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James Mottram’s “Ender’s Game” Makes for an Average Read

In response to James Mottram’s 303‑word review of Ender’s Game on The List

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James Mottram’s “Ender’s Game” is not going to win awards, but it won’t ruin your taste for film reviews, either. It’s a workman affair.

There’s a growing trend in film review of being mini-business reviews as well. Grosses are compared. Box office success stories overseas analyzed. And Mottram continues the trend. Potential success is compared to other films as a means to generate interest in the product. But these mild attempts at forecasting the future eat up space that could be spent on concerning… well… let’s see… the movie.

Cut to the obligatory “Orson Scott Card is a loon” section, and even more comparisons to other films, and it becomes apparent how little some film reviews deal with the actual subject matter.

Granted, some history or context is usually needed, and Mottram does a good job in establishing who is who and what is what. But when the plot is summed up with poor grammar, it’s almost time to abandon the Starship Mottram and hope to get picked up by any random blogger who trolls Wikipedia for facts and comparisons.

This is all the more unfortunate because the note that Mottram decides to end on is graceful. When the end arrives, you’ll wish it had been there at the beginning. Far from being damned with faint praise, it’s in fact a hail mary play from the edge of mediocrity.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation