In the near future, a hostile alien race has attacked Earth. If not for the legendary heroics of International Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) and the International Military are training the best and brightest young children to find the future Mazer. Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a shy, but strategically brilliant boy is pulled out of his school to join the elite. But Ender soon finds out that the price of winning at war games can come at a great cost.
(2013) 2016, 2160p with HDR10, PG-13, 1 hour 56 minutes
Dolby Atmos 7.1.2, 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley and Viola Davis
Directed by: Gavin HoodRating
Violence: Yes (no gore)
Based on a book by Orson Scott Card, this movie adaptation tells the story of a future, post invasion Earth that survived a massive attack and has been preparing for 50 years to ward off another attack. Children are raised to fight “training missions” to an alien world so that the next encounter puts the aliens on the defensive. Young Ender Wiggin is a brilliant strategist who must overcome his introverted self to become a leader of a team. Through a series of war games, he learns that winning can come with a price. The cost is much more than just self esteem, friends and family. The ultimate victory can be Pyrrhic and life changing.
Though this movie looks like a typical Harry Potter type of film, it is not. The tone is quite serious and though there are a few humorous spots in the film, the general mood is quite somber. This tone surprised me, but made the movie just that much more enjoyable. Though much of the books storyline had to be jettisoned, the film moves right along and covers the main themes well. It even ends with the possibility of a sequel, though this wasn’t a box office smash. The child actors are very good and do not pander to the youngest in the audience. Butterfield played Ender brilliantly, and frankly, the film rises and falls on his performance. Ford and Kingsley are excellent, too, with the later being an enigmatic tattooed hero. As an adult, I found this film to be enjoyable and young teens should as well. This UHD flick comes highly recommended.
Compared to the BD version, I noticed several distinct differences with this film. Due to HDR, the black levels are much improved, giving the space scenes a better dimensionality. The primary colors really pop, such as the blue backdrop of the planet Earth as seen from the training sphere. The team colors have punch, with the blues, greens, yellows and red looking more natural than the BD counterpart. The images is overall sharper and in focus, too. The CGI looks gorgeous and is very well done. The sound is expansive and the training sequences with laser blasts take place all around you. Bass is very substantial at times, as well. Dialog is clear and intelligible. If you have seen this or own it in 1080p, you know that this film looks good. However, the UHD version is a worthy upgrade. (The source came from a 5K master).
Besides the BD, extras include commentaries from Gavin Hood, deleted and extended scenes, a ‘making of”, “Inside the mind” and theatrical trailers.