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Author:  Blackhawk [ Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Predestination

Predestination is a film adaptation of "-All You Zombies-" by Heinlein. It was written and directed by the Spierig brothers. I saw it recently and I liked it. It is essentially an alternate history story since it is set in a future as seen from the perspective of the time when the original story was written, a future that never actually happened. Considering that it is obviously a low budget movie (by Hollywood standards, not so much by Australian standards) the production elements such as visual effects, sets and costumes are first rate. The performances by the three primary actors are excellent. Ethan Hawke is a very talented actor who has not appeared in many big films but always delivers a solid performance. The young Australian actress, Sarah Snook, who has the difficult task of playing both male and female roles, is outstanding.

It is more faithful to the source than any other movie based on a Heinlein story. Heinlein's story is definitely there on the screen. I had doubts about an extra plot line (the "Fizzle bomber", in the story just a brief mention of the "Fizzle War of 1963") added to the story. I assumed that was done to add drama and action to the movie, and it does that, but it also is used to further explore the question of identity that is the central theme of the movie. I think the original story is more solipsistic than the movie but that difference didn't bother me much. I think this is easily the most successful movie adaptation of a Heinlein story so far, though admittedly that bar was set pretty low until now. I suppose someone may find reasons not to like this film (it is slow, especially in the first half) but I enjoyed it and think it worth seeing again. I expect to get more out of it the second time. I certainly think any Heinlein fan should give it a shot.

Author:  RobertPearson [ Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Predestination

Thanks you for the review. I'll make a point to see it.

What did you think of The Puppet Masters movie? I watched it many years ago and remember that it was fairly good, didn't radically change the original story events. But some spark was missing.

Author:  Blackhawk [ Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Predestination

I thought The Puppet Masters was okay but was disappointed because it should have been better. I read somewhere an article by one of the script writers that described the changes and compromises made from the book to the movie. Some were understandable but some were very arbitrary based on the director's ideas. It was clear that the director was not familiar with the book and didn't really care about it. I also think the actors were only so-so, except for Donald Sutherland. I agree completely that it was missing some spark. Still, compared to Starship Troopers, it is a pretty good Heinlein movie. I do think Predestination is even better.

Author:  Aririchards [ Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Predestination

Great news.

Author:  Aririchards [ Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Predestination

I saw it and really liked it. The added story line was fine. As a viewer who knows the story very well the "explanation" some via montage seemed a little like speaking down to the viewer but I don't know what it would be like watching and not knowing all
Along who was who and what.
It's hard to know if you would have "got it"'without the montage.
But some friends who have never read the story loved it.
Finally a screen heinlein that really is Heinlein ! And by a couple of Aussies. Yahooooo.
Anyway I don't think anyone would be disappointed.

Author:  BillMullins [ Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Predestination

Saw it yesterday and enjoyed it. Blackhawk is right -- Sarah Snook is excellent.

There is a substantial amount of exposition by voice-over. Story telling usually benefits from "Show, don't tell," and they didn't follow that rule here.

While the snake eating its own tail was mentioned, I didn't see a prop ring of the Worm Ouroboros, as existed in the original short story. That image stuck with me when I read the original nearly 40 years ago.

There are a couple of "shout-outs" -- Ethan Hawke's character has a copy of Stranger in a Strange Land, and an antique dealer is holding a copy of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

The IMDB cast notes a character named "Dr. Heinlein," and I didn't catch that while watching. Which doctor was he?

Author:  BillMullins [ Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Predestination

Here is another adaptation -- maybe a high-school student film? The budget on this one looks to be about $40.

And here is the Lego version.

Author:  JusTin [ Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Predestination

"Dr. Heinlein" was supposed to be the main doc evaluating her at SpaceCorp--he looks a bit like RAH. And the woman that takes in Jane at the orphanage looks like Ginny. According to the directors, that was all intentional. They did a Q&A at the special L.A. screening that Virginia Edition subscribers were invited to. I wasn't there; I read about it from reports posted on the Facebook "Heinlein Forum" group.

Author:  DanHenderson [ Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Predestination

On CBS Sunday Morning this past Sunday their movie reviewer, David Edelstein, had Predestination among his list of recommended films. His print review on the web is here.

Author:  Blackhawk [ Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Predestination

Here's a very positive review, though the reviewer neglects to mention Heinlein or the story on which the movie is based. It appears he simply is not familiar with either, which is a shame, but does demonstrate that the movie communicates the idea and the impact of the story even to someone who has not read it.

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