In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_y6dpvzigsnvvskcmoqjamctbogg

Planes: Fire & Rescue

"Planes: Fire & Rescue" won’t ever be mistaken for a classic, especially not with its happy ending that exists primarily for the benefit of future…

Thumb_5omusvdwvy5duis2jrck22aecnq

Mood Indigo

Even if you have a high tolerance for whimsy, "Mood Indigo" may still be too much.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Channel Archives
Primary_endersgamepressconference2

Ender's Game Show: Comic-Con 2013 Day One

He knew they were coming and that he would have to answer, but he didn't have to like them. At a press conference for "Ender's Game," just before the appearance in the 6000-seat Hall H, Harrison Ford was asked about Han Solo and about Ender author Orson Scott Card.

No, he explained, his "Ender" character Graff is not at all like Han Solo. This may be his first return to outer space and science fiction since "Star Wars," but "Graff is nothing like Han Solo. Graff is a very complex character in charge of an awesome responsibility. He recruits and trains young Ender and faces a lot of moral issues while using young people for warfare. The complex moral issues are Graff's story."

Ender's Game

The complex moral issues of social responsibility and the role of the military give the film "high ambition" with a lot of relevance to the challenges we face today. "The morality of a society that wages war is the moral concern of this film and in our lives." Like Ender, technology gives us a remove from the consequences of our battles. But the deeper issue goes back to the beginning of conflict, the use of "the youngest and the fittest" to fight our battles. "Graff is responsible for manipulating young people for some perceived need of humanity as a whole."

Ford emphasized that Card's homophobic statements are not the issue. "None of his views regarding gay marriage are a part of the themes of this film. He has written something of value…. I'm aware of his statement that it is a battle he lost. We all know that we won, that humanity won. It's the end of the story."

Ford appeared alongside his young co-stars, Asa Butterfield ("Hugo") and Hailee Steinfeld ("True Grit"), praising them as "dedicated, devoted, and with surprising craft, understanding and skill." He had some praise for another member of the cast who was not in the room, Sir Ben Kingsley. "Despite the 'sir-ness' of him, he is a yeoman actor and a mate-y kind of guy."

Butterfield said he appreciated the chance to play a darker character. And Steinfeld talked about how she appreciated the deeper understanding of the characters she got from reading the book, and the chance to explore a character who is strong and independent, has to earn the respect of the mostly male classmates, and has to take a risk in deciding to trust one of them.

Writer/director Gavin Hood compared the big-budget studio sci-fi film to his small, independent breakthrough movie, "Tsotsi." He said both were stories of "a troubled kid struggling in a morally complex universe." This movie gave him the chance to work with "a lot of cool toys and effects, but at the end it's still a character-driven story that requires great performances." He encouraged everyone to visit the "Ender's Game Experience" exhibit. "You think of it as CGI, but whenever possible we made it as real as possible with tangible, traditional, beautifully built sets" to make it real for the performers and the audience. "We spent hours on how the helmets reflect light."

Popular Blog Posts

Reverse Trip: Charting the History of Bong Joon-Ho's "Snowpiercer"

A look at the cinematic and political history that resulted in Bong Joon-Ho's "Snowpiercer."

Video games can never be art

Having once made the statement above, I have declined all opportunities to ...

The Unloved, Part 2: John Carter

The Unloved, Scout Tafoya's video essay series about critically reviled films that deserve more respect, continues wi...

Home Entertainment Consumer Guide: July 17, 2014

The best new releases on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, VOD, and Blu-ray/DVD.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus