11-07-2013 06:46 PM
I saw it in IMAX this weekend. An Extended Edition must surely come out on Blu-ray to fill in some holes but overall I thought it was the best adaptation of a science fiction novel that I've ever seen. Having Orson Scott Card on the production team surely helped.
It was extremely faithful to the book although the compressed timespan probably hurt people who hadn't read the book. I expect it really needs another hour of footage, the same way Jackson's extended versions of The Lord of the Rings movies explained things better.
I suppose they chose to name the enemy "Formics" instead of "Buggers" in order to distinguish it from "Starship Troopers". Probably a smart decision, I hated what Verhoeven did to Heinlein's classic.
They managed to keep the actor looking scrawny even though he clearly wasn't the smallest child in the lot.
Harrison Ford did great as Colonel Graff and I loved how they depicted the Battle Room. Really really well done.
The only part that threw me was calling him Andrew Ender Wiggin and attributing a quote to A. E. Wiggin. I thought they could have easily explained "Ender" was a nickname:
"Must you call him that stupid nickname?" Mother began to cry.
"That's the name he calls himself."
11-08-2013 12:56 PM
Formics has used, as well as the derogatory Buggers.
I think they kept the more formal to (slightly) avoid any association with Heinlein's bugs, but more due to the term "bugger" being slightly profane/insulting reference in some English-speaking regions and a more profane reference on the level of the f-word in others.
Given the unavoidable controversy surrounding Card's opinions/political stance on homosexuals and gay marriage, it's logical why they sidestepped where they could.
11-08-2013 02:25 PM
Considering the fact that the word is used by some as a derogatory term for homosexual men, and to others is just a casual generic insult, I suspect it would have invited at least snickers and giggles among British or other foreign audiences, and the last thing you want your audience to do in a serious movie is snicker. I can't recall that the term "formic" appears at all in the original series. Maybe it was added in the Ender's Shadow books? I haven't read them.
11-08-2013 03:56 PM
I read all of the "Ender" books shortly after they were published, so I am not certain of which book I read it in, but I am fairly certain that I read the term "Formic" in at least one of the books. I no longer possess any of the books, so I am not able to search for the term.
11-08-2013 09:52 PM - edited 11-08-2013 09:53 PM
Ahh. I found it. It was introduced in the book "Ender's Shadow" in 1999:
"The term "Formic" is derived from formica, the Latin word for ant; whereas "bugger" is a pejorative used by humans; yet it was not until 1999's Ender's Shadow that the term 'Formic' was first used, interchangeably with 'Bugger'. Later books used 'Formic' almost exclusively, as the more 'scientific' term. This leads to odd scenarios in the continuity of the books, such as Valentine referring to them as "Buggers" in Ender's Game, chronologically next as "Formics" in Ender in Exile, and again as "Buggers" in Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide. The feature film adaptation of Ender's Game uses "Formics" exclusively."
ETA: It's good to know that my memory is still working, somewhat ...