Ender’s Game

October 30, 2013

enders-game

The long-awaited adaptation of the much beloved sci-fi novel Ender’s Game by the much reviled author Orson Scott Card has finally arrived, and though it strikes me as odd that anyone would be particularly interested in seeing this book brought to the screen (maybe a mini-series on TV, perhaps, but as a film, it never made much sense) it has been.  Years of development hell for the various attempts to do so have led us to an era of Young Adult adaptation mania, spurred on by the monstrous successes of Harry Potter and Twilight and, as a result, The Hunger Games.  As a result, we have a bland franchise hopeful written and directed by Gavin Hood.  These sorts of things don’t really rely on a strong authorial identity behind the camera – arguably, they’re antithetical to the business purposes of the pursuit – and so the adaptation runs straight down the middle all the way through, and unsurprisingly leaves us with a quick-paced, nuance-less YA film that mostly serves to highlight why it shouldn’t have been adapted in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »

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Predators and Killers

July 15, 2010

John McTiernan’s tight, sparse and commendably pure Predator still stands as one of the finer action achievements of the 1980s, and though it has been sullied by a grim sequel borne out of the Jason Takes Manhattan mode and a pair of cinematic abortions that shall not be mentioned by title here, the simple concept still has allure.  For those living under a rock, it is basically a sci-fi Most Dangerous Game, with honour-bound but ruthless dreadlocked aliens hunting humanity’s finest killers.  While the original was happy for our heroes to tangle with a singular beast, Nimrod Antal’s Predators takes a cue from the Alien franchise by pluralizing both the title as well as the number of predators. Read the rest of this entry »