Saturday, July 25, 2015


     Did you hear the one about somebody making a film out of Robert A. Heinlein's All You Zombies--?

     I kind of had, and dismissed it: I remember Starship Troopers.  Besides, the short story is a stunt, a joke, not the kind of thing filmmakers could do without getting creepy -- or creepily over-sincere.

     I was wrong.  Way wrong.  Predestination is an excellent movie.  It's not a thriller like a Bond film or the excellent Kingsman;* it's not exactly a time-travel Jenga like the clever, quiet I'll Follow You Down.*  What it is, at the core, is the Heinlein tale, the main narrative quite unapologetically as originally told (barring a little rearrangement in one linear stretch of Jane's timeline), including the setting.  This is then wrapped in even more time-travel complexity that in no wise detracts from the film.

     In terms of pace, soundtrack and photography, it reminds me of Gattaca.  If H. L. Gold's Galaxy magazine had spawned a film division, these are the kinds of movies they'd make.

     See this film.  It's an hour and thirty-eight minutes you won't regret.

     Side note: I picked up an Amazon Fire HDMI dongle for my bedroom TV.  Works great!  There are several similar devices on the market -- Roku was the first and still probably the most common; I have one on the living room TV.  For my viewing habits, they are much better than cable.  With a decent antenna for the local stations, I have more TV than ever and I'm not paying for goofball channels I never watch, nor am I trapped by a schedule. YMMV, especially if you follow sports.
* I recommend both of these.  Kingsman is pure, uncut Fleming-grade fun, with just a little directorial over-indulgence in one sequence; check your bran at the door and fasten your seat belt!  Conversely, I'll Follow You Down is understated puzzle-SF devoid of glitz and glitter and if you'll grant it one McGuffin, it will repay you handsomely.


Chas Clifton said...

"Predestination" added to my Netflix queue (yes, I use DVDs still because I live in the woods) on your recommendation.

kahr40 said...

Predestination is easily the best Heinlein adaptation so far not that it has much competition. The additions don't distract at all. I also liked Kingsman a lot. Thanks for the recommendation on I'll Follow You Down. I'll look it up.

wrm said...

My wife queued that one and somewhere along I said "hang on, I know this storyline"... didn't click it was Heinlein until I googled it, because I read way too much to peg short stories to authors like that.

Yes, not the trainwreck one could reasonably expect, based on past performance.