This last weekend, my boyfriend and I went through quite a bit of indecision as we sat around trying to figure out what to watch.
First choice went to Lockout and the second one went to a movie in my unwatched pile of movies, Ender’s Game, both have one similarity: they both have a lead by an actor that I love.
Director: James Mather & Stephen St. Leger
Cast: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Vincent Regan, Lennie James, Peter Stormare
Set in the future, ex-CIA operative Snow (Guy Pearce) is wrongfully convicted of turning on his operation. However, when maximum security prison in space, MS1 has a rogue prisoner break loose and lets out the 500 convicts while taking the facility’s personnel and also, the president’s daughter, Emilie who happened to be there conducting an interview on the stasis procedure there, Snow is asked as to go in to save Emilie and send her back home safely.
Lockout is nothing great. There’s crap CGI that doesn’t match up to what is capable of modern technology of computer graphics. In fact, at the a certain point, it felt like I was looking at a video game cut scene or whatnot, lacking a feeling of being realistic. But, I love Guy Pearce and he can make a movie really good. That man is fantastic and when you put him in the whole Netflix description suggesting that if you were looking for an entertaining movie full of one-liners. Well, I’m down. So, with that said, one-liners also means that there is going to usually be a whole lot of cheese.
Before I say whether I liked this or not, you need to take into consideration that I slept about 3 hours the night before because of a late girl’s night in and then woke up at 5:30 for a sunrise shooting session with my friend. Continuing with my first thought up there, Lockout is nothing great. Put CGI aside now, the story is ever so flawed. The prisoners at MS1 are a little weird because its just a bunch of them sitting around socializing while the main group is threatening the government. Put that aside, I realized how much I am not a fan of this Emilie character because she is a pain in the ass. And some of these characters are painfully stupid, I mean, just so very frustratingly stupid. But, somehow, through all those downfalls, every time Guy Pearce was on screen, I was excited to see what happened next or just how he’d react.
No, I won’t recommend this but you know what, Guy Pearce is still an amazing presence in this one.
ENDER’S GAME (2013)
Director: Gavin Hood
Cast: Asa Butterfield, Abigail Breslin, Ben Kingsley, Harrison Ford, Viola Davis, Hailee Steinfeld
Ender Wiggin is recruited to be part of the International Military to be trained with other chosen kids who have the ability to help fight in the war against an alien population known of Formics. The Formics nearly destroyed the human race in their last invasion however thanks to a hero leader, they survived. Now they are preparing for the next battle that is inching closer day by day. Will Ender become the leader that the human race needs to survive before its too late?
I’m a huge fan of Asa Butterfield, especially after seeing Hugo. This kid can achieve some great things and he is amazing. Ender’s Game is right up my alley of what I like to watch: adventure being the main thing. I’m not so much a sci-fi person although I’m starting to think I kind of am. Anyways, before I wanted to seeing this in theatres, I picked up the book, hoping to finish it before I went to see it, but the slow beginning made me skip through that. I can’t believe that was a year ago, as I looked through my review again.
Ender’s Game is based on character development of Ender as he’s thrown head first into Battle School and as he learns from the mock battles he has there. What is wildly abundant in the book is his advanced strategy because he can plan out towards the end results he needs to not let things happen again. In that sense, he can make some pretty drastic choices. These choices shape who he becomes and the struggles he has to endure. The movie adaptation does a good job of showing his struggles except it moves forward pretty quickly (or I wonder if I fell asleep for 10 minutes in between because I was really tired). Regardless, the movie had me pulled in from the start, which is a lot more than I could say for the book. Maybe sci-fi for me works better adapted in movies than in books. I don’t read enough of that genre to know. The only thing that taking a slower time to build character as in the book, gives the character a more focused thoughtfulness to it. It gives it more growth.
Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Viola Davis, Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld: all very well-casted for their respective roles. What I loved most was how the transposed the description of the Battle School sequences from the army battles in that zero gravity zone especially. The design and graphics of it was absolutely beautiful to watch. The technology that they can use for this is done perfectly to show that its set in a future that we don’t have now. The battles set in their simulation is all touch screen and fast-paced. Everything feels like its just so real and its full of action as Ender bounces from one training group to another.
However, what makes the book intriguing was the heavy constant focus on giving little bits of how the management level of the International Military functions and then seeing their plans play out on Ender and how he reacts. Thats less obscure but still the ending packs a punch in the same way. This is the first time, I felt the need to compare the source material and the movie adaptation. I don’t really know why. Maybe its because as much as I liked the book, I didn’t love it because it wasn’t really for me but I could see how great it would be for a movie. And it didn’t let me down one bit. It could’ve been better in capturing the development of Ender as a child who is thrown into an adult’s world as the responsibility of saving your race is on your back but its well worth the viewing just for the beauty of the setting itself.
These supposedly shorter reviews are getting long so here it is:
Bottomline: Lockout is going to be a forgettable action thriller with a well enough performance from Guy Pearce who tries his absolute best with he’s given. While, Ender’s Game is visually stunning and has an outstanding cast that may not quite have the character development that the book has but it is entertaining and thrilling to watch all the same.
Now why couldn’t I have just wrote that and not said so much, right? 😉