Tag Archives: Hailee Steinfeld

Review: Ender’s Game

Enders_Game_Poster1Gavin Hood’s “Ender’s Game” is like a CliffsNotes version of a book that still reads well.

Asa Butterfield leads as Ender, a young boy who’s plucked from his family on earth and enrolled in Battle School in space. There, under the supervision of Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford), Ender is trained to become a leader within the International Fleet so the humans can squash an alien race called The Formics and eliminate the threat of future invasions once and for all.

Orson Scott Card’s book takes place over the course of five years. Ender is recruited when he’s just six-years-old and the narrative concludes when he’s 11. The concept of a six-year-old showing signs of militaristic prowess can be tough to digest, but Card then gives Ender such a thorough and thoughtful build throughout the book that by the time Ender reaches his final exam, you know he’s ready for it. Gavin Hood, however, does not have that luxury.

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YA Movie Countdown: Meet the Kids Chosen to Save the World in ‘Ender’s Game’

Enders_GameIf the Formics attack and it’s up to a group of kids to save the world, you better know who’s fighting for mankind’s survival.

In the November 1 release Ender’s Game, Asa Butterfield stars as Ender, a young boy who’s plucked from his family on Earth and shipped off to Battle School in space to train to join the International Fleet (IF) and defeat the Formics. Ender may get more attention than most, but Battle School is loaded with combat prodigies, some of which he’ll need if he expects to pass his final exam.

While on the film’s NASA Michoud Assembly Facility set in New Orleans, Movies.com had the opportunity to talk to producer Linda McDonough, director Gavin Hood, Butterfield and his costars Hailee Steinfeld (Petra), Moises Arias (Bonzo), Aramis Knight (Bean), Conor Carroll (Bernard), Suraj Partha (Alai) and Khylin Rhambo (Dink) about bringing the team of young heroes to life.

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Your Guide to the “Enderverse”

Enders_GameIf you haven’t read Ender’s Game, the futuristic scenario about a boy whisked off to train to battle aliens can be a lot to digest. Here are the basics of Ender’s Game so you can kick off your studies at Battle School at the top of your class.

THE FORMICS

Years prior to Ender’s story, humans come face to face with an alien race called the Formics. An insect-like species, the Formic social structure consists of a hive queen and workers. The Formics invade Earth intending to colonize it but a human general, Mazer Rackham, defeats them. Assuming the Formics could be regrouping for another attack, the International Fleet (IF) is on the hunt for military prodigies to ship off to Battle School and train to become humanity’s last line of defense.

BATTLE SCHOOL

Kids are plucked from their families all across the globe and shipped off to this military school far off in space to cultivate tactical skills and build an army to fend off the Formics. The curriculum consists of standard classroom courses, free play time and a familiar boarding school-like camaraderie, but above all else is the unprecedented competition that takes place in the rotating room at the facility’s core called the Battle Room.

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‘Ender’s Game’ Set Visit Part 2: Battle Room Basics

Enders_Game_Battle_RoomIf you’ve read Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, you know one of the biggest challenges for writer-director Gavin Hood was bringing the Battle Room to life.

When Ender (Asa Butterfield) is recruited by the International Fleet, he’s sent into space to Battle School to learn how to defend the planet against the Formics, an alien race that nearly decimated humanity and is expected to return. While there are classes in Battle School, the central element of the curriculum is actually a game.

While on the film’s NASA Michoud Assembly Facility set in New Orleans, producer Linda McDonough explained, “They have two different ‘gates.’ They accumulate points by hitting each other with these lasers. The lasers don’t injure you; they freeze parts of your suit. But if either team is able to get a man through the other team’s gate, they completely win the battle.” Now just picture all of that in a zero-gravity environment.

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Ender’s Game Set Visit, Part 1: Creating Three Worlds

Enders_Game_PosterHow do you make a movie set in the future about a six-year-old recruited by the military to wipe out an invading alien race? If the answer were simple, perhaps Ender’s Game would have been adapted to film far sooner. Orson Scott Card’s novel was first published back in 1985, after which the rights sat at Warner Bros. for 12 years, the film never making it past the development stage. Finally, the rights lapsed and Linda McDonough and her producing team snatched them up to make the movie their way — independently. As she proudly points out, “We think we may be the largest independently financed film ever put together.”

Directed by Gavin HoodEnder’s Game features a young boy named Ender (Asa Butterfield) who’s plucked from his family on Earth and shipped off to Battle School to train with the International Fleet (IF) in the hopes that he’ll be able to save the human race from the alien Formics by using their own colony, Eros, as a vantage point.

If you were keeping track, that makes three key locations — Earth, Battle School, and Eros. Even though Ender’s Game isn’t some $200 million mega budget project, the filmmakers were still hell-bent on creating fully realized versions of each realm, down to the tiniest detail.

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SDCC 2013 Interview: Ender’s Game’s Asa Butterfield & Hailee Steinfeld

Asa_Hailee_Enders_GameBefore fielding rapid-fire Q&A questions at the Ender’s Game panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Asa Butterfield and Hailee Steinfeld sat down and had some fun telling us how they might fare if they ever really had to compete in the Ender’s Game Battle Room.

At this year’s Comic-Con

Butterfield and Steinfeld sat down to talk about being suspended in a zero gravity environment, and something called a “hamster wheel” but for people. Said Steinfeld:

“We were training in terms of strengthening our core and all this intense stuff… and we got there and none of it came in handy because you’re literally out there on wires, like, feet up in the air.”

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Oscars 2011: Forget Who Should Win, This Is Who I Want To Win

With just a day left to go until the big show, I’d like to bet you’ve had enough Oscar predictions – especially considering quite a handful of the biggest honors are considered locks. Well, I offer you something a little different; not who I think will win, but who I think should win.

Best Picture: The King’s Speech
Every Best Picture nominee achieves some degree of filmmaking prowess, otherwise, they wouldn’t be nominated in the first place. Rather than pick apart the elements and compare the contenders by the writing, directing acting, etc., this category comes down to something far simpler, yet something tougher to achieve – poignancy. Which of these films moved me most? Toy Story 3 left me in tears, 127 Hours with a knot in my stomach and Inception with my head spinning, but it was The King’s Speech that was overwhelmingly rousing. This is such a special film for so many reasons and those reasons will likely be rewarded in the other categories, but in terms of the Best Picture Oscar alone, my fingers are crossed for The King Speech based on its incredible ability to connect my heartstrings to those of the characters in the film and tug on them all the way through.

I’ll Be Pissed If This Wins: Inception
Inception may be endlessly interesting and responsible for countless summertime debates, but an Oscar for Best Picture? Come on. On top of that, even after all the discussions, who can say they really understand the movie through and through? It was fun while it lasted, but Inception’s infinite twists and turns aren’t enough for the film to stand the test of time as well as its contenders.

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