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Sunday, November 3, 2013

ENDER'S GAME AND LAST VEGAS

The top three films this weekend were (Rotten Tomatoes ratings--reviewers/audience):

I last week reviewed Bad Grandpa, which was b-a-a-a-d.

Ender's Game is for the younger generation fixated on video games, while Last Vegas is best for old people, especially those in the range of 70.  At my age, I liked the latter more, although both were worthy.  They will do well at the box office and, for sure, there will be sequels:  EG will feature the young hero on a quest for peace, and LV, a similar foray in another town around another marriage.

By now anyone reading my postings knows that I don't really review films.  I just point out interestingly odd things to either attract your interest or steer you away.  Ender's Game:
  • stars Asa Butterfield (remember the young boy in Hugo?), who is still youngish, with a small mean streak, which Harrison Ford, as the Colonel-in-Charge, recognizes as a positive.  The whole flick revolves around war with some formidable ants (known as Formics--formic acid smells like ants), which supposedly had previously invaded Planet Earth, but was beaten back by a flying warrior played by Ben Kingsley, who now, with the Colonel, trains the boy to beat back the next invasion.  
  • I did not realize how much she has matured, but the boy's sister is played by Little Miss Sunshine, Abigail Breslin.
  • Lots of purposeful misinformation here, as it turns out that we (us Earthlings--the Colonel and the flying hero) decided to attack the Formics and decimate them, using creative thinking apparently optimized in the minds of young teenagers.  
  • The boy has dreams, which fill him with anxiety about perhaps brokering peace instead of fighting another war.  He thinks his final video practice session was to prepare him for the invasion.  Instead, this take was real, and he wipes out life on the Formic planet.  The dream turns out to be reality, for that race was trying to communicate with him for peace.  
  • After the Formic massacre, this dream leads him into a cave where he finds a Formic Queen egg, which, in the final scene, he, now as Admiral, is carrying on a space mission to save the Formics.  
  • This will be part two of Ender's Game.  The film is based on the Ender's Game series, by Orson Scott Card, of which there are thirteen novels, thirteen short stories and 47 comic issues.  You think there, then, might be even more than two?
  • Oh, the boy's first name is Ender.
Last Vegas you'll love if you like to fantasize about high tech night clubs and love and can get over the fact that this is The Hangover with old guys.  Basically, four childhood buddies, played by four   Academy Award-winning legends, Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Kevin Klein and Morgan Freemen (they had never before been in the same movie), have a reunion in Las Vegas for the first wedding of Douglas to someone half his age, and probably much less...more?  Mary Steenburgen is inserted as an attorney who chooses in the final phase of her life to become a lounge singer, sort of a payoff for some legal work she did for the owner of the Binion.  Okay, I give the plot away (SO STOP READING IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW) by saying that there was a fifth buddy, a girl, who wanted to marry Douglas, but, out of duty to his best friend, De Niro, suggests she marry him.  The marriage is a long and happy one, but Douglas did not show up at the funeral of De Niro's wife, causing huge enmity.  This same thing almost happens again in Las Vegas, but Douglas this time gets the girl (Steenburgen), which will be the premise for Part 2.  Just a fun and enjoyable R-rated movie.

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