Much anticipated, we went and watched Ender's Game last Thursday (a week ago) at a "midnight" showing at 8:00 PM. I fully approve of midnight showings now being as early as 8:00. Don't get me wrong, it was fun to go wait in the lines with groups of friends until midnight the opening day of most of the new Star Wars movies and Lord of the Rings, but the ease of being able to pre-select a seat and not be up all night is also quite nice.
I went into the theater with high hopes but low expectations. I love the books (if you haven't read Ender's Game, go read it - I don't care who you are, how old you are, or what you normally read - it is worth your time), and as a logical result was concerned with how they would recreate the many excellent qualities and depth of the book. There were already some weird details from the trailers (like the tattoo on Mazer's face) that had me a little on edge.
Entirely surprised, while the movie was most certainly not perfect, I liked it a lot more than I thought I would and though it was much more balance than I would have expected. The book is made up of a great deal of character development on Ender's part, several fairly flushed out side character developments, lots of battle game action, lots of conversations between the adults observing, and lots of time spent on the battles at the end. The movie took out almost all the side character development and focused nearly entirely on Ender's character development, the conversations between Graff and Anderson (also helping Ender's character development), and the general arc of the movie. There was hardly any time spent on the battle games (sad!) and not even that much time spent of the battles at the end. All of the main characters were introduced but there was essentially no character development for most of them. While I can definitely complain about the absence of many of the important things from the book, as well as the depth of the book, I feel like the movie was still able to accomplish a shallow retelling of the messages from the book. And even a shallow retelling of those was moving.
Again, not perfect, but I definitely enjoyed it.