Predestination [no spoilers]: an elite time-hopping agent who has saved thousands of lives by preventing disasters is struggling to catch his final target – the Fizzle Bomber. After one brief action scene the 50-minute setup is a big gamble that could potentially lose the audience… however, it pays off big time as bucket-loads of seemingly throwaway details come together to form a sublime ‘penny-dropping’ finale that may well melt your tiny, panicking brain. It’s a very tight story, played out through an exceptional pair of performances from both Hawke (who is making some great film choices at the moment) and Snook (who comes out of nowhere); proving that, although difficult, you can fuse both high-concept sci-fi and low-level personal drama. Storytelling aside, the film looks and feels fantastic – given the modest ~$7M budget – with stylish retro, retro-future and retro-sci-fi vibes, paired with strong framing and camerawork / camera tricks. I also liked the subtle references to other time travel movies, but to mention them may be spoiler-tastic. Put this all together and you have the most complex and intelligent time travel story since Primer, that feels like something a young Christopher Nolan would have done. Predestination is a fresh, original, and smart time-travel thriller: if most movies had even a 10th of this film’s ambition, the film industry would be a much better place. If this sounds up your street don’t read another word or review before you check it out.
Iron Sky: in 1945 a group of defeated Nazis fled to the moon, in 2018 they’re coming back to finish what the Fuhrer started! For a B-movie, the graphics and effects are superb: the Blu Ray looks delicious, although washed out in the colour department. Sets, costumes, machinery, and industrial / steampunk settings all look fantastic. Written as an open-source script (aided by the internets) the entire movie is tongue-in-cheek and absolutely rammed with gags, nice details and one-liners – loads of laughs to be had. It’s a bit of everything: political satire, comedy, invasion, sci-fi, exploitation, ‘Nazispoitation’ – the only things it really shies away from are (surprisingly) nudity and gore. You could say that the film’s biggest weakness is that it’s all over the place; but flip it around, there’s something for everyone in here. Cast-wise, everyone’s at the top-range of B-movie; with guys like ‘Stamper’ from Tomorrow Never Dies and Udo Kier going in to full-on scenery chewing baddie mode – what’s not to like?! Given that it’s about moon Nazis, there’s some taboo moments, covering everything from skull measurements to a kamikaze Japanese spaceship – most are subtle enough to be overlooked. Although Iron Sky was panned by mainstream critics, if – like me – you’ve sat through thousands of over-promising, under-delivering B-movies, you’ll understand why this is a top-tier cult / midnight movie. A fantastic space Nazi romp, great fun, and put a smile on my face for the duration.
Nazi base on the moon, obviously.