration” is an initiative that increases efficiencies and utilization of manpower and resources to help our military accomplish more, despite significant cutbacks and challenges. It’s fascinating to be in a position to help shape the future of an organization!