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


Back and Bigger and Badder than Ever!

Ok well maybe a slight exaggeration there… I’m back and the same as ever. It’s been awhile since my last post and I’ve watched many movies (27 to be exact) since then, but haven’t been able to find the words to review them. Fear not, my ability to put thoughts into words has returned! I will be rapid firing off some short, quick reviews of the movies I’ve watched that I can still remember well enough.

Casablanca (1942)

casablanca I think this is the one that broke my blog writing spirit. Such a classic, but honestly not very enjoyable for me. It suffered too much from a case of unbelievable romance. For a movie in the romance genre, if I’m not buying it… I’m not enjoying it.

Verdict: 7/10 Meh

 Ex Machina (2015)

ex_machinaOn the other hand, this is the one that almost re-invigorated my blog writing spirit. I was looking forward to this one since I saw the trailer, and it did not disappoint. I loved every minute of it. That house was beautiful and the story was very intriguing. I’m a huge sucker for these sci-fi movies and with AI in general, so it really hit home for me. The implications of the ending completely blew my mind and made me look twice at every one I pass on the street. Who really knows? I sure don’t! For all I know, you’re a robot scanning the internet for information to one day enslave the human race. And for all you know, I’m a robot who literally lost their ability to put words into thoughts and was out getting repairs this entire time.

Verdict: 9/10 I’m keeping an eye on you…

The Imitation Game (2014)

imitation_gameAnother of the movies I was looking forward to. Sadly, in this case, it did disappoint. It disappointed hardcore. If they gave an award for most anti-climactic movie, this one would definitely be in the running. It just ended… that’s it. The pacing was way off and it was hard for me to stay interested in it. It was another of those movies with scenes that are tossed in because they need to quickly advance the plot. For example, Turing’s girlfriend, Joan, gets in a fight with him and tells him he is wasting his time. He will never solve the problem. This shows us that there is some turmoil in the relationship. That is a great little scene to toss in, but then immediately after this he asks her to marry him. If they were going to show us problems in their relationship only to have them instantly be mended, what was the point? Either split that scene up and sprinkle that seed of relationship doubt throughout other scenes, or ignore it completely and just have them be “happy”.

Verdict: 7/10 Needs to come with a free extra large coffee

Pitch Black (2000)

I knew exactly what I was getting into when I watched this movie and it actually wasn’t too bad. As an action type movie, it was interesting enough. Yeah the special effects were pretty awful, but I’ve seen a lot worse. I would recommend watching this with someone else just so you can laugh at the cheese factor together.

Verdict: 7/10 Entertaining enough

Enemy (2013)

doubleIf you’ve heard of this movie, you’ve probably also heard, “Wtf was that spider at the end?!” so I’m not going to go there. Yeah, the ending is a little weird, and the whole movie might also be a little weird, but it has a Fight Club type appeal for me. I didn’t realize what was actually happening the entire time with the whole double thing, only after I was reading posts about the movie did it finally click. I think you’re better off not really understanding the movie, then understanding it and then watching it again through a different pair of eyes. This is exactly what I plan to do at some point… until then the verdict will be pretty average, but this is an interesting little movie for sure. Jake Gyllenhaal is awesome!

Verdict: 7/10 Weird, but interesting

Honorable Mentions

Tokyo Godfathers (2003) Verdict: 8/10 Make it through the first 10-15 minutes and you’ll get into it

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (2014) Verdict: 8/10 Infuriating and sad

Citizenfour (2014) Verdict: 8/10 Very interesting and informative

Still Alice (2014) Verdict: 8/10 Sad… really abrupt ending though

OXV: The Manual (2013) Verdict: 8/10 Really weird, just stick with it and it gets better and better

Rebecca (1940) Verdict: 8/10 Entertaining and likeable characters

Dishonorable Mentions

Serpico (1973) Verdict: 6/10 Bad music, slowly paced, semi-anti-climatic ending

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) Verdict: 6/10 Willie is one of the most annoying character I’ve watched, the rest of the movie is pretty solid though

Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) Verdict: 6/10 Wasn’t as good as I was expecting, might re-watch at some point

Fitzcarraldo (1982) Verdict: 5/10 Just really boring, a pain to sit through