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post #1 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Orson Scott Card is one of my all-time favorite sci-fi authors—heck, he's one of my all-time favorite authors, period. So I was very excited when I started seeing trailers for the movie version of Ender's Game, a classic Card novel from 1985 that led to a long line of sequels and now prequels. I was even more excited when I found out that I could attend the premier of the movie on October 28, 2013, four days before it opened to the general public on November 1.

 

 

This most excellent opportunity was offered to me by TCL, the huge Chinese consumer-electronics company that recently bought the naming rights to the famous (originally Grauman's, then Mann's) Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA, where the premier was held. It was supposed to be a full-blown red-carpet affair, but the carpet was black and a light rain dampened the festivities. Still, the 932 seats were filled by the time the movie started.

 

Our seats were in a special "skybox" reserved for TCL—near the upper-left, back corner of the entire auditorium, so not the best seats in the house for experiencing a movie. To the theater's credit, some small surround speakers were installed in the walls of the box, yielding a somewhat reasonable surround effect.

 

The premier was in the main theater, which was recently converted into an Imax room with stadium seating and a screen measuring 94x46 feet—the third largest in North America. Two 2K Imax projectors (based on a Barco chassis) were used, even though the movie was in 2D. The projectionist—and AVS member—Thomas Larsen told me that he was getting 22 footlamberts of peak light off the screen.

 

As in all digital Imax theaters, two Imax 2K DLP projectors were used for the premier of Ender's Game.

 

I can't say much about the presentation because I was sitting in such a compromised location, which I knew ahead of time, so I didn't bring my sound-level meter; I'll take it when I see it again (which I will—it's really good, as I'll share shortly). It was too loud only a few times, and dialog intelligibility was pretty poor, probably because of my location. Also, the black level seemed pretty high, and dark scenes looked a bit washed out, probably because of the dual projectors and silver, presumably high-gain 3D screen. But most of the time, the image looked quite good.

 

The CGI effects are marvelous, really beautiful. In fact, many scenes seem made for 3D, though director Gavin Hood decided to keep it 2D because of his concerns about the deep-space battle scenes and the extensive use of long lenses. I wasn't all that impressed with the simulation of weightlessness—it looked pretty clear that the actors were hanging from wire harnesses that had been digitally removed in post production. The soundtrack has a Dolby Atmos version, which I will certainly seek out next time.

 

Movies are now delivered to theaters as a DCP (Digital Cinema Package) on a hard drive, though it's still called a "reel." This one is for Thor: The Dark World, which opens November 8.

 

Because I saw the movie before the public, I'm not going to give any spoilers here. Those who have read the book already know the plot and the twist at the end, which are fairly faithfully represented. (Of course, there are many expediencies and condensations to compress a 300-page novel into a 2-hour movie, a concept that Peter Jackson must have forgotten when making the Hobbit movies.) I've read the book, but I tried to imagine what the movie would be like for those who haven't, and I think it fills in enough of the backstory with voiceovers to make sense to them.

 

Even better, some of Card's wonderful characterizations are retained—it's not just another mindless shoot-'em-up. Yes, there is plenty of action, from battle scenes to personal conflicts, but there is also some depth and complexity to the characters and relationships, which is conveyed quite nicely. It's definitely a thinking person's movie, which is why it could possibly fail at the box office. I really hope it succeeds, but it might be too thoughtful for a mass audience.

 

My deepest thanks to TCL for allowing me to attend the premier. The company is planning some big news at CES, so stay tuned for that.

 

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post #2 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 03:16 AM
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I didn't read the book (didnt know there was one), but after a string of disappointing sci-fi flicks this year, I'm hopeful this will be the "holy-grail".

And after viewing the trailer, I have an idea of how I think it'll play out; I hope I'm wrong,
though.

"I knew you'd say that"...*BLAM!*
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post #3 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 04:58 AM
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What a shame that a movie would fail at the box office because it makes one think. Sad commentary there. That description would make me more likely to go see it. I have never heard of this writer so I may end up checking out the film in the theater.
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post #4 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 05:05 AM
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Scott, was Card there?
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post #5 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 05:26 AM
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I Picked this book up a few years ago from my brother in laws coffee table out of curiosity.

And in short I didn't put it down until I had read it cover to cover.
The story really grips you and this story's greatest strength might also be its greatest hurdle.

You might get fooled thinking this is a children's book since it is about children but the thematics it covers are so much wider.

It's not a story for those who would like to be coddled and comforted, (if you want that, go watch another Marvel movie as I'm sure many will)

Possibly spoiler, I kept it vague and general, but just to be safe. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Enders game is, although told from the perspective of a child\teenager as much about a thoroughly frightened humanity, and the levels we could delve to to ensure our own security after an alien invasion.
And the fact that our governments would be prepared to sacrifice the well being of our brightest children for this purpose would probably be a little unnerving for a lot of viewers.

I was really hoping they would treat this movie right and not turn it into a mistaken kid flick and by what little has been described here I remain very optimistic for this adaptation.
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post #6 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 06:28 AM
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imax movies run of a USB hard drive? very surprising

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post #7 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 08:19 AM
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imax movies run of a USB hard drive? very surprising

The way I understand the DCP is that this hard drive will be loaded onto a server - that way the cinema can screen that one copy in multiple auditoriums along with scheduling the entire day's programming from a central location.

This one says RealD on it - so no clue if that DCP is for the Imax auditorium or not

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post #8 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 08:34 AM
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I'm very excited for this movie. Ender's game has been a favorite since I first read it back in grade school. It was entertaining then, and rereading it as an adult reveals the much deeper themes that were always present but easily overlooked as a child. (What can I say? I'm no Bean.) I reread Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow this month to refresh my memory before the movie. I'm very glad to hear your mostly positive first impressions.

Any word on whether this movie was actually shot in 1570 IMAX? I've noticed it promoted with "See it in Theaters and IMAX!" But it seems like I'm seeing that more and more these days on movies that didn't actually use the 1570 film or aspect ratio anyway. If it's real IMAX, I'll go see it in a theater with a real IMAX projector. But if it's LieMAX, I'll go see it in a RPX theater with Atmos.

I'm not into "thumbs upping" or "liking". Don't take it personally. Just assume that I found your post helpful. Unless it wasn't.
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post #9 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 08:39 AM
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Don't we have a thread going already for this movie?
Might wanna combine them....

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post #10 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 09:22 AM
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+1 on re-reading these books, Card has that gift in writing that just engrosses me.
I've gone into a book store, and let the OCD kick in and left 3 hrs later book done.....oops I did buy a cup of coffee though....

along with Niven, Asimov, Heinlein, Bradbury, Herbert, and others....

Will share my take on the movie after viewing...lots of big name actors in it...
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post #11 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 09:32 AM
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"...when I see it again (which I will—it's really good, as I'll share shortly)..."

Great to hear it, Scott! Been looking forward to this one, alright! And, no, I have not read the book. Oh, and, yes, great to hear it's a "thinker's" movie as well! cool.gif
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post #12 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 09:41 AM
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@Scott Wilkinson I'm so jealous you got to check it out already. Thanks for the write-up - I can't wait to see it ASAP!

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post #13 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Scott, was Card there?


I don't know; I skipped all the celebrity hullabaloo, because the studio insisted that, if journalists wanted to cover the "red carpet," they had to get there early, and they couldn't leave until after everyone was inside. Since it was raining, I opted out of that ordeal.


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post #14 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm very excited for this movie. Ender's game has been a favorite since I first read it back in grade school. It was entertaining then, and rereading it as an adult reveals the much deeper themes that were always present but easily overlooked as a child. (What can I say? I'm no Bean.) I reread Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow this month to refresh my memory before the movie. I'm very glad to hear your mostly positive first impressions.

Any word on whether this movie was actually shot in 1570 IMAX? I've noticed it promoted with "See it in Theaters and IMAX!" But it seems like I'm seeing that more and more these days on movies that didn't actually use the 1570 film or aspect ratio anyway. If it's real IMAX, I'll go see it in a theater with a real IMAX projector. But if it's LieMAX, I'll go see it in a RPX theater with Atmos.


It was shot on Red digital cameras with Panavision lenses. The aspect ratio is 2.35:1, and it was projected without a mask on the Imax screen, which meant black bars above and below the image. I'd definitely go to an Atmos theater if possible; I imagine the Atmos mix should sound fabulous.


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post #15 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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The way I understand the DCP is that this hard drive will be loaded onto a server - that way the cinema can screen that one copy in multiple auditoriums along with scheduling the entire day's programming from a central location.

This one says RealD on it - so no clue if that DCP is for the Imax auditorium or not


Actually, the main auditorium of the Chinese theater has dual Christie 4K projectors as well; in fact, the projection room has two levels, one with the Imax projectors and one with the Christies, so they can do either one. The Thor DCP I saw and photographed was a partial reel for demo purposes, and because it says RealD on the label, it must have been for the Christies.

 

BTW, I plan to revisit the projection room and report more extensively on it.

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post #16 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 11:43 AM
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this book in on the required reading list of most high school curriculums in this area.

kid's feedback is overwhelmingly positive


hope the flick don't diappoint

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post #17 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 12:19 PM
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Don't we have a thread going already for this movie?
Might wanna combine them....

Is the other one complaining about Hollywood using a book to make a movie? smile.gif
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post #18 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 12:55 PM
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Orson Scott Card is one of my all-time favorite sci-fi authors—heck, he's one of my all-time favorite authors, period.

And one of my least favorite human beings, sadly.

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post #19 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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And one of my least favorite human beings, sadly.


Yeah, well, I must admit that I strongly disagree with his stated social views. Fortunately, none of those views are evident in this movie or in the book, for that matter. In fact, I was surprised to hear of his views, given how sensitively and honestly he treats the human condition in his books.


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post #20 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 01:24 PM
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There have already been a couple of postings deleted today - one of them mine - that referenced Card's views on the dignity of others. Don't understand why. I went on to say that, as a fan of the book, I intend to see the movie.

Sometimes you have to separate the artist from the art; not every great artist is a good person. But some people who discover what he stands for may elect not to see the movie. I think that's an equally valid position and as such, they have a right to know.
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post #21 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 03:00 PM
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Excited to see this movie. Read the book and it was great.

Interesting the IMAX had Barco based DLP projectors when every digital IMAX ive ever seen uses Christie based DLP projectors. Its prolly because IMAX recently made a deal with Barco to incorporate Barco Laser projectors in the new IMAX builds. The prolly went with Barco DLPs cause of the new deal. Scott what do you think?

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post #22 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 03:06 PM
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And one of my least favorite human beings, sadly.

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Yeah, well, I must admit that I strongly disagree with his stated social views. Fortunately, none of those views are evident in this movie or in the book, for that matter. In fact, I was surprised to hear of his views, given how sensitively and honestly he treats the human condition in his books.

I read his wikapedia page and really didn't find nothing too offending about him. Curious as to why you guys don't like him. PM if you want. I know AVS doesn't smile upon political or relegious arguments and that seems to be exaclty what you guys don't like about him. I dont agree with his views either but that doesn't mean one should hate on the guy. Social tolerance right?

Edit: Actually nevermind. Everyone has a right to feel how they wanna feel. Nothing wrong with that.smile.gif
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post #23 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 03:25 PM
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I read his wikapedia page and really didn't find nothing too offending about him. Curious as to why you guys don't like him. PM if you want. I know AVS doesn't smile upon political or relegious arguments and that seems to be exaclty what you guys don't like about him. I dont agree with his views either but that doesn't mean one should hate on the guy. Social tolerance right?

Edit: Actually nevermind. Everyone has a right to feel how they wanna feel. Nothing wrong with that.smile.gif

Sent you a PM.
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post #24 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 03:59 PM
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There have already been a couple of postings deleted today - one of them mine - that referenced Card's views on the dignity of others. Don't understand why. I went on to say that, as a fan of the book, I intend to see the movie.

Sometimes you have to separate the artist from the art; not every great artist is a good person. But some people who discover what he stands for may elect not to see the movie. I think that's an equally valid position and as such, they have a right to know.

Another mine, and AVS gave me an infraction.

...and I agree with you 100%
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post #25 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Excited to see this movie. Read the book and it was great.

Interesting the IMAX had Barco based DLP projectors when every digital IMAX ive ever seen uses Christie based DLP projectors. Its prolly because IMAX recently made a deal with Barco to incorporate Barco Laser projectors in the new IMAX builds. The prolly went with Barco DLPs cause of the new deal. Scott what do you think?


I didn't know about the Imax deal with Barco, but it makes sense. Christie is also developing laser projectors, so Imax could have gone with either one; Barco probably sweetened the pot somehow.


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post #26 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 06:43 PM
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Sent you a PM.

Thanks bro.

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post #27 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 06:46 PM
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I didn't know about the Imax deal with Barco, but it makes sense. Christie is also developing laser projectors, so Imax could have gone with either one; Barco probably sweetened the pot somehow.

Cool thanks Scott. I bet you are right. Oh thats correct I had forgotten Christie does do laser projectors now. I remeber you seeing the newest GI Joe movie projected with a laser Christie and doing a write-up on it now that you mentioned it.

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post #28 of 98 Old 10-29-2013, 08:28 PM
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And one of my least favorite human beings, sadly.
Truth.

Quote:
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There have already been a couple of postings deleted today - one of them mine - that referenced Card's views on the dignity of others. Don't understand why. I went on to say that, as a fan of the book, I intend to see the movie.
Sometimes you have to separate the artist from the art; not every great artist is a good person. But some people who discover what he stands for may elect not to see the movie. I think that's an equally valid position and as such, they have a right to know.
Agreed, I don't understand why mods would even care...
After all, Card makes his views very well known to his fans and the public....he isn't hidin' nuthin'

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Another mine, and AVS gave me an infraction.
Wha?
What could you possibly have said that hasn't been reported in the media for years?confused.gif
The guy explains himself quite well with his own words.

If anyone wants a link to some of his quotes, send me a PM (I guess it's too sensitive(?) to post in open forum).

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post #29 of 98 Old 10-30-2013, 03:22 AM
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All I want to know is - is the movie as good as the book? smile.gif

Ender's Game is one of my favorite sci-fi novels and I've been reading sci-fi since I was < 10 yrs old, and I'm now > 60 eek.gif

I hope the movie captures at least some of the psychological aspects of the story & the character. I know that's asking a lot from Hollywood and blockbuster SF films these days rolleyes.gif

I saw the "Making Of" clip on TV and no doubt it will be a spectacle but as long as the spectacle is not all their is....

I'm hopeful...

Congratulations, Scott W, on getting to go to a hi-tech cinema preview cool.gif Thanks for sharing with us.

I have to decide whether to watch an Imax 3D version or normal cinema. a nice dilemma to have smile.gif

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post #30 of 98 Old 10-30-2013, 04:04 AM
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I read his wikapedia page and really didn't find nothing too offending about him.

Me neither. From what I've read on wiki, there are far worse people than him but whatever - but this is a discussion about the movie anyway.
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