Friday, March 13, 2015

We are all one: another early "best" for 2015 -- on Blu-ray/DVD/digital -- the Spierig brothers' profound and nifty sci-fi, PREDESTINATION

Here's a movie that joins all of society -- men & women, young & old, good & bad -- in a manner that seems, on film at least, to be original. The new work from Australia's Spierig brothers, Peter and Michael (shown below, left to right, respectively), is their third full-lengther, after Undead (all about zombies) and then Day-breakers (all about vampires). PREDESTINATION (all about time-travel, and by far the brothers' best) touches the profound, then actually seems to go a bit beyond that into the mind-bending.

With a screenplay adapted (by the Spierigs) from a story by master sci-fi writer Robert Heinlein, the film features a cast of three lead actors who together manage almost all of the story between them. The remainder of the cast is just fine, but it is rare to see a movie with this big a budget (for an independent film, of course) that relies so heavily on the acting skills of just three people.

The threesome -- Ethan Hawke, above; Sarah Snook, at left; and Noah Taylor, below -- comes through on all counts.

Mr. Hawke keeps quietly growing as an actor from film to film; Ms Snook has what may be the role of her lifetime, and she runs with it all the way; and Mr. Taylor uses his dour face and thin body  to maximum effect, as the more-or-less leader of the pack.

All three performers, in fact, are so right for their roles that it is difficult to imagine other actors taking their place.

The story, at its beginning and well into things, seems like simplicity itself. Easy to follow yet constantly intriguing, it grows more and more complex as the elements of identity and time travel come to the fore.

Though the movie butts up against everything from a mad bomber and his relentless tracker to orphaned children and sex change, the less said about plot, the better -- for in its unravelling, Predestination appears to embrace the We-are-all-one theory, among other mind expansions.

Although there are action scenes and special effects, certainly, the movie's real pleasure derives from the quiet, thoughtful, almost tender and affecting tone with which it views its threesome. Going out of this movie, you'll have been taken places you could hardly have imagined going in.

Predestination -- released theatrically from Arclight Films, with DVD and Blu-ray via Sony, and running a just-right 97 minutes -- is available now. For genre fans, and even those who think they're not, this one constitutes a must-see.

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