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James Berardinelli’s Review of “Ender’s Game” Recovers After a Slow Start

In response to James Berardinelli’s 948‑word review of Ender’s Game on ReelViews

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James Berardinelli’s review of “Ender’s Game” recovers after a slow start. When a famous novel takes a long time to be made into a film it can be fascinating to learn why—to a point. Bernadelli’s review stops before that point—and then begins a long paragraph-long set up of the movie’s premise.

When he refers to the movie being “uneven—almost maddeningly so” with the two halves of the movie differing in quality, readers will be forgiven for thinking the same of his review.

Afterward, fortunately, Berardinelli relates the gist of his piece, i. e. how the movie compares with the book. Not surprisingly, movie fails to do justice to the book, but Berardinelli isn’t dismissive nor are his reasons facile. He takes into consideration that page and celluloid are two separate art forms that are not interchangeable and that some of the stuff of multi-hundred page novels simply can’t be shoehorned into less than three hour movies.

Readers will appreciate that Berardinelli elucidates the deeper philosophical questions raised by the movie; and his greater point about the problem with science fiction movies today: they are more concerned with action than idea. The movie, like his review, “manages to be exciting and engaging while conveying weighty ideas.”   

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