Movies, TV

Heimat (1984) – Episodes 1-3

After the last movie I watched, I’m excited to move on to something else… except TSPDT #994 is a weird one because it’s actually a TV mini-series. This makes my life difficult on many fronts. First of all, a 1984 German TV series is really hard to find to even watch. Second of all, the entire thing is like 15 hours or something so there is no way I can binge 15 hours in one sitting. Third of all, there is no way I’m making you read a post about a 15 hour “movie”. For this one, I will break my rule of watching everything in order, and I’m just going to watch this episode by episode while moving on with the list in between episodes. I’ll group my posts however it makes sense, but I’m going to guess there will be several of them and it’s going to take me a while to watch the entire thing. I have heard good things about this, and since it’s made around the same time as Das Boot, I’m really hoping I’ll enjoy it.

As you might have guessed by the title, I’ll be starting off with the first 3 episodes which happen to be around 4 hours in total, so essentially this is like watching 2 movies. The series follows a family living in Germany after WWI, through WWII and into the aftermath. The first 3 episodes cover 1919-1935 and were actually not too bad. There are some characters that I like and it’s interesting to watch Hitler come into power and see how the people of Germany reacted to it.


I’ll start off with the characters. The first episode centers mainly on one of the sons, Paul, who just got back from the military serving in WWI. He falls in love and tries to find meaning in his life after the thing’s he’s seen. For reasons, he’s sadly out of the show after the first episode and we are left to follow some of the other children, Eduard and Maria. The next episodes mostly focus on them as they grow up, get married and start families. It’s all an interesting little slice of life show up to that point. The characters are somewhat deep, but because it’s such a large cast you don’t get to know anyone too intimately. Overall though, it’s enough to keep me engaged.


In episodes 2 and 3 we really get into WWII and the rise of Hitler and that’s where things get… interesting. So Hitler really starts out as a whisper on the streets then as times goes on he gains more of a following and eventually he’s revered. He’s both revered and feared at the same time by the people. They revere him because they really believe that he will improve their lives. After WWI things weren’t looking so good  for the every day man, but Hitler made and delivered on a lot of his promises to improve every day life. Business was booming and people could afford nicer and nicer things. But as the saying goes, nothing good in life is ever free. The people also fear him, no matter where in the country you are. The mother of the family wanted to go visit her brother on his birthday which also happened to be the same day as Hitler’s. She says that she’s going because she loves her brother more than Hitler and is told not to say it out loud like something could happen to her if anyone hears. At first it seems silly… then when more and more military are in the village and kids are joining the Hitler Youth, you start to realize he really does have ears everywhere. There’s part of the population that believed in what he was doing, and there was part that didn’t but feared speaking out.


That’s how it was portrayed in the show at least… Part of me is thinking this is a German made movie and there’s a chance they’re trying to make themselves look better for what happened during WWII. I don’t want to believe what I’m seeing because there has to be some bias in it, but part of me thinks there is a lot of truth in it as well. It makes me uncomfortable to even try and empathize with people in a country that did such disgusting things, but not everyone agreed with what was happening and if you spoke out you’d probably end up dead. It’s definitely weird watching a show where you’re shown things that make you empathize with the characters, but mentally and historically you feel like you shouldn’t. It makes me think back to Judgment at Nuremberg where some German’s spoke about why they did such awful things. They talked a lot about doing it for their country, like it was a matter of national pride… not exactly that they wholeheartedly believed in what they were doing. It’s pretty dark and heavy to think about, but this show really takes you there for better or worse.

On that note, I’m going to leave it here right at the beginning of WWII. So far this has been an interesting show and a thousand times less painful to watch than In Praise of Love. I can’t give my thoughts on the whole series yet, but I’m liking the first 3 episodes and I have a few more queued up. Next, though, I’ll be covering the next movie on the list, #993 They Live. See you then!

Interim Verdict: 7.8/10

Movies, TV

Best of 2017

Well 2017 is over and so ends another year of watching too many damn movies. I think my count this year (excluding re-watches) was something like 250 movies so it was a pretty good movie year for me. I had a lot of fun in October with my first horror movie marathon, I got suckered back into watching anime, had my first back to back re-watch ever, and got to see a lot of great female led movies. So here are my top 5 movies released in 2017:

5. Raw

This was unexpected, but damn did I love this movie. A few scenes completely grossed me out. I haven’t really seen this type of story done this way before so I was totally into it.

4. Patti Cake$

You’ve probably heard me rave about this movie enough. An unconventional trio of main characters and great music.

3. A Silent Voice

You’ve also probably heard me rave about this one. This movie got me interested in anime again, it was just that good. It showed me something new for once, and it hit me emotionally on several occasions.

2. Blade Runner 2049

I saw this one in theaters and I thought it was a lot better than the original. The story was interesting and tricked me in a good way. The visuals were gorgeous, the acting was outstanding and the story was perfect for a sequel.

1. Baby Driver

This movie takes the honors of being the only movie I’ve watched twice in a row. I seriously couldn’t get it out of my head I just had to see it again and it was still just as good. I love the music, the cars, the characters… it all clicked for me. This is easily my favorite movie of the year, and now has a place on my top 20 of all time (we’ll see if it holds up over the years or not).

Honorable Mentions: The Big Sick, Logan Lucky, Okja, Wonder Woman, Wind River, Brigsy Bear, A Ghost Story, The climactic fight scene in Atomic Blonde.

As a little afterward, I do also watch tons of TV and found a few amazing series this year. They may not have been released in 2017, but this is the year I discovered them so here are some of my best and worst:

Best Newly Discovered Shows

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Fargo, Billions, The Handmaid’s Tale, 13 Reasons Why, Black Mirror

Fantastic, Awesome, Binge-Worthy New Seasons of my Favorite Shows

Orange is the New Black, Halt and Catch Fire, Humans, Better Call Saul

Disappointing New Seasons

Supergirl, The Walking Dead, Arrow, The Flash

Hopefully 2018 will give way to even more great movies and TV. There are many movies and new seasons I’m looking forward to and I’m hoping to make a larger dent in the TSPDT list.



Movies, TV

Catching Up

It’s been quite a while since I wrote anything here. I haven’t felt the desire to really put my thoughts about what I’m watching into words. Not to say I haven’t watched things lately that weren’t worth writing about. I’ve slowed down a lot on movies, but I’ve watched some great TV Shows. I’ll do another quick fire of things I’ve watched recently to get my juices flowing. Then the next movie I plan to watch, At Once, will hopefully have something worth writing a full post about.

The Newsroom (2012)

This is a TV Show that aired on HBO for 2.5 seasons. I watched the first episode and was hooked. I actually couldn’t make myself stop watching it. I watched the first season and a half in just 2 days. I thought the premise to try and run a news broadcast that focuses on the news and not ratings was interesting because I hate watching the news for that exact reason. I immediately fell in love with the ideas, the characters and the dialogue. I’m a fan of the fast talking sarcastic quips they do fairly often. I laughed a lot and ended up caring about almost every character on the show. Season 2 was brilliantly laid out and made it so I had no choice but to keep watching. They start off somewhere in the middle of the season’s plot and then fill in the pieces with each episode until you’re caught up. I watched the first episode and just had to know what could’ve possibly happened that was so bad. Season 3 took a little bit of a dive with the first 2 episodes feeling dull, and the series finale wasn’t bad but it also wasn’t that great. If they were able to do a full last season and finish it off stronger I would have given it a perfect score. It’s definitely worth a watch, just make sure you have a couple hours set aside cause you won’t be able to watch just one episode.

Verdict: 9.5/10 

Carol (2016)


I absolutely loved this movie, it’s now one of my favorites and is on my regular re-watch list. I’ve seen it twice and am probably going to go for a 3rd watch soon. Maybe tonight because writing about it makes me want to see it again. It was so beautiful and restrained, nothing felt forced or unrealistic. It was slow but it sucked me in completely. Carol is kind, sophisticated and knows what she wants. There is something about her that just draws you in and it’s easy to see how Therese felt drawn to her. The movie had ups and downs that kept me emotionally invested and I felt so much throughout the entire movie. That feeling of thinking you found something special and then having it ripped away from you is devastating. I don’t want to say too much on the plot cause I think not knowing how it turns out really amplifies every decision the characters make and leaves you in suspense. It’s one of my top favorite romance movies and 100% recommend it.

Verdict: 9/10

Hush (2016)


This is a horror movie where the main protagonist is both deaf and mute. I’ve never seen anything like it before in my life. As far as thriller/horror movies go, this is one of the most suspenseful and thrilling ones I’ve seen. I really wanted the main character, Maddie, to succeed and get out of there alive. Every scene is straight out of all the other horror movies out there, but it’s elevated to a new level when we know she can’t hear anything. He could be coming up behind her and she would never know it. When she’s trying to be quiet walking on the roof, she doesn’t know if she’s making lots of noise or not. That unknown makes it all the more suspenseful. Not to mention the fact that they inject some realism into the story with her not being able to load the crossbow.  Great, she got a weapon, but she’s still just a regular person and didn’t immediately become some badass who can shoot a man with a crossbow from across the room. Not that I don’t love that, but when I don’t have to suspend my disbelief as much, I enjoy movies a lot more. This one is on Netflix and is definitely worth the time.

Verdict: 9/10

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)


As I was writing my other reviews, I realized a common actor among them–John Gallagher Jr.. He was in the Newsroom, Hush and in this review’s movie, 10 Cloverfield Lane. This is a “sequel but not really” to Cloverfield which I liked a lot when it came out. I didn’t know much about the movie before I started watching it and felt myself getting frustrated wondering when the Cloverfield things were going to start happening. So much so, that I almost couldn’t finish the movie because I thought it was crap and a waste of time. So I paused it, went over to IMDb and realized that it’s a standalone movie that merely exists in the same universe as the other. Once I understood that, it became a lot better of a movie. It was suspenseful and mysterious. I kept going back and forth in my mind wondering if John Goodman was telling the truth or if he was lying to keep her imprisoned. If it were me in that situation, I wouldn’t want to believe him because all I could think is that I’d end up as some idiot who was tricked into living in a bunker for 10 years. Momma didn’t raise no fool, so I really felt her predicament. On the flip side,  I’m really crushing on John Gallagher Jr. now. He was so sweet in this movie as Emmett and in the Newsroom. Ok sure, he was like a serial killer in Hush… but he was also in Short Term 12 which was an equally amazing movie. It all balances out in the end and I loved his character in this movie. When Emmett, let’s just say, was no longer part of the movie my jaw hit the floor. I love when movies have balls and just shock me with a plot decision. Overall, this was a really cool standalone movie that I will definitely re-watch.

Verdict: 8/10

And lastly, one sentence verdicts on some of the other movies I feel deserve a shout out.

10.000 km (2014) – Another great romance movie, except the characters start out in love and the movie progresses from there. Verdict: 8/10

Victoria (2015) – A 2h 18m movie all done in 1 continuous shot with strong characters and plot. Verdict: 7/10

Moulin Rouge! (2001) – A loud, obnoxious, annoying movie with weak characters and plot. Verdict: 5/10

Ant-Man (2015) – Pretty boring super hero movie that was lacking something that I just can’t put my finger on. Verdict: 5/10

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) – Great movie but needs a re-cut without the Mr. Yunioshi scenes… Verdict: 8/10


Face Off Season 8 (2015)

Here goes my first TV series post and it’s for the fantastic reality competition show Face Off. It’s a special effects makeup competition where each week the competitors create makeups for different challenges. I started watching it last season and I absolutely love it. There are some incredible things done on this show and some weeks it just blows my mind what these people can do in 3 days. This isn’t one of those competition shows where it’s all about drama, it’s purely focused on the effects. They will bring in guest judges that worked for famous movies like Hellraiser, Child’s Play and they had an actor from the Hunger Games. If you’re a fan of special effects makeup then this is definitely a show to check out, if not for the competition elements then for the reveals at the end.

Here are some of my favourites from this season:

face_off_1 face_off_2 face_off_3 face_off_4 face_off_5 face_off_6