Category Archives: The Steve Diamond Movie Review

Enders Game…


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The Ratings System Explained


Date: November 10, 2013

01) I went for Asa

Figuring this would possibly be the last time I’d see Asa Butterfield in anything, where he might still tickle my fancy…I could not miss this movie.

In some regards, watching this movie was like my experience with “Sin City”…The pace was breakneck speed, and there was always something going on, on the screen…So, I never exactly got bored [at least not the first couple of hours, of “Sin City”, as things started nearing the three hour mark my demeanor was enormously different]…but I never got to any point where I liked the movie…or could ever see myself recommending it to anybody.

Actually, “Enders Game” fairs a bit better because it does not overstay its welcome…Yet, I never found myself getting into the story…It is way too incredulous…poorly presented…

Visually, the movie is great…but there is almost [if not literally] zero character development…The characters are painfully shallow…The sequence of events is violently rammed down your throat, leaving you no time to really digest it…

It seems, battle school was a “military basic training” that lasted all of about…a week?…less?…and consisted of implausible promotions and evolutions for Ender, at a rapid pace that made no sense. There was no true sense of growth, development or earned status, that was ever communicated in this movie. While I’m willing to accept a lot of backstory was left untold…I am not willing to suspend all common sense, to accept a guy acting like Enders mean drill sergeant on day one is saluting him with respect “ten days later” [or whatever it was supposed to have been].

I don’t care if these kids were supposed to have been “geniuses”…even a genius is not perfect at everything, and has to develop themselves for a time, before they are ready for something. Being a “genius” does not make you a total package of perfection. “Geniuses” have plenty enough flaws, but this movie doesn’t seem to realize it, instead going with the “engineered soldier” theme…”They were made for doing this, therefore they will”.

“Battle school” seemed ridiculous and senseless, in light of the fact that it had utterly nothing to do with the war they were waging, at the end of the movie…Ender barks commands, and all the rest engaging with some sort of computer interface…all done remotely, far away from the actual battle…How this ties in with floating in space, shooting freeze guns, is beyond me…and seems a terribly irresponsible waste of time, given that the human species is allegedly under threat of extermination.

The movie is a tragic mess…and while I may like a movie that does not answer everything…this movie just drops the ball, over and over.

…It’s like they thought they could dazzle the audience visually, and just sort of lead you through a sequence of scenes…and this would somehow add up to a satisfying movie.

Despite its deep flaws…I did not hate this movie…but I did not like it, either.

I do understand, a lot of these elements were deeply explored in the books [and even lasted years in the timeline, from what I hear]…but throwing them together like they did in this movie…the movie itself simply does not work.

This movie would have benefited from designated timeline earmarks, to at least smooth together the content…if not a montage, or two…As it stands, it flows like a story told over the span of eight to ten days…and that might be a generous estimate.


I really should add a couple of things here, which I meant to include in this response…but I ended up kicking myself over it, once I’d already clicked the “post” button…and realized, I had entirely failed to express what follows…

I don’t like to post a response to myself on BoyChat, adding in whatever I forgot to say…So, I almost always just let it stand as is…and if somebody else gives me a reason, then I may add more for clarification…but, anyway…

I’ve been an admirer of Asa Butterfield, for a number of years…I outright loved him in Hugo, and thought it was a cinema tragedy, that this movie did not get its just due.

One of my biggest regrets, is that Asa has been so “absent” from the screen over the years…Or, he has been harder to find, I should say…I realize, he has been busy…and was thrilled to discover him in Merlin…but I am hard pressed to really list many roles played by him.

Asa is very, very talented…and my words regarding Enders Game, were made with absolutely zero intention of reflecting back upon the performance of Asa…or any other actor in that movie, for that matter.

I felt the acting ranged from strong to entirely competent…There was not a bad performance, that I saw. I feel, every actor did well…working with whatever they actually had to work with…For some, it was painfully little.

Whatever scorn I have for Enders Game, is not aimed at the actors…It is aimed at the people who put this thing together, and made the horrible decisions that were bound to guarantee…this thing was going to be a flop…You are not going to tell me that they were so naive, that what they decided to release…they thought it was worthy of blockbuster status [It was going to have to be, in order to recoup its budget and make profit]…I do not buy that.

Hollywood has been searching for “a new Harry Potter”…Meaning, they’ve desperately wanted a new series of phenomenally popular movies, that would be something like the Harry Potter franchise…They’ve been saying this for years…Hugo was one such attempt, based upon a series of books [ala Harry Potter]…and it honestly deserved to be made into a fully fleshed out series…I would have loved to have seen that…But, probably bad marketing…maybe bad timing for a release…Somehow, this wonderful movie got ignored…and the studio bailed on all plans for the franchise…

That sucks my friendsThat sucks!

I for one, also…would love to see a new movie series, with excellent production and cast…with a young cast [ala Harry Potter]…being produced…but, no…It seems like every time they put out a decent movie of this kind [Hugo, The Golden Compass], the audience drops the ball…they don’t go to see it, so the studio abandons the franchise…If that is not the case, then they spend obscene amounts of cash on the movie [Enders Game], backing it into a corner where it has to do extremely well…Then when it does not, the studio abandons the franchise…

…One wonders, if they are actually ever going to get a new series of movies off the ground, at this rate…

Personally, I think it has been great that Asa has been afforded these opportunities…He is a very talented actor…One of the best, of his generation…And I see no reason, why he should not be in the lead role, of such a franchise series…But now, after this debacle…Asa has been saddled with “big budget flop” number two…

This was not his fault…but what do you suppose his odds are, at being given a third chance?…Likely pretty grim.

…Which is why I am fairly sharp in my criticism, of how this movie was made…

Truth be told, I actually left the movie theater feeling about as unmoved one way or the other about this movie, as is possible…I was not bored by it, but it was a mess in to many ways…and did not have enough to it to honestly make me like it…[Eye candy is generally not enough for me, especially in a science fiction movie]…

…I knew this would not be enough of a movie, to warrant further installments…and that was a substantial let down, in my eyes.

…I was rooting for this movie, and optimistic walking into the theater…The end product was just too weak…I kept watching and waiting, for that moment that would pull me into the movie…and it never came [maybe I missed it, when I had to go pee?]…Then the anticlimactic ending took place…and I was left thinking…”…Okay?…”…

My parallel with Sin City really fits here…because I left the theater, not entirely knowing what to even make of what I just spent two hours watching.

There were some good things about the movie [actors and visual]…But the sum of the total parts, could not make a good movie.

It is a shame, because even though this was clearly weaker than Hugo…I once again would have liked to have seen this go forward.

Enders Game is a good example…of why it is better to tell a story of limited scope well, than to tell a larger story badly…They should have never tried to cram so much stuff, into a mere two hours.

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The Steve Diamond Movie Review: The Ratings System…


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Date: January 01, 2013

This is how The Steve Diamond Movie Review Ratings System works…

There are four base ratings and three special badges…They go as follows.


The Ratings:

In my opinion…The movie I am about to review is dreadful, not recommended and ought to be avoided. This rating will be reserved for those movies, I genuinely dislike [or hate].


In my opinion…This movie was neither good nor bad…It may have a few strong aspects to it, but those could not make the movie notably good. Movies I did not especially like, but I recognized worthwhile aspects about…They will get this rating.

In my opinion…This is a good, solid movie…It is something I would recommend…I enjoyed it.

The name says it all…”I Loved This!”…This movie comes with my strongest recommendation…There likely won’t be a lot of these ratings given out, but it needs to exist…because there are a few movies I love.

The Special Badges:

This clarifies when a movie is campy…and also signifies that I might be adjusting the ratings scale, in order to accommodate for just how “off the wall” this movie may be. Old [“vintage”] and obscure movies, will likely get this badge…As well as some modern “B movies”.


“So Bad, It Is Good”…You ever buy one of those “50 pack movie collections”…and then laugh your head off, because most of the selections are so hideously bad they are like a parody?…If so, then you get the idea of this badge.


Personal Favorites…These are movies, I would recommend for any collection.


Keep in mind, these are my opinions…your own opinion may be different.

My own tastes run the gambit…though they center on fantasy, horror, adventure and drama…I like good comedies, sometimes…I like a good action movie, every now and then…I like science fiction, more often than not…I do like the occasional “art house” type movie…and I like the weird, campy “Grindhouse” type stuff, also…I am not huge on musicals, but I’ll watch one if I think it’s going to be interesting…

…And I am rather enthusiastic about movies, with cute talented boys playing substantial roles.

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