ENDER’S GAME is one of the best film adaptations from a novel to ever grace the silver screen, and it makes for one of the all-time great science fiction movies in its own right.
Harrison Ford’s performance is legend, as he gives the book’s pages living breath as the calculating, gruff, and gambling, Colonel Graff.
The entire cast is exceptionally selected to represent the very different personalities they are playing. Asa Butterfield (Ender), Harrison Ford (Graf), Hailee Steinfeld (Petra), Abigail Breslin (Valentine Wiggin), Ben Kingsley (Mazer Rackham), Viola Davis (Major Gwen Anderson), Moises Arias (Bonzo), Jimmy 'Jax' Pinchak (Peter Wiggin), Suraj Parthasarathy (Alai), Conor Carroll, and Aramis Knight (Bean) are all fantastic.
As usual, Ben Kingsley is at the top of his game, and he brings a fierce intensity to his role as mankind’s savior in the first alien war that is unparalleled.
You cannot deny the brilliance of Orson Scott Card’s Hugo and Nebula award-winning novel, ENDER’S GAME, based on the young life of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin as he is groomed to be humankind’s last hope at defeating a mysterious alien colonizing force that could be poised to bring about our extinction in the very near future.
The look and feel of the makeup, the world, and the alien environments are utterly real and impressive, carrying a unique style with them that emanates the book accurately.
The aerial battles are extremely suspenseful – nail-bitingly so – and very apt to the story’s descriptions. The aliens that make it onto the screen are innovative and awe-inspiring, as is Ender’s reaction to them.
The themes come across wonderfully: the feeling of empathy mingled vs. the defensive rage brought on by survival instincts; the them-or-us military strategy vs. the attempt to understand and make peace with an “enemy” that is understood; and the morals of manipulation being okay if it is done for the greater good vs. honesty should reign over our actions. These thematic ripples shape the scenes and events and are complex, at times, as they get the attention that is warranted for such an intelligent, impactful, and entertaining tale.
And in terms of cool sci-fi fun, the battle school anti-gravity battles are truly amazing and choreographed with a tremendous attention to detail.
Read the rest of the R.J. Huneke review on Examiner.com HERE
by R.J. Huneke
J.J. Abrams has brought true genius in the form of his second film in the Star Trek saga, and Star Trek: Into Darkness leaves the audience reeling with an entertaining and powerfully emotional experience.
The original Star Trek movie series had to follow in the steps of an innovative and boundary pushing 1960’s TV show that had become a cult classic and legend, and when that first flick hit theaters there was a lot of disappointment from a fan base that expected more than a reintroduction and reestablishing of the characters and what has been dubbed a cool looking and fun “sightseeing tour” of a movie. It was a success but did not offer much of the groundbreaking that went on time and again in the Star Trek TV series.
Then came Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and the obscure and wonderfully ruthless, strong, and cruel Khan was the perfect foil for Captain Kirk and company. The gritty movie showed suspense, terror, and a maniac as an edgy villain that propelled its box office breakthroughs into the stratosphere. The characters had flaws, depth, and growth, and they were tested repeatedly in an all too dangerous bout.
READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE ON RUNE WORKS HERE
I know it has been a while, readers, but I am back! And what is more, I am going to keep my promise to speak more often to you all, here, on my personal soapbox, because many exciting things are in the works and 2013 is going to be a revolutionary year!
For starters, I have this fancy new domain name - RJHuneke.com - so as to shorten the typing load of, well, everyone, and my production company Rune Works has its own brand spankin' new web site - at RuneWorks.net.
My finished manuscript is currently being shopped around to agents - it's a whopper of a dystopian thriller with one of my all time tenacious female protagonists - and a graphic novel version, as well as a screenplay of it has already been undertaken by yours truly.
While that might not be new news, I can tell you that the polished ms and the art will be seen in 2013 in the not too distant future and these pieces will be impactful!
As head of Rune Works, I can tell you that the production company's second published novel will be released in 2013, and we are proud to announce that it will be a first-of-its-kind Poetry Journey Through Graphic Comic Art - Cassandra DeMario's finely tuned words will meet R.J. Huneke's intriguing artwork in a way that takes the reader on a visual journey through a story that is told by poetry and visual art.
More works from other writers are in the works too!
And we have not forgotten about the dream either...full feature-length film will be coming to Rune Works!
As you can see, the behind-the-scenes aspects of numerous projects have been worked on furiously over the past year, and they will see fruition very soon, folks!
Fantasy-Matters Impulsive Review of The Hobbit *Spoiler
By R.J. Huneke
Understand that the scrutiny with which the live-action film The Hobbit is described here comes from more than just a fan but a Tolkien-ologist that has coveted and studied the book for over twenty years with love.
Suffice to say, the Peter Jackson movie adaptation was extremely entertaining and funny, but utterly devoid of the spirit, realisticness, and meticulous attention to written Tolkien details that made The Lord of the Rings film trilogy such a masterful blend of on-screen magic and incredible story-telling as professor Tolkien might have wanted it viewed.
Peter Jackson and company’s loosely based version of The Hobbit was fun as a return to Middle Earth but continually disappointing as the novel’s story was repeatedly ignored or trumped by blatant disregard for reality or seriousness and replaced by overtly cartoony CGI and terrible Hollywood writing throughout the entire three-plus hours of film.
This movie was made to be visual eye-candy and comedic relief, utterly dumbing down, chopping up, and replacing the background, the history, and the legendary story with a mishmash of disjointed Hollywood ideas used purposefully to stretch one story that would have filled one three-hour-plus movie beautifully to three greedy shells of the written Tolkien material that they are supposed to be based off of.
What comes to mind, and causes great pain, is that this new Hobbit edition trilogy reminds one of the Star Wars prequel saga in both its harsh lines, complete disregard for the original films’ non-green screen special effects where actual physical sets and locations made the wonder real to the eye. Now the Episodes I, II, III from George Lucas are enjoyable and entertaining and give hungry Star Wars fans more time to spend in the amazing mythic universe that they long for; but the original trilogy is pure art and myth done to near perfection, and the newer versions overly relied on new technology as an easier way to film expensively (without all the brick and mortar building and carpenters) and the eye-candy, marketing to really young kids with cartoon-like characters and laughs dumb down the entire series.
So it is now with The Hobbit trilogy. What was once a cornerstone of Jackson’s career – his amazing makeup and effects team – gave way to a cheaper and easier method of CGI as is seen most clearly in the cartoon character of the White Orc Azog, who Tolkien wrote died in the battle that Azog now miraculously survives from so that we, the moviegoers, have the visual 3-D stimulation of seeing a sled pulled by rabbits and the poorest imagination of Radagast the Brown ever (let’s make him an idiot that lives with bird crap on his face) running in circles to have Azog’s mindless minions follow them around and forget the dwarves they are hunting (all of which never happens in a Tolkien book).
The book’s story was stripped and overwritten with Tolkien allusions so that three movies could be made to gain more profit by the studio than one film. The screenwriting that Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson so arduously went through to use Tolkien lines in almost every instance of dialogue in The Lord of the Rings is totally forgotten; Guillermo del Toro (who I love, as Pan’s Labyrinth is not just great but amazing) and Jackson and the other writers here went for the quickest and easiest way to achieve the goal of bastardizing the great story for three lesser ones to appease the powers that make money in the film company.
The lines are often so awful that the whole scene seems to stop and become ruined by them, like when the Great Goblin (that also looks awful in its carton CGI) gets cut by Bilbo and says, “That did it” as he falls to his death.
Lastly, Bilbo’s great character arc from the book is trampled, quite like Peter Parker’s in Spiderman 3, as he is Thorin’s doormat only until he earns the dwarf’s respect when he saves his life . . . yet this never happens in the book! Bilbo instead slowly finds more of courage and gets the dwarves out of more jams (with the barrels I assume will be ignored in the next film) and his growth and reception are natural progressions that eventually pit his wit and fear against the wicked and cunning dragon Smaug.
To sum up, not only does the look, feel, and writing fall far short of anything pertaining to Jackson’s first trilogy, but the protagonist is ruined as well, so that the stellar acting – and it was stellar with Martin Freeman and Sir Ian Mckellan and the rest – becomes wasted amidst this flurry of outside story plots, twisted Tolkien ideas, and an overall 2-D, IMAX, 3-D, 3-D 480FPS film experience made specifically for five-year-olds and extremely stoned human beings that will sit with short attention spans and soak up the computerized eye candy and way too overt and unnatural jokes that Jackson made out of all of Middle Earth in The Hobbit.
Impulsive Review Grade: B-
Over ten years in the making, Katsuhiro Otomo’s radical follow-up to the international anime hit graphic-novel-turned-movie Akira, Steamboy epitomized the steampunk movement and helped bring about the genre’s rapid rise in popularity. The 2004 film even went so far as to help bring the concept, the legendary Victorian storylines, and the artistic mystique of steampunk out of niche circles and into the mainstream.
Read the rest on Fantasy-Matters.com.
I've done it!
The story has been written, and the first draft of my newest dystopian thriller novel is complete!
It has been quite a ride, and my arduous research and many months of writing have yielded an incredible tale that shakes the notions of societal norms and controls.
Looking back on the process...
Read the rest on the RUNE WORKS page.
Thanks for all of the support!
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 Dark Shadows: A Tim Burton Masterpiece
The film Dark Shadows encompasses a rarely met joining of horror, gloomy fantasy, and dark humor, which is often created by the overwhelming sexual tension that oozes across the screen in numerous scenes.
Read the Entire Article on Fantasy-Matters.com here!
For the sensational world that surrounds Harry Potter and the Dark Lord Voldemort, the epic finale reaches the start of its climax in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. The movie rendition of J.K. Rowling's final book in the Harry Potter series is as accurate, emotional and powerful as any of the other films, but it is certainly the most profound of the seven.
This penultimate film, and the book it is based off of, is a grim, riveting and frightening point in Harry Potter's history; like Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back, the first part of "The Deathly Hallows" takes the courageous characters that readers and movie-goers have come to love and plunges them into the darkest days and the most trying of circumstances. This flick has much of the humor and charm of the previous six in the HP series, but it is also a slow building crescendo that swarms the viewer with the fear, suspense and shock that ensues as the precarious events unfold.
The tale of the Boy Who Lived has been riddled with dark events and circumstances - Harry's parents being murdered by a power-crazed Voldemort and then the boy's awful family forcing Harry to be the Cinderella in their household - but the friendships, adventures and fun of magic at Hogwarts always seemed to balance out the harshness of Harry's reality. Unfortunately, the Chosen One, Harry Potter, is the only person who has the possibility of killing the Dark Lord who has risen to gain a tyrant's control over much of the wizarding world. Harry is targeted as the lone threat to Voldemort's domination of everything and the government and Death Eaters now have total control to seek the 17 year old at will; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is a contrastingly different experience than the previous looks into Rowling's wonderful tale.
The odds are against Harry, Ron and Hermione, as their mentor and hero Professor Dumbledore is dead; the one hope that they had, in their ally and shield against the utterly evil Voldemort and his armies of darkness, has not only been erased from the earth, but he is being discredited by the press. A biography has emerged revealing little known facts about the dark life that Dumbledore had led. Harry has had no idea of these things and is overwhelmed with the futile feeling that his old bearded ally did not make anything clear to him about how to defeat Voldemort, and the fact that Dumbledore had a mysterious other side creates a disturbingly surreptitious effect.
The cinematography is truly gorgeous, and the fact that Hogwarts is entirely absent lends to the foreign, thrilling and dangerous feel to the movie. The characters of Ron, Hermione and Harry, in particular, go through so much inner turmoil that they become extremely deep and even more realistic than they have been previously depicted.
Voldemort is brought in for some significant screen time and his madness, power and evil show through very well. The Malfoy's estate is just as I imagined it would look and feel, and Bellatrix, who also gets a good deal of more time in this movie, makes the place a harbor for twisted selfishness and the blackness of the criminally insane. This flick is dark! The villains are truly given justice in this film and much more so than any of the previous six installments.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is the ultimate cliff-hanger in a depiction of one of the greatest epic tales ever written. The sheer weight of the series is realistically brought about in this film and it is sad, moving and excellent in every way. Ms. Rowling must be proud.
See the IMPULSIVE REVIEW Section for the Grade Here.
I have turned the tide and started on my journey. Words and Worlds hang in the balance and I am writing it all down before the RJ Tower! Read about my newest novel on CyberwarSeries.com