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Archive for October 2013

Ender's Game (2013) reviewed by Megan Kaniasty

Ender’s Game (2013)

Cast: Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, and Hailee Steinfeld

Director: Gavin Hood

Synopsis: Based on a military science fiction novel by Orson Scott Card, Asa Butterfield stars as the perfect young recruit whom the International Military has been searching for. Between a brother who shows too much brutality, and a sister who shows too much emotion, Ender Wiggin is the perfect balance, and in having one of the smartest minds, may be the last hope for the human race against an impending alien attack.

Reviewer’s Rating: 4 /5 reels.


“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him” –Ender’s Game.

Gavin Hood is not new to bringing the world of science fiction to the big screen. Having directed X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and working on Stargate SG-1, Hood takes the genre to a whole new level in his adaptation of Ender’s Game, with crazy stunts and amazing computer-generated imagery (CGI). 

A bug-like alien race has attacked future Earth, devastating the human race. For fifty years Earth has been searching for the perfect soldier to lead a counter attack against the alien race. War strategies and battle school are the way of life, and only the brightest and fiercest are accepted. Ender Wiggin, played by Asa Butterfield, comes in fifty years after the first attack on Earth. He is one of the youngest, smallest, and smartest to quickly climb the ranks in battle school.

Asa Butterfield is brilliant in the role, revealing the very depth of Ender’s soul with his piercing blue eyes and subtle facial expressions through triumph, victory, defeat, and heartbreak. Petra Arkanian, the strong female lead played by Hailee Steinfeld, is the toughest girl in battle school. She befriends Ender and gives him pointers that help him to quickly excel in the training room. Although this is not a love story, the two romantic leads have incredible chemistry.

The only downside to Ender’s Game is the predictable underdog storyline. It is no spoiler that this young boy set out to save humanity will do just that, it is his journey along the way that makes this mundane plot so captivating and original—that and the story taking place in a futuristic Earth and space travel. The special effects in this film are magnificent and only add to the ambience of the film as a whole.

Ender’s Game, just shy of two hours in length is a must see. This PG-13 film is jam packed with action. It's both a physical and psychological drama that explores the age-old battle between good and evil. Ender's Game is a GO!

By: Megan Kaniasty

World War Z (2013) reviewed by Leanne Villalba

World War Z (2013)

Cast: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, Ludi Boeken, Matthew Fox, Fana Mokoena, Sterling Jerins, Abigail Hargrove, Fabrizio Zacharee Guido

Director: Marc Forster

Synopsis: Brad Pitt stars as Gerry Lane, a United Nations employee and ex-marine, who finds himself in the middle of a pandemic turned zombie apocalypse. He and his family are saved from the infected city just in time and are taken to a naval base. After initially refusing to help, Gerry finds that he must follow the command of the United Nations general, Thierry Umutoni ( Fana Mokoena), or have his family removed from the safety of the ship. Gerry agrees and is then sent across the globe in hopes of finding a cure.

Reviewer’s Rating: 3.5/5 Reels


Overall, World War Z has great effects and a suspenseful element that the director, Mark Forster develops well. Zombies constantly pop out of no where, infecting masses of people, causing the infected to twitch before their eyes cloud over before suddenly turning into flesh eating monsters.

The actors were top notch and clearly experienced. Brad Pitt does an amazing job of giving Gerry a strong, yet family centered demeanor that permeates his character.  He is willing to go around the globe fighting hordes of undead, blowing up the plane he is on, and ultimately infecting himself with a deadly pathogen, all to keep his family safe.

The filming of this movie was great however the reason for the low rating is due to the unoriginality of the plot. Though action filled, the plot was the same structure of all the other zombie movies that have been released in the past decade. A virus breaks out, kills the person who contracts it, the virus takes control of the undead host and spreads the virus through bite. The hero of the story must fight of hordes of zombies to discover the cure, which is usually right in front of them the whole time. Watching this movie was like watching a mash-up of I am Legend and The Walking Dead. The ending is clear as soon as the movie started for anyone who is into the current zombie fad.

Though the plot lacked in originality, the makeup and effects did not disappoint. There is a scene in a lab where the viewer gets a closeup of an infected doctor. The skin of the zombie appears stretched and void of moisture, which one would expect in an individual who has not had food or water for days. His eyes are void of human consciousness even though he is still in his lab suit. Seeing these creatures up close is enough to send chills down the spines of even the most seasoned zombie moviegoer.

The special effects were also incredible. The most memorable scene was thousands of zombies piling on top of one another trying to get past a wall hundreds of feet tall that surrounds Jerusalem. The camera pans out and it is seen that the whole city on the outside of the walls is completely composed of infected individuals. The ability to create masses of zombies added an aspect of awe to the film because one comes to the realization of what it would really look like if millions were affected.

Other than the film not being terribly original, World War Z was a thrilling, suspenseful, exciting glimpse into what a zombie apocalypse could look like. The film managed to captured the various aspects of human nature and emotion during crisis. Overall, this movie would be best enjoyed by someone who isn't deep into the zombie culture so that the cliché aspects could be overlooked.

By: Leanne Villalba

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