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Predestination 
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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.

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Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:51 pm
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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.

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Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:45 am
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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.

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Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:56 am
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Great news.


Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:51 pm
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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.


Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:32 am
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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 . 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?


Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:03 pm
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is another adaptation -- maybe a high-school student film? The budget on this one looks to be about $40.

And is the Lego version.


Wed Jan 14, 2015 5:23 am
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"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.


Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:33 am
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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 .

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Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:48 am
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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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Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:33 am
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It boggles the mind that a reviewer on Tor could be unaware of Heinlein, or that any reviewer would not do a modicum of due diligence on a "From a story by…" credit. Sorta like reviewing "The 10 Commandments" and commenting that it overuses Deus ex machina.

But yeah, nice to know that it works for someone completely unfamiliar with the original story.


Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:39 pm
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I saw it over the weekend, and I have to agree with those who say we have finally got a Heinlein movie worthy of the name. This is a proud tribute by obvious fans who spared no effort to get as close to the original story as they could. It oozes affection from every crevice. Those are unmistakably Heinlein characters.

It also successfully gives the lie to the argument that the Old Man's stories need updating for modern audiences: they did not even change the dates on the timeline and yet it did not come off as retro or steampunk. Every extension of the storyline plays as something that Heinlein signed off on personally.

It is certainly not the story I would guessed most likely to be chosen for such a vindication, but what the hey. Give these guys the rights to the whole oeuvre and let 'em loose, I say. With enough budget I reckon they would do a dandy job on the whole Future History.


Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:49 pm
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The celebrated SF writer John Varley, wrestling with the temptation to watch a bootleg copy, .

Spoiler: He likes it.

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Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:58 am
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John Varley need not have wrestled with ethical demons, since Predestination is available on YouTube (for $6.99) and amazon.com (for the same small tariff). My wife and I are going to watch it on amazon.com tonight. Neither of us is at all fond of the current rude cinematic "experience," so we wait until flicks hit home formats (streaming, DVD or Blu-Ray).

Judging from all the reviews I've read, I can hardly wait!

Of course, I have had "— All You Zombies —" branded in my brain ever since I first read it. But my wife is a virgin with regard to the story. PeterScott, I'll grill her for her impressions of the movie.

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Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:45 am
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Predestination is one remarkable film, very true to Heinlein's story "— All You Zombies —". There is a major addition to the plot, namely the "Fizzle Bomber", but this addition was probably necessary to stretch what is likely Heinlein's shortest story into feature-movie length. The addition is seamless and well integrated into the plot. It's been a while since I read the story, but I could swear that whole chunks of Heinlein's dialog were lifted wholesale for the script. This is a "must own" — I look forward to release of the Blu-ray.

My wife, who had never read the story, had zero problems following all the plot twists, and there are many. She was blown away by both Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook. Snook, in particular, demonstrated serious acting chops, and she looks forward to seeing her in more movies. Using the imdb 1-10 stars, she rated this a nine. That's high praise from her.

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Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:24 pm
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A postscript. Over the last couple of days, I've overheard my wife enthusiastically recommend the film to several people. Recommending films is not normal behavior for her.

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Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:16 am
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I've read a number of reviews now, the latest being http://mrgadfly.com/all-you-zombies-pre ... ywood-hit/ , and I have yet to read a negative one. I feel like this one movie has leap frogged us over all the historical dregs to a position of envy among all fans of Classic SciFi. I'd say it oughtta get a Hugo if that whole process wasn't surrounded by a fetid swamp of unsavory politics and backbiting. But let's not have this thread be about the Hugos. More than anything else, Predestination shows that one can make a good film out of classic science fiction without filing off the serial numbers down to bedrock. Let the copycatting begin.


Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:01 pm
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I've just become aware that Predestination has shown up in vending machines near me. So I'll be able to rent it for only a buck and a half, where Itunes charges a higher (but still reasonable) fee.

(Our family has learned to check the shiny side of a rental DVD for fingerprints, dirt, or scratches before beginning to play it. We clean it with a damp microfiber cloth. There's nothing like a sudden fingerprint-freeze in mid-action to, as the kids say these days, harsh one's mellow.)

So I look forward to relaxing with this movie the next time I have a couple of hours and a buck-fifty.

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