Author Topic: Predestination: A Time Travel Movie  (Read 782 times)

Offline SGOS (OP)

Predestination: A Time Travel Movie
« on: July 01, 2017, 10:42:08 AM »
Time travel films are some of my favorites.  They can be confusing, which makes them interesting for me, but they usually sort themselves out before the end.  Predestination, possibly a year old by now, stars Ethan Hawke, and for me is the most confusing I have seen.  I've watched it three times and gradually have been able to piece the parts together, but that also involved going to one of those Internet sites that explain the film.  One even included a time line graph that showed the various jumps backwards and forwards, but I haven't gotten around to watching it a fourth time since reading the detailed explanation.  Although, I will do it soon.

The confusion takes away from the initial watching, but after seeing it three times, it's edging up in my list of favorites on my time travel rankings.  The back story is interesting although a bit weird and suffers from a lack of plausibility.  That's a bit of a weakness, although not an overwhelming one, and some may not have a problem with that.  I would cautiously recommend this to those interested in time travel.  Mostly, I'd like the opportunity to exchange views with someone who might have seen it.  I've yet to talk to anyone who seems to know about it because it wasn't a box office sensation.

I would not recommend visiting one of those sites that explain it until you have actually seen it, because you're going to get a load of spoilers along with the explanation.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 10:54:38 AM by SGOS »

Re: Predestination: A Time Travel Movie
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2017, 10:43:40 AM »
It's based on Heinlein's "All You Zombies" short story. That one, and "By His Bootstraps" blew my mind back in 1963.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline SGOS (OP)

Re: Predestination: A Time Travel Movie
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2017, 10:59:03 AM »
It's based on Heinlein's "All You Zombies" short story. That one, and "By His Bootstraps" blew my mind back in 1963.
Yes, it's from Heinlein, although I don't think I ever read it.  From the film, I don't understand Heinlein's original title.  There are no zombies, unless it's a vague reference to people living in the fog of not understanding their lives.  There's plenty of that in the movie.

Offline Baruch

Re: Predestination: A Time Travel Movie
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2017, 11:04:50 AM »
If you like confusing cinematography, how did you like Cloud Atlas?
שלום

Re: Predestination: A Time Travel Movie
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2017, 11:49:00 AM »
Yes, it's from Heinlein, although I don't think I ever read it.  From the film, I don't understand Heinlein's original title.  There are no zombies, unless it's a vague reference to people living in the fog of not understanding their lives.  There's plenty of that in the movie.
The last line in the story is pertinent. Both shorts are online.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline SGOS (OP)

Re: Predestination: A Time Travel Movie
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2017, 12:59:05 PM »
If you like confusing cinematography, how did you like Cloud Atlas?
For whatever reason, Cloud Atlas didn't grab my attention. I don't remember sensing confusion, but I remember vaguely wondering if the movie had a point that I was missing.  I'd have to see it again to stand by that perception, however.  Mulholland Drive was confusing, and no site that attempts to explain it can do no more than admit it's guesswork on their part, because the Director, David Lynch, won't give or confirm explanations.

Offline SGOS (OP)

Re: Predestination: A Time Travel Movie
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2017, 01:38:54 PM »
The last line in the story is pertinent. Both shorts are online.
OK, I read  All You Zombies, which was very short.  I'm not sure I downloaded a complete PDF, however.  It ends right after the unmarried mother is officially recruited and quite  abruptly at about 3/4 of the way through the movie with him going to bed in the dark and missing Jane.  The following page starts an entirely new short story, so it seems like that was the book ending.  13 pages total.  The movie adds a lot more after the book appeared to end, and helps clear up the story further.   Do you think I read it all?

Edit: downloaded a second PDF.  Exactly the same ending.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 01:41:26 PM by SGOS »

Re: Predestination: A Time Travel Movie
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2017, 03:56:46 PM »
OK, I read  All You Zombies, which was very short.  I'm not sure I downloaded a complete PDF, however.  It ends right after the unmarried mother is officially recruited and quite  abruptly at about 3/4 of the way through the movie with him going to bed in the dark and missing Jane.  The following page starts an entirely new short story, so it seems like that was the book ending.  13 pages total.  The movie adds a lot more after the book appeared to end, and helps clear up the story further.   Do you think I read it all?

Edit: downloaded a second PDF.  Exactly the same ending.
Sounds right. The paradox is the thing in the short story, but the movie needed something to flesh it out for the people who hadn't read the short. The fact that it seems missing from short story is, to me, a compliment to the script writers, they kept RAH's work and added the struggle with the bomber. The resolution of that was perfectly in keeping with the paradox based short IMNSHO.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline SGOS (OP)

Re: Predestination: A Time Travel Movie
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2017, 05:38:46 PM »
Sounds right. The paradox is the thing in the short story, but the movie needed something to flesh it out for the people who hadn't read the short. The fact that it seems missing from short story is, to me, a compliment to the script writers, they kept RAH's work and added the struggle with the bomber. The resolution of that was perfectly in keeping with the paradox based short IMNSHO.
You saw the movie also, then.  Although the movie adds more to the story, everything in the book is followed unusually closely for Hollywood.  The opening dialog in the bar is just about word for word.  The descriptions of the nuanced behaviors during the conversation were spot on.  And everything that happened in the orphanage was included, although more was added to it.  Everything throughout the movie seemed to be there, but just more of it.  That stuff was added even improves the storytelling, I think.

Ethan Hawke is well known, but for some reason isn't seen a lot, and it seemed like he went through a long absence in the middle of his career.  When I see his name on a billing, I always see the movie. 

He also made some ultra low budget films, 3 that I can think of with Julie Delpey, a French actress.  The names of the movies follow a pattern of "Before or After" some part of day, "Sunrise or Sunset or Midnight."  There is a 4th movie with a name I can't remember that has the same nothingness about it.  On the surface not much at all happens in these films.  A couple meets and talks and develops a relationship that evolves 3 separate brief encounters over a span of 20 years.  What for all intents and purposes should be a boring set of films, and I'm sure that to many movie goers they are exactly that, there is an unusual subtle quality in the encounters that creates a highly realistic experience.  The last one didn't work for me, however.  Partly because of the realism of after 20 years, the chemistry between the two had changed.  Realistic but unsatisfying in a disappointing way.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2017, 05:41:25 PM by SGOS »

Re: Predestination: A Time Travel Movie
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2017, 05:55:05 PM »
The movie was made in Australia.

And I own the movie.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline SGOS (OP)

Re: Predestination: A Time Travel Movie
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2017, 06:32:58 PM »
The movie was made in Australia.

And I own the movie.
That's right, Australia.  Sorry about any Hollywood references.  Australia does put out some good film.  And I own it too.

Re: Predestination: A Time Travel Movie
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2017, 06:54:54 PM »
That's right, Australia.  Sorry about any Hollywood references.  Australia does put out some good film.  And I own it too.
I liked that they did it in Aus. The scenery seemed 1950s to me. Brought back memories.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline SGOS (OP)

Re: Predestination: A Time Travel Movie
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2017, 10:18:27 PM »
I just watched it again tonight, and everything came together nicely for the first time.

Offline Cavebear

Re: Predestination: A Time Travel Movie
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2017, 05:31:00 AM »
Everything is "from someone else".  But I'd be glad to see a new version on almost anything.  Emphasis on "new".
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Offline SGOS (OP)

Re: Predestination: A Time Travel Movie
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2017, 06:02:48 AM »
Everything is "from someone else".  But I'd be glad to see a new version on almost anything.  Emphasis on "new".
Maybe not quite everything, but when I notice a movie giving credits to a book, my expectations go up.  To a smaller degree, that also applies to "Based on actual events," although that often signals something sappy or patriotic.  If a movie is based on a book, I assume it is to capitalize on some degree of broad based acclaim, and wasn't cobbled together by some Director who just wanted to make a movie.  "Based on a book," doesn't guarantee the movie will be any good, however, because Directors can be known to turn something good into something dull and uninteresting, but an interesting book is a good place to start.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 06:26:28 AM by SGOS »