You can't swing a cat on the internet without hitting an opinion, and I'm going to smack into a few of them talking about Mr Card. But for the moment we're talking about the movie, not his personal opinions on (insert subject of choice here).
Edit note, the first time I wrote that last sentence I said 'her' because apparently I like to randomly re-assign pronouns to famous people.
Now that I've said that I have to say something intelligent about the movie, don't I?
I've never read the book. I never even heard of it until I read his book on Character and Viewpoint and it was part of his author blurb. And before we get sidetracked on that whole 'nobody suggests science fiction books to girls' thing it's probably more to do with nobody ever suggested books to me at all as a kid. I read what I read. If there'd been dinosaurs in it, believe me I'd have found it.
So I went into the movie with basically no information. I knew it was about kids fighting war, and that the author had foot-in-mouth disease according to the internet. And for a long time I debated trying to read the book first, because I like sci-fi movies and I have this weird issue with book/movie adaptations where whatever I see/read first is the state I attach to. With like two exceptions if I see the movie first I can't get through the book. There are a whole list of titles this has happened with that I'm sad about. Eragon, and LoTR. InkHeart.
I'm not sad this time. According to the person who's read the book they stayed close to it, and I wouldn't have made it through the beginning. Ender's brother is a psychopathic sh*t and the over-all military society it's set in would have shut me down before any potential problems with his treatment of female characters could have manifested. Maybe in the book we meet Ender's parents (we see his tearful mother for like half a second), or see if he had friends before they shipped him off to battle-school. Maybe his squad-mates had personalities. I know a lot of that get's lost in the five seconds you get in the scope of a movie.
But it wasn't bad. The cinematography and artistry were good, and it's a decently presented story-line. The female characters all center around Ender, but the entire universe centers around Ender so that's no sort of surprise. I did have a moment where I thought it would have been much better if his brother got to be the compassionate one, and his sister was the psychotic reject.
So, the ultimate question. If they made more movies in the Ender Universe, would I go see them in the theater? Probably not. But that's more to do with my general malaise about sequels than with anything they did wrong.
Now. Post note about Mr Card and his expressed views. I can't decide if I care or not. He seems to have retracted a few of them, in the last year. Maybe that was in preparation for the movie, maybe he had a change of heart. I don't have a knee-jerk 'evil' response to Mormonism, but I'm not forgiving either. I have a whopping giant button about hypocrisy that frequently gets an exercise in regard to the Church of Latter-day Saints from about every direction. And on good days when I'm calm and rational all of that means precisely zip. If he wrote books I liked to read I'd still read them (he may, when my to-read pile gets shorter Ender's Game might wind up on there). For better or worse, I always feel like the content should matter more than author context.
But there's something to be said for a persons attitude mattering, on the whole. I find his religious viewpoints and unpopular views much less damaging and off-putting than all those authors who try to nuke people for disagreeing with them. He expresses his views and clearly, frequently, I don't agree with them. That seems an extreme reason to decry everything he's ever done. Authors who plagiarize, who bully reviewers or anyone else who gives them a critique, who vastly over-react to being disagreed with I wholeheartedly support boycotting. But we're so quick to claim the moral high-ground on the internet, and I think sometimes that happens at the detriment of remembering that equality means sometimes leaving space for people who don't agree with us. Screaming 'YOU'RE WRONG' never convinced anyone of anything.
I'll still suggest his book on Character and Viewpoint to people because it's one of the best writing books I've ever read. And maybe if I read the book I'd feel differently, like his religious viewpoint was more agitating than it was in the movie.
Crap. I'm gonna have to read the book now. I love how I talk myself into these things.
ps. I was totally going to leave a teaser about Friday here, but I honestly don't remember what I wrote. Yep, it's been that kind of week so far.