Alright, before we get too far into this, watch this right now:
This is of course the new trailer to Ender’s Game, the long-awaited film of Orson Scott Card’s sci-fi classic. I finally read it for the first time just last year, and the book was good enough that any movie based on it would be a major event for me. That’s what this is for me. The question is, is such optimism naive?
Honestly, it’s been a long time since a movie has lived up to my expectations. I was pretty excited about The Simpsons Movie back in 2007. It was good, not amazing. I was pumped about Tintin in 2011. It was actually quite good, but certainly not transcendent. Really, the last movie to live up to my expectations at all was The Dark Knight, which probably tops the list of movies that lived up to the massive hype. But here I am again, excited about a movie that will probably be done with a minimum of risk so that shareholders can be calmed. I have no reason to assume that Ender’s Game will be bad, but I do think it’ll likely be safe and acceptable, rather than bold and challenging like the book deserves.
So why do I keep doing it? Why do I keep getting my hopes up whenever something I love makes it to the big screen? Am I just setting myself up for disappointment? I’m not so sure that I am. If I’m paying money for a movie ticket, you’d better believe that I want it to be good. I’ll overlook flaws and probably convince myself that I liked it more than I did. Heaven knows I’ve done it before. But if a movie fools me into liking it, is it really that big a deal? If I refuse to be taken in, will I suddenly have some kind of cred that I didn’t have before? Maybe a movie won’t live up to my massive expectations, and that’s alright. Maybe expecting to like a movie is a big part of liking them in the first place. It doesn’t always work that way (the third Matrix movie comes to mind), but it’s a risk I’m willing to take.
So I’ll be there in November, waiting to see Ender’s Game along with countless other fans of the book. Maybe I’ll get a sharpie and paint those face tattoos so I’ll look like Ben Kingsley. That should work, right?