Guys Sci-Fi Movie Night – “Ender’s Game” (2013)

Our Eleventh annual outing took some patience as we chose a movie that did not come out until November! We started planning the event in May and came up with this list of possible choices:

  • Oblivion – April 19th – out now (Tom Cruise)
  • After Earth – May 31st (Will and Jaden Smith)
  • World War Z – June 21st (Brad Pitt, based on book)
  • Pacific Rim – July 12th (Giant robots)
  • Elyisum – August 9th (Matt Damon)
  • Ender’s Game – November 1st (Based on book by Orson Scott Card)

Looking back, the other choice that might have worked was Oblivion. It didn’t do well in the theaters but its a beautifully shot Sci-Fi movie that is somewhat slow moving but enjoyable to watch. We weren’t quite organized enough at the time to plan this outing before Oblivion had already left the Giant Screen at the Continental. After Earth was quite bad – probably the worst Will Smith movie I’ve seen, and whatever worked well for Jaden in the Karate Kid remake did not work in this movie. World War Z was good but zombie are kind of in a side category to me – not true Sci-Fi. Carrie was gracious enough to go see this with me and we had a surprisingly good time! Pacific Rim is the best movie on the list but I knew too little about it at the time I came up with it. Tobey actually was the one that talked me into going to see it – he had seen it already once with a friend and declared it as his new all-time favorite movie. I took an afternoon off right before Tobey had to start school for some Boy’s time. We went and saw Pacific Rim at the Colorado Center and had an excellent time. What a great movie – everything that Transformers could have been if it hadn’t gone for the teenage humor and jokes. So in hindsight, if I had picked Pacific Rim – Tobey could have joined us for the first time. Maybe I will pick better next year! Elysium I have not yet seen but my Dad did and he said it wasn’t very good.

So, back to our pick – Ender’s Game. Based on a book from 30 years ago, and written by a polarizing author (to say the least) it will most likely have a hard time finding an audience – despite a great cast. The non-spoiler preview for those of you that didn’t read the book is that in the future Earth has been attacked by an alien race and nearly wiped out, and Earth’s leaders realize they will be back and train their brightest young minds to be the potential leader of the next attack force to save the human race. When our movie came out I saw that it had won its first weekend at the box office, but with a fairly small total – $26 million. Looking at the 2nd week I saw that Ender’s Game would soon lose its viewing on the giant screen thanks to Thor 2 coming out on Thursday night. So, we picked Wednesday night to meet and see it in style. We had to meet at the late showing – 9:45 since I had a Cub Scouts meeting earlier in the evening.

The movie itself was enjoyable – a decent adaptation of the book and well acted with great special effects. Nothing mind blowing, but fun for sure. Not quite enough time to discuss the movie after, but there’s never enough time to catch up. 🙂 A fun tradition that continues onward and is a little bit different every year!

So Pops – thanks for making the trek down from Boulder, and for the tasty popcorn. 🙂 Looking forward to 2014!

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